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For lady's suit, and minstrel's strain,
XIV. Now, good Lord Marmion,” Heron says,
“ Of your fair courtesy, I pray you bide some little space
In this poor tower with me. Here may you keep your arms from rust,
May breathe your war-horse well;
Or feat of arms befell:
And love to couch a spear;
That have such neighbours near.
Our northern wars to learn;
Lord Marmion's brow grew stern.
He roll’d his kindling eye,
Yet made a calm reply: “ That boy thou thought'st so goodly fair,
He might not brook the northern air. More of his fate if thou wouldst learn,
I left him sick in Lindisfarn : 4 Enough of him.-But, Heron, say, Why does thy lovely lady gay Disdain to grace the hall to-day? Or has that dame, so fair and sage, Gone on some pious pilgrimage?”— He spoke in covert scorn, for fame Whisper'd light tales of Heron's dame.5
Careless the Knight replied,
Delights in cage to bide:
And many a darksome tower;
In fair Queen Margaret's bower.
Our falcon on our glove;
For dame that loves to rove?
And gave a squire the sign;
And crown'd it high in wine. “Now pledge me here, Lord Marmion:
But first I pray thee fair, Where hast thou left that page of thine, That used to serve thy cup of wine,
Whose beauty was so rare? When last in Raby towers we met,
The boy I closely eyed,
With tears he fain would hide:
Or saddle battle-steed;
The slender silk to lead :
His bosom-when he sigh’d,
Could scarce repel its pride!
To serve in lady's bower ?
A gentle paramour ?”
XVIII. “ Nay, if with Royal James's bride The lovely Lady Heron bide, Behold me here a messenger, Your tender greetings prompt to bear; For, to the Scottish court address’d, I journey at our King's behest, And pray you, of your grace, provide For me, and mine, a trusty guide. I have not ridden in Scotland since James back’d the cause of that mock prince, Warbeck, that Flemish counterfeit, Who on the gibbet paid the cheat. Then did I march with Surrey's power, What time we razed old Ayton tower,"_8
1 MS.--" And let me
thee fair." 9 MS.-" To rub a shield, or sharp a brand." a MS.-" Lord Marmion ill such jest could brook,
He roll'd his kindling eye;
And answer'd stern and high :
So fair of hand and skin,
And of thy lady's kin.
That youth, so like a paramour,
Who wept for shame and pride,
Sir Ralph de Wilton's bride."" 4 See Note 2 B, canto ii stanza 1. * MS.--" Whisper'd strange things of Heron's dame.' 6 MS.--" The captain gay replied." 7 MS. -"She'll stoop again when tired her wing."
See Appendix, Note N.
XIX. For such-like need, my lor!, I trow, Norham can find you guides enow; For here be some have prick'd as far, On Scottish ground, as to Dunbar; Have drunk the monks of St. Bothan’s ale, And driven the beeves of Lauderdale; Harried the wives of Greenlaw's goods, And given them light to set their boods."
Since, on the vigil of St. Bede,
XX. “ Now, in good sooth,” Lord Marmion
cried, “ Were I in warlike wise to ride, A better guard I would not lack, Than your stout forayers at my back; But, as in form of peace I go, A friendly messenger, to know, Why through all Scotland, near and far, Their King is mustering troops for war, The sight of plundering Border spears Might justify suspicious fears, And deadly feud, or thirst of spoil, Break out in some unseemly broil: A herald were my fitting guide ; Or friar, sworn in peace to bide; Or pardoner, or travelling priest, Or strolling pilgrim, at the least.”
XXII. Young Selby, at the fair hall-board, Carved to his uncle and that lord, And reverently took up the word. “ Kind uncle, woe were we each one, If harm should hap to brother John. He is a man of mirthful speech, Can many a game and gambol teach: Full well at tables can he play, And sweep at bowls the stake away. None can a lustier carol bawl, The needfullest among us all, When time hangs heavy in the hall, And snow comes thick at Christmas tide, And we can neither hunt, nor ride A foray on the Scottish side. The vow'd revenge of Bughtrig rude, May end in worse than loss of hood. Let Friar John, in safety, still In chimney-corner snore his fill, Roast hissing crabs, or flagons swill: Last night, to Norham there came one, Will better guide Lord Marmion.”— “ Nephew," quoth Heron,“ by my fay, Well hast thou spoke; say forth thy say."
XXI. The Captain mused a little space, And pass'd his hand across his face. _“ Fain would I find the guide you want, But ill may spare a pursuivant, The only men that safe can ride Mine errands on the Scottish side: And though a bishop built this fort, Few holy brethren here resort; Even our good chaplain, as I ween, Since our last siege, we have not seen: The mass he might not sing or say, Upon one stinted meal a-day; So, safe he sat in Durham aisle, And pray'd for our success the while. Our Norham vicar, woe betide, Is all too well in case to ride; The priest of Shoreswood? ---he could rein The wildest war-horse in your train; But then, no spearman in the hall Will sooner swear, or stab, or brawl. Friar John of Tillmouth were the man: A blithesome brother at the can, A welcome guest in hall and bower, He knows each castle, town, and tower, In which the wine and ale is good, "Twixt Newcastle and Holy-Rood. But that good man, as ill befalls, Hath seldom left our castle walls,
XXIII. “ Here is a holy Palmer come, From Salem first, and last from Rome; One, that hath kiss'd the blessed tomb, And visited each holy shrine, In Araby and Palestine; On hills of Armenie hath been, Where Noah's ark may yet be seen; By that Red Sea, too, hath he trod, Which parted at the prophet's rod; In Sinai's wilderness he saw The Mount, where Israel heard the law, 'Mid thunder-dint, and flashing levin, And shadows, mists, and darkness, given. He shows Saint James's cockle-shell, Of fair Montserrat, too, can tell;
And of that Grot where Olives nod, Where, darling of each heart and eye, From all the youth of Sicily,
Saint Rosalie- retired to God.5
I See Appendix, Note ().
? Ibid. Note P. 8 MS.-" And of the olives' shaded cell."
4 MS.-" Retired to God St. Rosalie."
pendix, Note Q.
Himself still sleeps before his beads
" by my
On his broad shoulders wrought;
Was from Loretto brought;
From hence to Holy-Rood,
With angels fair and good.
With song, romance, or lay:
They bring to cheer the way.'
Or look'd more high and keen;
As he his peer had been.
His eye look'd haggard wild:
She had not known her child.
And blanch at once the hair;
More deeply than despair.
1 MS.-" And with metheglin warm'd his nose,
offends in the same sort, nor can we casily conceive, how any As little as," &c.
one could venture, in a serious poem, to speak of
the wind that blows, 2 " This poem has faults of too great magnitude to be pas
And warms itself against his nose.'"_ JEFFREY.] sed without notice. There is a debasing lowness and vulgarity
3 See Appendix, Note R.
4 Ibid. Note S. in some passages, which we think must be offensive to every reader of delicacy, and which are not, for the most part, re 8 " The first presentment of the mysterious Palmer is laud deemned by any vigour or picturesque effect. The venison able."-JEFFREY. pasties, we think, are of this description; and this commemo 6 MS._" And near Lord Marmion took his seat." ration of Sir Hugh Heron's troopers, who
7 MS.-"Hard toil can alter form and face,
roughen youthful grace, Have drunk the monks of St. Bothan's ale,' &c.
And want can quench
} the eyes of grace. The long account of Friar John, though not without merit,
Happy whom none of these befall,
Lord Marmion's bugles blew to borse : But this poor Palmer knew them all.
Then came the stirrup-cup in course :
Between the Baron and his host,
No point of courtesy was lost;
High thanks were by Lord Marmion paid, The Palmer took on him the task,
Solemn excuse the Captain made, So he would march with morning tide,
Till, filing from the gate, had pass'd To Scottish court to be his guide.
That noble train, their Lord the last. “ But I have solemn vows to pay,
Then loudly rung the trumpet call; And may not linger by the way,
Thunder'd the cannon from the wall, To fair St. Andrews bound,
And shook the Scottish shore; Within the ocean-care to prav,
Around the castle eddied slow, Where good Saint Rule his holy lay,
Volumes of smoke as white as snow, From midnight to the dawn of day,
And hid its turrets hoar; Sung to the billows' sound ;3
Till they rollid forth upon the air, Thence to Saint Fillan's blessed well,
And met the river breezes there,
Which gave again the prospect fair.
INTRODUCTION TO CANTO SECOND.
The page presents on knee.
Who drain'd it merrily;
The minstrels ceased to sound.
Pacing his sober round.
REV. JOHN MARRIOTT, A M.
Ashestid, Ettrick Forest.
1 MS.-" Happy whom none such woes befall."
10 " The second epistle opens again with 'chance and change;' 2 MS._" So he would ride with morning tide."
but cannot be denied that the mode in which it is intro3 See Appendix, Note T. 4 Ibid. Note U.
duced is new and poetical. The comparison of Ettrick Fo
rest, now open and naked, with the state in which it once was 5 MS.—“The cup pass'd round among the rest."
-covered with wood, the favourite resort of the royal hunt, 6 MS.-—“Soon died the merry wassel roar."
and the refuge of daring outlaws-leads the poet to imagine 7 " In Catholic countries, in order to reconcile the plea- an ancient thorn gifted with the powers of reason, and relating sures of the great with the observances of religion, it was com- the various scenes which it has witnessed during a period of mon, when a party was bent for the chase, to celebrate mass, three hundred years. A melancholy train of fancy is natuabridged and maimed of its rites, called a hunting-mass, the rally encouraged by the idea."- Monthly Review. brevity of which was designed to correspond with the impatience of the audience."- Note to “ The Abbot." New Edit.
11 Mountain-ash. 8 MS.--"Slow they rolld forth upon the air."
MS.-" How broad the ash his shadows flung, # See Appendix, Note V.
How to the rock the rowan clung."
What pines on every mountain sprung,
“ Here, in my shade," methinks he'd say, “ The mighty stag at noon-tide lay: The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game, (The neighbouring dingle bears his name,) With lurching step around me prowl, And stop, against the moon to howl; The mountain-boar, on battle set, His tusks upon my stem would whet; While doe, and roe, and red-deer good, Have bounded by, through gay green-wood. Then oft, from Newark's' riven tower, Sallied a Scottish monarch's power: A thousand vassals muster'd round, With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound; And I might see the youth intent, Guard every pass with crossbow bent; And through the brake the rangers stalk, And falc'ners hold the ready hawk; And foresters, in green-wood trim, Lead in the leash the gazehounds grim, Attentive, as the bratchet's? bay From the dark covert drove the prey, To slip them as he broke away. The startled quarry bounds amain, As fast the gallant greyhounds strain; Whistles the arrow from the bow, Answers the harquebuss below; While all the rocking hills reply, To hoof-clang, hound, and hunters' cry, And bugles ringing lightsomely."
Nor dull, between each merry chase, Pass'd by the intermitted space; For we had fair resource in store, In Classic and in Gothic lore: We mark'd each memorable scene, And held poetic talk between; Nor hill, nor brook, we paced along, But had its legend or its song. All silent now-for now are still Thy bowers, untenanted Bowhill !4 No longer, from thy mountains dun, The yeoman hears the well-known gun, And while his honest heart glows warm, At thought of his paternal farm, Round to his mates a brimmer fills, And drinks, “ The Chieftain of the Hills !” No fairy forms, in Yarrow's bowers, Trip o'er the walks, or tend the flowers, Fair as the eives whom Janet saw By moonlight dance on Carterhaugh; No youthful Baron 's left to grace The Forest-Sheriff's lonely chase, And ape, in manly step and tone, The majesty of Oberon: 5 And she is gone, whose lovely face Is but her least and lowest grace;6 Though if to Sylphid Queen 'twere given, To show our earth the charms of Heaven, She could not glide along the air, With form more light, or face more fair. No more the widow's deafen'd ear Grows quick that lady's step to hear: At noontide she expects her not, Nor busies her to trim the cot; Pensive she turns her humming wheel, Or pensive cooks her orphans' meal; Yet blesses, ere she deals their bread, The gentle hand by which they're fed.
Of such proud huntings, many tales
From Yair,—which hills so closely bind, Scarce can the Tweed his passage find, Though much he fret, and chafe, and toil, Till all his eddying currents boil, Her long-descended lord 7 is gone, And left us by the stream alone. And much I miss those sportive boys, Companions of my mountain joys, Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth, When thought is speech, and speech is truth,
1 See Notes to the Lay of the Last Minstrel.
6 Mr. Marriott was governor to the young nobleman here 2 Slowbound.
alluded to, George Henry, Lord Scott, son to Charles. Earl of
Dalkeith, (afterwards Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry,) 3 The Tale of the Outlaw Murray, who held out Newark and who died early in 1906.-See Life of Scott, vol. iii. pp. 59-61. Castle and Ettrick Forest against the King, may be found in the Border Minstrelsy, vol. i. In the Macfarlane M8., among
6 The four next lines on Harriet, Countess of Dalkeith, afother causes of James the Fifth's charter to the burgh of sel-terwards Duchess of Buccleuch, were not in the original Ms. kirk, is mentioned, that the citizens assisted him to suppress 7 The late Alexander Pringle, Esq., of Whytbank—whose this dangerous outlaw.
beautiful seat of the Yair stands on the Tweed, about two • A seat of the Duke of Buccleuch on the Yarrow, in Et
miles below Asl stiel, the then residence of the poet trick Forest Sce Notes to the Lay of the Last Mins!rel. 8 The sons of (r. Pringle of Whytbank.