The Lay Of The Last Minstrel: Canto Vi Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Breathes there the man with soul so deadB
Who never to himself hath saidB
This is my own my native landC
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'dD
As home his footsteps he hath turn'dD
From wandering on a foreign strandC
If such there breathe go mark him wellE
For him no Minstrel raptures swellE
High though his titles proud his nameF
Boundless his wealth as wish can claimF
Despite those titles power and pelfG
The wretch concentred all in selfG
Living shall forfeit fair renownH
And doubly dying shall go downH
To the vile dust from whence he sprungI
Unwept unhonor'd and unsungI
O Caledonia stern and wildJ
Meet nurse for a poetic childJ
Land of brown heath and shaggy woodK
Land of the mountain and the floodL
Land of my sires what mortal handC
Can e'er untie the filial bandC
That knits me to thy rugged strandC
Still as I view each well known sceneM
Think what is now and what hath beenN
Seems as to me of all bereftO
Sole friends thy woods and streams were leftO
And thus I love them better stillP
Even in extremity of illP
By Yarrow's stream still let me strayQ
Though none should guide my feeble wayQ
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick breakR
Although it chill my wither'd cheekS
Still lay my head by Teviot StoneT
Though there forgotten and aloneT
The Bard may draw his parting groanT
Not scorn'd like me to Branksome HallU
The Minstrels came at festive callU
Trooping they came from near and farV
The jovial priests of mirth and warW
Alike for feast and fight prepar'dX
Battle and banquet both they shar'dX
Of late before each martial clanY
They blew their death note in the vanY
But now for every merry mateZ
Rose the portcullis' iron grateZ
They sound the pipe they strike the stringA2
They dance they revel and they singA2
Till the rude turrets shake and ringA2
Me lists not at this tide declareB2
The splendor of the spousal riteC2
How muster'd in the chapel fairB2
Both maid and matron squire and knightC2
Me lists not tell of owches rareB2
Of mantles green and braided hairB2
And kirtles furr'd with miniverB2
What plumage wav'd the altar roundD2
How spurs and ringing chainlets soundD2
And hard it were for bard to speakS
The changeful hue of Margaret's cheekS
That lovely hue which comes and fliesE2
As awe and shame alternate riseE2
Some bards have sung the Ladye highG
Chapel or altar came not nighG
Nor durst the rites of spousal graceF2
So much she fear'd each holy placeF2
False slanders these I trust right wellE
She wrought not by forbidden spellE
For mighty words and signs have powerB2
O'er sprites in planetary hourB2
Yet scarce I praise their venturous partG2
Who tamper with such dangerous artG2
But this for faithful truth I sayQ
The Ladye by the altar stoodK
Of sable velvet her arrayQ
And on her head a crimson hoodK
With pearls embroider'd and entwin'dH2
Guarded with gold with ermine lin'dH2
A merlin sat upon her wristI2
Held by a leash of silken twistI2
The spousal rites were ended soonJ2
'Twas now the merry hour of noonJ2
And in the lofty arched hallU
Was spread the gorgeous festivalK2
Steward and squire with heedful hasteL2
Marshall'd the rank of every guestM2
Pages with ready blade were thereB2
The mighty meal to carve and shareB2
O'er capon heron shew and craneN2
And princely peacock s gilded trainN2
And o'er the boar head garnish'd braveG
And cygnet from St Mary's waveG
O'er ptarmigan and venisonO2
The priest had spoke his benisonO2
Then rose the riot and the dinO2
Above beneath without withinO2
For from the lofty balconyO2
Rung trumpet shalm and psalteryB2
Their clanging bowls old warriors quaff'dM2
Loudly they spoke and loudly laugh'dM2
Whisper'd young knights in tone more mildM2
To ladies fair and ladies smil'dM2
The hooded hawks high perch'd on beamP2
The clamor join'd with whistling screamP2
And flapp'd their wings and shook their bellsQ2
In concert with the stag hounds' yellsQ2
Round go the flasks of ruddy wineO2
From Bordeaux Orleans or the RhineO2
Their tasks the busy sewers plyG
And all is mirth and revelryB2
The Goblin Page omitting stillP
No opportunity of illP
Strove now while blood ran hot and highG
To rouse debate and jealousyB2
Till Conrad Lord of WolfensteinO2
By nature fierce and warm with wineO2
And now in humor highly cross'dM2
About some steeds his band had lostM2
High words to words succeeding stillP
Smote with his gauntlet stout HunthillP
A hot and hardy RutherfordM2
Whom men called Dickon Draw the swordM2
He took it on the page's sayQ
Hunthill had driven these steeds awayQ
Then Howard Home and Douglas roseR2
The kindling discord to composeR2
Stern Rutherford right little saidM2
But bit his glove and shook his headM2
A fortnight thence in InglewoodM2
Stout Conrad cold and drench'd in bloodM2
His bosom gor'd with many a woundM2
Was by a woodman's lyme dog foundM2
Unknown the manner of his deathS2
Gone was his brand both sword and sheathT2
But ever from that time 'twas saidM2
That Dickon wore a Cologne bladeM2
The dwarf who fear'd his master's eyeG
Might his foul treachery espieU2
Now sought the castle butteryB2
Where many a yeoman bold and freeB2
Revell'd as merrily and wellP
As those that sat in lordly selleP
Watt Tinlinn there did frankly raiseV2
The pledge to Arthur Fire the BraesV2
And he as by his breeding boundM2
To Howard's merry men sent it roundM2
To quit them on the English sideM2
Red Roland Forster loudly criedM2
A deep carouse to yon fair brideM2
At every pledge from vat and pailP
Foam'd forth in floods the nut brown aleP
While shout the riders every oneO2
Such day of mirth ne'er cheer'd their clanO2
Since old Buccleuch the name did gainO2
When in the cleuch the buck was ta'enO2
The wily page with vengeful thoughtM2
Remember d him of Tinlinn's yewW2
And swore it should be dearly boughtM2
That ever he the arrow drewW2
First he the yeoman did molestM2
With bitter gibe and taunting jestM2
Told how he fled at Solway strifeG
And how Hob Armstrong cheer'd his wifeG
Then shunning still his powerful armX2
At unawares he wrought him harmX2
From trencher stole his choicest cheerB2
Dash'd from his lips his can of beerB2
Then to his knee sly creeping onO2
With bodkin pierced him to the boneO2
The venom'd wound and festering jointM2
Long after rued that bodkin's pointM2
The startled yeoman swore and spurn'dM2
And board and flagons overturn'dM2
Riot and clamor wild beganO2
Back to the hall the Urchin ranO2
Took in a darkling nook his postM2
And grinn'd and mutter'd Lost lost lostM2
By this the Dame lest farther frayQ
Should mar the concord of the dayQ
Had bid the Minstrels tune their layQ
And first stept forth old Albert GraemeF
The Minstrel of that ancient nameF
Was none who struck the harp so wellP
Within the Land DebateableP
Well friended too his hardy kinO2
Whoever lost were sure to winO2
They sought the beeves that made their brothY2
In Scotland and in England bothZ2
In homely guise as nature badeM2
His simple song the Borderer saidM2
Albert GraemeF
It was an English ladye brightM2
The sun shines fair on Carlisle wallP
And she would marry a Scottish knightM2
For Love will still be lord of allP
Blithely they saw the rising sunO2
When he shone fair on Carlisle wallP
But they were sad ere day was doneO2
Though Love was still the lord of allP
Her sire gave brooch and jewel fineO2
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wallP
Her brother gave but a flask of wineO2
For ire that Love was lord of allP
For she had lands both meadow and leaV2
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wallP
And he swore her death ere he would seeV2
A Scottish knight the lord of allP
That wine she had not tasted wellP
The sun shines fair on Carlisle wallP
When dead in her true love's arms she fellP
For Love was still the lord of allP
He pierc'd her brother to the heartM2
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wallP
So perish all would true love partM2
That Love may still be lord of allP
And then he took the cross divineO2
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wallP
And died for her sake in PalestineO2
So Love was still the lord of allP
Now all ye lovers that faithful proveG
The sun shines fair on Carlisle wallP
Pray for their souls who died for loveG
For Love shall still be lord of allP
As ended Albert's simple layP
Arose a bard of loftier portM2
For sonnet rhyme and roundelayP
Renown'd in haughty Henry's courtM2
There rung thy harp unrivall'd longA3
Fitztraver of the silver songA3
The gentle Surrey lov'ed his lyreB2
Who has not heard of Surrey's fameF
His was the hero's soul of fireB2
And his the bard's immortal nameF
And his was love exalted highG
By all the glow of chivalryV2
They sought together climes afarB2
And oft within some olive groveG
When even came with twinkling starB2
They sung of Surrey's absent loveG
His step the Italian peasant stay'dM2
And deem'd that spirits from on highG
Round where some hermit saint was laidM2
Were breathing heavenly melodyV2
So sweet did harp and voice combineO2
To praise the name of GeraldineO2
Fitztraver O what tongue may sayP
The pangs thy faithful bosom knewW2
When Surrey of the deathless layP
Ungrateful Tudor's sentence slewW2
Regardless of the tyrant's frownO2
His harp call'd wrath and vengeance downO2
He left for Naworth's iron towersV2
Windsor's green glades and courtly bowersV2
And faithful to his patron's nameF
With Howard still Fitztraver cameF
Lord William's foremost favorite heV2
And chief of all his minstrelsyV2
'Twas All soul's eve and Surrey's heart beat highG
He heard the midnight bell with anxious startM2
Which told the mystic hour approaching nighG
When wise Cornelius promis'd by his artM2
To show to him the ladye of his heartM2
Albeit betwixt them roar'd the ocean grimB3
Yet so the sage had hight to play his partM2
That he should see her form in life and limbB3
And mark if still she lov'dM2
And still she thought of himB3
Dark was the vaulted room of gramaryeW2
To which the wizard led the gallant KnightM2
Save that before a mirror huge and highG
A hallow'd taper shed a glimmering lightM2
On mystic implements of magic mightM2
On cross and character and talismanO2
And almagest and altar nothing brightM2
For fitful was the lustre pale and wanO2
As watchlight by the bedM2
Of some departing manO2
But soon within that mirror huge and highG
Was seen a self emitted light to gleamP2
And forms upon its breast the Earl 'gan spyG
Cloudy and indistinct as feverish dreamP2
Till slow arranging and defin'd they seemP2
To form a lordly and a lofty roomC3
Part lighted by a lamp with silver beamP2
Plac'd by a couch of Agra's silken loomC3
And part by moonshine paleP
And part was hid in gloomC3
Fair all the pageant but how passing fairB2
The slender form which lay on couch of IndM2
O'er her white bosom stray'd her hazel hairB2
Pale her dear cheek as if for love she pin'dM2
All in her night robe loose she lay reclin'dM2
And pensive read from tablet eburnineO2
Some strain that seem'd her inmost soul to findM2
That favor'd strain was Surrey's raptur'd lineO2
That fair and lovely formD3
The Lady GeraldineO2
Slow roll'd the clouds upon the lovely formD3
And swept the goodly vision all awayP
So royal envy roll'd the murky stormD3
O'er my beloved Master's glorious dayP
Thou jealous ruthless tyrant Heaven repayP
On thee and on thy children's latest lineO2
The wild caprice of thy despotic swayP
The gory bridal bed the plunder'd shrineO2
The murder'd Surrey's bloodM2
The tears of GeraldineO2
Both Scots and Southern chiefs prolongA3
Applauses of Fitztraver's songA3
These hated Henry's name as deathS2
And those still held the ancient faithE3
Then from his seat with lofty airB2
Rose Harold bard of brave St ClairB2
St Clair who feasting high at HomeF3
Had with that lord to battle comeG3
Harold was born where restless seasV2
Howl round the storm swept OrcadesV2
Where erst St Clairs held princely swayP
O'er isle and islet strait and bayP
Still nods their palace to its fallP
Thy pride and sorrow fair KirkwallP
Thence oft he mark'd fierce Pentland raveG
As if grim Odin rode her waveG
And watch'd the while with visage paleP
And throbbing heart the struggling sailP
For all of wonderful and wildM2
Had rapture for the lonely childM2
And much of wild and wonderfulP
In these rude isles might fancy cullP
For thither came in times afarB2
Stern Lochlin's sons of roving warB2
The Norsemen train'd to spoil and bloodM2
Skill'd to prepare the raven's foodM2
Kings of the main their leaders braveG
Their barks the dragons of the waveG
And there in many a stormy valeP
The Scald had told his wondrous taleP
And many a Runic column highG
Had witness'd grim idolatryB2
And thus had Harold in his youthH3
Learn'd many a Saga's rhyme uncouthH3
Of that Sea Snake tremendous curl'dM2
Whose monstrous circle girds the worldM2
Of those dread Maids whose hideous yellP
Maddens the battle's bloody swellP
Of Chief who guided through the gloomC3
By the pale death lights of the tombC3
Ransack'd the graves of warriors oldM2
Their falchions wrench'd from corpses' holdM2
Wak'd the deaf tomb with war's alarmsV2
And bade the dead arise to armsV2
With war and wonder all on flameF
To Roslin's bowers young Harold cameF
Where by sweet glen and greenwood treeB2
He learn'd a milder minstrelsyV2
Yet something of the Northern spellP
Mix'd with the softer numbers wellP
O listen listen ladies gayP
No haughty feat of arms I tellP
Soft is the note and sad the layP
That mourns the lovely RosabelleP
Moor moor the barge ye gallant crewB2
And gentle ladye deign to stayP
Rest thee in Castle RavensheuchI3
Nor tempt the stormy firth to dayP
The blackening wave is edg'd with whiteM2
To inch and rock the sea mews flyG
The fishers have heard the Water SpriteM2
Whose screams forebode that wreck is nighG
Last night the gifted Seer did viewB2
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gayP
Then stay thee Fair in RavensheuchI3
Why cross the gloomy firth todayP
'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heirB2
To night at Roslin leads the ballP
But that my ladye mother thereB2
Sits lonely in her castle hallP
'Tis not because the ring they rideM2
And Lindesay at the ring rides wellP
But that my sire the wine will chideM2
If 'tis not fill'd by RosabelleP
O'er Roslin all that dreary nightM2
A wondrous blaze was seen to gleamP2
'Twas broader than the watch fire's lightM2
And redder than the bright moonbeamP2
It glar'd on Roslin's castled rockJ3
It ruddied all the copse wood glenO2
'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oakK3
And seen from cavern'd Hawthorn denO2
Seem'd all on fire that chapel proudM2
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lieG
Each Baron for a sable shroudM2
Sheath'd in his iron panoplyB2
Seem'd all on fire within aroundM2
Deep sacristy and altar s paleP
Shone every plllar foliage boundM2
And glimmer'd all the dead men's mailP
Blaz'd battlement and pinnet highG
Blaz'd every rose carved buttress fairB2
So still they blaze when fate is nighG
The lordly line of high St ClairB2
There are twenty of Roslin's barons boldM2
Lie buried within that proud chapelleP
Each one the holy vault doth holdM2
But the sea holds lovely RosabelleP
And each St Clair was buried thereB2
With candle with book and with knellP
But the sea caves rung and the wild winds sungI
The dirge of lovely RosabelleP
So sweet was Harold's piteous layP
Scarce mark'd the guests the darken'd hallP
Though long before the sinking dayP
A wondrous shade involv'd them allP
It was not eddying mist or fogL3
Drain'd by the sun from fen or bogL3
Of no eclipse had sages toldM2
And yet as it came on apaceV2
Each one could scarce his neighbour's faceV2
Could scarce his own stretch'd hand beholdM2
A secret horror check'd the feastM2
And chill'd the soul of every guestM2
Even the high Dame stood half aghastM2
She knew some evil on the blastM2
The elvish page fell to the groundM2
And shuddering mutter'd Found found foundM2
Then sudden through the darken'd airB2
A flash of lightning cameF
So broad so bright so red the glareB2
The castle seem'd on flameF
Glanc'd every rafter of the hallP
Glanc'd every shield upon the wallP
Each trophied beam each sculptur'd stoneO2
Were instant seen and instant goneO2
Full through the guests' bedazzled bandM2
Resistless flash'd the levin brandM2
And fill'd the hall with smoldering smokeK3
As on the elvish page it brokeK3
It broke with thunder long and loudM2
Dismay'd the brave appall'd the proudM2
From sea to sea the larum rungI
On Berwick wall and at Carlisle withalP
To arms the startled warders sprungI
When ended was the dreadful roarB2
The elvish dwarf was seen no moreB2
Some heard a voice in Branksome HallP
Some saw a sight not seen by allP
That dreadful voice was heard by someG3
Cry with loud summons Gylbin comeG3
And on the spot where burst the brandM2
Just where the page had flung him downO2
Some saw an arm and some a handM2
And some the waving of a gownO2
The guests in silence pray'd and shookM3
And terror dimm'd each lofty lookM3
But none of all the astonish'd trainO2
Was so dismay'd as DeloraineO2
His blood did freeze his brain did burnO2
'Twas fear'd his mind would ne'er returnO2
For he was speechless ghastly wanO2
Like him of whom the story ranO2
Who spoke the spectre hound in ManO2
At length by fits he darkly toldM2
With broken hint and shuddering coldM2
That he had seen right certainlyP
A shape with amice wrapp'd aroundM2
With a wrought Spanish baldric boundM2
Like pilgrim from beyond the seaP
And knew but how it matter'd notM2
It was the wizard Michael ScottM2
The anxious crowd with horror paleP
All trembling heard the wondrous taleP
No sound was made no word was spokeK3
Till noble Angus silence brokeK3
And he a solemn sacred plightM2
Did to St Bride of Douglas makeR
That he a pilgrimage would takeR
To Melrose Abbey for the sakeR
Of Michael's restless spriteM2
Then each to ease his troubled breastM2
To some bless'd saint his prayers address'dM2
Some to St Modan made their vowsV2
Some to St Mary of the LowesV2
Some to the Holy Rood of LisleP
Some to our Ladye of the IsleP
Each did his patron witness makeR
That he such pilgrimage would takeR
And monks should sing and bells should tollP
All for the weal of Michael's soulP
While vows were ta'en and prayers were pray'dM2
'Tis said the noble dame dismay'dM2
Renounc'd for aye dark magic's aidM2
Nought of the bridal will I tellP
Which after in short space befellP
Nor how brave sons and daughters fairB2
Bless'd Teviot's Flower and Cranstoun's heirB2
After such dreadful scene 'twere vainO2
To wake the note of mirth againO2
More meet it were to mark the dayP
Of penitence and prayer divineO2
When pilgrim chiefs in sad arrayP
Sought Melrose' holy shrineO2
With naked foot and sackcloth vestM2
And arms enfolded on his breastM2
Did every pilgrim goN3
The standers by might hear uneathH3
Footstep or voice or high drawn breathH3
Through all the lengthen'd rowN3
No lordly look nor martial strideM2
Gone was their glory sunk their prideM2
Forgotten their renownO2
Silent and slow like ghosts they glideM2
To the high altar's hallow'd sideM2
And there they knelt them downO2
Above the suppliant chieftains waveG
The banners of departed braveG
Beneath the letter d stones were laidM2
The ashes of their fathers deadM2
From many a garnish'd niche aroundM2
Stern saints and tortur'd martyrs frown'dM2
And slow up the dim aisle afarB2
With sable cowl and scapularB2
And snow white stoles in order dueB2
The holy Fathers two and twoB2
In long procession cameF
Taper and host and book they bareB2
And holy banner flourish'd fairB2
With the Redeemer's nameF
Above the prostrate pilgrim bandM2
The mitred Abbot stretch'd his handM2
And bless'd them as they kneel'dM2
With holy cross he sign'd them allP
And pray'd they might be sage in hallP
And fortunate in fieldM2
Then mass was sung and prayers were saidM2
And solemn requiem for the deadM2
And bells toll'd out their mighty pealP
For the departed spirit's wealP
And ever in the office closeV2
The hymn of intercession roseV2
And far the echoing aisles prolongA3
The awful burthen of the songA3
Dies Ir Dies IllaP
Solvet S clum in FavillaP
While the pealing organ rungI
Were it meet with sacred strainO2
To close my lay so light and vainO2
Thus the holy Fathers sungI
Hymn for the DeadM2
That day of wrath that dreadful dayM2
When heaven and earth shall pass awayM2
What power shall be the sinner's stayM2
How shall he meet that dreadful dayM2
When shrivelling like a parched scrollP
The flaming heavens together rollP
When louder yet and yet more dreadM2
Swells the high trump that wakes the deadM2
Oh on that day that wrathful dayM2
When man to judgment wakes from clayM2
Be Thou the trembling sinner's stayM2
Though heaven and earth shall pass awayM2
Hush'd is the harp the Minstrel goneO2
And did he wander forth aloneO2
Alone in indigence and ageO3
To linger out his pilgrimageP3
No close beneath proud Newark's towerB2
Arose the Minstrel's lowly bowerB2
A simple hut but there was seenO2
The little garden hedged with greenO2
The cheerful hearth and lattice cleanO2
There shelter'd wanderers by the blazeV2
Oft heard the tale of other daysV2
For much he lov'd to ope his doorB2
And give the aid he begg'd beforeB2
So pass'd the winter's day but stillP
When summer smil'd on sweet BowhillP
And July's eve with balmy breathH3
Wav'd the blue bells on Newark heathH3
When throstles sung in Harehead shawI3
And corn was green on CarterhaughV2
And flourish'd broad Blackandro's oakK3
The aged Harper's soul awokeK3
Then would he sing achievements highG
And circumstance of chivalryB2
Till the rapt traveller would stayM2
Forgetful of the closing dayM2
And noble youths the strain to hearB2
Forsook the hunting of the deerB2
And Yarrow as he roll'd alongA3
Bore burden to the Minstrel's songA3

Walter Scott (sir)


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