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.

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.

Poem – My Native Land

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!

Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,

As home his footsteps he hath turn’d

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, unhonour’d, and unsung. 

Poem – Border Ballad

March, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale, 

Why the deil dinna ye march forward in order! 

March, march, Eskdale and Liddesdale, 

All the Blue Bonnets are bound for the Border. 

Many a banner spread,

Flutters above your head, 

Many a crest that is famous in story. 

Mount and make ready then, 

Sons of the mountain glen, 

Fight for the Queen and our old Scottish glory. 
Come from the hills where your hirsels are grazing, 

Come from the glen of the buck and the roe; 

Come to the crag where the beacon is blazing, 

Come with the buckler, the lance, and the bow. 

Trumpets are sounding, 

War-steeds are bounding, 

Stand to your arms, then, and march in good order; 

England shall many a day 

Tell of the bloody fray, 

When the Blue Bonnets came over the Border. 

Poem – Bonny Dundee

To the Lords of Convention ’twas Claver’se who spoke. 

‘Ere the King’s crown shall fall there are crowns to be broke; 

So let each Cavalier who loves honour and me, 

Come follow the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,

Come saddle your horses, and call up your men; 

Come open the West Port and let me gang free, 

And it’s room for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee!’ 
Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street, 

The bells are rung backward, the drums they are beat;

But the Provost, douce man, said, ‘Just e’en let him be, 

The Gude Town is weel quit of that Deil of Dundee.’ 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
As he rode down the sanctified bends of the Bow, 

Ilk carline was flyting and shaking her pow; 

But the young plants of grace they looked couthie and slee, 

Thinking luck to thy bonnet, thou Bonny Dundee! 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
With sour-featured Whigs the Grass-market was crammed, 

As if half the West had set tryst to be hanged;

There was spite in each look, there was fear in each e’e, 

As they watched for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
These cowls of Kilmarnock had spits and had spears, 

And lang-hafted gullies to kill cavaliers; 

But they shrunk to close-heads and the causeway was free, 

At the toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
He spurred to the foot of the proud Castle rock, 

And with the gay Gordon he gallantly spoke; 

‘Let Mons Meg and her marrows speak twa words or three, 

For the love of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.’ 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
The Gordon demands of him which way he goes— 

‘Where’er shall direct me the shade of Montrose!

Your Grace in short space shall hear tidings of me, 

Or that low lies the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
‘There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth, 

If there’s lords in the Lowlands, there’s chiefs in the North;

There are wild Duniewassals three thousand times three, 

Will cry hoigh! for the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
‘There’s brass on the target of barkened bull-hide; 

There’s steel in the scabbard that dangles beside;

The brass shall be burnished, the steel shall flash free, 

At the toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
‘Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks— 

Ere I own an usurper, I’ll couch with the fox; 

And tremble, false Whigs, in the midst of your glee, 

You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me!’ 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 
He waved his proud hand, the trumpets were blown, 

The kettle-drums clashed and the horsemen rode on, 

Till on Ravelston’s cliffs and on Clermiston’s lee 

Died away the wild war-notes of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can, 

Come saddle the horses, and call up the men, 

Come open your gates, and let me gae free, 

For it’s up with the bonnets of Bonny Dundee! 

Poem – Bonaparte 

From a rude isle, his ruder lineage came.

The spark, that, from a suburb hovel’s hearth 

Ascending, wraps some capital in flame,

Hath not a meaner or more sordid birth. 

And for the soul that bade him waste the earth—

The sable land-flood from some swamp obscure, 

That poisons the glad husband-field with dearth,

And by destruction bids its fame endure, 

Hath not a source more sullen, stagnant, and impure.
Before that Leader strode a shadowy form,

Her limbs like mist, her torch like meteor shew’d; 

With which she beckon’d him through fight and storm,

And all he crush’d that cross’d his desp’rate road, 

Nor thought, nor fear’d, nor look’d on what he trode;

Realms could not glut his pride, blood not slake,

So oft as e’er she shook her torch abroad—

It was Ambition bade his terrors wake; 

Nor deign’d she, as of yore, a milder form to take.
No longer now she spurn’d at mean revenge,

Or stay’d her hand for conquer’d freeman’s moan,

As when, the fates of aged Rome to change,

By Caesar’s side she cross’d the Rubicon;

Nor joy’d she to bestow the spoils she won,

As when the banded Powers of Greece were task’d

To war beneath the Youth of Macedon:

No seemly veil her modern minion ask’d,

He saw her hideous face, and lov’d the fiend unmask’d.
That Prelate mark’d his march—On banners blaz’d

With battles won in many a distant land.

On eagle standards and on arms he gaz’d;

‘And hop’st thou, then,’ he said, ‘thy power shall stand?

O! thou hast builded on the shifting sand,

And thou hast temper’d it with slaughter’s flood;

And know, fell scourge in the Almighty’s hand,

Gore-moisten’d trees shall perish in the bud,

And, by a bloody death, shall die the Man of Blood.’
The ruthless Leader beckon’d from his train

A wan, paternal shade, and bade him kneel,

And pale his temples with the Crown of Spain,

While trumpets rang, and Heralds cried, ‘Castile!’

Not that he lov’d him—No!—in no man’s weal,

Scarce in his own, e’er joy’d that sullen heart;

Yet round that throne he bade his warriors wheel,

That the poor puppet might perform his part,

And be a scepter’d slave, at his stern beck to start. 

Poem – Ancient Gaelic Melody

I.Birds of omen dark and foul,

Night-crow, raven, bat, and owl,

Leave the sick man to his dream – 

All night long he heard you scream.

Haste to cave and ruin’d tower,

Ivy tod, or dingled-bower,

There to wink and mop, for, hark!

In the mid air sings the lark.
II.

Hie to moorish gills and rocks,

Prowling wolf and wily fox, – 

Hie ye fast, nor turn your view,

Though the lamb bleats to the ewe.

Couch your trains, and speed your flight,

Safety parts with parting night;

And on distant echo borne,

Comes the hunter’s early horn.
III.

The moon’s wan crescent scarcely gleams,

Ghost-like she fades in morning beams;

Hie hence, each peevish imp and fay

That scarce the pilgrim on his way, –

Quench, kelpy! quench, in bog and fen,

Thy torch, that cheats benighted men;

Thy dance is o’er, thy reign is done,

For Benyieglo hath seen the sun.
IV.

Wild thoughts, that, sinful, dark, and deep,

O’erpower the passive mind in sleep,

Pass from the slumberer’s soul away,

Like night-mists from the brow of day:

Foul hag, whose blasted visage grim

Smothers the pulse, unnerves the limb,

Spur thy dark palfrey, and begone!

Thou darest not face the godlike sun. 

Poem – An Hour with Thee

An hour with thee! When earliest day 

Dapples with gold the eastern gray, 

Oh, what can frame my mind to bear 

The toil and turmoil, cark and care, 

New griefs, which coming hours unfold, 

And sad remembrance of the old? 

One hour with thee.
One hour with thee! When burning June 

Waves his red flag at pitch of noon; 

What shall repay the faithful swain, 

His labor on the sultry plain; 

And, more than cave or sheltering bough, 

Cool feverish blood and throbbing brow? 

One hour with thee.
One hour with thee! When sun is set, 

Oh, what can teach me to forget 

The thankless labors of the day; 

The hopes, the wishes, flung away; 

The increasing wants, and lessening gains, 

The master’s pride, who scorns my pains? 

One hour with thee. 

Poem – A Serenade

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 trill’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? 

Poem – The Rover’s Adiew

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 soldier’s 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 turn’d 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.’ 

Poem – The Truth of Woman 

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.