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When joins yon host in deadly stowre,
Her monks the death-mass sing ; 1
Led on by such a King."
And now, down winding to the plain,
And there they made a stay.-
In the succeeding lay.
1 [MS." Their monks dead masses sing.”]
INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FIFTH.'
1 [“These Introductory Epistles, though excellent in themselves, are in fact only interruptions to the fable, and, accordingly, nine readers out of ten have perused them separately, either before or after the poem. In short, the personal appearance of the Minstrel, who, though the Last, is the most charming of all minstrels, is by no means compensated by the idea of an author shorn of his picturesque beard, and writing letters to his intimate friends.”—GEORGE ELLIS.)
GEORGE ELLIS, ESQ.'
WHEN dark December glooms the day, And takes our autumn joys away; When short and scant the sunbeam 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 hang, in idle trophy, near, The game-pouch, fishing-rod, and spear; When wiry terrier, rough and grim, And greyhound, with his length of limb, And pointer, now employ'd no more, 1 [This accomplished gentleman, the well-known coadjutor of Mr. Canning and Mr. Frere in the “ Antijacobin," and editor of “Specimens of Ancient English Romances,” &c., died 10th April, 1815, aged 70 years; being succeeded in his estates by his brother, Charles Ellis, Esq., created, in 1827, Lord Seaford.—ED.)
Cumber our parlour's narrow floor ;
Not here need my desponding rhyme
1 See Introduction to canto ii.
2 The Old Town of Edinburgh was secured on the north side by a lake, now drained, and on the south by a wall, which there was some attempt to make defensible even so