ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Whose ridgy back heaves to the sky,
Piled deep and massy, close and high,

Mine own romantic town!
But northward far, with purer blaze,
On Ochil mountains fell the rays,
And, as each heathy top they kiss'd,
It gleam'd a purple amethyst.
Yonder the shores of Fife you saw;
Here Preston-bay, and Berwick Law;

And, broad between them rolld,
The gallant Frith the eye might note,
Whose islands on its bosoni float

Like emeralds chased in gold.
Fitz-Eustace' heart felt closely pent;
As if to give his rapture vent,
The spur lie to his charger lent,

And raised his bridle-hand,
And, making demi-volle in air,
Cried, « Where's the coward that would not dare

To fight for such a land !»
The Lindesay smiled his joy to see ;
Nor Marmion's frown repress'd his glee.

God is the guider of the field,
He breaks the champion's spear and shield, -

But thou thyself shalt say,
When joins yon host in deadly stowre,
That England's dames must weep in bower,

Her monks the death-mass sing;
For never saw'st thou such a power

Led on by such a king.»—
And now, down winding to the plain,
The barriers of the camp they gain,

And there they make a stay.-
Thiere stays the minstrel, ull he fling
His hand o'er every Border string,
And fit his harp the pomp to sing
Of Scotland's ancient court and king,

In the succeeding lay.

INTRODUCTION TO CANTO V.

TO

[ocr errors]

XXXI.
Thus while they look'd, a flourish proud,
Where mingled trump and clarion loud,

And life, and kettle-drum,
And sack but deep, and psaltery,
And war-pipe with discordant cry,
And cymbal clattering to the sky,
Making wild music bold and high,

Did up the mountain come;
The whilst the bells, with distant chime,
Merrily toll'd the hour of prime,

And thus the Lindesay spoke :-
« Thus clamour still the war-notes when
The king to mass his way has ta'en,
Or to St Catherine's of Sienne,

Or chapel of St Rocque.
To you they speak of martial fame;
But me remind of peaceful game,

When blither was their cheer,
Thrilling in Falkland woods the air,
In signal none his steed should spare,
But strive which foremost might repair

To the downfall of the deer.

GEORGE ELLIS, ESQ.

Edinburgh.
When dark December glooms the day,
And takes our autumn joys away;
When short and scant the sun-beam throws,
Upon the weary waste of snows,
A cold and profitless regard,
Like patron on a needy bard;
When sylvan occupation 's done,
And o'er the chimney'rests the gun,
And haog, in idle trophy, near,
The game-pouch, fishing-rod, and spear;
When wiry terrier, rough and grim,
And greyliound, with his length of limb,
And pointer, now employ'd do more,
Cumber our parlour's narrow floor;
When in his stall the impatient steed
Is long condemn’d to rest and feed;
When from our snow-encircled home,
Scarce cares the hardiest step to roam,
Since path is none, suve that to bring
The needful water from the spring;
When wrinkled news-page, thrice coon'd o'er,
Beguiles the dreary hoúr no more,
And darkling politician, crossd,
Inveighs against the lingering post,
And answering housewife sore complains
Of carriers' snow-impeded wains :
When such the country cheer, I come,
Well pleased, to seek our city home;
For converse, and for books to change
The Forest's melancholy range,
And welcome, with repew'd delight,
The busy day, and social night.

Not here need my desponding rhyme
Lament the ravages of time,
As erst by Newark's riven towers,
And Eurick stripp'd of forest bowers."
True, -Caledonia's Queen is changed, (1)
Sioce, on her dusky summit ranged,

XXXII. « Nor less,» he said, -« when looking forth, I view yon Empress of the North

Sit on her hilly throne;
Her palace's imperial bowers,
Her castle, proof to hostile powers,
Her stately halls and holy towers-

Nor less,» he said, « I moan
To think what woe mischance may bring,
And how these merry bells may ring
The death-dirge of our gallant king i

Or, with their larum, call
The burghers forth to watch and ward,
'Gainst southern sack and fires to guard

Dun-Edin's leaguer'd wall. But not from my presaging thought, Dream conquest sure, or cheaply bought!

Lord Marmion, I say nay:

+ See Introduction to Canto II.

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Within its steepy limits pent,
By bulwark, line, and battlement,
And flanking towers, and laky flood,
Guarded and garrison d she stood,
Denying entrance or resort,
Save at ea tall embatuled port;
Above whose arch, suspended, hung
Portcullis spiked with iron prong.
That long is gone, but not so long,
Since, early closed, and opening late,
Jealous revolved the studded gate,
Whose task, from eve to morning tide,
A wicket churlishly supplied.
Stern then, and steel-girt was thy brow,
Dun-Edin! O, how alter'd now,
When safe amid thy mountain court
Thou sit'st, like empress at her sport,
And, liberal, unconfined, and free,
Flinging thy white arms to the sea, (2)
For thy dark cloud, with umber'd lower,
That hung o'er cliff, and lake, and tower,
Thou gleam'st against the western ray
Ten thousand lines of brighter day.

For fosse and turret proud to stand;
Their breasts the bulwarks of the land.
Thy thousands, train'd to martial toil,
Full red would stain their pative soil,
Ere from thy mural crown there fell
The slightest knosp, or pinnacle.
And if it come,-as come it may,
Dun-Edin! that eventful day,-
Renown'd for hospitable deed,
That virtue much with Heaven may plead,
In patriarchal times whose care
Descending angels deign'd to share;
That claim may wrestle blessings down
On those who fight for the Good Town,
Destined in every age to be
Refuge of injured royalty;
Since first, when conquering York arose,
To llenry meek she gave repose, (3)
Till late, with wonder, grief, and awe,
Great Bourbon's reliques, sad she saw.

Truce to these thoughts !-for, 'as they rise, How gladly I avert mine eyes, Bodings, or true or false, to change, For fiction's fair romantic range, Or for tradition's dubious light, That hovers 'twixt the day and night : Dazzling alternately and dim, Her wavering lamp I'd rather trim, Knights, squires, and lovely dames to see, Creation of my fantasy, Than

gaze

abroad on reeky fen,
And make of mists invading men.-
Who loves not more the night of June.
Than dull December's gloomy noon ?
The moon-light than the fog of frost?
And can we say, which cheats the most ?

[ocr errors]

Not she, the championess of old, In Spenser's magic tale enrolld, She for the charmed spear renown'd, Which forced each knight to kiss the ground, Not she more changed, when placed at rest, What time she was Malbecco's guest,' She gave to flow her maiden vest; When from the corslet's grasp relieved, Free to the sight her bosom heaved ; Sweet was her blue eye's modest smile, Erst hidden by the aventayle; And down her shoulders graceful roll'd Her locks profuse of paly gold. They who whilom, in midnight fight, Had marvelld at her matchless might, i No less her maiden charms approved, But looking liked, and liking loved.2 The sight could jealous pangs beguile, And charm Malbecco's cares awhile; And he, the wandering Squire of Dames, Forgot his Columbella's claims, And passion, erst unknown, could gain The breast of blunt Sir Satyrane; Nor durst light Paridel advance, Bold as he was, a looser glance. She charm'd, at once, and tamed the heart, Incomparable Britomarte!

But who sball teach my harp to gain A sound of the romantic strain, Whose Anglo-Norman tones whilere Could win the royal Henry's ear, (4) Famed Beauclerc call'd, for that he loved The minstrel, and his lay approved ? Who shall these lingering notes redeem, Decaying on oblivion's stream; Such notes as from the Breton tongae Marie translated, Blondel sung ?-0! boro, Time's ravage to repair, And make the dying muse thy care; Who, when his scythe her hoary foe Was poising for the final blow, The weapon from his hand could wring, And break his glass, and shear his wing, And bid, reviving in his strain, The gentle poet live again; Thou, who canst give to lightest lay An unpedantic moral gay, Nor less the dullest theme bid flic On wings of unexpected wit; In letters, as in life, approved, Example honourd, and beloved, Dear Ellis! to the bard impart A lesson of thy magic art, To win at once the head and heart, -

So thou, fair city! disarray'd
of battled wall, and rampart's aid,
As stately seem'st, but lovelier far
Than in that panoply of war.
Nor deem that from thy fenceless throne
Strength and security are flown;
Still, as of yore, Queen of the Norih!
Still canst thou send thy children forth.
Ne'er readier at alarm-bell's call
Thy burghers rose to man thy wall,
Than now, in danger, shall be thine,

Thy dauntless voluntary line ;
"See « The Faery Queene, - Book III. Canto IX. -

- For every one her liked, and every one her loved. --Srexten.

12

At once to charm, instruct, and mend, My guide, my pattern, and my

friend!

Such minstrel lesson to bestow Be long thy pleasing task,-but, O! No more by thy example teach What few can practise, all can preach; With even patience to ensure Lingering disease, and painful cure, And boast affliction's paugs subdued By mild and manly fortitude. Enough, the lesson has been given; Forbid the repetition, Heaven!

On Flemish steeds of bone and height,

With battle-axe and spear.
Young knights and squires, a lighter train,
Practised their chargers on the plain,
By aid of leg, of land, and rein,

Each warlike feat to show;
To pass, to wheel, the croupe to gain,
And high curyett, that not in vain
The sword-sway might descend amain

On foeman's casque below. (6)
He saw the hardy burghers there
March arm'd, on foot, with faces bare, (7)

For visor they wore none, Nor waving plume, nor crest of knight; But buruislı'd were their corslets bright, Their brigantines, and gorzels light, Like very

silver shone. Long pikes they had for standing light,

Two-handed swords they wore, And many wielded mace of weight,

And bucklers bright they bore.

Come listen, then! for thou hasi known, And loved the minstrel's varying tone, Who, like his Border sires of old, Waked a wild measure rude and bold, Till Windsor's oaks, and Ascot plain, With wonder heard the northern strain. Come, listen!-bold in thy applause, The bard shall scorn pedantic laws, And, as the ancient art could stain Achievements on the storied pane, Irregularly traced and planud, But yet so glowing and so grand;-So shall he strive, in changeful hue, Field, feast, and combat, to renew, And loves, and arms, and harper's glee, And all the pomp of chiyalry.

CANTO V.

III.
On foot the yeoman too, (8) but dress'd
In his steel jack, a swarthy vest,

With iron quilted well;
Each at his back (a slender store),
His forty days' provision bore,

As feudal statutes tell.
His arms were halberi, axe, or spear,
A cross-bow there, a hagbut here,

A dagger-knife, and brand,
Sober lie seem'd, and sad of clicer,
As loth to leave his collage dear,

And march to foreigu strand;
Or musing, who would guide his steer,

To till the fallow land,
Yet deem not in his thoughtful eye
Did augbit of dastard terror lie;

More dreadful far his ire,
Than theirs, who, scorping danger's name,
In eager mood to battle came,
Their valour like light straw on flame,

A ficrce but fading fire.

THE COURT.

I.
The train has left the hills of Braid;
The barrier guard hayc open made
(So Lindesay bade) che palisade,

That closed the tented ground;
Their men the warders backward drew,
And carried pikes as they rode througb,

Into its ainple bound. Fast ran the Scottish warriors there, Upon the southern band to stare; And envy with their wonder rose, To see such well-appointed focs; Such length of shafts, such mighty bows, So huge, that many simply thought, But for a vaunt such weapons wrought; And little deem d their force to feel, Through Jivks of mail, and places of steel, When, rattling upon Flodien vale, The cloth-yard arrows flew like hail.(5)

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

IV.
Not so the Borderer:- bred to war,
He knew the battle's din afar,

And joy'd to hear it swell.
Mis peaceful day was slothful case;
Nor harp, nor pipe, his ear could please,

Like the loud slogan yell. On active steed, with laoce and blade, The light-arm'd pricker plied his trade,

Let nobles light for fame; Let vassals follow where they lead, Burghers, to guard their townships, bleed, But war's the Borderers' game. Their gain, their glory, their delight, To sleep thic day, maraud the night,

O'er mountain, moss, and inoor; Joyful to fight they took their way, Scarce caring who might win the day,

Their booly was secure. These, as Lord Marmion's train pass'd by, Lookd on at first with careless cye,

il. Nor less did Marmion's skilful view Glance every line and squadron through; And much hie marvcild one small land Could marshal forth such various band :

For men-al-arms were here, Ileavily sheathed in mail and plate, Like iron towers for strength anci wcight,

[ocr errors]

Nor marvella aught, well taught to know
The form and force of English bow.

But when they saw the lord array'd
In splendid arms, and rich brocade,
Each Borderer to his kiosman said, -

« Hist, Ringan! seest thou there! Canst guess which road they 'll homeward ride?0 could we but on Border side, By Eusedale glen, or Liduell's ride,

Besei a prize so fair!
That fangless Lion, 100, their guide,
Might chance to lose his glistering bide;
Brown Maudlin, of that doublet picd,

Could make a kirtle rare.»

Or axe, or falchion to the side
Of jarring grindsione was applied.
Page, groom, and squire, with hurrying pace,
Through street, aud lane, and market-place,

Bore lance, or casque, or sword;
While burghers, with important face,

Described each new-come lord,
Discussid liis lineage, told his name,
llis following,' and his warlike fame.
The Lion led to lodging meet,
Which high o'erlook'd the crowded street;

There must the baron rest,
Till past the hour of vesper tide,
And then to Holyrood must ride,

Such was the king's behest.
Meanwhile the Lion's care assigns
A banquet rich, and costly wines, (9)

To Marmion and his train ;
And when the appointed hour succeeds,
The baron dons his peaceful wecds,
And following Lindesay as he leads,

The palace-halls they gain.

V.
Next, Marmjon mark'd the Celtic race
Of different language, form, and face,

A various race of man;
Just then the chiefs their tribes array'd,
And wild and garislı semblance made,
The chequer'd trews, and belted plaid;
And varying notes the war-pipes bray'd,

To every varying clan; -
Wild through their red or sable hair
Look'd out their eyes, with savage stare,

On Marmion as he past;
Their legs above the knee were bare;
Their frame was sinewy, short, and spare,

And hardend to the blast;
Of taller race, the chiefs they own
Were by the eagle's plumage known.
The hunted red-deer's andress'd hide
Their hairy buskips well supplied ;
The graceful bonnet deck d their head;
Back from their shoulders hung the plaid;
A broadsword of unwieldy length,
A dagger proved for edge and strength,

A studded targe they wore,
And quivers, bows, and shafts,-hut, o!
Short was the shaft, and weak the bow,

To that which England bore.
The Isles-men carried at their backs
The ancient Danish battle-axe.
They raised a wild and wondering cry,
As with his guide rode Marmion by.
Loud were their clamouring tongues, as when
The clanging sea-fowl leave the fen,
And, with their cries discordant mix'd,
Grumbled aud yelld the pipes betwixt.

VII. Old liolyrood runy merrily, That night, wish wassel, inirth, and glee: King James within her princely bower Feasted the chiefs of Scotland's power, Summond to spend the parting lour;, For he had charged, that his array Should southward march by break of day. Well loved that splendid monarch aye

The banquet and the song,
By day the tourney, and by night
The merry dance, traced fast and lights
The masquers quaint, the pageant bright,

The revel loud and long.
This feast outshove his banquets past;
It was his blithest,--and his last.
The dazzling lamps, from gallery gay,
Cast on the court a dancing ray;
Here to the harp did minstrels sing;
There ladies touchd a softer string;
With long-ear'd cap, and motley vest,
The licensed fool retaild his jest;
His magic tricks the juggler plied;
At dice and draughts the gallants vied ;
While some, in close recess apart,
Courted the ladies of their heart,
Nor courted them in vain;
For often, in the parting hour,
Victorious love asserts his power

O'er coldness and disdain ;
And flinty is her heart, çan view
To battle march a lover true
Can hear, perchance, his last adieu,

Nor own her share of pain.

VI. Thus through the Scottish camp they passid, And reach'd the city gate at last, Where all around, a wakeful guard, Arm'd burghers kept their watch and ward. Well had they cause of jealous (fear, When lay encamp'd, in field so near, The Borderer and the Mountaineer. As through the bustling streets they go, All was alive with marual show;' At every turn, with dinning clang, The armourer's anvil clash'd and rang, Or toild the swarthy smith, to wheel The bar that arms the charger's heel;

VIIT.
Through this mix'd crowd of glee and game,
The king to greet Lord Marmiou came,

While, reverent, all made room.
An easy task it was, I trow,
King James's manly form to know,

' Following-Feudal retainers.

Although, his courtesy to show,
He doff d, to Marmion bending low,

His broider'd cap and plume.
For royal were his carb and mien,

His cloak, of crimson velvet piled,

Trimm'd with the fur of marten wild; His vest of changeful satin sheen,

The dazzled eye beguiled ; His gorgeous collar hung adown, Wrought with the badge of Scotland's crown, The thistle brave, of old renown; His trusty blade, Toledo right, Descended from a baldric bright; White were his buskins, on the heel His spurs inlaid of gold and steel; His bonnet, all of crimson fair, Was button'd with a ruby rare : And Marmion deem'd he ne'er had seen A prince of such a noble mien.

Sent him a Turquois ring, and glove,
And charged him, as her knight and love,

For her to break a lance;(12)
And strike three strokes with Scottish brand,
And march three miles on southron land,
And bid the banners of his band

In English breezes dauce.
And thus, for France's Queen he drest
His manly limbs in mailed vest;
And thus admitted English fair
His inmost counsels still to share;
And thus, for both, he madly plann'd
The ruin of himself and land!

And yet, the sooth-to tell,
Nor England's fair, nor France's Queen,
Were worth one pearl-drop bright and sheen,

From Margaret's eyes that fell,-
His own Queen Margaret, who, in Lithgow's bower,
All lonely sat, and wept

the
weary

hour.

IS. The monarch's form was middle size; For feat of strength, or exercise,

Shaped in proportion fair; And hazel was his eagle eye, And auburn of the darkest dye

His short curl'd beard and hair.. Light was his footstep in the dance,

And firm his stirrup in the lists; And, oh! he had that merry glance

That seldom lady's heart resists. Lightly from fair to fair he flew, And loved to plead, lament, and sue; — Suit lightly won, and short-lived pain, For monarchs seldom sich in vain.

I said he joy'd in banquet-bower; But, mid his mirth, 't was often strange, How suddenly his cheer would change, His look o'ercast and lower, If, in a sudden turn, he felt The pressure of his iron belt, That bound his breast in penance pain, In memory of his father slain. (10) Even so 't was strange howevermore, Soon as the passing pang was o'er, Forward he rush'd, with double glee, Into the stream of revelry: Thus, dim-seen object of affright Startles the courser in his flight, And half he halts, half springs aside; But feels the quickening spur applied, And, straining on the tighten'd rein, Scours doubly swift o'er hill and plain.

XI.
The queen sits love in Lithgow pile,
And
weeps

the

weary day,
The war against hier native soil,
Her monarch's risk in battle broil;
And in gay, Holyrood, the while,
Dame Heron rises with a smile

Upon the harp to play.
Fair was her rounded arm, as o'er

The strings her fingers flew;
And as she touchd, and tuned them all,
Ever her bosom's rise and fall

Was plainer given to view ; For all, for heat, was laid aside, Her wimple, and lier hood untied. And first she pitch d'her voice to sing, Then glanced her dark eye on the king, And then around the silent ring ; And laugh'd, and blush'd, and oft did say Her pretty oath, by yea and nay, She could not, would not, durst not play! At length, upon the harp, with glee, Mingled with arch simplicity, A soft, yet lively air she rung, While thus the wily lady sang.

XII.

LOCHINVAR.

LADY HERON'S SONG. O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west, Through all the wide Border his steed was the best; And save his good broadsword he weapons had none, He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone, So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war, Thiere never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

X.
O'er James's heart, the courtiers say,
Sir Hugh the Heron's wife held sway:(u)

To Scotland's court she came,
To be a hostage for her lord,
Who Cessford's gallant heart had gored,
And with the king to make accord,

Had sent his lovely dame.
Nor 18 that lady frce alone
Did the gay king allegiance own;

For the fair Queen of France

He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late :
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was 10 wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochiavar.

« 前へ次へ »