Walter Scott.

The poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet online

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" For life ! for life ! their flight they ply " . 241

" That deep and doubling pass within " . 242
[The Pass of Beal-an-duine.]

" ■ Behold yon isle ! —

See ! none are left to guard its strand ' " . 243

The Teith at Callander 244

'.' 'T was from a turret that o'erhung

Her latticed bower, the strain was sung " 245

" On many a splendid garb she gazed, —

Then turned bewildered and amazed " . 246

" Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,

And on his neck his daughter hung " . . 247

" Down kneeled the Graeme to Scotland's

Lord" 248

The Chain of Gold 248

Tailpiece. — Ben Lomond, from Luss . 249

Vignette. — Loch Lomond Gulls . . . 250

Half Title. The Vision of Don Rod-
erick 251

Vignette 252

" Castles and towers, in due proportion

each" 257

" By day the invaders ravaged hill and

dale" 263

Talavera 265

" And Lisbon's matrons from their walls " 267

Tailpiece 269

Vignette . . . 270

Half Title. Rokeby 271

Vignette 272

Barnard Castle 275

"'Aught,' answered Bertram, 'wouldst

thou know,

Demand in simple terms and plain '" . . 277

The Tweed 279

" Egliston's gray ruins " 283

" Who by Roslin strays " 284

" Some mountain, rent and riven,
A channel for the stream had given " . . 287

" Nor then unscabbarded his brand " . . 289

" The course of Greta's playful tide " . . 293

" Where the bank opposing showed
Its huge, square cliffs through shaggy wood " 295

Denzil and Bertram at the Cave . 299

" The woodland lends its sylvan screen " 303

" Soon in Rokeby's woods is seen
A gallant boy " 305

u ' And rest we here/ Matilda said " .

" Distant and high, the tower of Bowes

" The old gray porter raised his torch "

The Cavalier


" Forth from the central mass of smoke
The giant form of Bertram broke "

" When yonder broken arch was whole "

" ' Over Redesdale it came,
As bodeful as their beacon-flame ' "

" He left no bolder heart behind " . .



Half Title. The Bridal of Trier-



Vignette 336

"The woodland brook we needs must

pass" 337

" And now we reach the favorite glade " . 339

" He journeyed like errant-knight the

while " 341

" And copse and arbor decks the spot " . 345

" Carlisle tower and town" 347

" In panoply the champions ride "... 349



" But soon to earnest grew their game
" This rude and Alpine glen " . . .
" That shattered pile of rocks so gray '




u Tossed high aloft a fountain fair

Was sparkling in the sun " 361

Half Title. The Lord of the Isles 365

Vignette 366

44 The last blithe shout hath died upon our



Artornish 369

The House of Lorn 371

Tailpiece 375

" Dunvegan high " 379

" Sandalled monks who relics bore,
With many a torch-bearer before

And many a cross behind " 361


44 Deep in Strathaird's enchanted cell " . 389

44 From Canna's tower " 393

Columba's Isle 397

Tailpiece 399

44 Fair Loch-Ranza " . . 401

44 In Brodick-Bay " 403

Tailpiece 408

Stirling's Towers 409

44 All bouned them for the fight " ... 411

The Field of Bannockburn .... 413

" High in his stirrups stood the king " . 415

Cambus-kenneth 419

Half Title. The Field of Waterloo 42 1



Thy wood, dark Soignies " 424


The Field of Waterloo 425

Napoleon 429

" The dawn that in the orient glows " . . 431

Tailpiece 431

Vignette 432

Half Title. Harold the Dauntless 433



Saint Cuthbert's Isle 437

44 'T is merry in greenwood " 441

41 Gray towers of Durham " 447

Tailpiece 449

Tailpiece 458

Tailpiece 463

Vignette . 464

Half Title. Translations, Ballads,

Etc 465

Vignette 466

Tailpiece 481

44 In gray Glenfinlas' deepest nook " . . 483

44 Where wild Loch Katrine pours her

tide " 485

Linlithgow 490

Tailpiece 491

44 The brown crest of Newark " . . . . 510

Half Title. Appendix 527

Vignette 528

Tailpiece 536

Tailpiece 538

Both well Castle 541

Cheviot 543

44 Yarrow's Braes " 544

Tailpiece 561

Vignette .... 562




Half Title. Notes 563

Vignette 564

Tailpiece 632

Half Title. Glossary 633

Vignette 634


Tailpiece 637

Vignette 638

Half Title. Index 639

Vignette 640

Tailpiece , . 646


%ty 2Up of tfje 2Ust jWmstrel.

Dum relego, scripsisse fudet ; quia pluritna cerno,
Me quoque qui feci judice, digna lint.






The way was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel was infirm and old ;
His withered cheek and'tresses gray-
Seemed to have known a better day ;
The harp, his sole remaining joy,

Was carried by an orphan boy.
The last of all the bards was he,
Who sung of Border chivalry ;
For, well-a-day ! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he, neglected and oppressed.
Wished to be with them and at rest.


No more on prancing palfrey borne,

He carolled, light as lark at morn ;

No longer courted and caressed,

High placed in hall, a welcome guest,

He poured, to lord and lady gay,

The unpremeditated lay :

Old times were changed, old manners gone

A stranger filled the Stuarts' throne ;

The bigots of the iron time

Had called his harmless art a crime.

A wandering harper, scorned and poor,

He begged his bread from door to door,

And tuned, to please a peasant's ear,

The harp a king had loved to hear.

He passed where Newark's stately tower
Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower :
The Minstrel gazed with wishful eye —
No humbler resting-place was nigh.
With hesitating step at last
The embattled portal arch he passed,
Whose ponderous grate and massy bar
Had oft rolled back the tide of war,
But never closed the iron door
Against the desolate and poor.
The Duchess marked his weary pace,
His timid mien, and reverend face,
And bade her page the menials tell
That they should tend the old man well :
For she had known adversity,
Though born in such a high degree ;
In pride of power, in beauty's bloom,
Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb !

When kindness had his wants supplied,
And the old man was gratified,
Began to rise his minstrel pride ;
And he began to talk anon
Of good Earl Francis, dead and gone,

And of Earl Walter, rest him God !

A braver ne'er to battle rode ;

And how full many a tale he knew

Of the old.warriors of Buccleuch :

And, would the noble Duchess deign

To listen to an old man's strain,

Though stiff his hand, his voice though weak,

He thought even yet, the sooth to speak,

That, if she loved the harp to hear,

He could make music to her ear.

The humble boon was soon obtained ;

The aged Minstrel audience gained.

But when he reached the room of state

Where she with all her ladies sate,

Perchance he wished his boon denied :

For, when to tune his harp he tried,

His trembling hand had lost the ease

Which marks security to please ;

And scenes, long past, of joy and pain

Came wildering o'er his aged brain —

He tried to tune his harp in vain.

The pitying Duchess praised its chime,

And gave him heart, and gave him time,

Till every string's according glee

Was blended into harmony.

And then, he said, he would full fain

He could recall an ancient strain

He never thought to sing again.

It was not framed for village churls,

But for high dames and mighty earls ;

He had played it to King Charles the Good

When he kept court in Holyrood ;

And much he wished, yet feared, to try

The long-forgotten melody.

Amid the strings his fingers strayed,

And an uncertain warbling made,

And oft he shook his hoary head.

But when he caught the measure wild,


The old man raised his face and smiled ;

And lightened up his faded eye

With all a poet's ecstasy !

In varying cadence, soft or strong,

He swept the sounding chords along :

The present scene, the future lot,.

His toils, his wants, were all forgot ;

Cold diffidence and age's frost

In the full tide of song were lost ;

Each blank, in faithless memory void,

The poet's glowing thought supplied ;

And, while his harp responsive rung,

'T was thus the Latest Minstrel suns.

&Jje Hag of tije &ast JKtoittL


The feast was over in Branksome tower,
And the Ladye had gone to her secret bower,

Her bower that was guarded by word and by

Deadly to hear, and deadly to tell —
Jesu Maria, shield us well !
No living wight, save the Ladye alone,
Had dared to cross the threshold stone.

The tables were drawn, it was idlesse all ;

Knight and page and household squire
Loitered through the lofty hall,

Or crowded round the ample fire :
The stag-hounds, weary with the chase,

Lay stretched upon the rushy floor,
And urged in dreams the forest race,

From Teviot-stone to Eskdale-moor.


Nine-and-twenty knights of fame

Hung their shields in Branksome Hall ;

Nine-and-twenty squires of name

Brought them their steeds to bower from
stall :


Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall
Waited duteous on them all :
They were all knights of mettle true,
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch.


Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
With belted sword and spur on heel ;
They quitted not their harness bright,
Neither by day nor yet by night :

They lay down to rest,

With corselet laced,
Pillowed on buckler cold and hard ;

They carved at the meal

With gloves of steel,
And they drank the red wine through the
helmet barred.

Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men,
Waited the beck of the warders ten ;
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight,
Stood saddled in stable day and night,
Barded with frontlet of steel, I trow,
And with Jedwood-axe at saddle-bow ;
A hundred more fed free in stall : —
Such was the custom of Branksome Hall.


Why do these steeds stand ready dight ?
Why watch these warriors armed by night ?

They watch to hear the bloodhound baying ;

They watch to hear the war-horn braying ;

To see Saint George's red cross streaming,

To see the midnight beacon gleaming ;

They watch against Southern force andguile,
Lest Scroop or Howard or Percy's powers
Threaten Branksome's lordly towers,

From Wark worth or Naworth or merry


Such is the custom of Branksome Hall.

Many a valiant knight is here ;
But he, the chieftain of them all,
His sword hangs rusting on the wall

Beside his broken spear.
Bards long shall tell
How Lord Walter fell !
When startled burghers fled afar
The furies of the Border war,
When the streets of high Dunedin
Saw lances gleam and falchions redden,
And heard the slogan's deadly yell, —
Then the Chief of Branksome fell.


Can piety the discord heal,

Or stanch the death-feud's enmity ?
Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal,

Can love of blessed charity?


No ! vainly to each holy shrine

In mutual pilgrimage they drew,
Implored in vain the grace divine

For chiefs their own red falchions slew.
While Cessford owns the rule of Carr,

While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott,
The slaughtered chiefs, the mortal jar,
The havoc of the feudal war,

Shall never, never be forgot !


In sorrow o'er Lord Walter's bier
The warlike foresters had bent,

Then fast the mother's tears did seek
To dew the infant's kindling cheek.

All loose her negligent attire,

All loose her golden hair,
Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire

And wept in wild despair.
But not alone the bitter tear

Had filial grief supplied,
For hopeless love and anxious fear

Had lent their mingled tide ;
Nor in her mother's altered eye

And many a flower and many a tear

Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent :
But o'er her warrior's bloody bier
The Ladye dropped nor flower nor tear !
Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain,

Had locked the source of softer woe,
And burning pride and high disdain

Forbade the rising tear to flow ;
Until, amid his sorrowing clan,

Her son lisped from the nurse's knee.
' And if I live to be a man,

My father's death revenged shall be ! *

Dared she to look for sympathy.
Her lover 'gainst her father's clan

With Carr in arms had stood,
When Mathouse-burn to Melrose ran

All purple with their blood ;
And well she knew her mother dread,
Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed,
Would see her on her dying bed.


Of noble race the Ladye came;
Her father was a clerk of fame


Of Bethune's line of Picardie :
He learned the art that none may name

In Padua, far beyond the sea.
Men said he changed his mortal frame

By feat of magic mystery ;
For when in studious mood he paced

Saint Andrew's cloistered hall,
His form no darkening shadow traced

Upon the sunny wall !


And of his skill, as bards avow,

He taught that Ladye fair,
Till to her bidding she could bow

The viewless forms of air.
And now she sits in secret bower,
In old Lord David's western tower,
And listens to a heavy sound
That moans the mossy turrets round.
Is it the roar of Teviot's tide,
That chafes against the scaur's red side ?
Is it the wind, that swings the oaks ?
Is it the echo from the rocks ?
What may it .be, the heavy sound,
That moans old Branksome's turrets round?


At the sullen, moaning sound

The ban-dogs bay and howl,
And from the turrets round

Loud whoops the startled owl.
In the hall, both squire and knight

Swore that a storm was near,
And looked forth to view the night ;

But the night was still and clear !


From the. sound of Teviot's tide,
Chafing with the mountain's side,
From the groan of the wind-swung oak,
From the sullen echo of the rock,

From the voice of the coming storm,

The Ladye knew it well !
It was the Spirit of the Flood that spoke,

And he called on the Spirit of the Fell.


' Sleep'st thou, brother ? '


' Brother, nay —
On my hills the moonbeams play.
From Craik-cross to Skelfhill-pen,
By every rill, in every glen,
Merry elves their morris pacing,

To aerial minstrelsy,
A Emerald rings on brown heath tracing,

Trip it deft and merrily.
Up, and mark their nimble feet !
Up, and list their music sweet ! '


' Tears of an imprisoned maiden
Mix with my polluted stream ;
Margaret of Branksome, sorrow-laden,
Mourns beneath the moon's pale
Tell me, thou who view'st the stars,
When shall cease these feudal jars ?
What shall be the maiden's fate ?
Who shall be the maiden's mate ? '


' Arthur's slow wain his course doth roll

In utter darkness round the pole ;

The Northern Bear lowers black and grim,

Orion's studded belt is dim ;

Twinkling faint, and distant far,

Shimmers through mist each planet star ;

111 may I read their high decree :
But no kind influence deign they shower
On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower

Till pride be quelled and love be free.'


The unearthly voices ceased,

And the heavy sound was still ;
It died on the river's breast,

It died on the side of the hill.
But round Lord David's tower

The sound still floated near ;
For it rung in the Ladye's bower,

And it rung in the Ladye's ear.
She raised her stately head,

And her heart throbbed high with pride
' Your mountains shall bend


And your streams ascend,

Ere Margaret be our foeman's bride ! '

The Ladye sought the lofty hall,

Where many a bold retainer lay,
And with jocund din among them all

Her son pursued his infant play.
A fancied moss-trooper, the boy

The truncheon of a spear bestrode,
And round the hall right merrily

In mimic foray rode.
Even bearded knights, in arms grown old,

Share in his frolic gambols bore,
Albeit their hearts of rugged mould

Were stubborn as the steel they wore.
For the gray warriors prophesied

How the brave boy in future war
Should tame the Unicorn's pride,

Exalt the Crescents and the Star.


The Ladye forgot her purpose high

One moment and no more,
One moment gazed with a mother's eye

As she paused at the arched door ;
Then from amid the armed train .
She called to her William of Deloraine.


A stark moss-trooping Scott was he
As e'er couched Border lance by knee :
Through Solway Sands, through Tarras

Blindfold he knew the paths to cross ;
By wily turns, by desperate bounds,
Had baffled Percy's best bloodhounds ;
In Eske or Liddel fords were none
But he would ride them, one by one ;
Alike to him was time or tide,



December's snow or July's pride ;

Alike to him was tide or time,

Moonless midnight or matin prime :

Steady of heart and stout of hand

As ever drove prey from Cumberland ;

Five times outlawed had he been

By England's king and Scotland's queen.


' Sir William of Deloraine, good at need,
Mount thee on the wightest steed ;
Spare not to spur nor stint to ride
Until thou come to fair Tweedside ;
And in Melrose's holy pile
Seek thou the Monk of Saint Mary's aisle.
Greet the father well from me ;

Say that the fated hour is come,
And to-night he shall watch with thee,

To win the treasure of the tomb :
For this will be Saint Michael's night,
And though stars be dim the moon is

And the cross of bloody red
Will point to the 1 grave of the mighty dead.


* What he gives thee, see thou keep ;
Stay not thou for food or sleep :
Be it scroll or be it book,
Into it, knight, thou must not look;
If thou readest', thou art lorn !
Better hadst thou ne'er been born ! '

* O swiftly can speed my dapple-gray steed,

Which drinks of the Teviot clear ;
Ere break of day,' the warrior gan say,

1 Again will I be here :
And safer by none may thy errand be done

Than, noble dame, by me ;
Letter nor line know I never one,

Were 't my neck-verse at Hairibee.'


Soon in his saddle sate he fast,
And soon the steep descent he passed,
Soon crossed the sounding barbican,
And soon the Teviot side he won.
Eastward the wooded path he rode,
Green hazels o'er his basnet nod;
He passed the Peel of Goldiland,
And crossed old Borth wick's roaring strand ;
Dimly he viewed the Moat-hill's mound,
Where Druid shades still flitted round :
In Hawick twinkled many a light ;
Behind him soon they set in night ;
And soon he spurred his courser keen
Beneath the tower of Hazeldean.


The clattering hoofs the watchmen mark :
1 Stand, ho ! thou courier of the dark.'
1 For Branksome, ho ! ' the knight rejoined,
And left the friendly tower behind.
He turned him now from Teviotside,

And, guided by the tinkling rill,
Northward the dark ascent did ride.

And gained the moor at Horseliehill ;
Broad on the left before him lay
For many a mile the Roman way.


A moment now he slacked his speed,
A moment breathed his panting steed,
Drew saddle-girth and corselet-band,
And loosened in the sheath his brand.
On Minto-crags the moonbeams glint,
Where Barnhill hewed his bed of flint,
Who flung his outlawed limbs to rest
Where falcons hang their giddy nest
Mid cliffs from whence his eagle eye
For many a league his prey could spy ;
Cliffs doubling, on their echoes borne,
The terrors of the robber's horn ;
Cliffs which for many a later year
The warbling Doric reed shall hear,
When some sad swain shall teach the grove
Ambition is no cure for love.


Unchallenged, thence passed Deloraine
To ancient Riddel's fair domain,

Where Aill, from mountains freed,
Down from the lakes did raving come ;
Each wave was crested with tawny foam,

Like the mane of a chestnut steed.
In vain ! no torrent, deep or broad,
Might bar the bold moss-trooper's road.


At the first plunge the horse sunk low,

And the water broke o'er the saddle-bow:

Above the foaming tide, I ween,

Scarce half the charger's neck was seen ;

For he was barded from counter to tail,

And the rider was armed complete in mail ;

Never heavier man and horse

Stemmed a midnight torrent's force.

The warrior's very plume, I say,

Was daggled by the dashing spray;

Yet, through good heart and Our Ladye's

At length he gained the landing-place.


Now Bowden Moor the march-man won,
And sternly shook his plumed head,


As glanced his eye o'er Halidon ;

For on his soul the slaughter red
Of that unhallowed morn arose,
When first the Scott and Carr were foes ;
When royal James beheld the fray,
Prize to the victor of the day ; .
When Home and Douglas in the van
Bore down Buccleuch's retiring clan,
Till gallant Cessford's heart-blood dear
Reeked on dark Elliot's Border spear.

In bitter mood he spurred fast,.

And soon the hated heath was past ;

And far beneath, in lustre wan,

Old Melros' rose and fair Tweed ran :

Like some tall rock with lichens gray,

Seemed, dimly huge, the dark Abbaye.

When Hawick he passed had curfew rung,

Now midnight lauds were in Melrose sung.

The sound upon the fitful gale

In solemn wise did rise and fail,

Like that wild harp whose magic tone

Is wakened by the winds alone.

But when Melrose he reached 't was silence

He meetly stabled his steed in stall,
And sought the convent's lonely wall.

And how old age and wandering long

Had done his hand and harp some wrong.

The Duchess, and her daughters fair,

And every gentle lady there,

Each after each, in due degree,

Gave praises to his melody ;

His hand was true, his voice was clear,

And much they longed the rest to hear.

Encouraged thus, the aged man

After meet rest again began.

ftfje 2Ug of tje 3Last JEmjsttel.


If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight ;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild but to flout the ruins grav.

Here paused the harp; and

The Master's fire and courage fell
Dejectedly and low he bowed,
And, gazing timid on the crowd.
He seemed to seek in every eye
If they approved his minstrelsy ;
And, diffident of present praise,
Somewhat he spoke of former day


scorrs poetical works.

When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white :
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower ;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory ;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die ;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's

Then go — but go alone the while —
Then view Saint David's ruined pile.;
And, home returning, soothly swear
Was never scene so sad and fair !

Short halt did Deloraine make there ;
Littl£ recked he 6f the scene so fair :
With dagger's hilt on the wicket strong
He struck full loud, and struck full long.
The porter hurried to the gate :
' Who knocks so loud, and knocks so late ? '
' From Branksome I,' the warrior cried ;
And straight the wicket opened wide :
For Branksome's chiefs had in battle stood
To fence the rights of fair Melrose ;

And lands and livings, many a rood,

Had gifted the shrine for their souls'


Bold Deloraine his errand said;

The porter bent his humble head ;

With torch in hand, and feet unshod,

And noiseless step, the path he trod :

The arched cloister, far and wide,

Rang to the warrior's clanking stride,

Till, stooping low his lofty crest,

He entered the cell of the ancient priest,

And lifted his barred aventayle

To hail the Monk of Saint Mary's aisle.


' The Ladye of Branksome greets thee by

Says that the fated hour is come,
And that to-night I shall watch with thee,

To win the treasure of the tomb.'
From sackcloth couch the monk arose,

With toil his stiffened limbs he reared ;
A hundred years had flung their snows

On his thin locks and floating beard.



And strangely on the knight looked he,

And his blue eyes gleamed wild and wide :
[ And darest thou, warrior, seek to see

What heaven and hell alike would hide ? j
My breast in belt of iron pent,

With shirt of hair and scourge of thorn,
For threescore years, in penance spent,

My knees those flinty stones have worn :
Yet all too little to atone
For knowing what should ne'er be known.

Online LibraryWalter ScottThe poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet → online text (page 2 of 78)