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There never toild a mortal arm,
It all was wrought by word and charm;
And I have heard my grandsire say,
That the wild clamour and affray
Of those dread artisans of hell,
Who labour'd under Hugo's spell,
Sounded as loud as ocean's war,
Among the caverns of Dunbar.

I know the cause, although untold, Why the King seeks his vassal's hold : Vainly from me my liege would know His kingdom's future weal or woe; But yet, if strong his arm and heart, His courage may do more than art.

XX. “ The King Lord Gifford's castle sought, Deep labouring with uncertain thought; Even then he muster'd all his host, To meet upon the western coast : For Norse and Danish galleys plied Their oars within the frith of Clyde. There floated Haco's banner trim, Above Norweyan warriors grim, Savage of heart, and large of limb; Threatening both continent and isle, Bute, Arran, Cunninghame, and Kyle. Lord Gifford, deep beneath the ground, Heard Alexander's bugle sound, And tarried not his garb to change, But, in his wizard habit strange, Came forth,--a quaint and fearful sight; His mantle lined with fox-skins white; His high and wrinkled forehead bore A pointed cap, such as of yore Clerks say that Pharaoh's Magi wore: His shoes were mark'd with cross and spell, Upon his breast a pentacle ;* His zone, of virgin parchment thin, Or, as some tell, of dead man's skin, Bore many a planetary sign, Combust, ard retrograde, and trine ;5 And in his hand he held prepared, A naked sword without a guard.

XXII.
« « Of middle air the demons proud,
Who ride upon the racking cloud,
Can read, in fix'd or wandering star,
The issue of events afar;
But still their sullen aid withhold,
Save when by mightier force controlld.
Such late I summond to my hall;
And though so potent was the call,
That scarce the deepest nook of hell
I deem'd a refuge from the spell,
Yet, obstinate in silence still,
The haughty demon mocks my skill.
But thou—who little know'st thy might,
As born upon that blessed night
When yawning graves, and dying groan,
Proclaim'd hell's empire overthrown,-
With untaught valour shalt compel
Response denied to magic spell.'_

Gramercy,' quoth our Monarch free,
• Place him but front to front with me,
And, by this good and honour'd brand,
The gift of Cæur-de-Lion's hand,
Soothly I swear, that, tide what tide,
The demon shall a buffet bide.'-_
His bearing bold the wizard view'd,
And thus, well pleased, his speech renew'd :-
• There spoke the blood of Malcolm !-mark :
Forth pacing hence, at midnight dark,
The rampart seek, whose circling crowno
Crests the ascent of yonder down:
A southern entrance shalt thou find;
There halt, and there thy bugle wind,
And trust thine elfin foe to see,
In guise of thy worst enemy:
Couch then thy lance, and spur thy steed-
Upon him! and Saint George to speed !
If he go down, thou soon shalt know
Whate'er those airy sprites can show ;-
If thy heart fail thee in the strife,
I am no warrant for thy life.'

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XXIII. “ Soon as the midnight bell did ring, Alone, and armd, forth rode the King

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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. The moor around is brown and bare,

Such signs may learned clerks explain,
The space within is 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 turu'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 your start.' 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 ;6 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, borse 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, Compell’d 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, 9 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,

A part, 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 190L. see Southey's Life of Nelson, chap. vii.

& See Appendix, Note 2 U.

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

To that encampment's haunted round."
2 MS.-" The soutbern gate our Monarch past."
3 Edward I., surnamned Longshanks
* MS._" To be fulfilled in times asar,

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 together.
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 his dagger Eustace drew,
His master Marmion's voice he knew.'

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.

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 ; : 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 :

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 falcon-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.

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.

Marmion.

INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FOURTH.

TO

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

Ashestiel, 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,

I MS." But, ere his dagger Eustace drew,

It spoke-Lord Marmion's voice he knew." 2 MS.-" Come down and saddle me my steed." MS.—"I would, to prove the omen right,

That I could meet this Elfin Knight!"

4 MS.-“ Dance to the wild waves' murmuring." 5 Yode, used by old poets for toent.

6 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.

Not even that clown could amplify,

At midnight now, the snowy plain
On this trite text, so long as I.

Finds sterner labour for the swain.
Eleven years we now may tell,
Since we have known each other we!l;

When red hath set the beamless sun,
Since, riding side by side, our hand

Through heavy vapours dark and dun; First drew the voluntary brand;'

When the tired ploughman, dry and waruri, And sure, through many a varied scene,

Hears, half asleep, the rising storm Unkindness never came between.

Hurling the hail, and sleeted rain, Away these winged years have flown,

Against the casement's tinkling pane; To join the mass of ages gone;

The sounds that drive wild deer, and fox, And though deep mark’d, like all below,

To shelter in the brake and rocks, With chequer'd shades of joy and woe;

Are warnings which the shepherd ask Though thou o'er realms and seas hast ranged, To dismal and to dangerous task. Mark'd cities lost, and empires changed,

Oft he looks forth, and hopes, in vain, While here, at home, my narrower ken

The blast may sink in mellowing rain; Somewhat of manners saw, and men ;

Till, dark above, and white below,5 Though varying wishes, hopes, and fears,

Decided drives the flaky snow, Fever'd the progress of these years,

And forth the hardy swain must go. Yet now, days, weeks, and months, but seem Long, with dejected look and whine, The recollection of a dream,

To leave the hearth his dogs repine; So still we glide down to the sea

Whistling and cheering them to aid, Of fathomless eternity.

Around his back he wreathes the plaid:

His flock he gathers, and he guides, Even now it scarcely seems a day,

To open downs, and mountain-sides, Since first I tuned this idle lay;

Where fiercest though the tempest blow, A task so often thrown aside,

Least deeply lies the drift below. When leisure graver cares denied,

The blast, that whistles o'er the fells, That now, November's dreary gale,

Stiffens his locks to icicles; Whose voice inspir'd my opening tale,

Oft he looks back, while streaming far, That same November gale once more

His cottage window seems a star,-? Whirls the dry leaves on Yarrow shore.

Loses its feeble gleam,-and then Their vex'd boughs streaming to the sky,

Turns patient to the blast again, Once more our naked birches sigh,

And, facing to the tempest's sweep, And Blackhouse heights, and Ettrick Pen,

Drives through the gloom his lagging sheep. Have donn'd their wintry shrouds again :

If fails his heart, if his limbs fail, And mountain dark, and flooded mead,

Benumbing death is in the gale: Bid us forsake the banks of Tweed.

His paths, his landmarks, all unknown, Earlier than wont along the sky,

Close to the hut, no more his own, Mix'd with the rack, the snow mists fly;

Close the aid he sought in vain, The shepherd, who in summer sun,

The morn may find the stiffen'd swain : 8 Had something of our envy won,

The widow sees, at dawning pale, As thou with pencil, I with pen,

His orphans raise their feeble wail; The features traced of hill and glen;

And, close beside him, in the snow, He who, outstretch'd the livelong day,

Poor Yarrow, partner of their woe, At ease among the heath-flowers lay,

Couches upon his master's breast,
View'd the light clouds with vacant look,

And licks his cheek to break his rest.
Or slumber'd o'er his tatter'd book,
Or idly busied him to guide

Who envies now the shepherd's lot,
His angle o'er the lessen'd tide ;-

His healthy fare, his rural cot,

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1 MS.-"Unsheath'd the voluntary brand."
9 MS." And noon-lide mist, and flooded mead."

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

And loud winds speak the storm begun." 8 MS.-"Till thickly drives the flaky snow,

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

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

But soon he loses it, -and then

Turns patient to his task again."
8 MS.-"The morn 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 perishing in

in Thomson's Winter.-See Appendix, Note 8 V.
• MS.--"Couches upon his frozen breast."

the snow,

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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 little-but 'tis all I have.

Changes not so with us, my Skene, Of human life the varying scene ? Our youthful summer oft we see a 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 twineJust 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."

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, 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, 19
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, 13
Who breathes the gales of Devon's shore,
The longer miss'd, bewail'd the more;

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

To Marion's blithely blinking eye." * 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." * MS.—"Callid forth his feeble age to arms." 6 MS.—“Scarce on thy bride her sire had smiled." & MS.—"But even the actions next his end,

Spoke the fond sirr and faithful frici.

7 See Appendix, Note 2 W.
8 MS.—"And nearer title may I plead."
9 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 suppressid the feud." 12 MS.—“When light we heard what now I bear."

18 Colin Mackenzie, Esq. of Portmore, one of the Principal Clerks of Session at Edinburgh, and through life an intimale friend of Sir Walter Scott, died on 10th September 1890).- EÐ

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