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When joins yon host in deadly stowre,
That England's dames must weep in bower,

Her monks the death-mass sing ; 1
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 made a stay.-
There stays the Minstrel, till 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.

1 [MS." Their monks dead masses sing.”]

MARMIO N.

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.)

TO

GEORGE ELLIS, ESQ.'

Edinburgh.

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 ;
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, save that to bring
The needful water from the spring;
When wrinkled news-page, thrice conn'd o'er,
Beguiles the dreary hour no more,
And darkling politician, cross’d,
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 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,

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

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