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And welcome, with renew'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 Ettrick stripp'd of forest bowers. * True,-Caledonia's Queen is changed, Since, on her dusky summit ranged, 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 each tall embattled 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 sitst, like Empress at her sport,
And, liberal, unconfined, and free,
Flinging thy white arms to the sea,
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!
Not she, the Championess of old, In Spenser's magic tale enroll’d, 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 rolld
Her locks profuse of paly gold.
They who whilom, in midnight fight,
Had marvell’d at her matchless might,
No less her maiden charms approved,
But looking liked, and liking loved.t
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 !
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 North !
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;
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 native 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 Henry meek she gave repose,
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,