The Maid Of Toro – Sir Walter Scott

O, low shone the sun on the fair lake of Toro,
And weak were the whispers that waved the dark wood,
All as a fair maiden, bewilder’d in sorrow,
Sorely sigh’d to the breezes, and wept to the flood.
‘O, saints! from the mansions of bliss lowly bending;
Now grant my petition, in anguish ascending,
My Henry restore, or let Eleanor die!’

All distant and faint were the sounds of the battle,
With the breezes they rise, with the breezes they fail,
Till the shout, and the groan, and the conflict’s dread rattle,
And the chase’s wild clamour, came loading the gale.
Breathless she gazed on the woodlands so dreary;
Slowly approaching a warrior was seen;
Life’s ebbing tide mark’d his footsteps so weary,
Cleft was his helmet, and woe was his mien.

‘O, save thee, fair maid, for our armies are flying!
O, save thee, fair maid, for thy guardian is low!
Deadly cold on yon heath thy brave Henry is lying,
Scarce could he falter the tidings of sorrow,
And scarce could she hear them, benumb’d with despair:
And when the sun sunk on the sweet lake of Toro,
For ever he set to the Brave and the Fair.

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Romance Of Dunois – Sir Walter Scott

It was Dunois, the young and brave, was bound for Palestine,
But first he made his orisons before Saint Mary’s shrine:
‘And grant, immortal Queen of Heaven,’ was still the Soldier’s prayer;
‘That I may prove the bravest knight, and love the fairest fair.’

His oath of honour on the shrine he graved it with his sword,
And followed to the Holy Land the banner of his Lord;
Where, faithful to his noble vow, his war-cry filled the air,
‘Be honoured aye the bravest knight, beloved the fairest fair.’

They owed the conquest to his arm, and then his Liege–Lord said,
‘The heart that has for honour beat by bliss must be repaid.-—
My daughter Isabel and thou shall be a wedded pair,
For thou art bravest of the brave, she fairest of the fair.’

And then they bound the holy knot before Saint Mary’s shrine,
That makes a paradise on earth, if hearts and hands combine;
And every lord and lady bright that were in chapel there
Cried, ‘Honoured be the bravest knight, beloved the fairest fair!’

Christmas – Sir Walter Scott

The glowing censers, and their rich perfume;
The splendid vestments, and the sounding choir;
The gentle sigh of soul-subduing piety;
The alms which open-hearted charity
Bestows, with kindly glance; and those
Which e’en stern avarice.
Though with unwilling hand,
Seems forced to tender; an offering sweet
To the bright throne of mercy; mark
This day a festival.

And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had roll’d,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all its hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night.
On Christmas eve the bells were rung,
On Christmas-eve the mass was sung;
That only night in all the year
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn’d her Kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress’d with holly green;
Then open’d wide the baron’s hall,
To vassal — tenant — serf and all:
Power laid his rod of rule aside,
And ceremony doff’d his pride.
All hail’d with uncontroll’d delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.

County Guy – Sir Walter Scott

Ah! County Guy, the hour is nigh,
The sun has left the lea,
The orange flower perfumes the bower,
The breeze is on the sea.
The lark his lay who thrill’d all day
Sits hush’d his partner nigh:
Breeze, bird, and flower confess the hour,
But where is County Guy?

The village maid steals through the shade,
Her shepherd’s suit to hear;
To beauty shy, by lattice high,
Sings high-born Cavalier.
The star of Love, all stars above
Now reigns o’er earth and sky;
And high and low the influence know–
But where is County Guy?

To A Lock Of Hair – Sir Walter Scott

Thy hue, dear pledge, is pure and bright
As in that well – remember’d night
When first thy mystic braid was wove,
And first my Agnes whisper’d love.

Since then how often hast thou prest
The torrid zone of this wild breast,
Whose wrath and hate have sworn to dwell
With the first sin that peopled hell;
A breast whose blood’s a troubled ocean,
Each throb the earthquake’s wild commotion!
O if such clime thou canst endure
Yet keep thy hue unstain’d and pure,
What conquest o’er each erring thought
Of that fierce realm had Agnes wrought!
I had not wander’d far and wide
With such an angel for my guide;
Nor heaven nor earth could then reprove me
If she had lived and lived to love me.

Not then this world’s wild joys had been
To me one savage hunting scene,
My sole delight the headlong race
And frantic hurry of the chase;
To start, pursue, and bring to bay,
Rush in, drag down, and rend my prey,
Then – from the carcass turn away!
Mine ireful mood had sweetness tamed,
And soothed each wound which pride inflamed: –
Yes, God and man might now approve me
If thou hadst lived and lived to love me!

The Truth Of Woman – Sir Walter Scott

Woman’s faith, and woman’s trust –
Write the characters in the dust;
Stamp them on the running stream,
Print them on the moon’s pale beam,
And each evanescent letter
Shall be clearer, firmer, better,
And more permanent, I ween,
Than the thing those letters mean.

I have strain’d the spider’s thread
‘Gainst the promise of a maid;
I have weigh’d a grain of sand
‘Gainst her plight of heart and hand;
I told my true love of the token,
How her faith proved light, and her word was broken:
Again her word and truth she plight,
And I believed them again ere night.

Poem – The New Remorse

The sin was mine; I did not understand.
So now is music prisoned in her cave,
Save where some ebbing desultory wave
Frets with its restless whirls this meagre strand.
And in the withered hollow of this land
Hath Summer dug herself so deep a grave,
That hardly can the leaden willow crave
One silver blossom from keen Winter’s hand.

But who is this who cometh by the shore?
(Nay, love, look up and wonder!) Who is this
Who cometh in dyed garments from the South?
It is thy new-found Lord, and he shall kiss
The yet unravished roses of thy mouth,
And I shall weep and worship, as before.