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THE

LAY

OF

THE LAST MINSTREL.

CANTO FOURTH.

THE

LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL. CANTO FOURTH.

I.

Sweet Teviot! on thy silver tide

The glaring bale-fires blaze no more;
No longer steel-clad warriors ride
- Along thy wild and willowed shore;
Where'er thou wind'st by dale or hill,
All, all is peaceful, all is still,

As if thy waves, since Time was born, Since first they rolled upon the Tweed; Had only heard the shepherd's reed,

Nor started at the bugle-horn.

II.

Unlike the tide of human time,

Which, though it change in ceaseless flow,

Retains each grief, retains each crime,

Its earliest course was doomed to know,
And, darker as it downward bears,
Is stained 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 beside him laid!—
Enough—he died the death of fame;
Enough—he died with conquering Graeme.
To muse o'er rivalries of yore.
And grieve that I shall hear no more
The strains, with envy heard before;
For, with my minstrel brethren fled,
My jealousy of song is dead.

He paused:—the listening dames again
Applaud the hoary Minstrel's strain;
With many a word of kindly cheer,—
In pity half, and half sincere,—
Marvelled the Duchess how so well
His legendary song could tell—
Of ancient deeds, so long forgot j
Of feuds, whose memory was not;
Of forests, now laid waste and bare;
Of towers, which harbour now the hare}
Of manners, long since changed and gone j
Of chiefs, who under their gray stone

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