Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Maintaining still the stern turmoil,
And to their wild and tortured groan
Each adds new terrors of its own.

Too strong in courage and in might
Was England yet to yield the fight.

Her noblest all are here,
Names that to fear were never known :
Bold Norfolk's Earl De Brotherton,

And Oxford's famed De Vere;
There Gloster plied the bloody sword,
And Berkley, Grey, and Hereford,

Bottetourt and Sanzavere ; Ross, Montague, and Mattley came, And Courteney's pride, and Percy's fameNames too well known in Scotland's war, At Falkirk, Methven, and Dunbar; Blazed broader yet

in after years At Cressy red and fell Poictiers. Pembroke with these, and Argentine Brought up the rearward battle-line. With caution o'er the ground they tread, Slippery with blood and piled with dead, Till hand to hand in battle set, The bills with spears and axes met, And-closing dark on every side Raged the full contest far and wide. Then was the strength of Douglas tried, Then proved was Randolph's generous pride, And well did Stewart's actions grace The sire of Scotland's royal race.

Firmly they kept their ground; As firmly England onward pressed, And down went many a noble crest, And rent was many a valiant breast,

And slaughter revelled round.

The tug of strife to flag begins,
Though neither loses yet nor wins.
High rides the sun, thick rolls the dust,
And feebler speeds the blow and thrust

Douglas leans on his war-sword now,
And Randolph wipes his bloody brow.
Nor less had toiled each Southern knight
From morn till mid-day in the fight.
Strong Egremont for air must gasp,
Beauchamp undoes his visor-clasp,
And Montague must quit his spear,
And sinks thy falchion, bold De Vere;
The blows of Berkley fall less fast,
And gallant Pembroke's bugle-blast

Hath lost its lively tone;
Sinks, Argentine, thy battle-word,
And Percy's shout was fainter heard-

“My merry men, fight on!”
Bruce, with the pilot's wary eye,
The slackening of the storm could spy ;

One effort more, and Scotland's free!
Lord of the Isles, my trust in thee

Is firm as Ailsa Rock ;
Rush on with Highland sword and targe.
I, with my Carrick spearmen, charge ;

Now, forward to the shock !”
At once the spears were forward thrown,
Against the sun the broadswords shone;
The pibroch lent its maddening tone,
And loud King Robert's voice was known
“Carrick, press on !—They fail, they fail !
Press on, brave sons of Innisfail !

The foe is fainting fast !
Each strike for parent, child, and wife;
For Scotland, liberty, and life;
The battle cannot last!”

- The Lord of the Isles.

DEATH CHANT.
Viewless essence, thin and bare,
Wellnigh melted into air;
Still with fondness hovering near,
The earthly form thou once didst wear:
Pause upon thy pinion's flight,
Be thy course to left or right;

Be thou doomed to soar or sink,
Pause upon the awful brink.

To avenge the deed expelling
The untimely from thy dwelling,
Mystic force shalt thou retain
O'er the blood and o'er the brain.

When the form thou shalt espy
That darkened on thy closing eye-
When the footstep thou shalt hear,
That thrilled upon thy dying ear-

Then strange sympathies shall wake,
The flesh shall thrill, the nerves shall quake,
The wounds renew their clotted flood,
And every drop cry—“Blood for blood !”

-In The Fair Maid of Perth.

MADGE WILDFIRE'S DYING SNATCHES.

I.

Our work is over-over now,
The goodman wipes his weary brow,
The last long wain wends slow away,
And we are free to sport and play.
The night comes on when sets the sun,
And labor ends when day is done ;
When Autumn's gone and Winter's come,
We hold our jovial harvest-home.

II.

When the fight of grace is fought,
When the marriage-vest is wrought,
When Faith has chased cold Doubt away,
And Hope but sickens at delay-
When Charity, imprisoned here,
Longs for a more expanded sphere-
Doff thy robe of sin and clay ;
Christian, rise, and come away.

III.

Proud Maisie is in the wood, walking so early ; Sweet Robin sits on the bush, singing so rarely. “ Tell me, thou bonny bird, when shall I marry me?” “ When six braw gentlemen, kirkward shall carry ye.”

“Who makes the bridal bed, birdie, say truly ?"“ The gray-headed sexton that delves the grave duly ; The glow-worm o'er grave and stone shall light thee

steady ; The owl from the steeple sing, 'Welcome, proud lady!”

-In The Heart of Midlothian.

CORONACH.

He is gone on the mountain,

He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,

When our need was the sorest.
The font reappearing,

From the rain-drops shall borrow-
But to us comes no cheering,

To Duncan no to-morrow !
The hand of the reaper

Takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper

Wails manhood in glory.

The autumn winds rushing

Waft the leaves that are searest,
But our flower was in flushing,

When blighting was nearest.
Fleet foot on the correi,

Sage council in cumber,
Red hand in the foray

How sound is thy slumber !
Like the dew on the mountain,

Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone and forever!

- In The Lady of the Lake.

Scott's career as a poet lasted from his thirtysecond year to his forty-fourth; his career as a novelist, from his forty-third to his fifty-fourth. Waverley, his first novel, had been commenced as early as 1805; a few chapters were written and then thrown aside. In 1813, by accident, he came across the discarded manuscript, completed it, and sent it to the press, in the same year (1814) in which The Lord of the Isles, the last of his great poems, appeared. It was published anonymously, and gave rise to much conjecture as to its authorship. The “ Waverley Novels," as the whole series came to be called, are Waverley (1814); Guy Mannering (1815); The Antiquary, The Black Dwarf, and Old Mortality (1816); Rob Roy and The Heart of Midlothian (1818); The Bride of Lammermoor and the Legend of Montrose (1819); Ivanhoe, The Monastery, and The Abbot (1820) ; Kenilworth and The Pirate (1821); The Fortunes of Nigel (1822); Peveril of the Peak, Quentin Durward, and St. Ronan's Well (1823); Red Gauntlet (1824); The Betrothed and The Talisman (1825); Woodstock (1826); The Two Drovers, The Highland Widow, and The Surgeon's Daughter (1827); The Fair Maid of Perth (1828); Anne of Geierstein, or the Maid of the Mist (1829); Count Robert of Paris, and Castlé Dangerous (1831).

ABOUT AT LUCKIE MACLEARY'S.

In full expectation of her distinguished guests, Luckie Macleary had swept her house for the first time this fortnight, tempered her turf-fire to such a heat as the season required in her damp house even at midsummer, set forth her deal table newly washed, propped up

« AnteriorContinuar »