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THE REV. JOHN MARRIOT, M.A.
Ashestiel, Ettricke Forest.
The scenes are desart now, and bare,
Since he, so grey and stubborn now,
“ 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 mustered 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 fale’ners hold the ready hawk; And foresters, in green-wood trim, Lead in the leash the gaze-hounds grim, Attentive, as the bratchet's a 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 arrow from the bow,
Of such proud huntings, many tales Yet linger in our lonely dales, Up pathless Ettricke, and on Yarrow, Where erst the Outlaw drew his arrow. 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,