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When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
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 ruined pile :
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!
Short halt did Deloraine make there;
Little recked 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 strait the wicket opened wide:
For Branksome's chiefs bad 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.
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 entered the cell of the ancient priest,
And lifted his barred aventayle, *
To hail the Monk of St. Mary's aisle.
IV. • The Ladye of Branksome greets thee by me;
Says, that the fated hour is come,
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 stiffened limbs he reared; A hundred years had flung their snows
On his thin locks and floating beard.
And strangely on the Knight looked he,
And his blue eyes gleamed wild and wide ; “ And, dar’st 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 ;
* Aventayle, visor of the helmet.
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.
Would'st thou thy every future year
In ceaseless prayer and penance drie,
Yet wait thy latter end with fear-
Then, daring Warrior, follow me!”
“ 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:
Other prayer can I none;
So speed me my errand, and let me be gone."—
Again on the Knight looked the Churchman old,
And again he sighed heavily:
For he had himself been a warrior bold,
And fought in Spain and Italy.
And he thought on the days that were long since by,
When his limbs were strong, and his courage was high :--
Now, slow and faint, he led the way,
Where, cloistered round, the garden lay;
The pillared arches were over their head,
And beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.
Spreading herbs, and flowerets bright,
Glistened with the dew of night;
Nor herb, nor floweret, glistened there,
But was carved in the cloister-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.
He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright,
That spirits were riding the northern light.
By a steel-clenched postern door,
They entered now the chancel tall;
The darkened roof rose high aloof
On pillars lofty and light and small:
The key-stone, that locked each ribbed aisle,
Was a Heur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille ;
The corbells * were carved grotesque and grim;
And the pillars, with clustered shafts so trim,
With base and with capital flourished around,
Seemed 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 !
And thine, dark Knight of Liddesdale !
O fading honours of the dead !
o high ambition, lowly laid /
The moon on the east oriel shone
Through slender shafts of shapely stone,
By foliaged tracery combined ;
Thou would'st have thought some fairy's banii
'Twixt poplars straight the ozier wand,
In many a freakish knot, 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,
Showed many a prophet, and many a sainty
Whose image on the glass was dyed ;
Full in the midst, his Cross of Red
Triumphant Michael braudished,
And trampled the Apostate's pride.
The moon-beam kissed the holy pane,
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain.
They sate them down on a marble stone,
A Scottish monarch slept below;
Thus spoke the Monk, in solemn tone: -
"I 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,
And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear.
“ In these far climes, it was my lot
To meet the wonderous Michael Scott;
A wizard of such dreaded fame,
That when, in Salamanca's cave,
Him listed his magic wand to wave,
The bells would ring in Notre Dame!
Some of his skill he taught to me;
* Corbells, the projections from which the arches spring, usually cut in a fantastic face, or mask.