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Thy friendship thus thy judgment wronging, Then rise those crags, that mountam tower, With praises not to me belonging,
Which charm'd my fancy's wakening hour. In task more meet for mightiest powers,
Though no broad river swept along, Wouldst thou engage my thriftless hours.
To claim, perchance, heroic song; But say, my Erskine, hast thou weigh'd
Though sigh'd no groves in summer gale, That secret power by all obey'd,
To prompt of love a softer tale; Which warps not less the passive mind,
Though scarce a puny streamlet's speed Its source conceal'd or undefined;
Claim'd homage from a shepherd's reed; Whether an impulse, that has birth
Yet was poetic impulse given, Soon as the infant wakes on earth,
By the green hill and clear blue heaven. One with our feelings and our powers,
It was a barren scene, and wild, And rather part of us than ours;
Where naked cliffs were rudely piled; Or whether fitlier term’d the sway
But ever and anon between Of habit, form'd in early day!
Lay velvet tufts of loveliest green; Hlowe'er derived, its force confest
And well the lonely infant knew Rules with despotic sway the breast,
Recesses where the wall-flower grew, And drags us on by viewless chain,
And honey-suckle loved to crawl While taste and reason plead in vain.'
Up the low crag and ruin'd wall. Look east, and ask the Belgian why,
I deem'd such nooks the sweetest shade Beneath Batavia's sultry sky,
The sun in all its round survey'd; He seeks not eager to inhale
And still I thought that shatter'd tower The freshness of the mountain gale,
The mightiest work of human power ; Content to rear his whiten'd wall
And marvell’d as the aged hind Beside the dank and dull canal ?
With some strange tale bewitch'd my mind, He'll say, from youth he loved to see
Of forayers, who, with headlong force, The white sail gliding by the tree.
Down from that strength had spurr'd their horse, Or see yon weatherbeaten hind,
Their southern rapine to renew, Whose sluggish herds before him wind,
Far in the distant Cheviots blue, Whose tatter'd plaid and rugged cheek
And, home returning, fill d the hall His northern clime and kindred speak;
With revel, wassel-rout, and brawl.5 Through England's laughing meads he goes, Methought that still with trump and clang, And England's wealth around him flows;
The gateway's broken arches rang; Ask, if it would content him well,
Methought grim features, seam'd with scars, At ease in those gay plains to dwell,
Glared through the window's rusty bars, Where hedge-rows spread a verdant screen,
And ever, by the winter hearth, And spires and forests intervene,
Old tales I heard of woe or mirth, And the neat cottage peeps between !
Of lovers' slights, of ladies' charms, No ! not for these will he exchange
Of witches' spells, of warriors' arms; His dark Lochaber's boundless range:
Of patriot battles, won of old Not for fair Devon's meads forsake
By Wallace wight and Bruce the bold; Bennevis grey, and Garry's lake.
Of later fields of feud and fight,
When, pouring from their Highland height, Thus while I ape the measure wild
The Scottish clans, in headlong sway, Of tales that charm'd me yet a child,
Had swept the scarlet ranks away. Rude though they be, still with the chime
While stretch'd at length upon the floor, Return the thoughts of early time;
Again I fought each combat o'er, And feelings, roused in life's first day,
Pebbles and shells, in order laid, Glow in the line, and prompt the lay.
The mimic ranks of war display'd ;
1 "As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death;
“ Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse; Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
Pope's Essay on Man.-ED. 2 MS.-" The lonely hill, the rocky tower,
That caught attention's wakening hour." 8 MS.-" Recesses where the woodbine grew."
* Smailholm Tower, in Berwickshire, the scene of the
Again my sport the combat tells-
And onward still the Scottish Lion bore,
Still, with vain fondness, could I trace,
By glen and streamlet winded still,
For me, thus nurtured, dost thou ask
On through the hamlet as they paced,
Lord Marmion drew his rein:
Might well relieve his train.
The Wastel, or kun.
1. The livelong day Lord Marmion rode: The mountain path the Palmer show'd,
Bore wealth of winter eheer;
1 See notes on The Eve of St. John.
minister of Mertoun, in which parish Smailholm Tower is • Robert Scott of Sandyknows, the grandfather of the Poet. situated.
3 Upon revising the Poem, it seems proper to mention that * MS.-" They might not choose the easier road. the lines,
For many a forayer was abroad."
6 See Notes to “ The Bride of Lammermoor." Waverley “Whose doom discording neighbours sought,
Novels, vols. xiii, and riv. Content with equity unbought :"
1 The village of Gifford lies about four miles from Haddingbave been unconsciously borrowed from a passage in Dryden's ton: close to it is Yester House, the seat of the Marquis of beautiful epistle to John Driden of Chesterton.—1808. Note Tweeddale, and a little farther up the stream, which descends to Second Edit
from the hills of Lammermoor, are the remains of the old • MS.-" The student, gentleman, and maint."
castle of the family. The reverend gentleman alluded to was Mr. Jobo Martin, 8 See Appendix, Note 2 N.
How pale his cheek, his eye how bright,
Glances beneath his cowl !
Endure that sullen scowl.”
Of sea-fowl dried, and solands store,
And savoury haunch of deer.
Were tools for bousewives' hand; Nor wanted, in that martial day, The implements of Scottish fray,
The buckler, lance, and brand. Beneath its shade, the place of state, On oaken settle Marmion sate, And view'd around the blazing hearth. His followers mix in noisy mirth; Whom with brown ale, in jolly tide, From ancient vessels ranged aside, Full actively their host supplied.
IV. Theirs was the glee of martial breast, And laughter theirs at little jest; And oft Lord Marmion deign'd to aid, And mingle in the mirth they made; For though, with men of high degree, The proudest of the proud was he, Yet, train'd in camps, he knew the art To win the soldier's hardy heart. They love a captain to obey, Boisterous as March, yet fresh as May; With open hand, and brow as free, Lover of wine and minstrelsy; Ever the first to scale a tower, As venturous in a lady's bower:Such buxom chief shall lead his host From India's fires to Zembla's frost.
VIII. “ So please you,” thus the youth rejoind, « Our choicest minstrel's left behind. Ill may we hope to please your ear, Accustom'd Constant's strains to hear. The harp full deftly can he strike, And wake the lover's lute alike; To dear Saint Valentine, no thrush Sings livelier from a spring-tide bush, No nightingale her love-lorn tune More sweetly warbles to the moon. Woe to the cause, whate'er it be, Detains from us his melody, Lavish'd on rocks, and billows stern, Or duller monks of Lindisfarne. Now must I venture, as I may, To sing his favourite roundelay.”
V. Resting upon his pilgrim staff,
Right opposite the Palmer stood; His thin dark visage seen but half,
Half hidden by his hood. Still fix'd on Marmion was his look, Which he, who ill such gaze could brook,
Strove hy a frown to quell; But not for that, though more than once Full met their stern encountering glance,'
The Palmer's visage fell.
IX. A mellow voice Fitz-Eustace had, The air he chose was wild and sad; Such have I heard, in Scottish land, Rise from the busy harvest band, When falls before the mountaineer, On Lowland plains, the ripen'd ear. Now one shrill voice the notes prolong, Now a wild chorus swells the song: Oft have I listen’d, and stood still, As it came soften'd up the hill, And deem'd it tbe lament of men Who languish'd for their native glen; And thought how sad would be such sound On Susquehana's swampy ground, Kentucky's wood-encumber'd brake, Or wild Ontario's boundless lake, Where heart-sick exiles, in the strain, Recall'd fair Scotland's hills again!
Their glee and game declined.
Thus whisper'd forth his mind:« Saint Mary! saw'st thou e'er such sight?
Song. Where shall the lover rest,
Whom the fates sever
MS.-" Full met their eyes' encountering glance."
from his true maiden's breast,
And rested with his head a space, Parted for ever?
Reclining on his hand. Where, through groves deep and high,
His thoughts I scan not; but I ween, Sounds the far billow,
That, could their import have been seen, Where early violets die,
The meanest groom in all the hall, Under the willow.
That e'er tied courser to a stall,
Would scarce bave wish'd to be their prey, CHORUS.
For Lutterward and Fontenaye. Eleu loro, &c. Soft shall be his pillow.
XIII. There, through the summer day,
High minds, of native pride and force, Cool streams are laving;
Most deeply feel thy pangs, Remorse! There, while the tempests sway,
Fear, for their scourge, mean villains have, Scarce are boughs waving;
Thou art the torturer of the brave! There, thy rest shalt thou take,
Yet fatal strength they boast to steel Parted for ever,
Their minds to bear the wounds they feel, Never again to wake,
Even while they writhe beneath the smart Never, O never !
Of civil conflict in the heart.
And, smiling, to Fitz-Eustace said,-
“ Is it not strange, that, as ye sung,
Seem'd in mine ear a death-peal rung,
Such as in nunneries they toll
For some departing sister's soul? He, the deceiver,
Say, what may this portend?”— Who could win maiden's breast,
Then first the Palmer silence broke, Ruin, and leave her?
(The livelong day he had not spoke,) In the lost battle,
« The death of a dear friend.”ı Borne down by the flying, Where mingles war's rattle
XIV. With groans of the dying.
Marmion, whose steady heart and eye
Ne'er changed in worst extremity;
Marmion, whose soul could scantly brook, Eleu loro, &c. There shall he be lying.
Even from his King, a haughty look ;?
Whose accent of command controllid, Her wing shall the eagle flap
In camps, the boldest of the boldO'er the false-hearted;
Thought, look, and utterance fail'd him now, His warm blood the wolf shall lap,
Fall’n was his glance, and flush'd his brow: Ere life be parted.
For either in the tone, Shame and dishonour sit
Or something in the Palmer's look, By his grave ever;
So full upon his conscience strook, Blessing shall hallow it,
That answer he found none.
Thus oft it haps, that when within
A feather daunts the brave;
A fool's wild speech confounds the wise,
And proudest princes vail their eyes
Before their meanest slave.
Well might he falter !By his aid It fell on Marmion's ear,
Was Constance Beverley betray'l. And plain'd as if disgrace and ill,
Not that he augurd of the doom, And shameful death, were near.
Which on the living closed the tomb: He drew his mantle past his face,
But, tired to hear the desperate maids Between it and the band,
Threaten by turns, beseech, upbraid;
See Appendix, Note 2 0. * MS." Marmion, whose pride
Even from his King, a scornful look. 3 MS.--" But tired to hear the furious maid."
Whose haughty son®}could never brook,
And wroth, because in wild despair,'
| And, pent within the narrow cell, Sive practised on the life of Clare;
How will her spirit chafe and swell! lis fugitive the Church he gave,
How brook the stern monastic laws! Though not a victim, but a slave;
The penance how-and I the cause ! And deem'd restraint in convent strange
Vigil and scourge-perchance even worse!"Would hide her wrongs, and her revenge.
And twice be rose to cry, “To horse!”Himself, proud Henry's favourite peer,
And twice his Sovereign's mandate came, Held Romish thunders idle fear,
Like damp upon a kindling flame; Secure his pardon he might hold,
And twice he thought, “ Gave I not charge For some slight mulot of penance-gold.
She should be safe, though not at large!
They durst not, for their island, shred
While thus in Marmion's bosom strove To mutter what he thought and heard:
Repentance and reviving love, Woe to the vassal, who durst pry
| Like whirlwinds, whose contending sway Into Lord Marmion's privacy!
I've seen Loch Vennachar obey,
Their Host the Palmer's speech had
heard, His conscience slept-be deem'd her well,
And, talkative, took up the word: And safe secured in distant cell;
“Ay, reverend Pilgrim, you, who stray But, waken’d by her favourite lay,
From Scotland's simple land away, And that strange Palmer's boding say,
To visit realms afar, That fell so ominous and drear,
Full often learn the art to know Full on the otject of his fear,
Of future weal, or future woe, To aid remorse's venom'd throes,
By word, or sign, or star; Dark tales of convent-vengeance rose;
Yet might a knight his fortune hear, And Constance, late betray'd and scorn'd,
If, knight-like, he despises fear, All lovely on his soul return'd;
Not far from hence;—if fathers old Lovely as when, at treacherous call,
Aright our hamlet legend told."She left her convent's peaceful wall,
These broken words the menials move, Crimson'd with shame, with terror mute,
(For marvels still the vulgar love,) Dreading alike escape, pursuit,
And, Marmion giving license cold, Till love, victorious o'er alarms,
His tale the host thus gladly told :-
The Hast's Tale.
Since Alexander fill'd our throne, Since years of guilt, and of disguise,
(Third monarch of that warlike name,) Have steel'd her brow, and arm'd her eyes !
And eke the time when here he came No more of virgin terror speaks
To seek Sir Hugo, then our lord: The blood that mantles in her cheeks ;
A braver never drew a sword; Fierce, and unfeminine, are there,
A wiser never, at the hour Frenzy for joy, for grief despair;
Of midnight, spoke the word of power: And I the cause—for whom were given
The same, whom ancient records call Her peace on earth, her hopes in heaven!
The founder of the Goblin-Hall." Would,” thought he, as the picture grows,
I would, Sir Knight, your longer stay “ I on its stalk had left the rose !
Gave you that cavern to survey. Oh, why should man's success remove
Of lofty roof, and ample size, The very charms that wake his love!
Beneath the castle deep it lies: Her convent's peaceful solitude
To hew the living rock profound, Is now a prison harsh and rude;
The floor to pave, the arch to round,
1 MS." Incensed, because in wild despair."
“ Since fiercer passions wild and high,
And I the cause—for whom were given
And chafe within the narrow cell!"