(The Lay of the Last Minstrel: Canto VI)
Sir Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel; a poem (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme; Edinburgh: James Ballantyne, 1805). E-10 1889 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
O listen, listen, ladies gay!
1.353 No haughty feat of arms I tell;
1.354Soft is the note, and sad the lay,
1.355 That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.
1.356 "Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
1.357 And, gentle ladye, deign to stay,
1.358Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
1.359 Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.
1.360 "The blackening wave is edg'd with white:
1.361 To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
1.362The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite,
1.363 Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.
1.364 "Last night the gifted Seer did view
1.365 A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
1.366Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch:
1.367 Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?"--
1.368 "'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir
1.369 To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
1.370But that my ladye-mother there
1.371 Sits lonely in her castle-hall.
1.372 "'Tis not because the ring they ride,
1.373 And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
1.374But that my sire the wine will chide,
1.375 If 'tis not fill'd by Rosabelle."--
1.376 O'er Roslin all that dreary night
1.377 A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
1.378'Twas broader than the watch-fire's light,
1.379 And redder than the bright moon-beam.
1.380 It glar'd on Roslin's castled rock,
1.381 It ruddied all the copse-wood glen;
1.382'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak,
1.383 And seen from cavern'd Hawthorn-den.
1.384 Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud,
1.385 Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lie,
1.386Each Baron, for a sable shroud,
1.387 Sheath'd in his iron panoply.
1.388 Seem'd all on fire, within, around,
1.389 Deep sacristy and altar's pale,
1.390Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
1.391 And glimmer'd all the dead men's mail.
1.392 Blaz'd battlement and pinnet high,
1.393 Blaz'd every rose-carved buttress fair--
1.394So still they blaze when fate is nigh
1.395 The lordly line of high St. Clair.
1.396 There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
1.397 Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
1.398Each one the holy vault doth hold--
1.399 But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle!
1.400 And each St. Clair was buried there,
1.401 With candle, with book, and with knell;
1.402But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung
1.403 The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.
Publication Start Year
RPO poem Editors
J. D. Robins