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And, as the moon shone bright and cold,
Soon reached the camp upon the wold.
The southern entrance I passed through,
And halted, and my bugle blew.
Methought an answer met my ear,-
Yet was the blast so low and drear,
So hollow, and so faintly blown,
It might be echo of my own.
“ Thus judging, for a little space
I listened, ere I left the place ;
But scarce could trust my eyes,
Nor yet can think they served me true,
When sudden in the ring I view,
In form distinct of shape and hue,
A mounted champion rise.-
I've fought, Lord-Lion, many a day,
In single fight, and mixed affray,
And ever, I myself may say,
Have borne me as a knight;
But when this unexpected foe
Seemed starting from the gulph below,-
I care not though the truth I show,—
I trembled with affright;
And as I placed in rest my spear,
My hand so shook for very fear,
I scarce could couch it right.
XXI. “ Why need my tongue the issue tell ? We ran our course,-my charger fell ;— What could he 'gainst the shock of hell ?— : I rolled upon the plain. High o'er my head, with threatening hand, The spectre shook his naked brand,
Yet did the worst remain ; My dazzled eyes I upward cast,-Not opening hell itself could blast
Their sight, like what I saw.!
Full on his face the moonbeam strook, -- .
A face could never be mistook! .. .'
I knew the stern vindictive look,
And held my breath for awe.
I saw the face of one who, fled , i
To foreign climes, has long been dead, .
I well believe the last;
For ne'er, from visor raised, did stare
A'human warrior, with a glare
So grimly and so ghast.
Thrice o’er my head he shook the blade ;
But when to good Saint George I prayed,
(The first time e'er I asked his aid,);
He plunged it in the sheath;
And, on his courser mounting light, .
He seemed to vanish from my sight :
The moonbeam drooped, and deepest night
Sunk down upon the heath.
"Twere long to tell what cause I have
To know his face, that met me there,
Called by his hatred from the grave
To cumber upper air :
Dead, or alive, good cause had he
To be my mortal enemy."
Marvelled Sir David of the Mount;
Then, learned in story, 'gan recount
Such chance had happ'd of old,
When once, near Norham, there did fight
A spectre fell of fiendish might,
In likeness of a Scottish knight,
With Brian Bulmer bold,
And trained him nigh to disallow
The aid of his baptismal vow.
“ And such a phantom, too, 'tis said,
With Highland broad-sword, targe, and plaid,
And fingers red with gore,
Is seen in Rothiemurcus glade, .
Or where the sable pine-trees shade
Dark Tomantoul, and Achnaslaid,
Dromouchty, or Glenmore.*
And yet, whate’er such legends say,
Of warlike demon, ghost, or fay,
On mountain, moor, or plain,
Spotless in faith, in bosom bold,
True son of chivalry should hold
These midnight terrors vain ;
For seldom have such spirits power
To harm, save in the evil hour,
When guilt we meditate within,
Or harbour unrepented sin.”—
Lord Marmion turned him half aside,
And twice to clear his voice he tried, "
Then pressed Sir David's hand,
But nought, at length, in answer said ;.
And here their farther converse staid,
* See the traditions concerning Bulmer, and the spectre called Lhamdearg, or Bloody-hand, in a note on Canto III.