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I/Her son pursued his infant play. A fancied moss-trooper, (13) the boy The truncheon of a spear bestrode, And round the hall, right merrily, ' » In inimic foray‘ rode. DVEII bearded knights, in arms grown old, Share in his frolic gambnls bore, Albeit their hearts, of rugged mould, \‘\'ere stubborn as the steel they wore. For the gray warriors prophesied, How the brave boy, in future war, , Should tame the unicorn's pride, Exalt the crescent and the star. 1 (14)


The Ladye forgot her purpose high

One moment—and no more;
One moment gazed with a mother's eye,

As she paused at the arched door:
Then, from amid the armed train,
She call'd to her William of Deloraine. (I5)



A stark moss—troopiug Scott was he,

As e'er couch'd Border lance by knee: Thfough Solway sands, through Tlarrass moss, Blindfold he knew the paths to cross;

By wily turns, by desperate bounds,

Had baffled Percy's best blood-hounds; (I6) In Eske, or Liddel, fords were none,

But he would ride them, one by one;

Alike to him‘ was time or tide,

December’s snow, or July's pride;

Alike to him was tide or time,

Moonless midnight, or matin prime:
Steady of heart and stout of hand,

As ever drove prey from Cumberland; .
Five times outlawed had he been,

By England's king and Scotland's queen.


u Sir William of Deloraine, good at need,
Mount tltec on the wiglitest steed;
Spare not to spur, nor stint to ride,
Until you come to fair Tweedside;
And in Melrose‘s holy pile
Seek thou the monk of St Marys aisle.
Greet the father well from me;

Say, that the fated hour is come,
And to-night he shall watch with thee,

To win the treasure of the tomb : For this will be St Michael's night, And, though stars be dim, the moon is bright; And the cross, of bloody red, Will point to the grave of the Mighty Dead.

XXIII. << What he gives thee, see then keep, Stay not thou for food or sleep I Be it scroll, or be it book, Into it, knight, thou must not look; If thou readest, thou art lorn! Better thou hadst ne'er been born.»



u 0 swiftly can speed my dapple-gray steed, Which drinks of the _Teviot clear!

Ere break of day,» the warrior 'gan say, - - I uAgain will I be here:

And safer by none maylthy errand be done,
Than, noble dame, by me;

Letter nor line know I never a one,
Were 't my neck-verse at Hairibeeml


Soon in his saddle sate he fast,

And soon the steep descent he past,

Soon cross'd the sounding barbican,='

And soon the Teviot side he won.

Eastward the wooded path he rode,

Green hazels o'er his basnet nod;

He pass'd the Peel3 of Goldiland,

And cross'd old Il0t‘thwick's roaring strand; Dimly he view'd the Moat-hill's mound, (17) Where Druid shades still llitted round:

In Hawick twinkled many alight;

Behind him soon they set in night;

And soon he spurr'd his courser keen,
Beneath the tower of Hazeldean. (18)


The clattering hoofs the watchmen mark ;— aStand, ho! thou courier of the dark.» a For Branksome, ho !» the knight rejoin'd, And left the friendly tower behind. He turn'd him now from Teviot side

And, guided by the tinkling rill,
Northward‘the dark ascent did ride,

And gain'd the moor at ilorsliehill;
Broad on the left before him lay,
For many a mile, the Roman way.4


A moment now he slack'd his speed,

A moment breathed his panting steed,
Drew saddle-girth and corslet band,

And loosen'd in the sheath his brand.

On Minto-crags the moon-beams glint, (19)
Where Barnhill hew’d his bed of flint;
Who flung his outlaw'd limbs to rest
Where falcons hang their giddy nest,

'lllid cliffs from whence his eagle eye

For many a league his prey could spy;
Cliffs, doubling, on their echoes borne,

The terrors of the robber’s horn;

Cliffs which, for many a later year,

The warhling Doric reed shall heat‘,

When some sad swain shall teach the grove Ambition is no cure for love!

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Down from the lakes did raving come, Creating each wave with tawny foam,

Like the mane of a chestnut steed. In vain! no torrent, deep or broad,

. Might bar the hold moss-troopers road.


At the first plunge the horse sunk low,
And the.water broke o'er the saddle-how;
Above the foaming tide, I ween,

Scarce half the charger's neck was seen;
For he was bardedI from counter to tail,
And the rider was arrifd complete in mail:
Never heavier man and horse

Stemm'd a midnight torrent's force.

The warriors very plume, I say,

Was dagglcd by the dashing spray;

Yet, through good heart and Our Ladye‘s grace, At length he gain'tl the landing-place.

XXX. Now Bowden Moor the march-man won, And sternly shook his plutned head, As glanced his eye o'er Halidonf (21) For on his soul the slaughter red

Of that unhallow'd morn arose,

When first the Scott and Car were foes;
When royal James behold the fray
Prize to the victor of the day;

When Horne and Douglas, in thevan,
Bore down Buccleuch‘s retiring clan,
Till gallant Ccssfords heart-blood dear
l‘teek'd on dark Elliot's Border spear.


ln bitter mood he spurred fast,

And soon the hated heath was past;

And far beneath, in lustre wan,

Old Melros' rose, and fair Tweed ran: ('12)
Like some tall rock, with lichens gray,
Rose, dimly huge, the dark ahbaye.

When Hawick he pass'd, had curfew rung,
Now midnight lauds3 were in Melrose sung.
The sound upon the fitful gale,

In solemn wise did rise and fail,

Like that wild harp, whose magic tone , Is waken'd by the winds alone.

But when Melrose he reach'd, 't was silence all; He meetly stabled his steed in stall,

And sought the convent’s lonely wall.

Heat: paused the harp : and with its swell The master's tire and courage fell: Dejectediy, and low, he how‘d,

And, gazing timid on the crowd,

Ile seem'd to seek, in every eye,

If they approved his minstrelsy;

And, diffident of present praise,
Somewhat he spoke of former days,

And how old age, and wandering long,
Had done his hand and harp some wrong.

XXVIII. Unchallenged, thence pass'd Deloraine To ancient Riddel's fair domain, (20) Where Aill, from mountains freed,

' Halribee, the place of executing the Border marttnders, at Car

lisle. The neck-verse in the beginning of the 51st ptalm, Miserere
um’, etc-, nuciontly read by criminals claiming the benefit of clergy.

1 Bnrltiean, the defence of the outer gate of a feudal castle.
‘ Perl. a Border tower.
I An ancient Roman road. crossing through part at‘ Roxhurghshire.

I Brmied, or hnrbod,—applied to a horse aceotmed with defensive

* Halidon-hill, on which the hattle of Melrose was fought.
‘ Leads, the midnight service of the catholic church.

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Ir thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,

Go visit it by the pale moon-light;

For the gay beams of lightsome day

Gild but to flout the ruin_s gray.

When the broken arches are black in night,

And each shafted oriel glimmers white;

When the cold light's uncertain shower

Streams on the ruin'd central tower;

When buttress and buttress alternately

Seem framed of ebon and ivory;

When silver edges the imagery,

And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die; (|) When distant Tweed is heard to rave,

And the owlet to boot o'er the dead man's grave; Then go—but go alone the while

Theu view St David's ruin'd pile; (2)

And, home returning, soothly swear,

Was never scene so sad and fair!


Short halt did Deloraine make there;
Little reck'd he of the scene so fair!
With daggers hilt, on the wicket strong,
He struck full loud, and struck full long.
The porter hurried to the gate-
u Who knocks so loud, and knocks so late?-
tt From Branksome I,» the warrior cried,
And straight the wicket open'd widei
For Branksome's chiefs had in battle stood,

To fence the rights of fair ltlelrose;
And lands and livings, manya rood,

llad gifted the shrine for their souls‘ repose. (3)


Bold Deloraine his errand said ;

The porter bent his humble head; With torch in hand, and feet unshod, Audnoiseless step, the path he trod: The arched cloisters far and wide Rang to the Warrior's clanking stride; Till, stooping low his lofty crest,

He enter'd the cell of the ancient priest, And lifted his barred aventayle, '

To hail the Monk of St Mary's aisle.

IV. a The Ladye of Branksome greets thee by me; ‘Says, that the fated hour is come,

' Annuzgle, visor of the helmet.


And that to-night I shall Watch with thee, To win the treasure of the tomb.»

From sackcloth couch the monk arose, With toil his stiffen'd limbs he rear'd|

A hundred years had flung their snows On his thin locks and floating beard.


And strangely on the knight look'd he,.

And his blue eyes gleam'd wild and wide; it And darcst thou, warrior, seek to see

What heaven and hell alike would hide? My breast, in belt of iron pent,

With shirt of hair and scourge of thorn, For threescore years, in penance spent,

My knees those llinty stones have worn; Yet all too little to atone . . For knowing what should ne'er be known. Wouldst thou thy every future year

In ceaseless prayer and penance drie, Yet wait thy latter end with fear

Then, daring warrior, follow me!»

VI. 4 Penance, father, will! none; Prayer know I hardly one; For mass or prayer can I rarely tarry, Save to patter an Ave Mary, When I ride on a Border foray: (4) Other prayer can I none; So speed me my errand, and let me be gone.»

VII. Again on the knight look'd the churchman old, And again he sighed heavily; For he had himself been a. warrior hold, And fought in Spain and Italy. And he thonghton the days that were long sinceby, When his limbs were strong, and his courage was high :—

Now slow and faint he led the way, \\'here,cloister'tl round, the garden lay;

The pillar'd arches were over their head,

And beneath their feet were the bones of the deud.(5)


Spreading herbs and flowerets bright
Glisten'd with the dew of night;
Nor herb nor lloweret glisten'd there,
But was carved in the cloister'd arches as fair.
The monk gazed long on the lovely moon,

Then into the night he looked forth;
And red and bright the streamers light

Were dancing in the glowing north. So had he seen, in fair Castile,

The youth in glittering squadrons start; Sudden the flying jennet wheel,

And hurl the unexpected dart. (6) He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright, That spirits were riding the northern light.

IX. By a steel-clenched postern door, They enter'd now the chancel tall; The darken'd roof rose high aloof On pillars, lofty, and light, and small:


The key-stone, that loclt'd each ribbed aisle,
Was a tleur-de-lis,or a quatre-feuille;

The corhells l were carved grotesque and grim,
And the pillars, with cluster'd shafts so trim;

With base and with capital flourish‘d around,
Secm'd bundles of lances which garlands had hound.


Full many a scutcheon and banner, riven,
Shook to the cold night-wind of heaven,

Around the screened altar‘s pale;
And there the dying lamps did burn

_ Before thy low and lonely urn,

O gallant chief of Ottcrhurne! (7)

And thine, dark knight of Liddesdale! (8)

0 fading honours of the dead !
0 high ambition, lowly laid !
The moon on the east oriel shone (9)
Through slender shafts of shapely stone,

By foliaged tracery combined; Thouwouldst have thought some fairy's hand 'Twixt poplars straight the ozier wand,

In many a freakish knot, had twined; Then framed a spell, when the work was done, And changed the willow-wreaths to stone. The silver light so pale and faint,

Show'd manya prophet, and many a saint,

Whose image on the glass was dyed;

Full in the midst his cross of red
Triumphant Michael brandished,
Add trampled the Apostates pride.
The moon-beam kiss'd the holy pane,
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain.


They sate them down on a marble stone,

A Scottish monarch slept below; (io) Thus spoke the monk, in solemn tone

ul was not always a man of woe; For Paynim countries I have trod, And fought beneath the cross of God : Now, strange to my eyes thine arms appear, And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear.

XIII. 41 In these far climes, it was my lot To meet the wondrous Michael Scott: (I 1) A wizard‘ of such dreaded fame, That when, in Salamanca's cave, (iz) Him listed his magic wand to wave, The bellswould ring in Notre Dame! (:3) Some of his skill he taught to me; ‘ And, warrior, I could say to thee The words that cleft Eildon hills in three, And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone: (:4) But to speak them were a deadly sin; And for having but thought them my heart within, A treble penance must be done.

XIV. I When Michael lay on his dying bed, I-lis conscience was awakened;

' Cm-bells, the projections from which the arches spring, usually eat in a fantastic face, or mask.


He bethought him of his sinful dead,
And he gave me a sign to come with speed;
lwas in Spain when the morning rose,

But I stood by his bed ere evening close.
The words may not again be said

That he spoke to me, on death-bed laid;
They would rend this abbaye's massy nave,
And pile it in heaps above his grave.

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With beating heart to the task he went;

His sinewy frame o‘er the grave-stone bent;
With bar of iron heaved amain,

Till the toil-drops fell from his brows,like rain.
It was by dint of passing strength

That he moved the messy stone at length.

I would you had been there to see

How the light broke forth so gloriously,
Streanfd upward to the chancel roof,

And through the galleries far aloof!

No earthly flame blazed e'er so bright :

It shone like heaven's own blessed light;

And, issuing from the tomb,
Show'd the monks cowl, and visage pale,
Danced on the dark-brow'd Warrior's mail,
And kiss’d his waving plume.

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