“It Was An English Ladye Bright” by Sir Walter Scott

by Ann Neilson

…he placed himself in the list of classic writers by the publication of his first great original work, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, which was received with universal applause…” —Rufus Griswold, The Songs and Ballads of Sir Walter Scott, with His Life

“Rest with the noble dead
In Dryburgh’s solemn pile,
Where sleep the peer and warrior bold,
And mitred abbots stern and old,
Along the statued isle;
Where, stain’d with dust of buried year,
The rude sarcophagus appears
In mould imbedded deep;” —
Lydia H. Sigourney,Thoughts at the Grave of Sir Walter Scott”

(Also for your consideration is a beautiful vocal performance of the poem, recorded by the breathtaking Loreena McKennitt. —Ann.) 

It Was An English Ladye Bright (extracted from The Lay of the Last Minstrel)
Sir Walter Scott

It was an English ladye bright,
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)
And she would marry a Scottish knight,
For Love will still be lord of all.

Blithely they saw the rising sun
When he shone fair on Carlisle wall;
But they were sad ere day was done,
Though Love was still the lord of all.

Her sire gave brooch and jewel fine,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall;
Her brother gave but a flask of wine,
For ire that Love was lord of all.

For she had lands both meadow and lea,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,
And he swore her death, ere he would see
A Scottish knight the lord of all.

That wine she had not tasted well
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)
When dead, in her true love’s arms, she fell,
For Love was still the lord of all!

He pierced her brother to the heart,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall:–
So perish all would true love part
That Love may still be lord of all!

And then he took the cross divine,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,
And died for her sake in Palestine;
So Love was still the lord of all.

Now all ye lovers, that faithful prove,
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)
Pray for their souls who died for love,
For Love shall still be lord of all!