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was applied to this department of poetry; and, in
deed, if the question be considered on its own merits,
we must be satisfied that narrative poetry, if strictly
confined to the great occurrences of history, would
be deprived of the individual interest which it is
so well calculated to excite.

individual, so long will individual history and individual virtue be the readier and more accessible road to general interest and attention; and, perhaps, we may add, that it is the more useful, as well as the more accessible, inasmucn as it affords an example capable of being easily imitated.

According to the author's idea of Romantic Poetry, as distinguished from Epic, the former comprehends a fictitious narrative, framed and combined at the

may judge best: which neither exacts nor refuses the use of supernatural machinery; which is free from the technical rules of the Epée; and is sub

Modern poets may therefore be pardoned in seeking
simpler subjects of verse, more interesting in propor-
tion to their simplicity. Two or three figures, well
grouped, suit the artist better than a crowd, for what-pleasure of the writer; beginning and ending as he
ever purpose assembled. For the same reason, a
scene immediately presented to the imagination, and
directly brought home to the feelings, though involv-
ing the fate of but one or two persons, is more fa-ject only to those which good sense, good taste, and
vourable for poetry than the political struggles and good morals, apply to every species of poetry with-
convulsions which influence the fate of kingdoms. out exception. The date may be in a remote age,
The former are within the reach and comprehen- or in the present; the story may detail the adven-
sion of all, and, if depicted with vigour, seldom fail tures of a prince or of a peasant. In a word, the
to fix attention: The other, if more sublime, are author is absolute master of his country and its in-
more vague and distant, less capable of being dis- habitants, and every thing is permitted to him, ex-
tinctly understood, and infinitely less capable of ex- cepting to be heavy or prosaic, for which, free and
citing those sentiments which it is the very purpose unembarrassed as he is, he has no manner of apo-
of poetry to inspire. To generalize is always to logy. Those, it is probable, will be found the pe-
destroy effect. We would, for example, be more culiarities of this species of composition; and before
interested in the fate of an individual soldier in com-joining the outcry against the vitiated taste that
bat, than in the grand event of a general action; fosters and encourages it, the justice and grounds
with the happiness of two lovers raised from misery of it ought to be made perfectly apparent. If the want
and anxiety to peace and union, than with the suc- of sieges, and battles, and great military evolutions, in
cessful exertions of a whole nation. From what causes our poetry, is complained of, let us reflect, that the
this may originate, is a separate and obviously an im- campaigns and heroes of our days are perpetuated in
material consideration. Before ascribing this pecu- a record that neither requires nor admits of the aid of
liarity to causes decidedly and odiously selfish, it is fiction; and if the complaint refers to the inferiority
proper to recollect, that while men see only a limited of our bards, let us pay a just tribute to their modesty,
space, and while their affections and conduct are re-limiting them, as it does, to subjects which, however
gulated, not by aspiring to an universal good, but
by exerting their power of making themselves and
others happy within the limited scale alloted to each

this than any thing else. Hebraisms and Grecisms are to be
found in him without the trouble of learning the languages.
I knew a painter, who (like our poet) had no genius, make
bis daubings to be thought originals, by setting them in the
smoke. You may, in the same manner, give the venerable
air of antiquity to your piece, by darkening up and down ike
Old English. With this you may be easily furnished upon
any occasion, by the Dictionary commonly printed at the end

of Chaucer."

"I must not conclude without cautioning all writers without genius in one material point, which is, never to be afraid of having too much fire in their works. I should advise rather to take their warmest thoughts, and spread them abroad upon paper; for they are observed to cool before they are read."-POPE. The Guardian, No. 78.

1" In all this we cheerfully acquiesce, without abating any thing of our former hostility to the modern Romaunt style, which is founded on very different principles. Nothing is, in our opinion, so dangerous to the very existence of poetry as the extreme laxity of rule and consequent facility of composition, which are its principal characteristics. Our very admission in favour of that license of plot and conduct which is claimed by the Romance writers, ought to render us so much the more guarded in extending the privilege to the minor poets of composition and versification. The removal of all technical bars and impediments sets wide open the gates of

indifferently treated have still the interest and charm of novelty, and which thus prevents them from adding insipidity to their other more insuperable defects.1

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"In the same letter in which William Erskine acknowledges the receipt of the first four pages of Rokeby, he adverts also to the Bridal of Triermain as being already in rapid progress. The fragments of this second poem, inserted in the Register of the preceding year, had attracted considerable notice; the secret of their authorship had been well kept; and by somo means, even in the shrewdest circles of Edinburgh, the belief had become prevalent that they proceeded not from Scott but from Erskine. Scott had no sooner completed his bargain as to the copyright of the unwritten Rokeby, than he resolved to pause from time to time in its composition, and weave those fragments into a shorter and lighter romance, executed in a different metre, and to be published anonymously in a small pocket volume, as nearly as possible on the same day with the avowed quarto. He expected great amusement from the comparisons which the critics would no doubt indulge themselves in drawing between himself and this humble candidate; and Erskine good-humouredly entered into the scheme, undertaking to do nothing which should effectually suppress the notion of his having set himself up as a modest rival to his friend."-Life of Scott, vol. iv. p. 12.

The Bridal of Triermatu.



COME, LUCY! while 'tis morning hour,
The woodland brook we needs must pass;
So, ere the sun assume his power,
We shelter in our poplar bower,
Where dew lies long upon the flower,

Though vanish'd from the velvet grass.
Curbing the stream, this stony ridge
May serve us for a silvan bridge;

For here compell'd to disunite,

Round petty isles the runnels glide, And chafing off their puny spite, The shallow murmurers waste their might, Yielding to footstep free and light

A dry-shod pass from side to side.


Nay, why this hesitating pause?
And, Lucy, as thy step withdraws,
Why sidelong eye the streamlet's brim ?
Titania's foot without a slip,
Like thine, though timid, light, and slim,
From stone to stone might safely trip,
Nor risk the glow-worm clasp to dip
That binds her slipper's silken rim.
Or trust thy lover's strength: nor fear

That this same stalwart arm of mine, Which could yon oak's prone trunk


Shall shrink beneath the burden dear
Of form so slender, light, and fine —

So, now, the danger dared at last,
Look back, and smile at perils past!


And now we reach the favourite glade, Paled in by copsewood, cliff, and stone, Where never harsher sounds invade,

To break affection's whispering tone, Than the deep breeze that waves the shade, Than the small brooklet's feeble moan.

1 MS.-"Haughty eye."

Come rest thee on thy wonted seat,
Moss'd is the stone, the turf is green,
A place where lovers best may meet,

Who would that not their love be seen.
The boughs, that dim the summer sky,
Shall hide us from each lurking spy,

That fain would spread the invidious tale, How Lucy of the lofty eye,l Noble in birth, in fortunes high, She for whom lords and barons sigh, Meets her poor Arthur in the dale.


How deep that blush -how deep that sigh!
And why does Lucy shun mine eye ?
Is it because that crimson draws
Its colour from some secret cause,
Some hidden movement of the breast,
She would not that her Arthur guess'd?
O! quicker far is lovers' ken
Than the dull glance of common men,
And, by strange sympathy, can spell
The thoughts the loved one will not tell!
And mine, in Lucy's blush, saw met
The hues of pleasure and regret ;

Pride mingled in the sigh her voice,

And shared with Love the crimson glow; Well pleased that thou art Arthur's choice, Yet shamed thine own is placed so low : Thou turn'st thy self-confessing cheek,

As if to meet the breeze's cooling;

Then, Lucy, hear thy tutor speak,

For Love, too, has his hours of schooling.

Too oft my anxious eye has spied
That secret grief thou fain wouldst hide,
The passing pang of humbled pride;
Too oft, when through the splendid hall,
The load-star of each heart and eye,
My fair one leads the glittering ball,
Will her stol'n glance on Arthur fall,
With such a blush and such a sigh !

"with wings as swift

As meditation or the thoughts of love.

Thou wouldst not yield, for wealth or rank,
The heart thy worth and beauty won,
Nor leave me on this mossy bank,

To meet a rival on a throne:
Why, then, should vain repinings rise,
That to thy lover fate denies
A nobler name, a wide domain,
A Baron's birth, a menial train,
Since Heaven assign'd him, for his part,
A lyre, a falchion, and a heart?


My sword-its master must be dumb;
But, when a soldier names my name,
Approach, my Lucy! fearless come,

Nor dread to hear of Arthur's shame.
My heart-'mid all yon courtly crew,
Of lordly rank and lofty line,
Is there to love and honour true,

That boasts a pulse so warm as mine ?1
They praised thy diamonds' lustre rare—

Match'd with thine eyes, I thought it faded;
They praised the pearls that bound thy hair-
I only saw the locks they braided;
They talk'd of wealthy dower and land,

And titles of high birth the token—
I thought of Lucy's heart and hand,
Nor knew the sense of what was spoken.
And yet, if rank'd in Fortune's roll,

I might have learn'd their choice unwise,
Who rate the dower above the soul,
And Lucy's diamonds o'er her eyes. 2


My lyre-it is an idle toy,

That borrows accents not its own, Like warbler of Colombian sky,

That sings but in a mimic tone. 3 Ne'er did it sound o'er sainted well, Nor boasts it aught of Border spell;

1 MS.-"That boasts so warm a heart as mine." MS." And Lucy's gems before her eyes."

3 The Mocking Bird.

4 MS-" Perchance, because it sung their praise." See Appendix, Note A.

"The Introduction, though by no means destitute of beauties, is decidedly inferior to the Poem: its plan or conception, is neither very ingenious nor very striking. The best passages are those in which the author adheres most strictly to his original: in those which are composed without having his eyes fixed or his model, there is a sort of affectation and straining at humour that will probably excite some feeling of disappointment, either because the effort is not altogether successful, or because it does not perfectly harmonize with the tone and colouring of the whole piece.

"The Bridal' itself is purely a tale of chivalry; a tale of Britain's isle, and Arthur's days, when midnight fairies daunced the maze.' The author never gives us a glance of ordinary life, or of ordinary personages. From the splendid court of Arthur, we are conveyed to the halls of enchantment, and, of course, are introduced to a system of manners, perfectly decided and appropriate, but altogether remote

Its strings no feudal slogan jour,
It heroes draw no broad claymore;
No shouting clans applauses raise,
Because it sung their father's praise ;*
On Scottish moor, or English down,
It ne'er was graced by fair renown;
Nor won,-best meed to minstrel true,-
One favouring smile from fair BUCCLEUCH!
By one poor streamlet sounds its tone,
And heard by one dear maid alone.


But, if thou bid'st, these tones shall tell
Of errant knight, and damozelle;
Of the dread knot a Wizard tied,
In punishment of maiden's pride,
In notes of marvel and of fear,

That best may charm romantic ear. For Lucy loves,—like COLLINS, ill-starred name. Whose lay's requital, was that tardy fame, Who bound no laurel round his living head, Should hang it o'er his monument when dead,For Lucy loves to tread enchanted strand, And thread, like him, the maze of fairy land; Of golden battlements to view the gleam, And slumber soft by some Elysian stream; Such lays she loves,—and, such my Lucy's choice, What other song can claim her Poet's voice ?

The Bridal of Triermain.



WHERE is the Maiden of mortal strain,
That may match with the Baron of Trierman ??

from those of this vulgar world."-Quarterly Review, July, 1813.

"The poem now before us consists properly of two distinct subjects, interwoven together something in the manner of the Last Minstrel and his Lay, in the first and most enchanting of Walter Scott's romances. The first is the history (real or imaginary, we persume not to guess which) of the author's passion, courtship, and marriage, with a young lady, his superior in rank and circumstances, to whom he relates at intervals the story which may be considered as the principal design of the work, to which it gives its title. This is a mode of introducing romantic and fabulous narratives which we very much approve, though there may be reason to fear that too frequent repetition may wear out its effect. It attaches a degree of dramatic interest to the work, and at the same time softens the absurdity of a Gothic legend, by throwing it to a greater distance from the relation and auditor, by representing it, not as a train of facts which actually took place, but as a mere fable, either adopted by the credulity of former times. or invented for the purposes of amusement, and the exercise of the imagination."-Critical Review, 1813.

7 See Appendix, Note. B


She must be lovely, and constant, and kind,
Holy and pure, and humble of mind,
Blithe of cheer, and gentle of mood,
Courteous, and generous, and noble of blood-
Lovely as the sun's first ray,

When it breaks the clouds of an April day;
Constant and true as the widow'd dove,
Kind as a minstrel that sings of love;
Pure as the fountain in rocky cave,
Where never sunbeam kiss'd the wave
Humble as maiden that loves in vain,
Holy as hermit's vesper strain;
Gentle as breeze that but whispers and dies,
Yet blithe as the light leaves that dance in its

Courteous as monarch the morn he is crown'd, Generous as spring-dews that bless the glad ground;

Noble her blood as the currents that met
In the vains of the noblest Plantagenet-
Such must her form be, her mood, and her

That shall match with Sir Roland of Triermain.


Sir Roland de Vaux he hath laid him to sleep, His blood it was fever'd, his breathing was deep.

He had been pricking against the Scot,
The foray was long, and the skirmish hot;
His dinted helm and his buckler's plight
Bore token of a stubborn fight.

All in the castle must hold them still,
Harpers must lull him to his rest,
With the slow soft tunes he loves the best,
Till sleep sink down upon his breast,
Like the dew on a summer hill.


It was the dawn of an autumn day;
The sun was struggling with frost-fog grey,
That like a silvery crape was spread
Round Skiddaw's dim and distant head,
And faintly gleam'd each painted pane
Of the lordly halls of Triermain,

When that Baron bold awoke.
Starting he woke, and loudly did call,
Rousing his menials in bower and hall,
While hastily he spoke.


"Hearken, my minstrels ! Which of ye all Touch'd his harp with that dying fall,

So sweet, so soft, so faint,

It seem'd an angel's whisper'd call
To an expiring saint ?

And hearken, my merry-men! What time or where

Did she pass, that maid with her heavenly brow,

With her look so sweet and her eyes so fair, And her graceful step and her angel air, And the eagle plume in her dark-brown hair, That pass'd from my bower e'en now ?"

V. Answer'd him Richard de Bretville; he Was chief of the Baron's minstrelsy,"Silent, noble chieftain, we

Have sat since midnight close, When such lulling sounds as the brooklet sings,

Murmur'd from our melting strings,

And hush'd you to repose.
Had a harp-note sounded here,
It had caught my watchful ear,
Although it fell as faint and shy
As bashful maiden's half-form'd sigh,

When she thinks her lover near."
Answer'd Philip of Fasthwaite tall,
He kept guard in the outer-hall,
"Since at eve our watch took post,
Not a foot has thy portal cross'd;

Else had I heard the steps, though low
And light they fell, as when earth receives,
In morn of frost, the wither'd leaves,
That drop when no winds blow."-



"Then come thou hither, Henry, my page,
Whom I saved from the sack of Hermitage,
When that dark castle, tower, and spire,
Rose to the skies a pile of fire,

And redden'd all the Nine stane Hill,
And the shrieks of death, that wildly broke
Through devouring flame and smothering smoke,

Made the warrior's heart-blood chill.
The trustiest thou of all my train,
My fleetest courser thou must rein,
And ride to Lyulph's tower,
And from the Baron of Triermain
Greet well that sage of power.
He is sprung from Druid sires,
And British bards that tuned their lyres
To Arthur's and Pendragon's praise,
And his who sleeps at Dunmailraise.1
Gifted like his gifted race,
He the characters can trace,
Graven deep in elder time
Upon Hellvellyn's cliffs sublime;
Sign and sigil well doth he know,
And can bode of weal and woe,

1 Dunmailraise is one of the grand passes from Cumberland into Westmoreland. It takes its naine from a cairn, or pile

of stones, erected, it is said, to the memory of Dunmall, the last King of Cumberland.

Of kingdoms' fall, and fate of wars,
From mystic dreams and course of stars.
He shall tell if middle earth
To that enchanting shape gave birth,
Or if 'twas but an airy thing,
Such as fantastic slumbers bring,

Framed from the rainbow's varying dyes,
Or fading tints of western skies. 1
For, by the Blessed Rood I swear,
If that fair form breathe vital air,
No other maiden by my side

Shall ever rest De Vaux's bride !"2


The faithful Page he mounts his steed,
And soon he cross'd green Irthing's mead,
Dash'd o'er Kirkoswald's verdant plain,
And Eden barr'd his course in vain.
He pass'd red Penrith's Table Round, 3
For feats of chivalry renown'd,

Left Mayburgh's mound4 and stones of power,
By Druids raised in magic hour,

And traced the Eamont's winding way,
Till Ulfo's lake 5 beneath him lay.


Onward he rode, the pathway still
Winding betwixt the lake and hill;
Till, on the fragment of a rock,
Struck from its base by lightning shock,

He saw the hoary Sage:

The silver moss and lichen twined,
With fern and deer-hair check'd and lined,
A cushion fit for age;

And o'er him shook the aspin-tree,
A restless rustling canopy.
Then sprung young Henry from his selle,
And greeted Lyulph grave,
And then his master's tale did tell,

And then for counsel crave.
The Man of Years mused long and deep,
Of time's lost treasures taking keep,
And then, as rousing from a sleep,
His solemn answer gave.


"That maid is born of middle earth,

And may of man be won, Though there have glided since her birth

Five hundred years and one. But where's the Knight in all the north, That dare the adventure follow forth,

1 "Just like Aurora, when she ties

A rainbow round the morning skies."-MOORE. "This powerful Baron required in the fair one whom he should nonour with his hand, an assemblage of qualities, that appears to us rather unreasonable even in those high days, profuse as they are known to have been of perfections now unattainable. His resolution, however, was not more inflexible than that of any mere modern youth; for he decrees that

So perilous to knightly worth,

In the valley of St. John? Listen, youth, to what I tell, And bind it on thy memory well; Nor muse that I commence the rhymne Far distant 'mid the wrecks of time. The mystic tale, by bard and sage, Is handed down from Merlin's age.

X. Lyulph's Tale.

"KING ARTHUR, has ridden from merry Carlisle When Pentecost was o'er :

He journey'd like errant-knight the while,
And sweetly the summer sun did smile
On mountain, moss, and moor.
Above his solitary track
Rose Glaramara's ridgy back,
Amid whose yawning gulfs the sun
Cast umber'd radiance red and dun,
Though never sunbeam could discern
The surface of that sable tarn, 6
In whose black mirror you may spy
The stars, while noontide lights the sky.
The gallant King he skirted still
The margin of that mighty hill;
Rock upon rocks incumbent hung,
And torrents, down the gullies flung,
Join'd the rude river that brawl'd on,
Recoiling now from crag and stone,
Now diving deep from human ken,
And raving down its darksome glen.
The Monarch judged this desert wild,
With such romantic ruin piled,
Was theatre by Nature's hand
For feat of high achievement plann'd.


"O rather he chose, that Monarch bold,
On vent'rous quest to ride,

In plate and mail, by wood and wold,
Than, with ermine trapp'd and cloth of gold,
In princely bower to bide;

The bursting crash of a foeman's spear
As it shiver'd against his mail,
Was merrier music to his ear

Than courtier's whisper'd tale:
And the clash of Caliburn more dear,
When on the hostile casque it rung,
Than all the lays

To their monarch's praise
That the harpers of Reged sung.

his nightly visitant, of whom at this time he could know nothing, but that she looked and sung like an angel, if of mortal mould, shall be his bride."-Quarterly Review.

3 See Appendix, Note C. 4 See Appendix, Note D. 6 Ulswater.

"The small lake called Scales-tarn lies so deeply embosomed in the recesses of the huge mountain called Saddleback, more poetically Glaramara, is of such great depth, and so com.

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