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Placed by a couch of Agra's silken loom,

XXII. And part by moonshine pale, and part was hid in And much of wild and wonderful gloom.

In these rude isles might fancy cull ;

For thither came, in times afar,

Stern Lochlin's sons of roving war,
Fair all the pageant—but how passing fair

The Norsemen, train'd to spoil and blood,
The slender form, which lay on couch of Indi Skill'd to prepare the raven's food;
O'er her white bosom stray'd her hazel hair, Kings of the main their leaders brave,

Pale her dear cheek, as if for love she pined ; Their barks the dragons of the wave.3
All in her night-robe loose she lay reclined,

And there, in many a stormy vale, And, pensive, read from tablet eburnine,

The Scald had told his wondrous tale ; Some strain that seem'd her inmost soul to find :- And many a Runic column high

That favour'd strain was Surrey's raptured line, Had witness'd grim idolatry. That fair and lovely form, the Lady Geraldine.

And thus had Harold, in his youth,

Learn'd many a Saga's rhyme uncouth,

Of that Sea-Snake, tremendous curl'd,
Slow roll’d the clouds upon the lovely form,

Whose monstrous circle girds the world ;* And swept the goodly vision all away

Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell So royal envy roll'd the murky storm

Maddens the battle's bloody swell ;
O'er my beloved Master's glorious day.

Of Chiefs, who, guided through the gloom
Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant ! Heaven repay By the pale death-lights of the tomb,
On thee, and on thy children's latest line,

Ransack'd the graves of warriors old,
The wild caprice of thy despotic sway,

Their falchions wrench'd from corpses' hold,
The gory bridal bed, the plunder'd shrine, Waked the deaf tomb with war's alarms,
The murder'd Surrey's blood, the tears of Geral- And bade the dead arise to arms !
dine !

With war and wonder all on flame,

To Roslin's bowers young Harold came,

Where, by sweet glen and greenwood tree,
Both Scots, and Southern chiefs, prolong

He learn'd a milder minstrelsy; Applauses of Fitztraver's song ;

Yet something of the Northern spell
These hated Henry's name as death,

Mix'd with the softer numbers well.
And those still held the ancient faith.
Then, from his seat, with lofty air,

Rose Harold, bard of brave St. Clair ;

HAROLD.7 St. Clair, who, feasting high at Home,

O listen, listen, ladies gay! Had with that lord to battle come.

No haughty feat of arms I tell ; Harold was born where restless seas

Soft is the note, and sad the lay,
Howl round the storm-swept Orcades;'

That mourns the lovely Rosabelle,
Where erst St. Clairs held princely sway
O'er isle and islet, strait and bay;-

-“ Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew! Still nods their palace to its fall,

And, gentle ladye, deign to stay! Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall !_9

Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
Thence oft he mark'd fierce Pentland rave,

Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.
As if grim Odin rode her wave ;
And watch'd, the whilst, with visage pale,

“ The blackening wave is edged with white : And throbbing heart, the struggling sail ;

To incho and rock the sea-mews fly; For all of wonderful and wild

The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite, Had rapture for the lonely child.

Whose screams forbode that wreck is nigh.

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1 See Appendix, Note 4 G. 9 Ibid. Note 4 H. strel's residence in the south. We prefer it, upon the whole,

to either of the two former, and shall give it entire to our 3 The chiefs of the takingr, or Scandinavian pirates, assumed the title of Sækonungr, or Sea-kings. Ships, in the readers, who will probably be struck with the poetical effect

of the dramatic form into which it is thrown, and of the inInflated language of the Scalds, are often termed the serpents direct description by which every thing is most expressively of the ocean.

told, without one word of distinct narrative."-JEFFREY. • See Appendix, Note 4 I. 5 lbid. Note 4 K.

8 “This was a family name in the house of St. Clair. Henry & See Appendix, Note 4 L.

St. Clair, the second of the line, married Rosabelle, fourth

daughter of the Earl of Stratherne. 7 "The third song is intended to represent that wild style of composition which prevailed among the bards of the North

9 See Appendix, Note 4 M. eru Continent, somewhat softened and adorned by the Min- 10 Inch, isle.


“ Last night the gifted Seer did view

A wet shroud swathed' round ladye gay; Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch :

Why cross the gloomy firth to-day!”

And each St. Clair was buried there,

With candle, with book, and with knell;
But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung,

The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.

“ 'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir

To-night at Roslin leads the ball, But that my ladye-mother there

Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

“ Tis not because the ring they ride,

And Lindesay at the ring rides well, But that my sire the wine will chide,

If 'tis not fill’d by Rosabelle.”

So sweet was Harold's piteous lay,

Scarce mark'd the guests the darken'd hall,
Though, long before the sinking day,

A wondrous shade involved them all:
It was not eddying mist or fog,
Drain'd by the sun from fen or bog;

Of no eclipse had sages told;
And yet, as it came on apace,
Each one could scarce his neighbour's face,

Could scarce his own stretch'd hand behold.
A secret horror check'd the feast,
And chill'd the soul of every guest ;
Even the high Dame stood half aghast,
She knew some evil on the blast;
The elvish page fell to the ground,
And, shuddering, mutter'd, “ Found! found !


O'er Roslin all that dreary night,

A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam; 'Twas broader than the watch-fire's light,

And redder than the bright moon-beam.

It glared on Roslin's castled rock,

It ruddied? all the copse-wood glen; 'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak,

And seen from cavern d Hawthornden.

Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud,

Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lie, Each Baron, for a sable shroud,

Sheathed in his iron panoply.

Seem'd all on fire within, around,

Deep sacristy3 and altar's pale; Shone every pillar foliage-bound,

And glimmer'd all the dead men's mail.*

Then sudden, through the darken'd air

A flash of lightning came;
So broad, so bright, so red the glare,

The castle seemd on flame.
Glanced every rafter of the hall,
Glanced every shield upon the wall;
Each trophied beam, each sculptured stone,
Were instant seen, and instant gone;
Full through the guests' bedazzled band
Resistless flash'd the levin-brand,
And fill'd the hall with smouldering smoke,
As on the elvish page it broke.

It broke, with thunder long and loud,
Dismay'd the brave, appalld the proud, --

From sea to sea the larum rung;
On Berwick wall, and at Carlisle withal,

To arms the startled warders sprung.
When ended was the dreadful roar,
The elvish dwarf was seen no more!

Blazed battlement and pinnet high,

Blazed every rose-carved buttress fairSo still they blaze, when fate is nigh

The lordly line of high St. Clair.

There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold

Lie buried within that proud chapelle; Each one the holy vault doth hold

But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle !

I First Edit. “A wet shroud roll'd."

lorers, when the interest, if any, was at an end. But what & First Edit. “It reddened," &c.

could I do? I had my book and my page still on my hands,

and must get rid of them at all events, Manage them as I 8 First Edit. “Both vaulted crypt," &c.

would, their catastrophe must have been insufficient to occupy 4 See Appendix, Note 4 N.

an entire canto; so I was fain to eke it out with the songs of 5 First Edit. “But the kelpie rung and the mermaids sung.'

the minstrels."-Scott to Miss Sercard-Lif, vol. ii. pp. 218,

222 B “I observe a great poetic climar, designed, doubtless, in the two last of these songs, from the first."-ANNA SEWARD. 7 “ The Goblin Page is, in our opinion, the capital defor

“We (G. Ellis and J. H. Frere) entertain some doubts about mity of the poem. We have already said the whole machinthe propriety of dwelling so long on the minstrel songs in the ery is useless ; but the magic studies of the lady, and the last canto. I say we doubt, because we are not aware of your rified tomb of Michael Scott, give occasion to so much adhaving ancient authority for such a practice ; but though the mirable poetry, that we can, on no account, consent to part attempt was a bold one, inasmuch as it is not usual to add a with them. The page, on the other hand, is a perpetual burwhole canto to a story which is already finished, we are far den to the poet and to the readers; it is an undignified and from wishing that you had left it unattempted."— Ellis to improbable fiction, which excites neither terror, admiration, Scotl. The sixth canto is altogether redundant; for the nor astonishment, but needlessly debases the strain of the poem should certainly have closed with the union of the whole work, and excites at once our incredulity and con


And monks should sing, and bells should toll,
All for the weal of Michael's soul.
While vows were ta’en, and prayers were pray'd,
'Tis said the noble dame, dismay'd,
Renounced, for aye, dark magic's aid.

Some heard a voice in Branksome Hall,
Some saw a sight, not seen by all;
That dreadful voice was heard by some,
Cry, with loud summons,“ GYLBIN, COME!”
And on the spot where burst the brand,

Just where the page had flung him down,
Some saw an arm, and some a hand,

And some the waving of a gown.
The guests in silence pray'd and shook,
And terror dimm'd each lofty look.
But none of all the astonish'd train
Was so dismay'd as Deloraine ;
His blood did freeze, his brain did burn,
'Twas fear'd his mind would ne'er return;

For he was speechless, ghastly, wan,
Like him of whom the story ran,

Who spoke the spectre-hound in Man.'
At length, by fits, he darkly told,
With broken hint, and shuddering cold-

That he had seen, right certainly,
A shape with amice wrapp'd around,
With a vrought Spanish baldric bound,

Like pilgrim from beyond the sea; And knew-but how it matter'd notIt was the wizard, Michael Scott.

Nought of the bridal will I tell,
Which after in short space befell;
Nor how brave sons and daughters fair
Bless'd Teviot's Flower, and Cranstoun's heir :
After such dreadful scene, 'twere vain
To wake the note of mirth again.
More meet it were to mark the day

Of penitence and prayer divine,
When pilgrim-chiefs, in sad array,

Sought Melrose' holy shrine.

The anxious crowd, with horror pale,
All trembling heard the wondrous tale;
No sound was made, no word was spoke,
Till noble Angus silence broke;

And he a solemn sacred plight
Did to St. Bride of Douglas make,
That he a pilgrimage would take
To Melrose Abbey, for the sake

Of Michael's restless sprite.
Then each, to ease his troubled breast,
To some bless'd saint his prayers address’d:
Some to St. Modan made their vows,
Some to St. Mary of the Lowes,
Some to the Holy Rood of Lisle,
Some to our Ladye of the Isle ;
Each did his patron witness make,
That he such pilgrimage would take,

With naked foot, and sackcloth vest,
And arms enfolded on his breast,

Did every pilgrim go ;
The standers-by might hear uneath,
Footstep, or voice, or high-drawn breath, .

Through all the lengthen'd row :
No lordly look, nor martial stride,
Gone was their glory, sunk their pride,

Forgotten their renown ;
Silent and slow, like ghosts they glide
To the high altar's hallow'd side,

And there they knelt them down :
Above the suppliant chieftains wave
The banners of departed brave;
Beneath the letter'd stones were laid
The ashes of their fathers dead ;
From many a garnish'd niche around,
Stern saints and tortured martyrs frown'd.

And slow up the dim aisle afar,
With sable cowl and scapular,
And snow-white stoles, in order due,
The holy Fathers, two and two,

In long procession came ;
Taper and host, and book they bare,

tempt. He is not a 'tricksy spirit,' like Ariel, with whom scenes of which he is the hero; and in reading these passages the imagination is irresistibly enamoured, nor a tiny monarch, we really could not help suspecting that they did not stand like Oberon, disposing of the destinies of mortals; he rather in the romance when the aged minstrel recited it to the royal appears to us to be an awkward sort of a mongrel between Charles and his mighty earls, but were inserted afterwards to Puck and Caliban, of a servile and brutal nature, and limited suit the taste of the cottagers among whom he begged his in his powers to the indulgence of petty malignity, and the in- bread on the border. We entreat Mr. Scott to enquire into friction of despicable injuries. Besides this objection to his the grounds of this suspicion, and to take advantage of any character, his existence has no support from any general or decent pretext he can lay hold of for purging the Lay' of established superstition. Fairies and devils, ghosts, angels, this ungraceful intruder.3 We would also move for a quo and witches, are creatures with whom we are all familiar, warranto against the Spirits of the River and the Mountain ; and who excite in all classes of mankind emotions with which for though they are come of a very high linenge, we do not we can easily be made to sympathize. But the history of know what lawful business they could have at Branksome Gilpin Horner was never believed out of the village where he Castle in the year 1550."-Jeffrey, is said to have made his appearance, and has no claims upon 1 See Appendix, Note 4 0. the credulity of those who were not originally of his acquain- 3 Ibid. Note 4 P. tance. There is nothing at all interesting or elegant in the

3 See the Author's Introduction to the Lay,' p. 4.

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