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1771-1832. (Manual, pp. 376–395 ) FROM " THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTRE..." 254. DESCRIPTION OF MELROSE ABBEY. If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright, Go visit it by the pale moonlight; For the gay beams of lightsome day Gild but to flout the ruins gray. When the broken arches are black in night, And each shafted oriel glimmers white; When the cold light's uncertain shower Streams on the ruined central tower; When buttress and buttress, alternately, Seem framed of ebon and ivory; When silver edges the imagery, And the scrolls that teach thee to live and dic; When distant Tweed is heard to rave, And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grava Then go — but go alone the while Then view St. David's ruined pile; And, home returning, soothly swear, Was never scene so sad and fair!
255. Love of COUNTRY. Breathes there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land?
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish call claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung,
O Caledonia! 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
Can 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 were left;
And thus I love them better still,
Even in extremity of ill.
256. PITT AND Fox.
To mute and to material things
New life revolving summer brings :
The genial call dead nature hears,
And in her glory reappears.
But, O! my country's wintry state
What second spring shall renovate?
What powerful call shall bid arise
The buried warlike and the wise!
The mind that thought for Britain's weal,
The hand that grasped the victor's steel?
The vernal sun new life bestows,
E'en on the mcanest flower that blows;
But vainly, vainly may he shine,
Where glory weeps o'er Nelson's shrine,
And vainly pierce the soiemn gioom
That shrouds, O Pitt, thy hallowed tomb!
Hadst thou but lived, though stripped of power, A watchman on the lonely tower, Thy thrilling trump had roused the land, When fraud and danger were at hand; By thee, as by the beacon-light, Our pilots had kept course aright;
As some proud column, though alone,
Thy strength had propped the tottering throne.
Now is the stately column broke,
The beacon-light is quenched in smoke,
The trumpet's silver sound is stil.,
The warder silent on the hill!
0! think how to his latest day, When Death, just hovering, claimed his prey, With Palinure's ur altered mood, Firm at his dangerous post he stood; Each call for needful rest repelled, With dying hand the rudder held, Till, in his fall, with fateful sway, The steerage of the helm gave way; Then, while on Britain's thousand plains, One unpolluted church remains, Whose peaceful bells ne'er sent around The bloody tocsin's maddening sound, But still upon the hallowed day, Convoke the swains to praise and pray; While faith and civil peace are dear, Grace this cold marble with a tear,“ He who preserved them – Pitt, lies here !
Nor yet suppress the generous sigh,
Because his rival slumbers nigh;
Nor be thy requiescat dumb,
Lest it be said o'er Fox's tomb, —
For talents mourn, untimely lost,
When best employed and wanted most;
Mourn genius high and lore profound,
And wit that loved to play, not wound;
And all the reasoning powers divine,
To penetrate, resolve, combine;
And feelings keen and fancy's glow,-
They sides with him who sleej 6 below;
And, if thou mourn'st they could not save
From error him who owns this grave,
Be every harsher thought suppressed,
And sacred be the last long rest.
Here, where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings;
Where stiff the hand, and still the tongue,
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung :
Here, where the fretted aisles prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke again,
All peace on earth, good will to men;
If ever from an English heart,
O! here let prejudice depart,
And partial feeling cast aside,
Record, that Fox a Briton died!
When Europe crouched to France 3 yoke,
And Austria bent, and Prussia broke,
An: the firm Russian's purpose brave
Was bartered by a timorous slave;
Even then dishonor's peace he spurned,
The sullied olive-branch returned,
Stood for his country's glory fast,
And nailed her colors to the mast!
Heaven, to reward his firmness, gave
A portion in this honored grave;
And never held marble in its trust,
Of two such wondrous men the dust.
With more than mortal powers endowed,
How high they soared above the crowd!
Theirs was no common party race,
Jostling by dark intrigue for place;
Like fabled gods, their mighty war
Shook realms and nations in its jar;
Beneath each banner proud to stand,
Looked up the noblest of the land;
Till through the British world were known
The names of Pitt and Fox alone.
257. THE PARTING OF DOUGLAS AND MARMION.
The train from out the castle drew,
But Marmion stopped to bid adieu :
" Though something I might plain," he said,
“Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your king's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I staid;
Part we in friendship from your land;
And, noble earl, receive my hand.”
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke :-
“My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation stone -
The hand of Douglas is his own,
And never shall in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp."
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fires
And shook his very frame for ire,
And.-“This to me!” he said, -
“ An 'twere not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head!
And, first, I tell thee, haughty peer,
He, who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate:
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,
Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here, in thy hold, thy vassals near
(Nay, never look upon your lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword), -
I tell thee, thou'rt defied!
And if thou said'st, I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied !” –
On the earl's cheek the flush of rage
O'ercame the ashen hue of age :
Fierce he broke forth, - "And dar'st thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
The Douglas in his hall ?
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go?-
No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no!-
Up drawbridge, grooms — what, warder, hol
Let the portcullis fall."
Lord Marmion turned, — well was his need, -
And dashed the rowels in his steed,
Like arrow through the archway sprung,
The ponderous grate behind him rung:
To pass there was such scanty room,
The bars, descending, razed his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise;
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim.
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clinchéd hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook liis gauntlet at the towers.
“i Horse! horse!” the Douglas cried, “and chase •
But soon he reined his fury's pace;