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That holds che bones of Marmion brave.-
XXXVIII. I do not rhyme to that dull elf, Who cannot image to himself, That all through Flodden's dismal night, Wilton was foremost in the fight; That, when brave Surrey's steed was slain, 'Twas Wilton mounted him again ; 'Twas Wilton's brand that deepest hew'd, Amid the spearmen's stubborn wood: Unnamed by Hollinshed or Hall, He was the living soul of all ; That, after fight, his faith made plain, He won his rank and lands again; And charged his old paternal shield
1 [MS_“If thou should'st find this little tomb,
Beware to speak a hasty doom.”] 2 [MS." He hardest press’d the Scottish ring;
'Twas thought that he struck down the King.”]
With bearings won on Flodden Field.
TO THE READER.
Why then a final note prolong,
1 Used generally for tale, or discourse.
To read the Minstrel's idle strain,
1 [" We have dwelt longer on the beauties and defects of this poem, than, we are afraid, will be agreeable either to the partial or the indifferent; not only because we look upon it as a misapplication, in some degree, of very extraordinary talents, but because we cannot help considering it as the foundation of a new school, which may hereafter occasion no little annoyance both to us and to the public. Mr. Scott has hitherto filled the whole stage himself: and the very splendour of his success has probably operated as yet, rather to deter, than to encourage, the herd of rivals and imitators; but if, by the help of the good parts of his poem, he succeeds in suborning the verdict of the public in favour of the bad parts also, and establishes an indiscriminate taste for chival rous legends and romances in irregular rhyme, he may depend upon having as many copyists as Mrs. Radcliffe or Schiller, and upon becoming the founder of a new schism in the catholic poetical church, for which, in spite of all our exertions, there will probably be no cure, but in the extravagance of the last and lowest of its followers. It is for this reason that we conceive it to be our duty to make one strong effort to bring back the great apostle of the heresy to the wholesome creed of his instructors, and to stop the insurrection before it becomes desperate and senseless, by persuading the leader to return to his duty and allegiance. We admire Mr. Scott's genius as much as any of those who may be misle: by its perversion; and, like the curate and the barber in Don Quixote, lament the day when a gentleman of such endowments was corrupted by the wicked tales of knight-errantry and enchantment."'-JEFFREY.]
[“ We do not flatter ourselves that Mr. Scott will pay to our advice that attention which he has refused to his acute friend Mr. Erskine; but it is possible that his own good sense may in time persuade him not to abandon his loved fairy ground, (a province over which we wish hin a long and prosperous government,) but to combine the charms of lawful poetry with those of wild and romantic fiction. As the first step to this desirable end, we would beg him to reflect that his Gothic models will not bear him out in transferring the loose and shuffling ballad metre to a poem of considerable length, and of complicated interest like the present. It is a very easy thing to write five hundred ballad verses, stans pede in uno: but Mr. Scott needs not to be told, that five hundred verses written on one foot have a very poor chance for immortality.”-Monthly Review.]