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Thy heart was froze to love and joy,
When gayly rung thy raptured lyre
To wanton Morna's melting eye.'

Wild stared the minstrel's eyes of flame
And high his sable locks arose,

And quick his color went and came
As fear and rage alternate rose.



BALLADS.



485




4 And thou ! when by the blazing oak
I lay, to her and love resigned,

Say, rode ye on the eddying smoke,
Or sailed ye on the midnight wind ?

4 Not thine a race of mortal blood,
Nor old Glengyle's pretended line ;

Thy dame, the Lady of the Flood —
Thy sire, the Monarch of the Mine.'

He muttered thrice Saint Oran's rhyme,
And thrice Saint Fillan's powerful prayer

Then turned him to the eastern clime,
And sternly shook his coal-black hair.

And, bending o'er his harp, he flung
His wildest witch-notes on the wind;

And loud and high and strange they rung,
As many a magic change they find.

Tall waxed the Spirit's altering form,
Till to the roof her stature grew;

Then, mingling with the rising storm,
With one wild yell away she flew.



Rain beats, hail rattles, whirlwinds tear :
The slender hut in fragments flew ;

But not a lock of Moy's loose hair
Was waved by wind or wet by dew.

Wild mingling with the howling gale,
Loud bursts of ghastly laughter rise ;

High o'er the minstrel's head they sail
And die amid the northern skies.

The voice of thunder shook the wood,
As ceased the more than mortal yell ;

And spattering foul a shower of blood
Upon the hissing firebrands fell.

Next dropped from high a mangled arm;

The fingers strained an half-drawn blade :
And last, the life-blood streaming warm,

Torn from the trunk, a gasping head.

Oft o'er that head in battling field

Streamed the proud crest of high Ben-
more;
That arm the broad claymore could wield
Which dyed the Teith with Saxon gore.



486



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



Woe to Moneira's sullen rills !

Woe to Glenfinlas' dreary glen !
There never son of Albin's hills

Shall draw the hunter's shaft agen !

E'en the tired pilgrim's burning feet
At noon shall shun that sheltering den,

Lest, journeying in their rage, he meet
The wayward Ladies of the Glen.

And we — behind the chieftain's shield
No more shall we in safety dwell ;

None leads the people to the field —
And we the loud lament must swell.

O hone a rie' ! O hone a rie' !

The pride of Albin's line is o'er !
And fallen Glenartney's stateliest tree ;

We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more !



&\)e 3Sbe of Saint 3oj)n.

The Baron of Smaylho'me rose with day,

He spurred his courser on,
Without stop or stay, down the rocky way,

That leads to Brotherstone.

He went not with the bold Buccleuch

His banner broad to rear;
He went not 'gainst the English yew

To lift the Scottish spear.

Yet his plate-jack was braced and his hel-
met was laced,
And his vaunt-brace of proof he wore ;
At his saddle-gerthe was a good steel
s|)crthe,
Full ten pound weight and more.

Tin boron returned in three days' space,
And his looks were sad and sour;

And weary was his courser's pace
As he reached his rocky tower.

He came not from where Ancram Moor
Ran red with English blood;

uglas true and the bold
( cleuch
'Gainst keen Lord Evers stood.

rai hia helmet hacked and hewed,
acton pierced and tore,
e and his dagger with blood im-
hi ued, —
But it was not English gore.



He lighted at the Chapellage,

He held him close and still ;
And he whistled thrice for his little foot-
page,

His name was English Will.

' Come thou hither, my little foot-page,

Come hither to my knee ;
Though thou art young and tender of age,

I think thou art true to me.

' Come, tell me all that thou hast seen,

And look thou tell me true !
Since I from Smaylho'me tower have been,

What did thy lady do ? '

'My lady, each night, sought the lonely
light
That burns on the wild Watchfold ;
For from height to height the beacons
bright
Of the English foemen told.

1 The bittern clamored from the moss,
The wind blew loud and shrill ;

Yet the craggy pathway she did cross
To the eiry Beacon Hill.

' I watched her steps, and silent came
Where she sat her on a stone ; —

No watchman stood by the dreary flame,
It burned all alone.

' The second night I kept her in sight

Till to the fire she came,
And, by Mary's might ! an armed knight

Stood by the lonely flame.

' And many a word that warlike lord

Did speak to my lady there ;
But the rain fell fast and loud blew the
blast,

And I heard not what they were.

' The third night there the sky was fair,
And the mountain-blast was still,

As again I watched the secret pair
On the lonesome Beacon Hill.

' And I heard her name the midnight hour.

And name this holy eve ;
And say, "Come this night to thy lady's
bower ;

Ask no bold baron's leave.

1 " He lifts his spear with the bold Buc-
cleuch ;

His lady is all alone ;
The door she '11 undo to her knight so true

On the eve of good Saint John."



BALLADS.



487



* " I cannot come ; I must not come ;

I dare not come to thee ;
On the eve of Saint John I must wander
alone :
In thy bower I may not be."

1 " Now, out on thee, faint-hearted knight !

Thou shouldst not say me nay ;
For the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet

Is worth the whole summer's day.

' " And I '11 chain the blood-hound, and the
warder shall not sound,
And rushes shall be strewed on the stair ;
So, by the black rood-stone and by holy
Saint John, _^ % mm r'

I conjure thee, my love, torbe there ! "

* " Though the blood-hound be mute and

the rush beneath my foot,
And the warder his bugle should not

blow,
Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber

to the east,
And my footstep he would know."

4 " O, fear not the priest who sleepeth to

the east,

For to Dryburgh the way he has ta'en ;

And there to say mass, till three days do

pass,

For the soul of a knight that is slayne."

' He turned him around and grimly he
frowned :
Then he laughed right scornfully —
" He who says the mass-rite for the soul of
that knight
May as well say mass for me :

'"At the lone midnight hour when bad
spirits have power
In thy chamber will I be." —
With that he was gone and my lady left
alone,
And no more did I see.'

Then changed, I trow, was that bold
baron's brow
From the dark to the blood-red high ;

* Now, tell me the mien of the knight thou

hast seen,
For, by Mary, he shall die ! '

' His arms shone full bright in the beacon's
red light ;
His plume it was scarlet and blue ;
On his shield was a hound in a silver leash
bound,
And his crest was a branch of the yew.'



1 Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page,

Loud dost thou lie to me !
For that knight is cold and low laid in the
mould,

All under the Eildon-tree.'

' Yet hear but my word, my noble lord !

For I heard her name his name ;
And that lady bright, she called the knight

Sir Richard of Coldinghame.'

The bold baron's brow then changed, I trow,

From high blood-red to pale —
' The grave is deep and dark — and the

corpse is stiff and stark —
So I may not trust thy tale.

' Where fair Tweed flows round holy Mel-
rose,

And Eildon slopes to the plain,
Full three nights ago by some secret foe

That gay gallant was slain.

1 The varying light deceived thy sight,
And the wild winds drowned the name ;

For the Dryburgh bells ring and the white
monks do sing
For Sir Richard of Coldinghame ! '

He passed the court-gate and he oped the
tower-gate,
And he mounted the narrow stair
To the bartizan-seat where, with maids that
on her wait,
He found his lady fair.

That lady sat in mournful mood ;

Looked over hill and vale ;
Over Tweed's fair flood and Mertoun's
wood,

And all ddwri Teviotdale.

' Nowjjjail, now hail, thou lady bright ! '

' Ndw nail, thou baron true !
WhaTnews, what news, from Ancram fight ?

What news from the bold Buccleuch?'

1 The Ancram moor is red with gore,

For many a Southern fell ;
And Buccleuch has charged us evermore

To watch our beacons well.'

The lady blushed red, but nothing she
said:
Nor added the baron a word :
Then she stepped down the stair to her
chamber fair,
And so did her moody lord.



488



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



In sleep the lady mourned, and the baron
tossed and turned,
And oft to himself he said, —
'The worms around him creep, and his
bloody grave is deep —
It cannot give up the dead ! '

It was near the ringing of matin-bell,
The night was well-nigh done,

When a heavy sleep on that baron fell,
On the eve of good Saint John.

The lady looked through the chamber fair

By the light of a dying flame ;
And she was aware of a knight stood
there —

Sir Richard of Coldinghame !

' Alas ! away, away ! ' she cried,

' For the holy Virgin's sake ! '
' Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side ;

But, lady, he will not awake.

• By Eildon-tree for long nights three

In bloody grave have I lain;
The mass and the death-prayer are said for
me,
But, lady, they are said in vain.

• By the baron's brand, near Tweed's fair

strand,
Most foully slain I fell ;
And my restless sprite on the beacon's

height
For a space is doomed to dwell.

1 At our trysting-place, for a certain space,

I must wander to and fro ;
But I had not had power to come to thy
bower

I I.ulst thou not conjured me so.'

Love mastered fear — her brow she
crossed ;

4 How, Richard, hast thou sped?
And art thou saved or art thou lost? '

The vision shook his head !

spillcth life shall forfeit life ;
So bid thy lord believe:
That lawless love is guilt above,

This awful lign

He laid his left palm on an oaken beam,
right upon her hand :

The lady shrunk and tainting sunk,
For it scorched like- a fiery brand.



The sable score of fingers four
Remains on that board impressed ;

And forevermore that lady wore
A covering on her wrist.

There is a nun in Dryburgh bower
Ne'er looks upon the sun ;

There is a monk in Melrose tower
He speaketh word to none.

That nun who ne'er beholds the day,
That monk who speaks to none —

That nun was Smaylho'me's lady gay,
That monk the bold baron.



€alirj0tn Castle.

ADDRESSED TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LADY
ANNE HAMILTON.

When princely Hamilton's abode
Ennobled Cadyow's Gothic towers,

The song went round, the goblet flowed,
And revel sped the laughing hours.

Then, thrilling to the harp's gay sound,
So sweetly rung each vaulted wall,

And echoed light the dancer's bound,
As mirth and music cheered the hall.

But Cadyow's towers in ruins laid,
And vaults by ivy mantled o'er,

Thrill to the music of the shade,
Or echo Evan's hoarser roar.

Yet still of Cadyow's faded fame
You bid me tell a minstrel tale,

And tune my harp of Border frame
On the wild banks of Evandale.

For thou, from scenes of courtly pride,
From pleasure's lighter scenes, canst
turn,

To draw oblivion's pall aside
And mark the long-forgotten urn.

Then, noble maid ! at thy command
Again the crumbled halls shall rise ;

Lo ! as on Evan's banks we stand,
The past returns — the present flies.

Where with the rock's wood-covered side
Were blended late the ruins green,

Rise turrets in fantastic pride
And feudal banners flaunt between :



BALLADS.



489



Where the rude torrent's brawling course
Was shagged with thorn and tangling
sloe,

The ashler buttress braves its force
And ramparts frown in battled row.

'T is night — the shade of keep and spire
Obscurely dance on Evan's stream ;

And on the wave the warder's fire
Is checkering the moonlight beam.

Fades slow their light ; the east is gray ;

The weary warder leaves his tower;
Steeds snort, uncoupled stag-hounds bay,

And merry hunters quit the bower.

The drawbridge falls — they hurry out —
Clatters each plank and swinging chain,

As, dashing o'er, the jovial rout

Urge the shy steed and slack the rein.

First of his troop, the chief rode on;

His shouting merry-men throng behind ;
The steed of princely Hamilton

Was fleeter than the mountain wind.

From the thick copse the roebucks bound,
The startled red-deer scuds the plain,

For the hoarse bugle's warrior-sound
Has roused their mountain haunts again.

Through the huge oaks of Evandale,

Whose limbs a thousand years have worn,

What sullen roar comes down the gale
And drowns the hunter's pealing horn ?

Mightiest of all the beasts of chase

That roam in woody Caledon,
Crashing the forest in his race,

The Mountain Bull comes thundering on.

r

Fierce on the hunter's quivered band
He rolls his eyes of swarthy glow,

Spurns with black hoof and horn the sand,
And tosses high his mane of snow.

Aimed well the chieftain's lance has flown ;

Struggling in blood the savage lies ;
His roar is sunk in hollow groan —

Sound, merry huntsmen ! sound thefiryse!

'T is noon — against the knotted oak
The hunters rest the idle spear ;

Curls through the trees the slender smoke,
Where yeomen dight the woodland cheer.

Proudly the chieftain marked his clan,
On greenwood lap all careless thrown,

Yet missed his eye the boldest man
That bore the name of Hamilton.



' Why fills not Bothwellhaugh his place,
Still wont our weal and woe to share ?

Why comes he not our sport to grace?
Why shares he not our hunter's fare ? '

Stern Claud replied with darkening face —
Gray Paisley's haughty lord was he —

1 At merry feast or buxom chase
No more the warrior wilt thou see.

' Few suns have set since Woodhouselee
Saw Bothwellhaugh's bright goblets foam r

When to his hearths in social glee

The war-worn soldier turned him home.

'There, wan from her maternal throes,
His Margaret, beautiful and mild,

Sate in her bower, a pallid rose,

And peaceful nursed her new-born child.

' O change accursed ! past are those days ;

False Murray's ruthless spoilers came,
And, for the hearth's domestic blaze,

Ascends destruction's volumed flame.

'What sheeted phantom wanders wild
Where mountain Eske through woodland
flows,

Her arms enfold a shadowy child —
O ! is it she, the pallid rose ?

' The wildered traveller sees her glide,
And hears her feeble voice with awe —

" Revenge," she cries, " on Murray's pride 1
And woe for injured Bothwellhaugh ! " '

He ceased — and cries of rage and grief
Burst mingling from the kindred band,

And half arose the kindling chief,

And half unsheathed his Arran brand.

But who o'er bush, o'er stream and rock,
Rides headlong with resistless speed,

Whose bloody poniard's frantic stroke
Drives to the leap his jaded steed ;

Whose cheek is pale, whose eyeballs glare,.

As one some visioned sight that saw,
Whose hands are bloody, loose his hair? —

'T is he ! 't is he ! 't is Bothwellhaugh.

From gory selle and reeling steed

Sprung the fierce horseman with a bound,

And, reeking from the recent deed,
He dashed his carbine on the ground.

Sternly he spoke — "T is sweet to hear
In good greenwood the bugle blown,

But sweeter to Revenge's ear
To drink a tyrant's dying groan.



490



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.




' Your slaughtered quarry proudly trode
At dawning morn o'er dale and down,

But prouder base-born Murray rode

Through old Linlithgow's crowded town.

* From the wild Border's humbled side,

In haughty triumph marched he,
While Knox relaxed his bigot pride
And smiled the traitorous pomp to see.

* But can stern Power, with all his vaunt,

Pomp, with all her courtly glare,

The settled heart of Vengeance daunt,

Or change the purpose of Despair ?

4 With hackbut bent, my secret stand,
Dark as the purposed deed, I chose,

And marked where mingling in his banc!
Trooped Scottish pipes and English
bon

* Dark Morton, girt with many a spear,

Murder's foul minion, led tne van;
And < lashed their broadswords in the rear
The wild Macfarlanes' plaided clan.



' Glencairn and stout Parkhead were nigh,
Obsequious at their Regent's rein,

And haggard Lindesay's iron eye.
That saw fair Mary weep in vain.

' Mid pennoned spears, a steely grove,
Proud Murray's plumage floated high ;

Scarce could his trampling charger move,
So close the minions crowded nigh.

1 From the raised vizor's shade his eye,
Dark-rolling, glanced the ranks along,

And his steel truncheon, waved on high,
Seemed marshalling the iron throng.

• But yet his saddened brow confessed

A passing shade of doubt and awe ;
Some fiend was whispering in his breast,
" Beware of injured Bothwellhaugh ! "

* The death-shot parts ! the charger springs ;

Wild rises tumult's startling roar !
And Murray's plumy helmet rings —
Rings on the ground to rise no more.



BALLADS.



491



• What joy the raptured youth can feel,

To hear her love the loved one tell —
Or he who broaches on his steel
The wolf by whom his infant fell !

1 But dearer to my injured eye

To see in dust proud Murray roll ;

And mine was ten times trebled joy
To hear him groan his felon soul.

4 My Margaret's spectre glided near,
With pride her bleeding victim saw,

And shrieked in his death-deafened ear,
" Remember injured Bothwellhaugh ! "

* Then speed thee, noble Chatlerault !

Spread to the wind thy bannered tree !
Each warrior bend his Clydesdale bow ! -
Murray is fallen and Scotland free ! '

Vaults every warrior to his steed ;

Loud bugles join their wild acclaim —



' Murray is fallen and Scotland freed!
Couch, Arran, couch thy spear of flame ! '

But see ! the minstrel vision fails —

The glimmering spears are seen no more ;

The shouts of war die on the gales,
Or sink in Evan's lonely roar.

For the loud bugle pealing high,

The blackbird whistles down the vale,

And sunk in ivied ruins lie

The bannered towers of Evandale.

For chiefs intent on bloody deed,

And Vengeance shouting o'er the slain,

Lo ! high-born Beauty rules the steed,
Or graceful guides the silken rein.

And long may Peace and Pleasure own
The maids who list the minstrel's tale ;

Nor e'er a ruder guest be known
On the fair banks of Evandale !




Jffltscelianeous $oems-

IN THE ORDER OF THEIR COMPOSITION OR PUBLICATION.



5Tje HioUt.

[i/97-l

The violet in her greenwood bower,

Where birchen boudis with hazels mingle,

May boast itself the fairest flower
In glen or copse or forest dingle.

Though fair her gems of azure hue,

Beneath the dewdrop's weight reclining,

I 've seen an eye of lovelier blue,
More sweet through watery lustre shining.

The summer sun that dew shall dry
Ere yet the day be past its morrow,

Nor longer in my false love's eye
Remained the tear of parting sorrow.



Ea a Hatjg.

WITH FLOWERS FROM A ROMAN WALL.
[I797-]

Take these flowers which, purple waving,

On the ruined rampart grew,
Where, the sons of freedom braving,

Koine's imperial standards flew.

Warriors from the breach of danger
Pluck no longer laurels there;

They but vivid the passing stranger
Wild-flower wreaths for Beauty's hair.



QTjje Barb's Encantatton.

WRITTEN UNDER THE THREAT OF INVASION IN
AUTUMN OF 1804.

Tin forest of (ilenmore is drear,

It is all of black pine and the dark oak-

And the midnight w ind to the mountain deer



Is whistling the forest lullaby:
The moon looks through the drifting storm,
But the troubled lake reflects not her form,
For the waves roll whitening to the land,
And dash against the shelvy strand.

There is a voice among the trees

That mingles with the groaning oak —
That mingles with the stormy breeze,
And the lake-waves dashing against the
rock ; —
There is a voice within the wood,
The voice of the bard in fitful mood ;
His song was louder than the blast,
As the bard of Glenmore through the forest
past.

' Wake ye from your sleep of death,

Minstrels and bards of other days !
For the midnight wind is on the heath,

And the midnight meteors dimly blaze:
The Spectre with his Bloody Hand
Is wandering through the wild woodland;
The owl and the raven are mute for dread,
And the time is meet to awake the dead !

' Souls of the mighty, wake and say
To what high strain your harps were
strung,
When Lochlin ploughed her billowy way
And on your shores her Norsemen
flung?
Her Norsemen trained to spoil and blood,
Skilled to prepare the raven's food,
All by your harpings doomed to die
On bloody Largs and Loncarty.

' Mute are ye all ? No murmurs strange

Upon the midnight breeze sail by,
Nor through the pines with whistling
change
Mimic the harp's wild harmony !
Mute are ye now? — Ye ne'er were mute
When Murder with his bloody foot,
And Rapine with his iron hand,
Were hovering near yon mountain strand.



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.



493



4 O, yet awake the strain to tell,

By every deed in song enrolled,
By every chief who fought or fell,

For Albion's weal in battle bold : —
From Coilgach, first who rolled his car
Through the deep ranks of Roman war,
To him of veteran memory dear
Who victor died on Aboukir.

* By all their swords, by all their scars,

By all, their names, a mighty spell !
By all their wounds, by all their wars,

Arise, the mighty strain to tell !
For fiercer than fierce Hengist's strain,
More impious than the heathen Dane,
More grasping than all-grasping Rome,
Gaul's ravening legions hither come ! '

The wind is hushed and still the lake —
Strange murmurs fill my tinkling ears,

Bristles my hair, my sinews quake,.
At the dread voice of other years —

* When targets clashed and bugles rung,
And blades round warriors' heads were

flung,
The foremost of the band were we
And hymned the joys of Liberty ! '



ftell&ellgn.

[1805.]

I climbed the dark brow of the mighty
Hellvellyn,
Lakes and mountains beneath me gleamed
misty and wide ;

All was still save by fits, when the eagle
was yelling,
And starting around me the echoes
replied.

On the right, Striden-edge round the Red-
tarn was bending,

And Catchedicam its left verge was de-
fending,

One huge nameless rock in the front was
ascending,
When I marked the sad spot where the
wanderer had died.

Dark green was that spot mid the brown
mountain heather,
Where the Pilgrim of Nature lay stretched
in decay,
Like the corpse of an outcast abandoned
to weather
Till the mountain- winds wasted the ten-
antless clay.



Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely ex-
tended,

For, faithful in death, his mute favorite
attended,

The much-loved remains of her master
defended,
And chased the hill-fox and the raven
away.

How long didst thou think that his silence

was slumber ?
When the wind waved his garment, how

oft didst thou start ?
How many long days and long weeks didst

thou number,
Ere he faded before thee, the friend of

thy heart?
And O, was it meet that — no requiem

read o'er him,
No mother to weep and no friend to deplore

him,
And thou, little guardian, alone stretched

before him —
Unhonored the Pilgrim from life should

depart ?

When a prince to the fate of the peasant

has yielded,
The tapestry waves dark round the dim-
lighted hall :
With scutcheons of silver the coffin is

shielded,
And pages stand mute by the canopied

pall:
Through the courts at deep midnight the

torches are gleaming;
In the proudly arched chapel the banners

are beaming ;
Far adown the long aisle sacred music is

streaming,
Lamenting a chief of the people should

fall.



But meeter for thee, gentle lover of na-
ture,
To lay down thy head like the meek
mountain lamb,

When wildered he drops from some cliff
huge in stature,
And draws his last sob by the side of his
dam.

And more stately thy couch by this desert
lake lying,

Thy obsequies sung by the gray plover
flying,

With one faithful friend but to witness thy
dying
In the arms of Hellvellyn and Catche-
dicam.



494



scorrs poetical works.



[1806.]

Air — " Daffydz Gang-wen."

Dinas Emlinn, lament ; for the moment is
nigh,

When mute in the woodlands thine echoes
shall die :

No more by sweet Teivi Cadwallon shall
rave,

And mix his wild notes with the wild dash-
ing wave.

In spring and in autumn thy glories of
shade

Unhonored shall flourish, unhonored shall
fade ;

For soon shall be lifeless the eye and the
tongue

That viewed them with rapture, with rap-
ture that sung.

Thy sons, Dinas Emlinn, may march in

their pride,
And chase the proud Saxon from Prestatyn's

side;
But where is the harp shall give life to their

name?
And where is the bard shall give heroes

their fame ?

And O, Dinas Emlinn ! thy daughters so

fair,
Who heave the white bosom and wave the

dark hair ;
What tuneful enthusiast shall worship their

eye,
When half of their charms with Cadwallon

shall die ?



Then adieu, silver Teivi ! I quit thy loved

scene
To join the dim choir of the bards who



Online LibraryWalter ScottThe poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet → online text (page 51 of 78)