ページの画像
PDF

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.

[merged small][ocr errors]

CANTO II.

And strangely on the knight look d he,

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 thora, For threescore years, in 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

In ceaseless prayer and pegance drie, Yet wait thy latter end with fear

Then, daring warrior, follow me!»

Ir 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 shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light'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 hoot 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 !

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

II.
Short halt did Deloraine make there;
Little recka he of the scene so fair!
With dagger's hilt, on the wicket strong,
He struck full loud, and struck full long.
The porter hurried to the gate-
«Who knocks so loud, and knocks so late?»-
« From Branksome I,» the warrior cried,
And straight the wicket open'd wide :
For Branksome's chiefs had in battle stood,

To fence the rights of fair Melrose;
And lands and livings, many a rood,

Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose. (3)

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. (.

III. 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 aventayle,' 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 glistend there, But was carved in the cloister'd arches as fair. The monk gazed long on the lovely moon,

Thep 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 bright, That spirits were riding the northern light.

IV.

« The Ladye of Branksome greets thee by me,

Says, that the fated hour is come,

IX
By a steel-clenched postera door,

They enter'd now the chancel tall.
The darken'd roof rose high aloof

On pillars, lofty, and light, and small.

Arenkayle, visor of the helmet.

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;
And the pillars, with cluster'd shafts so trim,
With base and with capital flourish'd around,
Seem'd bundles of lances which garlands had bound.

Full many a scutcheon and banner, riven,
Shook to the cold night-wind of heaven,

Around the screened altar's pale;
And there the dying lamps did burn
Before thy low and lonely urn,
O gallant chief of Otterburne! (7)

And thine, dark knight of Liddesdale! (8)
O fading honours of the dead!
O high ambition, lowly laid!

He bethought him of his sinful deed,
And he gave me a sign to come with speed :
I was in Spain when the morning rose,
But I stood by his bed ere evening close.
The words may not again be said
That he spoke to me, on death-bed laid;
They would rend this abbaye's massy nave,
And pile it in heaps above his grave.

XV.
«I swore to bury his mighty book,
That never mortal might therein look ;
And never to tell where it was hid,
Save at his chief of Branksome's need;
And when that need was past and o'er,
Again the volume to restore.
I buried him on St Michael's night,
When tlfe bell told one, and the moon was bright,
And I dug his chamber among the dead,
When the floor of the chancel was stained red,
That his patron's cross might over him wave,
And scare the fiends from the wizard's grave.

XI.
The moon on the east oriel shone (9)
Through slender shafts of shapely stone,

By foliaged tracery combined;
Thou wouldst have thought some fairy's hand
Twixt poplars straight the ozier wand,

la many a freakish knoi, 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 prophet, and many a saint,

Whose image on the glass was dyed;
Fall in the midst, his cross of red
Triumphant Michael brandished,

And trampled the Apostate's pride.
The moon-beam kiss'd the holy pane,
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain.

[merged small][ocr errors]

XII.
They sate them down on a marble stone,

A Scottish monarch slept below;(10)
Taas spoke the monk, in solemn tone-

I was not always a man of woe; For Paynim countries I have irod,”: Aad fought beneath the cross of God Kor, strange to my eyes thine arms appear, And their iron clang sounds strange to my car.

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 flag-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. « lo these far climes, it was my lot To meet the wondrous Michael Scott; (1)

A wizard of such dreaded fame,
That when, in Salamanca's cave, (12)
His listed his magic wand to wave,

The bells would ring in Notre Dame! (13)
Some of his skill he taught to me;
And, sarrior, I could say to thee
The words that cleft Eildon lills in three,

And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone: (14)
Bat to speak them were a deadly sin;
And for having but thought them my heart within,

A treble penance must be done.

XVIII.
With beating heart to the task he went;
His sinewy frame o'er the grave-stone 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 you had been there to see
How the light broke forth so gloriously,
Stream'd upward to the chancel roof,
And through the galleries far aloof!
No eartbly flame blazed e'er so bright:
It shone like heaven's own blessed light;

And, issuing from the tomb,
Show'd the monk's cowl, and visage pale,
Danced on the dark-brow'd warrior's mail,

And kiss'd his waving plume.

XIV. . When Michael lay on his dying bed, His conscience was awakened ;

Corbells, the projections from which the arches spring, usually a la fantastic face, or mask.

The monk return'd him to his cell,

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

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

XXIV. The knight breathed free in the morning wind, And strove lis hardihood to find: He was glad when he pass'd the tomb-stones Gray, Which girdle round the fair abbaye; For the mystic book, to luis bosom press'd, Felt like a load upen 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.

ΧΙΧ.
Before their eyes the wizard lay,
As if he had not been dead a day.
His hoary beard in silver rolla,
He seemd some seventy winters old;
A palmer's amice wrapp'd him round,
Witb 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,
At which the fellest fiends had shook,
And all unruffled was his face;
They trusted his soul had gotten grace.

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:
His breath came thick, his head swam round,

When this strange scene of death he saw.
Bewilder'd and unnerved he stood,
And the priest pray'd fervently and loud:
With eyes aserted prayed he;
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 upto Deloraine le said:-
« Now speed thee what thou hast to do,
Or, warrior, we may dearly rue;
For those, thou mayst not look upon,
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone!»---
Then Deloraine, in terror, took
From the cold hand the mighty book,
With iron clasp'd, and with iron bound:
He thought, as he took it, the dead man

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

XXII. When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb, 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 they past, They heard strange noises on the blast; And through the cloister-galleries small, Which at mid-height 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 hie thee hence,» the father said, « And when we are on death-bed laid, O may Our dear Ladye, and sweet St John, Forgive our souls for the deed we have done!»

XXV.
The sun had brighten'd 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.

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 shapey 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?

XXVII. The ladye steps in doubt and dread, Lest her watchful mother hear ber 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 dawn of

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 bawthorn green.

"Amountain on tbe border of England, above Jed burgh.

He was stately, and young, and tall,
Dreaded in battle, and loved in hall:
And she, when love, scarce told, scarce hid,
Leat to her cheek a livelier red;
When the half sigh her swelling breast
1 ainst 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 pair,
With Margaret of Branksome might compare!

He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,

But well Lord Cranstoan 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
You lisien to my miastrelsy:
Your waving locks ye backward throw,
And sidelong bend your necks of soow:
Te weed to hear a melting tale,
Of tvo true lovers in a dale;
And how the knight, with tender fire,

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

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

XXXII.
For the baron went on pilgrimage,
And cook 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 Brauksome gather'd a band Of the best that would ride at her command;(18)

The frysting-place was Newark Lee.
Wat of Harderi came thither amain,
And thither came John of Thirlestane,
And thitler 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 burn'd the chapel for very rage,
And cursed Lord Cranstoun's goblin-page.

XXX. Alas! fair dames, your bopes 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 poise he hears ; The Dwarf waves his long lean arm on high, And signs 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 stirrüp held, and rein; Vaulted the knight on his steed amain, And, pondering deep that morning's scene, Rode eastward through the hawthorns green.

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

And held his crested belm and spear:
Tat Dwarf was scarcely an earthly man,
If the tales were true that of bim ran

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

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

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

To rid lim of his compasy; Bar where he rode one mile, the Dwarf ran four, And the Dwarf was first at the castle door.

Wuile thus le poar'd the lengthen'd tale, The Minstrel's voice began to fail : Fult 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 llow long, how deep, how zealously, The precious juice the Minstrel quaff.d; Aud 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 his tale again began.

XXXII. Lee lessens marvel, it is said: Thuis elásh Dwarf with the baron staid; Latte be ate, and less he spoke, Sor mingled with the menial flock: And oft apart his arms he tossid, And often mutter'd, Lost! lost! lost!»

1 Wood-pigeon,

The monk return d him to his cell,

And many a prayer and penance sped; When 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 breathed free in the morning wind And strove his hardihood to find: He was glad when he pass'd the tomb-stones gr 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 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.

XIX.
Before their eyes the wizard lay,
As if he had not been dead a day.
His hoary beard in silver rolld,
He 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 liis look,
At which the fellest fiends had shook,
And all anruffled was his face;
They trusted his soul had gotten grace.

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:
His breath came thick, his head swam round,

When this strange scene of death he saw.
Bewilder'd and unnerved he stood, .
And the priest pray'd fervently and loud:
With eyes averted prayed he;
Ile mighi 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 upto Deloraine he said:-
« Now speed thee what thou hast to do,
Or, warrior, we may dearly rue;
For those, thou mayst not look upon,
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone !»-
Then Deloraine, in terror, took
From the cold hand the mighty book,
With iron clasp'd, and with iron bound:
He thought, as he took it, the dead man

frown'd; (10) But the glare of the sepulchral light, Perchancc, had dazzled the warrior's sight.

XXII. When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb, 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 they past, They heard strange noises on the blast; And through the cloister-galleries small, Which at mid-height 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 hie thee hence,» the father said, « And when we are on death-bed laid, O may Our dear Ladye, and sweet St John, Forgive our souls for the deed we have done!»

XXV.
The sun had brighten'd 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 carly left her sleepless bed,

The fairest maid of Teviotdale.

XXVI.
Why does fair Margaret so early awake,

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

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 shacuy blood-bound,

As he 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-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 dawn

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.

« 前へ次へ »