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And still the crucifix on high
He holds before his darkening eye;
And still he bends an anxious ear,
His faltering penitence to hear;
Still props him from the bloody sod,
Still, even when soul and body part,
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart,
And bids him trust in God! Unheard he
prays; the death-pang's o'er! Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.
As if exhausted in the fight,
Or musing o'er the piteous sight,
The silent victor stands;
His beaver did he not unclasp,
Mark'd not the shouts, felt not the grasp
Of gratulating hands.
When lo! strange cries of wild surprise,
Mingled with seeming terror, rise
Among the Scottish bands;
And all, amid the throng'd array,
In panic haste gave open way
To a half-naked ghastly man,
Who downward from the castle ran:
He cross'd the barriers at a bound,
And wild and haggard look'd around,
As dizzy, and in pain;
And all, upon the armed ground,
Knew William of Deloraine!
Each ladye sprung from seat with speed;
Vaulted each marshal from his steed;
“And who art thou,” they cried,
"Who hast this battle fought and won?”
His plumed helm was soon undone
"Cranstoun of Teviot-side! For this fair prize I've fought and won," And to the Ladye led her son.
Full oft the rescued boy she kiss'd,
And often press’d him to her breast;
For, under all her dauntless show,
Her heart had throbb'd at every blow;
Yet not Lord Cranstoun deign'd she greet,
Though low he kneeled at her feet.
Me lists not tell what words were made,
What Douglas, Home, and Howard, said —
- For Howard was a generous foe And how the clan united
The Ladye would the feud forego,
And deign to bless the nuptial hour
Of Cranstoun's Lord and Teviot's Flower.
She look'd to river, look'd to hill,
Thought on the Spirit's prophecy, Then broke her silence stern and still,
"Not you, but Fate, has vanquish'd me; Their influence kindly stars may shower On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower,
For pride is quell’d, and love is free.” She took fair Margaret by the hand, Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand; That hand to Cranstoun's lord
"As I am true to thee and thine,
Do thou be true to me and mine!
This clasp of love our bond shall be;
For this is your betrothing day,
And all these noble lords shall stay,
it with their company.
All as they left the listed plain,
Much of the story she did gain;
How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine,
And of his page, and of the Book
Which from the wounded knight be took;
And how he sought her castle high,
That morn, by help of gramarye ;
How, in Sir William's armour dight,
Stolen by his page, while slept the knight,
He took un him the single fight.
But half his tale he left unsaid,
And linger'd till he join'd the maid.
Scott, Portical Works. ).
Cared not the Ladye to betray
Her mystic arts in view of day;
But well she thought, ere midnight came,
Of that strange page the pride to tame,
From his fouï hands the Book to save,
And send it back to Michael's grave.
Needs not to tell each tender word
'Twixt Margaret and 'twixt Cranstoun's lord;
Nor how she told the former woes,
And how her bosom fell and rose,
While he and Musgrave bandied blows.
Needs not these lovers' joys to tell:
One day, fair maids, you'll know them well.
William of Deloraine, some chance
Had waken'd from his deathlike trance;
And taught that, in the listed plain,
Another, in his arms and shield,
Against fierce Musgrave axe did wield,
Under the name of Deloraine.
Hence, to the field, unarm’d, he ran,
And hence his presence scared the clan,
Who held him for some fleeting wraith,*
And not a man of blood and breath.
Not much this new ally he loved,
Yet, when he saw what hap had proved,
He greeted him right heartilie:
He would not waken old debate,
For he was void of rancorous hate,
Though rude, and scant of courtesy;
In raids he spilt bút seldom blood
Unless when men-at-arms withstood,
Or, as was meet, for deadly feud.
He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow,
Ta’en in fair fight from gallant foe:
And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now
When on dead Musgrave he look'd down; Grief darkened on his rugged brow,
Though half disguised with a frown; And thus, while sorrow bent his head, His foeman's epitaph he made:
“Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here!
I ween, my deadly enemy; For, if I slew thy brother dear,
Thou slew'st a sister's son to me; And when I lay in dungeon dark,
Of Naworth Castle, long months three, Till ransom'd for a thousand mark,
Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee. And, Musgrave, could our fight be tried
And thou wert now alive, as I,
No mortal man should us divide,
Till one, or both of us, did die:
Yet rest thee God! for well I know
I ne'er shall find a nobler foe.
In all the northern counties here,
Whose word is Snaffle, spur, and
Thou wert the best to follow gear!
'Twas pleasure, as we look'd behind,
To see how thou the chase could'st wind,
Cheer the dark blood-hound on his way,
And with the bugle rouse the fray! 39
I'd give the lands of Deloraine,
Dark Musgrave were alive again.”
So mourn'd he, till Lord Dacre's band
Were bowning back to Cumberland.
They raised brave Musgrave from the field,
And laid him on his bloody shield;
On levell’d lances, four and four,
By turns, the noble burden bore.
Before, at times, upon the gale,
Was heard the Minstrel’s plaintive wail;
Behind, four priests, in sable stole,
Sung requiem for the warrior's soul:
Around, the horsemen slowly rode;
With trailing pikes the spearmen trode;
And thus the gallant knight they bore,
Through Liddesdale to Leven's shore;
Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave,
And laid him in his father's grave.
The harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song,
The mimic march of death prolong;
Now seems it far, and now a-near,
Now meets, and now eludes the ear;
Now seems some mountain side to sweep,
Now faintly dies in valley deep;
Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail,
Now the sad requiem, loads the gale;
Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave,
Rung the full choir in choral stave.
After due pause, they bade him tell,
Why he, who touch'd the harp so well,
Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil,
Wander a poor and thankless soil,
When the more generous Southern Land
Would well requite his skilful hand.
The Aged Harper, howsoe'er
His only friend, his harp, was dear,
Liked not to hear it rank'd so high
Above his flowing poesy
Less liked he still, that scornful jeer
Misprised the land he loved so dear;
High was the sound, as thus again
The Bard resumed his minstrel strain.
BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,