Marmion was first published in 1808 when The Lay of the Last Minstrel had made Sir Walter Scott a household word throughout Scotland and Britain, as a whole. Only a few years later he had built Abbotsford, near Melrose ( 35 miles south of Edinburgh) and then he became a romance novelist. As a person he was very well-loved and all his work showed his passion for anything antiquarian- whether it was books, castles or artifacts. Chivalry, with its code of honor, was his religion. Today when one visits Abbotsford (with which he replaced the old Cartley Hall which was set on the banks of the Tweed ) all are treated to viewing his impressive collection of armor, weapons and over 9,000 rare volumes in his library !
from Marmion by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
Lady Heron’s Song
O, 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 staid 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 bride’s-men, 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 I am 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 treat 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 bridemaidens 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;
Forsters, 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?
* steep bank
Kisses aplenty from The Castle Lady !