Imágenes de páginas

The Ladye would the feud forego, And deign to bless the nuptial hour Or Cranstoun's Lord and Teviot's Flower

In haste the holy Friar sped ;
His naked foot was dyed with red,

As through the lists he ran;
U nmindful of the shouts on high,
That hail'd the conqueror's victory,

He raised the dying man;
Loose waved his silver beard and hair,
As o'er him he kneeld down in prayer;
And still the crucifix on high
He holds before his darkening eye;
And still he bends an anxious ear,
His faltering penitence to hear;

Still props him from the bloody sod,
Still, even when soul and body part,
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart,

And bids him trust in God! Unheard he prays;—the death-pang's oer!" Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.

She look'd to river, look d to hill,

Thought on the Spirit's prophecy,
Then broke her silence stern and still,

“ Not you, but Fate, has vanquish'd me; Their influence kindly stars may shower On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower,

For pride is quell'd, and love is free.”She took fair Margaret by the hand, Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand

That hand to Cranstoun's lord gave sbe :-
“ As I am true to thee and thine,
Do thou be true to me and mine!

This clasp of love our bond shall be ;
For this is your betrothing day,
And all these noble lords shall stay,

To grace it with their company.”

As if exhausted in the fight,
Or musing o'er the piteous sight,

The silent victor stands;
His beaver did he not unclasp,
Mark'd not the shouts, felt not the grasp

Of gratulating hands.
When lo! strange cries of wild surprise,
Mingled with seeming terror, rise

Among the Scottish bands;
And all, amid the throng'd array,
In panic haste gave open way
To a half-naked ghastly man,
Who downward from the castle ran :
He cross'd the barriers at a bound,
And wild and haggard look d around,

As dizzy, and in pain;
And all, upon the armed ground,

Knew William of Deloraine!
Each ladye sprung from seat with speed;
Vaulted each marshal from his steed;

“ And who art thou," they cried, “ Who hast this battle fought and won ?"His plumed helm was soon undone

“ Cranstoun of Teviot-side! For this fair prize I've fought and won,”— And to the Ladye led her son.

XXVII. All as they left the listed plain, Much of the story she did gain; How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine, And of his page, and of the Book Which from the wounded knight he took; And how he sought her castle high, That morn, by help of gramarye ; How, in Sir William's armour dight, Stolen by his page, while slept the knight, He took on him the single fight. But half his tale he left unsaid, And linger'd till he join'd the maid. Cared not the Ladye to betray Her mystic arts in view of day; But well she thought, ere midnight came, Of that strange page the pride to tame, From his foul hands the Book to save, And send it back to Michael's grave.Needs not to tell each tender word 'Twixt Margaret and 'twixt Cranstoun's lord; Nor how she told of former woes, And how her bosom fell and rose, While he and Musgrave bandied blows.Needs not these lovers' joys to tell: One day, fair maids, you'll know them well.

XXV. Full oft the rescued boy she kiss'd, And often press'd him to her breast; For, under all her dauntless show, Her heart had throbb’d at every blow; Yet not Lord Cranstoun deign'd she greet, Though low he kneeled at her feet. Me lists not tell what words were made, What Douglas, Home, and Howard, said

-For Howard was a generous foeAnd how the clan united pray'd

William of Deloraine, some chance
Had waken'd from his deathlike trance;

And taught that, in the listed plain,
Another, in his arms and shield,
Against fierce Musgrave axe did wield,

Under the name of Deloraine.
Hence, to the field, unarm’d, he ran,
And hence his presence scared the clan,
Who held him for some fleeting wraith,

The spectral apparition of a living person.

1 Orig.-" Unheard he prays ;-'lis o'er! 'tis o'er !"

And not a man of blood and breath.

Around, the horsemen slowly rode; Not much this new ally he loved,

With trailing pikes the spearmen trode; Yet, when he saw what hap had proved,

And thus the gallant knight they bore, He greeted him right heartilie :

Through Liddesdale to Leven's shore; He would not waken old debate,

Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave,
For he was void of rancorous hate,

And laid him in his father's grave.
Though rude, and scant of courtesy ;
In raids he spilt but seldom blood,

The harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song, Unless when men-at-arms withstood,

The mimic march of death prolong; Or, as was meet, for deadly feud.

Now seems it far, and now a-near, He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow,

Now meets, and now eludes the ear; Ta'en in fair fight from gallant foe:

Now seems some mountain side to sweep, And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now,

Now faintly dies in valley deep; When on dead Musgrave he look'd down; Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail, Grief darken’d on his rugged brow,

Now the sad requiem, loads the gale; Though balf disguised with a frown;

Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave, And thus, while sorrow bent his head,

Rung the full choir in choral stave.
His foeman's epitaph he made.

After due pause, they bade him tell,

Why he, who touch'd the harp so well, “ Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here !

Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil, I ween, my deadly enemy;

Wander a poor and thankless soil, For, if I slew thy brother dear,

When the more generous Southern Land
Thou slew'st a sister's son to me;

Would well requite his skilful hand.
And when I lay in dungeon dark,
Of Naworth Castle, long months three,

The Aged Harper, howsoe'er
Till ransom'd for a thousand mark,

His only friend, his harp, was dear, Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee.

Liked not to hear it rank'd so high And, Musgrave, could our fight be tried,

Above his flowing poesy: And thou wert now alive, as I,

Less liked he still, that scornful jeer No mortal man should us divide,

Misprised the land he loved so dear; Till one, or both of us, did die :

High was the sound, as thus again
Yet rest thee God! for well I know

The Bard resumed his minstrel strain.
I ne'er shall find a nobler foe.
In all the northern counties here,
Whose word is Snafile, spur, and spear,'

The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Thou wert the best to follow gear! 'Twas pleasure, as we look'd behind,

To see how thou the chase could'st wind,
Cheer the dark blood-hound on his way,
And with the bugle rouse the fray !?

I'd give the lands of Deloraine,

BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead, Dark Musgrave were alive again.”-3

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!

Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
So mourn’d he, till Lord Dacre's band

As home his footsteps he hath turr'd, Were bowning back to Cumberland.

From wandering on a foreign strand ! They raised brave Musgrave from the field,

If such there breathe, go, mark him well; And laid him on his bloody shield ;

For him no Minstrel raptures swell; On levell’a lances, four and four,

High though his titles, proud his name, By turns, the noble burden bore.

Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; Before, at times, upon the gale,

Despite those titles, power, and pelf, Was heard the Minstrel's plaintive wail;

The wretch, concentred all in self, Behind, four priests, in sable stole,

Living, shall forfeit fair renown, Sung requiem for the warrior's soul :

And, doubly dying, shall go down | “The lands, that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear, Deloraine, who, roused from his bed of sickness, rushes into Have for their blazon had, the snafile, spur, and spear." the lists, and apostrophizes his fallen enemy, brought to our

Poly-Albion, Song 13 recollection, as well from the peculiar tum of expression in . See Appendix, Note 3 W

its commencement, as in the tone of sentiments which it con3 “The style of the old romancers has been very success- reys, some of the funebres orationes of the Mort Arthur."fully imitated in the whole of this scene; and the speech of Critical Review.

To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

That lovely bue which comes and flies,
As awe and shame alternate rise !



V. O Caledonia! stern and wild,'

Some bards have sung, 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 ;* That knits me to thy rugged strand!

For mighty words and signs bave 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, left ;

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 bood, 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
Although it chill my wither'd cheek ;?

Held by a leash of silken twist.
Still lay my head by Teviot Stone, 3
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.

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 Hall

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;? 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:
Me lists not at this tide declare

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. I “The Lady of the Lake has nothing so good as the ad- 4 See Appendix, Note 3 X. 5 Ibid. Note 3 Y. dress to Scotland."-MACINTOSH.

6 See Appendix, Note 3 Z. 9 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 sbadow."-ED.

Since old Buccleuch the name did gain,
When in the cleuch the buck was ta’en,

The Goblin Page, omitting still
No opportunity of ill,
Strove now,

while blood ran hot and high,
To rouse debate and jealousy;
Till Conrad, Lord of Wolfenstein,
By nature fierce, and warm with wine,
And now in humour highly cross'd,
About some steeds his band had lost,
High words to words succeeding still,
Smote, with his gauntlet, stout Hunthill ;'
A hot and hardy Rutherford,
Whom men called Dickon Draw-the-sword.
He took it on the page's saye,
Hunthill had driven these steeds away.
Then Howard, Home, and Douglas rose,
The kindling discord to compose :
Stern Rutherford right little said,
But bit his glove, and shook his head.
A fortnight thence, in Inglewood,
Stout Conrade, cold, and drench'd in blood,
His bosom gored with many a wound,
Was by a woodman's lyme-dog found;
Unknown the manner of his death,
Gone was his brand, both sword and sheath;
But ever from that time, 'twas said,
That Dickon wore a Cologne blade.

The wily page, with vengeful thought,

Remember'd him of Tinlinn's yew,
And swore, it should be dearly bought

That ever he the arrow drew.
First, he the yeoman did molest,
With bitter gibe and taunting jest;
Told, how he fled at Solway strife,
And how Hob Armstrong cheer'd his wife;
Then, shunning still his powerful arm,
At unawares he wrought him harm;
From trencher stole his choicest cheer,
Dash'd from his lips his can of beer ;
Then, to his knee sly creeping on,
With bodkin pierced him to the bone:
The venom'd wound, and festering joint,
Long after rued that bodkin's point.
The startled yeoman swore and spurn'd,
And board and fagons overturn'd.
Riot and clamour wild began;
Back to the hall the Urchin ran;
Took in a darkling nook his post,
And grinn'd, and mutter'd, “ Lost ! lost! lost!

The dwarf, who fear'd his master's eye
Might his foul treachery espie,
Now sought the castle buttery,
Where many a yeoman, bold and free,
Revell d as merrily and well
As those that sat in lordly selle.
Watt Tinlinn, there, did frankly raise
The pledge to Arthur Fire-the-Braes ;3
And he, as by his breeding bound,
To Howard's merry-men sent it round.
To quit them, on the English side,
Red Roland Forster loudly cried,
“ A deep carouse to yon fair bride!”–
At every pledge, from vat and pail,
Foam’d forth in floods the nut-brown ale ;
While shout the riders every one;
Such day of mirth ne'er cheer'd their clan,

By this, the Dame, lest farther fray
Should mar the concord of the day,
Had bid the Minstrels tune their lay.
And first stept forth old Albert Græme,
The Minstrel of that ancient name: 6
Was none who struck the harp so well,
Within the Land Debateable;
Well friended, too, his hardy kin,
Whoever lost, were sure to win;
They sought the beeves that made their broth,
In Scotland and in England both.
In homely guise, as nature bade,
His simple song the Borderer said.


It was an English ladye bright,

(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,8)

See Appendix, Note 4 A.

order; but the goblin page is well introduced, as applying a 2 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 Review, 1805. 5 "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 diffurent 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 simplo wrought much of his most exquisite imagery and description. model of the old Border dittics, and produces its effect by the A society, such as that assembled in Branxholm Castle, in- direct and concise narrative of a tragical occurrence."-JEF flamed with national prejudices, and heated with wine, seems to have contained in itself sufficient seeds of spontaneous dis- 8 See Appendix, Note 4 E.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

See Appendix, Note 4 F.

complished Surrey, bas more of the richness and polish of the & First Edit.-—“ So sweet their hatp and voices join." Italian poetry, and is very beautifully written in a stanza ro*"The second song, that of Fitztraver, the bard of the ac- sembling that of Spenser."-JEFFREY

« AnteriorContinuar »