by: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
- 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!
- And, gentle ladye, 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;
- 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 ladye gay;
- Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch;
- Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?"
- "'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir
- To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
- But that my ladye-mother there
- Sits lonely in her castle-hall.
- "'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
- 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 copsewood glen;
- '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,
- Sheath'd 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.
- 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
- 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;
- But the sea-caves rung and the wild winds sung
- The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.
POEMS BY SIR WALTER SCOTT
"Rosabelle" is reprinted
from The Golden Treasury. Ed. Francis T. Palgrave. London: