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Of hawk or hound, of ring or glove,
Or, lighter yet, of lady's love.
A cautious tread his slumber broke,
And, close beside him, when he wuke,
In moonbeam half, and half in glooin,
Stood a tall form with nodding plume:
But, ere his dagger Eustace drew,
His master Marmion's
voice he knew.
“ Fitz-Eustacel rise -- I cannot rest;
Yon churl's wild legend haunts my breast,
And graver thoughts have chafed my mood;
The air must cool my feverish blood;
And fain would I ride forth, to see
The scene of elfin chivalry.
Arise, and saddle me my steed;
And, gentle Eustace, take good heed
Thou dost not rouse these drowsy slaves;
I would not, that the prating knaves
Had cause for saying, o'er their ale,
That I could credit such a tale."
Then softly down the steps they slid,
Eustace the stable door undid,
And, darkling, Marmion's steed arrayed,
While, whispering, thus the Baron said:-
“Did'st never, good my youth, hear tell,
That in the hour when I was born,
St. George, who graced my sire's chapelle,
Down from his steed of marble fell,
A weary wight forlorn?
The flattering chaplains all agree,
The champion left his steed to me.
I would, the omen's truth to show,
That I could meet this Elfin Foe!
Blithe would I battle, for the right
To ask one question at the sprite:-
Vain thought! for elves, if elves there be,
An empty race, by fount or sea,
To dashing waters dance and sing,
Or round the green oak wheel their ring."
Thus speaking, he his steed bestrode,
And from the hostel slowly rode.
Fitz-Eustace followed him abroad,
And marked him pace the village road,
And listened to his horse's tramp,
Till, by the lessening sound,
He judged that of the Pictish camp
Lord Marmion sought the rounds
Wonder it seemed, in the squire's eyeishing
That one, so wary held, and wise, -
Of whom was said, he scarce received
For gospel, what the church believed.no
Should, stirred by idle tale,
Ride forth in silence of the night,
As hoping half to meet a sprite,
Arrayed in plate and mail
For little did hitz-Eustace know,
That passions, in contending flow,
Unfix the strongest mind;
Wearied from doubt to doubt to fico,
We welcome fond credulity,
Guide confident, though blind.
Little for this Fitz-Eustace cared,
But, patient, waited till he heard,
At distance pricked to utmost speed,
The foot-tramp of a flying steed,
Come town-ward rushing on:
First, dead, as if on turf it trod,
hen, clattering on the village roatdimine
In other pace than forth he yode, *
Returned Lord Marmion.
Down hastily he sprung from selle,
And, in his haste, well nigh he fell;
To the squire's hand the rein he threw
And spoke no word as he withdrew;
But yet the moonlight did betray,
The falcon crest was soiled with clay,
And plainly might Fitz-Eustace see,
By stains upon the charger's knee,
And his left side, that on the moor
He had not kept his footing sure.
Long musing on these wondrous signs.
At length to rest the squire reclineš,
Broken and short; for still, between,
Would dreams of terror intervene:
Eustace did ne'er so blithely mark
The first notes of the morning larki,
An ancient minstrel sagely said,
66 Where is the life which late we led?"
That motley clown, in Arden wood,
Whom humorous Jaques with envy viewed,
Not even that clown could amplify,
On this trite text, so long as I.
Eleven years we now may tell,
Since we have known each other well;
Since, riding side by side, our hand
First drew the voluntary brand;
And sure, through many a varied scene,
Unkindness never came between.
Away these winged years have flown,
To join the mass of ages gone;
And though deep marked, like all below,
With chequered shades of joy and woe;
Though thou o'er realms and seas hast ranged,
Marked cities lost, and empires changed,
While here, at home, my narrower ken
Somewhat of manners saw, and men;
Though varying wishes, hopes, and fears,
Fevered the progress of these years,
Yet now, days, weeks, and months, but seem
"The recollection of a dream,
So still we glide down to the sea
Of fathomless eternity.
it scarcely seems a day,
Since first I tuned this idle lay;
A task so often thrown aside,
When leisure graver cares denied,
That now, November's dreary gale,
Whose voice inspired my opening tale,
That same November gale once more
Whirls the dry leaves on Yarrow shore;
Their vex'd boughs streaming to the sky,
Once more our naked birches sigh;
And Blackhouse heights, and Ettricke Pen,
Have don'd their wintry shrouds again;
And mountain dark, and flooded mead,
Bid us forsake the banks of Tweed.
Earlier than wont along the sky,
Mixed with the rack, the snow-mists dy:
The shepherd, who, in summer sun,
Has something of our envy won,
As thou with pencil, I with pen,
The features traced of hill and glen;
He who, outstretched, the livelong day,
At ease among the heath-flowers lay,
Viewed the light clouds with vacant look,
o'er his tattered book,
Or idly busied him to guide
His angle o'er the lessened tide;
At midnight now, the snowy plain
Finds sterner labour for the swain.
When red hath set the beamless sun,
Through heavy vapours dank and dun;
When the tired ploughman, dry and warm
Hears, half asleep, the rising storm
Hurling the hail, and sleeted rain,
Against the casement's tinkling pane;
The sounds that drive wild deer, and
To shelter in the brake and rocks,
Are warnings which the shepherd
To dismal and to dangerous task.
Of he looks forth, and hopes, in vain,
The blast may sink in mellowing rains
Til dark above and white below,
Decided drives the flaky snow,
And forth thc hardy swain must go.
Long, with dejected look and whine,
To leave the hearth his dogs repine;
Whistling, and cheering them to aid,
Around his back he wreathes the plaid;
His flock he gathers, and he guides
To open downs, and mountain sides,
Where, fiercest though the tempest blow
Least deeply lies the drift below.
that whistles o'er the fells,
Stiffens his locks to icicles;
Oft he looks back, while, streaming far,
His cottage window seems a star,
Loses its feeble gleam, and then
Turns patient to the blast again,
And, facing to the tempest's sweep,
Drives through the gloom his lagging sheep?
If fails his heart, if his limbs fail,
Benumbing death is in the gale;
His paths, his landmarksmall unknown,
Close to the hut, no more his own,
Close to the aid he sought in vain,
The morn may find the stiffen'd swain:
His widow sees, at dawning pale,
His orphans raise their feeble wail;
And close beside him, in the snow,
Poor Yarrow, partner of their woe,
his master's breast, And licks his cheek to break his resting
Who envies now the shepherd's lot,
His healthy fare, his rural cot,
His summer couch by greenwood trece
His rustic kirn's* loud revelry,
His native hill notes, tuned on high,
To Marion of the blithesome eye;
His crook, his scrip, his oaten reedt,
And all Arcadia's golden creed?
* The Scottish harvest-home