1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Anonymous, "Sir Walter Scott" The Sun (21 April 1820).



Land of the mountain and the wood,
The purple lake, the thundering flood;
Land of the tartan and the plume,
Of valour's breast, and beauty's bloom;
If ever bow'd thy noble ear
The minstrel's golden string to hear;
Scotland exult, thy minstrel son
Has the high prize of genius won;
Has stood in England's rival ring,
Prais'd, lov'd, and honour'd by his King.

The day is past of fight and feud,
The spear has lost its sullen food;
No more the Chieftain in his hall,
Starts at the warder's trumpet call.
The moat is fill'd, the unbar'd tower,
Is curtain'd with the woodbine's flower.
The lillies round the portal-shield
Veil the rich spoils of flood and field;
But Scotland by thy victor Son
Are spoils of nobler combat won.

Upon thy solitary shore,
Upon thy mountain's summit hoar,
Upon thy red deer's forest tract,
Upon thy desert cataract,
He sent his voice — and from the wave,
The mount, the cataract, the cave,
Rose at their minstrel Lord's command,
The thousand spirits of the land,
The soul of bending Beauty came,
The Warrior's restless shape of flame,
The Priest, Heaven-gazing, proud and pale,
And gave him each its treasured tale.

Life has no brighter day to come;
Return thou man of heart and home;
The boy in vision sees the blade
That on thy knightly neck was laid;
And to the ancient impulse true,
Swells with the glories of BUCCLEUGH,
And joy is wild in bluer eyes,
And softer cheeks wear burning dyes;
Till to her father's bosom prest,
The whole high heart is calm and blest,
And cups are crowning round thy board,
To HIM who gave the SPUR and SWORD.
(From The Sheffield Mercury)