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Then changed, I trow, was that bold Baron's brow,
From the dark to the blood-red high, “Now, tell me the mien of the knight thou hast
“ His arms shone full bright, in the beacon's red
light; His plume it was scarlet and blue; On his shield was a hound, in a silver leash bound,
And his crest was a branch of the yew.”
“ Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page,
Loud dost thou lie to me! For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould,
All under the Eildon-tree.” 1
“ Yet hear but my word, my noble lord !
For I heard her name his name;
Sir Richard of Coldinghame.”—
The bold Baron's brow then changed, I trow,
From high blood-red to pale
1 Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conical summits, immediately above the town of Melrose, where are the admired ruins of a magnificent monastery. Eildon-tree is said to be the spot where Thomas the Rhymer uttered his prophecies. See p. 28.
“ The grave is deep and dark—the corpse is stiff
and stark So I may not trust thy tale.
“Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,
And Eildon slopes to the plain,
That gay gallant was slain.
“ The varying light deceived thy sight,
And the wild winds drown'd the name; For the Dryburgh bells ring, and the white monks
do sing, For Sir Richard of Coldinghame!”
He pass’d the court-gate, and he oped the tower
gate, And he mounted the narrow stair, To the bartizan seat, where, with maids that on
her wait, He found his lady fair.
That lady sat in mournful mood ;
Look'd over hill and vale; Over Tweed's fair flood, and Mertoun’s' wood,
And all down Teviotdale.
1 Mertoun is the beautiful seat of Hugh Scott, Esq. of Harden.
“ Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright!”
“Now hail, thou Baron true ! What news, what news, from Ancram fight?
What news from the bold Buccleuch ? ” —
“ The Ancram Moor is red with gore,
For many a southern fell;
To watch our beacons well.”—
The lady blush'd red, but nothing she said :
Nor added the Baron a word: Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber
fair, And so did her moody lord.
In sleep the lady mourn'd, and the Baron toss'd
and turn’d, And oft to himself he said,— “ The worms around him creep, and his bloody
grave is deep ..... It cannot give up the dead !”–
It was near the ringing of matin-bell,
The night was wellnigh done,
On the eve of good St. John.
The lady look'd through the chamber fair,
By the light of a dying flame ;
And she was aware of a knight stood there
Sir Richard of Coldinghame!
“ By Eildon-tree, for long nights three,
In bloody grave have I lain ; The mass and the death-prayer are said for me,
But, lady, they are said in vain.
“ By the Baron's brand, near Tweed's fair
strand, Most foully slain, I fell ; And my restless sprite on the beacon's height,
For a space is doom'd to dwell.
“ At our trysting-place, for a certain space,
I must wander to and fro; But I had not had power to come to thy bower,
Had'st thou not conjured me so.”—
Love master'd fear-her brow she cross'd;
“How, Richard, hast thou sped ? And art thou saved, or art thou lost ? ”
The vision shook his head !
| Trysting-place-Place of rendezvous.
" Who spilleth life, shall forfeit life;
So bid thy lord believe:
This awful sign receive.”
He laid his left palm on an oaken beam ;
His right upon her hand ;
For it scorch'd like a fiery brand.
The sable score, of fingers four,
Remains on that board impress’d; And for evermore that lady wore
A covering on her wrist.
There is a nun in Dryburgh bower,
Ne'er looks upon the sun;
He speaketh word to none.
That nun, who ne'er beholds the day,
That monk, who speaks to noneThat nun was Smaylho'me's Lady gay,
That monk the bold Baron.
1 The circumstance of the nun, “ who never saw the day," is not entirely imaginary. About fifty years ago, an unfortunate female wanderer took up her residence in a dark vault, among the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, which, during the day, she never quitted. When night fell, she issued from this miserable habitation, and went to the house of Mr. Haliburton of Newmains, the Editor's great-grandfather, or to that of Mr.