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"I come not from the shrine of St. James the divine,
Nor bring reliques from over the sea;
"Now, woful pilgrim, say not so!
But kneel thee down by me,
That absolved thou mayst be."—
"And who art thou, thou Gray Brother,
That I should shrive to thee, When He, to whom are given the keys of earth and heaven,
Has no power to pardon me ?"—
"OI am sent from a distant clime,
Five thousand miles away,
Done here 'twixt night and day."
The pilgrim kneel'd him on the sand,
And thus began his saye— When on his neck an ice-cold hand
Did that Gray Brother laye.1
1 [The contemporary criticism on this noble ballad was all feeble, but laudatory, with the exception of the following remark:—" The painter is justly blamed, whose figures do not VOL. VI. 10
correspond with his landscape—who assembles banditti in an Elysium, or bathing loves in a lake of storm. The same adaptation of parts is expedient in the poet. The stanzas—
'Sweet are thy paths, 0 passing sweet!' to
'And classic Hawthornden,'
disagreeably contrast with the mysterious gloomy character of the ballad. Were these omitted, it would merit high rank for the terrific expectation it excites by the majestic introduction, and the awful close."—Critical Review, November, 1803.—Ed.]
ROYAL EDINBURGH LIGHT DRAGOONS.
BY WALTER SCOTT.
"Nennius. Is not peace the end of arms V
Caratach. Not where the cause implies a general conquest. Had we a difference with some petty isle, Or with our neighbours, Britons, for our landmarks, The taking in of some rebellious lord, Or making head against a slight commotion, After a day of blood, peace might be argued:But where we grapple for the land we live on, The liberty we hold more dear than life, The gods we worship, and, next these, our honours, And, with those, swords that know no end of battle— Those men, beside themselves, allow no neighbour, Those minds, that, where the day is, claim inheritance, And, where the sun makes ripe the fruit, their harvest, And, where they march, but measure out more ground To add to Rome
It must not be—No! as they are our foes,
Let's use the peace of honour—that's fair dealing;
But in our hands our swords. The hardy Roman,
That thinks to graft himself into my stock,
Must first begin his kindred under ground,
And be allied in ashes." Bonduca.
The following War-Song was written during the apprehension of an invasion.1 The corps of volunteers to which it was addressed, was raised in 1797, consisting of gentlemen, mounted and armed at their own expense. It still subsists, as the Right Troop of the Royal Mid-Lothian Light Cavalry, commanded by the Honourable Lieutenant Colonel Dundas.2 The noble and constitutional measure of arming freemen in defence of their own rights, was nowhere more successful than in Edinburgh, which furnished a force of 3,000 armed and disciplined volunteers, including a regiment of cavalry, from the city and county, and two corps of artillery, each capable of serving twelve guns. To such a force, above all others, might, in similar circumstances, be applied the exhortation of our ancient Galgacus: "Proinde ituri in aciem, et majores vestros et posteros cogitate." 1812.
1 [The song originally appeared in the Scots Magazine for 1802.—Ed.]
2 Now Viscount Melville.—1831.
ROYAL EDINBURGH LIGHT DRAGOONS.
To horse! to horse! the standard flies,
The bugles sound the call;
Arouse ye, one and all!
From high Dunedin's towers we come,
A band of brothers true;
Though tamely crouch to Gallia's frown
1 The royal colours.