« 前へ次へ »
THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
Bard: Lord tled burgorder Wounedireaden,
Many a valiant knight is here ;
But he, the Chieftain of them all,
Bards long shall tell
How Lord Walter fell! Jesu Maria, shield us well!
When startled burghers fled, afar, No living wight, save the Ladye alone,
The furies of the Border war;
When the streets of high Dunedin
And heard the slogan's* deadly yoll-
Then the chief of Branksome feil. Knight, and page, and household squire,
VIII. Loitered through the lofty hall,
Can piety the discord heal, Or crowded round the ample fire.
Or stanch the death-feud's enmity ? The stag-hounds, weary with the chase,
Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal,
I Can love of blessed charity?
No! vainly to each holy shrine,
In mutual pilgrimage, they drew;
Implored, in vain, The grace divine,
For chiefs their owns red falchions slew : Nine-and-twenty knights of fame
While Cessford owns the rule of Car, Hung their shields in Branksome Hall;
While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott, Nine-and-twenty squires of name
The slaughter'd chiofs, the mortal jar,
Shall never, never be forgot!
In sorrow, O'er Lord Walter's bier,
The warlike foresters had bent;
And many a flower, and many a tear,
Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent:
But o'er her warrior's bloody bier With belted sword, and spur on heel:
The Ladye dropped nor flower nor tear! They quitted not their harness bright,
Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain, Neither by day, nor yet by night:
Had locked the source of softer woe; They lay down to rest
And burning pride, and high disdain, With corslet laced,
Forbade the rising tear to flow, Pillowed on buckler cold and hard :
Until, amid his sorrowing clan, They carved at the meal
Her son lisped from the nurse's kneeWith gloves of steel,
"And, if I live to be a man, And they drank the red wine through the hel
My father's death revenged shall be !" met barred.
Then fast the mother's tears did seek
All loose her negligent attire, Waited the beck of the warders ten ;
All loose her golden hair, Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight,
Hung Margaret o'er her slaughter'd sirc, Stood saddled in stable day and night,
And wept in wild despair. Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow,
But not alone the bitter tear And with Jedwood-axe at saddle-bow;
Had filial grief supplied; A hundred more fed free in stall:
For hopeless love and anxious fear
Had lent their mingled tide:
Nor in her mother's altered eye
Dared she to look for sympathy. Why watch these warriors, armed, by night?
Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan,
With Car in arms had stood,
When Mathouse-burn to Melrose rali,
All purple with their blood. To see St. George's red-cross streaming
And well she knew, her mother dread,
Before Lord Cranstonn she shonld wed,
Would see her on her dying bed.
on as frugels, bo makarriorhe steeds mois
The Northern Bear lowers black and grim; of noble race the Ladye came:
Orion's studded belt is dim; Her father was a clerk of fame,
Twinkling faint, and distant far, Of Bethune's line of Picardie:
Shimmers through mist each planet star; He learned the art that none inay name,
Ill may I read their high decree: In Padua, far beyond the sea.
But no kind influence deign they shower
On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower, Men said he changed his mortal frame By feat of magic mystery ;
Till pride be quelled, and love be free." For when in studious mood he paced
XVIII. St. Andrew's cloistered hall,
The unearthly voices ceast, His form no darkening shadow traced
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 rang in the Ladye's bower,
And it rung in the Ladye's ear. The viewless forms of air.
She raised her stately head, And now she sits in secret bower,
And her heart throbbed high with pride : In old Lord David's western tower,
"Your mountains shall bend, And listens to a heavy sound, That moans the mossy turrets round.
And your streams ascend, Is it the roar of Teviot's tide,
Ere Margaret be our focman's bride!" That chafes against the scaur's* red side?
ΧΙΧ. Is it the wind that swings the oaks?
The Ladye sought the lofty hall, Is it the echo from the rocks?
Where many a bold retainer lay. What may it be, the heavy sound,
And, with jocund din, among them all,
Her son pursued his infant play.
A fancied moss-trooper, the boy
The truncheon of a spear bestrode, The ban-dogs bay and howl,
And round the hall, right merrily,
In mimic foray* rode.
Even bearded knights, in arms grown old, In the hall both squire and knight
Share in his frolic-gambols bore, Swore that a storm was near,
Albeit their hearts, of rugged mould, And looked forth to view the night,
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 Star.t
The Ladye forgot her purpose high
One moment, and no more;
One moment gazed with a mother's eye
As she pansed at the arched door; And he called on the Spirit of the Fell."
Then, from amid the armed train,
She called to her William of Deloraine.
A stark moss-trooping Scott was he “Sleepest thou, brother?"
As e'er couched border lance by knee:
Through Solway sands, through Tarras moss, | Brother, nay;
Blindfold, he knew the path to cross :
By wily turns, by desperate bounds, On my hill the moonbeams play
Had baffled Percy's best bloodhounds; From Craik-cross to Skelfhill-pen,
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, River Spirit. Tears of an imprisoned maiden
XXII. Mix with my polluted stream;
“Sir William of Deloraine, good at need, Margaret of Branksome, sorrow-laden,
Mount thee on the whitest steed;
Spare not to spur, nor stint to ride,
Until thou come to fair Tweedside; What shall be the maiden's fate?
And in Melrose's holy pile Who shall be the maiden's mate?"
Seek thon the Monk of St. Mary's 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 :
* Foray, a predatory inroad.
+ Alluding to the arinorial bearings of the * Scaur, a precipitous bank of earth.
Scotts and Cars.
For this will be St. Michael's night,
XXVIII. And, though stars be diin, the moon is bright;
Unchallenged, thence past Deloraine And the Cross, of bloody red,
To ancient Riddel's fair domain, Will point to the grave of the mighty dead.
Where Aill, from mountains freed,
Down from the lakes did raving come:
Each wave was crested with tawny foam, “What he gives thee, see thou keep;
Like the mane of a chesnut steed. Stay not thou for food or sleep:
In vain! no torrent, deep or broad,
Might bar the bold moss-trooper's road.
At the first plunge the horse sunk low,
And the water broke o'er the saddle-bow;
Above the foaming tide, I ween,
For he was barded* from counter to tail, Ere break of day," the warrior 'gan say,
And the rider was armed complete in inail; "Again will I be here:
Never heavier man and horse
The warrior's very plume, I say,
Was daggled by the dashing spray ; Wer't my neck-verse at Hairibee."*
Yet, through good heart, and our Ladye's grace,
At length he gained the landing-place.
Now Bowden Moor the march-man won, Soon crossed the sounding barbican,t
And sternly shook his plumed head, And soon the Teviot side he won.
As glanced his eye on Halidon;t Eastward the wooded path he rode ;
For on his soul the slaughter red Green hazels o'r his basnet nod;
Of that unhallowed morn arose, He passed the Peelt of Godiland,
When first the Scott and Car were foes; And crossed old Borthwick's roaring strand; When royal James beheld the fray, Dimly he viewed the Moat-hill's mound,
Prize to the victor of the day; Where Druid shades still flitted round:
When Home and Douglas, in the van, In Hawick twinkled many a light;
Bore down Buccleuch's retiring clan, Behind him soon they set in night;
Till gallant Cessford's heart-blood dear And soon he spurred his courser keen
Reeked on dark Elliot's Border spear.
In bitter mood he spurred fast,
And soon the hated heath was past; “Stand, ho! thou courier of the dark."
And far beneath, in lustre wan, " For Branksome, ho!" the knight rejoined, Old Melros' rose, and fair Tweed ran: And left the friendly tower behind.
Like some tall rock, with lichens gray, He turned him now from Teviotside,
Seemed, dimly huge, the dark Abbaye. And, guided by the tinkling rill,
When Hawick he passed, had curfew rung, Northward the dark ascent did ride,
Now midnight laudst were in Melrose sung. And gained the moor at Horseliehill:
The sound upon the fitful gale, Broad on the left before him lay,
In solemn wise did rise and fail, For many a mile, the Roman way.s
Like that wild harp, whose magic tone
Is wakened by the winds alone.
But when Melrose he reached, 'twas silence all;
He meetly stabled his steed in stall,
And sought the convent's lonely wall.
Here paused the harp; and with its swell
The Master's fire and courage fell : Where Barnhill hewed his bed of fint;
Dejectedly, and low, he bowed, Who flung his outlawed limbs to rest,
And, gazing timid on the crowd, Where falcons hang their giddy nest,
He seemed to seek in every eye Mid cliffs, from whence his eagle-eye
If they approved his minstrelsy; For many a league his prey could spy ;
And, diffident of present praise, Cliffs, donbling, on their echoes borne,
Somewhat he spoke of former days, The terrors of the robber's horn;
And how old age, and wandering long, Cliffs, which, for many a later year,
Had done his harp and hand some wrong. The warbling Doric reed shall hear.
The Duchess, and her daughters fair, When some sad swain shall teach the grove,
And every gentle ladye there,
Each after each, in due degree,
His hand was true, his voice was clear, * Hairibee, the place of executing the Border
And much they longed the rest to hear. manranders at Carlisle. The neck-verse is the
Encouraged thus, the aged man, beginning of Psalm Li, Meserere mei, &c., an
After meet rest, again began. ciently read by criminals, claiming the benefit of clergy.
* Barded, or barbed, applied to a horse act Barbican, the defence of the onter gate of a
contred with defensive armour. fendal castle.
Halidon Hill, on which the battle of the same I Peel, a Border tower.
name was fought in 1333. S An ancient Roman road, crossed through Lauds, the midnight service of the Catholic part of Roxburghshire.
od need hestre weeds graves
kazing tin low, honrage for its swe
And again he sighed heavily;
For he had himself been a warrior bold, Go visit it by the pale moonlight;
And fought in Spain and Italy. For the gay beams of lightsome day
And he thought on the days that were long since Gild, but to flout, the rains gray,
by, When the broken arches are black in night,
When his limbs were strong, and his courage And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
was high:When the cold light's uncertain shower
Now, slow and faint, he led the way, Streams on the ruined central tower ;
Where, cloistered roand, the garden lay : When buttress and buttress, alternately,
The pillared arches were over their head, Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
And beneath their feet were the bones of the When silver edges the imagery,
Glistened with the dew of night;
Nor herb nor floweret glistened there, And, home returning, soothly swear,
But was carved in the cloister-arches as fair. Was never scene so sad and fair!
The Monk gazed long on the lovely moon, II.
Then into the night he looked forth;
And red and bright the streamers light Short halt did Deloraine make there;
Were dancing in the glowing north. Little recked he of the scene so fair.
So had he seen, in fair Castile, With dagger's hilt, on the wicket strong,
The youth in glittering squadrons start He struck full loud, and struck full long.
Sudden the flying jennet wheel, The porter hurried to the gate
And hurl the unexpected dart. • Who knocks so loud, and knocks so late ?"
He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright, “From Branksome I," the warrior cried;
That spirits were riding the northern light. And straight the wicket opened wide: For Branksome's chiefs had in battle stood,
To fence the rights of fair Melrose ; And lands and livings, many a rood,
By a steel-clenched postern door, Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose.
They entered now the chancel tall;
The darkened roof rose high aloof
On pillars, lofty, and light, and small;
The key-stone, that locked each ribbed aisle, The porter bent his humble head;
| Was a fleur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille ; With torch in hand, and feet unshod,
The corbells* were carved grotesque and griin; And noiseless step, the path he trod;
And the pillars, with clustered shafts so trim, The arched cloisters, far and wide,
With base and with capital flourished around, Rang to the warrior's clanking stride;
Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had Till, stooping low his lofty crest,
Full many a scutcheon and banner, riven,
Shook to the cold night wind of heaven.
Around the screened altar's pale;
Before thy low and lonely arn, And that to-night I shall watch with thee,
O gallant chief of Otterburne, To win the treasure of the tomb."
And thine, dark Knight of Liddisdale ! From sackcloth couch the monk arose,
10 fading honours of the dead! With toil his stiffened limbs he reared;
O high ambition, lowly laid !
The moon on the east oriel shone, And strangely on the Knight looked he,
Through slender shafts of shapely stone, And his blue eyes gleamed wild and wide,
By foliaged tracery combined; . And, dar'st thou, warrior! seek to see
Thou would'st have thought some fairy's hand What heaven and hell alike would hide!
Twixt poplars straight the osier wand, My breast, in belt of iron bent,
In many a freakish knot, had twined; With shirt of hair and scourge of thorn ;
Then framed a spell, when the work was done, For threescore years, in penance spent,
And changed the willow-wreaths to stone. My knees those fiinty stones have worn;
The silver light, so pale and faint, Yet all too little to atone
Showed many a prophet, and many a saint, For knowing what should ne'er be known.
Whose image on the glass was dyed: Would'st thou thy every future year
Full in the midst, his Cross of Red In ceaseless prayer and penance drie,
Triumphant Michael brandished, Yet wait thy latter end with fear
And trampled the apostate's pride, Then, daring warrior, follow me!"
The moon-beam kissed the holy pane,
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain, VI.
XII. * Penance, father, will I none; Prayer know I hardly one;
They sate them down on a marble stone, For mass or prayer can I rarely tarry,
A Scottish monarch slept below; Save to patter an Ave Mary,
Thus spoke the Monk, in solemn tone: When I ride on a Border foray:
"I was not always a man of woe; Other prayer can I none; So speed me my errand, and let me begone." * Corbells, the projections from which the
arches spring, usually cut in a fantastic face, or * Aventayle, visor of the helmet.
Anays that of Braz
Sed tor shatteriel she