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Retains each grief, retains each crime,

Its earliest course was doomed to know ;
And, darker as it downward bears,
Is ftained with past and present tears.

Low as that tide has ebbed with me,
It still reflects to memory's eye
The hour, my brave, my only boy,

Fell by the side of great Dundee,
Why, when the volleying musket played
Against the bloody Highland blade,
Why was not I belide him laid !--
Enough-he died the death of fame ;

Enough-he died with conquering Græme.' p. 93. 94. There are several other detached passages of equal beauty, which might be quoted in proof of the effect which is produced by this dramatic interference of the narrator ; but we hasten to lay before our readers some of the more characteristic parts of the performance.

The antient romance owes much of its interest to the lively picture which it affords of the times of chivalry, and of those usages, manners and institutions which we have been accustomed to associate in our minds, with a certain combination of magnificence with simplicity, and ferocity with romantic honour, The representations contained in those performances, however, are for the most part too rude and naked to give complete satisfaction. The execution is always extremely unequal; and though the writer sometimes touches upon the appropriate feeling with great effect and felicity, still this appears to be done more by accident than design; and he wanders away immediately into all sorts of ludicrous or uninteresting details, without any apparent consciousnefs of incongruity. These defects Mr Scott has corrected with admirable address and judgment in the greater part of the work now before us : and while he has exhibited a very striking and impressive picture of the old feudal ufages and institutions, he has shewn ftill greater talent in engrafting upon those descriptions all the tender or magnanimous emotions to which the circumstances of the story naturally give rise. Without impairing the antique air of the whole piece, or violating the simplicity of the ballad style, he has contrived, in this way, to impart a much greater dignity, and more powerful interest to his production, than could ever be attained by the unskilful and unsteady delineations of the old romancers. Nothing, we think, can afford a finer illustration of this reinark, than the opening stanzas of the whole poem ; they transport us at once into the days of knightly daring


and feudal hostility, at the same time that they suggest, in a very interesting way, all those fofter sentiments which arise out of some parts of the description.

The feast was over in Branksome tower,
And the Ladye had gone to her secret bower ;
Her bower, that was guarded by word and by spell,
Deadly to hear, and deadly to tell
Jesu Maria, shield us well!
No living wight, fave the Ladye alone,
Had dared to cross the threshold itone.
The tables were drawn, it was idlefse all;

Knight, and page, and household squire,
Loitered through the lofty hall,

Or crowded round the ample fire.
The stag-hounds, weary with the chase,

Lay stretched upon the rulhy floor,
And urged, in dreams, the forest race,
From Teviot-stone to Elkdale-moor.

P. 9. ro. After a very picturesque representation of the military establisha ment of this old baronial fortress, the minstrel proceeds :

• Many a valiant knight is here ;
But he, the Chieftain of them all,
His sword hangs rufting on the wall,

Beside his broken {pear.
Bards long shall tell,
How lord Walter fell !
When startled burghers fled, afar,
The furies of the Border war;
When the ftreets of high Dunedin
Saw lances gleam, and falchions redden,
And heard the Rogan's deadly yell-
Then the Chief of Brankfome fell.
Can piety the discord heal,

Or flaunch the death feud's enmity?
Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal,

Can love of blessed charity ?
No! vainly to each holy shrine,

In mutual pilgrimage, they drew;
Implored, in vain, the grace divine

For chiefs, their own red falchions flew
While Cessford owns the rule of Car,

While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott,
The Naughtered chiefs, the mortal jar,
The havoc of the feudal war,
Shall never, never be forgot !

In sorrow o'er Lord Walter's bier,

The warlike forefters had bent ;
And many a flower and many a tear,

Cid Teviot's maids and matrons lent:
But, o'er her warrior's bloody bier,
The Ladye dropped nor figh nor tear!
Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain,

Had locked the source of softer woe ;
And burning pride, and high disdain,

Forbade the rising tear to flow;
Until, amid his forrowing clan,

Her son lisped from the nurse's knee-
« And, if I live to be a man,

“ My father's death revenged shall be !" Then faft the mother's tears did seek

To dew the infant's kindling cheek.' p. 12-15 There are not many passages in English poetry more impressive chan some parts of this extract. As another illustration of the prodigious improvement which the style of the old romance is capable of receiving from a more liberal admixture of pathetic sentiments and gentle affections, we insert the following passage, where the effect of the picture is finely assisted by the contrast of its two compartments :

• So passed the day—the evening fell,

'Twas near the time of curfew bell;
The air was mild, the wind was calm,
The stream was smooth, the dew was balm ;
E’en the rude watchman, on the tower,
Enjoyed and blessed the lovely hour.
Far more fair Margaret loved and blessed
The hour of silence aud of rest.
On the high turret, fitting lone,
She waked at times the lute's soft tone ;
Touched a wild note, and all between
Thought of the bower of hawthorns green;
Her golden hair streamed free from band,
Her fair cheek rested on her hand,
Her blue eye fought the west afar,

For lovers love the western star.
• Is yon the star o'er Penchryst-Pen,

That rises slowly to her ken,
And, spreading broad its wavering light,
Shakes its loose tresses on the night?
Is red glare the western star?-
O, 'tis the beacon-blaze of war!



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Scarce could she draw her tightened breath ;

For well she knew the fire of death!
• The warder viewed it blazing strong,

And blew his war-note loud and long,
Till, at the high and haughty found,
Rock, wood and river, rung around;
The blast alarmed the festal hall,
And startled forth the warriors all ;
Far downward in the castle-yard,
Full many a torch and creflet glared ;
And helms and plumes, confusedly toiled,
Were in the blaze half feen, half loft ;
And spears in wild diforder shook,

Like reeds beside a frozen brook,
· The Seneschal, whose filver hair

Was reddened by the torches' glare,
Stood in the midit, with gesture proud,
And iflued forth his mandates loud
“ On Penchryft glows a bale of fire,

And three are kindling on Priesthaughswire,&c. p. 83-85In these passages, the poetry of Mr Scott is entitled to a deci:ed preference over that of the earlier minstrels, not only from the greater consistency and condensation of his imagery, but from an intrinsic superiority in the nature of his materials. From the improvement of taste, and the cultivation of the finer feelings of the heart, poetry acquires, in a refined age, many new and invaluable elements, which are necessarily unknown in a period of greater fimplicity. The description of external objects, how'. ever, is at all times equally inviting, and equally easy, and many of the pictures which have been left by the ancient romancers, must be admitted to poffefs, along with great diffuseness and komeliness of diction, an exactness and vivacity which cannot be easily exceeded. In this part of his undertaking, Mr Scott therefore had fewer advantages ; but we do not think that his success has been less remarkable. In the following defcription of Meltose, which introduces the second canto, the reader will observe how skilfully he calls in the aid of sentimental associations to heighten the effect of the picture which he presents to the eye.

• If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,

Go visit it by the pale moon-light;
For the gay beams of lightlome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each fhafted oriel glimmers white;

When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed. of ebon and ivory ;
When filver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die ;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the ow let to hoot o'er the dead man's grave;
Then go-but go alone the while
Then view St David's ruined pile ;
And, home returning, foothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!'

p. 35, 36. In the following passage he is less ambitious, and confines himself, as an ancient minstrel would have done on the occasion, to a minute and picturesque representation of the visible object before him.

« When for the lifts they fought the plain,
The stately Ladye's filken rein

Did noble Howard hold;
Unarmed by her fide he walked,
And much in courteous phrase, they talked

Of feats of arms of old.
Costly his garb-his Flemish ruff
Fell o'er his doublet shaped of buff,

With satin slashed, and lined ;
Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,
His clock was all of Poland fur,

His hose with silver twined;
His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt,
Hung in a broad and studded belt ;
Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still
Called noble Howard, Belted Will.'

p. 141. The same scrupulous adherence to the style of the old romance, though greatly improved in point of brevity and selection, is difcernible in the following animated description of the feast, which terminates the poem.

• The spousal rites were ended foon ;
'Twas now the merry hour of noon,
And in the lofty-arched hall
Was spread the gorgeous festival:
Steward and squire, with heedful hasie,
Marshalled the rank of every guest;
Pages, with ready blade, were there,
The mighty meal to carve and share.
O'er capon, heron-Shew, and crane,
And princely peacock's gilded train,


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