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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.

Ja return'd him to his cell,

many a prayer and penance sped; # the convent met at the noontide bell, the Monk of St Mary's aisle was dead! diefore the cross was the body laid, With hands clasp'd fast, as if suill he pray'd.

CANTO II.

XXIV. The knight breathed free in the morning win And strove bis hardihood to find: Ile was glad when he pass'd the tomb-stones 1 Which girdle round the fair abbave: 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 be when the dawn of day Began to brighten Cheviot gray; * He joy'd to see the cheerful light, And he said Ave Mary as well as he might

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XXV.
The sun had brighten's 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 waken'd 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 early left her sleepless bed,

The fairest maid of Teviotdale.

2 bus death-prayer had pray'd,

od he said :--
met what thou hast to do,
A 124y dearly rue;

SA was not look upon, Brent round the yawning stone !»--Aedes et terror, took std hand the mighty book, despil, and with iron bound: N a he took it, the dead man

XXVI.
Why does fair Margaret so early awake,

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

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 shagøy blood-hound

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

# vinter of the sepulchral light,
n., der had dazzled the warrior's sight.

XXII.
I s the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb,

Allah return'd in double gloom,
Assorteon had gone down and the stars were few;

und is the koight and priest withdrew, Withiravering steps and dizzy brain, the hardly might the postern gain. Itu menul, as through the aisles they past,

heard strange noises on the blast;
And through the cloister-galleries small,
I ch at mid-height thread the chancel wall,

obs, and laughter louder, ran,
Amil voices unlike the voice of man;
As if the fiends kept holiday,
Bircause these spells were brought to day.
Irannot tell how the truth may be;
I way the tale as 't was said to me.

XXIII.
* Now hie thee hence,»> the father said,

And when we are on death-bed laid, () may Our dear Ladye, and sweet St John, Foruive our souls for the deed we have done!»

XXVII. The ladye steps in doubt and dread, Lest her watchful mother hear her tread: The ladye caresses the rough blood-hound, Lest 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 daw

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

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

"A mountain on the border of England, above Jedburgh.

THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.

<titely, and young, and tall,
atile, and loved in hall:
love, scarce told, scarce hid,
a livelier red;
for swelling breast
od press'd:

ecret told,
of gold-
les fair,

hat compare!

He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,

But well Lord Cranstonn 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 Crapstoun's goblin-page.

Itse

.. twirl throw,

Car Decks of snow:
. ir a milung tale,
i kovers in a dale;
* Le knight, with tender fire,

punt bis faithful passion strove; 1943, he might at her feet expire,

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

XXXII.
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 frysting-place was Newark Lee.
Wat of Harden came thither amajn,
And thither came John of Thiclestane,
And thither came William of Deloraine;

They were three hundred spears and three.
Through Douglas-barn, 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 burn'd the chapel for very rage,
And cursed Lord Cranstoun's goblin-page.

XXX. Alas! fair dames, your bopes are vain! Hy barp has los! the enchanting strain;

Its lightness would my age reprove: Hy hairs are gray, my limbs are old, My heart is dead, my veins are cold : I may not, must noi, 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 signs to the lovers to part and tly; 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 castward through the hawthorns green.

XXXI. math an oak, moss d o'er by eld, a baron's Dwarf his courser held, (17) And held his crested belm and spear: Taas Dwarf was scarcely an earthly man, . lithe tales were true that of him ran

Through all the Border, far and near.
Twas said, when the baron a-hunting rode
Through Redesdale's glens, but rarely trod,
le beard a voice cry, a Lost! lost! lost!»
Ind, like tennis-ball by racquet toss'd,

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

And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee.
Lord Cransioun was some whit dismay'd;
Tis 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.

Wuile 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 Velei 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 sec How 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 cheer'd his soul; A lighter, livelier prelude ran, Ere thus bis tale again began.

XXXII. [ee lessens marvel, it is suid: Tlus elfish Dwarf with the baron staid; little be ale, and less he spoke, Sor mingled with the menial flock: And oft apart his arms he tossd, And often mutter'd, « Lost! lost! lost!»

1 Wood-pigeon

CANTO III.

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

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 Dame 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 tough ash spear, so stout and true, Into a thousand flinders flew. 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 slock, Down went the steed, the girthing broke, Hurld on a heap lay man and horse. The baron onward pass'd his course; Nor knew-so giddy roll'd his brainHis foe lay stretch'd upon the plain.

In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed;
Ja war, he mounts the warrior's steed;
In halls, in gay attire is seen;
Ja bamlets, 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 love.

HI,

VII.
But when he reind his courser round,
And saw his 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 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,
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:
He seemd in such a w
As if he had ridden the livelong night;

For it was William of Deloraine.

VIIL. Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode; The goblin-page behind abode; His lord's command he pe'er withstood, Though small his pleasure to do good. As the corslet off be 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, He 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 liigh,

That mark'd the foemen's feudal hate, 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.

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V.

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 unchristend hand, Till he smeard the cover o'er With the Borderer's curdjed 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 ball; A nut-shell seem a gilded barge, A sheeling' seem a palace large,

lo 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 sighd nor pray'd, Nor saint nor ladye call to aid ; But he stoop'd his head, and conchd his spear, And spurr'd his steed to full career. The meeting of these champions proud Seem'd like the bursting thunder-cloud.

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And youth seem age, and age seem youthAl was delusion, nought was truth,

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

He had not read another spell, When on his cheek a buffet fell, So fierce, 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 be mutter'd, and no more• Man of age, thou smitest sore ! » No more the elfin page durst try Into the wondrous book to pry; The clasps, though smeard 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 ; k was not given by man alive. (4)

XIV. Full sore amazed at the wondrous change,

And frightend, 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.
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,-
Until he heard the mountains round
Ring to the baying of a hound.

XI. Powillingly 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 Braaksome-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; Aad, 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 flang the warrior on the ground, And the blood well'a freshly from the wound.

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XU. As he repass'd the outer court, He spied the fair young child at sport: He thought to train him to the wood; Fer, at a word, be it understood, He is always for ill, and never for good. Seemd 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,

Cotil 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 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 scowl'd on the started 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 sunburnt face;
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 falchion, sharp and elear,
Had pierced the throat of many a deer.

XVI. His kirtle, made of forest green,

Reach'd scantly to his knee,

CANTO IJI.

1.

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

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!

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 tough ash spear, so stout and true, Into a thousand flinders tew. 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 sale the warrior saddle-fast, Till, stumbling in the mortal slock, Down went the steed, the girthing broke, Hurl'd on a heap lay man and horse. The baron onward pass'd his course; Nor knew-so giddy rolla his brainHis foc lay stretch'd upon the plain.

ir. In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed; Io war, he mounts the warrior's steed; In halls, in gay attire is seen; Jn bamlets, 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 love.,

III. 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 shrillAnd 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:
He 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 rein'd his courser round,
And saw his 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 stay : Unless the swifter I speed away, Short 'shrift will be at my dying day.»—

VIIL. 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 miglity book! Much he marvella, a knight of pride Like a book-bosom'd priest should ride: (a) He thought not to search or staunch the wound, Until the secret he had found.

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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 stern and high,

That mark'd the foemen's feudal hate,
For question fierce and proud reply

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

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 unchristend band, 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;

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

The sigla 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 spcar, And spurr'd his steed to full career, The meeting of these champions proud Seem'd like the bursting thunder-cloud.

1 Magical delusion, • A shepherd's hut.

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