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V. Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men, Waited the beck of the warders ten; Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight, Stood saddled in stable day and night, Barb'd with frontlet of steel, I trow, Áud with Jedwood-axe at saddle-bow: (3) A hundred more fed free in stall:Such was the custom of Branksome-hall.
Until, amid his sorrowing clan,
Her son lisp'd from the nurse's knee« And if I live to be a man,
My father's death revenged shall be!» Then fast the mother's tears did seek To dew the infant's kindling cheek.
Lest Scroop, or Howard, or Percy's powers,
Threaten Branksome's lordly towers, From Warkworth,or Naworth, or merry Carlisle (1)
All loose her golden hair,
And wept in wild despair.
Had filial grief supplied;
Had lent their mingled tide:
With Car in arms had stood,
All purple with their blood;
Many a valiant kniglie is hiere;
Bards long shall tell
How Lord Walter fell! (5) When startled burghers fled, afar, The furies of the Border war; When the streets of high Dunedin Saw lances gleam, and falchions redden, And heard the slogan's deadly yellThen the Chief of Branksome fell.
Of Bethune's line of Picardie: (9)
In Padua, far beyond the sea. (10) Men said he changed his mortal frame
By feat of magic mystery;
St Andrew's cloister'd hall,
Upon the sunny wall! (11)
VIII. Can piety the discord beal,
Or staunch the death-feud's enmity ? Can christian lore, can patriot zeal,
Can love of blessed charity? No! vainly to each holy shrine,
In mutual pilgrimage they drew; (6) Implored, in vain, the grace divine
For chiefs their own red falchions slew : While Cessford owns the rule of Car, (7)
While Ettrick boasts the line of Scotl, The slaughter'd chiefs, the mortal jar, The havoc of the feudal war,
Shall never, never be forgot!
He taught that Ladye fair,
The viewless forms of air. (12)
The warlike foresters had bent;
Old Tevioi's maids and matrons lent: But o'er her warrior's bloody bier
The Ladye dropp'd nor flower nor tear! Vengeance, deep brooding o'er the slain,
Had lock d the source of softer woe; And burning pride, and bigla disdain,
Forbade the rising tear to flow;
The ban-dogs bay and liowl;
Loud whoops the startled owl. In the hall, both squire and knight
Swore that a storm was near, And look'd forth to view the night;
But the night was still and clear!
1 The war-cry, or gathering word of a Border clan.
Scutur, a precipitous bank of earth.
XIV. From the sound of Tevioi's tide, Chaling with the inouptain's side, From the groan of the wind-swung.oak, From the sullen echo of the rock, From the voice of the coming storm,
The Ladye knew it well! It was the Spirit of the Flood that spoke,
And he callid on the Spirit of the Fell.
And, with jocund din, among them all,
Her son pursued his infant play.
The truncheon of a spear bestrode,
In mimic foray' rode. Even bearded knights, in arms growu old,
Share in his frolic gambols bore, Albeit their hearts, of rugged mould,
Were stubborn as the steel they wore.
How the brave boy, in future war,
One moment-and no more;
As she paused at the arched door:
XXI. A stark moss-trooping Scott was he, As e'er couch'd Border lance by knee: Through Solway sands, through Tarrass moss, Blindfold he knew the paths to cross; By wily turns, by desperate bounds, Had baftled Percy's best blood-hounds; (16) 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
from Cumberland; Five times outlaw'd had be been, By England's king and Scotland's queen.
may I read their high decree!
On Teviot's cide, and Branksome's tower, Till pride be quell'd, and love be free.»
Say, that the fated hour is come,
To win the treasure of the tomb: For this will be St Michael's nicht, And, though stars be dim, the moon is bright; And the cross, of bloody red, Will point to the grave of the Mighty Dead.
XVIII. The unearthly voices ceased,
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 Ladyc's bower,
And it rung in the Ladye's ear. Slie raised her stately head,
And her heart throbb'd high with pride:-
Where many a bold retainer lay,
XXII. «What he gives thee, see thou keep, Stay not thou for food or sleep: 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.»
Foray, a predatory inroad. 2 Alluding to the armorial bearings of the Scotts and Cars.
Down from the lakes did raving come, Cresting each wave with tawny foam,
Like the mane of a chesnut steed, In vain! no torrent, deep or broad, Might bar the bold moss-trooper's road.
XXIV. « O swiftly can speed my dapple-gray steed,
Which drinks of the Teviot clear!
Again will I be here :
Than, noble dame, by me;
Were 't my neck-verse at Hairibee.»!
XXIX. At the first plunge the horse supk low, And the water broke o'er the saddle-bow; Above the foaming vide, I ween, Scarce half the charger's neck was seen ; For he was barded from counter to tail, And the rider was arm d complete in mail: Never heavier man and horse Stemm'd a midnight torrents force. The warrior's very plume, 1 say, Was daggled by the dashing spray; Yet, through good heart aud Our Ladye's grace, At length he gaind the landing-place.
XXV. 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 Peel 3 of Goldilaud, And cross'd old Borthwick's roaring strand; Dimly he view'd the Moat-hill's mound, (17) Where Druid shades still flicted round: In llawick twinkled many a light;, Behind hiin soon they set in night; And soon he spurrid his courser keen, Beneath the tower of Hazeldean. (18)
the, nee: arrass moss, oss; s, ands; (16)
'xxx. Now Bowden Moor the march-man won,
And sternly shook his plumed head, As glanced his eye o'er llalidon;? (21)
For on his soul the slaughter red Of that mohallow'd morn arose, When first the Scott and Car were foes; When royal James beheld the fray, Prize to the victor of the day; When Home and Douglas, in the van, Bore down Buccleuch's retiring clan, Till gallant Cessford's heart-blood dear Reck'd on dark Elliot's Border spear.
XXVI. The clattering hoofs the watchmen mark ;-«Stand, ho! thou courier of the dark.» « For Branksome, ho!» the knight rejoind, And left the friendly lower behind, He turn'd him now from Teviot side
And, guided by the tinkling rill,
And gaind the moor at Horsliehill;
XXXI. In 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: :(22) Like some tall rock, with lichens gray, Rose, dimly huge, the dark abbaye. When llawick lie pass'd, had curfew rung, Now midnight lauds 3 were in Melrose sung. The sound, upon the filful 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 reachid, 't was silence ali, He meetly stabled his steed in stall, And sought the convent's lonely wall.
XXVII. A moment now he slack'd his specd, A moment breathed his panting steed, Drew saddle-girth and corslet band, And loosen'd in the sheath his brand. On Minto-crags the mioon-beams flint, (19) Where Barnhill hew'd his bed of flint; Who tlung his outlaw'd limbs to rest Where falcons hang their giddy nest, Mid cliffs from wlience 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
year, The warbling Doric reed shall hear, When some sad swain shall teach the
grove, Ambition is no cure for love!
many a later
XXVIII. Unchallenged, thence pass'd Deloraine To ancient Riddel's fair domain, (20)
Where Aill, from mountains freed,
Here paused the barp: and with its swell The master's fire and courage fell : Dejectedly, and low, he bow'd, And, gazing timid on the crowd, He seem'd to seek, in every cye, If they approved his minstrelsy; And, diffident of present praise, Somewhat he spoke of former days, And how old age, and wandering long, Iład done his hand and harp some wrong.
" Hairi bee, the place of executing the Border marauders, at Carli sle. The neck-verse is the beginning of the 51st psalm, Miserere mei, etc., anciently read by criminals claiming the benefit of clergy.
2 Barbican, the defence of the outer gale of a feudal castle. 3 Peel, a Border tower. 4 An ancient Roman rond, crossing through part of Roxburghshire.
" Barded, or barl:ed, -applied to a horse accontred with defensive armour 2 Halidor-hill, on which the battle of Melrose was fought.
Lauds, the midnight service of the catholic church.
The duchess, and her daughters fair, And every gentle ladye there, Each after each, in due degree, Gave praises to his melody; His hand was true, his voice was clear, And much they long d the rest to hear. Encouraged thus, the aged man, After meet rest, again began.
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 his blue eyes gleam'd wild and wide; « And darest 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,
penance spent, My knees those flinty stones have worn; Yet all too little to atone For knowing what should ne'er be known. Wouldst thou thy every future year
lo ceaseless prayer and penance drie, Yet wait tlry latter end with fear
Then, daring warrior, follow me!»
J. JF 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 ruins gray. When the broken arches are black in night, And each chafted oriel glimmers wlute; When the cold Jight'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; (1) When distant Tweed is heard to rave, And the owlet to loot o'er the dead man's grave; Then go-but go alone the while-Then view St David's ruin'd pile; (2) And, home returning, soothly swear, Was never scene so sad and fair!
VI. « Penance, father, will I none; Prayer know I hardly one; For mass or prayer can I rarely carry, 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.»
To fence the rights of fair Melrose;
Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose. (3)
And again he signed heavily;
And fought in Spain and Italy.'
high :Now slow and faint, he led the way, Where, cloister'd round, the garden lay; The pillar d arches were over their head, And beneath their feet were the bones of the dead (5)
ITI. Bold Deloraine his errand said; The porter bent his humble head; With torch in hand, and feet unshod, And noiseless slep, the path he trod: The arched cloisters far and wide Rang to the warrior's elanking 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.
VIJI. Spreading herbs and flowerets bright Glisten'd with the dew of night; Nor herb nor floweret 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 brighi, That spirits were riding the northern light.
The key-stone, that lock'd each ribbed aisle,
Around the screened altar's pale;
And thine, dark knight of Liddesdale! (8)
He bethought him of his sinful deed,
The moon on the east oriel shone (9)
By foliaged tracery combined; Thou wouldst have thought some fairy's hand 'Twixt poplars straight the ozier wand,
Jo 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 many a prophét, and many a saint,
Whose image on the glass was dyed;
And trampled the Apostate's pride.
XVI. «It was a night of woe and dread, When Michael in the tomb I laid! Strange sounds along the chancel past, The banners waved without a blast»--Still spoke the monk when the bell toll'd one! I tell you, that a braver man Than William of Deloraine, good at need, Against a foe ne'er spurr'd a steed; Yet somewhat was he chilld with dread, And luis hair did bristle upon his head,
A Scottish monarch slept below;(10)
«I was not always a man of woe; For Paynim countries I bave irod, And fought beneath the cross of God : Now, strange to my eyes thine arms appea And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear.
XVII. « Lo, warrior! now the cross of red Points to the grave of the mighty dead; Within it burus a wonderous ligbe, To chase the spirits that love the night : That lamp shall barn unquenchably, (15) Until the eternal doom shall be.»— Slow moved the monk to the broad llag-stone, Which the bloody cross was traced upon ; He pointed to a secret nook ; An iron bar the warrior took ; And the monk made a sign with his wither'd hand, The grave's huge portal to expand.
XIII. « In these far climes, 'is was my lot To meet the wondrous Michael Scott; (0)
A wizard of such dreaded fame,
The bells would ring in Notre Dame!(13)
And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone:(14)
A treble penance must be done.
XVIII. With beating heart to the task he went; His sinewy frame o'er the grave-stope 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 massy stone at length. I would
had been there
And, issuing from the comb,
And kiss'd his waving plume.
His conscience was awakened ;
Corbells, the projections from which the arches spring, usually cut in a fantastic face, or mask.