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And, issuing from the tomb, Shewed the Monk's cowl, and visage pale, Danced on the dark-browed Warrior's mail,
And kissed his waving plume.
Before their eyes the Wizard lay,
Often had William of Deloraine
And neither known remorse or awe;
When this strange scene of death he saw.
And when the priest his death-prayer had prayed,
Thus unto Deloraine he said :—
"Now speed thee what thou hast to do,
Or, Warrior, we may dearly rue;
For those, thou may'st not look upon,
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone !"—
Theft Deloraine, in terror, took
From the cold hand the Mighty Book,
With iron clasped, and with iron bound:
He thought, as he took it, the dead man frowned;
But the glare of the sepulchral light,
Perchance, had dazzled the Warrior's sight.
When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb,
The night returned in double gloom,
For the moon hadgone 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.
'Tis said, as through the aisles they passed,
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,
"Now, hie thee hence," the Father said,
The Monk returned him to his cell,
When the convent met at the noontide bell-
The Knight breathed free in the morning wind,
And strove his hardihood to find:
He was glad when he passed the tombstones gray,
Which girdle round the fair Abbaye;
For the mystic Book, to his bosom prest,
Felt like a load upon his breast;
And 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 joyed to see the chearful light,
And he said Ave Mary, as well as he might.
The sun had brightened Cheviot gray,
The sun had brightened the Carter's* side;
And soon beneath the rising day
Smiled Branksome Towers and Teviot's tide.
• A mountain on the border of England, above Jedburgh.