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XXX. The offended Monarch rode apart, With bitter thought and swelling heart, And would not now vouchsafe again Through Stirling streets to lead his train. “O Lennox, who would wish to rule This changeling crowd, this common fool ? Hlear'st thou,” he said, “ the loud acclaim, With which they shout the Douglas name? With like acclaim, the vulgar throat Strain’d for King James their morning note; With like acclaim they hail'd the day When first I broke the Douglas' sway; And like acclaim would Douglas greet, If he could hurl me from my seat. Who o'er the herd would wish to reign, Fantastic, fickle, fierce, and vain ! Vain as the leaf
Roderick, this morn, in single fight,
XXXI. “ But soft! what messenger of speed Spurs hitherward his panting steed? I guess his cognizance afarWhat from our cousin, John of Mar?”— “ He prays, my liege, your sports keep bound Within the safe and guarded ground: For some foul purpose yet unknown,Most sure for evil to the throne,-The outlaw'd Chieftain, Roderick Dhu, Has summon’d his rebellious crew; "Tis said, in James of Bothwell's aid These loose banditti stand array’d. The Earl of Mar, this morn, from Doune, To break their muster march’d, and soon Your grace will hear of battle fought; But earnestly the Earl besought, Till for such danger he provide, With scanty train you will not ride.”_3
XXXIII. Ill with King James's mood that day, Suited gay feast and minstrel lay; Soon were dismiss'd the courtly throng, And soon cut short the festal song, Nor less upon the saddend town The evening sunk in sorrow down. The burghers spoke of civil jar, Of rumour'd feuds and mountain war, Of Moray, Mar, and Roderick Dhu, All up in arms :—the Douglas too, They mourn d him pent within the hold, “ Where stout Earl William was of old”_ And there his word the speaker staid, And finger on his lip he laid, Or pointed to his dagger blade. But jaded horsemen, from the west, At evening to the Castle press'd; And busy talkers said they bore Tidings of fight on Katrine's shore; At noon the deadly fray begun, And lasted till the set of sun. Thus giddy rumour shook the town, Till closed the Night her pennons brown.
The Lady of the Lake.
XXXII. “ Thou warn’st me I have done amiss,I should have earlier look'd to this: I lost it in this bustling day. -Retrace with speed thy former way; Spare not for spoiling of thy steed, The best of mine shall be thy meed. Say to our faithful Lord of Mar, We do forbid the intended war:
I. The sun, awakening, through the smoky air
Of the dark city casts a sullen glance, Rousing each caitiff to his task of care,
Of sinful man the sad inheritance;
I MS.--" Vain as the sick man's idle dream." 9
“Who deserves greatness, Deserves your hate, and your affections are A sick man's appetite, who desires most that Which would increase his evil. He that depends U pon your favours, swims with fins of lead, And he ws down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?
With every minute you do change a mind;
Coriolanus, Act I, Scene I
3 MS.-"On distant chase you will not ride."
4 Stabbed by James II. in Stirling Castle.
Summoning revellers from the lagging dance, Their rolls show'd French and German name; Scaring the prowling robber to his den;
And merry England's exiles came,
And warning student pale to leave his pen, Of Scotland's pay the scanty gain.
The heavy halberd, brand, and shield;
Are witness'd by that red and struggling beam! In pillage fierce and uncontrolld;
And now, by holytide and feast,
The wakeful mother, by the glimmering pale, ! Fought 'twixt Loch Katrine and Achray. Trims her sick infant's couch, and soothes his feeble Fierce was their speech, and, ʼmid their words, wail.
Their hands oft grappled to their swords ;
Nor sunk their tone to spare the ear
Of wounded comrades groaning near,
Whose mangled limbs, and bodies gored, With soldier-step and weapon-clang,
Bore token of the mountain sword, While drums, with rolling note, foretell
Though, neighbouring to the Court of Guard, Relief to weary sentinel.
Their prayers and feverish wails were heard; Through narrow loop and casement barrd,
Sad burden to the ruffian joke, The sunbeams sought the Court of Guard,
And savage oath by fury spoke!_ And, struggling with the smoky air,
At length up-started John of Brent, Deaden'd the torches' yellow glare.
A yeoman from the banks of Trent; In comfortless alliance shone 2
A stranger to respect or fear, The lights through arch of blacken’d stone,
In peace a chaser of the deer, And show'd wild shapes in garb of war,
In host a hardy mutineer, Faces deform'd with beard and scar,
But still the boldest of the crew, All haggard from the midnight watch,
When deed of danger was to do. And fever'd with the stern debauch;
He grieved, that day, their games cut short, For the oak table's massive board,
And marr'd the dicer's brawling sport, Flooded with wine, with fragments stored,
And shouted loud, “ Renew the bowl ! And beakers drain'd, and cups o'erthrown,
And, while a merry catch I troll, Show'd in what sport the night had flown.
Let each the buxom chorus bear,
Like brethren of the brand and spear."
Soldier's song. While round them, or beside them flung,
Our vicar still preaches that Peter and Poule At every step their harness rung.
Laid a swinging long curse on the bonny brown bowl,
That there's wrath and despair in the jolly black-jack, III.
And the seven deadly sins in a flagon of sack; These drew not for their fields the sword,
Yet whoop, Barnaby! off with thy liquor,
Drink upsees 6 out, and a fig for the vicar!
Our vicar he calls it damnation to sip
The ripe ruddy dew of a woman's dear lip, To live by battle which they loved.3
Says, that Beelzebub lurks in her kerchief so sly, There the Italian's clouded face,
And Apollyon shoots darts from her merry black eye; The swarthy Spaniard's there you trace;
Yet whoop, Jack! kiss Gillian the quicker, The mountain-loving Switzer there
Till she bloom like a rose, and a tig for the vicar! More freely breathed in mountain-air; The Fleming there despised the soil,
Our vicar thus preaches and why should he not? That paid so ill the labourer's toil;
For the dues of his cure are the placket and pot;
I MS.-" Through blacken'd arch and casement barr'd."
4S -" The lights in strange alliance shone
Beneath the arch or blackend stone."
3 See Appendix, Note 3 U.
And rude oalhs vented by the rest."
and 'tis right of his office poor laymen to lurch,
“ Shall he strike doe beside our lodge,
1 " The greatest blemish in the poem, is the ribaldry and assist at the festival of the townsmen, (though borrowed in a dull vulgarity which is put into the mouths of the soldiery in considerable degree from Dryden's Palamon and Arcite,) and the guard-room. Mr. Scott has condescended to write a song the guard-room at the beginning of the last canto, all show for them, which will be read with pain, we are persuaded, extraordinary powers of description. If he wrote less and even by his warmest admirers; and his whole genius, and more carefully, he would be a very considerable poet."-SIR even his power of versification, seems to desert him when he SAMUEL Romilly, (Oct. 1810.)-Life, Vol. ii. p. 342. attempts to repeat their conversation. Here is some of the
2 The MS. reads after this: stuff which has dropped, in this inauspicious attempt, from
“ Get thee an ape, and then at once the pen of one of the first of poets of his age or country," &c.
Thou may'st renounce the warder's lance, &c. -JEFFREY.
And trudge through borough and through land. “ The Lady of the Lake is said to be inferior, as a poem, to
The leader of a juggler band."
such and I own that there are some parts of the Lady of the Lake which please me more than any thing in Walter Scott's for
5 MS. --"While the rude soldiery, amazed." mer poems. He has a great deal of imagination, and is cer
6 MS.-“Should Ellen Douglas suffer wrong." tainly a very skilful painter. The meeting between Douglas 7 MS.-"My Rose,'—he wiped his iron eye and brow,and his daughter, the king descending from Surling Castle to
* Pour Rose,--if Ruse be living now.'"
Perchance, in jeopardy of war,
IX. Their Captain came, a gallant young.-(Of Tullibardine's house he sprung), Nor wore he yet the spurs of knight; Gay was his mien, his humour light, And, though by courtesy controllid, Forward his speech, his bearing bold. The high-born maiden ill could brook The scanning of his curious look Aud dauntless eye ;-and yet, in sooth, Young Lewis was a generous youth; But Ellen's lovely face and mien, Ill suited to the garb and scene, Might lightly bear construction strange, And give loose fancy scope to range. “Welcome to Stirling towers, fair maid ! Come ye to seek a champion's aid, On palfrey white, with harper huar, Like errant damosel of yore? Does thy high quest a knight require, Or may the venture suit a squire ?”— der dark eye flash'd ;-she paused and sigh’d,
“O what have I to do with pride ! Through scenes of sorrow, shame, and strife, A suppliant for a father's life, I crave an audience of the King. Behold, to back my suit, a ring, The royal pledge of grateful claims, Given by the Monarch to Fitz-James.”}
XI. When Ellen forth with Lewis went, Allan made suit to John of Brent: “My lady safe, 0 let your grace Give me to see my master's face! His minstrel 1,--to share his doom Bound from the cradle to the tomb. Tenth in descent, since first my sires Waked for his noble house their lyres, Nor one of all the race was known But prized its weal above their own. With the Chief's birth begins our care; Our harp must soothe the infant heir, Teach the youth tales of fight, and grace His earliest feat of field or chase; In peace, in war, our rank we keep, We cheer his board, we soothe his sleep, Nor leave him till we pour our verseA doleful tribute lo'er his hearse. Then let me share his captive lot ; It is my right-deny it not !”— “ Little we reck,” said John of Brent, “ We Southern men, of long descent; Nor wot we how a name—a wordMakes clansmen vassals to a lord : Yet kind my noble landlord's part,God bless the house of Beaudesert! And, but I loved to drive the deer, More than to guide the labouring steer, I had not dwelt an outcast here. Come, good old Minstrel, follow me; Thy Lord and Chieftain shalt thou see."
X. The signet-ring young Lewis took, With deep respect and alterd look; And said,—“This ring our duties own; And pardon, if to worth unknown, In semblance mean obscurely veil'd, Lady, in aught my folly fail'd. Soon as the day flings wide his gates, The King shall know what suitor waits. Please you, meanwhile, in fitting bower Repose you till his waking hour; Female attendance shall obey Your hest, for service or array. Permit I marshall you the way." But, ere she followed, with the grace And open bounty of her race, She bade her slender purse be shared Among the soldiers of the guard. The rest with thanks their guerdon took; But Brent, with shy and awkward look, On the reluctant maiden's hold Forced bluntly back the proffer'd gold;“ Forgive a haughty English heart, And 0 forget its ruder part ! The vacant purse shall be my share, Which in my barret-cap I'll bear,
dread. Portals they pass’d, where, deep within, Spoke prisoner's moan, and fetters' din; Through rugged vaults,3 where, loosely
stored, Lay wheel, and axe, and headsman's sword, And many an hideous engine grim, For wrenching joint, and crushing* limb, By artist formd, who deem'd it shame And sin to give their work a name. They halted at a low-brow'd porch, And Brent to Allan gave the torch, While bolt and chain he backward rollid, And made the bar unhasp its hold.
3 MS.-" Luuc broad raulls."
MS.-" The Monarch gave to James Fitz-James." • MS.--"The silken purse shall serve for me,
And in my barret-cap shall flee."
* MS.--" Stretching."
They enter'd :—'twas a prison-room
XIV. The Chieftain rear’d his form on high, And fever's fire was in his eye; But ghastly, pale, and livid streaks Chequer'd his swarthy brow and cheeks. -“ Hark, Minstrel! I have heard thee play, With measure bold, on festal day, In yon lone isle, . again where ne'er Shall harper play, or warrior hear! . That stirring air that peals on high, O'er Dermid's race our victory.Strike it !5—and then, (for well thou canst,) Free from thy minstrel-spirit glanced, Fling me the picture of the fight, When met my clan the Saxon might. I'll listen, till my fancy hears The clang of swords, the crash of spears ! These grates, these walls, shall vanish then, For the fair field of fighting men, And my free spirit burst away, As if it soar'd from battle fray.” The trembling Bard with awe obey'd, Slow on the harp his hand he laid; But soon remembrance of the sight He witness'd from the mountain's height, With what old Bertram told at night, Awaken'd the full power of song, And bore him in career along :As shallop launch'd on river's tide, That slow and fearful leaves the side, But, when it feels the middle stream, Drives downward swift as lightning's beam.
XIII. As the tall ship, whose lofty prore Shall never stem the billows more, Deserted by her gallant band, Amid the breakers lies astrand, So, on his couch, lay Roderick Dhu! And oft his fever'd limbs he threw In toss abrupt, as when her sides Lie rocking in the advancing tides, That shake her frame with ceaseless beat, Yet cannot heave her from her seat;O! how unlike her course at sea !3 Or his free step on hill and lea!Soon as the Minstrel he could scan, “ What of thy lady?--of my clan?My mother?-Douglas ?-tell me all ? llave they been ruin'd in my fall ? Ah, yes! or wherefore art thou here? Yet speak,--speak boldly,--do not fear.”(For Allan, who his mood well knew, Was choked with grief and terror too.)“ Who fought--who fled ?—Old man, be brief ;Some might-for they had lost their Chief. Who basely live!—who bravely died?”“ 0, calm thee, Chief !” the Minstrel cried, “ Ellen is safe;"_" For that, thank Heaven !"“ And hopes are for the Douglas given ;The Lady Margaret, too, is well; And, for thy clan,-on field or fell, Has never harp of minstrel told, Of combat fought so true and bold. Thy stately Pine is yet unbent, Though many a goodly bough is rent.”
XV. Battle of Beal' an Buine.? “ The Minstrel came once more to view The eastern ridge of Benvenue, For, ere he parted, he would say Farewell to lovely Loch AchrayWhere shall he find, in foreign land, So lone a lake, so sweet a strand! There is no breeze upon the fern,
Nor ripple on the lake, l'pon her eyry nods the erne,
The deer has sought the brake; The small birds will not sing aloud,
The springing trout lies still,
Benledi's distant hill.
That mutters deep and dread,
The warrior's measured tread?
I MS.--" Flinty floor."
“ Thou may'st remain And then, retiring, bult and chain, And rusty bar, he drew again. Roused at the sound." &c.
3 MS. "Oh! how unlike her course on main !
Or his free step on hill and plain!" 4 MS.--"Shall never harp of minstrel tell,
Of combat fought so fierce and well." 5 See Appendix, Note 3 W. 6 The MS. has not this line. 7 See Appendix, Note 3 X