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The Queen sits lone in Lithgow pile,
And weeps the weary day,
The war against her native soil,
Her Monarch's risk in battle broil ;
And in gay Holy-Rood, the while,
Dame Heron rises with a smile
Upon the harp to play.
Fair was her rounded arm, as o'er
The strings her fingers flew ;
And as she touched, and tuned them all,
Even her bosom's rise and fall
Was plainer given to view; For, all for heat, was laid aside Her wimple, and her hood untied. And first she pitched her voice to sing, Then glanced her dark eye on the King, And then around the silent ring; And laughed, and blushed, and oft did say Her pretty oath, by Yea, and Nay, She could not, would not, durst not play!
At length, upon the harp, with glee,
Mingled with arch simplicity,
A soft, yet lively, air she rung,
While thus the wily lady sung.
O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best,
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none;
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late :
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.
So boldly he entered the Netherby hall, Among bride's-men and kinsmen, and brothers and all : Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword, (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,) “O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?'
“I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied ;
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide-
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.”
The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup,
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar, —
Now tread we a measure !” said young Lochinvar.
So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace ;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
And the bride-maidens whispered, “ 'Twere better by far
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar.”
One touch to her hand, and one word in her car,
When they reached the hall door and the charger stood near;
So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur ;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.
There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan;
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran :
There was racing, and chasing, on Cannobie Lee,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar ?
The Monarch o'er the syren hung,
And beat the measure as she sung ;
And, pressing closer, and more near,
He whispered praises in her ear.
In loud applause the courtiers vied ;
And ladies winked and spoke aside.
The witching dame to Marmion threw
A glance, where seemed to reign
The pride that claims applauses due,
And of her royal conquest, too,
A real or feigned disdain :
Familiar was the look, and told,
Marmion and she were friends of old.
The King observed their meeting eyes,
With something like displeased surprise ;
For monarchs ill can rivals brook,
Even in a word, or smile, or look.
Straight took he forth the parchment broad,
Which Marmion's high commission showed :
“Our Borders sacked by many a raid,
Our peaceful liegemen robbed,” he said ;
On day of truce our Warden slain,
Stout Barton killed, his vassals ta'en-
Unworthy were we here to reign,
Should these for vengeance cry in vain ;
Our full defiance, hate, and scorn,
Our herald has to Henry borne.”