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For mass or prayer can I rarely tarry,
With base and with capital flourish'd around, Seem'd bundles of lances which garlands had
And again he sighed heavily ;
And fought in Spain and Italy.
since by When his limbs were strong, and his courage was
high :Now, slow and faint, he led the way, Where, cloister'd round, the garden lay; The pillar'd arches were over their head, And beneath their feet were the bones of the
Around the screened altar's pale;
And thine, dark Knight of Liddesdale !"
Then into the night he looked forth;
Were dancing in the glowing north. So had he seen, in fair Castile,
The youth in glittering squadrons start;" Sudden the flying jennet wheel,
And hurl the unexpected dart. He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright, That spirits were riding the northern light.
By foliaged tracery combined ; Thou wouldst have thought some fairy's hand 'Twixt poplars straight the ozier wand,
In many a freakish knot, had twined; Then framed a spell, when the work was done, And changed the willow-wreaths to stone. The silver light, so pale and faint, Show'd many a prophet, and many a saint,
Whose image on the glass was dyed;
And trampled the Apostate's pride.
They enter'd now the chancel tall;
On pillars lofty and light and small: The key-stone, that lock'd each ribbed aisle, Was a fleur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille ; The corbells were carved grotesque and grim; And the pillars, with cluster'd shafts so trim,
(A Scottish monarch slept below); Thus spoke the Monk, in solemn tone :
“ I was not always a man of woe; For Paynim countries I have trod, And fought beneath the Cross of God: Now, strange to my eyes thine arms appear, And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear.
XIII. “ In these far climes it was my lot To meet the wondrous Michael Scott;"
1 See Appendix, Note X.
2 The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulture. An instance occurs in Dryburgh Abbey, where the cloister has an inscription, bearing, Hic jacet frater Archibaldus.
3 See Appendix, Note Y.
* Corbells, the projections from which the arches spring, usually cut in a fantastic face, or mask. 5“With plinth and with capital flourish'd around.”
First Edition. 6 See Appendix, Note Z. 7 Ibid. Note 2 A. 8 Ibid. Note 2 B.
"Bombay, September 25, 1805.-I began last night to read Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, as part of my evening readings to my children. I was extremely delighted by the poetical beauty of some passages, the Abbey of Melrose for
example, and most of the prologues to the cantos. tume, too, is admirable. The tone is antique ; and it might be read for instruction as a picture of the manners of the mid dle ages." “ November 2, 1805.-We are perfectly enchanted with Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. He is surely the man born at last to translate the Iliad. Are not the good parts of his poem the most Homeric of any thing in our language? There are tedious passages, and so are there in Hom mer."-Sir James MACKINTOSH, Life, vol. i. pp. 254, 262.
10 A large marble stone, in the chancel of Melrose, is pointed out as the monument of Alexander II., one of the greatest of our early kings; others say, it is the resting-place of Waldeve, one of the eariy abbots, who died in the odor of sanctity.
11 See Appendix, Note 2 C.
A wizard, of such dreaded fame, That when, in Salamanca's cave, Him listed his magic wand to wave,
The bells would ring in Notre Dame ! Some of his skill he taught to me; And, Warrior, I could say to thee The words that cleft Eildon hills in three, And bridled the Tweed with a curb of
stone: But to speak them were a deadly sin; And for having but thought them my heart
within, A treble penance must be done.
XVII. “Lo, Warrior! now, the Cross of Red Points to the grave of the mighty dead; Within it burns a wondrous light, To chase the spirits that love the night : That lamp shall burn unquenchably, Until the eternal doom shall be."4_ Slow moved the Monk to the broad flag-stone, Which the bloody Cross was traced upon : He pointed to a secret nook ; An iron bar the Warrior took ;5 And the Monk made a sign with his wither'd hand, The grave's huge portal to expand.
XIV. “When Michael lay on his dying bed, His conscience was awakened : He bethought him of his sinful deed, And he gave me a sign to come with speed: I was in Spain when the morning rose, But I stood by his bed ere evening close. The words may not again be said, That he spoke to me, on death-bed laid; They would rend this Abbaye's massy nave, And pile it in heaps above his grave.
XV. "I swore to bury his Mighty Book, That never mortal might therein look; And never to tell where it was hid, Save at his Chief of Branksome's need : And when that need was past and o'er, Again the volume to restore. I buried him on St. Michael's night, When the bell tollid one, and the moon was
bright, And I dug his chamber among the dead, When the floor of the chancel was stained red, That his patron's cross might over him wave, And scare the fiends from the Wizard's grave.
And, issuing from the tomb,
And kiss'd his waving plume.
A palmer's amice wrapp'd him round,
Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea :
The lamp was placed beside his knee: High and majestic was his look, At which the fellest fiends had shook, And all unruffled was his face : They trusted his soul had gotten grace.
XX. Often had William of Deloraine Rode through the battle's bloody plain, And trampled down the warriors slain,
And neither known remorse por awe;
1 See Appendix, Note 2 D.
Ibid. Note 2 E. • See Appendix, Note 2 F. 4 Ibid. Note 2 G. • Orig.-A bar from thence the warrior took. ¢ " The agitation of the monk at the sight of the man whom
he had loved with brotherly affection—the horror of Deloraine, and his belief that the corpse frowned, as he withdrew the magic volume from its grasp, are, in a succeeding part of the narrative, circumstances not more happily conceived than exquisitely wrought."-Critical Review.
Yet now remorse and awe he own'd;
When this strange scene of death he saw.
XXIV. The Knight breathed free in the morning
wind, And strove his hardihood to find : He was glad when he pass’d the tombstones
Now, speed thee what thou hast to do,
The sun had brighten'd the Carter's side;
Smiled Branksome Towers and Teviot's tide." The wild birds told their warbling tale,
And waken'd every flower that blows; And peeped forth the violet pale,
And spread her breast the mountain rose. And lovelier than the rose so red,
Yet paler than the violet pale, She early left her sleepless bed,
The fairest maid of Teviotdale.
XXII. When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb, The night return'd in double gloom ; For the moon had gone down, and the stars were
And, as the Knight and Priest withdrew,
And don her kirtle so hastilie;
make, Why tremble her slender fingers to tie; Why does she stop, and look often around,
As she glides down the secret stair ;
As he rouses him up from his lair ;
light To meet Baron Henry, her own true knight.
XXIII. "Now, hie thee hence," the Father said, “And when we are on death-bed laid, O may our dear Ladye, and sweet St. John, Forgive our souls for the deed we have done !"The Monk return'd him to his cell,
And many a prayer and penance sped; - When the convent met at the noontide bell
The Monk of St. Mary's aisle was dead !
1 See Appendix, Note 2 H.
4 "How true, sweet, and original is this description of ? A mountain on the Border of England, above Jedburgh.
Margaret - the trembling haste with which she attires her 3 "How lovely and exhilarating is the fresh, cool morning self, descends, and speeds to the bower !" - ANNA SElandscape which relieves the mind after the horrors of the spellguarded tomb !"--ANNA SEWARD.
That Dwarf was scarce an earthly man,
Through all the Border, far and near.
He heard a voice cry, “ Lost ! lost ! lost !”
A leap, of thirty feet and three,
And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee. Lord Cranstoun was some whit dismay'd; 'Tis said that five good miles he rade,
To rid him of his company;
To paint his faithful passion strove;
But never, never cease to love;
He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,
But well Lord Cranstoun served he:
An it had not been for his ministry.
Its lightness would my age reprove:
I may not, must not, sing of love.
To Mary's Chapel of the Lowes;
And he would pay his vows.
The trysting place was Newark lee.
They were three hundred spears and three.
And held his crested helm and spear:
1 See Appendix, Note 2 I.
I'll show you now ; observe him, follow him; The idea of the imp domesticating himself with the first
But, once engaged, there you must stay and fix." person he met, and subjecting himself to that one's authority, It is observable that in the same play, Pug alludes to the is perfectly consonant to old opinions. Ben Jonson, in his play spareness of his diet. Mr. Scott's goblin, though “waspish, of " The Devil is an A88," has founded the leading incident arch, and litherlie," proves a faithful and honest retainer to of that comedy upon this article of the popular creed. A the lord, into whose service he had introduced himself. This fiend, styled Pug, is ambitious for figuring in the world, and sort of inconsistency seems also to form a prominent part of the petitions his superior for permission to exhibit himself upon diabolic character. Thus, in the romances of the Round earth. The devil grants him a day-rule, but clogs it with this Table, we find Merlin, the son of a devil, exerting himself condition,
most zealously in the cause of virtue and religion, the friend
and counsellor of King Arthur, the chastiser of wrongs, and * Satan-Only thus more, I bind you
the scourge of the infidels. To serve the first man that you meet; and him
3 See Appendix, Note 2 K.
Through Douglas-burn, up Yarrow stream,
And that I might not sing of love ?How could I to the dearest theme, That ever warm'd a minstrel's dream,
So foul, so false a recreant prove! How could I name love's very name, Nor wake my heart to notes of flame!
XXXIV. And now, in Branksome's good green wood, As under the aged oak he stood, The Baron's courser pricks his ears, As if a distant noise he hears. The Dwarf waves his long lean arm on high, And signs to the lovers to part and fly; No time was then to yow or sigh. Fair Margaret through the hazel grove, Flew like the startled cushat-dove: The Dwarf the stirrup held and rein; Vaulted the Knight on his steed amain, And, pondering deep that morning's scene, Rode eastward through the hawthorns green,
II. In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed; In war, he mounts the warrior's steed; In halls, in gay attire is seen; In hamlets, dances on the green. Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, And men below, and saints above; For love is heaven, and heaven is love.
And scarce his helmet could he don,
A stately knight came pricking on.
His armor red with many a stain:
For it was William of Deloraine.
WHILE thus he pour'd the lengthen'd tale,
the wither'd hand of age
IV. But no whit weary did he seem, When, dancing in the sunny beam, He mark'd the crane on the Baron's crest ;) For his ready spear was in his rest. Few were the words, and stern and high,
That mark'd the foemen's feudal hate; For question fierce, and proud reply,
Gave signal soon of dire debate.
The Lay of the Last Minstrel.
1. And said I that my limbs were old, And said I that my blood was cold, And that my kindly fire was fled, And my poor wither'd heart was dead,
He sigh'd a sigh, and pray'd a prayer;
The sigh was to his ladye fair. Stout Deloraine nor sigh'd nor pray'd, Nor saint, nor ladye, call’d to aid; But he stoop'd his head, and couch'd his spear, And spurr'd his steed to full career.
1 See notes on The Douglas Tragedy in the Minstrelsy, vol. iii. p. 3.-ED.
3 The crest of the Cranstouns, in allusion to their name, is a crane dormant, holding a stone in his foot, with an emphatic border motto, Thou shalt want ere I want.