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This clasp of love our bond shall be, For this is your betrothing day, And all these noble lords shall stay,
To grace it with their company.”—
XXVII. All as they left the listed plain, Much of the story she did gain; How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine, And of his page, and of the book Which from the wounded knight he took; And how he sought her castle high, That morn, by help of gramarye; How, in Sir William's armour dight, Stolen by his page, while slept the knight, He took on him the single fight. But half his tale he left unsaid, And linger'd till he join'd the maid.— Cared not the Ladye to betray Her mystic arts in view of day; But well she thought, ere midnight came, Of that strange page the pride to tame, From his foul hands the book to save, And send it back to Michael's grave.— Needs not to tell each tender word Twixt Margaret and 'twixt Cranstoun's lord; Nor how she told of former woes, And how her bosom fell and rose, While he and Musgrave bandied blows. Needs not these lovers joys to tell; One day, fair maids, you'll know them well.
XXVIII. William of Deloraine, some chance Had waken'd from his deathlike trance; And taught that, in the listed plain, Another, in his arms and shield, Against fierce Musgrave axe did wield, Under the name of Deloraine. . Hence, to the field, unarm'd, he ran, And hence, his presence scared the clan, Who held him for some fleeting wraith," And not a man of Jilood and breath. Not much this new ally he loved, Yet, when he saw what Jap had proved, He greeted him right heartilie: He would not waken old debate, For he was void of rancorous hate, Though rude, and scant of courtesy; In raids he spilt but seldom blood, Unless when men-at-arms withstood, Or, as was meet, for deadly feud. He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow, Ta'en in fair fight from tallant foe : And so 't was seen of him, e'en now, When on dead Musgrave he look'd down; Grief darken'd on his rugbed brow, Though half disguised with a frown; And thus, while sorrow bent his head, His foeman's epitaph he made.
For, if I slew thy brother dear,
XXX. So mourn'd he, till Lord Dacre's band Were bowniug back to Cumberland. They raised brave Musgrave from the field, And laid him on his bloody shield; On levell'd lances, four and four, By turns, the noble burden bore. Before, at times, upon the gale, Was heard the minstrel's plaintive wail; Behind, four priests, in sable stole, Sung requiem for the warrior's soul: Around, the horsemen slowly rode; With trailing pikes the spearmen trode; And thus the gallant knight they bore, Through Liddesdale to Leven's shore; Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave, And laid him in his father's grave.
The harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song, The mimic march of death prolong. Now seems it far, and now a-near, Now meets, and now eludes the ear; Now seems some mountain side to sweep, Now faintly dies in valley deep; Seems now as if the minstrel's wail, Now the sad requiem, loads the gale; Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave, Rung the full choir in choral stave.
After due pause they bade him tell, Why he, who touch'd the harp so well, Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil, Wander a poor and thankless soil, When the more generous southern land Would well requite his skilful hand.
The aged harper, howsoe'er His only friend, his harp, was dear,
* The lands, that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear, Have for their blazon had, the snaffle, spur, and spear. Poly-Albion, Song xiii.
II. O Caledonial stern and wild, Meet nurse for a poetic child! Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, Land of the mountain and the flood, 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 thus I 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.
iii. 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, Thy blew their death-note in the van, But now, for every merry mate, Rose the portcullis' iron grate; They sound the pipe, they strike the string, They dance, they revel, and they sing, Till the rude turrets shake and ring.
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; Melists 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.
Some bards have sung, the Ladye high
The Ladye by the altar stood,
And on her head a crimson hood, With pearls embroider'd and entwined, Guarded with gold, with ermine lined; A merlin sat upon her wrist, (3). Held by a leash of silken twist.
Wi. 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, Marshall'd the rank of every guest; 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, Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery; Their clanging bowls old warriors quaffd, Loudly they spoke, and loudly laugh'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-hounds 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.
Wii. 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 cross'd, About some steeds his band had lost, High words to words succeeding still, * Smote, with his gauntlet, stout Hunthill; (7) A hot and hardy Rutherford, Whom men call Diccon Draw-the-sword. Ile 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 bit 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 woodman's lyme-dog found; . Unknown the manner of his death, gne was his brand, both sword and sheath; ver from that time, ’t was said, iccon wore a cone blade.
arf, who fear'd his master's eye Myst his foul treachery espie, ow 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 be, 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, • A deep carouse to yon 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. (lo)
t - XIII. -
- XIV. They sought, together, climes afar, And oft, within some olive grove, When evening came, with twinkling star, • They sung of Surrey's absent love. His step the Italian peasant staid, And deem’d, that spirits from on high, Round where some hermit saint was laid, Were breathing heavenly melody: So sweet did harp and voice combine, To praise the name of Geraldine.
XVI. Fitztraver. 'T was All-souls eve, and Surrey's heartbeat high; He heard the midnight bell 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 roard 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 lowed, and still she thought of him. * XWii. 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 sitful 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
And forms upon its breast the earl 'gan spy,
XIX. Fair all the pageant—but how passing fair The slender form, which lay on couch of Ind! O'er her white bosom stray'd her hazel hair, Pale her dear cheek as if for love she pined; All in her night-robe loose she lay reclined, And, pensive, read from tablet eburnine Some strain, that seem'd her inmost soul to find: That favour'd strain was Surrey's raptured line, That fair and lovely form, the Lady Geraldine.
XX. . Slow roll'd the clouds upon the lovely form, And swept the goodly vision all away— So royal envy roll'd the murky storm O'er my beloved master's glorious day. Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant! Heaven repay On thee, and on thy children's latest line, The wild caprice of thy despotic sway, The gory bridal bed, the plunder'd shrine, The murder'd Surrey's bloom, the tears of Geraldine
XXI. Both Scots and southern chiefs prolong Applauses of Fitztraver's song: These hated Henry's name as death, And those still held the ancient faith.— Then, from his seat, with lofty air, Rose Harold, bard of brave St Clair; St Clair, who, feasting high at Home, Had with that lord to battle come. Harold was born where restless seas Howl round the storm-swept Orcades; Where erst St Clairs held princely sway O'er isle and islet, strait and bay;-(14) Still nods their palace to its fall, Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall!—(15) Thence of: he mark'd fierce Pentland rave, As if grim Odin rode her wave; And watch'd, the whilst, with visage pale, And throbbing heart, the struggling sail; For all of wonderful and wild Had rapture for the lonely child.
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XXII. And much of wild and wonderful In these rude isles might fancy cull; For thither came, in times afar, Stern Lochlin's sons of roving war, The Norsemen, train'd to spoil and blood, Skill'd to prepare the raven's food : Kings of the main their leaders brave, Their barks the dragons of the wave. (16) "And there, in many a stormy vale, The scald hath told his wondrous tale; And many a Runic column high Had witness'd grim idolatry.
And thus had Harold, in his youth,
Seem'd all on fire, within, around,
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
Islazed battlement and pinnet high,
So still they blaze, when fate is migh.
There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
Each one the holy vault doth hold—
And each St Clair was buried there,
But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung,
- - xxiv. So sweet was Harold's piteous lay, Scarce mark'd the guests the darken'd hall, Though, long before the sinking day, A wond’rous shade involved them all: It was not eddying mist or fog, prain’d by the sun from fen or bog, Of no eclipse had sages told; And yet, as it came on apace, Each one could scarce his neighbour's face, Could scarce his own stretch'd hand behold. A secret horror check'd the feast, And chill'd 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, “ Found ! found! found !» - s"
- XXV. Then sudden, through the darken'd air A flash of lightning came ;
So broad, so bright, so red the glare,
The castle seem'd on slaine,
From sea to sea the larum rung;
To arms the startled warders sprung.
* * XXVI. - ~~