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Liked not to hear it rank'd so high -
BREAthes there the man, with soul so dead, (1)
This is my own, my native land!
From wandering on a foreign strand 7
ii. O Caledonial stern and wild, . Meet nurse for a poetic child! Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, Land of the mountain and the flood, Land of my sires! what mortal hand Cam e'er untie the filial band That knits me to thy rugged strand! Still, as I view each well-known scene, Think what is now, and what hath been, Seems as, to me, of all bereft, Sole friends thy woods and streams are left; And thus I love them better still, Even in extremity of ill. By Yarrow's stream still let me stray, Though none should guide my feeble way; Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break, Although it chill my wither'd cheek; Still lay my head by Teviot stone, Though there, forgotten and alone, The bard may draw his parting groan.
iii. Not scorn'd like me! to Branksome-hall The minstrels came, at festive call; Trooping they came, from near and far, The jovial priests of mirth and war: Alike for feast and fight prepared, Battle and banquet both they shared. Of late, before each martial clan, They blew their death-note in the van, But now, for every merry mate, Rose the portcullis' iron grate; They sound the pipe, they strike the string, They dance, they revel, and they sing, Till the rude turrets shake and ring.
Me lists not at this tide declare
The splendour of the spousal rite, How muster'd in the chapel fair
Both maid and matron, squire and knight; Me lists not tell of owches rare, Of mantles green, and braided hair, And kirtles furr'd with miniver; What plumage waved the altar round, How spurs and ringing chainlets sound: And hard it were for bard to speak The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek, That lovely hue which comes and flies, As awe and shame alternate rise.
Some bards have sung, the Ladye high
The Ladye by the altar stood,
And on her head a crimson hood, With pearls embroider'd and entwined, Guarded with gold, with ermine lined; A merlin sat upon her wrist, (3) Held by a leash of silken twist,
The spousal rites were ended soon;
Wii. 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; (7) A hot and hardy Rutherford, Whom men call Diccon 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.—(8) A fortnight thence, in Inglewood, Stout Conrad, 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, ’t was said, That Diccon wore a Cologne blade.
Wiii. 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; (9) 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, Since old Buccleuch the name did gain, When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en. (10)
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 the bodkin's point.
xiii. As ended Albert's simple lay, Arose a bard of loftier port; For sonnet, rhyme, and roundelay, Renown'd in haughty Henry's court: There rung thy harp, unrivall'd long, Fitztraver of the silver song! The gentle Surrey loved his lyre– who has not heard of Surrey's fame? (13) His was the hero's soul of fire, And his the bard's immortal name, And his was love, exalted high By all the glow of chivalry.
XIV. They sought, together, climes afar, And oft, within some olive grove, When evening came, with twinkling star, They sung of Surrey's absent love. His step the Italian peasant staid, And deem’d, that spirits from on high, Round where some hermit saint was laid, were breathing heavenly melody: So sweet did harp and voice combine, To praise the name of Geraldine.
Fitztraver! O what tongue may say
The pangs thy faithful bosom knew, When Surrey, of the deathless lay,
Ungrateful Tudor's sentence slew' Regardless of the tyrant's frown, His harp call'd wrath and vengeance down. He left, for Naworth's iron towers, windsor's green blades, and courtly bowers, And, faithful to his patron's name, With Howard still Fitztraver came; Lord William's foremost favourite he, And chief of all his minstrelsy.
xWi. Fitzra Aven.
"T was All-souls' eve, and Surrey's heart beat high;
He heard the midnight bell with anxious start, Which told the mystic hour, approaching nigh,
When wise Cornelius promised, by his art, To show to him the ladye of his heart,
Albeit betwixt them roar'd the ocean grim : Yet so the sage had hight to play his part,
That he should see her form in life and limb,
And mark, if still she loved, and still she thought of
Dark was the vaulted room of gramarye,
To which the wizard led the gallant knight, Save that before a mirror, huge and high,
A hallow'd taper shed a glimmering light On mystic implements of magic might;
On cross, and character, and talisman, And almagest, and altar, nothing bright;
For fitful was the lustre, pale and wan, As watch-light by the bed of some departing man.
XWiii. But soon, within that mirror huge and high, Was seen a self-emitted light to gleam;
And forms upon its breast the earl 'gan spy,
Xix. Fair all the pageant—but how passing fair The slender form, which lay on couch of Ind! O'er her white bosom stray'd her hazel hair, Pale her dear cheek as if for love she pined; All in her night-robe loose she lay reclined, And, pensive, read from tablet elburnine Some strain, that seem'd her in most soul to find : That favour’d strain was Surrey's raptured line, That fair and lovely form, the Lady Geraldine.
XX. Slow roll'd the clouds upon the lovely form, And swept the goodly vision all away— So royal envy roll'd the murky storm O'er my beloved master's glorious day. Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant! Heaven repay On thee, and on thy children's latest line, The wild caprice of thy despotic sway, The gory bridal bed, the plunder'd shrine, The murder'd Surrey's blood, the tears of Geraldine:
XXI. Both Scots and southern chiefs prolong Applauses of Fitztraver's song: These hated Henry's name as death, And those still held the ancient faith.— Then, from his seat, with lofty air, Rose Harold, bard of brave St Clair; St Clair, who, feasting high at Home, Ilad with that lord to battle come. Harold was born where restless seas Howl round the storm-swept Orcades; Where erst St Clairs held princely sway O'er isle and islet, strait and bay;-(14) Still nods their palace to its fall, Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall!—(15) Thence of he mark'd fierce Pentland rave, As if grim Odin rode her wave; And watch'd, the whilst, with visage pale, And throbbing heart, the struggling sail; For all of wonderful and wild Had rapture for the lonely child.
XXII. And much of wild and wonderful In these rude isles might fancy cull; For thither came, in times afar, Stern Lochlin's sons of roving war, The Norsemen, train'd to spoil and blood, Skill'd to prepare the raven's food : Kings of the main their leaders brave, Their barks the dragons of the wave. (16) . And there, in many a stormy vale, The Scald hath told his wond'rous tale; And many a Runic column high Had witness'd grim idolatry.
And thus had Harold, in his youth,
Seem'd all on fire, within, around,
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
Blazed battlement and pinnet high,
So still they blaze, when fate is nigh
There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
Each one the holy vault doth hold—
And each St Clair was buried there,
But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung,
xxiv. So sweet was Harold's piteous lay, Scarce mark'd the guests the darken'd hall, Though, long before the sinking day, A wond’rous shade involved them all : It was not eddying mist or fog, Drain’d by the sun from fen or bog, Of no eclipse had sages told; And yet, as it came on apace, Each one could scarce his neighbour's face, Could scarce his own stretch'd hand behold. A secret horror check'd the feast, And chill'd the soul of every guest; Even the high dame stood half aghast, She knew some evil on the blast; The elvish page fell to the ground, And, shuddering, mutterd, “ Found ! found ! found !»
XXV. Then sudden, through the darkeu'd air A flash of lightning came; So broad, so bright, so red the glare, The castle seem'd on flame: Glanced every rafter of the hall, Glanced every shield upon the wall; Each trophied beam, each sculptured stone, Were instant seen, and instant gone; Full through the guests' bedazzled band Resistless flash'd the levin-brand, And fill'd the hall with smouldering smoke, As on the elvish page it broke. It broke, with thunder long and loud, Dismay’d the brave, appall'd the proud, From sea to sea the larum rung; On Berwick wall, and at Carlisle withal, To arms the startled warders sprung. When ended was the dreadful roar, The elvish Dwarf was seen no more!
XXVI. Some heard a voice in Branksome-hall, Some saw a sight, not seen by all; That dreadful voice was heard by some, Cry, with loud summons, a Gylbin, cove!» (23) And on the spot where burst the brand, Just where the page had slung him down,
Some saw an arm, and some a hand,
The anxious crowd, with horror pale,
And he a solemn sacred plight
Of Michael's restless sprite.
Nought of the bridal will I tell,
Of penitence and prayer divine,
Sought Melrose holy shrine.
xxix. With naked foot, and sackcloth vest, And arms enfolded on his breast, Did every pilgrim go; The standers-by might hear unneath, Footstep, or voice, or high-drawn breath, Through all the lengthen’d row:
' The Isle of Man.-Sce Note.
No lordly look, nor martial stride;
XXX. And slow up the dim aisle afar, With sable cowl and scapular, And snow-white stoles, in order due, The holy fathers, two and two, In long procession came; Taper, and host, and book they bare, And holy banner flourish’d fair With the Redeemer's name: Above the prostrate pilgrim band The mitred abbot stretch'd his hand, And bless'd them as they kneel'd : With holy cross he sign'd them all, And pray'd they might be sage in hall, And fortunate in field." The mass was sung, and prayers were said, And solemn requiem for the dead; And bells toll'd out their mighty peal For the departed spirit's weal; And ever in the office' close The hymn of intercession rose; And far the echoing aisles prolong The awful burthen of the song, Dies irs, dies illa, Solvrt seclum in FAvilla; While the pealing organ rung; Were it meet with sacred strain To close my lay, so light and vain, Thus the holy fathers sung.
xxxi. hymin Fort the dead.
That day of wrath, that dreadful day, When heaven and.earth shall pass away, What power shall be the sinner's stay? How shall he meet that dreadful day !
When, shrivelling like a parched scroll,
Oh! on that day, that wrathful day,
Husn’d is the harp–the Minstrel gone. And did he wander forth alone * Alone, in indigence and age, To linger out his pilgrimage 1