1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Anonymous, "On Sir Walter Scott receiving the Order of Knighthood" The Kaleidoscope [Liverpool] 2 (16 May 1820) 176.



Hail, Harper of Albin! of harpers the pride;
Hail, Harper of Albin! we sing from the Clyde;
North, South, East, and West, will combine in the lay;
And be one in thy praises — Forth, Tweedside, and Tay.

Long hath rung in thy strains, Caledonia brave;
Whose mountains are blue — where the heather bells wave:
May they long bloom in freedom and fealty the same;
And in minstrelsy rival the soft flowing Thame!

The deeds of the Border resound in thy strain;
At thy touch, the moss-troopers are marshall'd again;
Rise, shades of past heroes, on corselet and glaive,
For the pibroch has rung o'er Loch Katrin's wave.

Have you heard of old Branksome? — of ancient Melrose?
Heard of Flodden's death field, where the valiant repose?
Would you learn of Lord Marmion, by Isbel's Well, slain?
'Tis the Harper of Albin can temper the strain.

Are ye from the low-country? — To Albin's height's true?
Is your doublet of serge, or your bonnet of blue?—
Do ye come south the Border? — To Rokeby repair;
For the Harper of Albin hath carolled it there.

Rude Atornish, thy halls with his love-lay have rung;
Thy bloody field, Bannockburn, too he hath sung:
The days of King Robert are long pass'd away—
But, Harper of Albin, they live in the lay!

Now, leal to the North, Collum-Cam, he has said;
And floats in Dun-Edin, the plume and the plaid;
Rally true to the tartan, ye warm-hearted Gael—
And, Harper of Albin, exultingly hail.

A Knight now Sir WALTER our Sov'reign hath made:
So ever be merit by Royalty paid;
The diadem of Brunswick shines brighter by far,
When the Harper of Albin wins ribband or star.

Though he need no escutcheon to blazon his fame,
Let dexter, sinister, the charge be the same;
The Harp of old Albin surtout gaily drest;
The Thistle majestic, our Minstrel's-crest.

Long prosper our King, who so feelingly knew
Where the badge of distinction so justly was due;
May his Harper and we shout, "be glorious his reign,"
Till Albion and Albin re-echo again!