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Till, in his fall, with fateful sway,
If ever from an English heart,
Nor yet suppress the generous sigh,
With more than mortal powers endowl,
1 MS.-“ But still upon the holy day."
his presentation copies struck off with or without them, ac 2 In place of this couplet, and the ten lines which follow it, cording as they were for Whig or Tory hands. I mention the the original MS. of Marmion has only the following:- circumstance now only because I see by a letter of Heber's
that Scott had thought it worth his while to contradict the “If genius high and judgment sound,
absurd charge in the newspapers of the day."-LOCKHART, And wit that loved to play, not wound,
Life of Scott, vol. iii. p. 61.
3 MS.—" And party passion doff d aside."
4 “ The first epistolary effusion, containing a threnody on Could save one mortal of the herd
Nelson, Pitt, and Fox, exhibits a remarkable failure. We are From error-Fox had never err'd."
unwilling to quarrel with a poet on the score of politics; but “ While Scott was correcting a second proof of the passage
the manner in which he has chosen to praise the last of these where Pitt and Fox are mentioned together, at Stanmore great men, is more likely, we conceive, to give offence to his
admirers, than the most direct censure. The only deed for Priors, in April 1807, Lord Abercorn suggested that the compliment to the Whig statesman ought to be still further
which he is praised is for having broken off the negotiation for heightened, and several lines
peace; and for this act of firmness, it is added, Heaven re
warded him with a share in the honoured grave of Pitt! It is “For talents mourn untimely lost,
then said that his errors should be forgotten, and that he died When best employed, and wanted most, &c.—
a Briton--a pretty plain insinuation that, in the author's
opinion, he did not live one; and just such an encomium as were added accordingly. I have heard, indeed, that they he himself pronounces over the grave of his villain hero, came from the Marquis's own pen. Ballantyne, however, Marmion."--JEFFREY. from some inadvertence, had put the sheet to press before the 6 MS.--" Theirs was no common courtier race." revise, as fi is called, arrived in Edinburgh, and some few 6 MS.—" And force the pale moon from the sky." copics got abroad in which the additional couplets were 7 “ Reader! remember when thou wert a lad, omitted. A London journal (the Morning Chronicle) was Then Pitt was all; or, if not all, so much, stupid and malignant enough to josinuate that the author had
His very rival almost deem'd him such.
Drop upon Fox's grave the tear,
Prompt on unequal tasks to run, Thus Nature disciplines her son: Meeter, she says, for me to stray, And waste the solitary day, In plucking from yon fen the reed, And watch it floating down the Tweed; Or idly list the shrilling lay, With which the milkmaid cheers her way, Marking its cadence rise and fail, As from the field, beneath her pail, She trips it down the uneven dale: Meeter for me, by yonder cairn, The ancient shepherd's tale to learn ; Though oft he stop in rustic fear, Lest his old legends tire the ear Of one, who, in his simple mind, May boast of book-learn’d taste refined.
Rest, ardent Spirits ! till the cries Of dying Nature bid you rise; Not even your Britain's groans can pierce The leaden silence of your hearse; Then, O, how impotent and vain This grateful tributary strain ! Though not unmark'd from northern clime, Ye heard the Border Minstrel's rhyme: His Gothic harp bas o'er you rung; The Bard you deign'd to praise, your deathless names has
Stay yet, illusion, stay a while, My wilder'd fancy still beguile! From this high theme how can I part, Ere half unloaded is my heart ! For all the tears e'er sorrow drew, And all the raptures fancy knew, And all the keener rush of blood, That throbs through bard in bard-like mood, Were here a tribute inean and low, Though all their mingled streams could flowWoe, wonder, and sensation high, In one spring-tide of ecstasy :It will not be-it may not lastThe vision of enchantment's past : Like frostwork in the morning ray, The fancied fabric melts away;? Each Gothic arch, memorial-stone, And long, dim, lofty aisle, are gone; And, lingering last, deception dear, The choir's high sounds die on my ear. Now slow return the lonely down, The silent pastures bleak and brown, The farm begirt with copsewood wild, The gambols of each frolic child, Mixing their shrill cries with the tone Of Tweed's dark waters rushing on.
But thou, my friend, can't fitly tell, (For few have read romance so well,) How still the legendary lay O'er poet's bosom holds its sway; How on the ancient minstrel strain Time lays his palsied hand in vain; And how our hearts at doughty deeds, By warriors wrought in steely weeds, Still throb for fear and pity's sake; As when the Champion of the Lake Enters Morgana's fated house, Or in the Chapel Perilous, Despising spells and demons' force, Holds converse with the unburied corse ;3 Or when, Dame Ganore's grace to move, (Alas, that lawless was their love!) He sought proud Tarquin in his den, And freed full sixty knights; or when, A sinful man, and unconfessid, He took the Sangreal's holy quest, And, slumbering, saw the vision high, He might not view with waking eye.*
The mightiest chiefs of British song Scorn'd not such legends to prolong: They gleam through Spenser's elfin dream, And mix in Milton's heavenly theme; And Dryden, in immortal strain, Had raised the Table Round again, But that a ribald King and Court Bade him toil on, to make them sport;
We, we have seen the intellectual race
Of dust to dust;' but half its tale untold ;
Byron's Age of Bronze.
ROGERS' Pleasures of Memory. 2 MS.-" Though oft he stops to wonder still
That his old legends have the skill
Petchance to draw the sigh or tear." 3 See Appendix, Note A * Ibid, Note B. 5 lbid. Wote C
Demanded for their niggard pay,
And well in modern verse hast wove Fit for their souls, a looser lay,
Partenopex's mystic love:7 Licentious satire, song, and play;'
Hear, then, attentive to my lay, The world defrauded of the high design,
A knightly tale of Albion's elder day. Profaned the God-given strength, and marr'd the
Warm'd by such names, well may we then, Though dwindled sons of little men, Essay to break a feeble lance In the fair fields of old romance; Or seek the moated castle's cell, Where long through talisman and spell, While tyrants ruled, and damsels wept, Thy Genius, Chivalry, hath slept: There sound the harpings of the North, Till he awake and sally forth, On venturous quest to prick again, In all his arms, with all his train, Shield, lance, and brand, and plume, and scarf, Fay, giant, dragon, squire, and dwarf, And wizard with his wand of might, And errant maid on palfrey white. Around the Genius weave their spells, Pure Love, who scarce his passion tells; Mystery, half veil'd and half reveal’d; And Honour, with his spotless shield; Attention, with fix'd eye; and Fear, That loves the tale she shrinks to hear; And gentle Courtesy; and Faith, Unchanged by sufferings, time, or death; And Valour, lion-mettled lord, Leaning upon his own good sword.
I. Day set on Norham's castled steep, And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,
And Cheviot's mountains lone :
In yellow lustre shone. 10
Seem’d forms of giant height:
In lines of dazzling light.
Well bas thy fair achievement shown, A worthy meed may thus be won; Ytene's* oaks-beneath whose shade Their theme the merry minstrels made, Of Ascapart, and Bevis bold, And that Red King, who, while of old, Through Boldrewood the chase he led, By his loved huntsman's arrow bledYtene's oaks have heard again Renew'd such legendary strain ; For thou hast sung, how He of Gaul, That Amadis so famed in hall, For Oriana, foil'd in fight The Necromancer's felon might;
II. Saint George's banner, broad and gay, Now faded, as the fading ray
Less bright, and less, was flung; The evening gale had scarce the power To wave it on the Donjon Tower,
So heavily it hung. The scouts had parted on their search,
The Castle gates were barr’d; Above the gloomy portal arch, Timing his footsteps to a march,
The Warder kept his guard ; Low humming, as he paced along, Some ancient Border gathering song.
1 MS. - "Licentious song, lampoon, and play."
And quench'd the heroic, fire, and marr'd the
Profaned the heavenly I lofty line." Again, “ Profaned his God-given strength, and marr'd his lofty line." 3 In the MS. the rest of the passage stands as follows:“Around him wait with all their
scarce his passion tells ;
Attention, with fix'd eye; and Fear,
And Valour that despises death." • The New Foresi in Hampshire, anciently so called. 8 See Appendix, Note D. 6 William Rufus.
7 Partenopex de Blois, a poem, by W. S. Rose, Esq. was published in 1808. ---ED. 8 See Appendix, Note E.
9 Ibid, Yote F. 10 In the MS. the first line has “hoary keep;" the fourth " donjon steep;" the seventh “ rudy lustre."
11 MS.-." Eastern sky."
| His square-turu'd joints, and strength of bir.b,
Show'd him no carpet knight so trim,
In camps a leader sage.
O’er Horncliff-hill a plump of spears,
Beneath a pennon gay;
Before the dark array.
His bugle horn he blew;
For well the blast he knew;
Bring pasties of the doe,
And all our trumpets blow;
Lord MARMION waits below !”
Sped forty yeomen tall,
And let the drawbridge fall.
But more through toil than age;
| This word properly applies to a flight of water-fowl; but the prominence of the features; and the minion of a king is as 1s applied, by analogy, to a body of horse.
light and sinewy a cavalier as the Borderer--rather less fero“There is a knight of the North Country,
cious-more wicked, not less fit for the hero of a ballad, and Which leads a lusty plump of spears."
much more so for the hero of a regular poem."-GEORGE
Flodden Field. ELLIS. 2 MS." A welcome shot."
3 See Appendix, Note G.
6 Ibid. Note H. 3 MS.--" On his brown cheek an azure scar Bore token true of Bosworth war."
7 MS.-" One bore Lord Marmion's lance so strong, 4 "Marmion is to Deloraine what Tom Jones is to Joseph
Two led his sumpter-mules along, Andrews · the varnish of higher breeding nowhere diminishes
The third his palirey, when at need.
With falcons broider'd on each breast,
" Now, largesse, largesse, Lord Marmion, Attended on their lord's behest.
Knight of the crest of gold ! Each, chosen for an archer good,
A blazon'd shield, in battle won,
Ne'er guarded heart so bold.”
They marshall d him to the Castle-ball, And at their belts their quivers rung.
Where the guests stood all aside, Their dusty palfreys, and array,
And loudly flourish'd the trumpet-call, Show'd they had march'd a weary way.
And the heralds loudly cried,
_" Room, lordings, room for Lord Marmion, IX.
With the crest and helm of gold ! "Tis meet that I should tell you now,
Full well we know the trophies won How fairly arm’d, and order'd how,
In the lists at Cottiswold: The soldiers of the guard,
There, vainly Ralph de Wilton strove With musket, pike, and morion,
'Gainst Marmion's force to stand; To welcome noble Marmion,
To him he lost his lady-love, Stood in the Castle-yard;
And to the King his land. Minstrels and trumpeters were there,
Ourselves beheld the listed field, The gunner held his linstock yare,
A sight both sad and fair; For welcome-shot prepared:
We saw Lord Marmion pierce his shield, Enter'd the train, and such a clang,'
And saw his saddle bare; As then through all his turrets rang,
We saw the victor win the crest Old Norham never heard.
He wears with worthy pride ;
And on the gibbet-tree, reversed,
His foeman's scutcheon tied.
Place, nobles, for the Falcon-Knight! The trumpets flourish'd brave,
Room, room, ye gentles gay, The cannon from the ramparts glanced,
For him who conquer'd in the right,
Marmion of Fontenaye !"
XIII. for, as Lord Marmion crossid the court,
Then stepp'd to meet that noble Lord, He scatter'd angels round.
Sir Hugh the Heron bold, « Welcome to Norham, Marmion!
Baron of Twisell, and of Ford, Stout heart, and open hand!
And Captain of the Hold. Well dost thou brook thy gallant roan,
He led Lord Marmion to the deas, Thou flower of English land!”
Raised o'er the pavement high,
And placed him in the upper place-
They feasted full and high:
The whiles a Northern harper rude With silver scutcheon round their neck,
Chanted a rhyme of deadly feud, Stood on the steps of stone,
“ How the fierce Thirwalls, and Ridleys all,7 By which you reach the donjon gate,
Stout Willimondsuick, And there, with herald pomp and state,
And Hardriding Dick, They hail'd Lord Marmion ::
And Hughie of Haudon, and Will o' the Wall, They hail'd him Lord of Fontenaye,
Hare set on Sir Albany Featherstonhaugh, Of Lutterward, and Scrivelbaye,
And taken his life at the Deadman's-shaw." Of Tamworth tower and town ;3
Scantily Lord Marmion's ear could brook And he, their courtesy to requite,
The harper's barbarous lay; Gave them a chain of twelve marks' weight,
Yet much he praised the pains he took, All as he lighted down.
And well those pains did pay:
I MS" And when he enter'd, such a clang,
the scenes, in a degree which no general description could As through the echoing turrets rang."
suggest ; nor could we so completely enter the Castle with
Lord Marmion, were any circumstances of the description 9 “The most picturesque of all poets, Homer, is frequently omitted." - British Critic. minute, to the utmost degree, in the description of the dresses
3 See Appendix, Note I. 4 Ibid. Note K. and accoutrements of his personages. These particulars, often
5 MS.-_Cleave his shield." inconsiderable in themselves, have the effect of giving truth and identity to the picture, and assist the mind in realizing 6 See Appendix, Note L.
7 lbid. Note M.