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XXX.

Unconscious of the near relief,

The proffer pleased each Scottish chief,

Though much the Ladye sage gainsayed: For though their hearts were brave and true, From Jedwood's recent sack they knew,

How tardy was the regent's aid; And you may guess the noble Dame

Durst not the secret prescience own,
Sprung from the art she might not name,

By which the coming help was known.
Closed was the compact, and agreed
That lists should be inclosed with speed.

Beneath the castle, on a lawn,
They fixed the morrow for the strife,
On foot, with Scottish axe and knife,

At the fourth hour from peep of dawn;
When Deloraine, from sickness freed,
Or else a champion in his stead,

Should for himself and chieftain stand,
Against stout Musgrave, hand to hand.

XXXI. . I know right well that, in their lay, Full many minstrels sing and say, Such combat should be made on horse, On foaming steed, in full career, With brand to aid, when as the spear Should shiver in the course : But he, the jovial Harper, taught Me, yet a youth, how it was fought, In guise which now I say; He knew each ordinance and clause Of black Lord Archibald’s battle laws, In the old Douglas' day. He brooked not, he, that scoffing tongue Should tax his minstrelsy with wrong,

Q

Or call his song untrue: For this, when they the goblet plied, And such rude taunt had chafed his pride,

The bard of Reull he slew. On Teviot's side, in fight, they stood, And tuneful hands were stained with blood; Where still the thorn's white branches wave,

Memorial o'er his rival's grave.

XXXII.

Why should I tell the rigid doom,
That dragged my master to his tomb;
How Ousenam's maidens tore their hair,
Wept till their eyes were dead and dim,
And wrung their hands for love of him,

Who died at Jedwood Air? .
He died 1–his scholars, one by one,
To the cold silent grave are gone;

And I, alas! survive alone,

i

To muse o'er rivalries of yore,
And grieve that I shall hear no more
The strains, with envy heard before;
For, with my minstrel brethren fled,
My jealousy of song is dead.

He paused—the listening dames again
Applaud the hoary Minstrel's strain;
With many a word of kindly cheer,
In pity half, and half sincere,
Marvelled the Duchess how so well
His legendary song could tell—
Of ancient deeds, so long forgot;
Of feuds, whose memory was not;
Of forests, now laid waste and bare;
Of towers, which harbour now the hare;
Of manners, long since changed and gone;
Of chiefs, who under their gray stone

So long had slept, that fickle Fame
Had blotted from her rolls their name,
And twined round some new minion's head
The fading wreath for which they bled—
In sooth, 'twas strange, this old man's verse

Could call them from their marble hearse.

The Harper smiled, well pleased; for ne'er Was flattery lost on poet's ear: A simple race they waste their toil For the vain tribute of a smile; E’en when in age their flame expires, Her dulcet breath can fan its fires; Their drooping fancy wakes at praise, And strives to trim the short-lived blaze.

Smiled then, well pleased, the Aged Man,

And thus his tale continued ran.

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