Saturday, October 27, 2012

'Lochinvar' by Sir Walter Scott


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lochinvar is the young promising knight of the highlands. He came riding all through the wide border in the west on his fighting horse that had served him to his best. Though he is well-versed in engaging in an armed combat, using his mighty broad sword, yet at this point of time, he came riding carrying no weapons with him. Throughout his meaningful journey, as he considers it to be, he rode unarmed and all by himself. He is so faithful to the girl that he loves and still more dauntless: intrepid and persevering: in every war he fought for his country. There has never been a knight so valiant like Lochinvar. He never stayed back for anything that hindered him unnecessarily nor did he stop for any hardship that prevented him to reach his desired goal. He swam across the Eske river: where there was no ford: a shallow place where a river or stream may be crossed by wading.
However, before he alighted himself on his horse at the Netherby Gate, the bride had consented him as the gallant who had arrived late, for surely he was a laggard: a slow dawdler: who was deeply in love and fighting so dastardly: cowardly despicable: in war, in her personal opinion. He was to take the fair Ellen’s hand in marriage. He entered the Netherby Hall so boldly even at the presence of the bride’s men and kinsmen, her brothers and all her relatives. The poor craven bridegroom never said a word. The bride’s father stood up, with his hand gripping his sword, spoke up and asked Lochinvar whether he came here in peace or with an intention of war, or to dance at their bridal. Lochinvar boldly replied that he long wooed the Lord’s daughter, his rightful suit was denied. The love that swells like the Solway, but ebbs: like its tide: declining like the movement of the tide out to the sea: and now he has come with his love lost only to lead forbut one measure and that is to drink one cup of wine, at the marriage feast. For in truth there are still many beautiful maidens in Scotland who are more beautiful than the fair Ellen, who would open-heartedly become a bride for him.
The bride kissed the goblet: a drinking vessel with a foot and a stem: while the Knight (Lochinvar) took it up. He quaffed off: drink deeply or drain in long draughts: then he threw down the cup. Ellen blushed as she looked down and sighed when she looked up. Though tears came to her eyes, yet she smiled with loving lips. But before her mother could bar her any further, he took her soft hand and told her that both of them should tread a measure: the factor of love by which both are reckoned with. Lochinvar’s form and appearance is so stately and kingly while her face appears so lovely. It is like a hall of fame that has never grace a gilliard: a lively dance usually in triple time for two persons. While the bride’s mother stood there fretting and sad, and her father fuming and complaining, the young bridegroom stood there dangling: hold or carry loosely suspended: his bonnet: a hat tied under the chin with a brim framing the face: and plume: a large feather used for ornament: all the bride maidens whispered to9 each other and said that it was better by far to have match their fair cousin sister with Lochinvar.

Lochinvar touched her hand softly and spoke a word in her ear, they walked steadily till they reached the door of the hall and encountered the charger who stood there. The fair lady swung swiftly to croup: the rump or hind quarters of a horse: and he too swung swiftly to the saddle of the horse before her. Then Lochinvar loudly announced that he has already won her, now they would be gone over the bank of the river, bush and scour: a steep craggy outcrop of a mountain or cliff: though they would have a fleet of steeds to follow them. The Grames from among the Netherby clans including the Forsters, Fenwicks and Musgraves mounted their horses and rode and ran as fast as they could. They raced and chased the newly weds on the lee-ward slope of the Canobie Hills, but they never caught up with them. A man so daring in love and so dauntless in war. There is truly no one as gallant as the young Lochinvar.

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