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If this same Palmer will me lead
From hence to Holy-Rood,
Like his good saint, I'll pay his meed,
Instead of cockle-shell, or bead,
With angels fair and good,
I love such holy ramblers; still
They know to charm a weary hill,
With song, romance, or lay:
Some jovial tale, or glee, or jest,
Some lying legend at the least,
They bring to cheer the way.
" Ah! noble sir," young Selby said,
And finger on his lip he laid,
“This man knows much, perchance e'en more
Than he could learn by holy lore.
Still to himself he's muttering,
And shrinks as at some unseen thing.
Last night we listened at his cell;
Strange sounds we heard, and, sooth to tell,
He murmured on till morn, howe'er
No living mortal could be near,
Sometimes I thought I heard it plain,
As other voices spoke again.
I cannot tell
I like it not
Friar John bath told us it is wrote,
No conscience clear, and void of wrong,
Can rest awake, and pray so long.
Himself still sleeps before his beads
Have marked ten aves and two creeds?
“Let pass," quoth Marmion; "bymyfay,
This man shall guide me on my way,
Although the great arch-fiend and he
Had sworn themselves of company;
So please you, gentle youth, to call
This Palmer to the castle hall.".
The summoned Palmer came in place;
His sable cowl o'erhung his face;
In his black mantle was he clad,
With Peter's keys, in cloth of red,
On his broad shoulders wroughts
The scallop shell his cap did deck;
The crucifix around his neck
Was from Loretto brought;
His sandals were with travel tore,
Staff, budget, bottle, scrip, he wore;
palm-branch in his hand, Showed pilgrim from the Holy Land.
When as the Palmer came in hall,
Nor lord, nor knight, was there more tall,
Or had & statelier step withal,
Or looked more high and keen;
For no saluting did he wait,
But strode across the ball of state,
And fronted Marmion where he sate,
As he his peer had been.
But his gaunt frame was worn with toil;
His cheek was sunk, alas the while!
And when he struggled at a smile,
His eye looked haggard wild.
Poor wretch! the mother that him baro,
If she had been in presence there,
In his wan face, and sun-burned hair,
She had not known her child.
Danger, long travel, want, or woe,
Soon change the form that best we knc-
For deadly fear can time outgo,
And blanch at once the hair;
Hard toil can roughen form and face,
And want can quench the eye's bright grecs,
Nor does old age a wrinkle trace,
More deeply than despair.
Happy whom none of these befall,
But this poor Palmer knew them all.
Lord Marmion then his boon did ask;
The Palmer took on him the task,
So he would march with morning tide,
To Scottish court to be his guide.
6 But I have solemn vows to pay, And may not linger by the way,
To fair Saint Andrew's bound,
Within the ocean-cave to pray,
Where good Saint Rule his holy lay,
From midnight to the dawn of day,
Sung to the billow's sound;
Thence to Saint Fillan's blessed well,
Whose spring can frenzied dreams dispel,
And the crazed brain restore:
Saint Mary grant, that cave or spring
Could back to peace my bosom bring,
Or bid it throb no more!".
And now the midnight draught of sleep,
Where wine and spices richly steep,
In massive bowl of silver deep,
The page presents on knee.
Lord Marmion drank a fair good rest,
The Captain pledged his noble guest,
The cup went through among the rest,
Who drained it merrily;
Alone the Palmer passed it by,
Though Selby pressed him courteously.
This was the sign the feast was o'er;
It hushed the merry wassel roar,
The minstrels ceased to sound.
Soon in the castle nought was heard,
But the slow footstep of the guard,
Pacing his sober round.
With early dawn Lord Marmion rose;
And first the chapel doors unclose;
Then, after morning rites were done,
(A hasty mass from Friar John,)
And knight and squire had broke their fast,
On rich substantial repast,
Lord Marmion's bugles blew to horse.
Then came the stirrup-cup in course;
Between the Baron and his host,
No point of courtesy was lost:
High thanks were by Lord Marmion pail,
Solemn excuse the Captain made,
Till, filing from the gate, had past
That noble train, their Lord the last.
Then loudly rung the trumpet-call;
Thundered the cannon from the wall,
And shook the Scottish shore;
Aronnd the castle eddied, slow,
Volumes of smoke as white as snow,
And hid its turrets hoar;
Till they rolled forth upon the air,
And met the river breezes there,
Which gave again the prospect fair.
INTRODUCTION TO CANTO SECOND.
To the Rev. JOHN MARRIOT, M.A.
Ashestiel, Ettricke Forest. The scenes are desart now and bare, Where flourished once a forest fair, When these waste glens with copse were lined, And peopled with the hart and hind. Yon thorn--perchance whose prickly spears Have fenced him for three hundred years, While fell around his green compeers-Yon lonely thorn, would he could tell The changes of his parent dell, Since he, so grey and stubborn now, Waved in each breeze a sapling bough; Would he could tell how deep the shade, A thousand mingled branches made; How broad the shadows of the oak, How clung the rowan* to the rock, And through the foliage showed his head, With narrow leaves, and berries red; What pines on every mountain sprung, O'er every dell what birches hung, In every breeze what aspens shook, What alders shaded every brook!
“ Here, in my shade," methinks he'd say, « The mighty stag at noontide lay; The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game, (The neighbouring dingle bears his name,) With lurching step around me prowl, And stop against the moon to: howl; The mountain boar, on battle set, His tusks upon my stem would whet; While doe and roe, and red-deer good, Have bounded by through gay green-wood. Then oft, from Newark's riven' tower, Sallied a Scottish monarch's power: A thousand vassals mastered round, With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound, And I might see the youth intent, Guard every pass with cross-bow bent; And through the brake the rangers stalk, And falc'ners hold the ready hawk;
And foresters, in green-wood trim,
Lead in the leash the gaze-hounds grims,
Attentive, as the bratchet's bay
From the dark covert drove the prey,
To slip them as he broke away.
The startled quarry bounds amain,
As fast the gallant grey-hounds strain;
Whistles the arro:y from the bow,
Answers the harquebuss below;
While all the rocking hills reply,
To hoof-clang, hound, and hunters' cry,
And bugles ringing lightsomely.”—
Of such proud huntings, many tales
Yet linger in our lonely dales,
Up pathless Ettricke, and on Yarrow,
Where erst the Outlaw drew his arrovy.
But not more blythe that sylvan court,
Than we have been at humbler sport;
Though small our pomp, and mean our game,
Our mirth, dear Marriot, was the same.
Remember'st thou my grey-hounds true?
O'er holt, or hill, there never flew,
From slip, or leash, there never sprang,
More fleet of foot, or sure of fang.
Nor dull, between each merry chase,
Passed by the intermitted space;
For we had fair resource in store,
In Classic, and in Gothic lore:
We marked each memorable scene,
And held poetic talk between;
Nor hill, nor brook, we paced along,
But had its legend, or its song.
All silent now-for now are still
Thy bowers, untenanted Bowhill!
No longer, from thy mountains dun,
The yeoman hears the wellknown gun,
And, while his honest heart glows warm,
At thought of his paternal farm,
Round to his mates a brimmer fills,
And drinks, “ The Chieftain of the Hills!
No fairy forms, in Yarrow's bowers,
Trip o'er the walks, or tend the flowers,
Fair as the elves whom Janet saw,
By moon'ight, dance on Carterhaugh;
No youthful barons left to grace
The Forest-Sleriff's lonely chase,