Copyright
Walter Scott.

The poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet online

. (page 52 of 78)
Online LibraryWalter ScottThe poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet → online text (page 52 of 78)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


have been ;
With Lewarch, and Meilor, and Merlin the

Old,
And .sage Taliessin, high harping to hold.

And adieu, Dinas Emlinn! still green be

thy shades,
Uocooqaered thy warriors and matchless

thy maids !
And thou whose faint warblings my weak-
r.iii tell,
II. my loved harp! my last treasure,
well!



QTfjc Gorman f^owe^Joe.
[1806.]

AlR — " The War-Song of the Men of Glamorgan."

Red glows the forge in Striguil's bounds,
And hammers din, and anvil sounds,
And armorers with iron toil
Barb many a steed for battle's broil.
Foul fall the hand which bends the steel
Around the courser's thundering heel,
That e'er shall dint a sable wound
On fair Glamorgan's velvet ground !

From Chepstow's towers ere dawn of morn
Was heard afar the bugle-horn,
And forth in banded pomp and pride
Stout Clare and fiery Neville ride.
They swore their banners broad should

gleam
In crimson light on Rymny's stream ;
They vowed Caerphili's sod should feel
The Norman charger's spurning heel.

And sooth they swore — the sun arose,
And Rymny's wave with crimson glows ;
For Clare's red banner, floating wide,
Rolled down the stream to Severn's tide !
And sooth they vowed — the trampled green
Showed where hot Neville's charge had

been :
In every sable hoof-tramp stood
A Norman horseman's curdling blood !

Old Chepstow's brides may curse the toil
That armed stout Clare for Cambrian broil ;
Their orphans long the art may rue,
For Neville's war-horse forged the shoe.
No more the stamp of armed steed
Shall dint Glamorgan's velvet mead ;
Nor trace be there in early spring
Save of the Fairies' emerald ring.



&fje JHafo of Cow.

[1806.]

O, low shone the sun on the fair lake of
Toro,
And weak were the whispers that waved
the dark wood,
All as a fair maiden, bewildered in sorrow,
Sorely sighed to the breezes and wept to
the flood.
' O saints, from the mansions of bliss lowly
bending !



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.



495



Sweet Virgin, who hearest the suppliant's
cry !
Now grant my petition in anguish ascending,
My Henry restore or let Eleanor die ! '

All distant and faint were the sounds of the
battle,
With the breezes they rise, with the
breezes they fail,
Till the shout and the groan and the con-
flict's dread rattle,
And the chase's wild clamor, came load-
ing the gale.
Breathless she gazed on the woodlands so
- dreary;

Slowly approaching a warrior was seen ;
Life's ebbing tide marked his footsteps so
weary,
Cleft was his helmet and woe was his mien.

' O, save thee, fair maid, for our armies are
flying !
O, save thee, fair maid, for thy guardian
is low !
Deadly cold on yon heath thy brave Henry
is lying,
And fast through the woodland ap-
proaches the foe.'
Scarce could he falter the tidings of sorrow,
And scarce could she hear them, be-
numbed with despair :
And when the sun sunk on the sweet lake
of Toro,
Forever he set to the Brave and the Fair.



BTfje Palmer.
[1806.]

1 O, open the door, some pity to show,
Keen blows the northern wind !

The glen is white with the drifted snow,
And the path is hard to find.

' No outlaw seeks your castle gate,
From chasing the king's deer,

Though even an outlaw's wretched state
Might claim compassion here.

' A weary Palmer, worn and weak,

I wander for my sin ;
O, open, for Our Lady's sake !

A pilgrim's blessing win !

' I '11 give you pardons from the Pope,
And reliques from o'er the sea, —

Or if for these you will not ope.
Yet open for charity.



' The hare is crouching in her form,

The hart beside the hind ;
An aged man amid the storm,

No shelter can I find.

' You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar,
Dark, deep, and strong is he,

And I must ford the Ettrick o'er,
Unless you pity me.

' The iron gate is bolted hard,

At which I knock in vain ;
The owner's heart is closer barred,

Who hears me thus complain.

1 Farewell, farewell ! and Mary grant,

When old and frail you be,
You never may the shelter want

That 's now denied to me.'

The ranger on his couch lay warm,
And heard him plead in vain ;

But oft amid December's storm
He '11 hear that voice again :

For lo ! when through the vapors dank
Morn shone on Ettrick fair,

A corpse amid the alders rank,
The Palmer weltered there.



STJje iHafo of &eftpatfj.

[1806.]

O, lovers' eyes are sharp to see,

And lovers' ears in hearing ;
And love in life's extremity

Can lend an hour of cheering.
Disease had been in Mary's bower,

And slow decay from mourning,
Though now she sits on Neidpath's tower

To watch her love's returning.

All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,

Her form decayed by pining,
Till through her wasted hand at night

You saw the taper shining ;
By fits, a sultry hectic hue

Across her cheek were flying ;
By fits, so ashy pale she grew,

Her maidens thought her dying.

Yet keenest powers to see and hear
Seemed in her frame residing ;

Before the watch-dog pricked his ear,
She heard her lover's riding ;



496



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



Ere scarce a distant form was kenned,
She knew, and waved to greet him :

And o'er the battlement did bend,
As on the wing to meet him.

He came — he passed — an heedless gaze,

As o'er some stranger glancing;
Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase,

Lost in his courser's prancing —
The castle arch, whose hollow tone

Returns each whisper spoken,
Could scarcely catch the feeble moan

Which told her heart was broken.



OTantoertng TCllte.
[1806.]

All joy was bereft me the day that you left
me,
And climbed the tall vessel to sail yon
wide sea;
O weary betide it ! I wandered beside it,
And banned it for parting my Willie and
me.

Far o'er the wave hast thou followed thy
fortune,
Oft fought the squadrons of France and
of Spain ;
Ae kiss of welcome 's worth twenty at
parting,
Now I hae gotten my Willie again.

When the sky it was mirk, and the winds
they were wailing,
I sat on the beach wi' the tear in my ee,
And thought o' the bark where my Willie
was sailing,
And wished that the tempest could a'
Maw on me.

Now that thy gallant ship rides at her
mooring.
\<>w that my wanderer's in safety at
hame,

to me were the wildest winds'

roaring.

o'er Inch-Keith drove the dark
ocean faun

When the lights they did blaze, and the
guns they did rat

h heart for the great
victory,



In secret I wept for the dangers of battle,
And thy glory itself was scarce comfort
to me.

But now shalt thou tell, while I eagerly
listen,
Of each bold adventure and every brave
scar;
And trust me, I '11 smile, though my een
they may glisten,
For sweet after danger 's the tale of the
war.

And O, how we doubt when there 's dis-
tance 'tween lovers,
When there 's naething to speak to the
heart thro' the ee !
How often the kindest and warmest prove
rovers,
And the love of the faithfullest ebbs like
the sea !

Till, at times — could I help it ? — I pined
and I pondered
If love could change notes like the bird
on the tree —
Now I '11 ne'er ask if thine eyes may hae
wandered ;
Enough, thy leal heart has been constant
to me.

Welcome, from sweeping o'er sea and
through channel,
Hardships and danger despising for fame,
Furnishing story for glory's bright annal,
Welcome, my wanderer, to Jeanie and
hame !

Enough now thy story in annals of glory
Has humbled the pride of France, Hol-
land, and Spain ;
No more shalt thou grieve me, no more
shalt thou leave me,
I never will part with my Willie again.



hunting &0ng.

[1808.]

Waken, lords and ladies gay,

On the mountain dawns the day,

All the jolly chase is here, •

With hawk and horse and hunting-spear !

Hounds are in their couples yelling,

Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling,

Merrily, merrily, mingle they,

' Waken, lords and ladies gay.'



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.



497



Waken, lords and ladies gay,

The mist has left the mountain gray,

Springlets in the dawn are steaming.

Diamonds on the brake are gleaming :

And foresters have busy been

To track the buck in thicket green ;

Now we come to chant our lay,

' Waken, lords and ladies gay.'

Waken, lords and ladies gay,
To the green-wood haste away ;
We can show you where, he lies,
Fleet of foot and tall of size ;
We can show the marks he made,
When 'gainst the oak his antlers frayed ;
You shall see him brought to bay,
* Waken, lords and ladies gay.'

Louder, louder chant the lay,
Waken, lords and ladies gay !
Tell them youth and mirth and glee
Run a course as well as we ;
Time, stern huntsman, who can balk,
Stanch as hound and fleet as hawk ?
Think of this and rise with day,
Gentle lords and ladies gay.



Song.

[180S.]

O, say not, my love, with that mortified air,
That your spring-time of pleasure is flown,

Nor bid me to maids that are younger
repair
For those raptures that still are thine own.

Though April his temples may wreathe with
the vine,
Its tendrils in infancy curled,
'T is the ardor of August matures us the
wine
Whose life-blood enlivens the world.



Though thy form that was fashioned as
light as a fay's
Has assumed a proportion more round,
And thy glance that was bright as a falcon's
at gaze
Looks soberly now on the ground, —

Enough, after absence to meet me again
Thy steps still with ecstasy move ;

Enough, that those dear sober
retain
For me the kind language of love.



glances



Che ifagolbe.



IN IMITATION OF AN OLD ENGLISH POEM.
[l80 9 .]

My wayward fate I needs must plain,

Though bootless be the theme ;
I loved and was beloved again,

Yet all was but a dream :
For, as her love was quickly got,

So it was quickly gone ;
No more I '11 bask in flame so hot,

But coldly dwell alone.

Not maid more bright than maid was e'er

My fancy shall beguile,
By flattering word or feigned tear,

By gesture, look, or smile :
No more I '11 call the shaft fair shot,

Till it has fairly flown,
Nor scorch me at a flame so hot —

I '11 rather freeze alone.

Each ambushed Cupid I '11 defy

In cheek or chin or brow,
And deem the glance of woman's eye

As weak as woman's vow :
I '11 lightly hold the lady's heart,

That is but lightly won ;
I '11 steel my breast to beauty's art,

And learn to live alone.



The flaunting torch soon blazes out,

The diamond's ray abides ;
The flame its glory hurls about,

The gem its lustre hides ;
Such gem I fondly deemed was mine,

And glowed a diamond stone,
But, since each eye may see it shine,

I '11 darkling dwell alone.

No waking dreams shall tinge my thought

With dyes so bright and vain,
No silken net so slightly wrought

Shall tangle me again :
No more I '11 pay so dear for wit,

I '11 live upon mine own,
Nor shall wild passion trouble it, —

I '11 rather dwell alone.

And thus I '11 hush my heart to rest, —

' Thy loving labor 's lost ;
Thou shalt no more be wildly blest,

To be so strangely crost :
The widowed turtles mateless die,

The phoenix is but one ;
They seek no loves — no more will I —

I '11 rather dwell alone.'



V-



498



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



IHpitapfj

DESIGNED FOR A MONUMENT IN LICHFIELD
CATHEDRAL, AT THE BURIAL-PLACE OF THE
FAMILY OF MISS SEWARD.

[l8o 9 .]

Amid these aisles where once his precepts
showed

The heavenward pathway which in life he
trode,

This simple tablet marks a Father's bier,

And those he loved in life in death are near ;

For him, for them, a Daughter bade it rise,

Memorial of domestic charities.

Still wouldst thou know why o'er the mar-
ble spread

In female grace the willow droops her head ;

Why on her branches, silent and unstrung,

The minstrel harp is emblematic hung ;

What poet's voice is smothered here in dust*

Till waked to join the chorus of the just, —

Lo ! one brief line an answer sad supplies,

Honored, beloved, and mourned, here
Seward lies !

Her worth, her warmth of heart, let friend-
ship say, —

Go seek her genius in her living lay.



prologue

TO MISS HAILLIE'S PLAY OK "THE FAMILY
LEGEND."

[.809.]

weet to hear expiring Summer's sigh,
Through forests tinged with russet, wail
and die;

weet and sad the latest notes to hear
< )f distant music, dying on the ear ;
But far more sadly sweet on foreign strand
We list the legends of our native land,
Linked as they come with every tender tie,
Memorials dear of youth and infancy.

Chief thy wild tales, romantic Caledon,
Wake keen remembrance in each hardy

son.

Whether on India's burning coasts he toil

Or till Aeadia's wink 1 lettered soil,

II- bean with throbbing heart and mois-

ten<
And, 1 ^. what dear illusions rise !

It opens on his soul his native dell,
The woods wild waving and the water's

swell :



Tradition's theme, the tower that threats

the plain,
The mossy cairn that hides the hero slain ;
The cot beneath whose simple porch were

told
By gray-haired patriarch the tales of old,
The infant group that hushed their sports

the while,
And the dear maid who listened with a

smile.
The wanderer, while the vision warms his

brain,
Is denizen of Scotland once again.



Are such keen feelings to the crowd
confined,
And sleep they in the poet's gifted mind ?
O no ! For she, within whose mighty page
Each tyrant Passion shows his woe and

rage,
Has felt the wizard influence they inspire,
And to your own traditions tuned her lyre.
Yourselves shall judge — whoe'er has raised

the sail
By Mull's dark coast has heard this even-
ing's tale.
The plaided boatman, resting on his oar,
Points to the fatal rock amid the roar
Of whitening waves, and tells whate'er

to-night
Our humble stage shall offer to your sight ;
Proudly preferred that first our efforts give
Scenes glowing from her pen to breathe

and live;
More proudly yet, should Caledon approve
The filial token of a daughter's love.



3T{k Poarfjer.

WRITTEN IN IMITATION OF CRABBE, AND PUBLISHED IN
THE EDINBURGH ANNUAL REGISTER OF 1809.

Welcome, grave stranger, to our green

retreats
Where health with exercise and freedom

meets !
Thrice welcome, sage, whose philosophic

plan
By nature's limits metes the rights of man ;
Generous as he who now for freedom bawls,
Now gives full value for true Indian

shawls :
O'er court, o'er custom-house, his shoe who

flmgs,
Now bilks excisemen and now bullies kings.
Like his, I ween, thy comprehensive mind



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.



499



Holds laws as mouse-traps baited for man-
kind :
Thine eye applausive each sly vermin sees,
That balks the snare yet battens on the

cheese ;
Thine ear has heard with scorn instead of

awe
Our buckskinned justices expound the law,
Wire-draw the acts that fix for wires the

pain,
And for the netted partridge noose the

swain ;
And thy vindictive arm would fain have

broke
The last light fetter of the feudal yoke,
To give the denizens of wood and wild,
Nature's free race, to each her free-born

child.
Hence hast thou marked with grief fair

London's race,
Mocked with the boon of one poor Easter

chase,
And longed to send them forth as free as

when
Poured o'er Chantilly the Parisian train,
When musket, pistol, blunderbuss, com-
bined,
And scarce the field-pieces were left be-
hind !
A squadron's charge each leveret's heart

dismayed,
On every covey fired a bold brigade ;
La Douce Humanite approved the sport,
For great the alarm indeed, yet small the

hurt;
Shouts patriotic solemnized the day,
And Seine re-echoed Vive la Liberie /
But mad Citoyen, meek Monsieur again,
With some few added links resumes his

chain.
Then, since such scenes to France no more

are known,
Come, view with me a hero of thine own,
One whose free actions vindicate the

cause
Of sylvan liberty o'er feudal laws.

Seek we yon glades where the proud oak

o'ertops
Wide-waving seas of birch and hazel copse,
Leaving between deserted isles of land
Where stunted heath is patched with ruddy

sand,
And lonely on the waste the yew is seen,
Or straggling hollies spread a brighter

green.
Here, little worn and winding dark and

steep,
Our scarce marked path descends yon

dingle deep :



Follow — but heedful, cautious of a trip —
In earthly mire philosophy may slip.
Step slow and wary o'er that swampy stream,
Till, guided by the charcoal's smothering

steam,
We reach the frail yet barricaded door
Of hovel formed for poorest of the poor ;
No hearth the fire, no vent the smoke re-
ceives,
The walls are wattles and the covering

leaves ;
For, if such hut, our forest statutes say,
Rise in the progress of one night and day —
Though placed where still the Conqueror's

hests o'erawe,
And his son's stirrup shines the badge of

law —
The builder claims the unenviable boon,
To tenant dwelling, framed as slight and

soon
As wigwam wild that shrouds the native

frore
On the bleak coast of frost-barred Labrador.

Approach and through the unlatticed

window peep —
Nay, shrink not back, the inmate is asleep \
Sunk mid yon sordid blankets till the sun
Stoop to the west, the plunderer's toils are

done.
Loaded and primed and prompt for desper-
ate hand,
Rifle and fowling-piece beside him stand ;
While round the hut are in disorder laid
The tools and booty of his lawless trade ;
For force or fraud, resistance or escape,
The crow, the saw, the bludgeon, and the

crape.
His pilfered powder in yon nook he hoards,
And the filched lead the church's roof

affords —
Hence shall the rector's congregation fret,
That while his sermon 's dry his walls are

wet.
The fish-spear barbed, the sweeping net are

there,
Doe-hides, and pheasant plumes, and skins

of hare,
Cordage for toils and wiring for the snare.
Bartered for game from chase or warren

won,
Yon cask holds moonlight, run when moon

was none ;
And late-snatched spoils lie stowed in hutch

apart
To wait the associate higgler's evening cart.

Look on his pallet foul and mark his rest :
What scenes perturbed are acting in his
breast !



500



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



His sable brow is wet and wrung with

pain.
And his dilated nostril toils in vain :
For short and scant the breath each effort

draws,
And 'twixt each effort Nature claims a

pause.
Beyond the loose and sable neckcloth

stretched,
His sinewy throat seems by convulsion

twitched,
While the tongue falters, as to utterance

loath,
Sounds of dire import — watchword, threat,

and oath.
Though, stupefied by toil and drugged with

The body sleep, the restless guest within
Now plies on wood and wold his lawless

trade,
Now in the fangs of justice wakes dis-
mayed. —

' Was that wild start of terror and despair,
Those bursting eyeballs and that wildered

air,
Signs of compunction for a murdered hare ?
Do the locks bristle and the eyebrows

arch
For grouse or partridge massacred in

March?'

No, scoffer, no ! Attend, and mark with

awe,
There is no wicket in the gate of law !
lit that would e'er so lightly.set ajar
That awful portal must undo each bar :
Tempting occasion, habit, passion, pride,
Will join to storm the breach and force the

barrier wide.

That ruffian, whom true men avoid and

drear I.
Whom bruisers, poachers, smugglers, call

Blai k Ned,

rd Mansell once ; — the lightest

bean &

Thai ever played on holiday his part!
The leader he in every Christmas game,
The harvest-least grew blither when he

came,
And liveliest on the chords the bow did

glance

id named the tune and led the

dan

Kind was his heart, his passions quick and

Ins bus*, and jovial was his song;
And it he loved a gun. hi.s father swore,



• 'T was but a trick of youth would soon be

o'er,
Himself had done the same some thirty

years before.'

But he whose humors spurn law's awful
yoke
Must herd with those by whom law's bonds

are broke ;
The common dread of justice soon allies
The clown who robs the warren or excise
With sterner felons trained to act more

dread,
Even with the wretch by whom his fellow

bled.
Then, as in plagues the foul contagions pass,
Leavening and festering the corrupted mass,
Guilt leagues with guilt while mutual mo-
tives draw,
Their hope impunity, their fear the law ;
Their foes, their friends, their rendezvous

the same,
Till the revenue balked or pilfered game
Flesh the young culprit, and example leads
To darker villany and direr deeds.

Wild howled the wind the forest glades

along,
And oft the owl renewed her dismal song;
Around the spot where erst he felt the

wound,
Red William's spectre walked his midnight

round.
When o'er the swamp he cast his blighting

look,
From the green marshes of the stagnant

brook
The bittern's sullen shout the sedges shook !
The waning moon with storm-presaging

gleam
Now gave and now withheld her doubtful

beam ;
The old Oak stooped his arms, then flung

them high,
Bellowing and groaning to the troubled

sky —
'T was then that, couched amid the brush-
wood sear,
In Malwood-walk young Mansell watched

the deer:
The fattest buck received his deadly shot —
The watchful keeper heard and sought the

spot.
Stout were their hearts, and stubborn was

their strife ; r

O'erpowered at length the Outlaw drew

his knife.
Next, morn a corpse was found upon the

fell —
The rest his waking agony may tell !



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.



50I



Wni Boltj ©ragoon;

OR, THE PLAIN OF BADAJOS.
[1812.]

'T was a Marechal of France, and he fain

would honor gain,
And he longed to take a passing glance at
Portugal from Spain ;
With his flying guns this gallant gay,
And boasted corps d'arme'e —
O, he feared not our dragoons with their
long swords boldly riding,
Whack, fal de ral, etc.

To Campo Mayor come, he had quietly sat

down,
Just a fricassee to pick while his soldiers
sacked the town,
When, 't was peste ! morbleu ! mon

General,
Hear the English bugle-call !
And behold the light dragoons with their
long swords boldly riding,
Whack, fal de ral, etc.

Right about went horse and foot, artillery

and all,
And, as the devil leaves a house, they tum-
bled through the wall;
They took no time to seek the door,
But, best foot set before —
O, they ran from our dragoons with their
long swords boldly riding,
Whack, fal de ral, etc.

Those valiant men of France they had

scarcely fled a mile,
When on their flank there soused at once
the British rank and file ;
For Long, De Grey, and Otway then
Ne'er minded one to ten,
But came on like light dragoons with their
long swords boldly riding,
Whack, fal de ral, etc.

Three hundred British lads they made

three thousand reel,
Their hearts were made of English oak,
their swords of Sheffield steel,
Their horses were in Yorkshire bred,
And Beresford them led;
So huzza for brave dragoons with their
long swords boldly riding,
Whack, fal de ral, etc.

Then here's a health to Wellington, to

Beresford, to Long,
And a single word of Bonaparte before I

close my song;



The eagles that to fight he brings
Should serve his men with wings,
When they meet the bold dragoons with
their long swords boldly riding,
Whack, fal de ral, etc.



On tfje flags acre of (glntcae.

[1814.]

' O, tell me, Harper, wherefore flow
Thy wayward notes of wail and woe
Far down the desert of Glencoe,

Where none may list their melody ?
Say, harp'st thou to the mists that fly,
Or to the dun-deer glancing by,
Or to the eagle that from high

Screams chorus to thy minstrelsy ? '

1 No, not to these, for they have rest, —
The mist-wreath has the mountain-crest,
The stag his lair, the erne her nest,

Abode of lone security.
But those for whom I pour the lay,
Not wild-wood deep nor mountain gray,
Not this deep dell that shrouds from day,

Could screen from treacherous cruelty.

' Their flag was furled and mute their drum,
The very household dogs were dumb,
Unwont to bay at guests that come

In guise of hospitality.
His blithest notes the piper plied,
Her gayest snood the maiden tied,
The dame her distaff flung aside

To tend her kindly housewifery.

1 The hand that mingled in the meal
At midnight drew the felon steel,
And gave the host's kind breast to feel

Meed for his hospitality !
The friendly hearth which warmed that hand
At midnight armed it with the brand
That bade destruction's flames expand

Their red and fearful blazonry.



' Then woman's shriek was heard in vain,

Nor infancy's unpitied plain,

More than the warrior's groan, could gain

Respite from ruthless butchery !
The winter wind that whistled shrill,
The snows that night that cloked the hill,
Though wild and pitiless, had still

Far more than Southern clemency.



502



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



4 Long have my harp's best notes been gone,
Few are its strings and faint their tone,



Online LibraryWalter ScottThe poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet → online text (page 52 of 78)