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To that old camp's deserted round ::

A royal city, tower and spire,
Sir Knight, you well might mark the mound, Redden'd the midnight sky with fire,
Left hand the town,—the Pictish race,

And shouting crews her navy bore,
The trench, long since, in blood did trace;

Triumphant, to the victor shore.5 The moor around is brown and bare,

Such signs may learned clerks explain,
The

green
and fair.

They pass the wit of simple swain.
The spot our village children know,
For there the earliest wild-flowers grow;

XXV.
But woe betide the wandering wight,

“ The joyful King turn’d home again, That treads its circle in the night!

Headed his host, and quell’d the Dane; The breadth across, a bowshot clear,

But yearly, when return’d the night Gives ample space for full career:

Of his strange combat with the sprite, Opposed to the four points of heaven,

His wound must bleed and smart; By four deep gaps are entrance given.

Lord Gifford then would gibing say, The southernmost our Monarch past,

• Bold as ye were, my liege, ye pay Halted, and blew a gallant blast;

The
penance

of And on the north, within the ring,

Long since, beneath Dunfermline’s nave, Appear'd the form of England's King,

King Alexander fills his grave, Who then, a thousand leagues afar,

Our Lady give him rest! In Palestine waged holy war:

Yet still the knightly spear and shield Yet arms like England's did he wield,

The Elfin Warrior doth wield, Alike the leopards in the shield,

Upon the brown hill's breast;: Alike his Syrian courser's frame,

And many a knight hath proved his The rider's length of limb the same:

chance, Long afterwards did Scotland know,

In the charm’d ring to break a lance, Fell Edward 3 was her deadliest foe.

But all have foully sped ;

Save two, as legends tell, and they
XXIV.

Were Wallace wight, and Gilbert Hay.“ The vision made our Monarch start,

Gentles, my tale is said.”
But soon he mann'd his noble heart,
And in the first career they ran,

XXVI.
The Elfin Knight fell, horse and man;

The quaighs) were deep, the liquor strong, Yet did a splinter of his lance

And on the tale the yeoman-throng Through Alexander's visor glance,

Had made a comment sage and long, And razed the skin--a puny wound.

But Marmion gave a sign : The King, light leaping to the ground,

And, with their lord, the squires retire; With naked blade his phantom foe

The rest, around the hostel fire, Compellid the future war to show.

Their drowsy limbs recline; Of Largs he saw the glorious plain,

For pillow, underneath each head, Where still gigantic bones remain,

The quiver and the targe were laid. Memorial of the Danish war;

Deep slumbering on the hostel floor, 8 Himself he saw, amid the field,

Oppress’d with toil and ale, they snore: On high his brandish'd war-axe wield,

The dying flame, in fitful change,
And strike proud Haco from his car,

Threw on the group its shadows strange.
While all around the shadowy Kings
Denmark's grim ravens cower'd their wings.

XXVII. 'Tis said, that, in that awful night,

Apart, and nestling in the hay Remoter visions met his sight,

Of a waste loft, Fitz-Eustace lay; Foreshowing future conquests far,

Scarce, by the pale moonlight, were seen When our sons' sons wage northern war;

The foldings of his mantle green:

5 For an account of the expedition to Copenhagen in 1801 see Southey's Life of Nelson, chap. vii.

6 Seo Appendix, Note 2 U.

1 MS.-“ Alone, and arın'd, rode forth the King

To that encampment's haunted round.”
2 MS.-" The southern gate our Monarch past."
3 Edward I., surnamed Longshanks.
4 MS.-" To be fulfill'd in times afar,

When our sons' sons wage northern war;
A royal city's towers and spires
Redden'd the midnight sky with fires,
And shouting crews her navy bore,
Triumphant, from the vanquish'd shore.'

7 A wooden cup, composed of staves hooped togother.

8 MS.—“ Deep slumbering on the floor of clay,

Oppress'd with toil and ale, they lay;
The dying flame, in fitful change,
Threw on them lights and shadows strange.

Lightly he dreamt, as youth will dream,
Of sport by thicket, or by stream.
Of hawk or hound, of ring or glove,
Or, lighter yet, of lady's love.
A cautious tread his slumber broke,
And, close beside him, when he woke,
In moonbeam half, and half in gloom,
Stood a tall form, with nodding plume;
But, ere bis dagger Eustace drew,
His master Marmion's voice he knew.?

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Wonder it seem'd, in the squire's eyes,
That one, so wary held, and wise,
Of whom 'twas said, he scarce received
For gospel, what the church believed,

Should, stirr’d by idle tale,
Ride forth in silence of the night,
As hoping half to meet a sprite,

Array'd in plate and mail.
For little did Fitz-Eustace know,
That passions, in contending flow,

Unfix the strongest mind ;
Wearied from doubt to doubt to flee,
We welcome fond credulity,

Guide confident, though blind.

XXXI.
Little for this Fitz-Eustace cared,
But, patient, waited till he heard,
At distance, prick'd to utmost speed,
The foot-tramp of a flying steed,

Come town-ward rushing on;
First, dead, as if on turf it trode,
Then, clattering on the village road,
In other pace than forth he yode,

Return'd Lord Marmion. Down hastily he sprung from selle, And, in his haste, wellnigh he fell; To the squire's hand the rein he threw, And spoke no word as he withdrew: But yet the moonlight did betray, The falcov-crest was soil'd with clay; And plainly might Fitz-Eustace see, By stains upon the charger's knee, And his left side, that on the moor He had not kept his footing sure. Long musing on these wondrous signs, At length to rest the squire reclines, Broken and short; for still, between, Would dreams of terror intervene: Eustace did ne'er so blithely mark The first notes of the morning lark.

Marmion.

INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FOURTH.

TO

XXVIII.
_« Fitz-Eustace ! rise, I cannot rest;
Yon churl's wild legend haunts my breast,
And graver thoughts have chafed my mood :
The air must cool my feverish blood;
And fain would I ride forth, to see
The scene of elfin chivalry.
Arise, and saddle me my steed ; 2
And, gentle Eustace, take good heed
Thou dost not rouse these drowsy slaves;
I would not, that the prating knaves
Had cause for saying, o'er their ale,
That I could credit such a tale.”—
Then softly down the steps they slid,
Eustace the stable door undid,
And, darkling, Marmion's steed array'd,
While, whispering, thus the Baron said :-

XXIX.
“ Did'st never, good my youth, hear tell,

That on the hour when I was born,
Saint George, who graced my sire's chapelle,
Down from his steed of marble fell,

A weary wight forlorn ?
The flattering chaplains all agree,
The champion left his steed to me.
I would, the omen's truth to show,
That I could meet this Elfin Foe !3
Blithe would I battle, for the right
To ask one question at the sprite :-
Vain thought! for elves, if elves there be,
An empty race, by fount or sea,
To dashing waters dance and sing,
Or round the green oak wheel their ring."
Thus speaking, he his steed bestrode,
And from the hostel slowly rode.

XXX.
Fitz-Eustace followed him abroad,
And mark'd him pace the village road,
And listen’d to his horse's tramp,

Till, by the lessening sound,
He judged that of the Pictish camp

Lord Marmion sought the round.

JAMES SKENE, Esq. 6

Ashesticl, Ettrick Forest.
An ancient Minstrel sagely said,
“ Where is the life which late we led ?”
That motley clown in Arden wood,
Whom humorous Jacques with envy view'd,

1 MS.-“But, ere his dagger Eustace drew,

It spoke-Lord Marmion's voice he knew." 9 MS.—“ Come down and saddle me my steed." 3 MS.-“I would, to prove the omen right,

That I could meet this Elfin Knight!"

4 MS.-“ Dance to the wild waves' murmuring.”
6 Yode, used by old poets for went.

James Skene, Esq. of Rubislaw, Aberdeenshire, was
Cornet in the Royal Edinburgh Light Horse Volunteers; and
Sir Walter Scott was Quartermaster of the same corps.

At midnight now, the snowy plain Finds sterner labour for the swain

Not even that clown could amplify,
On this trite text, so long as I.
Eleven years we now may tell,
Since we have known each other well;
Since, riding side by side, our hand
First drew the voluntary brand ;'
And sure, through many a varied scene,
Unkindness never came between.
Away these winged years have flown,
To join the mass of ages gone;
And though deep mark’d, like all below,
With chequer'd shades of joy and woe;
Though thou o’er realms and seas hast ranged,
Mark'd cities lost, and empires changed,
While here, at home, my narrower ken
Somewhat of manners saw,

and men ;
Though varying wishes, hopes, and fears,
Fever'd the progress of these years,
Yet now, days, weeks, and months, but seem
The recollection of a dream,
So still we glide down to the sea
Of fathomless eternity.

Even now it scarcely seems a day, Since first I tuned this idle lay ; A task so often thrown aside, When leisure graver cares denied, That now, November's dreary gale, Whose voice inspir’d my opening tale, That same November gale once more Whirls the dry leaves on Yarrow shore. Their vex'd boughs streaming to the sky, Once more our naked birches sigh, And Blackhouse heights, and Ettrick Pen, Have donn’d their wintry shrouds again : And mountain dark, and flooded mead, Bid us forsake the banks of Tweed. Earlier than wont along the sky, Mix'd with the rack, the snow mists fly; The shepherd, who in summer sun, Had something of our envy won, As thou with pencil, I with pen, The features traced of hill and glen ;3 He who, outstretch'd the livelong day, At ease among the heath-flowers lay, View'd the light clouds with vacant look, Or slumber'd o'er his tatter'd book, Or idly busied him to guide His angle o'er the lessen’d tide ;

When red hath set the beamless sun, Through heavy vapours dark and dun; When the tired ploughman, dry and warm, Hears, half asleep, the rising storm Hurling the hail, and sleeted rain, Against the casement's tinkling pane; The sounds that drive wild deer, and fox, To shelter in the brake and rocks, Are warnings which the shepherd ask To dismal and to dangerous task. Oft he looks forth, and hopes, in vain, The blast may sink in mellowing rain ; Till, dark above, and white below,5 Decided drives the flaky snow, And forth the hardy swain must go. Long, with dejected look and whine, To leave the hearth his dogs repine; Whistling and cheering them to aid, Around his back he wreathes the plaid: His flock he gathers, and he guides, To open downs, and mountain-sides, Where fiercest though the tempest blow, Least deeply lies the drift below. The blast, that whistles o'er the fells, Stiffens his locks to icicles; Oft he looks back, while streaming far, His cottage window seems a star,— Loses its feeble gleam,—and then Turns patient to the blast again, And, facing to the tempest's sweep, Drives through the gloom his lagging sheep. If fails his heart, if his limbs fail, Benumbing death is in the gale: His paths, his landmarks, all unknown, Close to the hut, no more his own, Close to the aid he sought in vain, The morn may find the stiffen'd swain: 8 The widow sees, at dawning pale, His orphans raise their feeble wail ; And, close beside him, in the snow, Poor Yarrow, partner of their woe, Couches upon his master's breast, And licks his cheek to break his rest.

Who envies now the shepherd's lot, His healthy fare, his rural cot,

I MS.--"Unsheath'd the voluntary brand.”
? MS.-“And noon-tide mist, and flooded mead."

8 Various illustrations of the Poetry and Novels of Sir Walter Scott from designs by Mr. Skene, have since been published. + MS-_" When red hath set the evening sun,

And loud winds speak the storm begun." 6 MS.—“Till thickly drives the flaky snow,

And forth the hardy swain must go,
While, with dejected look and whinc," &c.

6 MS.-“The frozen blast that sweeps the fells 7 MS.-"Jis cottage window bcams a star,

But soon he loses it, -and then

Turns patient to his task again." 8 MS.-“The moin shall find the stiffen'd swain ;

His widow sees, at morning pale,

His children rise, and raise their wail.' Compare the celebrated description of a man periehing in the snow, in Thomson's Winter.-See Appendix, Note 2 V.

9 MS.-"Couches upon his frozen breast."

Nor, though it wake thy sorrow, deem
My verse intrudes on this sad theme;
For sacred was the pen that wrote,
“ Thy father's friend forget thou not:”
And grateful title may I plead, 8
For

many a kindly word and deed, To bring my tribute to his grave:'Tis littlebut 'tis all I have.

To thee, perchance, this rambling strain Recalls our summer walks again; When, doing nought,—and, to speak true, Not anxious to find aught to do,The wild unbounded hills we ranged, While oft our talk its topic changed, And, desultory as our way, Ranged, unconfined, from grave to gay. Even when it flagg'd, as oft will chance, No effort made to break its trance, We could right pleasantly pursue Our sports in social silence too;' Thou gravely labouring to portray The blighted oak’s fantastic spray; I spelling o’er, with much delight, The legend of that antique knight, Tirante by name, yclep'd the White. At either's feet a trusty squire, Pandour and Camp, 10 with eyes of fire, Jealous, each other's motions view'd, And scarce suppress’d their ancient feud." The laverock whistled from the cloud; The stream was lively, but not loud; From the white thorn the May-flower shed Its dewy fragrance round our head : Not Ariel lived more merrily Under the blossom’d bough, than we.

And blithesome nights, too, have been ours,
When Winter stript the summer's bowers.
Careless we heard, what now I hear,12
The wild blast sighing deep and drear,
When fires were bright, and lamps beam d

gay,
And ladies tuned the lovely lay;
And he was held a laggard soul,
Who shunn’d to quaff the sparkling bowl.
Then he, whose absence we deplore, la
Who breathes the gales of Devon's shore,
The longer miss'd, bewail'd the more;

13

His summer couch by greenwood tree,
His rustic kirn's' loud revelry,
His native hill-notes, tuned on high,
To Marion of the blithesome eye;?
His crook, his scrip, his oaten reed,
And all Arcadia's golden creed?

Changes not so with us, my Skene,
Of human life the varying scene ?
Our youthful summer oft we see 3
Dance by on wings of game and glee,
While the dark storm reserves its rage,
Against the winter of our age:
As he, the ancient Chief of Troy,
His manhood spent in peace and joy ;
But Grecian fires, and loud alarms,
Call'd ancient Priam forth to arms.*
Then happy those, since each must drain
His share of pleasure, share of pain,-
Then happy those, beloved of Heaven,
To whom the mingled cup is given;
Whose lenient sorrows find relief,
Whose joys are chasten’d by their grief.
And such a lot, my Skene, was thine,
When thou of late, wert doom'd to twine -
Just when thy bridal hour was by,-
The cypress with the myrtle tie.
Just on thy bride her Sire had smiled,
And bless'd the union of his child,
When love must change its joyous cheer,
And wipe affection's filial tear.
Nor did the actions next his end,
Speak more the father than the friend:
Scarce had lamented Forbes? paid
The tribute to his Minstrel's shade;
The tale of friendship scarce was told,
Ere the narrator's heart was cold-
Far may we search before we find
A heart so manly and so kind !
But not around his honour'd urn,
Shall friends alone and kindred mourn;
The thousand eyes his care had dried,
Pour at his name a bitter tide;
And frequent falls the grateful dew,
For benefits the world ne'er knew.
If mortal charity dare claim
The Almighty's attributed name,
Inscribe above his mouldering clay,
“ The widow's shield, the orphan's stay."

1 The Scottish Harvest-home.
3 MS.-" His native wild notes' melody,

To Marion's blithely blinking eye.” 8 MS.-"Our youthful summer oft we see

Dance by on wings of mirth and glee,
While the dark storm reserves its rage,

To crush the winter of our age."
4 MS.-“Call'a forth his foeble age to arms."
6 MS.-"Scarce on thy bride her sire had smiled.”
6 419,-"But even the actions next his end,

Spoke the fond sire and faithful friend."

7 See Appendix, Note 2 W.
8 MS.—“And nearer title may I plead."
I MS.—“Our thoughts in social silence too."

10 Camp was a favourite dog of the Poet's, a bull-terrier of extraordinary sagacity. He is introduced in Raeburn's portrait of Sir Walter Scott, now at Dalkeith Palace.-ED.

11 MS.—“Till oft our voice suppress'd the feud."
12 MS.-When light we heard what now I hear."

13 Colin Mackenzie, Esq. of Portmore, one of the Principal Clerks of Session at Edinburgh, and through life an intimate friend of Sir Walter Scott, died on 10tb September 1830.-ED

1

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And thou, and I, and dear-loved R-,

While chafed the impatient squire like thunder, And one whose name I may not say,

Old Hubert shouts, in fear and wonder,-For not Mimosa's tender tree

“ Help, gentle Blount! help, comrades all! Shrinks sooner from the touch than he,

Bevis lies dying in his stall: In merry chorus well combined,

To Marmion who the plight dare tell, With laughter drown’d the whistling wind.

Of the good steed he loves so well ?” Mirth was within; and Care without

Gaping for fear and ruth, they saw Might gnaw her nails to hear our shout.

The charger panting on his straw;6 Not but amid the buxom scene

Till one, who would seem wisest, cried,Some grave discourse might intervene

“ What else but evil could betide, Of the good horse that bore him best,

With that cursed Palmer for our guide ? His shoulder, hoof, and arching crest:

Better we had through mire and bush
For, like mad Tom's,3 our chiefest care,

Been lantern-led by Friar Rush."7
Was horse to ride, and weapon wear.
Such nights we've had; and, though the game *
Of manhood be more sober tame,

Fitz-Eustace, who the cause but guess’d, And though the field-day, or the drill,

Nor wholly understood, Seem less important now—yet still

His comrades' clamorous plaints suppress’d; Such may we hope to share again.

He knew Lord Marmion's mood. The sprightly thought inspires my strain !

Him, ere he issued forth, he sought, And mark, how, like a horseman true,

And found deep plunged in glooiny thought, Lord Marmion's march I thus renew.

And did his tale display
Simply as if he knew of nought

To cause such disarray.

Lord Marmion gave attention cold,
Marmiani.

Nor marvell’d at the wonders told,
Pass'd them as accidents of course,
And bade his clarions sound to horse.

II.

CANTO FOURTH,

The Camp.

I.
EOSTACE, I said, did blithely mark
The first notes of the

merry

lark.
The lark sang shrill, the cock he crew,
And loudly Marmion's bugles blew,
And with their light and lively call,
Brought groom and yeoman to the stall.
Whistling they came, and free of heart,

But soon their mood was changed ;
Complaint was heard on every part,

Of something disarranged.
Some clamour'd loud for armour lost;
Some brawld and wrangled with the host;
“ By Becket's bones,” cried one, “ I fear,
That some false Scot has stolen my spear!”-
Young Blount, Lord Marmion's second squire,
Found his steed wet with sweat and mire;
Although the rated horse-boy sware,
Last night he dress’d him sleok and fair.

111.
Young Henry Blount, meanwhile, the cost
Had reckon’d with their Scottish host;
And, as the charge he cast and paid,
“ Ill thou deserv'st thy bire,” he said ;
“ Dost see, thou knave, my horse's plight?
Fairies have ridden him all the night,

And left him in a foam !
I trust that soon a conjuring band,
With English cross, and blazing brand,
Shall drive the devils from this land,

To their infernal home:
For in this haunted den, I trow,
All night they trample to and fro.”—
The laughing host look? on the hire,
“Gramercy, gentle southern squire,
And if thou comest among the rest,
With Scottish broadsword to be blest,
Sharp be the brand, and sure the blow,
And short the pang to undergo.”
Here stay'd their talk,—for Marmion
Gave now the signal to set on.

5

| Sir William Rae of St. Catharine's, Bart., subsequently through life an intimate, and latterly a generous friend of Sir Lord Advocate of Scotland, was a distinguished member of Walter Scott-died 24th October 1828.-ED. the volunteer corps to which Sir Walter Scott belonged; and

3 Seo King Lear. he, the Poet, Mr. Skene, Mr. Mackenzie, and a fuw other

4 MS.—“Such nights we've had ; and though our gama friends, had formed themselves into a little semi-military

Advance of years may something tame club, the meetings of which were held at their family supper

6 MS.-"By Becket's bones," cried one, “I swear tables in rotation.-Ed. 2 The gentleman whose name the Poet "might not say,”

6 MS.--"The good horsc panting on the straw.” was the late Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, Bart., son of the 7 See Appendix, Note 2 X. Author of the Life of Beattie, and brother-in-law of Mr. Skene, 8 MS.—“With bloody cross and fiery brand."

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