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equally easy; and many of the pictures which have been
left by the ancient romancers must be admitted to pos-
sess, along with great diffuseness and homeliness of dic-
tion, 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 fol-
lowing description of Melrose, 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 wouldst view fair Melrose aright,

Go visit it by the pale moonlight;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.

When the broken arches are black in night,
Aud each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruin'd central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem fram'd of ebon and ivory;

When silver edges the imagery,

And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;

When distant Tweed is heard to rave,

And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave;
- but alone the while

Then go !

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Then view St. David's ruined pile!

And, home returning, soothly 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 lists they sought the plain,
The stately Ladye's silken rein

Did noble Howard hold;
Unarmed by her side he walk'd,

And much, in courteous phrase, they talk'd
Of feats of arms of old.

Costly his garb - his Flemish ruff
Fell o'er his doublet shap'd of buff,
With satin slash'd, and lined;
Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,
His cloak was all of Poland fur,
His hose with silver twin'd;



His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt,
Hung in a broad and studded belt;

Hence, in rude phrase, the Bord 'rers still

Call'd 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 discernible in the following animated description of the feast, which terminates the poem:

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The spousal rites were ended soon;
'Twas now the merry hour of noon,
And in the lofty-arched hall

Was spread the gorgeous festival:
Steward and squire, with heedful haste,
Marshall'd 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,
And o'er the boar's head, garnish'd brave,
And cygnet from St. Mary's wave;
O'er ptarmigan and venison,
The priest had spoke his benison.
Then rose the riot and the din,
Above, beneath, without, within!
For, from the lofty balcony,

Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery!

Their clanging bowls old warriors quaff'd,
Loudly they spoke, and loudly laughed ;
Whisper'd young knights, in tone more mild,
To ladies fair, and ladies smil'd.

The hooded hawks, high perch'd on beam,
The clamour join'd with whistling scream,
And flapp'd their wings, and shook their bells,
In concert with the staghounds' yells.
Round go the flasks of Ruddy wine,
From Bourdeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine;
Their tasks the busy sewers ply,

And all is mirth and revelry."- p. 166, 167.

The following picture is sufficiently antique in its conception, though the execution is evidently modern:—

"Ten of them were sheath'd in steel,
With belted sword, and spur on heel:
They quitted not their harness bright,
Neither by day, nor yet by night:

They lay down to rest
With corslet laced,



Pillow'd on buckler cold and hard;

They carv'd at the meal

With gloves of steel,

And they drank the red wine through the helmet barr'd.”

The whole scene of the duel, or judicial combat, is conducted according to the strict ordinances of chivalry, and delineated with all the minuteness of an ancient romancer. The modern reader will probably find it rather tedious; all but the concluding stanzas, which are in a loftier measure.

""Tis done, 'tis done! that fatal blow

Has stretch'd him on the bloody plain;
He strives to rise - Brave Musgrave, no!
Thence never shalt thou rise again!
He chokes in blood-some friendly hand
Undo the visor's barred band,

Unfix the gorget's iron clasp,

And give him room for life to gasp! --
In vain, in vain haste, holy friar,
Haste, ere the sinner shall expire!
Of all his guilt let him be shriven,

And smooth his path from earth to heaven!

"In haste the holy friar sped;
His naked foot was dyed with red,

As through the lists he ran;
Unmindful of the shouts on high,
That hail'd the conqueror's victory,
He rais'd the dying man ;

Loose wav'd his silver beard and hair,
As o'er him he kneel'd down in prayer.
And still the crucifix on high,

He holds before his dark'ning eye,
And still he bends an anxious ear,
His falt'ring penitence to hear;

Still props him from the bloody sod,
Still, even when soul and body part,
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart,
And bids him trust in God!
Unheard he prays; 'tis o'er, 'tis o'er!

Richard of Musgrave breathes no more."--p. 145–147.

We have already made so many extracts from this poem, that we can now only afford to present our readers with one specimen of the songs which Mr. Scott has introduced in the mouths of the minstrels in the concluding canto.

It is his object, in those pieces, to exemplify



the different styles of ballad narrative which prevailed in this island at different periods, or in different conditions of society. The first is constructed upon the rude and simple model of the old Border ditties, and produces its effect by the direct and concise narrative of a tragical occurrence. The second, sung by Fitztraver, the bard of the accomplished Surrey, has more of the richness and polish of the Italian poetry, and is very beautifully written, in a stanza resembling that of Spenser. The third is intended to represent that wild style of composition which prevailed among the bards of the northern continent, somewhat softened and adorned by the minstrel's residence in the south. We prefer it, upon the whole, to either of the two former, and shall give it entire to our readers; who will probably be struck with the poetical effect of the dramatic form into which it is thrown, and of the indirect description by which every thing is most expressively told, without one word of distinct narrative.

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O listen, listen, ladies gay!

No haughty feats of arms I tell ;
Soft is the note, and sad the lay,
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.
- Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And, gentle Ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,

Nor tempt the stormy frith to-day.

The black'ning wave is edg'd with white;
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite,
Whose screams forbode that wreck is nigh.
Last night the gifted seer did view

A wet shroud roll'd round Ladye gay :
Then stay thee, fair, in Ravensheuch:
Why cross the gloomy frith to-day ?"


"Tis not because Lord Lind'say's heir
To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my Ladye-mother there

Sits lonely in her castle hall.
""Tis not because the ring they ride,

And Lind'say at the ring rides well!
But that my sire the wine will chide,
If 'tis not fill'd by Rosabelle.".

* Isle.






O'er Roslin all that dreary night

A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
'Twas broader than the watch-fire light,

And brighter than the bright moonbeam.
It glar'd on Roslin's castled rock,

It redden'd all the copse-wood glen;
'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak,
And seen from cavern'd Hawthornden.
Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud,
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lie;
Each Baron, for a sable shroud,

Sheath'd in his iron panoply.
Seem'd all on fire within, around,
Both vaulted crypt and altar's pale;
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,

And glimmer'd all the dead-men's mail.
Blaz'd battlement and pinnet high,

Blaz'd every rose-carv'd buttress fair
So still they blaze when fate is nigh
The lordly line of high St. Clair!
There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold

But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle!

And each St. Clair was buried there,

With candle, with book, and with knell;

But the Kelpy rung, and the Mermaid sung

The dirge of lovely Rosabelle!"— p. 181-184.


From the various extracts we have now given, our readers will be enabled to form a tolerably correct judgment of this poem; and if they are pleased with these portions of it which have now been exhibited, we may venture to assure them that they will not be disappointed by the perusal of the whole. The whole night-journey of Deloraine- the opening of the wizard's tomb-the march of the English battle — and the parley before the walls of the castle, are all executed with the same spirit and poetical energy, which we think is conspicuous in the specimens we have already extracted; and a great variety of short passages occur in every part of the poem, which are still more striking and meritorious, though it is impossible to detach them, without injury, in the form of a quotation. It is but fair to apprise the reader, on the other hand, that he will meet with very heavy pas

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