Top 20 Greatest Poems of Walter Scott (Sir)

These are the top twenty (20) greatest poems of Walter Scott (Sir).

From Christmas to Marmion: A Christamas Poem.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

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Christmas


The glowing censers, and their rich perfume;
The splendid vestments, and the sounding choir;
The gentle sigh of soul-subduing piety;
The alms which open-hearted charity
Bestows, with kindly glance; and those
Which e’en stern avarice.
Though with unwilling hand,
Seems forced to tender; an offering sweet
To the bright throne of mercy; mark
This day a festival.


And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had roll’d,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all its hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night.
On Christmas eve the bells were rung,
On Christmas-eve the mass was sung;
That only night in all the year
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn’d her Kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress’d with holly green;
Then open’d wide the baron’s hall,
To vassal, tenant, serf and all:
Power laid his rod of rule aside,
And ceremony doff’d his pride.
All hail’d with uncontroll’d delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.

Walter Scott (Sir)

There Came Three Merry Men From South, West, And North


KNIGHT AND WAMBA.


There came three merry men from south, west, and north,
Ever more sing the roundelay;
To win the Widow of Wycombe forth,
And where was the widow might say them nay?


The first was a knight, and from Tynedale he came,
Ever more sing the roundelay;
And his fathers, God save us, were men of great fame,
And where was the widow might say him nay?


Of his father the laird, of his uncle the squire,
He boasted in rhyme and in roundelay;
She bade him go bask by his sea-coal fire,
For she was the widow would say him nay.


WAMBA.

The next that came forth, swore by blood and by nails,
Merrily sing the roundelay;
Hur’s a gentleman, God wot, and hur’s lineage was of Wales,
And where was the widow might say him nay?


Sir David ap Morgan ap Griffith ap Hugh
Ap Tudor ap Rhice, quoth his roundelay
She said that one widow for so many was too few,
And she bade the Welshman wend his way.


But then next came a yeoman, a yeoman of Kent,
Jollily singing his roundelay;
He spoke to the widow of living and rent,
And where was the widow could say him nay?

BOTH.


So the knight and the squire were both left in the mire,
There for to sing their roundelay;
For a yeoman of Kent, with his yearly rent,
There never was a widow could say him nay.

Walter Scott (Sir)

An Hour With Thee


An hour with thee! When earliest day
Dapples with gold the eastern gray,
Oh, what can frame my mind to bear
The toil and turmoil, cark and care,
New griefs, which coming hours unfold,
And sad remembrance of the old?
One hour with thee.

One hour with thee! When burning June
Waves his red flag at pitch of noon;
What shall repay the faithful swain,
His labor on the sultry plain;
And, more than cave or sheltering bough,
Cool feverish blood and throbbing brow?
One hour with thee.


One hour with thee! When sun is set,
Oh, what can teach me to forget
The thankless labors of the day;
The hopes, the wishes, flung away;
The increasing wants, and lessening gains,
The master’s pride, who scorns my pains?
One hour with thee

Walter Scott (Sir)

Love


In peace, Love tunes the shepherd’s reed;
In war, he mounts the warrior’s steed;
In halls, in gay attire is seen;
In hamlets, dances on the green.
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Answer


Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!
To all the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Marmion: Introduction To Canto V.


When dark December glooms the day,
And takes our autumn joys away;
When short and scant the sunbeam throws,
Upon the weary waste of snows,
A cold and profitless regard,
Like patron on a needy bard,
When silvan occupation’s done,
And o’er the chimney rests the gun,
And hang, in idle trophy, near,
The game-pouch, fishing-rod, and spear;
When wiry terrier, rough and grim,
And greyhound, with his length of limb,
And pointer, now employed no more,
Cumber our parlour’s narrow floor;
When in his stall the impatient steed
Is long condemned to rest and feed;
When from our snow-encircled home,
Scarce cares the hardiest step to roam,
Since path is none, save that to bring
The needful water from the spring;
When wrinkled news-page, thrice conned o’er,
Beguiles the dreary hour no more,
And darkling politican, crossed
Inveighs against the lingering post,
And answering housewife sore complains
Of carriers’ snow-impeded wains;
When such the country cheer, I come,
Well pleased, to seek our city home;
For converse, and for books, to change
The Forest’s melancholy range,
And welcome, with renewed delight,
The busy day and social night.
Not here need my desponding rhyme
Lament the ravages of time,
As erst by Newark’s riven towers,
And Ettrick stripped of forest bowers.
True, Caledonia’s Queen is changed,
Since on her dusky summit ranged,
Within its steepy limits pent,
By bulwark, line, and battlement,
And flanking towers, and laky flood,
Guarded and garrisoned she stood,
Denying entrance or resort,
Save at each tall embattled port;
Above whose arch, suspended, hung
Portcullis spiked with iron prong.
That long is gone, but not so long,
Since, early closed, and opening late,
Jealous revolved the studded gate,
Whose task, from eve to morning tide,
A wicket churlishly supplied.
Stern then, and steel-girt was thy brow,
Dunedin! Oh, how altered now,
When safe amid thy mountain court
Thou sitt’st, like empress at her sport,
And liberal, unconfined, and free,
Flinging thy white arms to the sea,
For thy dark cloud, with umbered lower,
That hung o’er cliff, and lake, and tower,
Thou gleam’st against the western ray
Ten thousand lines of brighter day.
Not she, the championess of old,
In Spenser’s magic tale enrolled,
She for the charmed spear renowned,
Which forced each knight to kiss the ground,
Not she more changed, when, placed at rest,
What time she was Malbecco’s guest,
She gave to flow her maiden vest;
When from the corslet’s grasp relieved,
Free to the sight her bosom heaved;
Sweet was her blue eye’s modest smile,
Erst hidden by the aventayle;
And down her shoulders graceful rolled
Her locks profuse, of paly gold.
They who whilom, in midnight fight,
Had marvelled at her matchless might,
No less her maiden charms approved,
But looking liked, and liking loved.
The sight could jealous pangs beguile,
And charm Malbecco’s cares a while;
And he, the wandering squire of dames,
Forgot his Columbella’s claims,
And passion, erst unknown, could gain
The breast of blunt Sir Satyrane;
Nor durst light Paridel advance,
Bold as he was, a looser glance.
She charmed at once, and tamed the heart,
Incomparable Britomarte!
So thou, fair city! disarrayed
Of battled wall, and rampart’s aid,
As stately seem’st, but lovelier far
Than in that panoply of war.
Nor deem that from thy fenceless throne
Strength and security are flown;
Still as of yore Queen of the North!
Still canst thou send thy children forth.
Ne’er readier at alarm-bell’s call
Thy burghers rose to man thy wall,
Than now, in danger, shall be thine,
Thy dauntless voluntary line;
For fosse and turret proud to stand,
Their breasts the bulwarks of the land.
Thy thousands, trained to martial toil,
Full red would stain their native soil,
Ere from thy mural crown there fell
The slightest knosp or pinnacle.
And if it come, as come it may,
Dunedin! that eventful day,
Renowned for hospitable deed,
That virtue much with Heaven may plead
In patriarchal times whose care
Descending angels deigned to share;
That claim may wrestle blessings down
On those who fight for the good town,
Destined in every age to be
Refuge of injured royalty;
Since first, when conquering York arose,
To Henry meek she gave repose,
Till late, with wonder, grief, and awe,
Great Bourbon’s relics, sad she saw.
Truce to these thoughts! for, as they rise,
How gladly I avert mine eyes,
Bodings, or true or false, to change,
For Fiction’s fair romantic range,
Or for tradition’s dubious light,
That hovers ‘twixt the day and night:
Dazzling alternately and dim,
Her wavering lamp I’d rather trim,
Knights, squires, and lovely dames, to see
Creation of my fantasy,
Than gaze abroad on reeky fen,
And make of mists invading men.
Who love not more the night of June
Than dull December’s gloomy noon?
The moonlight than the fog of frost?
And can we say which cheats the most?
But who shall teach my harp to gain
A sound of the romantic strain,
Whose Anglo-Norman tones whilere
Could win the royal Henry’s ear,
Famed Beauclerc called, for that he loved
The minstrel, and his lay approved?
Who shall these lingering notes redeem,
Decaying on Oblivion’s stream;
Such notes as from the Breton tongue
Marie translated, Blondel sung?
O! born Time’s ravage to repair,
And make the dying muse thy care;
Who, when his scythe her hoary foe
Was poising for the final blow,
The weapon from his hand could wring,
And break his glass, and shear his wing,
And bid, reviving in his strain,
The gentle poet live again;
Thou, who canst give to lightest lay
An unpedantic moral gay,
Nor less the dullest theme bid flit
On wings of unexpected wit;
In letters as in life approved,
Example honoured and beloved,
Dear Ellis! to the bard impart
A lesson of thy magic art,
To win at once the head and heart,
At once to charm, instruct, and mend,
My guide, my pattern, and my friend!
Such minstrel lesson to bestow
Be long thy pleasing task, but, oh!
No more by thy example teach,
What few can practise, all can preach,
With even patience to endure
Lingering disease, and painful cure,
And boast affliction’s pangs subdued
By mild and manly fortitude.
Enough, the lesson has been given:
Forbid the repetition, Heaven!
Come, listen, then! for thou hast known,
And loved the minstrel’s varying tone,
Who, like his Border sires of old,
Waked a wild measure rude and bold,
Till Windsor’s oaks, and Ascot plain,
With wonder heard the Northern strain.
Come, listen! bold in thy applause,
The bard shall scorn pedantic laws;
And, as the ancient art could stain
Achievements on the storied pane,
Irregularly traced and planned,
But yet so glowing and so grand,
So shall he strive in changeful hue,
Field, feast, and combat to renew,
And loves, and arms, and harpers’ glee,
And all the pomp of chivalry.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Death Chant


Viewless essence, thin and bare,
Well nigh melted into air,
Still with fondness hovering near
The earthly form thou once didst wear,


Pause upon thy pinion’s flight;
Be thy course to left or right,
Be thou doomed to soar or sink,
Pause upon the awful brink.


To avenge the deed expelling
Thee untimely from thy dwelling,
Mystic force thou shalt retain
O’er the blood and o’er the brain.


When the form thou shalt espy
That darken’d on thy closing eye,
When the footstep thou shalt hear
That thrill’d upon thy dying ear,

Then strange sympathies shall wake,
The flesh shall thrill, the nerves shall quake,
The wounds renew their clotter’d flood,
And every drop cry blood for blood!

Walter Scott (Sir)

Ancient Gaelic Melody


I.
Birds of omen dark and foul,
Night-crow, raven, bat, and owl,
Leave the sick man to his dream,
All night long he heard you scream.
Haste to cave and ruin’d tower,
Ivy tod, or dingled-bower,
There to wink and mop, for, hark!
In the mid air sings the lark.


II.
Hie to moorish gills and rocks,
Prowling wolf and wily fox,
Hie ye fast, nor turn your view,
Though the lamb bleats to the ewe.
Couch your trains, and speed your flight,
Safety parts with parting night;
And on distant echo borne,
Comes the hunter’s early horn.


III.
The moon’s wan crescent scarcely gleams,
Ghost-like she fades in morning beams;
Hie hence, each peevish imp and fay
That scarce the pilgrim on his way,
Quench, kelpy! quench, in bog and fen,
Thy torch, that cheats benighted men;
Thy dance is o’er, thy reign is done,
For Benyieglo hath seen the sun.


IV.
Wild thoughts, that, sinful, dark, and deep,
O’erpower the passive mind in sleep,
Pass from the slumberer’s soul away,
Like night-mists from the brow of day:
Foul hag, whose blasted visage grim
Smothers the pulse, unnerves the limb,
Spur thy dark palfrey, and begone!
Thou darest not face the godlike sun.

Walter Scott (Sir)

A Serenade


Ah! County Guy, the hour is nigh
The sun has left the lea,
The orange-flower perfumes the bower,
The breeze is on the sea.
The lark, his lay who trill’d all day,
Sits hush’d his partner nigh;
Breeze, bird, and flower confess the hour,
But where is County Guy?


The village maid steals through the shade
Her shepherd’s suit to hear;
To Beauty shy, by lattice high,
Sings high-born Cavalier.
The star of Love, all stars above,
Now reigns o’er earth and sky,
And high and low the influence know—
But where is County Guy?

Walter Scott (Sir)

The Violet


The violet in her greenwood bower,
Where birchen boughs with hazel mingle,
May boast itself the fairest flower
In glen, or copse, or forest dingle.


Though fair her gems of azure hue,
Beneath the dew-drop’s weight reclining;
I’ve seen an eye of lovelier blue,
More sweet through wat’ry lustre shining.


The summer sun that dew shall dry,
Ere yet the day be past its morrow;
No longer in my false love’s eye
Remain’d the tear of parting sorrow.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Anna-Marie, Love, Up Is The Sun


Anna-Marie, love, up is the sun,
Anna-Marie, love, morn is begun,
Mists are dispersing, love, birds singing free,
Up in the morning, love, Anna-Marie.
Anna-Marie, love, up in the morn,
The hunter is winding blithe sounds on his horn,
The echo rings merry from rock and from tree,
‘Tis time to arouse thee, love, Anna-Marie.


WAMBA.

O Tybalt, love, Tybalt, awake me not yet,
Around my soft pillow while softer dreams flit,
For what are the joys that in waking we prove,
Compared with these visions, O, Tybalt, my love?
Let the birds to the rise of the mist carol shrill,
Let the hunter blow out his loud horn on the hill,
Softer sounds, softer pleasures, in slumber I prove,
But think not I dreamt of thee, Tybalt, my love.

Walter Scott (Sir)

The Lay Of Poor Louise


Ah, poor Louise! the livelong day
She roams from cot to castle gay;
And still her voice and viol say,
Ah, maids, beware the woodland way,
Think on Louise.


Ah, poor Louise! The sun was high,
It smirch’d her cheek, it dimm’d her eye,
The woodland walk was cool and nigh,
Where birds with chiming streamlets vie
To cheer Louise.
Ah, poor Louise! The savage bear
Made ne’er that lovely grove his lair;
The wolves molest not paths so fair,
But better far had such been there
For poor Louise.

Ah, poor Louise! In woody wold
She met a huntsman fair and bold;
His baldric was of silk and gold,
And many a witching tale he told
To poor Louise.


Ah, poor Louise! Small cause to pine
Hadst thou for treasures of the mine;
For peace of mind that gift divine,
And spotless innocence, were thine,
Ah, poor Louise!


Ah, poor Louise! Thy treasure’s reft!
I know not if by force or theft,
Or part by violence, part by gift;
But misery is all that’s left
To poor Louise.


Let poor Louise some succour have!
She will not long your bounty crave,
Or tire the gay with warning stave,
For Heaven has grace, and earth a grave,
Poor poor Louise.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Brignall Banks


O, Brignall banks are wild and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there,
Would grace a summer queen:
And as I rode by Dalton Hall,
Beneath the turrets high,
A Maiden on the castle wall
Was singing merrily:


‘O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green!
I’d rather rove with Edmund there
Than reign our English Queen.’


‘If, Maiden, thou wouldst wend with me
To leave both tower and town,
Thou first must guess what life lead we,
That dwell by dale and down:
And if thou canst that riddle read,
As read full well you may,
Then to the green-wood shalt thou speed
As blithe as Queen of May.’


Yet sung she, ‘Brignall banks are fair,
And Greta woods are green!
I’d rather rove with Edmund there
Than reign our English Queen.


‘I read you by your bugle horn
And by your palfrey good,
I read you for a Ranger sworn
To keep the King’s green-wood.’
‘A Ranger, Lady, winds his horn,
And ’tis at peep of light;
His blast is heard at merry morn,
And mine at dead of night.’


Yet sung she, ‘Brignall banks are fair,
And Greta woods are gay!
I would I were with Edmund there,
To reign his Queen of May!


‘With burnish’d brand and musketoon
So gallantly you come,
I read you for a bold Dragoon,
That lists the tuck of drum.’
‘I list no more the tuck of drum,
No more the trumpet hear;
But when the beetle sounds his hum,
My comrades take the spear.


‘And O! though Brignall banks be fair,
And Greta woods be gay,
Yet mickle must the maiden dare,
Would reign my Queen of May!

‘Maiden! a nameless life I lead,
A nameless death I’ll die;
The fiend whose lantern lights the mead
Were better mate than I!
And when I’m with my comrades met
Beneath the green-wood bough,
What once we were we all forget,
Nor think what we are now.’


Chorus.
Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather flowers there
Would grace a summer queen.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Waverly


Late, when the Autumn evening fell
On Mirkwood Mere’s romantic dell,
The lake return’d, in chasten’d gleam,
The purple cloud, the golden beam:
Reflected in the crystal pool,
Headland and bank lay fair and cool;
The weather-tinted rock and tower,
Each drooping tree, each fairy flower,
So true, so soft, the mirror gave,
As if there lay beneath the wave,
Secure from trouble, toil, and care,
A world than earthly world more fair.


But distant winds began to wake,
And roused the Genius of the Lake!
He heard the groaning of the oak,
And donn’d at once his sable cloak,
As warrior, at the battle-cry,
Invests him with his panoply:
Then, as the whirlwind nearer press’d
He ‘gan to shake his foamy crest
O’er furrow’d brow and blacken’d cheek,
And bade his surge in thunder speak.
In wild and broken eddies whirl’d.
Flitted that fond ideal world,
And to the shore in tumult tost
The realms of fairy bliss were lost.


Yet, with a stern delight and strange,
I saw the spirit-stirring change,
As warr’d the wind with wave and wood,
Upon the ruin’d tower I stood,
And felt my heart more strongly bound,
Responsive to the lofty sound,
While, joying in the mighty roar,
I mourn’d that tranquil scene no more.


So, on the idle dreams of youth,
Breaks the loud trumpet-call of truth,
Bids each fair vision pass away,
Like landscape on the lake that lay,
As fair, as flitting, and as frail,
As that which fled the Autumn gale.
For ever dead to fancy’s eye
Be each gay form that glided by,
While dreams of love and lady’s charms
Give place to honour and to arms!

Walter Scott (Sir)

Funeral Hymn


Dust unto dust,
To this all must;
The tenant hath resign’d
The faded form To waste and worm
Corruption claims her kind.


Through paths unknown
Thy soul hath flown,
To seek the realms of woe,
Where fiery pain
Shall purge the stain
Of actions done below.


In that sad place,
By Mary’s grace,
Brief may thy dwelling be
Till prayers and alms,
And holy psalms,
Shall set the captive free.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Cadyow Castle


Addressed to the Right Hon. Lady Anne Hamilton.


When princely Hamilton’s abode
Ennobled Cadyow’s Gothic towers,
The song went round, the goblet flow’d,,
And revel sped the laughing hours.


Then, thrilling to the harp’s gay sound,
So sweetly rung each vaulted wall,
And echoed light the dancer’s bound,
As mirth and music cheer’d the hall.


But Cadyow’s towers, in ruins laid,
And vaults, by ivy mantled o’er,
And echoed light the dancer’s bound,
As mirth and music cheer’d the hall.


Yet still, of Cadyow’s faded fame,
You bid me tell a minstrel tale,
And tune my harp, of Border frame.
On the wild banks of Evandale.


For thou, from scenes of courtly pride,
From pleasure’s lighter scenes, canst turn,
To draw oblivion’s pall aside,
And mark the long-forgotten urn.


Then, noble maid! at thy command,
Again the crumbled halls shall rise;
Lo! as on Evan’s banks we stand,
The past returns, the present flies.


Where, with the rock’s wood cover’d side,
Were blended late the ruins green,
Rise turrets in fantastic pride,
And feudal banners flaunt between:


Where the rude torrent’s brawling course
Was shagg’d with thorn and tangling sloe,
The ashler buttress braves its force,
And ramparts frown in battled row.


‘Tis night, the shade of keep and spire
Obscurely dance on Evan’s stream;
And on the wave the warder’s fire
Is chequering the moonlight beam.


Fades slow their light; the east is grey;
The weary warder leaves his tower;
Steeds snort; uncoupled stag-hounds bay,
And merry hunters quit the bower.


The drawbridge falls, they hurry out,
Clatters each plank and swinging chain,
As, dashing o’er, the jovial rout
Urge the shy steed, and slack the rein.

First of his troop, the Chief rode on;
His shouting merry-men throng behind;
The steed of princely Hamilton
Was fleeter than the mountain wind.


From the thick copse the roebucks bound,
The startled red-deer scuds the plain,
For the hoarse bugle’s warrior-sound
Has roused their mountain haunts again.


Through the huge oaks of Evandale,
Whose limbs a thousand years have worn,
What sullen roar comes down the gale,
And drowns the hunter’s pealing horn?


Mightiest of all the beasts of chase,
That roam in woody Caledon,
Crashing the forest in his race,
The Mountain Bull comes thundering on.


Fierce, on the hunter’s quiver’d band,
He rolls his eyes of swarthy glow,
Spurns, with black hoof and horn, the sand,
And tosses high his mane of snow.


Aim’d well, the Chieftain’s lance has flown;
Struggling in blood the savage lies;
His roar is sunk in hollow groan,
Sound, merry huntsmen! sound the pryse!


‘Tis noon, against the knotted oak
The hunters rest the idle spear;
Curls through the trees the slender smoke,
Where yeoman dight the woodland cheer.


Proudly the Chieftain mark’d his clan,
On greenwood lap all careless thrown,
Yet miss’d his eye the boldest man
That bore the name of Hamilton.


“Why fills not Bothwellhaugh his place,
Still wont our weal and woe to share?
Why comes he not our sport to grace?
Why shares he not our hunter’s fare?”


Stern Claud replied, with darkening face,
(Grey Paisley’s haughty lord was he),
“At merry feast, or buxom chase,
No more the warrior wilt thou see.


“Few suns have set since Woodhouselee
Saw Bothwellhaugh’s bright goblets foam
When to his hearths, in social glee,
The war-worn soldier turn’d him home.


“There wan from her maternal throes,
His Margaret, beautiful and mild,
Sate in her bower, a pallid rose,
And peaceful nursed her new-born child.

“O change accursed! past are those days;
False Murray’s ruthless spoilers came,
And, for the hearth’s domestic blaze,
Ascends destruction’s volumed flame.


“What sheeted phantom wanders wild,
Where mountain Eske through woodland flows,
Her arms enfold a shadowy child,
Oh! is it she, the pallid rose?


“The wilder’d traveller sees her glide,
And hears her feeble voice with awe,
‘Revenge,’ she cries, ‘on Murray’s pride!
And woe for injured Bothwellhaugh!'”


He ceased, and cries of rage and grief
Burst mingling from the kindred band,
And half arose the kindling Chief,
And half unsheathed his Arran brand.


But who, o’er bush, o’er stream and rock,
Rides headlong, with resistless speed,
Whose bloody poniard’s frantic stroke
Drives to the leap his jaded steed;


Whose cheek is pale, whose eyeballs glare,
As one some vision’d sight that saw,
Whose hands are bloody, loose his hair?
‘Tis he! ’tis Bothwellhaugh.


From gory selle, and reeling steed,
Sprung the fierce horseman with a bound,
And, reeking from the recent deed,
He dash’d his carbine on the ground.


Sternly he spoke, “‘Tis sweet to hear
In good greenwood the bugle blown,
But sweeter to Revenge’s ear,
To drink a tyrant’s dying groan.


“Your slaughter’d quarry proudly trode,
At dawning morn, o’er dale and down,
But prouder base-born Murray rode
Through old Linlithgow’s crowded town.


“From the wild Border’s humbled side,
In haughty triumph marched he,
While Knox relax’d his bigot pride,
And smiled, the traitorous pomp to see.


“But can stern Power, with all his vaunt,
Or Pomp, with all her courtly glare,
The settled heart of Vengeance daunt,
Or change the purpose of Despair?

“With hackbut bent, my secret stand,
Dark as the purposed deed, I chose,
And mark’d, where, mingling in his band,
Troop’d Scottish pikes and English bows.


“Dark Morton, girt with many a spear,
Murder’s foul minion, led the van;
And clash’d their broadswords in the rear
The wild Macfarlanes’ plaided clan.

“Glencairn and stout Parkhead were nigh,
Obsequious at their Regent’s rein,
And haggard Lindesay’s iron eye,
That saw fair Mary weep in vain.


“‘Mid pennon’d spears, a steely grove,
Proud Murray’s plumage floated high;
Scarce could his trampling charger move,
So close the minions crowded nigh.

“From the raised vizor’s shade, his eye,
Dark-rolling, glanced the ranks along,
And his steel truncheon, waved on high,
Seem’d marshalling the iron throng.


“But yet his sadden’d brow confess’d
A passing shade of doubt and awe;
Some fiend was whispering in his breast;
‘Beware of injured Bothwellhaugh!’


“The death-shot parts, the charger springs,
Wild rises tumult’s startling roar!
And Murray’s plumy helmet rings,
– Rings on the ground, to rise no more.


“What joy the raptured youth can fell,
To hear her love the loved one tell,
Or he, who broaches on his steel
The wolf, by whom his infant fell!

“But dearer to my injured eye
To see in dust proud Murray roll;
And mine was ten times trebled joy,
To hear him groan his felon soul.


“My Margaret’s spectre glided near;
With pride her bleeding victim saw;
And shriek’d in his death-deafen’d ear,
‘Remember injured Bothwellhaugh!’

“Then speed thee, noble Chatlerault!
Spread to the wind thy banner’d tree!
Each warrior bend his Clydesdale bow!
Murray is fall’n, and Scotland free!”


Vaults every warrior to his steed;
Loud bugles join their wild acclaim,
“Murray is fall’n, and Scotland freed!
Couch, Arran! couch thy spear of flame!”


But, see! the minstrel vision fails,
The glimmering spears are seen no more;
The shouts of war die on the gales,
Or sink in Evan’s lonely roar.

For the loud bugle, pealing high,
The blackbird whistles down the vale,
And sunk in ivied ruins lie
The banner’d towers of Evandale.


For Chiefs, intent on bloody deed,
And Vengeance shouting o’er the slain,
Lo! high-born Beauty rules the steed,
Or graceful guides the silken rein.


And long may Peace and Pleasure own
The maids who list the minstrel’s tale;
Nor e’er a ruder guest be known
On the fair banks of Evandale!

Walter Scott (Sir)

To A Lady – With Flowers From A Roman Wall


Take these flowers which, purple waving,
On the ruin’d rampart grew,
Where, the sons of freedom braving,
Rome’s imperial standards flew.


Warriors from the breach of danger
Pluck no longer laurels there;
They but yield the passing stranger
Wild-flower wreaths the Beauty’s hair.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Breathes There The Man… From The Lay Of The Last Minstrel


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, concentred 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.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Elspeth’s Ballad


The herring loves the merry moon-light,
The mackerel loves the wind,
But the oyster loves the dredging sang,
For they come of a gentle kind.

Now haud your tongue, baith wife and carle,
And listen great and sma’,
And I will sing of Glenallan’s Earl
That fought on the red Harlaw.


The cronach’s cried on Bennachie,
And doun the Don and a’,
And hieland and lawland may mournfu’ be
For the sair field of Harlaw.


They saddled a hundred milk-white steeds,
They hae bridled a hundred black,
With a chafron of steel on each horse’s head,
And a good knight upon his back.


They hadna ridden a mile, a mile,
A mile, but barely ten,
When Donald came branking down the brae
Wi’ twenty thousand men.


Their tartans they were waving wide,
Their glaives were glancing clear,
The pibrochs rung frae side to side,
Would deafen ye to hear.


The great Earl in his stirrups stood,
That Highland host to see:
“Now here a knight that’s stout and good
May prove a jeopardie:


“What would’st thou do, my squire so gay,
That rides beside my reyne,
Were ye Glenallan’s Earl the day,
And I were Ronald Cheyne?


“To turn the rein were sin and shame,
To fight were wond’rous peril,
What would ye do now, Roland Cheyne,
Were ye Glenallan’s Earl?”


“Were I Glenallan’s Earl this tide,
And ye were Roland Cheyne,
The spear should be in my horse’s side,
And the bridle upon his mane.

“If they hae twenty thousand blades,
And we twice ten times ten,
Yet they hae but their tartan plaids,
And we are mail-clad men.


“My horse shall ride through ranks sae rude,
As through the moorland fern,
Then ne’er let the gentle Norman blude
Grow cauld for Highland kerne.”


He turn’d him right and round again,
Said, Scorn na at my mither;
Light loves I may get mony a ane,
But minni ne’er anither.

Walter Scott (Sir)

Marmion: A Christmas Poem


Heap on more wood! the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.
Each age has deem’d the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer:
Even, heathen yet, the savage Dane
At Iol more deep the mead did drain;
High on the beach his galleys drew,
And feasted all his pirate crew;
Then in his low and pine-built hall
Where shields and axes deck’d the wall
They gorged upon the half-dress’d steer;
Caroused in seas of sable beer;
While round, in brutal jest, were thrown
The half-gnaw’d rib, and marrow-bone:
Or listen?d all, in grim delight,
While Scalds yell’d out the joys of fight.
Then forth, in frenzy, would they hie,
While wildly loose their red locks fly,
And dancing round the blazing pile,
They make such barbarous mirth the while,
As best might to the mind recall
The boisterous joys of Odin’s hall.


And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had roll’d,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all his hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night;
On Christmas Eve the bells were rung;
On Christmas Eve the mass was sung:
That only night in all the year,
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn’d her kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress’d with holly green;
Forth to the wood did merry-men go,
To gather in the mistletoe.
Then open’d wide the Baron’s hall
To vassal, tenant, serf and all;
Power laid his rod of rule aside
And Ceremony doff’d his pride.
The heir, with roses in his shoes,
That night might village partner choose;
The Lord, underogating, share
The vulgar game of ‘post and pair’.
All hail’d, with uncontroll’d delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.


The fire, with well-dried logs supplied,
Went roaring up the chimney wide;
The huge hall-table’s oaken face,
Scrubb’d till it shone, the day to grace,
Bore then upon its massive board
No mark to part the squire and lord.
Then was brought in the lusty brawn,
By old blue-coated serving-man;
Then the grim boar’s head frown’d on high,
Crested with bays and rosemary.
Well can the green-garb’d ranger tell,
How, when, and where, the monster fell;
What dogs before his death to tore,
And all the baiting of the boar.
The wassel round, in good brown bowls,
Garnish’d with ribbons, blithely trowls.
There the huge sirloin reek’d; hard by
Plum-porridge stood, and Christmas pie;
Nor fail’d old Scotland to produce,
At such high tide, her savoury goose.
Then came the merry makers in,
And carols roar’d with blithesome din;
If unmelodious was the song,
It was a hearty note, and strong.
Who lists may in their mumming see
Traces of ancient mystery;
White shirts supplied the masquerade,
And smutted cheeks the visors made;
But, O! what maskers, richly dight,
Can boast of bosoms half so light!
England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.

Walter Scott (Sir)

That was indeed the greatest compilation of his poems!

Doubtlessly, many of his works remained classics of European and Scottish literature. He created such masterpieces out of his poems.

My all-time favorite poem-Christmas, is also my favorite holiday.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Walter Scott (Sir)?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉

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