The Knight's Toast by Sir Walter Scott

The feast is o'er! Now brimming wine
In lordly cup is seen to shine
Before each eager guest;
And silence fills the crowded hall,
As deep as when the herald's call
Thrills in the loyal breast.
Then up arose the noble host,
And, smiling, cried: "A toast! a toast!
To all our ladies fair!
Here before all, I pledge the name
Of Staunton's proud and beauteous dame,
The Ladye Gundamere!"
Then to his feet each gallant sprung,
And joyous was the shout that rung,
As Stanley gave the word;
And every cup was raised on high,
Nor ceased the loud and gladsome cry
Till Stanley's voice was heard.
"Enough, enough," he, smiling, said,
And lowly bent his haughty head;
"That all may have their due,
Now each in turn must play his part,
And pledge the lady of his heart,
Like gallant knight and true!"
Then one by one each guest sprang up,
And drained in turn the brimming cup,
And named the loved one's name;
And each, as hand on high he raised,
His lady's grace or beauty praised,
Her constancy and fame.
'Tis now St. Leon's turn to rise;
On him are fixed those countless eyes;—
A gallant knight is he;
Envied by some, admired by all,
Far famed in lady's bower and hall,—
The flower of chivalry.
St. Leon raised his kindling eye,
And lifts the sparkling cup on high:
"I drink to one," he said,
"Whose image never may depart,
Deep graven on this grateful heart,
Till memory be dead.
"To one, whose love for me shall last
When lighter passions long have past,—
So holy 'tis and true;
To one, whose love hath longer dwelt,
More deeply fixed, more keenly felt,
Than any pledged by you."
Each guest upstarted at the word,
And laid a hand upon his sword,
With fury flashing eye;
And Stanley said: "We crave the name,
Proud knight, of this most peerless dame,
Whose love you count so high."
St. Leon paused, as if he would
Not breathe her name in careless mood,
Thus lightly to another;
Then bent his noble head, as though
To give that word the reverence due,
And gently said: "My Mother!"