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Changes not so with us, my Skene, Of human life the varying scene? Our youthful summer oft we see Dance by on wings of game and glee, While the dark storm reserves its rage, Against the winter of our age: As he, the ancient chief of Troy, His manhood spent in peace and joy; But Grecian fires, and loud alarms, Called ancient Priam forth to arms. Then kappy those---since each must drain His share of pleasure, share of pain Then happy those, beloved of heaven, To whom the mingled cup is given; Whose lenient sorrows find relief, Whose joys are chastened by their grief, And such a lot, my Skene, was thine, When thou of late wert. doomed to twingo Just when thy bridal hour was by The cypress with the myrtle tie; Just on thy bride her sire had smiled, And blessed the union of his child, When love must change its joyous cheer, And wipe affection's filial tear. Nor did the actions next his end, Speak more the father than the friend: Scarce had lamented Forbes paid The tribute to his Minstrel's shade; The tale of friendship scarce was told, Ere the narrator's heart was cold. Far may we search before we find A heart so manly and so kind. But not around his honour'd urn, Shall friends alone and kindred mourn; The thousand eyes his care had dried, Pour at his name a bitter tide; And frequent falls the grateful dew, For benefits the world ne'er knew, If mortal charity dare claim The Almighty's attributed name, Inscribe above his mouldering clay “ The widow's shield, the orphan's stay Nor, though it wake thy sorrow, deem My verse intrudes on this sad theme;
For sacred was the pen that wrote
* Thy father's friend forget thou not:'
And grateful title may I plead,
For many a kindly word
and deed, To bring my tribute to his grave:'Tis little but 'tis all I have.
To thee, perchance, this rambling strain
Recalls our sumnier walks again;
When doing nought-and, to speak true,
Not anxious to find aught to do
The wild unbounded hills we ranged,
While oft our talk its topic changed,
And desultory, as our way,
Ranged unconfined from grave to gay.
Even when it flagged, as oft will chance,
No effort made to break its trance,
We could right pleasantly pursue
Our sports in social silence too.
Thou gravely labouring to pourtray
The blighted oak's fantastic spray;
I spelling o'er, with inuch delight,
The legend of that antique knight,
Tirante by name, ycleped the White,
At either's feet a trusty squire,
Pandour and Camp, with eyes of fire,
Jealous, each other's motions viewed,
And scarce suppressed their ancient feud.
The laverock whistled from the cloud;
The stream was lively, but not loud;
From the white-thorn the May-flower shed
Its dewy fragrance round our head;
Not Ariel lived more merrily
Under the blossom'd bough, than we.
And blithesome nights, too, have been ours,
When winter stript the summer's bowers;
Careless we heard, what now I hear,
The wild blast sighing deep and drear,
When fires were bright, and lamps beamed gay,
And ladies tuned the lovely lay;
And he was held a laggard soul,
Who shunn'd to quaff the sparkling bowl.
Then he, whose absence we deplore,
Who breathes the gales of Devon's shore,
The longer missed, bewailed the more;
And thou, and I, and dear-loved R-
And one whose name I may not say
For not Mimosa's tender tree
Shrinks sooner from the touch than hem
In merry chorus well combined,
With laughter drowned the whistling wind.
Mirth was within; and Care without
Might gnaw her nails to hear our shout
Not but amid the buxom scene
Some grave discourse might intervene
Of the good horse that bore him best,
His shoulder, hoof, and arching crest:
For, like mad Toin's,* our chiefest care,
Was horse to ride, and weapon wear.
Such nights we've had; and, though the game
Of manhood be more sober tame,
And though the field-day, or the drill,
Seem less important now-yet still
Such may we hope to share again.
The sprightly thought inspires my strain;
And mark, how like a horseman true,
Lord Marmion's march I thus renew.
EUSTACE, I said, did blithely mark
The first notes of the merry lark.
The lark sung shrill, the cock he crew,
And loudly Marmion's bugles blew,
And, with their light and lively call,
Brought groom and yeoman to the stan.
Whistling they came, and free of heart;
But soon their mood was changed:
Complaint was heard on every part,
Of something disarranged.
See King Lear.
Some clamoured loud for armour lost;
Some brawled and wrangled with the host;
“ By Becket's bones," cried one, “I fear
That some false Scot has stolen my spear!”.
Young Blount, Lord Marmion's second squire,
Found his steed wet with sweat aud mire;
Although the rated horse-boy sware,
Last night he dressed him sleek and fair.
While chafed the impatient squire like thunder,
Old Hubert shouts, in fear and wonder...
Help, gentle Blount! help, comrades all!
Bevis lies dying in his stall:
To Marinion who the plight dare tell,
Of the good steed he loves so well?”
Gaping for fear and ruth, they saw
The charger panting on his straw;
Till one, who would seem wisest, cried
“ What else but evil could betide,
With that cursed Palmer for our guide?
Better we had through mire and bush
Been lanthorn-led by Friar Rush."
Fitz-Eustace, who the cause but guessed,
Nor wholly understood,
His comrades' clamorous plaints suppressed;
He knew Lord Marmion's mood.
Him, ere he issued forth, he sought,
And found deep plunged in gloomy thought,
And did his tale display
Simply, as if he new of nought
To cause such disarray.
Lord Marmion gave attention cold,
Nor marvelled at the wonders told
Passed them as accidents of course,
And bade his clarions sound to horse.
Young Henry Blount, meanwhile, the cost
Had reckoned with their Scottish husk;
And, as the charge he cast and paid,
* III thou deserv'st thy hire," he said;
“ Dost sce, thou knave, my horse's plight?
Fairies have ridden him all the night,
And left him in a foam!
I trust, that soon a conjuring band,
With English cross and blazing brand,
Shall drive the devils from this land,
To their infernal home:
For in this haunted den, I trow,
All night they trampled to and fro."
The laughing host looked on the hirom
Gramercy, gentle southern squire,
And if thou com’st among the rest,
With Scottish broad-sword to be blest,
Sharp be the brand, and sure the blow,
And short the pang to undergo.”
Here stayed their talk--for Marmion
Gave now the signal to set on.
The Palmer showing forth the way,
They journeyed all the morning day.
The green-sward way was smooth and good,
Through Humbie's and through Saltoun's wood;
A forest glade, which, varying still,
Here gave a view of dale and hill;
There narrower closed, till over head
A vaulted screen the branches made.
“A pleasant path," Fitz-Eustace said;
« Such as where errant knights might see
Adventures of high chivalry;
Might meet some damsel flying fast,
With hair unbound, and looks aghast;
And smooth and level course were here,
In her defence to break a spear.
Here, too, are twilight nooks and dells;
And oft, in such, the story tells,
The damsel kind, from danger freed,
Did grateful pay her champion's meed."-
He spoke to cheer Lord Marmion's mind;
Perchance to show his lore designed;
For Eustace much had pored
Upon a huge romantic tome,
In the hall-window of his home,
Imprinted at the antique doma
Of Caxton or De Worde,