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ENGLISH POETRY.

THE LAST MINSTREL.

The way was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel was infirm and old ;
His withered cheek, and tresses gray,
Seemed to have known a better day;
The harp, his sole remaining joy,
Was carried by an orphan boy.
The last of all the bards was he,
Who sung of Border chivalry;
For, well-a-day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he, neglected and oppressed,
Wished to be with them, and at rest.
No more, on prancing palfrey borne,
He carolled, light'as lark at morn;
No longer courted and caressed,
High placed in hall, a welcome guest,
He poured, to lord and lady gay,
The unpremeditated lay:
Old times were changed, old manners gone;
A stranger filled the Stuart's throne;
The bigots of the iron time
Had called his harmless art a crime,

B

A wandering harper, scorned and poor,
He begged his bread from door to door;
And tuned, to please a peasant's ear,
The harp a king had loved to hear.

SCOTT.

BRANKSOME TOWER

THE feast was over in Branksome tower,
And the Ladye had gone to her secret bower;
Her bower that was guarded by word and by spell,
Deadly to hear, and deadly to tell —
No living wight, save the Ladye alone,
Had dared to cross the threshold stone.
The tables were drawn, it was idlesse all;

Knight, and page, and household squire
Loitered through the lofty hall,

Or crowded round the ample fire : The stag-hounds, weary with the chase,

Lay stretched upon the rushy floor, And urged, in dreams, the forest race,

From Teviot-stone to Eskdale-moor. Nine-and-twenty knights of fame

Hung their shields in Branksome Hall;
Nine-and-twenty squires of name
Brought them their steeds from bower to stall ;

Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall
Waited, duteous, on them all:

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