1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Bernard M. Carter, in "The Wag's Poem" Poems by Bernard M. Carter of Virginia (1824) 27-29.



But 'faith that Scott I must allow
A saint to shrive the Muse's vow,
And e'en his own worst sins confess,
A Rosary that angels kiss,
And the sweet rapture of his line,
An incense at the Muse's shrine;
And love him, where her nymph-feet tell
The music of the light hair-bell,
Or where those pearly feet, and true,
Do dance them in his flowery dew—
I love him where that timid swan
Misdoubts the gaze of ruder man,
And, startled at the rustling brake,
Prefers to "swim upon her lake,"
Though conscious that her very grace
Would kindle o'er its mirror face,
And then her chaster toilet make,
Until the stranger dare to speak,
As through her whiter dress than snow,
The palpitating wonders glow—
I love him for that gallant Grey,
That died upon a holy day,
And breathing out his Hero soul,
Bid him his deathless name enroll
With Pegasus, upon his scroll—
For I had once a noble Grey,
Who shall not want my parting lay,
Would smile when I would get upon,
As though himself and I were one,
And bear me o'er the distance thrice,
And back, and safe, o'er rock, or ice,
And with according hoof would make,
Such music by the list'ning brake,
And then the way so calculate,
That when he reach'd the castle-gate,
He neigh'd aloud and claim'd a home,
As though some chieftain knight were come,
And would have mounted in the hall
Of heraldry, the highest stall,
But that the gilding orient sun,
Did gleam its battlements upon,
And turn'd him to his grooms away,
My champing, foaming, vaulting Grey!