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Best Famous Sir Walter Scott Poems

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by Sir Walter Scott |

My Native Land

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 burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
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, unhonour'd, and unsung. 


by Sir Walter Scott |

Lochinvar

Oh! young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none.
He rode all unarmed and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar. 

He stayed not for brake and he stopped not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none,
But ere he alighted at Netherby gate
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love and a dastard in war
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar. 

So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall,
Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
Then spoke the bride’s father, his hand on his sword,
For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,
‘Oh! come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?’

‘I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied;
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.’ 

The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup,
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand ere her mother could bar,
‘Now tread we a measure!’ said young Lochinvar. 

So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
And the bride-maidens whispered ‘’Twere better by far
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar.’ 

One touch to her hand and one word in her ear,
When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near;
So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
‘She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
They’ll have fleet steeds that follow,’ quoth young Lochinvar. 

There was mounting ’mong Graemes of the Netherby clan;
Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran:
There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne’er did they see.
So daring in love and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e’er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar? 


by Sir Walter Scott |

County Guy

 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 thrill'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?


by Sir Walter Scott |

Where Shall the Lover Rest

 Where shall the lover rest 
Whom the fates sever 
From the true maiden's breast, 
Parted for ever?-- 
Where, through groves deep and high, 
Sounds the fair billow, 
Where early violets die, 
Under the willow.

Chorus.

Soft shall be his pillow.

There, through the summer day, 
Cool streams are laving; 
There, while the tempests sway, 
Scarce are boughs waving; 
There, thy rest shall thou take, 
Parted for ever, 
Never again to wake, 
Never, O never!

Chorus.

Never, O never!

Where shall the traitor rest, 
He, the deceiver, 
Who could win maiden's breast, 
Ruin and leave her?-- 
In the lost battle, 
Borne down by the flying, 
Where mingles war's rattle 
With groans of the dying.,P> 

Chorus.

There shall he be lying.

Her wing shall the eagle flap 
O'er the false hearted, 
His warm blood the wolf shall lap, 
Ere life be parted, 
Shame and dishonor sit 
By his grave ever; 
Blessing shall hallow it,-- 
Never, O never!

Chorus

Never, O never!


by Sir Walter Scott |

To a Lock of Hair

 Thy hue, dear pledge, is pure and bright
As in that well - remember'd night
When first thy mystic braid was wove,
And first my Agnes whisper'd love.

Since then how often hast thou prest
The torrid zone of this wild breast,
Whose wrath and hate have sworn to dwell
With the first sin that peopled hell;
A breast whose blood's a troubled ocean,
Each throb the earthquake's wild commotion!
O if such clime thou canst endure
Yet keep thy hue unstain'd and pure,
What conquest o'er each erring thought
Of that fierce realm had Agnes wrought!
I had not wander'd far and wide
With such an angel for my guide;
Nor heaven nor earth could then reprove me
If she had lived and lived to love me.

Not then this world's wild joys had been
To me one savage hunting scene,
My sole delight the headlong race
And frantic hurry of the chase;
To start, pursue, and bring to bay,
Rush in, drag down, and rend my prey,
Then - from the carcass turn away!
Mine ireful mood had sweetness tamed,
And soothed each wound which pride inflamed: -
Yes, God and man might now approve me
If thou hadst lived and lived to love me!


by Sir Walter Scott |

The Outlaw

 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.


by Sir Walter Scott |

The Maid of Neidpath

 O lovers’ eyes are sharp to see, 
And lovers’ ears in hearing; 
And love, in life’s extremity, 
Can lend an hour of cheering. 
Disease had been in Mary’s bower 
And slow decay from mourning, 
Though now she sits on Neidpath’s tower 
To watch her Love’s returning. 

All sunk and dim her eyes so bright, 
Her form decay’d by pining, 
Till through her wasted hand, at night, 
You saw the taper shining. 
By fits a sultry hectic hue 
Across her cheek was flying; 
By fits so ashy pale she grew 
Her maidens thought her dying. 

Yet keenest powers to see and hear 
Seem’d in her frame residing; 
Before the watch-dog prick’d his ear 
She heard her lover’s riding; 
Ere scarce a distant form was kenn’d 
She knew and waved to greet him, 
And o’er the battlement did bend 
As on the wing to meet him. 

He came—he pass’d—an heedless gaze 
As o’er some stranger glancing: 
Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase, 
Lost in his courser’s prancing— 
The castle-arch, whose hollow tone 
Returns each whisper spoken, 
Could scarcely catch the feeble moan 
Which told her heart was broken.


by Sir Walter Scott |

The Rovers Adieu

 weary lot is thine, fair maid,
A weary lot is thine!
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien,
A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green—
No more of me ye knew,
My Love!
No more of me ye knew.
'This morn is merry June, I trow,
The rose is budding fain;
But she shall bloom in winter snow
Ere we two meet again.'
—He turn'd his charger as he spake
Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,
Said 'Adieu for evermore,
My Love!
And adieu for evermore.'


by Sir Walter Scott |

Patriotism 02 Nelson Pitt Fox

 TO mute and to material things
New life revolving summer brings;
The genial call dead Nature hears,
And in her glory reappears.
But oh, my Country's wintry state
What second spring shall renovate?
What powerful call shall bid arise
The buried warlike and the wise;

The mind that thought for Britain's weal,
The hand that grasp'd the victor steel?
The vernal sun new life bestows
Even on the meanest flower that blows;
But vainly, vainly may he shine
Where glory weeps o'er NELSON'S shrine;
And vainly pierce the solemn gloom
That shrouds, O PITT, thy hallow'd tomb!

Deep graved in every British heart,
O never let those names depart!
Say to your sons,--Lo, here his grave,
Who victor died on Gadite wave!
To him, as to the burning levin,
Short, bright, resistless course was given.
Where'er his country's foes were found
Was heard the fated thunder's sound,
Till burst the bolt on yonder shore,
Roll'd, blazed, destroy'd--and was no more.

Nor mourn ye less his perish'd worth,
Who bade the conqueror go forth,
And launch'd that thunderbolt of war
On Egypt, Hafnia, Trafalgar;
Who, born to guide such high emprise,
For Britain's weal was early wise;
Alas! to whom the Almighty gave,
For Britain's sins, an early grave!
--His worth, who in his mightiest hour
A bauble held the pride of power,
Spurn'd at the sordid lust of pelf,
And served his Albion for herself;
Who, when the frantic crowd amain
Strain'd at subjection's bursting rein,
O'er their wild mood full conquest gain'd,
The pride he would not crush, restrain'd,
Show'd their fierce zeal a worthier cause,
And brought the freeman's arm to aid the freeman's laws.

Hadst thou but lived, though stripp'd of power,
A watchman on the lonely tower,
Thy thrilling trump had roused the land,
When fraud or danger were at hand;
By thee, as by the beacon-light,
Our pilots had kept course aright;
As some proud column, though alone,
Thy strength had propp'd the tottering throne.
Now is the stately column broke,
The beacon-light is quench'd in smoke,
The trumpet's silver voice is still,
The warder silent on the hill!

O think, how to his latest day,
When Death, just hovering, claim'd his prey,
With Palinure's unalter'd mood
Firm at his dangerous post he stood;
Each call for needful rest repell'd,
With dying hand the rudder held,
Till in his fall with fateful sway
The steerage of the realm gave way.
Then--while on Britain's thousand plains
One polluted church remains,
Whose peaceful bells ne'er sent around
The bloody tocsin's maddening sound,
But still upon the hallow'd day
Convoke the swains to praise and pray;
While faith and civil peace are dear,
Grace this cold marble with a tear:--
He who preserved them, PITT, lies here!

Nor yet suppress the generous sigh,
Because his rival slumbers nigh;
Nor be thy Requiescat dumb
Lest it be said o'er Fox's tomb.
For talents mourn, untimely lost,
When best employ'd, and wanted most;
Mourn genius high, and lore profound,
And wit that loved to play, not wound;
And all the reasoning powers divine
To penetrate, resolve, combine;
And feelings keen, and fancy's glow--
They sleep with him who sleeps below:
And, if thou mourn'st they could not save
From error him who owns this grave,
Be every harsher thought suppress'd,
And sacred be the last long rest.
Here, where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings;
Where stiff the hand, and still the tongue,
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung;
Here, where the fretted vaults prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke agen,
'All peace on earth, good-will to men';
If ever from an English heart,
O, here let prejudice depart,
And, partial feeling cast aside,
Record that Fox a Briton died!
When Europe crouch'd to France's yoke,
And Austria bent, and Prussia broke,
And the firm Russian's purpose brave
Was barter'd by a timorous slave--
Even then dishonour's peace he spurn'd,
The sullied olive-branch return'd,
Stood for his country's glory fast,
And nail'd her colours to the mast!
Heaven, to reward his firmness, gave
A portion in this honour'd grave;
And ne'er held marble in its trust
Of two such wondrous men the dust.

With more than mortal powers endow'd,
How high they soar'd above the crowd!
Theirs was no common party race,
Jostling by dark intrigue for place;
Like fabled gods, their mighty war
Shook realms and nations in its jar;
Beneath each banner proud to stand,
Look'd up the noblest of the land,
Till through the British world were known
The names of PITT and Fox alone.
Spells of such force no wizard grave
E'er framed in dark Thessalian cave,
Though his could drain the ocean dry,
And force the planets from the sky.
These spells are spent, and, spent with these,
The wine of life is on the lees.
Genius, and taste, and talent gone,
For ever tomb'd beneath the stone,
Where--taming thought to human pride!--
The mighty chiefs sleep side by side.
Drop upon Fox's grave the tear,
'Twill trickle to his rival's bier;
O'er PITT'S the mournful requiem sound,
And Fox's shall the notes rebound.
The solemn echo seems to cry,
'Here let their discord with them die.
Speak not for those a separate doom
Whom fate made Brothers in the tomb;
But search the land of living men,
Where wilt thou find their like agen?'


by Sir Walter Scott |

Patriotism 01 Innominatus

 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 burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
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, unhonour'd, and unsung.