Imágenes de páginas

Of all his guilt let him be shriven,
And smooth his path from earth to heaven!

In haste the holy Friar sped;-
His naked foot was dyed with red,
As through the lists he ran;
Unmindful of the shouts on high,
That hail'd the conqueror's victory,
He raised the dying man;

Loose waved his silver beard and hair,
As o'er him he kneel'd down in prayer;
And still the crucifix on high
He holds before his darkening eye;
And still he bends an anxious ear,
His faltering penitence to hear;

Still props him from the bloody sod,
Still, even when soul and body part,
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart,

And bids him trust in God! Unheard he prays;-the death-pang's o'er !1 Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.


As if exhausted in the fight,

Or musing o'er the piteous sight,

The silent victor stands;

His beaver did he not unclasp,

Mark'd not the shouts, felt not the grasp
Of gratulating hands.

When lo! strange cries of wild surprise,
Mingled with seeming terror, rise

Among the Scottish bands;
And all, amid the throng'd array,
In panic haste gave open way
To a half-naked ghastly man,
Who downward from the castle ran:
He cross'd the barriers at a bound,
And wild and haggard look'd around,
As dizzy, and in pain;
And all, upon the armed ground,
Knew William of Deloraine!
Each ladye sprung from seat with speed;
Vaulted each marshal from his steed;

"And who art thou," they cried, "Who hast this battle fought and won?" His plumed helm was soon undone

Cranstoun of Teviot-side!

For this fair prize I've fought and won,”— And to the Ladye led her son.


Full oft the rescued boy she kiss'd,
And often press'd him to her breast;
For, under all her dauntless show,
Her heart had throbb'd at every blow;

1 Orig." Unheard he prays;-'tis o'er! 'tis o'er!"

Yet not Lord Cranstoun deign'd she greet,
Though low he kneeled at her feet.
Me lists not tell what words were made,
What Douglas, Home, and Howard said-
-For Howard was a generous foe-
And how the clan united pray'd

The Ladye would the feud forego,
And deign to bless the nuptial hour

Of Cranstoun's Lord and Teviot's Flower.


She look'd to river, look'd to hill,

Thought on the Spirit's prophecy, Then broke her silence stern and still,

"Not you, but Fate, has vanquish'd me; Their influence kindly stars may shower On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower,

For pride is quell'd, and love is free.”— She took fair Margaret by the hand, Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand; That hand to Cranstoun's lord gave she:"As I am true to thee and thine,

Do thou be true to me and mine!

This clasp of love our bond shall be;
For this is your betrothing day,
And all these noble lords shall stay,
To grace it with their company."


All as they left the listed plain,
Much of the story she did gain;

How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine,

And of his page, and of the Book

Which from the wounded knight he took;
And how he sought her castle high,

That morn, by help of gramarye;
How, in Sir William's armor dight,
Stolen by his page, while slept the knight,
He took on him the single fight.
But half his tale he left unsaid,
And linger'd till he join'd the maid.—
Cared not the Ladye to betray
Her mystic arts in view of day;
But well she thought, ere midnight came,
Of that strange page the pride to tame,
From his foul hands the Book to save,
And send it back to Michael's grave.-
Needs not to tell each tender word
"Twixt Margaret and 'twixt Cranstoun's lord;
Nor how she told of former woes,

And how her bosom fell and rose,

While he and Musgrave bandied blows.—

Needs not these lovers' joys to tell :

One day, fair maids, you'll know them well.


William of Deloraine, some chance

Had waken'd from his deathlike trance;

And taught that, in the listed plain,
Another, in his arms and shield,
Against fierce Musgrave axe did wield,
Under the name of Deloraine.
Hence, to the field, unarm'd, he ran,
And hence his presence scared the clan,
Who held him for some fleeting wraith,'
And not a man of blood and breath.

Not much this new ally he loved,
Yet, when he saw what hap had proved,
He greeted him right heartilie:
He would not waken old debate,
For he was void of rancorous hate,

Though rude, and scant of courtesy;
In raids he spilt but seldom blood,
Unless when men-at-arms withstood,
Or, as was meet, for deadly feud.
He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow,
Ta'en in fair fight from gallant foe:

And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now,
When on dead Musgrave he look'd down;
Grief darken'd on his rugged brow,

Though half disguised with a frown;
And thus, while sorrow bent his head,
His foeman's epitaph he made.


"Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here!

I ween, my deadly enemy;

For, if I slew thy brother dear,

Thou slew'st a sister's son to me And when I lay in dungeon dark,

Of Naworth Castle, long months three,
Till ransom'd for a thousand mark,

Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee.
And, Musgrave, could our fight be tried,
And thou were now alive, as I,
No mortal man should us divide,
Till one, or both of us did die:
Yet rest thee God! for well I know
I ne'er shall find a nobler foe.
In all the northern counties here,
Whose word is Snaffle, spur, and spear,2
Thou wert the best to follow gear!
"Twas pleasure, as we look'd behind,
To see how thou the chase couldst wind,
Cheer the dark blood-hound on his way,
And with the bugle rouse the fray !3

1 The spectral apparition of a living person.
2. The lands that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear,
Have for their blazon had, the snaffle, spur, and spear."
Poly-Albion, Song 13.

See Appendix, Note 3 W.

"The style of the old romancers has been very success

I'd give the lands of Deloraine, Dark Musgrave were alive again.”4


So mourn'd he, till Lord Dacre's band
Were bowning back to Cumberland.
They raised brave Musgrave from the field,
And laid him on his bloody shield;
On levell❜d lances, four and four,
By turns, the noble burden bore.
Before, at times, upon the gale,
Was heard the Minstrel's plaintive wail;
Behind, four priests, in sable stole,
Sung requiem for the warrior's soul:
Around, the horsemen slowly rode;
With trailing pikes the spearmen trode;
And thus the gallant knight they bore,
Through Liddesdale to Leven's shore;
Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave,
And laid him in his father's grave.

THE harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song, The mimic march of death prolong;

Now seems it far, and now a-near,

Now meets, and now eludes the ear;
Now seems some mountain side to sweep,
Now faintly dies in valley deep;
Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail,
Now the sad requiem, loads the gale;
Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave,
Rung the full choir in choral stave.

After due pause, they bade him tell, Why he, who touch'd the harp so well, Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil, Wander a poor and thankless soil, When the more generous Southern Land Would well requite his skilful hand.

The Aged Harper, howsoe'er
His only friend, his harp, was dear,
Liked not to hear it rank'd so high
Above his flowing poesy:

Less liked he still, that scornful jeer
Misprised the land he loved so dear;
High was the sound, as thus again
The Bard resumed his minstrel strain.

fully imitated in the whole of this scene; and the speech of Deloraine, who, roused from his bed of sickness rushes into the lists, and apostrophizes his fallen enemy, brought to our recollection, as well from the peculiar turn of expression in its commencement, as in the tone of sentiments which it conveys, some of the funebres orationes of the Mort Arthur."— Critical Review.

The Lay of the Last Minstrel.



BREATHES there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land! Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd, As home his foosteps he hath turn'd, From wandering on a foreign strand! If such there breathe, go, mark him well; For him no Minstrel raptures swell; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concentred all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down

To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonor'd, and unsung.


O Caledonia! stern and wild,'
Meet nurse for a poetic child!

Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band,

That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me, of all bereft,

Sole friends thy woods and streams were left;
And thus I love them better still,
Even in extremity of ill.

By Yarrow's streams still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way;
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my wither'd cheek;"
Still lay my head by Teviot Stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.


Not scorn'd like me! to Branksome Hall
The Minstrels came, at festive call;
Trooping they came, from near and far,
The jovial priests of mirth and war;
Alike for feast and fight prepared,
Battle and banquet both they shared.

1 "The Lady of the Lake has nothing so good as the address to Scotland."-McINTOSH.

The preceding four lines now form the inscription on the monument of Sir Walter Scott in the market-place of Selkirk.-See Life, vol. x. p. 257.

Of late, before each martial clan,
They blew their death-note in the van,
But now, for every merry mate,
Rose the portcullis' iron grate;

They sound the pipe, they strike the string,
They dance, they revel, and they sing,
Till the rude turrets shake and ring.


Me lists not at this tide declare
The splendor of the spousal rite,
How muster'd in the chapel fair

Both maid and matron, squire and knight;
Me lists not tell of owches rare,
Of mantles green, and braided hair,
And kirtles furr'd with miniver;
What plumage waved the altar round,
How spurs and ringing chainlets sound;
And hard it were for bard to speak
The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek;
That lovely hue which comes and flies,
As awe and shame alternate rise!


Some bards have sung, the Ladye high
Chapel or altar came not nigh;
Nor durst the rites of spousal grace,
So much she fear'd each holy place.
False slanders these:-I trust right well
She wrought not by forbidden spell ;*
For mighty words and signs have power
O'er sprites in planetary hour:
Yet scarce I praise their venturous part,
Who tamper with such dangerous art.
But this for faithful truth I say,

The Ladye by the altar stood,
Of sable velvet her array,

And on her head a crimson hood,
With pearls embroider'd and entwined,
Guarded with gold, with ermine lined;
A merlin sat upon her wrist
Held by a leash of silken twist.


The spousal rites were ended soon:
"Twas now the merry hour of noon,
And in the lofty arched hall
Was spread the gorgeous festival.
Steward and squire, with heedful haste
Marshall'd the rank of every guest;
Pages, with ready blade, were there,
The mighty meal to carve and share:
O'er capon, heron-shew, and crane,

3 The line "Still lay my head," &c., was not in the first edition.-ED.

4 See Appendix, Note 3 X.

5 Ibid. Note 3 Y.

And princely peacock's gilded train,'
And o'er the boar-head, garnish'd brave,
And cygnet from St. Mary's wave;'
O'er ptarmigan and venison,
The priest had spoke his benison.
Then rose the riot and the din,
Above, beneath, without, within!
For, from the lofty balcony,

Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery:
Their clanging bowls old warriors quaff'd,
Loudly they spoke, and loudly laugh'd;
Whisper'd young knights, in,tone more mild,
To ladies fair, and ladies smiled.

The hooded hawks, high perch'd on beam,
The clamor join'd with whistling scream,
And flapp'd their wings, and shook their bells,
In concert with the stag-hounds' yells.
Round go the flasks of ruddy wine,
From Bordeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine;
Their tasks the busy sewers ply,
And all is mirth and revelry.


The Goblin Page, omitting still
No opportunity of ill,

Strove now, while blood ran hot and high,
To rouse debate and jealousy;
Till Conrad, Lord of Wolfenstein,
By nature fierce, and warm with wine,
And now in humor highly cross'd,
About some steeds his band had lost,
High words to words succeeding still,
Smote, with his gauntlet, stout Hunthill;
A hot and hardy Rutherford,
Whom men call Dickon Draw-the-sword.
He took it on the page's saye,
Hunthill had driven these steeds away.
Then Howard, Home, and Douglas rose,
The kindling discord to compose:
Stern Rutherford right little said,
But bit his glove, and shook his head.-
A fortnight thence, in Inglewood,
Stout Conrade, cold, and drench'd in blood,
His bosom gored with many a wound,
Was by a woodman's lyme-dog found;
Unknown the manner of his death,

1 See Appendix, Note 3 Z.

* There are often flights of wild swans upon St. Mary's Lake, at the head of the river Yarrow. See Wordsworth's Yarrow Visited.

"The swan on still St. Mary's Lake

Floats double, swan and shadow."-ED.

* See Appendix, Note 4 A.

4 Ibid. Note 4 B.

5 The person bearing this redoutable nom de guerre was an Eliot, and resided at Thorleshope, in Liddesdale. He occurs in the list of Border riders, in 1597.

See Appendix, Note 4 C.

Gone was his brand, both sword and sheath;
But ever from that time, 'twas said,
That Dickon wore a Cologne blade.


The dwarf, who fear'd his master's eye
Might his foul treachery espie,
Now sought the castle buttery,
Where many a yeoman, bold and free,
Revell'd as merrily and well

As those that sat in lordly selle.
Watt Tinlinn, there, did frankly raise
The pledge to Arthur Fire-the-Braes;
And he, as by his breeding bound,
To Howard's merry-men sent it round.
To quit them, on the English side,
Red Roland Forster loudly cried,
"A deep carouse to yon fair bride!"
At every pledge, from vat and pail,
Foam'd forth in floods the nut-brown ale;
While shout the riders every one:
Such day of mirth ne'er cheer'd their clan,
Since old Buccleuch the name did gain,
When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en."


The wily page, with vengeful thought,
Remember'd him of Tinlinn's yew,
And swore, it should be dearly bought

That ever he the arrow drew.
First, he the yeoman did molest,
With bitter gibe and taunting jest;
Told, how he fled at Solway strife,
And how Hob Armstrong cheer'd his wife;
Then, shunning still his powerful arm,
At unawares he wrought him harm;
From trencher stole his choicest cheer,
Dash'd from his lips his can of beer;
Then, to his knee sly creeping on,
With bodkin pierced him to the bone:
The venom'd wound, and festering joint,
Long after rued that bodkin's point.
The startled yeoman swore and spurn'd,
And board and flagons overturn'd.'
Riot and clamor wild began;
Back to the hall the Urchin ran;

the chapel, and the description of the subsequent feast, in which the hounds and hawks are not the least important personages of the drama, are again happy imitations of those authors from whose rich but unpolished ore Mr. Scott has wrought much of his most exquisite imagery and description. A society, such as that assembled in Branxholm Castle, inflamed with national prejudices, and heated with wine, seems to have contained in itself sufficient seeds of spontaneous disorder; but the goblin page is well introduced, as applying a torch to this mass of combustibles. Quarrels, highly characteristic of Border manners, both in their cause and the manner in which they are supported, ensue, as well among the lordly guests, as the

7 “The appearance and dress of the company assembled in yeomen assembled in the buttery.”—Critical Review, 1805.

Took in a darkling nook his post,
And grinn'd and mutter'd, "Lost! lost! lost!"


By this, the Dame, lest farther fray
Should mar the concord of the day,
Had bid the Minstrels tune their lay.
And first stepp'd forth old Albert Græme,
The Minstrel of that ancient name:1
Was none who struck the harp so well,
Within the Land Debateable;
Well friended, too, his hardy kin,
Whoever lost, were sure to win;

They sought the beeves that made their broth,
In Scotland and in England both.
In homely guise, as nature bade,
His simple song the Borderer said.



It was an English ladye bright,

(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,) And she would marry a Scottish knight, For Love will still be lord of all.

Blithely they saw the rising sun,

When he shone fair on Carlisle wall; But they were sad ere day was done, Though Love was still the lord of all.

Her sire gave brooch and jewel fine,

When the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall; Her brother gave but a flask of wine, For ire that Love was lord of all.

For she had lands, both meadow and lea,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,
And he swore her death, ere he would see
A Scottish knight the lord of all!


That wine she had not tasted well,

(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,) When dead, in her true love's arms, she fell, For Love was still the lord of all!

He pierced her brother to the heart,

Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall: So perish all would true love part,

That Love may still be lord of all!

And then he took the cross divine,

(Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)

1 See Appendix, Note 4 D.

2" It is the author's object, in these songs, to exemplify the different styles of ballad narrative which prevailed in this island at different periods, or in different conditions of society. The first (ALBERT's) is conducted upon the rude and simple model of the old Border ditties, and produces its effect by the

And died for her sake in Palestine, So Love was still the lord of all.

Now all ye lovers, that faithful prove,

(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,) Pray for their souls who died for love, For Love shall still be lord of all!


As ended Albert's simple lay,

Arose a bard of loftier port; For sonnet, rhyme, and roundelay,

Renown'd in haughty Henry's court:
There rung thy harp, unrivall'd long,
Fitztraver of the silver song!

The gentle Surrey loved his lyre-
Who has not heard of Surrey's fame?

His was the hero's soul of fire,

And his the bard's immortal name,
And his was love, exalted high
By all the glow of chivalry.


They sought, together, climes afar,
And oft, within some olive grove,
When even came with twinkling star,

They sung of Surrey's absent love.
His step the Italian peasant stay'd,

And deem'd, that spirits from on high, Round where some hermit saint was laid, Were breathing heavenly melody; So sweet did harp and voice combine, To praise the name of Geraldine.


Fitztraver! O what tongue may say

The pangs thy faithful bosom knew, When Surrey, of the deathless lay,

Ungrateful Tudor's sentence slew?
Regardless of the tyrant's frown,

His harp call'd wrath and vengeance down.
He left, for Naworth's iron towers,
Windsor's green glades, and courtly bowers,
And faithful to his patron's name,
With Howard still Fitztraver came;
Lord William's foremost favorite he,
And chief of all his minstrelsy.


'Twas All-soul's eve, and Surrey's heart beat high;

He heard the midnight bell with anxious start, direct and concise narrative of a tragical occurrence."-JEF


3 See Appendix, Note 4 E. 4 Ibid. Note 4 F.

First Edit." So sweet their harp and voices join."
The second song, that of Fitztraver, the bard of the ac-

« AnteriorContinuar »