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'agrd man. After meet rest, again begun.



If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,

Go visit it by the pale nmon-Hght;

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; (i)

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; (a)

And, home returning, soothly swear.

Was never scene so sad and fair!

Short halt did Delorainc make there ,
Little reck'd 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 gale—
« Who knocks so loud, and knocks so laic V—
»» From Branksomc I,» the warrior cried.
And straight the wicket open'd wide:
For Brauksomc's chiefs had iu battle stood,

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

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

Bold Delomine his errand said;
The porter beut his humble head;
With torch in hand, aud feet unshod.
And noiseless step, (he path he trod:
The arched cloisters far aud wide
Rang to the warriors clanking stride;
Till, stooping low his lofty crest,
He^enter'd the cell of the ancieut priest,
Aud lifted his birred aventayle,1
To hail the Monk of St Mary i aisle.


« The Lulyc of Branksomc greets thee by me, Says, that the fated hour i> come,

Awcniajfte. vitor of the talari.

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 strangely on the knight look'd he,

Aud his blue eyes gleam d wild and wide; w And darest thou, warrior, seek to see

What heaven and hell alike would hide T 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 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 penance dri<\
Yet wait thy latter end with fear—

Then, dariug warrior, follow men*


« Penance, father, will I none;

Prayer know I hardly one;

For mass or prayer can I rarely tarry,

Save to patter an Ave Mary,

Wheu I ride on a Border foray : (4)

Other prayer can I none;

So speed me my errand, and let me be gone."


Again ou the knight look'd the churchman old.

And again he sigl>cd heavily;
For he had himself been a warrior bold,

And fought in Spain aud Italy.
And he thought ou the days that were long since by.
When his limbs were strong, and his courage was

high :— Now slow aud faint, he led the way, Where, cloisterd round, the garden lay; The pillard arches were over their ln-.nl, And beneath their feel were the bones of the dead. ('»,


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 lung on the lovely moou,

Theu into the night he looked forth; And red and bright the streamers light

Were dancing in the gtowiug north. So liad he seen, in fair Castile,

The youth in glittering squadrons start;
Sudden the flying jeunet wheel,

Ami hurl the unexpected dart. (6)
He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright,
That spirits were riding the northern light.


By a steel-clenched postern door,

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

On pillars, lofty, and light, and small.

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HlmzDj a scutcheon and banner, riven,
Stook to the cold night-wind of heaven,

Aroand the screened altar's pale;
Aai there the dying lamps did burn
Before thy low and lonely urn,
Ojalaal chief of Ollerburne! (-)

Aadtbioe, dark knight of Liddcsdalei (8) <> fading honours of the dead! ('Ligh ambition, Jowly laid!


Tfo mooQ on the east oriel shone (<>)
ThrcHgh slender shafts of shapely stone,

Byfoliaged tracery combined;
Thou wouldsl have thought some fairy's liand
T*m poplars straight the ozier v..in.I.

la many a freakish knot, had twined;
Tiien framed a spell, when the woik was done.
And dunged the willow-wreaths to stone.
Tbe silver light, so pale and faint,
Sovdmany a prophet, and many a saint,

^tae image on the glass was dyed; lull in die midst, his cross of red InumplHM .Michael brandished,

iod trampled the Apostate's pride, ft* moon-beam kies'd the holy paue, Atd threw on the pavement a bloody stain.


■kr sate tliem dowu ou a marble stone,
A Scottish monarch slept below; (10)
^as spoke the monk, in solemn tone—
■I vi* not always a man of woe;
'f toynim countries I have trod,
■W fought beneath the cross of God:
sw, strange to my eyes thine arms appear,
«1 their iron clang sounds strange to my ear.


•la th(sf fir climes, it was my lot

To meet the wondrous Michael Scott; (11)

A*uard of such dreaded fame, tat*ben, in Salamanca's cave,(i2) "'»listed his magic wand to wave,

The bells would ring in Notre Dame! (i3)
SwBeof his skill he taught to me;
And, warrior, I could say to thee
T* *ords that cleft Eildon hilts in three,

And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone : (14) wttospnak them were a deadly siu; W for having but thought them my heart within,

A treble penance must be done.


• Vben Michael lay on his dying bed, ta conscience was awakened;

"«"!, |fe prnjmioni from whlcli the arches •print;, nsunllv


He bethought liim 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.


« 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 Uranksorne's need;

And when lhat need was past and o'er,

Agaiu the volume to restore.

I buried him on St Michael's night.

When trfc 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 bends from the wizard's grave.


««It was a night of woe and dread. When Michael iu 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, lhat a braver mail

Than William of Dclorainc, good at need,

Against a foe ne'er spurr'd a siecd;

Yet somewhat was he chill'd with dread,

And his hair did bristle upon his head.


« I.o, warrior! now the cross of red
Points to the grave of the mighty dead;
Within it burns a voudcrous light.
To chase the spirits that love the night:

That lamp shall burn unqucnchably, (i5)

U11 til 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 sigu with his wither'd hand,

The grave's huge portal lo expand.


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 earthly 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 waviug plume.


Before their eyes the wizard lay,

As if lie had rtot been dead a day.

His hoary beard in silver rot I'd,

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 his look,
At which the fellest fiends had shook,
And all unruffled was his face;
They trusted his soul had gottcu grace.


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.
Bcwilder'd and unnerved he stood,
And the priest pray'd fervently and loud:
With eves averted prayed he;
He might not endure the .sight to sec
Of the mau he had loved so brotherly.


And when the prirst his death-prayer had pray'd,

Thus unto Deloraine he said:—

cc Now speed thee what thou hast to do.

Or, warrior, we may dearly rue;

For those, thou mayst uot look upon,

Are gathering fast round the yawning stone !»>—

Then Deloraine, in terror, took

From the cold baud the mighty book.

With iron clasp'd, and with iron bouud:

He thought, as he took it, the dead man

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


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 rannot tell how the truth may be;

I say the tale as t was said to me.

XXIII « Now hie thee hence,M the father said, « And when we are on death-bed laid, O may Our dear I.adye, and sweet St John, Forgive our souls for the deed we have donc!»

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 I

Before the cross was the body laid.

With hands clasp'd fast, as if still he pray'd.


The knight breathed free in the morning wind,
And strove his hardihood to find:
He was glad when he pass'd the tomb-stones gn
Which girdle round the fair abbaye;
For the mystic book, to his bosom press d.
Felt like a load upon his breast;
Ai>d 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 gray;
He joy'd to sec the cheerful light,
And he said Ave Mary as well as he might.


Tiip sun had brighten'd Cheviot gray.

The sun had brighteu'd 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 tlian the rose so red,

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

The fairest maid of Teviotdale.


Why docs fair Margaret so early awake.

And don her kirtle so hastilie: And the silken knots, which in hurry she tve 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-bound,

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


The ladye steps in doubt and dread,

Lest her watchful mother hear her tread:

The ladye caresses the rough blood-hound,

Lest hi? 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.


The knight and ladye f.iir arc met.

And under the hawthorn's boughs arc s«t.

A fairer p-iir were never seen

To meet beneath the hawthorn green.

A mountain on ihc border r*f Knjliad, above Jedburgh.

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He was waspish, arch, and litberlie,
But woll Lord Cranstbun served he;

And he of his service was full fain;

For once he had been la'en or slain,
An it had not been his ministry.

All between Home and Hermitage

Talk'd of Lord Cranstoun's goblin-page.


For [be baron went on pilgrimage,
And look with him this elvish page,

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

And be would pay his vows.
But the Ladye of Rranksome 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 Thirlestanc,
And thither came William of Deloraine;

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.


And now, in Branksomc's good green-wood.

As under the aged oak be 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 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 bis steed amain,

And, pondering deep that morning's scene,

Rode eastward through the hawthorns green.

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 wiih mighty wine.
The blood of Vclez" scorched vine.
He raised the silver cup on liigh,
And, while the big drop lilld 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 Miustrel quaff'd;
Aud he, emboldcn'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 his tale again began.

1 Wood-pigeon.



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

And thai 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 llamc!


In peace, Love tunes 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 love.


So thought Lord Cranstoun, as I ween,

While, pondering deep the lender scene,

lie rode through Brauksome's hawthorn green.

Bu( (he 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 warriors steed, so dapple-gray.
Wan 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 Delorahie.


Hut no whit weary did he seem,

When, dancing in the sunny beam,

He mark'd the crane on the baron's crest; (t)

For his ready spear was in his rest.

Few were the words, and stern and high,

That mark'd 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 whecl'd around,
To give each knight his vantage ground.


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 Dclorainc nor sigh'd nor pray'd, Nor saint nor ladye call'd to aid; But he sloop'd his head, and couch'd his spear, And spurr'd his steed to full career. The meeting of these champions proud Seemd like the bursting thunder-cloud.

Stern was the dint the Borderer lent;

The stately baron backwards bent;

Bent backwards to his horses tail,

And his plumes went scattering on the galr;

The touglp ash spear, so stout and true,

Into a thousand Hinders (lew.

But Cranstoun's lance, of more avail,

Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail;

Through shield, and jack, and acton pa^t,

Deep in his bosom broke at last.—

Still sate the warrior saddle-fast,

Till, stumbling in the mortal shock,

Down weut the steed, the girthiug brokr,

Hurl'd on a heap lay man and horse.

The barou onward pass'd his course;

Nor knew—so giddy roll'd his brain—

His foe lay strelch'd upon the plain.


But when he rein'd his courser round,
And saw his foe man 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 iu his doubtful state,
And lead him to Hrauksome castle-gale:
His noble mind was inly moved
For the kinsman of the maid be 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.a—


Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode;

The gobliu-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 marvell'd, a knight of pride

Like a book-bosom d priest should ride: (a)

He thought not lo search or staunch the wound,

Until the secret he had found.


The iron band, the iron clasp,
Uesisted long the eirin grasp;
For when the first he had undone,
It closed as he the next begun.
Those iron clasps, that irou band.
Would not yield to unchristcn'd hand,
Till he smenr'd 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 sheeting1 seem a palace large,

'Y!*(jiral (Irlutfos.
1 A ilieptiml* hut.

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