Walter Scott.

The poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet online

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The plumes waved mournfully
At every tread which the wanderer made

Through the hall of gramarye.

The ruddy beam of the torches' gleam,

That glared the warriors on,
Reflected light from armor bright,

In noontide splendor shone.

And onward seen in lustre sheen,

Still lengthening on the sight,
Through the boundless hall stood steeds in

And by each lay a sable knight.

Still as the dead lay each horseman dread,
And moved nor limb nor tongue ;

Each steed stood stiff as an earthfast cliff,
Nor hoof nor bridle rung.

No sounds through all the spacious hall

The deadly still divide,
Save where echoes aloof from the vaulted roof

To the wanderer's step replied.

At length before his wondering eyes,

On an iron column borne,
Of antique shape and giant size

Appeared a sword and horn.

1 Now choose thee here/ quoth his leader,

' Thy venturous fortune try ;
Thy woe and weal, thy boot and bale,

In yon brand and bugle lie.'

To the fatal brand he mounted his hand,
But his soul did quiver and quail ;

The life-blood did start to his shuddering heart,
And left him wan and pale.

The brand he forsook, and the horn he took

To 'say a gentle sound ;
But so wild a blast from the bugle brast

That the Cheviot rocked around.



From Forth to Tees, from seas to seas,

In many a sightless, soundless rill,

The awful bugle rung ;

Feed sparkling Bowmont's tide.

On Carlisle wall and Berwick withal

To arms the warders sprung.

Fair shines the stream by bank and lea,

As wimpling to the eastern sea

With clank and clang the cavern rang,

She seeks Till's sullen bed,

The steeds did stamp and neigh ;

Indenting deep the fatal plain

And loud was the yell as each warrior fell

"Where Scotland's noblest, brave in vain,

Sterte up with hoop and cry.

Around their monarch bled.

1 Woe, woe,' they cried, ' thou caitiff coward,

That ever thou wert born !
Why drew ye not the knightly sword

Before ye blew the horn ? '

The morning on the mountain shone

And on the bloody ground,
Hurled from the cave with shivered bone,

The mangled wretch was found.

And still beneath the cavern dread

Among the glidders gray,
A shapeless stone with lichens spread

Marks where the wanderer lay.



Go sit old Cheviot's crest below,
And pensive mark the lingering snow

In all his scaurs abide,
And slow dissolving from the hill

And westward hills on hills you see,
Even as old Ocean's mightiest sea

Heaves high her waves of foam,
Dark and snow-ridged from Cutsfeld's wold
To the proud foot of Cheviot rolled,

Earth's mountain billows come.

West ftefoer's ®&eMmg.


O, WILL ye hear a mirthful bourd ?

Or will ye hear of courtesie ?
Or will ye hear how a gallant lord

Was wedded to a gay ladye ?

' Ca' out the kye,' quo' the village herd,

As he stood on the knowe,
' Ca' this ane's nine and that ane's ten,

And bauld Lord William's cow.'

' Ah ! by my sooth,' quoth William then,
1 And stands it that way now,



When knave and churl have nine and ten,
That the lord has but his cow ?

' I swear by the light of the Michaelmas moon,

And the might of Mary high,
And by the edge of my braidsword brown,

They shall soon say Harden's kye.'

He took a bugle frae his side,
With names carved o'er and o'er —

Full many a chief of meikle pride
That Border bugle bore —

1 1« blew a note baith sharp and hie
Till rock and water rang around —

Threescore of moss-troopers and three
Have mounted at that bugle sound.

The Michaelmas moon had entered then,

And ere she wan the full
Ye might see by her light in Harden glen

A bow o' kye and a bassened bull.

And loud and loud in Harden tower
The quaigh gaed round wi' meikle glee;
I l 5 e English bcef was brought in bower
And the English ale flowed rnerrilie.

And mony a guest from Teviotsidc
And Yarrow's Braes was there :

Was never a lord in Scotland wide
That made more dainty fare.

They ate, they laughed, they sang and quaffed,

Till naught on board was seen,
When knight and squire were boune to dine,

But a spur of silver sheen.

Lord William has ta'en his berry-brown steed

A sore shent man was he ;
' Wait ye, my guests, a little speed —

Weel feasted ye shall be.'

He rode him down by Falsehope burn

His cousin dear to see,
With him to take a riding turn —

Wat-draw-the-Sword was he.

And when he came to Falsehope glen,

Beneath the try sting-tree,
On the smooth green was carved plain,

' To Lochwood bound are we.'

' O, if they be gane to dark Lochwood
To drive the Warden's gear,

Betwixt our names, I ween, there 's feud
I '11 go and have my share :



1 For little reck I for Johnstone's feud,

The Warden though he be.'
So Lord William is away to dark Lochwood

With riders barely three.

The Warden's daughters in Lochwood sate,

Were all both fair and gay,
All save the Lady Margaret,

And she was wan and wae.

The sister Jean had a full fair skin,
And Grace was bauld and braw ;

But the leal-fast heart her breast within
It weel was worth them a'.

Her father 's pranked her sisters twa

With meikle joy and pride ;
But Margaret maun seek Dundrennan's wa'

She ne'er can be a bride.

On spear and casque by gallants gent
Her sisters' scarfs were borne,

But never at tilt or tournament
Were Margaret's colors worn.

Her sisters rode to Thirlstane bower,

But she was left at hame
To wander round the gloomy tower,

And sigh young Harden's name.

1 Of all the knights, the knight most fair

From Yarrow to the Tyne/
Soft sighed the maid, \ is Harden's heir,

But ne'er can he be mine ;

' Of all the maids, the foulest maid

From Teviot to the Dee,
Ah ! ' sighing sad, that lady said,

' Can ne'er young Harden's be.'

She looked up the briery glen,

And up the mossy brae,
And she saw a score of her father's men

Yclad in the Johnstone gray.

O, fast and fast they downwards sped
The moss and briers among,

And in the midst the troopers led
A shackled knight along.

jWottoes from tlje JScfoete*

From " The Antiquary."

I knew Anselmo. He was shrewd and prudent,
Wisdom and cunning had their shares of him ;
But he was shrewish as a wayward child,
And pleased again by toys which childhood

please ;
As book of fables graced with print of wood,
Or. else the jingling of a rusty medal,
Or the rare melody of some old ditty
That first was sung to please King Pepin's


1 Be brave,' she cried, ' you yet may be our guest.
Our haunted room was ever held the best :
If then your valor can the fight sustain
Of rustling curtains and the clinking chain,
If your courageous tongue have powers to talk
When round your bed the horrid ghost shall

If you dare ask it why it leaves its tomb,
I '11 see your sheets well aired and show the


True Story.

Sometimes he thinks that Heaven this vision

And ordered all the pageants as they went ;
Sometimes that only 't was wild Fancy's

The loose and scattered relics of the day.

Beggar ! — the only freemen of your Common

Free above Scot-free, that observe no laws,
Obey no governor, use no religion
But what they draw from their own ancient

Or constitute themselves, yet they are no



Here has been such a stormy encounter
Betwixt my cousin Captain and this soldier,
About I know not what ! — nothing, indeed ;
Competitions, degrees, and comparatives
Of soldiership ! ■—

A Faire Quarrel.

If you fail honor here,
Never presume to serve her any more ;
Bid farewell to the integrity of arms,
And the honorable name of soldier
Fall from you, like a shivered wreath of

By thunder struck from a desertlesse forehead.
A Faire Quarrel.

The Lord Abbot had a soul
Subtile and quick, and searching as the fire :
By magic stairs he went as deep as hell,




And if in devils' possession gold be kept,

He brought some sure from thence — 't is hid in

Known, save to me, to none —

The Wonder of a Kingdome.

Many great ones
Would part with half their states, to have the

And credit to beg in the first style. —

Beggar's Bush.

Who is he ? — One that for the lack of land
Shall fight upon the water — he hath challenged
Formerly the grand whale ; and by his titles
Of Leviathan, Behemoth, and so forth.
He tilted with a sword-fish — Marry, sir,
Th' aquatic had the best — the argument
Still galls our champion's breech.

Old Play.

Tell me not of it, friend — when the young weep,
Their tears are lukewarm brine; — from our

old eyes
Sorrow falls down like hail-drops of the North,
Chilling the furrows of our withered cheeks,
Cold as our hopes and hardened as our feel-
ing —
Theirs, as they fall, sink sightless — ours recoil,
Heap the fair plain and bleaken all before us.

Old Play.

Remorse — she ne'er forsakes us ! —
A bloodhound stanch — she tracks our rapid

Through the wild labyrinth of youthful frenzy,
Unheard, perchance, until old age hath tamed

Then in our lair, when Time hath chilled our

And maimed our hope of combat or of flight,
We hear her deep-mouthed bay, announcing

Of wrath and woe and punishment that bides us.

Old Play.

Still in his dead hand clenched remain the

That thrill his father's heart — e'en as the limb,
Lopped off and laid in grave, retains, they tell

Strange commerce with the mutilated stump,
Whose nerves are twinging still in maimed ex-

Old Play.

. Life, with you,

Olows in the brain and dances in the arteries;
like the wine some joyous guest hath

That glads the heart and elevates the fancy :

Mine is the poor residuum of the cup,
Vapid and dull and tasteless, only soiling
With its base dregs the vessel that contains it.

Old Play.

Yes ! I love Justice well — as well as you do —
But, since the good dame 's blind, she shall ex-
cuse me,
If, time and reason fitting, I prove dumb ; —
The breath I utter now shall be no means
To take away from me my breath in future.

Old Play.

Well, well, at worst, 't is neither theft nor coin-
Granting I knew all that you charge *me with.
What tho' the tomb hath born a second birth
And given the wealth to one that knew not on't,
Yet fair exchange was never robbery,
Far less pure bounty —

Old Play.

Life ebbs from such old age, unmarked and

As the slow neap-tide leaves yon stranded galley.
Late she rocked merrily at the least impulse
That wind or wave could give ; but now her

Is settling on the sand, her mast has ta'en
An angle with the sky from which it shifts not.
Each wave receding shakes her less and less,
Till, bedded on the strand, she shall remain
Useless as motionless.

Old Play.

So, while the Goose, of whom the fable told,
Incumbent brooded o'er her eggs of gold,
With hand outstretched impatient to destroy,
Stole on her secret nest the cruel Boy,
Whose gripe rapacious changed her splendid

For wings vain fluttering and for dying scream.
The Loves of the Sea- Weeds.

Let those go see who will — I like it not —
For, say he was a slave to rank and pomp,
And all the nothings he is now divorced from
By the hard doom of stern necessity ;
Yet is it sad to mark his altered brow,
Where Vanity adjusts her flimsy veil
O'er the deep wrinkles of repentant Anguish.

Old Play.

Fortune, you say, flies from us — She but

Like the fleet sea-bird round the fowler's skiff,—
Lost in the mist one moment, and the next
Brushing the white sail with her whiter wing,
As if to court the aim. — Experience watches,
And has her on the wheel. —

Old Play.

From "The Black Dwarf"

The bleakest rock upon the loneliest heath
Feels in its barrenness some touch of spring ;
And, in the April dew or beam of May,
Its moss and lichen freshen and revive ;



And thus the heart, most seared to human

Melts at the tear, joys in the smile of woman.


'T was time and griefs
That framed him thus : Time, with his fairer

Offering the fortunes of his former days,
The former man may make him — Bring us to

And chance it as it may.

Old Play.

From " Old Mortality:'

Arouse thee, youth ! — it is no common call, —
God's Church is leaguered — haste to man the

wall ;
Haste where the Red-cross banners wave on

Signals of honored death or victory.

James Duff.

My hounds may a' rin masterless,
My hawks may fly frae tree to tree,

My lord may grip my vassal lands,
For there again maun I never be !

Old Ballad.

Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife !

To all the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life

Is worth an age without a name.


Frotn " Rob Roy."

In the wide pile, by others heeded not,

Hers was one sacred solitary spot,

Whose gloomy aisles and bending shelves con-

For moral hunger food, and cures for moral


Dire was his thought who first in poison steeped
The weapon formed for slaughter — direr his,
And worthier of damnation, who instilled
The mortal venom in the social cup,
To fill the veins with death instead of life.


Look round thee, young Astolpho : Here 's the

Which men — for being poor — are sent to

starve in —
Rude remedy, I trow, for sore disease.
Within these walls, stifled by damp and stench,
Doth Hope's fair torch expire ; and at the snuff,
Ere yet 't is quite extinct, rude, wild, and way-

The desperate revelries of wild despair,
Kindling their hell-born cressets, light to deeds
That the poor captive would have died ere

Till bondage sunk his soul to his condition.
The Prison, Act i. Scene 3.

Far as the eye could reach no tree was seen,
Earth, clad in russet, scorned the lively green ;
No birds, except as birds of passage, flew ;
No bee was heard to hum, no dove to coo ;
No streams, as amber smooth, as amber clear,
Were seen to glide, or heard to warble here.
Prophecy of Famine.

' Woe to the vanquished ! " was stern Brenno's

When sunk proud Rome beneath the Gallic

sword —
1 Woe to the vanquished ! ' when his massive

Bore down the scale against her ransom weighed,
And on the field of foughten battle still,
Who knows no limit save the victor's will.

The Gaulliad.

And be he safe restored ere evening set,
Or, if there 's vengeance in an injured heart
And power to wreak it in an armed hand,
Your land shall ache for 't.

Old Play.

Farewell to the land where the clouds love to

Like the shroud of the dead, on the mountain's

cold breast ;
To the cataract's roar where the eagles reply,
And the lake her lone bosom expands to the


From " The Heart of Midlothian"

To man, in this his trial state,

The privilege is given,
When lost by tides of human fate,

To anchor fast in Heaven.

Watts' Hymns.

Law, take thy victim ! — May she find the mercy
In yon mild heaven which this hard world de-
nies her !

And Need and Misery, Vice and Danger, bind
In sad alliance each degraded mind.


These tears beseech you, and these chaste hands

woo you,
That never yet were heaved but to things holy —
Things like yourself— You are a God above

Be as a God then, full of saving mercy !

The Bloody Brother.

Happy thou art ! then happy be,

Nor envy me my lot ;
Thy happy state I envy thee,

And peaceful cot.

Lady C C /.

54 8


From " The Bride of Lammermoor."

The hearth in hall was black and dead,
No board was dight in bower within,
Nor merry bowl nor welcome bed ;

' Here 's sorry cheer/ quoth the Heir of Linne.
Old Ballad
{Altered from " The Heir of Linne ").

As, to the Autumn breeze's bugle-sound,
Various and vague the dry leaves dance their

round ;
Or from the garner-door, on aether borne,
The chaff flies devious from the winnowed

corn ;
So vague, so devious, at the breath of heaven,
From their fixed aim are mortal counsels driven.


Here is a father now,
Will truck his daughter for a foreign venture,
Make her the stop-gap to some cankered feud,
Or fling her o'er, like Jonah, to the fishes,
To appease the sea at highest.


Sir, stay at home and take an old man's counsel :
Seek not to bask you by a stranger's hearth ;
Our own blue smoke is warmer than their fire.
Domestic food is wholesome, though 't is

And foreign dainties poisonous, though tasteful.
The French Courtezan.

True-love, an thou be true,

Thou hast ane kittle part to play,

For fortune, fashion, fancy, and thou
Maun strive for many a day.

I 've kend by mony a friend's tale,
Far better by this heart of mine,

What time and change of fancy avail,
A true love-knot to untwine.


Why, now I have Dame Fortune by the fore-

And if she 'scapes my grasp the fault is mine ;

He that hath buffeted with stern adversity,

Best knows to shape his course to favoring
breezes. a

Old Play.

From " The Legend of Montrose"

DARK on their iourney loured the gloomy day,
Wild were the hills and doubtful grew the way;
More dark more gloomy, and more doubtful

The mansion which received them from the road.
The Travellers, a Romance.

I s this thy castle, Baldwin ? Melancholy
Displays her sable banner from the donjon
Darkening the foam of the whole surge beneath
Were I a habitant, to see this gloom
Pollute the face of nature, and to hear

The ceaseless sound of wave and sea-bird's

I 'd wish me in the hut that poorest peasant
Ere framed to give him temporary shelter.


This was the entry, then, these stairs — but

whither after ?
Yet he that 's sure to perish on the land
May quit the nicety of card and compass,
And trust the open sea without a pilot.

Tragedy of Brentiovalt.

From " Zvanhoe."

Away ! our journey lies through dell and dingle,
Where the blithe fawn trips by its timid mother,
Where the broad oak with intercepting boughs
Chequers the sun-beam in the greensward

alley —
Up and away ! — for lovely paths are these
To tread, when the glad sun is on his throne ;
Less pleasant and less safe when Cynthia's

With doubtful glimmer lights the dreary forest.
Ettrick Forest.

When autumn nights were long and drear,
And forest walks were dark and dim,

How sweetly on the pilgrim's ear

Was wont to steal the hermit's hymn !

Devotion borrows Music's tone,
And Music took Devotion's wing,

And, like the bird that hails the sun,
They soar to heaven, and soaring sing.

The Hermit of Saint Clement's Well.

The hottest horse will oft be cool,

The dullest will show fire ;
The friar will often play the fool,

The fool will play the friar.

Old Song.

This wandering race, severed from other men,
Boast yet their intercourse with human arts ;
The seas, the woods, the deserts, which they

Find them acquainted with their secret treasures;
And unregarded herbs and flowers and blossoms
Display undreamed-of powers when gathered

by them.

The Jew.
Approach the chamber, look upon his bed.
His is the passing of no peaceful ghost,
Which, as the lark arises to the sky,
Mid morning's sweetest breeze and softest dew,
Is winged to heaven bv good men's sighs and

tears !
Anselm parts otherwise.

Old Play.
Trust me, each state must have its policies :
Kingdoms have edicts, cities have their charters:
£ven the wild outlaw in his forest-walk
Keeps yet some touch of civil discipline.



For not since Adam wore his verdant apron
Hath man with man in social union dwelt,.
But laws were made to draw that union closer.

Old Play.

Arouse the tiger of Hyrcanian deserts,
Strive with the half-starved lion for his prey ;
Lesser the risk than rouse the slumbering fire
Of wild Fanaticism.


Say not my art is fraud — all live by seeming.
The beggar begs with it, and the gay courtier
Gains land and title, rank and rule, by seeming :
The clergy scorn it not, and the bold soldier
Will eke with it his service. — All admit it,
All practise it ; and he who is content
With showing what he is shall have small credit
In church or camp or state. — So wags the

Old Play.

Stern was the law which bade its votaries leave
At human woes with human hearts to grieve ;
Stern was the law which at the winning wile
Of frank and harmless mirth forbade to smile ;
But sterner still when high the iron-rod
Of tyrant power she shook, and called that
power of God.

The Middle Ages.

From " The Monastery."

ay! the Monks, the Monks, they did the

mischief !
Theirs all the grossness, all the superstition
Of a most gross and superstitious age. —
May He be praised that sent the healthful

And scattered all these pestilential vapors ;
But that we owed them all to yonder Harlot
Throned on the seven hills with her cup of gold,

1 will as soon believe, with kind Sir Roger,
That old Moll White took wing with cat and

And raised the last night's thunder.

Old Play.

In yon lone vale his early youth was bred.
Not solitary then — the bugle-horn
Of fell Alecto often waked its windings,
From where the brook joins the majestic river,
To the wild northern bog, the curlieu's haunt,
Where oozes forth its first and feeble streamlet.

Old Play.

A priest, ye cry, a priest ! — lame shepherds

How shall they gather in the straggling flock?
Dumb dogs which bark not — how shall they

The loitering vagrants to the Master's fold ?
Fitter to bask before the blazing fire,
And snuff the mess neat-handed Phillis dresses,
Than on the snow-wreath battle with the wolf.
The Reformation.

Now let us sit in conclave. That these weeds
Be rooted from the vineyard of the Church,
That these foul tares be severed from the wheat,
We are, I trust, agreed. Yet how to do this,
Nor hurt the wholesome crop and tender vine-
Craves good advisement.

The Reformation.

Nay, dally not with time, the wise man's treasure,
Though fools are lavish on 't — the fatal Fisher
Hooks souls while we waste moments. •

Old Play.

You call this education, do you not ?
Why, 't is the forced march of a herd of bullocks
Before a shouting drover. The glad van
Move on at ease, and pause awhile to snatch
A passing morsel from the dewy greensward,
While all the blows, the oaths, the indignation,
Fall on the croupe of the ill-fated laggard
That cripples in the rear.

Old Play.

There 's something in that ancient superstition,

Which, erring as it is, our fancy loves. ,

The spring that, with its thousand crystal

Bursts from the bosom of some desert rock
In secret solitude, may well be deemed
The haunt of something purer, more refined,
And mightier than ourselves.

Old Play.

Nay, let me have the friends who eat my victuals
As various as my dishes. The feast's naught,
Where one huge plate predominates. — John

He shall be mighty beef, our English staple $
The worthy Alderman, a buttered dumpling ;
Yon pair of whiskered Cornets, ruffs and rees ;
Their friend the Dandy, a green goose in sippets.
And so the board is spread at once and filled
On the same principle — Variety.

New Play.

He strikes no coin, 'tis true, but coins new

And vends them forth as knaves vend gilded

Which wise men scorn and fools accept in


Old Play.

A courtier extraordinary, who by diet
Of meats and drinks, his temperate exercise,
Choice music, frequent bath, his horary shifts
Of shirts and waistcoats, means to immortalize
Mortality itself, and makes the essence
Of his whole happiness the trim of court.

Magnetic Lady.

Now choose thee, gallant, betwixt wealth and

honor ;
There lies the pelf, in sum to bear thee through
The dance of youth and the turmoil of manhood,
Yet leave enough for age's chimney-corner ;
But an thou grasp to it, farewell Ambition !



Farewell each hope of bettering thy condition,
And raising thy low rank above the churls
That till the earth for bread !

Old Play.

Indifferent, but indifferent — pshaw ! he doth

it not
Like one who is his craft's master — ne'ertheless
I have seen a clown confer a bloody coxcomb
On one who was a master of defence.

Old Play.

Yes, life hath left him — every busy thought,
Each fiery passion, every strong affection,
The sense of outward ill and inward sorrow,
Are fled at once from the pale trunk before me ;
And I have given that which spoke and moved,

Online LibraryWalter ScottThe poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet → online text (page 58 of 78)