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XXVI.

Some heard a voice in Branksome Hall,

Some saw a sight, not seen by all;

That dreadful voice was heard by some,

Cry, with loud summons, " Gylbin, Come!" And on the spot where burst the brand,

Just where the Page had flung him down, Some saw an arm, and some a hand, And some the waving of a gown.

The guests in silence prayed and shook,

And terror dimmed each lofty look.

But none of all the astonished train

Was so dismayed as Deloraine;

His blood did freeze, his brain did burn,

'Twas feared his mind would ne'er return;
For he was speechless, ghastly, wan,
Like him, of whom the story ran,
Who spoke the spectre-hound in Man.*
At length, by fits, he darkly told,
With broken hint, and shuddering cold—

* The Isle of Man. See Note.

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That he had seen, right certainly, A shape with amice wrapped around, With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,

Like pilgrim from beyond the sea; And knew—but how it mattered not— It was the wizard, Michael Scott.

XXVII.

The anxious crowd, with horror pale,
All trembling, heard the wondrous tale;

No sound was made, no word was spoke,

Till noble Angus silence broke;
And he a solemn sacred plight

Did to St Bride of Douglas make,

That he a pilgrimage would take

To Melrose Abbey, lor the sake
Of Michael's restless sprite.

Then each, to ease his troubled breast,

To some blessed saint his prayers addressed; Some to St Modan made their vows,

Some to St Mary of the Lowes,

Some to the Holy Rood of Lisle,

Some to Our Lady of the Isle;

Each did his patron witness make,

That he such pilgrimage would take,

And Monks should sing, and bells should toll,

All for the weal of Michael's soul.

While vows were ta'en, and prayers were prayed,

'Tis said the noble Dame, dismayed,

Renounced, for aye, dark magic's aid.

XXVIII.
Nought of the bridal will I tell,
Which after in short space befel;
Nor how brave sons and daughters fair

Blessed Teviot's Flower, and Cranstoun's heir
After such dreadful scene, 'twere vain
To wake the note of mirth again.

More meet it were to mark the day
Of penitence and prayer divine,

When pilgrim-chiefs, in sad array,
Sought Melrose' holy shrine.

XXIX.

With naked foot, and sackcloth vest,
And arms enfolded on his breast,

Did every pilgrim go j
The standers-by might hear uneath,
Footstep, or voice, or high-drawn breath,

Through all the lengthened row:
No lordly look, nor martial stride,
Gone was their glory, sunk their pride,

Forgotten their renown;
Silent and slow, like ghosts, they glide
To the high altar's hallowed side,

And there they kneeled them down:
Above the suppliant chieftains wave
The banners of departed brave;

Beneath the lettered stones were laid
The ashes of their fathers dead;
From many a garnished niche around,
Stern saints, and tortured martyrs, frowned.

XXX.

And slow up the dim aisle afar,
With sable cowl and scapular,
And snow-white stoles, in order due,
The holy Fathers, two and two,

In long procession came;
Taper, and host, and book they bare,
And holy banner, flourished fair

With the Redeemer's name:
Above the prostrate pilgrim band
The mitred Abbot stretched his hand,

And blessed them as they kneeled;
With holy cross he signed them all,
And prayed they might be sage in hall,

And fortunate in field.

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