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SIR WALTER SCOTT

1771-1832

556                                               Proud Maisie

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 grey-headed sexton
  That delves the grave duly.
The glow-worm oer grave and stone
   Shall light thee steady;
The owl from the steeple sing
  Welcome, proud lady!

557                                           Brignall Banks

O BRIGNALL banks are wild and fair,
    And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there,
    Would grace a summer queen:
And as I rode by Dalton Hall,
    Beneath the turrets high,
A Maiden on the castle wall
    Was singing merrily:
O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
   And Greta woods are green!
Id rather rove with Edmund there
   Than reign our English Queen.
If, Maiden, thou wouldst wend with me
   To leave both tower and town,
Thou first must guess what life lead we,
   That dwell by dale and down:
And if thou canst that riddle read,
   As read full well you may,
Then to the green-wood shalt thou speed
   As blithe as Queen of May.
Yet sung she, Brignall banks are fair,
   And Greta woods are green!
Id rather rove with Edmund there
   Than reign our English Queen.
I read you by your bugle horn
   And by your palfrey good,
I read you for a Ranger sworn
   To keep the Kings green-wood.
A Ranger, Lady, winds his horn,
   And tis at peep of light;
His blast is heard at merry morn,
   And mine at dead of night.
Yet sung she, Brignall banks are fair,
   And Greta woods are gay!
I would I were with Edmund there,
   To reign his Queen of May!
With burnishd brand and musketoon
   So gallantly you come,
I read you for a bold Dragoon,
   That lists the tuck of drum.
I list no more the tuck of drum,
   No more the trumpet hear;
But when the beetle sounds his hum,
   My comrades take the spear.
And O! though Brignall banks be fair,
   And Greta woods be gay,
Yet mickle must the maiden dare,
   Would reign my Queen of May!
Maiden! a nameless life I lead,
    A nameless death Ill die;
The fiend whose lantern lights the mead
   Were better mate than I!
And when Im with my comrades met
   Beneath the green-wood bough,
What once we were we all forget,
   Nor think what we are now.
Chorus.      Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
                  And Greta woods are green,
               And you may gather flowers there
                  Would grace a summer queen.

558                                           Lucy Ashtons Song

LOOK not thou on beautys charming;
Sit thou still when kings are arming;
Taste not when the wine-cup glistens;
Speak not when the people listens;
Stop thine ear against the singer;
From the red gold keep thy finger;
Vacant heart and hand and eye,
Easy live and quiet die.

559                                          The Rovers Adieu

A WEARY lot is thine, fair maid,
   A weary lot is thine!
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
   And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldiers mien,
   A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green
   No more of me ye knew,
       My Love!
No more of me ye knew.
This morn is merry June, I trow,
   The rose is budding fain;
But she shall bloom in winter snow
   Ere we two meet again.
   He turnd his charger as he spake
   Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,
   Said Adieu for evermore,
       My Love!
And adieu for evermore.

Patriotism

560                                             1. Innominatus

BREATHES there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath neer within him burnd
As home his footsteps he hath turnd
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonourd, and unsung.

561                                         2. Nelson, Pitt, Fox

TO mute and to material things
New life revolving summer brings;
The genial call dead Nature hears,
And in her glory reappears.
But oh, my Countrys wintry state
What second spring shall renovate?
What powerful call shall bid arise
    The buried warlike and the wise;
The mind that thought for Britains weal,
The hand that graspd the victor steel?
The vernal sun new life bestows
Even on the meanest flower that blows;
But vainly, vainly may he shine
Where glory weeps oer Nelsons shrine;
And vainly pierce the solemn gloom
That shrouds, O Pitt, thy hallowd tomb!
Deep graved in every British heart,
O never let those names depart!
Say to your sons,Lo, here his grave,
Who victor died on Gadite wave!
To him, as to the burning levin,
Short, bright, resistless course was given.
Whereer his countrys foes were found
Was heard the fated thunders sound,
Till burst the bolt on yonder shore,
Rolld, blazed, destroydand was no more.
Nor mourn ye less his perishd worth,
Who bade the conqueror go forth,
And launchd that thunderbolt of war
On Egypt, Hafnia, Trafalgar;
Who, born to guide such high emprise,
For Britains weal was early wise;
Alas! to whom the Almighty gave,
For Britains sins, an early grave!
His worth, who in his mightiest hour
A bauble held the pride of power,
Spurnd at the sordid lust of pelf,
And served his Albion for herself;
Who, when the frantic crowd amain
Straind at subjections bursting rein,
Oer their wild mood full conquest gaind,
The pride he would not crush, restraind,
Showd their fierce zeal a worthier cause,
And brought the freemans arm to aid the freemans laws
Hadst thou but lived, though strippd of power,
A watchman on the lonely tower,
Thy thrilling trump had roused the land,
When fraud or danger were at hand;
By thee, as by the beacon-light,
Our pilots had kept course aright;
As some proud column, though alone,
Thy strength had proppd the tottering throne.
Now is the stately column broke,
The beacon-light is quenchd in smoke,
The trumpets silver voice is still,
The warder silent on the hill!
O think, how to his latest day,
When Death, just hovering, claimd his prey,
With Palinures unalterd mood
Firm at his dangerous post he stood;
Each call for needful rest repelld,
With dying hand the rudder held,
Till in his fall with fateful sway
The steerage of the realm gave way.
Thenwhile on Britains thousand plains
One unpolluted church remains,
Whose peaceful bells neer sent around
The bloody tocsins maddening sound,
But still upon the hallowd day
Convoke the swains to praise and pray;
While faith and civil peace are dear,
Grace this cold marble with a tear:
He who preserved them, Pitt, lies here!
Nor yet suppress the generous sigh,
Because his rival slumbers nigh;
Nor be thy Requiescat dumb
Lest it be said oer Foxs tomb.
For talents mourn, untimely lost,
When best employd, and wanted most;
Mourn genius high, and lore profound,
And wit that loved to play, not wound;
And all the reasoning powers divine
To penetrate, resolve, combine;
And feelings keen, and fancys glow
They sleep with him who sleeps below:
And, if thou mournst they could not save
From error him who owns this grave,
Be every harsher thought suppressd,
And sacred be the last long rest.
Here, where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings;
Where stiff the hand, and still the tongue,
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung:
Here, where the fretted vaults prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke agen,
All peace on earth, good-will to men;
If ever from an English heart,
O,here let prejudice depart,
And, partial feeling cast aside,
Record that Fox a Briton died!
When Europe crouchd to Frances yoke,
And Austria bent, and Prussia broke,
And the firm Russians purpose brave
Was barterd by a timorous slave
Even then dishonours peace he spurnd,
The sullied olive-branch returnd,
Stood for his countrys glory fast,
And naild her colours to the mast!
Heaven, to reward his firmness, gave
A portion in this honourd grave;
And neer held marble in its trust
Of two such wondrous men the dust.

With more than mortal powers endowd,
How high they soard above the crowd!
Theirs was no common party race,
Jostling by dark intrigue for place;
Like fabled gods, their mighty war
Shook realms and nations in its jar;
Beneath each banner proud to stand,
Lookd up the noblest of the land,
Till through the British world were known
The names of Pitt and Fox alone.
Spells of such force no wizard grave
Eer framed in dark Thessalian cave,
Though his could drain the ocean dry,
And force the planets from the sky.
These spells are spent, and, spent with these
The wine of life is on the lees.
Genius, and taste, and talent gone,
For ever tombd beneath the stone,
Wheretaming thought to human pride!
The mighty chiefs sleep side by side.
Drop upon Foxs grave the tear,
Twill trickle to his rivals bier;
Oer Pitts the mournful requiem sound,
And Foxs shall the notes rebound.
The solemn echo seems to cry,
Here let their discord with them die.
Speak not for those a separate doom
Whom fate made Brothers in the tomb;
But search the land of living men,
Where wilt thou find their like agen?

 

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