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He was stately, and young, and tall,
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.
XXIX. And now, fair dames, methinks I see fan listen to my minstrelsy: Your waving locks ye backward throw, Aed sideloog bend your decks of spow: Te weed to hear a melting tale, of two true lovers in a dale; dad bow the knight, with tender fire,
To paint his faithful passion strove; Spore, he might at her feet expire,
But never, never, cease to love; dod how she blush'd, and how she sigh'd, And, half consenting, half denied, And said that she would die a maid ;let, might the bloody feud be stay'd, Henry of Cranstoun, and only he, Margaret of Branksome's choice should be.
To Mary's chapel of the Lowes :
An offering he had sworn to make, · And he would pay his vows.
But the Ladye of Branksome gather'd a band
The frysting-place was Newark Lee.
They were three hundred spears and three.
- XXXIV: ,
XXX. Alas! fair dames, your bopes are vain! Hy harp has lost the enchanting strain; Its lightness would my age reprove:
hairs are gray, my limbs are old, Vybeart is dead, my veins are cold: I may not, must not, sing of love.
A leap of thirty feet and three,
And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knce.
To rid him of his company; Lat where he rode one mile, the Dwarf ran four, And the Dwarf was first at the castle door,
While thus he poor'd 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 fill'd 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 How long, how deep, how zealously, The precious juice the Minstrel quaffid; 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 cheer'd his soul; A lighter, livelier prelude ran, Ere thus bis tale again began.
XXXI. Tee lessens marvel, it is said: Tinselfish Dwarf with the baron staid;
die be ate, and less be spoke, Jor mingled with the menial flock: And oft apart his arms he lossid, And often mutier'd, « Lost! lost! lost!»
And said I that my limbs were old;
And that I might not sing of love ?How 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!
Stern was the dint the Borderer lent;
In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed;
Lie senseless as the bloody clay,
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 kiosman of the maid he loved. « 'This shalt thou do without delay; No longer here myself may stay: Unless the swifter I speed away, Short shrift will be at my dying day.»—
So thought Lord Cranstoun, as I ween,
But the page shouted wild and shrill-
When downward from the shady hill
His armour red with many a stain:
For it was William of Deloraine.
VIII. Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode; The goblin-page behind abode; His lord's command he ne'er withstood, Though small his pleasure to do good. As the corslet off he took, The Dwarf espied the mighty book! Much he marvelld, a knight of pride Like a book-bosom'd priest should ride: (3) 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, He mark'd the crane on the baron's crest;(1) For his ready spear was in his rest. Few were the words, and stero and high,
That mark'd the foemen's feudal hate,
Gave signal soon of dire debate.
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 gore; 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 hall; A nut-shell seem a gilded barge, A sheeling' seem a palace large,
In rapid round the baron bent;
He sigh'd a sigh, and pray'd a prayer; The prayer was to his patron saint,
The sigla was to his ladye fair. Stout Delorainc por sighd por pray'd, Nor saint nor ladye call'd to aid ; But he stoop'd his head, and conch'd his spear, And spurr'd his steed to full carcer. The meeting of these champions proud Seem'd like the bursting thunder-cloud.
Magical delusion. ? A shepherd's hut.
THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
And youth seem age, and age seem youth
vas delusion, nought was truth.
The woodland brook he bounding cross'd, And laughd, and shouted « Lost! lost! lost!»
b bad not read another spell, Then on his cheek a buffet fell, so feree, it stretch'd him on the plain, beside the wounded Deloraine. From the ground he rose dismay'd, And shook his huge and matted head ; One word he matter'd, and no more«Man of age, thou smitest sore!» Na more the elfin page durst try luto the wondrous book to pry; The clasps, though smeard with christian gore, Shat faster than they were before, He bid 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 flower; And when at length, with trembling pace,
He sought to find where Branksome lay, He fear'd to see that grisly face
Glare from some thicket on his way.
XI. l'avillingly himself be 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-hall, 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, Be had laid him on her very bed. Tate'er he did of gramarye,' is always done maliciously; klong the warrior on the ground, kad the blood welld freshly from the wound.
Comes nigher still, and nigher;
And his red eye shot fire.
But still in act to spring;
XII. At he repass'd the outer court, ke spied the fair young child at sport; ke thought to train him to the wood; fortat a word, be it understood, He is always for ill, and never for good. Seemnd to the boy, some comrade gay lal bim forth to the woods to play; On the draw-bridge the warders stout Sav a terrier and lurcher passing out.
Until they came to a woodland brook;
And his own elvish shape he took. Could he have had his pleasure vilde, Be bad crippled the joints of the noble child; Or, with bis fogers long and lean, Had strangled him in fiendish spleen. Bat his awful mother he had in dread, And also his power was limited; So he but scowld on the started child, and darted through the forest wild;
And quelld the ban-dog's ire :
And born in Lancashire. Well could he hit a fallow deer
Five hundred feet him fro; With hand more true, and eve more clear.
No archer bended bow. "
Set off his sunburnt face;
His barret-cap did grace;
XVII. His kirtle, made of forest green,
Reach'd scantly to his knee;
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 reard ; A hundred years had fung their spows
On his thin locks and floating beard.
And strangely on the knight look'd he,
And his blue eyes gleamd 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, in penance spent,
My knees those flinty stones have wora; Yet all too litue to atone For knowing what should ne'er be known. Wouldst thou thy every future year
Io ceaseless prayer and pegance drie, Yet wait thy latter end with fear
Then, dariug warrior, follow me!
If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,
VI. « Penance, father, will I none; Prayer know I hardly one; For mass or prayer can I rarely tarry, 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 sighed 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
JJI. Bold Deloraine his errand said; The porter bent his humble head; With torch in hand, and feet unshod, And noiseless step, the path he trod: The arched cloisters far and wide Rang to the warrior's clanking stride; Till, stooping low his lofty crest, He enter'd the cell of the ancient priest, And lifted his barred aven tayle," To hail the Monk of St Mary's aisle.
VIII. 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, Was a fleur-de-lis, or a quatre-feuille; The corbells were carved grotesque and grim; kad the pillars, with cluster'd shafts so trim, Wch base and with capital flourish'd around, bad bundles of lances which garlands had bound.
Around the screened altar's pale;
And thine, dark knight of Liddesdale! (8) Obading honours of the dead! 0 high ambition, lowly laid!
He bethought him of his sinful deed,
By foliaged tracery combined;
la many a freakish knot, had twined; Then framed a spell, when the work was done, And changed the willow-wreaths to stone. "be silver light, so pale and faint, Show'd many a prophet, and many a saint,
Whose image on the glass was dyed;
Aed 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»---Suill spoke the monk when the bell tolld one! I tell you, that a braver mau Than William of Deloraine, good at need, Against a foe ne'er spurr'd a steed; Yet somewhat was he chill'd with dread, And his hair did bristle upon liis head.
A Scottish monarch slept below;(10)
el was not always a man of woe; For Paynim countries I have trod, And fought beneath the cross of God : Now, strange to my eyes thine arms appear, Ind 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 burns a wonderous light, To chase the spirits that love the night : That lamp shall burn unquenchably, (15) Until the eternal doom shall be.»--Slow moved the monk to the broad Nag-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, it was my lot To meet the wondrous Michael Scott; (1)
A wizard of such dreaded fame,
The bells would ring in Notre Dame! (13)
And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone: (14)
And, issuing from the tomb,
And kiss'd his waving plume.
XIV. • When Michael lay on bis dying bed, His conscience was awakened ;
Farbetli, the projections from which the arebes spring, usually eins fantastic face, or mask.