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Short poem

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Marmion: Canto 5



          313O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
          314Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
          315And save his good broadsword, he weapons had none,
          316He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone.
          317So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
          318There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

          319He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,
          320He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
          321But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
          322The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
          323For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
          324Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

          325So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall,
          326Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
          327Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,
          328(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,)
          329"O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
          330Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"--

          331"I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied;--
          332Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide--
          333And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
          334To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
          335There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
          336That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."

          337The bride kiss'd the goblet; the knight took it up,
          338He quaff'd off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
          339She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to sigh,
          340With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
          341He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,--
          342"Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.

          343So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
          344That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
          345While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
          346And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
          347And the bride-maidens whisper'd, " 'Twere better by far
          348To have match'd our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."

          349One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
          350When they reach'd the hall-door, and the charger stood near;
          351So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
          352So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
          353"She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
          354They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.

          355There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan;
          356Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran:
          357There was racing and chasing, on Cannobie Lee,
          358But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
          359So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
          360Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?


313] From Marmion, Canto v, lines 313-360. The song is represented as sung by an English lady at the court of the Scottish king, James IV. Lochinvar is a Scot, Ellen English.

332] The Solway is remarkable for the rapid inrush of the tide. Scott deals with this phenomenon in Letter IV of his novel Redgauntlet.

353] scaur: rock or crag.

357] Cannobie Lee: a plain which Lochinvar crossed on his way home.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, a tale of Flodden Field (Edinburgh: Constable, 1808). LE S431m Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1808
RPO poem editor: P. F. Morgan
RP edition: 3RP 2.402.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/3

Rhyme: aabbcc

Other poems by Sir Walter Scott