Изображения страниц

ليد عدد.نعم يه ههعمهعملا,ماينتبهلي لعب بعد الاعلاميه ميه هع

[ocr errors]

It was a barren scene, and wild,
Where naked cliffs were rudely piled;
But ever and anon between
Lay velvet tufts of loveliest greens
And well the lonely infant knew
Recesses where the wall-flower grew,
And honey-suckle loved to crawl
Up the low crag and ruined wall;
I deemed such nooks the sweetest shado
The sun in all his round surveyed;
And still I thought that shattered tower
The mightiest work of human power;
And marvelled as the aged hind
With some strange tale bewitched my mind,
Of forayers, who, with headlong force,
Down from that strength had spurred their horse.
Their southern rapine to renew,
Har in the distant Cheviots blue,
And, home returning, filled the hall
With revel, wassel-rout, and brawl.-
Methought that still with tramp and clang
The gate-way's broken arches rang;
Methought grim features, seaned with scars,
Glared through the windows' rusty bars.
And ever, by the winter hearth,
Old tales I heard of woe or mirth,
Of lovers' sleights, of ladies' charms,
Of witches' spells, of warriors' arms;
Of patriot battles, won of old
By Wallace wight and Bruce the bold;
Of later fields of feud and fight,
When, pouring from their Highland height,
The Scottish clans, in headlong sway,
Had swept the scarlet ranks away.
While stretched at length upon the floor,
Again I fought each combat o'er,
Pebbles and shells, in order laid,
The mimic ranks of war displayed;
And onward still the Scottish Lion bore,
And still the scattered Southron fied before

Still, with vain fondness, could I trace,
Anew, each kind familiar face,
That brightened at our evening fire;
From the thatched mansion's grey-huired Sire,
Wise without learning, plain and gooit,
And sprung of Scotland's gentler blood;

[ocr errors][merged small]

Whose eye in age, quick, clear, and keen,
Showed what in youth its glance had been;
Whose doom discording neighbours sougiits
Content with equity unbought;
To him the venerable Priest,
Our frequent and familiar guest,
Whose life and manners well could pain
Alike the student and the saint;
Alas! whose speech too oft I broke
With gambol rude and timeless joke:
For I was wayward, bold, and wild,
A self-willd imp, a grandame's child;
But half a plague, and half & jest,
Was still endured, beloved, carest.

From me, thus nurtured, dost thou asli
The classic poet's well-conned task?
Nay, Erskine, nay-on the wild hill
Let the wild heathbell flourish still;
Cherish the tulip, prune the vine,
But freely let the woodbine twine,
And leave untrimmed the eglantine:
Nay, my friend, nay-since oft thy praisk
Hath given fresh vigour to my lays,
Since oft thy judgment could refine
My flattened thought, or cumbrous line,
Still kind, as is thy wont, attend,
And in the minstrel spare the friend. ,
Though wild as cloud, as streams, as gals
Flow forth, flow unrestrained, my tale!

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE livelong day Lord Marmion rode:
The mountain path the Palmer showed;
By glen and streamlet winded still,
Where stunted birches hid the rill.
They might not choose the lowland road,
For the Merse forayers were abroad,
Who, fired with hate and thirst of prey,
Had scarcely failed to bar their way.

Oft on the trampling band, from crown
Of some tall cliff, the deer looked down;
On wing of jet, from his repose
In the deep heath, the black-cock rose;
Sprung from the gorse the timid roe,
Kor waited for the bending bow;
And when the stony path began,
By which the naked peak they want,
Up flew the snowy ptarmigan.
The noon had long been passed before
They gained the height of Lammermoor;
Thence winding down the northern wag,
Before them, at the close of day,
Old Gifford's towers and hamalet lay.


No summons calls them to the tower,
To spend the kospitable hour.
To Scotland's camp the Lord was gone
His cautious dame, in bower alone,
Dreaded her castle to unclose,
So late, to unknown friends or foes.

On through the hanalet as they paced,
Before a porch, whose front was graced
With bush and flaggon trimly placed,

Lord Marmion drew his rein:
The village inn seemed large though rude,
Its cheerful fire and hearty food

Might well relieve his train. Down from their seats the horsemen sprung With jingling spurs the court-yard rung; They bind their horses to the stall, For forage, food, and firing call, And various clamour fills the hall, Weighing the labour with the cost, Toils everywhere the bustling hosts


Soon by the chimney's merry blaze,
Through the rade hostel might you gave;
Might see, where, in dark nook aloof,
The rafters of the sooty roof

Bore wealth of winter cheer;
Of sea-fowl dried, and solands store,
and gammons of the tusky boar,

Aud savonky haunch of deer.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The chimney arch projected wiđe;
Above, around it, and beside,

Were tools for housewives' hand :
Nor wanted, in that martial day,
The implements of Scottish fray,

The buckler, lance, and brand.
Beneath its shade, the place of state,
On oaken settle Marmion sate,
And viewed around the blazing heartha
His followers mix in noisy mirth
Whom with brown ale, in jolly tide,
From ancient vessels ranged aside,
Full actively their host supplied.


Their's was the glee of martial breast,
And laughter their's at little jest.;.
And oft Lord Marmion deigned to aid,
And mingle in the mirth they made;
For though, with men of high degree,
The proudest of the proud was he,
Yet, trained in camps, he knew the art
To win the soldier's hardy heart.
They love a captain to obey,
Boisterous as. March, yet fresh as May;
With open hand, and brow, as free,
Lover of wine, and minstrelsy;
Ever the first to scale a tower,
As venturous in a lady's bower:-
Such buxom chief shall lead his host
From India's fires to Zembla's frost.

Resting upon his pilgrim staff,

Right opposite the Palmer stood,
His thin dark visage seen but half,

Half hidden by his hood.
Still fixed on Marmion was his look,
Which he, who ill such gaze could brook,

Strove by a frown to quell;
But not for that, though more than once
Full met their stern encountering glance,

The Palmer's visage fell.

[ocr errors]


By fits less frequent from the crowd
Was heard the burst of laughter loud;

For still, as squire and archer stared
On that dark face and matted beard,

Their glee and game declined.
All gazed at length in silence drear,
Unbroke, save when in comrade's ear
Some yeoman, wondering in his fear,

Thus whispered forth his mind:
“ Saint Mary! saw'st thou e'er such sigh. ?
How pale his cheek, his eye how bright,
Whene'er the fire-brand's fickle light

Glances beneath his cowl!
Full on our Lord he sets his eye;
For his best palfrey, would not I

Endure that sullen scowl.”.


But Marmion, as to chase the awe
Which thus had quelled their hearts, who saw
The ever-varying fire-light show
That figure stern and face of woe,

Now called upon a squire:-
« Fitz-Eustace, know'st thou not some la;;
To speed the lingering night away?

We slumber by the fire.”


“ So please you, thus the youth rejoineu.

Our choicest minstrel's left behind,
All niay we hope to please your ear,
Accustomed Constant's strains to hear.
The harp full destly can he strike,
And wake the lover's lute alike;
To dear Saint Valentine, no thrush
Sings livelier from a spring-tide bush;
No nightingale her love-lorn tune
More sweetly werbles to the moon.
Woe to the cause, whate'er it be,
Detains from us his melody,
Lavished on rocks, and billows stern,
Or duller monks of Lindisfarn.
Now must I venture as I may,
To sing his favourite roundelay.”_


A mellow voice Fitz-Eustace had,
The air he chose was wild and sad;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »