That said, I did read a couple of abridged versions when I was a child. In his book, Marmion, I do know well the story of Lochinvar as I read an illustrated version to my children many times.
What I just discovered though, was that he penned the lines with which I have been familiar all my life. From Marmion (an epic poem first published in 1808), Canto VI, st. 17.
O, what a tangled web we weave,I assumed it was just a folk saying.
When first we practise to deceive!
Here are some other lines from the poem.
Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth,I might just have to give Marmion a try.
When thought is speech, and speech is truth.
When, musing on companions gone,
We doubly feel ourselves alone.
'T is an old tale and often told;
But did my fate and wish agree,
Ne'er had been read, in story old,
Of maiden true betray'd for gold,
That loved, or was avenged, like me.
And come he slow, or come he fast,
It is but Death who comes at last.
Heap on more wood!-the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.
England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.
And darest thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
The Douglas in his hall?
To all, to each, a fair good-night,
And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light!
In the meantime, there is one couplet that seems a nostradamian anachronism.
But woe awaits a country whenWas Sir Walter Scott prophesying to us about our age of sensitive and weeping hipsters and sniveling pajama boys? I hope not.
She sees the tears of bearded men.