Lochinvar Poem by Sir Walter Scott


Rating: 3.6

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 enter'd 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 I am 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 gailiard 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;
Forsters, 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?

Jimmy Wrangler 09 July 2011

Such a great poem. Every 5th and 6th grader in the world ought to have this memorized! !

27 28 Reply
J. Hinchey 05 October 2019

lol. 6th grade, Catholic school. Still know it by heart, and still love it.

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John McPartlan 10 June 2004

Sir Walter Scott captures for many the essence of true love through the eloped pair. Doubtless, Ellen was coerced into a lesser marriage by her father while being in love with our hero knight. Lochinvar had not wooed sufficiently to win the permission of Ellen's father to wed her. Many a male will sit on the fence and wait to see what might develop. Lochinvar, like many males, is forced to make a choice. Heroically, he decides to kidnap the willing Ellen and escapes to the glens. A salutary lesson for women: men like sitting on fences until they are pushed to jump either way.

38 10 Reply

Beautiful poetry is poetry that potrays the most complicated matters in life in as simple and as direct a manner possible. And in this case, Sir Walter Scott has put love by itself in the most courages fashion imaginable. Wonderful work.

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Ved Dev 22 January 2009

Quote: But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see! What happened to her?

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zach pfeifer 11 February 2020

pretty good. not Emily d but excelsior will see. an arc to read again

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Denise Johnson Jonestown PA 01 December 2018

As a 3rd grader at Woomsley House in Bedford England, I also memorized this awesome poem among others; Jabowocky, Walrus & Carpenter. Wow, at 66 yrs old, I can still remember them. What wonderful memories.

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Antoinette David. 12 February 2018

A Great Poem, reminds me of Grade 5. had to memorize the whole poem.

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Bill Wright 03 September 2016

This reminds me of the film The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman turns up and snatches the bride at the altar.

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Fathima Usman 24 July 2016

Medieval poetry does have a charm!

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Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott

Edinburgh / Scotland
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