The Lady of the Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Lady of the Lake.

The Castle gates were open flung,
The quivering drawbridge rocked and rung,
And echoed loud the flinty street
Beneath the coursers’ clattering feet,
As slowly down the steep descent
Fair Scotland’s King and nobles went,
While all along the crowded way
Was jubilee and loud huzza. 
And ever James was bending low
To his white jennet’s saddle-bow,
Doffing his cap to city dame,
Who smiled and blushed for pride and shame. 
And well the simperer might be vain,—­
He chose the fairest of the train. 
Gravely he greets each city sire,
Commends each pageant’s quaint attire,
Gives to the dancers thanks aloud,
And smiles and nods upon the crowd,
Who rend the heavens with their acclaims,—­
‘Long live the Commons’ King, King James!’
Behind the King thronged peer and knight,
And noble dame and damsel bright,
Whose fiery steeds ill brooked the stay
Of the steep street and crowded way. 
But in the train you might discern
Dark lowering brow and visage stern;
There nobles mourned their pride restrained,
And the mean burgher’s joys disdained;
And chiefs, who, hostage for the* clan,
Were each from home a banished man,
There thought upon their own gray tower,
Their waving woods, their feudal power,
And deemed themselves a shameful part
Of pageant which they cursed in heart.

XXII.

Now, in the Castle-park, drew out
Their checkered bands the joyous rout. 
There morricers, with bell at heel
And blade in hand, their mazes wheel;
But chief, beside the butts, there stand
Bold Robin Hood and all his band,—­
Friar Tuck with quarterstaff and cowl,
Old Scathelocke with his surly scowl,
Maid Marian, fair as ivory bone,
Scarlet, and Mutch, and Little John;
Their bugles challenge all that will,
In archery to prove their skill. 
The Douglas bent a bow of might,—­
His first shaft centred in the white,
And when in turn he shot again,
His second split the first in twain. 
From the King’s hand must Douglas take
A silver dart, the archers’ stake;
Fondly he watched, with watery eye,
Some answering glance of sympathy,—­
No kind emotion made reply! 
Indifferent as to archer wight,
The monarch gave the arrow bright.

XXIII.

Now, clear the ring! for, hand to hand,
The manly wrestlers take their stand. 
Two o’er the rest superior rose,
And proud demanded mightier foes,—­
Nor called in vain, for Douglas came.—­
For life is Hugh of Larbert lame;
Scarce better John of Alloa’s fare,
Whom senseless home his comrades bare. 
Prize of the wrestling match, the King
To Douglas gave a golden ring,
While coldly glanced his eye of blue,
As frozen drop of wintry dew. 
Douglas would speak, but in his breast

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Lady of the Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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