We saw the victor win the crest

He wears with worthy pride ; And on the gibbet-tree, reversed,

His foeman's scutcheon tied. Place, nobles, for the Falcon-knight!

Room, room, you gentles gay, For him who conquer'd in the right,

Marmion of Fontenaye !»

His was no rugged horse-boy's hand,
To burnish shield or sharpen brand,

Or saddle battle-steed;
But meeter seem'd for lady fair,
To fan her cheeks, or curl her hair,
Or through embroidery rich and rare

The slender silk to lead :
His skin was fair, his ringlets gold,

His bosom when he sigha,
The russet doublet's rugged fold

Could scarce repel its pride!
Say, hast thou given thar Jovely youth

To serve in lady's bower?
Or was the gentle page, in sooth,
A gentle paramour ?»—

Lord Marmion ill could brook such jest;

He roll'd his kindling. eye,
With pain his rising wrath suppress'd,'

Yet made a calm reply:
That boy thou thought'st so goodly fair,
He might not brook the northern air.
More of his fate if thou wouldst learn,
I left him sick in Lindisfarn:
Enough of him.-But, Heron, say,
Why does thy lovely lady gay
Disdain io grace the ball to-day?
Or has that dame, so fair and sage,
Gone on some pious pilgrimage?»--
He spoke in covert scorn, for fame
Whisper'd light tales of Heron's dame.

Then stepp'd, to meet that noble lord,

Sir Hugh the Heron bold,
Baron of Twisell, and of Ford,

And Captain of the Hold: (11) He led Lord Marmion to the deas,

Raised o'er the pavement high, And placed him in the upper place

They feasted full and high : The whiles a northern harper rude Chaunted a rhyme of deadly feud, « How the fierce Thirlwalls, and Ridleys all, (12)

Stout Willimoteswick,

And Hardriding Dick,
And Hughie of Hawden, and Will o' the Wall,
Have set on Sir Albany Featherstonhaugh,
And taken his life at the Deadman's-shaw,»—
Scantly Lord Marmion's ear could brook

The harper's barbarous lay; -
Yet much he praised the pains he took,

And well those pains did pay:
For lady's suit, and minstrel's strain,
By knight should ne'er be heard in vain.

« Now, good Lord Marmion,» Heron says,

« Of your fair courtesy,
I pray you bide some little space

In this poor tower with me.
Here may you keep your arms from rust,

May breathe your war-horse well;
Seldom hath pass'd 'a week but just

Or feat of arms befel:
The Scots can rein a mettled steed,

And love to couch a spear;
St George! a stirring life they lead

That have such neighbours near.
Then stay with us a little space,

Our northern wars to learn;
I pray you for your lady's grace.»—
Lord Marmion's brow grew stern,

The captain mark'd lris alter'd look,

And gave a squire the sign;
A mighty wassel bowl he took,

And crown'd it high with wine.
« Now pledge me here, Lord Marmion :

But first, I pray thee fair,
Where hast thou left that page of thine,
That used to serve thy cup of wine,

Whose beauty was so rare?
When last in Raby towers we met,

The boy I closely eyed,
And often mark'a bis cheeks were wet

With tears he fain would hide :

Unmark'd, at least unreck'd, the taunt,

Careless the knight replied,
«No bird whose feathers gaily flaunt,

Delights in cage to bide:
Norham is grim, and grated close,
Hemmd in by battlement and fosse,

And many a darksome tower;
And better loves my lady bright
To sit in liberty and light,

In fair Queen Margaret's bower.
We hold our greyhound in our hand,

Our falcon on our glove;
But where shall we find leash or band,

For dame that loves to rovę?
Let the wild falcon soar her swing,
She 'll stoop when she has tired her wing.»

Nay, if with royal James's bride
The lovely Lady Heron bide,
Behold me here a messenger,
Your tender greetings prompt to bear;
For, to the Scottish court address'd,
I journey at our king's behest,
And pray you, of your grace, provide
For me and mine a trusty guide.
I have not ridden in Scotland since
James back'd the cause of that mock prince,
Warbeck, that Flemish counterfeit,
Who on the gibbet paid the cheat.
Then did I march with Surrey's power,
What time we razed old Ayton lower.» -(13)

[ocr errors]

The rest of this old bellad may be found in the note.

Little he loves such risks, I know;
Yet in your guard perchance will go.»

XIX. « For such like need, my lord, I trow, Norham can find you guides enow; For here be some have prick'd as far, On Scottish ground, as to Dunbar; Ilave drunk the monks of St Bothan's ale, And driven the beeves of Lauderdale ; Harried the wives of Greenlaw's goods, And given them light to set their hoods.» (14)

XXII. Young Selby, at the fair hall-board Carved to his uncle and that lord, And reverently took up the word. « Kind uncle, woe were we each one, If barm should hap to brother Joho. He is a man of mirthful speech, Can many a game and gambol teach : Full well at tables can he play, And sweep, at bowls, the stake away. None can a lustier carol bawl; The needfullest among us all, When time hangs heavy in the hall, And snow comes thick at Christinas tide, And we can neither hunt, nor ride A foray on the Scottislı side. The vow'd revenge of Bughtrig rude May end in worse than loss of hood. Let Friar John, in safety, still In chimney-corner snore his fill, Roast hissing crabs, or flagons swill. Last night to Norliam there came one Will belter guide Lord Marmion.»-

Nephew, » quoth leron, « by my fay, Well hast thou spoke; say forth thy say."

[ocr errors]

« Now, in good sooth, » Lord Marmion cried,
« Were I in warlike-wise to ride,
A better guard I would not lack
Than your stout forayers at my back :
But as in form of peace I go,
A friendly messenger, to know
Why through all Scotland near and far,
Their king is mastering troops of

The sight of plundering Border spears
Might justify suspicious fears,
Aud deadly feud, or thirst for spoil,
Break out in some unseemly broil:
A herald were my fitting guide,
Or friar, sworn in peace to bide;
Or pardoner, or travelling priest,
Or strolling pilgrim at the least.»-

The captain mused a little space,
And pass'd his hand across his face.
--« Faiu would I find the guide you want,
But ill may spare a pursuivant,
The only men that safe can ride
Mine errands on the Scottish side:
And though a bishop built this fort,
Few holy brethren here resort;
Even our good chaplain, as I ween,
Since our last siege we have not seen:
Thie mass he might not sing or say,
Upon one stipted meal a-day;
So, sa fe he sat in Durham aisle,
And pray'd for our success the while.
Our Norman vicar, woe betide,
Is all too well in case to ride.
The priest of Shoreswood (15)--he could rein
The wildest war-horse in your train;
But then, no spearman in the hall
Will sooner swear, or stab, or brawl.
Friar John of Tillmouth were the man;
A blithesome brother at the can,
A welcome guest in hall and bower,
He knows each castle, town, and tower,
In which the wine and ale are good,
"Twixt Newcastle and Holyrood.
But that good man, as ill befals,
Hath seldorn left our castle walls,
Since, on the vigil of St Bede,
In evil hour he crossd the Tweed,
To teach dame Alison her creed.
Old Bughtrig found him with his wife,
And John, an enemy to strife,
Sans frock and hood, lled for his life.
The jealous churl hath deeply swore,
That, if again he venture o'er,
He shall shrieve penitent no more.

XXIII. « Here is a lioly Palmer come, From Salem first, and last from Rome; One that hath kiss'd the blessed tomb, And visited each holy shrive In Araby and Palestine; On hills of Armenie hath been, Where Noah's ark may yel be seen; By that Red Sca, loo,, hath he trod, Which parted at the prophet's rod; In Sinai's wilderness he saw The Mount where Israel heard the law, Mid thunder-dint, and flashing levin, Apd shadows, mists, and darkness, given. He shows St James's cockle-shell, Of fair Mountserrat too can tell;

And of that grot where olives nod, Where, darling of each heart and eye, From all the youth of Sicily,

St Rosalie reuired to God. (16)

XXIV. « To stout St George of Norwich merry, St Thomas, too, of Canterbury, Cuthbert of Durham, and St Bede, For his sins' pardon hath he pray'd. He knows the passes of the north, And seeks far shrines beyond the Forth; Little he eats, and long will wake, And drinks but of the stream or lake. This were a guide o'er moor and dale: But, when our John hath quaff d his ale, As little as the wind that blows, And warms itself against his nose, Kens he, or cares, which way



[ocr errors]

XXV. Gramercy !» quoth Lord Marmion, « Full loth were I that Friar John, That venerable man, for me Were placed in fear or jeopardy. If this same Palmer will me lead

From hence to Holyrood,
Like his good saint I 'll pay his meed,
Instead of cockle-shell or bead,

With angels fair and good.
I love such holy ramblers; still
They know to charm a weary hill,

With song, romance, or lay:
Some jovial tale, or glee, or jest,
Some lying legend, at the least,

They bring to cheer the way.»-


But his gaunt frame was worn with toil;
His cheek was sunk, alas, the while!
And when he struggled at a smile,

eye look'd baggard wild:
Poor wretch! the mother that him bare,
If she had been in presence there,
In his wan face and sunburnt hair,

She had not known her child.
Danger, long travel, want, or woe,
Soon change the form that best we know-
For deadly fear can time outgo,

And blanch at once the hair;
Hard coil can roughen form and face,
And want can quench the eye's bright grace,
Nor does old age a wrinkle trace,

More deeply than despair.
Happy whom none of these befal,
But this poor Palmer knew them all.

XXVI. « Ah! poble sir,» young Selby said, And finger on his lip he laid, « This man knows much, perchance e'en more Than he could learn by holy lore. Still to himself he's muitering, And shrinks as at some unseen thing. Last night we listen'd at his cell; Strange sounds we heard, and, sooth to tell, He murmur'd on till morn, howe'er No living mortal could be near. Sometimes I thought I heard it plain, As other voices spoke again. I cannot tell—I like it notFriar John hath told us it is wrote, No conscience clear and void of wrong Can rest awake, and pray so long. Himself still sleeps before his beads Have mark'd ten aves, and two creeds.»— (17)

XXIX. Lord armion then his boon did ask ; The Palmer took on him the task, So he would march with morning tide, To Scottish court to be his guide. -« But I have solemn vows to pay, And may not linger by the way,

To fair St Andrews bound, Within the ocean-cave to pray, Where good St Rule his holy lay, From midnight to the dawn of day,

Sung to the billows' sound; (19) Thence to St Fillan's blessed well, Whose spring can frenzied dreams dispel,

And the crazed brain restore : (20) St Mary grant that cave or spring Could back to peace my bosom bring,

Or bid it throb no more !»—

« Let pass,» quoth Marmion ; « by my fay,
This man shall guide me on my way,
Although the great arch-fiend and he
Had sworn themselves of company.
So please you, gentle youth, to call
This Palmer to the castle-hall.»—
The summond Palmer came in place;
His sable cowl o'erhung his face;
In his black mantle was he clad,
With Peter's keys, in cloth of red,

On his broad shoulders wrought;(18)
The scallop shell his cap did deck;
The crucifix around his neck

Was from Loretto brought;
His sandals were with travel tore,
Staff, budget, bottle, scrip, he wore;
The faded palm-branch in his hand
Show'd pilgrim from the Holy Land.

When as the Palmer came in hall,
Nor lord nor knight was there more tall,
Or had a statelier step withal,

Or look'd more high and keen;
For no saluting did he wait,
But strode across the hall of state,
And fronted Marmion where he sate,

As he his peer had been

XXX. And now the midnight draught of sleep, Where wine and spices richly steep, In massive bowl of silver deep,

The page presents on knee. Lord Marmion drank a fair good rest, The captain pledged his noble guest, The cup went through among the rest,

Who draind it merrily; Alone the Palmer pass'd it by, Though Selby press'd him courteously. This was the sign the feast was o'er; It hush'd the merry wassel roar,

The minstrels ceased to sound. Soon in the castle nought was heard, But the slow footstep of the guard,

Pacing his sober round.

XXXI. With early dawn Lord Marmion rose : And first the chapel doors' unclose; Then, after morning rites were done (A hasty mass from Friar Jobn), And knight and squire had broke their fast, On rich substantial repast, Lord Marmion's bugles blew to horse : Then came the stirrupcup in course;

Between the baron and his host
No point of courtesy was lost;
High thanks were by Lord Marmion paid,
Solemn excuse the captain made,
Till, filing from the gate, had past
That noble train, their lord the last.
Then loudly rung the trumpet-call:
Thunderd the cannon from the wall,

And shook the Scottish shore;
Around the castle eddied slow,
Volumes of smoke as white as snow,

And hid its turrets hoar;
Till they rolld forth upon the air,
And met the river breezes there,
Which gave again the prospect fair.

And foresters, in green-wood trim,
Lead in the leash the gaze-hounds grim,
Attentive, as the bratchet's' bay
From the dark covert drove the

To slip them as he broke away.
The startled quarry bounds amain,
As fast the gallant greyhounds strain :
Whistles the arrow from the bow,
Answers the arquebuss below:
While all the rocking hills reply,
To hoof-clang, hound, and hunter's cry,
And bugles ringing lightsomely.»--

[ocr errors]




Asbestiel, Ettrick Forest. The scenes are desert now, and bare, Where flourish'd once a forest fair, (1) When these waste gleos with copse were lined, And peopled with the hart and hind. Yon thorn-perchance whose prickly spears Have fenced him for three hundred years, While fell around his green compeersYon lonely thorn, would he could tell The changes of his parent dell, Since he, sogray and stubboro now, Waved in each breeze a sapling bough; Would he could tell how deep the shade, A thousand mingled branches made ; How broad the shadows of the oak, How clung the rowan' to the rock, And through the foliage show'd his head, With narrow leaves and berries red; What pines on every mountain sprung, O'er every dell what birches hung, In every brecze what aspens shook, What alders shaded every brook !

Of sucb proud huntings many tales Yet linger in our lonely dales, Up pathless Ettrick and on Yarrow, Where erst the outlaw drew his arrow. (2) But not more blithe that sylvan court, Than we have been at humbler sport; Though small our pomp, and mean our game, Our mirth, dear Marriot, was the same. Remember'st thou my greyhounds true ? O'er holt or hill there never flew, From slip or leash there never sprang, More fleet of foot, or sure of fang. Nor dull between each merry chase, Pass'd by the intermitted space; For we had fair resource in store, In classic, and in Gothic lore: We mark'd each memorable scene, And held poetic talk between; Nor hill nor br we paced along, But had its legend or its song. All silent now-for now are still Thy bowers, untenanted Bowhill! No longer from thy mountains dun The yeoman hears the well-known gun, And, while his honest heart glows Warm At thought of his paternal farm, Round to his mates a brimmer fills, And drinks « the Chieftain of the Hills !» No fairy forms, in Yarrow's bowers, Trip o'er the walks, or tend the flowers, Fair as the elves whom Janet saw, By moon-light, dance on Carterhaugh ; No youthful baron 's left to grace The Forest-sheriff's lonely chace, And ape, in manly step and tone, The majesty of Oberon: And she is gone, whose lovely face Is but her least and lowest grace; Though if to sylphid queen 't were given, To show our earth the charms of heaven, She could not glide along the air, With form more light, or face more fair. No more the widow's deafen'd ear Grows quick that lady's step to hear : At noontide she expects her nots Nor busies her to trim the cot; Pensive she turns her humming wheel, Or pensive cooks her orphans' meal; Yet blesses, ere she deals their bread, The gentle hand by which they're fed.

« Here, in my shade,» methinks he'd

say, « The mighty stay at noontide lay: The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game (The neighbouring dingle bears his name), With lurching step around me prowl, And stop against the moon to howl; The mountain-boar,

on battle

set, His tusks upon my stem would whet; While doe and roe, and red-deer good, Have bounded by through gay green-wood. Then oft, from Newark's riven tower, Sallied a Scottish monarch's power: A thousand vassals muster'd round, With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound; And I might see the youth intent Guard every pass with cross-bow bent; And through the brake the rangers stalk, And falc'ners hold the ready hawk;

[blocks in formation]

Nor point, retiring, bides a dell,
Where swain, or woodman, lone might dwell ;
There 's nothing left to fancy's guess,
You see that all is loneliness:
And silence aids—though the steep hills'
Send to the lake a thousand rills,
In summer-tide so soft they weep,
The sound but lulls the ear asleep;
Your horse's hoof-tread sounds too rude,
So stilly is the solitude.

From Yair,- which hills so closely bind, Scarce can the Tweed his passage find, Though much be fret, and chafe, and toil, Till all his eddying currents boil, Iler long-descended lord is gone, And left us by the stream alone. And much I miss those sportive boys, Companions of my mountain joys, Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth, When thought is speech, and speech is truth. Close to my side with what delight They press d to hear of Wallace wight, When, pointing to his airy mound, I call'd his ramparts holy ground!" Kindled their brows to hear me speak; And I have smiled to feel my cheek, Despite the difference of our years, Return again the glow of theirs. Ah, happy boys ! such feelings pure, They will not, capnot, long endure; Condemn'd to stem the world's rude tide, You may not linger by the side; For Fate shall thrust you from the shore, And Passion ply the sail and oar. Yet cherish the remembrance still Of the lone mountain and the rill; For trust, dear boys, the time will come, When fiercer transport shall be dumb, And you will think right frequently, But, well I hope, without a sigh, On the free hours that we have spent, Together, on the brown hill's bent.

Nought living meets the eye or ear, But well I ween the dead are near; For though, ia feudal strife, a foe Hath laid Our Lady's chapel low, (4) Yet still beneath the hallow'd soil, The peasant rests him from his toil, And, dying, bids his bones be laid Where erst his simple fathers pray'd.

When, musing on companions gone, We doubly feel ourselves alone, Something, my friend, we yet may gain,There is a pleasure in this pain : It soothes the love of lonely rest, Deep in each gentler heart impress'd. "T is silent amid worldly toils, And stifled soon by mental broils; But, in a bosom thus prepared, Its still small voice is often heard, Whispering a mingled sentiment; 'Twixt resignation and content. Oft in my mind such thoughts awake By lone St Mary's silent lake; (3) Thou know'st it well,-nor fen, nor sedge, Pollute the pure lake's crystal edge; Abrupt and sheer the mountains sink At once upon the level brink; And just a trace of silver sand Marks where the water meets the land. Far in the mirror, bright and blue, Each bill's huge outline you may view; Shaggy with beath, but lonely bare, Nor tree, nor bush, por brake is there, Save where of land yon slender line Bears thwart the lake the scatter'd pine. Yet even this nakedness has power, And aids the feeling of the hour: Nor thicket, dell, nor copse you spy, Where living thing conceald might lie;

If age had tamed the passions' strife, And fate had cut my ties to life, Here, have I thought, 't were sweet to dwell, And rear again the chaplain's cell, Like that same peaceful hermitage Where Milton long'd to spend his age. 'T were sweet to mark the setting day, On Bourhope's lonely top decay; And, as it faint and feeble died On the broad lake and mountain's side, To say, « Thus pleasures fade away; Youth, talents, beauty, thus decay, And leave us dark, forlorn, and gray !»— Then gaze on Dryhope's ruin'd tower, And think on Yarrow's faded Flower : And when that mountain-sound I heard, Which bids us be for storm prepared, The distant rustling of his wings, As up his force the Tempest brings, 'T were sweet, ere yet his terrors rave, To sit upon the Wizard's grave; That Wizard Priest's, whose bones are thrust From company of holy dust;(6) On which no sun-beam ever shines(So superstition's creed divines) Thence view the lake, with sullen roar, Heave her broad billows to the shore ; And mark the wild swans mount the gale, Spread wide through mist their snowy sail, And ever stoop again, to lave Their bosoms on the surging wave: Then, when against the driving haih No longer might my plaid avail, Back to my lonely home retire, And light my lamp, and trim my tire : There ponder o'er some mystic lay, Till the wild tale had all its sway, And, in the bittern's distant shriek, I heard unearthly voices speak, And thought the Wizard Priest was come, To claim again his ancient home! And bade my busy fancy range, To frame him fitting shape and strange, Till from the task my brow I clear'd, And smiled to think that I had fear'd.

1 There is, on a high mountainous range above the farm of Ashestiel. a fosse called Wallace's Trench.

« 前へ次へ »