1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

A. M., "On hearing that a Collection of the Border Ballads is preparing for publication, by Walter Scott, Esq. Advocate" Edinburgh Magazine or Literary Miscellany NS 17 (January 1801) 146.



Chiefs! who on the Border strove
Or for glory, or for love;
Warriors! who deeds did raise
Scotia's prowess, Scotia's praise,
Bend with a smile,
O'er Britain's isle,
And hear your fame reviv'd in modern days—

High-born dames! whose noble blood
Flow'd untainted since the flood,
Whose youthful charms subdued the brave,
Whose matron worth defy'd the grave,
Soft hearken all,
In airy hall,
And catch your anthems on the windy wave.—

Lovers! in a humbler rank,
By Yarrow's stream, and Ettrick's band
Who sigh'd your plaints, and sung your loves,
With the larks and woodland doves;
Survey your dales,
And list your tales,
For now the shepherd sings them as he roves.

Bards of old! who struck the lyre,
To tender woes, or martial fire,
And swell'd, around its echoing coast,
Strains, which are your country's boast;
From fields of air,
Bend down and hear,
Your strains shall never, never now be lost.

Ye warriors, dames, ye bards and swains,
Who sung, or fought on Tweed's old plains,
Whose songs did grace, whose deeds did raise
Scotia's prowess, Scotia's praise;
Bend with a smile,
O'er Britain's isle,
And hear your fame reviv'd in modern days!
Ettrick Forest, Feb. 9th, 1801.