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Il.

O Caledonia! stern and wild,

Meet nurse for a poetic child!

Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the tlood, '
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band

That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me, of all bereft,

Sole friends thy woods and streams are left;
And thusl love them better still,

Even in extremity of ill.

By Yarrow's stream still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way;
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my wither’d cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,

The bard may draw his parting groan.

lll.

Not scorn'd like me! to Branksome-hall
The minstrels came, at festive call;
Trooping they came, from near and far,
The jovial priests of mirth and war :
Alike for feast and fight prepared,
Battle and banquet both they shared.
Of late, before each martial clan,

They blew their death-note in the van,
But now, for every merry mate, G
Rose the portcullis’ iron grate;

They sound the pipe , they strike the string,
Theydance, they revel, and they sing,
Till the rude turrets shake and ring.

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IV. Me lists not at this tide declare The splendour of the spousal rite, How muster'd in the chapel fair Both maid and matron, squire and knight;

Me lists not tell of owches rare,

Of mantles green, and braided hair,
And kirtles furr'd with miniver;

What plumage waved the altar round,
How spurs and ringing chainlets sound :
And hard it were for bard to speak

The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek,
That lovely hue which comes and flies,
As awe and shame alternate rise.

V.

Some bards have sung, the Ladye high Chapel or altar came not nigh;

Nor durst the rites of spousal grace,

So much she fear'd each holy place. False slanders these :—I trust right well She wrought not hy forbidden spell : (2) For mighty words and signs have power O'er sprites in planetary hour:

Yet scarce I praise their venturous part,
Who tamper with such dangerous art.
But this for faithful truth I say,

The Ladye by the altar stood,
Of sable velvet her array, ;
And on her head a crimson hood,

With pearls emhroider'd and entwined,
Guarded with gold, with ermine lined;
A merlin sat upon her wrist, (3)

Held by a leash of silken twist. VI.

The spousal rites were ended soon;

‘T was now the merry hour of noon,

And in the lofty arched hall

Was spread the gorgeous festival.

Steward and squire, with heedful haste, l\Iarshall'd the rank of every guest; 7

Pages, with ready blade, were there,

The mighty meal to carve and share: ,
O'er capon, heron-shew, and crane,

And princely peacock's gilded train, (4) '
And o'er the boar-head, garnish'd brave, (5)
And cygnet from St Mary's wave, (6)

O'er ptarmigan and venison,

The priest had spoke his benison,

Then rose the riot and the din,

Above, beneath, without, within‘.

For, from the lofty balcony,

Bung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery;

Their clanging bowls old warriors quaff’d,
Loudly they spoke, and loudly laugb'd;
Whisper'd young knights, in tone more mild,
To ladies fair, and ladies smiled.

The hooded hawks, high perch'd on beam,
The clamour join'd with whistling scream,
And flapp'd their wings, and shook their bells,
In concert with the stag~h0unds’ yells.
Round go the flasks of ruddy wine,

From Bourdeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine;
Their tasks the busy sewers ply,

And all is mirth and revelry.

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VII.

The goblin-page, omitting still

No opportunity of ill, _ Strove now, while blood ran hot and high, To rouse debate and jealousy;

Till Conrad, lord of Wolfenstein,

By nature fierce, and warm with wine, '\
And now in humour highly cr0ss'd,
About some steeds his band had lost,

lligh words to words succeeding still,
Smote, with his gauntlet, stout Hunthill; (7)
A hot and hardy Rutherford,

Whom men call Diccon Draw—the-sword.
He took it on the page's saye,

Hunthill had driven these steeds away.

Then Howard, Home, and Douglas rose,

The kindling discord to compose:

Stern Rutherford right little said,

But hit his glove, and shook his head.—(8) A fortnight thence, in Inglewood,

Stout Conrad, cold, and drench'd in blood,
His bosom gored with many a wound,

Was by a wood man's lyme-dog found;
Unknown the manner of his dB¢’illI,l

Gone was his brand, both sword and sheath;
But ever from that time, 't was said,

That Diccon wore a Cologne blade.

VIII.

The Dwarf, who fear’d his master's eye
Might his foul treachery espie,

Now sought the castle buttery,

Where many a yeoman bold and free,
Revell'd as merrily and well

As those that sat in lordly selle.

Watt Tinlinn, there, did frankly raise

The pledge to Arthur Fire-the—Braes; (9)
And he, as by his breeding bound,

To Howard's merry—men sent it round.

To quit them, on the English side,

Red Roland Forster loudly cried,

u A deep carouse to you fair bride!»

At every pledge, from vat and pail,

Foam'd forth, in floods, the nut-brown ale; While shout the riders every one,

Such day of mirth ne'er cheer'd their clan, Since old Buccleuch the name did gain, When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en. (to)

1X. The wily page, with vengeful thought, ltemember'd him of 'l‘inlinn's yew, And swore, it should be dearly bought, That ever he the arrow drew.

First, he the yeoman did molest,

With bitter gibe and taunting jest;
Told, how he fled at Solway strife,

And how llob Armstrong cheer'd his wife :
Then, shunning still his powerful arm,
At unawares he wrought him harm;
From trencher stole his choicest cheer,
l)ash'd from his lips his can of beer;
Then to his knee sly creeping 011,

With bodkin pierced him to the bone;
The venom'd wound, and festering joint,
Long after rued the bodkin‘s point.

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XVI.
FlTZ'l‘R.\VEI\.

'T was All-souls’ eve, and Surrey's heart beat high;

He heard the midnight hell with anxious start, Which told the mystic hour, approaching nigh,

When wise Cornelius promised, by his art, To show to him the ladye of his heart,

Albeit betwixt them roar'd the ocean grim: Yet so the sage had hight to play his part,

That he should see her form in life and limb,
And mark, if still she loved, and still she thought of

him.
XVII.

Dark was the vaulted room of gramarye,

To which the wizard led the gallant knight, Save that before a mirror, huge and high,

A hallow‘d taper shed a glimmering light On mystic implements of magic might;

On cross, and character, and talisman,
And almagest, and altar, nothing bright;

For fitful was the lustre, pale and wan,
As watch-light by the bed of some departing man.

XVIII. But soon, within that mirror huge and high, Was seen a self-emitted light to gleam,

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Fair all the pageant—but Bow paging fair

The slender form, which lay on couch of Ind! O'er her white bosom strayfd her hazel hair,

Pale her dear check as if for love she pined; All in her night-robe loose she lay reclined,

And, pensive, read from tablet ohurnine Some strain, that seem'd her inmost sottl to find:

That favour'd strain was Sttrrey's ruptured line, That fair and lovely fortn, the Lady Geraldine.

XX. Slow roll’d the clouds upon the lovely form, Antl swept the goodly vision all awaySo royal envy roll'd the murky storm O'er my beloved m'aster‘s glorious day. Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant! Heaven repay On thee, and on thy children's latest line, The wild capricc of thy despotic sway, The gory bridal bed, the plunder'd shrine, The murder'd Surrey‘! blood, the tears of Geraldine!

XXI.

Both Scots and southern chiefs prolong
Applattses of Filttravefs song:

These hated Ilei1ry's name as death,
And those still held the ancient faith.-
Then, from his seat, with lofty air,
hose llarold, hard of brave St Clair;
St Clair, who, feasting high at Home, _
llad with tltatlord to battle come,
Harold was born where restless seas
llowl round the stsrtruwrept Oreades;

- Where erst,St Clairs held princely sway
O'er isle and islet, strait and bay,;—(t4‘)
Still nods their palace to its fall, ,
Thy pride and sorr_ow, fair Kirltvsall.l—( I 5)
Thence oft he marlt'd fierce Pentland rave,
As if grim Odin rode her wave;

And watclfd, the whilst, with visage pale,
And throbbing heart, the struggling sail,-
Fur all of wonderful and wild

Had rapture for the lonely child.

XXII.

And mttch of wild and wonderful

In tltesc rude isles might fancy cull;

For thither came, in times afar,

Strrn Lochlin's sons of roving war,

The Norseman, train’d to spoil and blood,
Skill'd to prepare the raven's food;
Kings of the main their leaders Iirizve,
Their harks the dragons of the wave. And there, in many a stormy vale,
The Seald hath told his wond’rous taley
And many a Runic column high

llad wiluc-ss'd grim idolatry.

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\_ HAROLD.

O listen, listen, ladies gay‘.

No haughty feat of arms] tell; _ _ Soft is the note, and sad the lay,

That mourns the lovely Rosahelle. (20)

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-< ‘T is not because Lord Lintlesay’s heir To-night at Roslin leads the ball,

But that my ladyc—mnther there
Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

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<<’T is not because the ring they ride, And Lindesay at the ring rides well,

But that my sire the wine will chitle, lf 't is not fill'd by Rosabelle.»——

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And redder than the bright moon-beam. t.

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It glared on Roslin's castled rock,
It rntldied all the eopse-wood glen;

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»The elvish Dwarf was seen no more!

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And each St Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell;

But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung,
The dirge of lovely Rosahelle.

XXlV. So sweet was Harold's piteous lay, Scarce mark'd the guests the darlten‘d hall, Though, long before the sinking day, A wond‘rous shade involved them all :1 ll was not eddying mist or fog, l)rain'tl by the sun from fen or bog, Of no eclipse had sages told ; And yet, as it came on apaee, Each one could scarce his neighbour's face, Could scarce his own stretch'd hand behold. A secret horror cheek'd the feast, And chillid the soul of every guest; Even the high dame stood half aghast, She knew some evil on the blast; The elvish page fell to the ground, And, shuddering, mutter'd, u Found '. found! found 1»

XXV.

Then sudden, through the darltetfd air

A flash of lightning came;
So broad, so bright, so red the glare,

The castle seem’d on fl-'lll1t5'.
Clanced every rafter of the hall,
Glanced every shield upon the wall;
Each trophied beam, each sculptured stone,
Were instant seen, and instant gone;
Full through the guests’ bedazzled band
ltesistless flash'd the levin-brand,
And fill'd the hall with smoul<lering"smokc,
As on the elvish page it broke.
It broke, with thunder long and loud,
Dismay'd the brave, appall'd the proud,—-

From sea to sea the larum rung;
On lierwiclt wall, and at Carlislc withal,

To arms the startled warders sprung. , When ended was the dreadful roar,

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XX-VI.

Some heard a voice in Branksome-hall,

Some saw a sight, not seen by all;

That dreadful voice was heard by some,

Cry, with loud summons, KGYLBIN, come!» (23) And on the spot where burst the brand,

Just where the page had flung him down,

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Some saw an arm, and some a hand,

And some the waving of a gown.
The guests in silence pray’d and shook,
And terror dimm'd each lofty look.
But none of all the astonislrd train
Was so dismay'd as Deloraine;
His blood did freeze, his brain did burn,
‘T was fear'd his mind would ne'er return;
For he was speechless, ghastly, wan,
Like him of whom the story ran,

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XXVI].

The anxious crowd, with horror pale,

All trembling heard the wondrous tale.
No sound was made, no word was spoke,
Till noble Angus silence broke;

And he a solemn sacred plight

Did to St Bride of Douglas make, (2 5)
That he a pilgrimage would take

To lllelrose Abbey, for the sake

Of Michael's restless sprite.

Then each, to ease his troubled breast,

To some bless'd saint his prayers ad(lress’d;
Some to St Modan made their vows,

Some to St Mary of the Lowes,

Some to the Holy-Rood of Lisle;

Some to our Ladye of the Isle;

Each did his patron witness make,

That he such pilgrimage would take,

And monks should sing, and bells should toll,
All for the weal of Michael's soul.

While vows were ta'eu, and prayers were pray’d

’T is said the noble dame, dismay'd,
Renounced for aye dark magic's aid.

XXVIU.

Nought of the bridal will I tell,
Which after in short space befel ;
Nor how brave sons, and daughters fair,
Bless'd Teviot's Flower and Cranstoun’s heir;
After such dreadful scene, ’t were vain
To wake the note of mirth again.
More meet it were to mark the day

Of penitence and prayer divine,
When pilgrim chiefs, in sad array,

Sought Melrose' holy shrine.

XXIX.

With naked foot, and sackcloth vest,
And arms enfolded on his breast,

Did every pilgrim go,-
The standcrs-by might hear unneath,
Footstep, or voice, or high-drawn breath,

Through all the lengthen'd row :

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