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To the vile dust, from whence he sprang,
That lovely hue which comes and flics,
V. O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Some bards have gung, the Ladye high Meet nurse for a poetic child !
Chapel or altar came not nigh; Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Nor durst the rites of spousal grace, Land of the mountain and the flood,
So much she fear'd each holy place. Land of my sires! what mortal hand
False slanders these :- I trust right well Can e'er untie the filial band,
She wrought not by forbidden spell ;4 That knits me to thy rugged strand!
For mighty words and signs have power Still, as I view each well-known scene,
O’er sprites in planetary hour: Think what is now, and what hath been,
Yet scarce I praise their venturous part, Seems as, to me, of all bereft,
Who tamper with such dangerous art. Sole friends thy woods and streams were
But this for faithful truth I say,
The Ladye by the altar stood, And thus I love them better still,
Of sable velvet her array, Even in extremity of ill.
And on her head a crimson hood, By Yarrow's streams still let me stray,
With pearls embroider'd and entwined, Though none should guide my feeble way;
Guarded with gold, with ermine lined; Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
A merlin sat upon her wrist 5
Held by a leash of silken twist.
The spousal rites were ended soon:
'Twas now the merry hour of noon, III.
And in the lofty arched hall Not scorn'd like me! to Branksome llall
Was spread the gorgeous festival. The Minstrels came, at festive call;
Steward and squire, with heedful haste, Trooping they came, from near and far,
Marshall'd the rank of every guest; The jovial priests of mirth and war;
Pages, with ready blade, were there, Alike for feast and fight prepared,
The mighty meal to carve and share: Battle and banquet both they shared.
O'er capon, heron-shew, and crane, Of late, before each martial clan,
And princely peacock's gilded train, They blew their death-note in the van,
And o'er the boar-head, garnish'd brave, But now, for every merry mate,
And cygnet from St. Mary's wave;7 Rose the portcullis’ iron grate;
O’er ptarmigan and venison, They sound the pipe, they strike the string,
The priest had spoke his benison. They dance, they revel, and they sing,
Then rose the riot and the din, Till the rude turrets shake and ring.
Above, beneath, without, within !
For, from the lofty balcony,
Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery:
Their clanging bowls old warriors quaff’d, The splendour of the spousal rite,
Loudly they spoke, and loudly laugh'd; How muster'd in the chapel fair
Whisper'd young knights, in tone more mild, Both maid and matron, squire and
To ladies fair, and ladies smiled. knight;
The hooded hawks, high perch'd on beam, Me lists not tell of owches rare,
The clamour join’d with whistling scream, Of mantles green, and braided hair,
And flapp'd their wings, and shook their bells, And kirtles furr'd with miniver;
In concert with the stag-hounds' yells. What plumage waved the altar round,
Round go the flasks of ruddy wine, How spurs and ringing chainlets sound;
From Bourdeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine; And hard it were for bard to speak
Their tasks the busy sewers ply, The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek;
And all is mirth and revelry. 1 "The Lady of the Lake has nothing so good as the ad 4 See Appendix, Note 3 X. 6 Ibid. Note 3 Y. dress to Scotland."- MACINTOSH.
6 See Appendix, Note 3 Z. 3 The preceding four lines now form the inscription on the 7 There are often flights of wild swans upon St. Mary's monument of Sir Walter Scott in the market-place of Sel-Lake, at the head of the river Yarrow. See Wordsworth's kirk.-See Life, vol. x. p. 257.
Yarrow Visited. 3 The line “ Still lay my head," &c., was not in the first
“ The swan on still St. Mary's Lake edition.-ED.
Floats double, swan and shadow."-ED.
Since old Buccleuch the name did gain,
Remember'd him of Tinlinn's yew,
That ever he the arrow drew.
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,s)
See Appendix, Note 4 A.
order; but the goblin page is well introduced, as applying a 3 Ibid. Note 4 B.
torch to this mass of combustibles. Quarrels, highly charac3 The person bearing this redoubtable nom de guerre was teristic of Border manners, both in their cause and the manan Elliot, and resided at Thorleshope, in Liddesdale. He ner in which they are supported, ensue, as well among the occurs in the list of Border riders, in 1597.
lordly guests, as the yoemen assembled in the buttery.". + See Appendix, Note 4 C.
Critical Revier, 1805. 6 "The appearance and dress of the company assembled in 6 See Appendix, Note 4 D. the chapel, and the description of the subsequent feast, in 7 “It is the author's object, in these songs, to exemplify which the hounds and hawks are not the least important per- the different styles of ballad narrative which prevailed in this sonages of the drama, are again happy imitations of those island at different periods, or in different conditions of society. authors from whose rich but unpolished ore Mr. Scott has the first (ALBERT's) is conducted upon the rude and simple wrought much of his most exquisite imagery and description. model of the old Border ditties, and produces its effect by the A society, such as that assembled in Branxholm Castle, in- direct and concise narrative of a tragical occurrence."-Jer. flamed with national prejudices, and heated with wine, seems to have contained in itself sufficient seeds of spontaneous dis 8 Sce Appendix, Note 4 E.
"See Appendix, Note 4 F.
complished Surrey, has more of the richness and polish of tha 2 First Fulit.—“So sweet their harp and roices join." Italian poetry, and very beautifully written in a stanza re 3 "The second song, that of Fitztraver, the bard of the ac sembling that of Spenser."-JEFFREY