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The monk return d him to his cell,

And many a prayer and penance sped; Wien the convent met at the noontide bell,

The Monk of St Mary's aisle was dead! Before the cross was the body laid, With hands clasp'd fast, as if still he pray'd.

XXIV. The knight brcathed free in the morning wind, And strove his bardihood to find: lle was glad when he pass'd the tomb-stones gray, Which girdle round the fair abbaye; For the mystic book, to his bosom press'd, Felt like a load upon his breast; And his joints, with nerves of iron twined, Shook, like the aspen leaves in wind. Full fain was he when the dawn of day Began to brighten Cheviot

grayi He joy'd to see the cheerful light, And he said Ave Mary as well as he might.

XIX.
Before their eyes the wizard lay,
As if he had not been dead a day.
Vis hoary beard in silver rolid,
Ile seem'd some seventy winters old;
A palmer's amice wrapp'd him round,
With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,

Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea ;
His left hand held his book of might;
A silver cross was in his right;

The lamp was placed beside his knee:
High and majestic was his look,
Ai which the fellest fiends had shook,
And all unruftled was liis face;
They trusted Iris soul had gotten yrace.

XX.
Often had William of Deloraine
Rode through the battle's bloody plain,
And trampled down the warriors slain,

And neither known remorse nor awe;
Yet now remorse and awe he own'd :
Ilis breath came thick, his head swam round,

When this strange scene of death he saw.
Bewilder'd and underved lic stood,
And the priest pray'd fervently and loud:
With eyes averted prayed be;
He might not endure the sight to see
Of the man he had loved so brotherly.

XXI.
And when the priest his death-prayer had pray'd,
Thus unto Delorajne lie said:-
« Now speed thee what thou hast to do,
Or, warrior, we may dearly rue;
For those, thou mayst not look upou,
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone!»—
Then Deloraine, in terror, took
From the cold hand the mighty book,
With iron elasp'd, and with iron bound:
He thought, as he took it, the dead

frown'd; (16) Dut the glare of the sepulchral light, Perchance, had dazzled the warrior's sight.

XXII. When the huge stone sunk o'er the toil), The night return d in double gloom, For the moon had gone down and the stars were few; And as the knight and priest withdrew, With wavering steps and dizzy brain, They hardly might the postern gain. "T is said, as through the aisles, tbey past, They lieard strange noises on the blast; And through the cloister-galleries small, Which at mid-hcight thread the chancel wall, Loud sobs, and laughter louder, ran, And voices unlike the voice of man ; As if the fiends kept holiday, Because these spells were brought to day. I cannot tell how the truth may be; I say the tale as 't was said to me.

XXIII. « Now bie thee hence, the father said, « And when we are on death-bed laid, 0

may Our dear Ladye, and sweet St John, Forgive our souls for the deed we have done!»

XXV.
The sun lad brightend Cheviot gray,

The sun had brightend the Carter's side, And soon beneath the rising day

Smiled Branksome towers and Teviot tide. The wild birds told their warbling tale, And wakend

every

flower that blows; And peeped forth the violet pale,

And spread her breast the mountain rose ; And lovelier than the rose so red,

Yet paler than the violet pale, She carly left her sleepless bed,

The fairest maid of Teviotdale.

man

. XXVI. Why does fair Margaret so early awake,

And don her kirtle so hastilie: And the silken knots, which in hurry. she would

make,
Why tremble her slender fingers to tie;
Why does she stop, and look often around,

As she glides down the secret stair ;
And why does she pat the shaggy blood-hound,

As hie rouses him up from his lair;
And though she passes the postern alone,
Why is not the watchman's bugle blown?

XXVII. The ladye steps in doubt and dread, Lest her watchful mother hear her tread: The ladye caresses the rough blood-bound, Lost his voice should waken the castle round; The watchman's bugle is not blown, For he was her foster-father's son: And she glides through the green-wood at dawn of

light, To meet Baron Henry, her own truc knight.

XXVIII. The knight and ladye fair are met, And under the hawthorn's boughs are set. A fairer pair were never seen To mcet beneath the hawthorn green.

! A mountain on the border of England, above Jedburgli.

He was stately, and young, and tall,
Dreaded in battle, and loved in hall:
And she, when love, scarce told, scarce hid,
Lent to Ifer cheek a livelier red;
When the half sigh her swelling breast
Against the silken riband press'd:
When her blue eyes their secret told,
Though shaded by her locks of gold--
Where would

you

find the peerless fair, With Margaret of Branksome might compare!

He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,

But well Lord Cranstoun served he: And he of his service was full fain; For once he had been ta'en or slain,

An it had not been his ministry. All between Home and Hermitage Talk'd of Lord Cranstoun's goblin-page.

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XXIX.
And now, fair dames, methinks I see
You listen to iny minstrelsy;
Your waving locks ye backward throw,

And sidelong bend your necks of snow:
Ye ween to hear a melting tale,
Of two true lovers in a dale;
And how the knight, with tender fire,

To paint his faithful passion strove;
Swore, he might at her feet expire,

But never, never, cease to love; And how she blush'd, and how she sighd, And, half consenting, half denied, And said that she would die a maid ;Yet, might the bloody feud be stay'd, Henry of Cranstoun, and only he, Margaret of Branksome's choice should be.

XXXIII.
For the baron went on pilgrimage,
And took with him this elvish page,

To Mary's chapel of the Lowes :
For there, beside Our Lady's lake,
An offering he had sworn to make,

And he would pay his vows. But the Ladye of Branksome gather'd a band Of the best that would ride at her command;(18)

The trysting-place was Newark Lee.
Wat of Harden came thither amain,
And thither came John of Thirlestane,
And thither came William of Delorainc;

They were three hundred spears and three.
Through Douglas-burn, up Yarrow stream,
Their horses prance, their lances gleam.
They came to St Mary's lake ere day;
But the chapel was void, and the baron away.
They burnd the chapel for very rage,
And cursed Lord Cranstoun's goblin-page.

XXX Alas! fair dames, your hopes are vain! My harp has lost the enchanting strain;

Its lightness would my age reprove: My hairs are gray, my limbs are old, My heart is dead, my veins are cold: I

may not, must not, sing of love.

XXXIV. And now, in Branksome's good green-wood, As under the aged oak he stood, The baron's courser pricks his ears, As if a distant noise he hears; The Dwarf waves his long lean arm on high, And sigas to the lovers to part and fly; No time was then to vow or sigh. Fair Margaret, through the hazel grove, Flew like the startled cushat-dove: The Dwarf the stirrup held, and rein; Vaulted the knight on his steed amain, And, pondering deep that morning's scene, Rode eastward through the hawthorns green.

XXXI.
Beneath an oak, moss'd o'er by eld,
The baron's Dwarf his courser held, (17)

And held his crested helm and spear:
That Dwarf was scarcely an earthly man,
If the tales were true that of him ran

Through all the Border, far and near.
"T was said, when the baron a-hunting rode
Through Redesdale's glens, but rarely trod,
He heard a voice cry, « Lost! lost! lost!»
And, like tennis-ball by racquet tossd,

A leap of thirty feet and three,
Made from the gorse this elfin shape,
Distorted like some dwarfish ape,

And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee. Lord Cranstoun was some whit dismay'd; 'T is said that five good miles he rade,

To rid him of his company; But where he rode one mile, the Dwarf ran four, And the Dwarf was first at the castle door.

While thus he pourd the lengthen d tale, The Minstrel's voice began to fail : Full slyly smiled the observant page, And gave the wither'd hand of age A goblet, crown'd with mighty wine, The blood of Velez' scorched vine. He raised the silver cup on high, And, while the big drop filld his eye, Pray'd God to bless the duchess long, And all who cheer'd a son of song. The attending maidens smiled to see flow long, how deep, how zealously, The precious juice the Minstrel quaff'd; And he, embolden'd by the draught, Look'd gaily back to them, and laugh d. The cordial nectar of the bowl Swell'd his old veins, and cheerd his soul; A lighter, livelier prelude ran, Ere thus hisdale again began.

XXXII. Use lessens marvel, it is said: This elfish Dwarf with the baron staid; Little he ate, and less he spoke, Nor mingled with the menial flock: And oft apart his arms he tossid, And often mutter'd, « Lost! lost! lost!»

• Wood-pigeon,

CANTO III.

And said I that my limbs were old;
And said I that my blood was cola,
And that my kindly fire was fled,
And my poor wither'd heart was dead,

And that I might not sing of love?Ilow could I to the dearest theme, That ever warm'd a minstrel's dream,

So foul, so false a recreant prove! How could I name Love's very name, Nor wake my heart to notes of flame!

VI. Stern was the dint the Borderer lent; The stately baron backwards bent; • Bent backwards to his horse's tail, And his plumes went scattering on the gale; The lough ash spear, so stout and true, Into a thousand tlinders tlew. But Cranstoun's lance, of more avail, Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail; Through shield, and jack, and acton past, Deep in his bosom broke at last.Still sate the warrior saddle-fast, Till, stumbling in the mortal shock, Down went the steed, the girthing broke, Hurld on a leap lay man and horse. The baron onward passid his course ; Nor knew--so giddy roll'd his brainHis foe lay stretch'd upon the plain.

JI. in peace, Love (unes the shepherd's reed; In war, he mounts the warrior's steed; In halls, in gay attire is seen; In hamlets, dances on the green. Love rules the court, the camp,

the

grove, And men below, and saints above; For love is heaven, and heaven is fove.

JI. So thought Lord Cranstoun, as I ween, While, pondering deep the tender scene, He rode through Branksome's hawthorn green.

But the page shouted wild and shrill And scarce his helmet could he don,

When downward from the shady hill A stately knight came pricking on. That warrior's steed, so dapple-gray, Was dark with sweat, and splash'd with clay;

His armour red with many a stain: lle seem'd in such a weary plight, As if he had ridden the livelong night;

For it was William of Deloraine.

VII.
But when he reind his courser round,
And saw luis foeman on the ground

Lie senseless as the bloody clay,
He bade his page to staunch the wound,

And there beside the warrior stay, And tend him in his doubtful state, And lead him to Branksome castle-gate : His noble mind was inly moved For the kinsman of the maid he loved. « This shalt thou do without delay; No longer here myself may slay : Unless the swifter I speed away, Short shrift will be at my dying day.»–

vili. Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode ; The goblin-page behind abode; His lord's command he ne'er withstood, Though small liis pleasure to do good. As the corslet off he took, The Dwarf espied the mighty book! Much he marvell’d, a knight of pride Like a book-bosom'd priest should ride: (2) He thought not to search or staunch the wound, Until the secret he had found.

IV. But no whit weary did he seem, When, dancing in the sunny beam, Ile mark d the crane on the baron's crest; (1) For his ready spear was in his rest. Few were the words, and stern and high,

That markd the foemen's feudal hale,
For question fierce and proud reply

Gave signal soon of dire debate.
Their very coursers seem'd to know
That each was other's mortal foe,
And snorted fire, when wheeld around,
To give each knight his vantage ground.

V.
In rapid round the baron bent;

He sigh'd a sigh, and pray'd a prayer ;
The prayer was to his patron saint,

The sigh was to his ladye fair. Stout Deloraine nor sigh'd nor pray'd, Nor saint nor ladye call'd to aid ; But he stoop'd his head, and couclid his spear, And spurr'd his steed to full carcer. The mecting of these champions proud Scem'd like the bursting thunder-cloud.

IX. The iron band, the iron clasp, Resisted long the eltin grasp ; For when the first he had undone, It closed as he the next begun. Those iron clasps, that iron band, Would not yield to unchristen'd hand, Till he smeard the cover o'er With the Borderer's curdled zore; A moment then the volume spread, And one short spell therein he read. It had much of glamour' might, (3) Could make a ladye seem a knight; The cobwebs on a dungeon wall Seem tapestry in lordly ball; A put-shell seem a gilded barge, A sheeling2 seem a palace large,

1 Magical delusion. : A shepherd's lut.

And youth seem age, and age seem youthAll was delusion, nought was truth.

The woodland brook he bounding cross d, And laugh'd, and shouted « Lost! lost! lost!»

X. He had not read another spell, When on his cheek a buffet fell, So fierce, it stretchid him on the plain, Beside the wounded Deloraine. From the ground he rose dismay'd, And shook his huge and malled head ; One word he mutterd, and no more« Man of age, thou smilest sore!» No more the elfin page Into the wondrous book to pry; The clasps, though smear'd with christian gore, Shut faster than they were before, He hid it underneath his cloak.Now, if you ask who gave the stroke, I cannot tell, so mot I thrive; It was not given by man alive. (4)

XIV. Full sore amazed at the wondrous change,

And frighten'd, as a child might be, At the wild yell and visage strange, And the dark words of

gramarye, The child, amidst the forest bower, Stood rooted like a lily tlower ; And when at length, with trembling pace,

He sought to find where Branksome lay, He feard to see that grisly face

Glare from some thicket on his way.
Thus, starting oft, he journey'd on,
And deeper in the wood is gone, -
For
aye

the more he sought his way,
The farther still he went astray, -
Uotil he heard the mountains round
Ring to the baying of a hound.

durst try

XI. Unwillingly himself he address'd To do his master's high behest : He lifted up the living corse, And laid it on the weary

horse; He led him into Branksome-ball, Before the beards of the warders all; And each did after swear and say, There only pass'd a wain of hay. He took him to Lord David's tower, Even to the Ladye's secret bower; And, but that stronger spells were spread, And the door might not be opened, He had laid him on her very bed. Whate'er he did of gramarye,' Was always done maliciously; He flung the warrior on the ground, And the blood welld freshly from the wound.

XV.
And hark! and hark! the deep-mouth'd bark

Comes nigher still, and nigher;
Bursts on the path a dark blood-lound,
His tawny muzzle trackd the ground,

And his red eye shot fire.
Soon as the wilder'd child saw he,
He flew at him right furiouslie.
I ween you would have seen with joy
The bearing of the gallaut boy,
When, worthy of his noble sire,
His wet cheek glowd 'twixt fear and ire!
He faced the blood-hound manfully,
And held his little bat on high :
So fierce he struck, the dog, afraid,
at cautious distance hoarsely bay'd,

But still in act to spring;
When dash'd an archer through the glade,
And when he saw the hound was stay'd,
lle drew his tough bow-string;
But a rough voice cried, « Shoot not, hoy!
Ho! shoot not, Edward—'t is a boy!»

XU. As he repass'd the outer court, He spied the fair young child at sport; He thought to train him to the wood; For, at a word, be it understood, He was always for ill, and never for good. Seem'd to the boy, some comrade gay Led him forth to the woods to play ; On the draw-bridge the warders stout Saw a terrier and lurcher passing out.

XIII.
He led the boy o'er bank and fell,

Until they came to a woodland brook ; The running stream dissolved the spell, (5)

And his own elvish shape he took. Could he have had his pleasure vilde, He had crippled the joints of the noble child; Or, with his fingers long and lean, Had strangled him in fiendish spleen. But his awful mother he had in dread, And also tris power was limited; So he but scowl'd on the startled child, And darted through the forest wild ;

XVI.
The speaker issued from the wood,
And check'd his fellow's surly mood,

And quell'd the ban-dog's ire :
He was an English yeoman good,

And born in Lancashire.
Well could he hit a fallow deer

Five hundred feet him fro;
With hand more true, and eye more clear,

No archer bended bow.
His coal-black hair, shorn round and close,

Set off his supburnt face;
Old England's sign, St George's cross,

Uis barret-cap did grace;
His bugle-horn hung by his side,
All in a wolf-skin baldric tied;
And his short falchion, sharp and clear,
Had pierced the throat of many a deer.

XVII. His kirtle, made of forest green,

Reachi'd scantly to his knee,

Magic.

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XVIII. lle would not do the fair child harm, But held him with his powerful arm, That he might neither fight nor flee For when the red cross spied he, The boy strove long and violently. « Now, by St George,» the archer cries,

Edward, methinks we have a prize! This boy's fair face, and courage free, Show he is come of high degree.»

XIX. « Yes! I am come of high degree,

For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch ; And if thou dost not set me free,

False southron, thou shalt dearly rue! For Walter of Harden shall come with speed, And William of Deloraine, good at need, And every Scoti from Esk to Tweed; And, if thou dost not let me go, Despite thy arrows and thy bow, I'll have thee hany'd to feed the crow!»

XXIII.
She drew the splinter from the wound,

And with a charm she staunch'd the blood; (7) She bade the gash be cleansed and bound :

No longer by his couch she stood; But she has ta'en the broken lance,

And washi'd it from the clotted gore,

And salved the splinter o'er avd o'er. (8)
William of Deloraine, in trance,
Whene'er she turn'd it round and round,
Twisted as if she gall'd his wound.

Then to her maidens she did say,
That he should be whole man and sound,

Within the course of a night and day.
Full long she loil'd; for she did rue
Mishap to friend so stout and true.

XX,
« Gramercy, for thy good will, fair boy!
My mind was never set so high;
But if thou art chief of such a clan,
And art the son of such a man,
And ever comest to thy command,

Our wardens bad need to keep good order : My bow of yew to a hazel wand,

Thou 'lt make them work upon the Border. Meantime, be pleased to come with me, For good Lord Dacre shalt thou see : I think our work is well begun, When we have taken thy father's son.»—

XXIV. So pass'd the day-the evening fell. 'T was near the time of curfew bell; The air was mild, the wind was calm, The stream was smooth, the dew was balm; E'en the rude watchman, on the tower, Enjoy'd and bless'd the lovely hour; Far more fair Margaret loved and blessid The hour of silence and of rest. On the high turret sitting lone, She waked at times the lute's soft tone; Touch'd a wild note, and, all between, Thought of the bower of hawthorns green. Her golden hair stream'd free from band, Her fair cheek resled on her hand, Her blue eyes sought the west afar, For lovers love the western star.

did play;

XXI.
Although the child was led away,
In Branksome still he seem'd to stay,
For so the Dwarf his

part
And, in the shape of that young boy,
He wrought the castle much annoy.
The comrades of the young Buccleuch
He pinchd, and beat, and overthrew;
Nay, some of them he well nigh slew.
He tore Dame Maudlin's silken tire,
And, as Sym Hall stood by the tire,
He lighted the match of his bandelier,'
And woefully scorch'd the hackbutteer.?
It may be hardly thought or said,
The mischief that the urchin made,
Till many of the castle guess'd
That the young baron was possess'd!

XXV. Is

yon the star, o'er Penchryst Pen, That rises slowly to her ken, And, spreading broad its wavering light, Shakes its loose iresses on the night? Is yon red glare the western star ?— 0, 't is the beacon-blaze of war! Scarce could she draw her tightend breath, For well she knew the fire of death !

XXVI. The warder view'd it blazing strong, And blew his war-note loud and long, Till, at the high and haughty sound, Rock, wood, aud river, rung around. The blast alarm'd the festal hall, And startled forth the warriors all;

Bandelier, belt for carrying ammunition. » Hackbutteer, musketeer.

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