Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
440. Rosabelle
Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
O LISTEN, listen, ladies gay!
  No haughty feat of arms I tell;
Soft is the note, and sad the lay
  That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.
‘Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!        5
  And, gentle lady, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
  Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.
‘The blackening wave is edged with white;
  To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;        10
The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite,
  Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.
‘Last night the gifted Seer did view
  A wet shroud swathed round lady gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch;        15
  Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?’
’Tis not because Lord Lindesay’s heir
  Tonight at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my lady-mother there
  Sits lonely in her castle-hall.        20
’Tis not because the ring they ride,
  And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide
  If ’tis not fill’d by Rosabelle.’
—O’er Roslin all that dreary night        25
  A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
’Twas broader than the watch-fire’s light,
  And redder than the bright moonbeam.
It glared on Roslin’s castled rock,
  It ruddied all the copse-wood glen;        30
’Twas seen from Dryden’s groves of oak,
  And seen from cavern’d Hawthornden.
Seem’d all on fire that chapel proud
  Where Roslin’s chiefs uncoffin’d lie,
Each Baron, for a sable shroud,        35
  Sheathed in his iron panoply.
Seem’d all on fire within, around,
  Deep sacristy and altar’s pale;
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
  And glimmer’d all the dead men’s mail.        40
Blazed battlement and pinnet high,
  Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair—
So still they blaze, when fate is nigh
  The lordly line of high Saint Clair.
There are twenty of Roslin’s barons bold        45
  Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold
  But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle!
And each Saint Clair was buried there
  With candle, with book, and with knell;        50
But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung
  The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.


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