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And the stern joy which warriors feel
p. 202—205. The following picture is of a very different character; but touched also with the hand of a true poet:
“ Yet ere his onward way he took,
The Stranger cast a ling'ring look,
if no breeze might dare
Beside him Ellen sate and smild,” &c. - p. 50, 51. Though these extracts have already extended this article beyond all reasonable bounds, we cannot omit Ellen's introduction to the court, and the transformation of Fitz-James into the King of Scotland. The unknown prince, it will be recollected, himself conducts her into the royal presence: VOL. II.
514 LADY OF THE LAKE - GRACEFUL DÉNOUEMENT.
“ With beating heart, and bosom wrung,
And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's King !
Slides from the rock that gave it rest,
FAREWELL TO THE HARP OF THE NORTH.
We cannot resist adding the graceful winding up of the whole story :
“Malcolm, come forth !' — And, at the word,
For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
las paid our care by treach'rous wile,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand !”—p. 288. There are no separate introductions to the cantos of this
poem; but each of them begins with one or two stanzas in the measure of Spenser, usually containing some reflections connected with the subject about to be entered on; and written, for the most part, with great tenderness and beauty. The following, we think is among the most striking: 6 Time rolls his ceaseless course! The race of yore
Who danc'd our infancy upon their knee,
Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea,
How few, all weak and wither'd of their force,
Like stranded wrecks the tide returning hoarse,
-p. 97, 98. There is an invocation to the Harp of the North, prefixed to the poem; and a farewell subjoined to it in the same measure, written and versified, it appears to us, with more than Mr. Scott's usual care. We give two of the three stanzas that compose the last:
Harp of the North, farewell! The hills grow dark,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending ;
LADY OF THE LAKE BLEMISHES OF EXECUTION.
Resume thy wizard elm ! the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy ;
With distant echo from the fold and lea,
Some Spirit of the Air has wak'd thy string! "Tis now a Seraph bold, with touch of fire ;
'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing.
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell!
A wand'ring witch-note of the distant speli
p. 289, 290. These passages, though taken with very little selection, are favourable specimens, we think, on the whole, of the execution of the work before us. We had marked several of an opposite character; but, fortunately for Mr. Scott, we have already extracted so much, that we shall scarcely have room to take any notice of them; and must condense all our vituperation into a very insignificant compass. One or two things, however, we think it our duty to point out. Though great pains have evidently been taken with Brian the Hermit, we think his whole character a failure, and mere deformity - hurting the interest of the story by its improbability, and rather heavy and disagreeable, than sublime or terrible in its details. The quarrel between Malcolm and Roderick, in the second canto, is also ungraceful and offensive. There is something foppish, and out of character, in Malcolm's rising to lead out Ellen from her own parlour; and the sort of wrestling match that takes place between the rival chieftains on the occasion is humiliating and indecorous. The greatest blemish in the poem, however, is the ribaldry and dull vulgarity which is put into the mouths of the soldiery in the guard-room. Mr. Scott has condescended to write a song for them, which will be read with pain, we are persuaded, even by his warmest admirers : and his whole genius, and even his power of versification, seems to desert him when he attempts to repeat their conversation. Here is
FLATNESS OF THE COARSE SCENES.
some of the stuff which has dropped, in this inauspicious attempt, from the pen of one of the first poets of his age or country:
6 « Old dost thou wax, and wars grow sharp ;
Thou now hast glee-maiden and harp,
After the fight, these sought our line.
his boast !' cried John of Brent,
the forester his fee?
- p. 250, 251. His Highland freebooters, indeed, do not use a much nobler style. For example:
“ It is, because last evening-tide
Brian an augury hath tried,
- p. 146, 147.
“For life is Hugh of Larbert lame;”. Or that unhappy couplet, where the King himself is in such distress for a rhyme, as to be obliged to apply to one of the most obscure saints on the calendar.
“ 'Tis James of Douglas, by Saint Serle ;
The uncle of the banish'd Earl.”