Imágenes de páginas

Midst furs, and silks, and jewels sheen,

XXVIII. He stood, in simple Lincoln green, Then forth the noble Douglas sprung, The centre of the glittering ring. And on his neck his daughter hung. And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's The Monarch drank, that happy hour, King!

Thesweetest, holiest draught of Power,

When it can say, with godlike voice, XXVII.

Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice! As wreath of snow, on mountain. Yet would not James the general eye breast,

On Nature's raptures long should pry; Slides from the rock that gave it rest, He stepp'd between-'Nay, Douglas, Poor Ellen glided from her stay,

nay, And at the Monarch's feet she lay ; Steal not my proselyte away! No word her chokingvoice commands; The riddle 'tis my right to read, She show'd the ring, she clasp'd her That brought this happy chance to hands.

speed. 0! not a moment could he brook, Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray The generous prince, that suppliant In life's more low but happier way, look!

'Tis under name which veils my power, Gently he raised her; and, the while, Nor falsely veils, for Stirling's tower Check’dwith a glance the circle'ssmile; of yore the name of Snowdoun claims, Graceful, but grave, her brow hekiss’d, And Normans call me James FitzAnd bade her terrors be dismiss'd:

James. “Yes, fair, the wandering poor Fitz- Thus watch I o'er insulted laws, James

Thus learn to right the injured cause.' The fealty of Scotland claims.

Then, in a tone apart and low,To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; - Ah, little traitress ! none must know He will redeem his signet ring.

Whatidle dream, whatlighter thought, Ask nought for Douglas; yester even, What vanity full dearly bought, His prince and he have much forgiven. Join'd to thine eye's dark witchcraft, Wrong hath he had from slanderous

drew tongue,

My spell-bound steps to Benvenue, I, from his rebel kinsmen, wrong. In dangerous hour, and all but gave We would not, to the vulgar crowd,

Thy Monarch's life to mountain Yield what they craved with clamour


Aloud he spoke-Thou still dost hold Calmly we heard and judged his cause, That little talisman of gold, Our council aided, and our laws.

Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ring; I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern What seeks fair Ellen of the King ?' With stout De Vaux and Grey Glencairn;

ΧΧΙΧ. . And Bothwell's Lord henceforth we Full well the conscious maiden guess'd

He probed the weakness of her breast; The friend and bulwark of our Throne. But, with that consciousness, there But, lovely infidel, how now?

came What clouds thy misbelieving brow? A lightening of her fears for Græme, Lord James of Douglas, lend thineaid; And moreshe deem’dthe Monarch's ire Thou must confirm this doubting maid.' | Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire,


Rebellious broadsword boldly drew; Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain And, to her generous feeling true,

lending, She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu. And the wild breeze, thy wilder • Forbear thy suit: the King of kings minstrelsy; Alone can stay life's parting wings: Thy numbers sweet with nature's I know his heart, I know his hand,

vespers blending, Have shared his cheer, and proved With distant echo from the fold and his brand :

lea, My fairest earldom would I give And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum To bid Clan-Alpine's Chieftain live!

of housing bec. Hast thou no other boon to crave? No other captive friend to save ?'

Yet once again farewell, thou Minstrel Blushing, she turn’d her from the King,

harp! And to the Douglas gave the ring,

Yet once again forgive my feeble As if she wish'd her sire to speak

sway, The suit that stain’d her glowing And little reck I of the censure sharp cheek.

May idly cavil at an idle lay. Nay, then, my pledge haslostits force, : Much have I owed thy strains on life's And stubborn justice holds her course.

long way: Malcolm,come forth!' Andat the word,

Through secret woes the world has Down kneel'd the Græme to Scotland's

never known, Lord,

When on the weary night dawn'd 'Forthce, rash youth, no suppliantsues,

wearier day, From thee may Vengeance claim her

And bitterer was the grief devour'd

alone. dues, Who, nurtured underneath our smile,

That I o'erlive such woes, Enchantress!

is thine own. Hlast paid our carebytreacherouswile, And sought, amid thy faithful clan,

Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow A refuge for an outlaw'd man,

retire, Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.

Some Spirit of the Air has waked Fetters and warder for the Græme!'

thy string! His chain of gold the King unstrung, 'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung,

fire, Then gently drew the glittering hand, 'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.


Receding now, the dying numbers ring Harp of the North, farewell! The hills Fainter and fainter down the rugged grow dark,

dell, On purple peaks a deeper shade. And nowthe mountainbreezes scarcely descending;

bring Intwilight copse the glow-worm lights A wandering witch-note of the disher spark,

tant spellThe deer, half-scen, aretothe covert And now, 'tis silent all!- Enchantress, wending.

fare thee well!

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Introduction and Notes to the Lady of the Lake.


After the success of 'Marmion,' I felt deeply imprinted on my recollection, was inclined to exclaim with Llysses in the a labour of love; and it was no less so to * Odyssey'

Fecall the manners and incidents introduced. Ούτος μεν δή άεθλος αάατος εκτετέλεσται:

The frequent custom of James IV, and par.

ticularly of James l', to walk through their Νυν αύτε σκοπόν άλλον. , Odys. x. l. 5. kingdom in disguise, 'afforded me the hint of One venturous game my hand has won to-lay an incident, which never failsto beinteresting, Another, gallants, yet remains to play.'

'if managed with the slightest address or

dexterity. The ancient manners, the habits and cus I may now confess, however, that the toms of the aboriginal race by whom the employment, though attended with great Highlands of Scotland were inhabited, had pleasure, was not without its doubts" and always appeared to me peculiarly adapted to anxieties. A lady, to whom I was nearly poetry: The change in their manners, too, related, and with whom I lived, during her had taken place almost within my own time, 'whole life, on the most brotherly terms of or at least I had learned many particulars affection, was residing with me at the time concerning the ancient state of the Highlands 'when the work was in progress, and used to from the old men of the last generation. I ask me, what I could possibly do to rise so had always thought the old Scottish Gael early in the morning (that happening to be highly alapted for poetical composition. , the most convenient time to ine for comThe feuds, and political dissensions, which, position). At last I told her the subject of half a century earlier, would have rendered: my meditations; and I can never forget the the richer and wealthier part of the kingdom . anxiety and affection expressed in her reply. indisposed to countenance a poem, the scene 'Do not be so rash,' she said, 'my dearest of which was laid in the Highlands, were cousin. You are already popular--more so, now sunk in the generous compassion which perhaps, than you yourself will believe, or the English, more than any other nation, than even I, or other partial friends, can feel for the misfortunes of an honourable foe. fairly allow to your merit. You stand highThe Poems of Ossian had, by their popularity, ! do not rashly attempt to climb higher, and sufficiently shown, that if writings on High- incur the risk of a fall; for, depend upon it, land subjects were qualified to interest the a favourite will not be permitted even to reader, mere national prejudices were, in the stumble with impunity:' I replied to this present day, very unlikely to interfere with affectionate expostulation in the words of their success.

MontroseI had also read a great deal, seen much, and heard more, of that romantic country;

'Ile either fears his fate too much,

Or his deserts are sinall, where I was in the habit of spending some Who clares not put it to the touch time every autumn; and the scenery of Loch

To gain or lose it all.' Katrine was connected with the recollection of many a dear friend and merry expedition 'If I fail," I said, for the dialogue is strong of fornier days. This poem, the action of in my recollection, it is a sign that I ought which lay among scenes so beautiful, and so never to have succeeded, and I will write

prose for life : you shall sec no change in my ment of a royal intrigue takes place as temper, nor will I eat a single meal the worse. follows: But if I succeed,

He took a bugle frae his side, "l'p with the bonnie blue bonnet,

He blew oth loud and shrill,
The dirk, and the feather, and a'!"

An I four-and-twenty belted knights

Cum skipping ower the hill ; Afterwards, I showed my affectionate and

Then he took out a little knife,

Let a' his dudlies fa', anxious critic the first canto of the poem,

And he was the brawest gentleman which reconciled her to my imprudence.

That was amang thema'. Nevertheless, although I answered thus con

And we'll go no more a-roving,' &c. fidently, with the obstinacy often said to be This discovery, as Mr. Pepys says of the proper to those who bear my surname, rent in his camlet cloak, was but a trifle, yet I acknowledge that my confidence was con it troubled me; and I was at a good deal of siderably shaken by the warning of her pains to efface any marks by which I thought excellent taste and unbiassed friendship. my secret could be traces before the conNor was I much comforted by her retracta clusion, when I relied on it with the same tion of the unfavourable judgment, when ' hope of producing effect, with which the Irish I recollected how likely a natural partiality postboy is said to reserve a 'trot for the was to effect that change of opinion. In such avenue.' cases, affection rises like a light on the I took uncommon pains to verify the canvas, improves any favourable tints which accuracy of the local circumstances of this it formerly exhibited, and throws its defects

story. I recollect, in particular, that to into the shade.

ascertain whether I was telling a probable I remember that about the same time tale, I went into Perthshire, to see whether a friend started in to 'heeze up my hope, 'like King James could actually have ridden from the 'sportsman with his cutty gun'in the old the banks of Loch Vennachar to Stirling song.' He was bred a farmer, but a man Castle within the time supposed in the Poem, of powerful understanding, natural good and had the pleasure to satisfy myself that it taste, and warm poetical feeling, perfectly was quite practicable. competent to supply the wants of an in After a considerable delay, 'The Lady of perfect or irregular education. He was the Lake' appeared in May 1810; and its a passionate admirer of field-sports, which we success was certainly so extraordinary as to often pursued together,

induce me for the moment to conclude that As this friend happened to dine with me at I had at last fixed a nail in the proverbially Ashestiel one day, I took the opportunity of inconstant wheel of Fortune, whose stability reading to him the first canto of The Lady in behalf of an individual who had so boldly of the Lake,' in order to ascertain the effect courted her favours for three successive times, the poem was likely to produce upon a person had not as yet been shaken. I had attained, who was but too favourable a representative per haps, that degree of public reputation at of readers at large. It is, of course, to be sup- which prudence, or certainly timidity, would posed that I determined rather to guide my have made a halt, and discontinued efforts opinion by what my friend might appear to by which I was far more likely to diminish feel, than by what he might think fit to say. | my fame than to increase it. But, as the His reception of my recitation, or prelection, celebrated John Wilkes is said to have was rather singular. He placed his hand explained to his late Majesty, that he himacross his brow, and listened with great self, amid his full tide of popularity, was attention through the whole account of the never a Wilkite, so I can, with honest truth, stag hunt, till the clogs threw themselves into exculpate myself from having been at any the lake to follow their inaster, who embarks time a partisan of my own poetry, even when with Ellen Douglas. He then started up it was in the highest fashion with the with a sudden exclamation, struck his million. It must not be supposed, that I was hand on the table, and declared, in a voice either so ungrateful, or so superabundantly of censure calculated for the occasion, that candid, as to despise or scorn the value of the dogs must have been totally ruined those whose voice had elevated me so much hy being permitted to take the water after higher than my own opinion told me I de such a severe chase. I own I was much served. I felt, on the contrary, the more encouraged by the species of reverie which

grateful to the public, as receiving that from had possessed so zealous a follower of the

partiality to me, which I coull not have sports of the ancient Nimrod, who had been | claimed 'from merit; and I encaroured to completely surprised out of all doubts of the deserve the partiality, by continuing such reality of the tale. Another of his remarks exertions as I was capable of for their amuse. gave me less pleasure. He detected the

ment. identity of the King with the wandering It may be that I did not, in this continued knight, Fitz-James, when he winds his bugle

course of scribbling, consult either the interest to summon his attendants. He was probably thinking of the lively, but somewhat 1 The Jolly Beggar, attribute to King James V.,licentious, oli hallad, in which the denoue- Herd's co!lection, 1776.

of the public or my own. But the former Eleanor sunk at Charing Cross to rise again had effectual means of defending themselves, at Queenhithe. and could, by their coldness, sufficiently It only remains for me to say that, during check any approach to intrusion;, and for my short pre-eminence of popularity, I faithmyself, I had now for several years dedicated fully observed the rules of moderation which my hours so much to literary labour, that I had resolved to follow before I began my I should have felt difficulty in employing course as a man of letters. If a inan is myself otherwise ; and so, like Dogberry, I determined to make a noise in the world, he I generously bestowed all my tediousness on is as sure to encounter abuse and ridicule, as the public, comforting myself with the reflec he who gallops furiously through a village, tion, that if posterity should think me must reckon on being followed by the curs in undeserving of the favour with which I was full cry. Experienced persons know, that in regarded by my contemporaries, they could stretching to flog the latter, the rider is very not but say I had the crown,' and had apt to catch a bad fall; nor is an attempt to enjoyed for a time that popularity which is so chastise a malignant critic attended with less much coveted.

danger to the author. On this principle, I let I conceived, however, that I held the dis- parody, burlesque, and squibs, find their own tinguished situation I had obtained, however! level; and while the latter hissed most unworthily, rather like the champion of fiercely, I was cautious never to catch them pugilism, on the condition of being always up, as schoolboys do, to throw them back ready to show proofs of my skill, than in the i against the naughty

boy who fired them off, manner of the champion of chivalry, who wisely remembering that they are, in such performs his duties only on rare and solemn cases, apt to explode in the landling: Let occasions. I was in any case conscious that me add that my reign (since Byron has so I could not long hold a situation which the called it) was marked by some instances of caprice, rather than the judgment, of the good-nature as well as patience. I never public, had bestowed upon me, and preferred , refused a literary person of merit such being deprived of my precedence by some services in smoothing his way to the public more worthy rival, to sinking into contempt as were in my power: and I had the advanfor my indolence, and losing my reputation i tage, rather an uncommon one with our by what Scottish lawyers call the negative · irritable race, to enjoy general favour, proscription. Accordingly, those who choose without incurring permanent ill-will

, so far to look at the Introduction to Rokeby, in the as is known to me, among any of my conpresent edition, will be able to trace the steps temporaries. by which I declined as a poet to figure as

W.S. a' novelist; as the ballad says, Queen ABBOTSFORI), April 1830.

-P. 209.

Note I.

Vote II. --the heights of l'am-Var, Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed, And roused the cavern, where, 'lis told, l'nmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed. d giant made his den of old.-P. 208.

l'a-var, as the name is pronounced, or more 'The hounds which we call Saint Hubert's properly l'aighmor, is a mountain to the hounds, are commonly all blacke, yet neuernorth-east of the village of Callender in theless, the race is so mingled at these days, Menteith, deriving its name, which significs that we find them of all colours. These are the great den, or cavern, from a sort of retreat the hounds which the abbots of St. Hubert among the rocks on the south side, said, by haue always kept some of their race or kind, tradition, to have been the abode of a giant. in honour or remembrance of the saint, which In latter times, it was the refuge of robbers was a hunter with S. Eustace. Whereupon and banditti, who have been only extirpated we may conceiue that (by the grace of God) within these forty or fifty years. Strictly all good huntsmen shall follow them into speaking, this stronghold is not a cave, as paradise. To return vnto my former purpose, the name would imply, but a sort of small this kind of dogges hath bene dispersed enclosure, or receșs surrounded with large through the counties of Henault, Lorayne, rocks, and open above head. It may have | Flanders, and Burgoyne. They are mighty been originally designed as a toil for deer, of body, neuertheless their legges are low and who might get in from the outside, but would short, likewise they are not swift, although find it difficult to return. This opinion pre- they be very good of sent, hunting chace's vails among the old sportsmen and deer which are farre straggled, fearing neither stalkers in the neighbourhood.

Į water nor cold, and doe more couet the

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