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And bin spair his bed ein be saied laid:
Andrampled the battlelorain
His breathe morse and remove ors sulain,
For Paynim countries I have trod,
Streamed upward to the chancel roof! And fought beneath the Cross of God;
And through the galleries far aloof! Now sti'ange to my eyes thine arms appear,
No earthly flame blazed e'er so bright, And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear. It shone like Heaven's own blessed light;
And issuing from the tomb,
Showed the Monk's cowl and visage pale, * In these fair climes it was my lot
Danced on the dark-browed Warrior's mall, To meet the wondrous Michael Scott,
And kissed his waving plume.
Before their eyes the Wizard lay
As if he had not been dead a day. And, Warrior, I could say to thee
His hoary beard in silver rolled, The words that cleft Eildon hills in three,
He seemed some seventy winters old. And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone!
A palmer's amice wrapped him round But to speak them were a deadly sin,
With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,
Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea. And for having but thought thein my heart
His left hand held his Book of Mightwithin,
A silver cross was in his right; A treble penance must be done.
The lamp was placed beside his knee. xiv.
High and majestic was his look, " When Michael lay on his dying bed
At which the fellest fiends had shook, His conscience was awakened;
And all unruffled was his face ;
They trusted his soul had gotton grace.
Often had William of l'eloraine The words may not again be said
Rode through the battle's bloody plain, That he spoke to me on death-bed laid:
And trampled down the warriors slain, They would rend this Abbaye's massy nave,
And neither known remouse or awe: And pile it in heaps above his grave.
Yet now remorse and awe he owned;
His breath came thick, his head SW80) yound, xv.
When this strange scene of death he saw. “I swore to bury his Mighty Book,
Bewildered and unnerved he stood, That never mortal inight therein look ;
And the priest prayed fervently and loud ; And never to tell where it was hid,
With eyes averted prayed heSave at his chief of Branksome's need;
He might not endure the sight to see,
Of the men he had loved so brotherly.
XXI. When the bell tolled one, and the moon was And when the priest his death-prayer had bright;
prayed And I dug his chamber among the dead,
This unto Deloraine he said :
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone!"
Then Deloraine in terror took " It was a night of woe and dread
From the cold hand the Mighty Book, When Michael in the tomb I laid,
With iron clasped, and with iron bound: Strange sounds along the chancel past,
He thought, as he took it, the dead man The banners waved without a blast."
frowned ; Still spoke the Monk when the bell tolled one, But the glare of the sepulchral light I tell you that a braver man
Perchance had dazzled the Warrior's sight Than William of Deloraine, good at need, Against a foe ne'er spurred a steed;
XXII. Yet somewhat was he chilled with dread,
When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb, And his hair did bristle upon his head.
The night returned in double gloom;
For the moon had gone down, and the stars were XVII.
few; "Lo, Warrior! now the Cross of Red
And as the Knight and Priest withdrew, Points to the grave of the mighty dead;
With wavering steps and dizzy brain, Within it burns a wondrous light
They hardly might the postern gain. To chase the spirits that love the night :
"Tis said, as through the aisles they passed, That lamp shall burn inquenchably
They heard strange noises on the blast; Until the eternal doom shall be."
And through the cloister-galleries small, Slow moved the Monk to the broad flag-stone Which at mid-height thread the chancel wall, Which the bloody Cross was traced upon :
Loud sobs, and laughter louder, ran, He pointed to a secret nook
And voices unlike the voice of man; An iron bar the Warrior took ;
As if the fiends kept holiday, And the Monk made a sign with his withered Because these spells were brought to-day. hand,
I cannot tell how the truth may be ;
I say the tale as 'twas said to me.
Now, hie thee hence," the Father said, His sinewy frame o'er the gravestone bent ; “And when we are on death-bed laid, With bar of iron heaved amain,
O may our dear Ladye, and sweet St. John, Til the toil-drops fell from his brows like rain. Forgive our souls for the deed we have done!" It was by dint of passing strength
The Monk returned him to his cell, That he moved the massy stone at length.
And many a prayer and penance sped: I would you had been there to see
When the convent met at the noontide bellHow the light broke forth so gloriously
The Monk of St. Mary's aisle was dead!
Begand to see Mary, as
neath an Dwarf had helm a
was a domike
Before the cross was the body laid,
And how the Knight, with tender fire, With hands clasped fast, as if still be prayed.
To paint his faithful passion strove:
Swore he might at her feet expire,
But never, never cease to love:
And, half consenting, half denied. He was glad when he passed the tombstones And said that she would die a maid: gray,
Yet, might the bloody feud be stayed, Which girdle round the fair Abbaye;
Henry of Cranstoon, and only he, For the mystic Book, to his bosom prest,
Margaret of Branksome's choice should be.
| Alas! fair dames, your hopes are vain! Began to brighten Cheviot gray;
My harp has lost the enchanting strain ; He joyed to see the cheerful light,
Its lightness would my age reprove : And he said Ave Mary, as well he might.
My hairs are gray, my limbs are old,
My heart is dead, my veins are cold
I may not, must not, sing of love.
Beneath an oak, mossed o'er by eld,
The Baron's Dwarf his courser held. The wild birds told their warbling tale,
And held his crested helm and spear And wakened every flower that blows;
That Dwarf was scarcely an earthly man, And peeped forth the violet pale,
If the tales were true that of him ran And spread her breast the mountain rose :
Through all the Border, far and near. And lovelier than the rose so red,
'Twas said, when the Baron a hunting rode Yet paler than the violet pale,
Through Reedsdale's glens, but rarely trod, She early left her sleepless,
He heard a voice cry, "Lost! lost lost!" The fairest maid of Teviotdale.
And, like tennis-bali by raquet tossed,
A leap, of thirty feet and three,
Made from the gorge this elfin shape,
Distorted like some dwarfish ape, Why does fair Margaret so early awake,
And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee. And don her kirtle so hastilie :
Lord Cranstoun was some whit dismayed; And the silken knots, which in hurry she would Tis said that five good miles he rade, make,
To rid him of his company; Why tremble her slender fingers to tie :
But where he rode one mile, the Dwarf ran Why does she stop, and look often around,
four, As she glides down the secret stair;
And the Dwarf was first at the castle door. And why does she pat the shaggy bloodhound, As he rouses him up from his lair ;
XXXII. And, though she passes the postern alone,
Use lessens marvel, it is said. Why is not the watchman's bugle blown?
This elvish Dwarf with the Baron staid:
Little he ate, and less he spoke,
Nor mingled with the menial flock;
And oft apart his arms he tossed, Lest her watchful mother hear her tread;
And often muttered, “Lost! lost'! lost!" The Ladye caresses the rough bloodhound,
He was waspish, arch, and litherlie, Lest his voice should waken the castle round;
But well Lord Cranstoun served he: The watchman's bugle is not blown,
| And he of his service was full fain; For he was her foster-father's son;
For once he had been ta'en or slain, And she glides through the greenwood at dawn An' it had not been his ministry. of light,
Ali, between Home and Hermitage,
For the Baron went on pilgrimage, And under the hawthorn's boughs are set.
And took with him this elvish Page, A fairer pair were never seen
To Mary's chapel of the Lowes : To meet beneath the hawthorn green.
For there, besides Our Ladye's lake, He was stately, and young, and tall;
An offering he had sworn to make, Dreaded in battle, and loved in hall:
And he would pay his vows. And she, when love, scarce told, scarce hid,
But the Ladye of Branksome gathered a band Lent to her cheek a livelier red;
Of the best that would ride at her command: When the half sigh her swelling breast
The trysting-place was Newark Lee. Against the silken riband pressed;
Wat of Harden came thither amain, When her blue eyes their secret told,
And thither came John of Thirlestaine, Though shaded by her locks of gold
And thither came William of Deloraine : Where would you find the peerless fair,
They were three hundred spears and three, With Margaret of Branksome might compare !
Through Douglas-burn, up Yarrow stream, XXIX.
Their horses prance, their lances gleam. And now, fair dames, methinks I see
They came to St. Mary's lake cre day; You listen to my minstrelsy;
But the chapel was void, and the Baron away.
They burned the chapel for very rage, Your waving locks ye backward throw,
And cursed Lord Cranstonn's Goblin Page, And sidelong bend your necks of snow:Ye ween to hear a melting tale,
XXXIV. Of two true lovers in a dale;
And now, in Branksome's good green wood,
As under the eged oak he stood, *A mountain on the border of England, above The Baron's courser pricks his ears, Jedburgh.
As if a distant noise he hears.
As suhy does she pup from hisstern along
The Dwarf waves his long lean arm on high, | And snorted fire, when wheeled around,
To give each knight his vantage ground.
In rapid round the Baron bent;
He sighed a sigh, and prayed a prayer: Vaulted the knight on his steed amain,
The prayer was to his patron saint, And, pondering deep that morning's scene,
The sigh was to his ladye fair.
Stout Deloraine nor sighed, nor prayed,
But he stooped his head, and couched his spear, While thus he poured the lengthened tale,
And spurred his steed to full career, The Minstrel's voice began to fail;
The meeting of these champions proud
Seemed like the bursting thunder-cloud.
Stern was the dint the Borderer lent!
The stately Baron backwards bent ; And, while the big drop filled his eye,
Bent backwards to his horse's tail, Prayed God to bless the Duchess long,
And his plumes went scattering on the gale; And all who cheered a son of song.
The tough ash-spear, so stout and true, The attending maidens smiled to see,
Into a thousand flinders flew. How long, how deep, how zealously,
But Cranston's lance, of more avail, The precious juice the Minstrel quaffed ;
Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail; And he, emboldened by the draught,
Through shield, and jack, and acton, past, Looked gaily back to them, and laughed.
Deep in his bosom broke at last.The cordial nectar of the bowl
Still sate the warrior saddle-fast, Swelled his old veins, and cheered his soul;
Till, stumbling in the mortal shock, A lighter, livelier prelude ran,
Down went the steed, the girthing broke,
Hurled on a heap lay man and horse.
His foe lay stretched upon the plain.
But when he reined his courser round,
And saw his foeman on the ground And said I that my blood was cold,
Lie senseless as the bloody clay, And that my kindly fire was fled,
He bade his page to stanch the wound, And my poor withered heart was dead
And there beside the warrior stay, And that I might not sing of love ?
And tend him in his doubtful state, How could I to the dearest theme,
And lead him to Branksome castle-gate: That ever warmed a minstrel's dream,
His noble mind was inly moved So foul, so false, a recreant prove !
For the kinsman of the maid he loved. How could I name love's very name,
" This thou shalt do without delay; Nor wake my harp to notes of flame!
No longer here myself may stay:
Unless the swifter I speed away,
Short shrift will be at my dying day."
VIII. In halls, in gay attire is seen ;
Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode; In hamlets, dances on the green.
The Goblin Page behind abode : Love rnles the court, the camp, the grove,
His lord s command he ne'er withstood, And men below, and saints above;
Though small his pleasure to do good.
As the corslet off he took,
The Dwarf espied the Mighty Book!
Much he marvelled, a knight of pride So thought Lord Cranstoun, as I ween,
Like a book-bosom'd priest shonld ride: While, pondering deep the tender scene,
He thought not to search or stanch the wound, He rode through Branksome's hawthorn green.
Until the secret he had found.
The iron band, the iron clasp,
Resisted long the elfin grasp ;
It closed as he the next begun.
Those iron clasps, that iron band, As if he had ridden the live-long night;
Would not yield to unchristened hand, For it was William of Deloraine.
Till he smeared the cover o'er
With the Borderer's curdled gore :
A moment then the volume spread,
And one short spell therein he read.
It had much of glamour* might,
The cobwebs on a dungeon wall
A nutshell seem a gilded barge. For question fierce, and proud reply,
A sheelingt seem a palace large, Gave signal soon of dire debate.
And youth seem age, and age seem youthTheir very coursers seemed to know
All was delusion, nought was truth. That each was other's mortal foe;
* Magical delusion. * Wood-pigeon
# A shepherd's hat.
coal-black haburned face fe's cross,
xv. He had not read another spell,
And hark! and hark! the deep-mouthed bark When on his cheek a buffet fell,
Comes nigher still, and nigher; So fierce it stretched him on the plain,
Burst on the path a dark bloodhound, Beside the wounded Deloraine.
His tawny muzzle tracked the ground, From the ground he rose dismayed,
And his red eye shot fire. And shook his huge and matted head;
Soon as the wildered child saw he, One word he muttered, and no more
He flew at him right furionslie. "Man of age, thou smitest sore!"
I ween, you would have seen with joy No more the Elfin Page durst try
The bearing of the gallant boy, Into the wondrous Book to pry;
When, worthy of his noble sire, The clasps, though smeared with Christian gore, His wet cheek glowed 'twixt fear and ire! Shut faster than they were before.
He faced the bloodhound manfully, He hid it underneath his cloak.-
And held his little bat on high; Now, if you ask who gave the stroke,
So fierce he struck, the dog, afraid, I cannot tell, so mot I thrive ;
At cautious distance hoarsely bayed, * It was not given by man alive.
But still in act to spring;
When dashed an archer through the glade, XI.
And when he saw the hound was stayed, Unwilling himself he addressed,
He drew his tough bow-string; To do his master's high behest:
But a rough voice cried, "Shoot not, hoy! He lifted up the living corse,
Ho! shoot not, Edward-'tis a boy!"
The speaker issued from the wood, And each did after swear and say,
And checked his fellow's surly mood, There only passed å Wain of hay.
And quelled the ban-dog's fre: He took him to Lord David's tower,
He was an English yeoman good, Even to the Ladye's secret bower;
And born in Lancashire. And, but that stronger spells were spread,
Well could he hit a fallow deer, And the door might not be opened,
Five hundred feet him fro; He laid him on her very bed.
With hand more true, and eye more clear, Whate'er he did of gramarye,*
No archer bended bow. Was always done maliciously ;
His coal-black hair, shorn round and close,
Old England's sign, St. George's cross,
His barret cap did grace;
His bugle-horn hung by his side,
All in a wolf-skin baldric tied;
And his short fanlchion, sharp and clear,
Had pierced the throat of many a deer.
His kirtle made of forest green,
Reached scantly to his knee; Saw a terrier and lurcher passing out.
And, at his belt, of arrows keen,
A furbished sheaf bore he;
His buckler scarce in breadth a span,
No longer fence had he: Until they came to a woodland brook
He never counted him a man, The running stream dissolved the spell,
Would strike below the knee; And his own elfish shape he took.
His slackened bow was in his hand, Could he have had his pleasure vilde,
And the leash, that was his bloodhound's band. He had crippled the joints of the noble child : Or, with his fingers long and lean,
XVIII. Had strangled him in fiendish spleen:
He would not do the fair child harm, But his awfnl mother he had in dread.
But held him with his powerful arm, And also his power was limited;
That he might neither fight nor flee ; So he but scowled on the startled child,
For when the Red Cross spied he, And darted through the forest wild ;
The boy strove long and violently. The woodland brook he bounding crossed,
"Now, by St. George," the archer cries, And laughed, and shouted, “ Lost! lost! lost!”
“Edward, methinks we have a prize! XIV.
This boy's fair face, and courage free, Full sore amazed at the wondrous change,
Shows he is come of high degree."
"Yes! I am come of high degree, The child, amidst the forest bower,
For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch; Stood rooted like a lilye flower;
And, if thou dost not set me free, And when at length, with trembling pace.
False Southron, thou shalt dearly rne! He sought to find where Branksome lay,
For Walter of Harden shall come with speed, He feared to see that grisly face
And William of Deloraine, good at need, Glare from some thicket on his way.
And every Scott from Esk to Tweed; Thus, starting oft, he journeyed on,
And if thou dost not let me go, And deeper in the wood is gone,
Despite thy arrows and thy bow, For aye the more he sought his way,
I'll have thee hanged to feed the crow!"
“Gramercy, for thy good-wili, fair boy!
But if thou art chief of such a clan, * Magic
And art the son of snch a man,
d pies short skin
and the gods made orgo
hien the longe," theve a
And ever comest to thy command,
Is yon red glare the western star?Our wardens had need to keep good order ; 0, 'tis the beacon-blaze of war! My bow of yew to a hazel wand,
Scarce could she draw her tightened breath; Thou'lt make them work upon the Border. For well she knew the fire of death! Meantime, be pleased to come with me, For good Lord Dacre shalt thou see;
XXVI. I think our work is well begun,
The Warder viewed it blazing strong,
And blew his war-note loud and long,
Till, at the high and haughty sound,
Rock, wood, and river, rang around. In Branksome still he seemed to stay,
The blast alarmed the festal hall, For so the Dwarf his part did play ;
And startled forth the warriors all; And, in the shape of that young boy,
Far downward, in the castle-yard, He wrought the castle much annoy.
Full many a torch and cresset glared ; The comrades of the young Buccleuch
And helmes and plumes, confusedly tossed, He pinched, and beat, and overthrew;
Were in the blaze half-seen, half-lost; Nay, some of them he well-nigh slew.
And spears in wild disorder shook,
Like reeds beside a frozen brook.
The Seneschal, whose silver hair, It may be hardly thought or said,
Was reddened by the torches' glare, The mischief that the urchin made;
Stood in the midst, with gesture proud, Till many of the castle guessed,
And issued forth his mandates lond. That the young baron was possessed!
"On Penchryst glows a bale* of fire,
And three are kindling on Priesthaughswire ; XXII.
Ride ont, ride out, Well I ween, the charm he held
The foe to scout! The noble Ladye had soon dispelled ;
Mount, mount for Branksome,t every man! But she was deeply busied then
Thon, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan, To tend to wounded Deloraine.
That ever are true and stont.
Ye need not send to Liddesdale;
Elliots and Armstrongs never fail.
And warn the warden of the strife. Perchance he in the book had read;
Young Gilbert, let our beacon blaze, But the broken lance in his bosom stood,
Our kin, and clan, and friends, to raise."
Fair Margaret, from the turret-head,
Heard, far below, the coursers' tread, And with a charm she stanched the blood;
While loud the harness rung, She bade the gash be cleansed and bound.
As to their seats, with clamour dread, No longer by his conch she stood;
The ready horsemen sprung; But she has ta'en the broken lance,
And trampling hoofs, and iron coats, And washed it from the clotted gore,
And leaders' voices, mingled notés, And salved the splinter o'er and o'er.
And out and out! William of Deloraine, in trance,
In hasty route, Whene'er she turned it round and round,
The horsemen galloped forth; . Twisted as if she galled his wound:
Dispersing to the south to scout, Then to her maidens she did say,
And east, and west, and north, That he should be whole man and sound,
To view their coming enemies, Within the course of night and day.
And warn their vassals, and allies. Full long she toiled; for she did rue
The ready page, with hurried hand,
Awaked the need-fire'st slumbering brand, So passed the day :-the evening fell,
And ruddy blushed the heaven: 'Twas near the time of curfew bell:
For a sheet of flame, from the turret high, The air was mild, the wind was calm,
Waved, like a blood-flag, on the sky, The stream was smooth, the dew was balm ;
All flaring and uneven. E'en the rude watchman on the tower
And soon a score of fires, I ween, Enjoyed and blessed the lovely hour.
From height, and hill, and cliff, were seen; Far more fair Margaret loved and blessed
Each with warlike tidings fraught; The hour of silence and of rest.
Each from each the signal caught; On the high turret, sitting lone,
Each after each they glanced to sight, She waked at times the lute's soft tone;
As stars arise upon the night.
They gleamed on many a dusky tarn,
On many a cairn's gray pyramid.
Where urns of mighty chiefs lie lid: Her blue eyes sought the west afar,
Till high Dunedin in the blazes saw,
From Soltra and Dumpender Law;
* Bale, beacon-faggot. That rises slowly to her ken,
† Mount for Branksome was the gathering-word And, spreading broad its wavering light,
of the Scots.
VO Shakes its loose tresses on the night?
I Need-fire, beacon.
$ Tarn, a mountain lake. * Bandelier, belt for carrying ammunition.
|| Earn, a Scottish eagle. + Hackbutteer, musketeer.
Cairn, a pile of stones,