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High though his tides, 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.


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 f what mortal hand

Can e'er untie the filial band,

That knits me to thv 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 j

Still feel the breeze down Ettricke break,

Although it chill my withered cheek j

Still lay my head by Teviot stone,

Though there, forgotten and alone,

The Bard may draw his parting groan.


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.


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 j 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.


Some bards have sung, the Ladye high
Chapel or altar came not nigh;
Nor durst the rites of spousal grace,
So much she feared each holy place.
False slanders these:—I trust right well
She wrought not by forbidden spell:
For mighty words and signs have power
O'er sprites in planetary hour:
Yet scarce I praise their venturous part,
Who tamper with such dangerous art.

But this for faithful truth I say,
The Ladye by the altar stood,

Of sable velvet her array,
And on her head a crimson hood,
With pearls embroidered and entwined,
Guarded with gold, with ermine lined;
A merlin sat upon her wrist,
Held by a leash of silken twist.


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,
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,
And o'er the boar-head, garnished 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;

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