Marmion "There Never Was Knight Like The Young Lochinvar"

Sir Walter Scott

"There Never Was Knight Like The Young Lochinvar"

Context: Marmion, a brave but dissolute knight of the 16th century, is sent as ambassador from King Henry VIII of England to James IV of Scotland. When Marmion waits upon the Scottish King at Holy-Rood Castle, he hears sung for the royal pleasure a song usually known as the poem "Lochinvar." This romantic short tale tells of a young knight who rides boldly to the hall where his beloved is being wed to "a laggard in love and a dastard in war." Pretending to care nothing for his loss, Lochinvar debonairly quaffs a goblet of wine and leads his "fair Ellen" in a dance, only to sweep suddenly the willing girl upon his charger and gallop away with her. The opening lines of this charming piece are:

Oh! 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 unarmed, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.