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The spoilers stripp'd and gash'd the slain,
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,
While many a broken band,
To gain the Scottish land;
of Flodden's fatal field, Where shiver'd was fair Scotland's spear,
And broken was her shield !
Nor cherish hope in vain,
May yet return again.
And fell on Flodden plain :
Beseem'd the monarch slain.
Unto may tale again.
Less easy task it were, to show
But every mark is gone ;
And broke her font of stone.
Oft halts the stranger there,
And shepherd boys repair
And plait their garlands fair ;
That holds the bones of Marmion brave.
tomb, with Gothic Sculpture fair, Did long Lord Marmion's image bear. (Now vainly for its site you look; 'Twas levellid, when fanatic Brook The fair cathedral storm'd and took ; But, thanks to Heaven, and good Saint Chad, A guerdon meet the spoiler had !) There erst was martial Marmion found, His feet upon a couchant hound,
His hands to heaven upraised;
His arms and feats were blazed.
I do not rhyme to that dull elf,
O wake once more! how rude soe'er the hand
That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray ; O wake once more! though scarce my skill com
mand Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay: Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away,
And all unworthy of thy nobler strain ; Yet, if one heart throb higher at its sway,
The wizard note has not been touch'd in vain. Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!
L'ENVOY TO THE READER. Why, then, a final note prolong Or lengthen out a closing song, Unless to bid the gentles speed, Who long have listed to my rede ?*To statesman grave, if such may deign To read the minstrel's idle strain, Sound head, clean hand, and piercing wit, And patriotic heart-as Pitt! A garland for the hero's crest, And twined by her he loves the best; To every lovely lady bright, What can I wish but faithful knight? To every faithful lover too, What can I wish but lady true ? And knowledge to the studious sage, And pillow to the head of age. To thee, dear schoolboy, whom my lay Has cheated of thy hour of play, Light task and merry holiday ! To all, to each, a fair good night, And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light !
1. The stag at eve bad drunk his fill, Where danced the moon on Monan's rill, And deep his midnight lair had made In lone Glenartney's hazel shade; But when the sun his beacon red Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head, The deep-mouth'd bloodhound's heavy bay Resounded up the rocky way, And faint, from farther distance borne, Were heard the clanging hoof and born.
THE LADY OF THE LAKE.
TO THE MOST NOBLE JOHN JAMES, MARQUIS
OF ABERCORN, &c.
THIS POEM IS INSCRIBED, BY THE AUTHOR.
II. As chief, who hears his warder call, “ To arms! the foemen storm the wall,"The antler'd monarch of the waste Sprung from his heathery couch in haste. But, e'er his feet career he took, The dewdrops from his flanks he shook ; Like crested leader proud and high, Toss'd his beam'd frontlet to the sky; A moment gazed adown the dale, A moment snuff?d the tainted gale, A moment listen’d to the cry, That thicken'd as the chase drew nigh; Then, as the headmost foes appeard, With one brave bound the copse he clear'd, And, stretching forward free and far, Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.
ADVERTISEMENT. The scene of the following poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch-Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Perthshire. The time of action includes six days, and the transactions of each day occupy a canto.
THE CHASE. HARP of the North! that mouldering long hast
hung On the witch-elm that shades St. Fillan's spring, And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Muffling with verdant ringlet every string,
O minstrel harp, still must thine accents sleep? 'Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep
III. Yelld on the view the opening pack, Rock, glen, and cavern, paid them back; To many a mingled sound at once Th' awaken'd mountain gave response. An hundred dogs bay'd deep and strong, Clatter'd a hundred steeds along, Their peal the merry horns rung out, An hundred voices join'd the shout: With hark and whoop, and wild halloo, No rest Ben voirlich's echoes knew. Far from the tumult ned the roe, Close in her covert cower'd the doe, The falcon, from her cairn on high, Cast on the rout a wondering eye, Till far beyond her piercing ken The hurricane had swept the glen. Faint, and more faint, its sailing din Return'd from cavern, cliff, and linn, And silence settled, wide and still, On the lone wood and mighty hill.
Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd, When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,
Aroused the fearful or subdued the proud. At each according pause was heard aloud
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high ! Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bow'd;
For still the burthen of thy minstrelsy Was knighthond's dauntless deed and beauty's
IV. Less Joud the sounds of sylvap war Disturb'd the heights of Uam-Var,
* Used generally for tale, or discourse.
And roused the cavern, where, 'tis told
Already glorying in the prize,
Huge as the tower which builders vain
XII. Boon nature scatter'd, free and wild, Each plant, or flower, the mountain's child. Here eglantine embalm’d the air, Hawthorn and hazel mingled there; The primrose pale, and violet flower, Found in each cliff a narrow bower; Fox-glove and night-shade, side by side, Emblems of punishment and pride, Group'd their dark hues with every stain The weather-beaten crags retain. With boughs that quaked at every breath, Gray birch and aspen wept beneath ; Aloft, the ash and warrior oak Cast anchor in the risted rock ; And, higher yet, the pine tree hung His shatter'd trunk, and frequent flung, Where seem'd the cliffs to meet on high, His bows athwart the narrow'd sky. Highest of all, where white peaks glanced, Where glistening streamers waved and danced, The wanderer's eye could barely view The summer heaven's delicious blue; So wondrous wild, the whole might seem The scenery of a fairy dream.
Unless he climb, with footing nice,
XIII. Onward, amid the copse 'gan peep A narrow inlet, still and deep, Affording scarce such breadth of brim, As served the wild duck's brood to swim. Lost for a space, through thickets veering, But broader when again appearing, Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face Could on the dark blue mirror trace; And farther as the hunter stray'd, Still broader sweep its channels made. The shaggy mounds no longer stood, Emerging from entangled wood, But, wave-encircled, secm'd to float, Like castle girdled with its moat; Yet broader floods extending still, Divide them from their parent hill, Till each, retiring, claims to be An inlet in an island sea.
XIV. And now, to issue from the glen, No pathway meets the wanderer's ken,
Whether joy danced in her dark eye,
XVII. But scarce again his horn he wound, When lo! forth starting at the sound, From underneath an aged oak, That slanted from the islet rock, A damsel guider of its way, A little skiff shot to the bay, That round the promontory steep, Led its deep line in graceful sweep, Eddying, in almost viewless wave, The weeping-willow twig to lave, And kiss with whispering sound and slow, The beach of pebbles bright as snow. The boat had touch'd this silver strand, Just as the hunter left his stand, And stood conceal'd amid the brake, To view this lady of the lake. The maiden paused, as if again She thought to catch the distant strain. With head up-raised, and look intent, And eye and ear attentive bent, And locks flung back, and lips apart, Like monument of Grecian art, In listening mood, she seem'd to stand, The guardian naiad of the strand.
XX. Impatient of the silent horn, Now on the gale her voice was borne: “Father,” she cried ; the rocks around Loved to prolong the gentle sound. A while she paused, no answer came : “Malcolm, was thine the blast ?” the name Less resolutely utter'd fell : The echoes could not catch the swell. “A stranger I," the huntsman said, Advancing from the hazel shade. The maid, alarm’d, with hasty oar, Push'd ber light shallop from the shore, And, when a space was gain'd between Closer she drew her bosom screen; (So forth the startled swan would swing, So turn to prune his ruffled wing ;) Then safe, though flutter'd and amazed, She paused, and on the stranger gazed, Not his the form, nor his the eye, That youthful maidens wont to fly.
XVIII. And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace A nymph, a naiad, or a grace, Of finer form, or lovelier face! What though the sun, with ardent frown, Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown, The sportive toil, which, short and light, Had died her glowing hue so bright, Served too in hastier swell to show Short glimpses of a breast of snow; What though no rule of courtly grace To measured mood had train'd her pace, A foot more light, a step more true, Ne'er from the heath flower dash'd the dew; E’en the slight harebell raised its head, Elastic from her airy tread : What though upon her speech there hung The accents of the mountain tongue, Those silver sounds, so soft, so dear, The list'ner held his breath to hear.
XXI. On his bold visage middle age Had slightly press'd its signet sage, Yet had not quench'd the open truth And fiery vehemence of youth; Forward and frolic glee was there, The will to do, the soul to dare, The sparkling glance, soon blown to fire, Of hasty love, or headlong ire. His limbs were cast in manly mould, For hardy sports, or contest bold; And though in peaceful garb array'd, And weaponless except his blade, His stately mien as well implied A high-born heart, a martial pride, As if a baron's crest he wore, And sheath'd in armour trod the shore. Slighting the petty need he show'd, He told of his benighted road; His ready speech flow'd fair and free, In phrase of gentlest courtesy: Yet seem'd that tone, and gesture bland, Less used to sue than to command.
XIX. A chieftain's daughter seem'd the maid ; Her satin snood, her silken plaid, Her golden brooch, such birth betrayed. And seldom was a snood amid Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid, Whose glossy black to shame might bring The plumage of the raven's wing ; And seldom o'er a breast so fair, Mantled a plaid with modest care, And never brooch the folds combined Above a heart more good and kind. Her kindness and her worth to spy, You need but gaze on Ellen's eye ; Not Katrine, in her mirror blue, Gives back the shaggy banks more true, Than every free-born glance confess'd The guileless movements of her breast;
XXII. A while the maid the stranger eyed, And, reassured, at length replied, That highland halls were open still To wilder'd wanderers of the hill. « Nor think you unexpected come To yon lone isle, our desert home; Before the heath had lost the dew, This morn, a couch was pull'd for you;