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Then fast the mother's tears did seek
To dew the infant's kindling cheek.
All loose her negligent attire
All loose her golden hair,
Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire,
And wept in wild despair.
But not alone the bitter tear
Had filial grief supplied;
For hopeless love, and anxious fear,
Had lent their mingled tide:
Nor in her mother's altered eye
Dared she to look for sympathy.
Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan,
With Car in arms had stood,
When Mathouse burn to Melrose ran
All purple with their blood;
And well she knew, her mother dread,
Before lord Cranstoun she should wed,
Would see her on her dying bed.
Of noble race the Ladye came;
Her father was a clerk of fame,
Of Bethune's line of Picardie:
He learned the art, that none may name,
In Padua, far beyond the sea. -
Men said he changed his mortal frame
By feat of magic mystery;
For when, in studious mood, he paced
St. Andrew's cloistered hall,
His form no darkening shadow traced
Upon the sunny wall!
And of his skill, as bards avow,
He taught that Ladye fair,
Till to her bidding she could bow
The viewless forms of air.
And now she sits in secret bower,
In old lord David's western tower,
And listems to a heavy sound,
That moans the mossy turrets round. *
Is it the roar of Teviot's tide,
That chafes against the scaur's" red side :
Is it the wind that swings the oaks?
Is it the echo from the rocks?
What may it be, the heavy sound,
That moans old Branksome's turrets round
At the sullen, moaning sound,
The bandogs bay and howl;
And, from the turrets round,
Loud whoops the startled owl.
In the hall, both squire and knight
Swore that a storm was near,
And looked forth to view the might;
But the night was still and clear?
* Segur, a precipitous bank of earth.
From the sound of Teviot's tide,
Chafing with the mountain's side,
From the groan of the wind-swung oak,
From the sullen echo of the rock,
From the voice of the eoming storm,
The Ladye knew it well
It was the Spirit of the Flood that spoke,
And be called on the Spirit of the Fell.
XV. RIVER SPIRIT. “Sleepest thou, brother?”
******** ------------------ “Brother, nay
On my hills the moon beams play.
From Craik-cross to Skelthillpen,
By every rill, in every glen,
Merry elves their morrice pacing,
To aerial minstrelsy,
Emerald rings on brown heath tracing,
Trip it deft and merrily.
Up, and mark their nimble feet!
Up, and list their music sweet!”
“Tears of an imprisoned maiden
Mix with my polluted stream;
Margaret of Branksome, sorrow laden,
Mourns beneath the moon's pale beam.
Tell me, thou, who viewest the stars,
When shall cease these feudal jars?
What shall be the maiden's fate?
Who shall be the maiden's mate?
“Arthur's slow wain his course doth roll,
In utter darkness round the pole;
The Northern Bear lowers black and grim;
Orion's studded belt is dim;
Twinkling faint, and distant far,
Shimmers through mist.each planet star;
Ill may I read their high decree
But no kind influence deign they shower
On Teviot's tide, and Branksome's tower,
Till pride be quelled, and love be free.”
The unearthly voices ceast,
And the heavy sound was still;
It died on the river's breast,
It died on the side of the hill.
But round lord David's tower
The sound still floated near;
For it rung in the Ladye's bower,
And it rung in the Ladye's ear.
She raised her stately head,
And her heart throbbed high with pride:-
“Your mountains shall bend,
And your streams ascend,
Ere Margaret be our foeman's bride!”
The Ladye sought the lofty hall, Where many a bold retainer lay, And, with jocund din, among them all, Her son pursued his infant play. A fancied mosstrooper, the boy The truncheon of a spear bestrode, And round the hall, right merrily, In mimic foray" rode. Even bearded knights, in arms grown old, . Share in his frolic gambols bore, Albeit their hearts, of rugged mould, Were 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 crescents, and the start
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 called to her William of Deloraine.
* Foray, a predatory inroad. t Alluding to the armorial bearings of the Scotts and Carst