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r THE

LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL. CANTO SIXTH.

i.

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 burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,

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, concentered all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.

II.

O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires!' what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me, of all bereft,
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left
And thus I love them better still,
Even in extremity of ill.
By Yarrow's stream still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way;
Still feel the breeze down Ettricke break,
Although it chill my withered cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.

III.

Not scorned like me! to Branksome Hall
The Minstrels came, at festive call;
Trooping they came, from near and far,
The jovial priests of mirth and war;
Alike for feast and fight prepared,
Battle and banquet both they shared.
Of late, before each martial clan,
They blew their death-note in the van,

But now, for every merry mate,

Rose the portcullis' iron grate;

They sound the pipe, they strike the string,

They dance, they revel, and they sing,

Till the rude turrets shake and ring.

IV. .

Me lists not at this tide declare
The splendour of the spousal rite,"

How mustered in the chapel fair

Both maid and matron, squire and knight;

Me lists not tell of owches rare,

Of mantles green, and braided hair,

And kirtles furred with miniver;

What plumage waved the altar round,

How spurs, and ringing chainlets, sound;

And hard it were for bard to speak

The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek;

That lovely hue which comes and flies.

As awe and shame alternate rise!

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