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Where Aill, from mountains freed,
Down from the lakes did raving come;
Each wave was crested with tawny foam,
Like the mane of a chestnut steed.
In vain! no torrent, deep or broad,
Might bar the bold moss-trooper's road.

XXIX

At the first plunge the horse sunk low,
And the water broke o'er the saddle-bow;
Above the foaming tide, I ween,

Scarce half the charger's neck was seen;
For he was barded from counter to tail,
And the rider was armed complete in mail;
Never heavier man and horse

Stemmed a midnight torrent's force.
The warrior's very plume, I say,

Was daggled by the dashing spray;

Yet, through good heart, and our Ladye's grace,
At length he gained the landing-place.

XXX

Now Bowden Moor the marchman won,

And sternly shook his plumèd head,

As glanced his eye o'er Halidon;h
For on his soul the slaughter red
Of that unhallowed morn arose,

When first the Scott and Carr were foes;
When royal James beheld the fray,
Prize to the victor of the day;

When Home and Douglas in the van,
Bore down Buccleuch's retiring clan,
Till gallant Cessford's heart-blood dear
Reeked on dark Elliot's Border spear.
XXXI

In bitter mood he spurrèd fast,
And soon the hated heath was passed;
And far beneath in lustre wan,

Old Melros' rose, and fair Tweed ran:

name. Tradition carries their antiquity to a point extremely remote; and is in some degree sanctioned by the discovery of two stone coffins; one containing an earthen pot filled with ashes and arms, bearing a legible date, A.D. 727; the other dated 936, and filled with the bones of a man of gigantic size.

8 Or barbed, applied to a horse accoutred with defensive armour. b Halidon Hill, on which the battle of Melrose was fought July 19, 1333. Halidon was an ancient seat of the Kerrs of Cessford, now demolished.

i The ancient and beautiful monastery of Melrose was founded by King David I. in 1136. Its ruins afford the finest specimen of Gothic architecture, and Gothic sculpture, of which Scotland can boast. This superb convent was dedicated to St. Mary, and the monks were of the Cistercian order.

Like some tall rock, with lichens grey,
Seemed, dimly huge, the dark Abbaye.
When Hawick he passed, had curfew rung,
Now midnight lauds were in Melrose sung.
The sound, upon the fitful gale,

In solemn wise did rise and fail,

Like that wild harp, whose magic tone

Is wakened by the winds alone.

But when Melrose he reached, 'twas silence all;

He meetly stabled his steed in stall,

And sought the convent's lonely wall.

HERE paused the harp; and with its swell
The Master's fire and courage fell:
Dejectedly, and low, he bowed,
And, gazing timid on the crowd,
He seemed to seek, in every eye,
If they approved his minstrelsy;
And, diffident of present praise,
Somewhat he spoke of former days,
And how old age, and wandering long,
Had done his hand and harp some wrong.

The Duchess, and her daughters fair,
And every gentle ladye there,

Each after each, in due degree,

Gave praises to his melody;

His hand was true, his voice was clear,
And much they longed the rest to hear.
Encouraged thus, the Aged Man,
After meet rest, again began.

CANTO SECOND.

I

If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,

Go visit it by the pale moonlight;

For the gay beams of lightsome day

Gild, but to flout, the ruins grey.

When the broken arches are black in night,

And each shafted oriel glimmers white;

When the cold light's uncertain shower

Streams on the ruined central tower;

When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;

This town is beautifully situated at the junction of the Teviot

with a stream called the Slitrigg.

1 The midnight service of the Roman Catholic Church.

When silver edges the imagery,

And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die; m
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!

II

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 straight the wicket opened wide:

For Branksome's chiefs had 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."

III

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,p

To hail the Monk of St. Mary's aisle.

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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.

The buttresses are, according to the Gothic style, richly carved and fretted, containing niches for the statues of saints, and labelled with scrolls, bearing appropriate texts of Scripture.

David I. of Scotland purchased the reputation of sanctity> founding and liberally endowing Melrose and other monasteries. The Buccleuch family were great benefactors to the abbey of Melrose. P Visor of the helmet.

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And strangely on the Knight looked he,

And his blue eyes gleamed wild and wide;-
"And, darest 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;
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.
Wouldst thou thy every future year

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In ceaseless prayer and penance drie,"
Yet wait thy latter end with fear-
Then, daring warrior, follow me."

VI

'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.”—

VII

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

Now, slow and faint, he led the way,

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Where, cloistered round, the garden lay;

The pillared arches were over their head,

And beneath their feet were the bones of the dead."

VIII

Spreading herbs, and flowrets bright,
Glistened with the dew of night;

Nor herb, nor flowret, 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.

Suffer. The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulture. The Spaniards were very great adepts in the mode of fighting by burling darts.

He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright,
That spirits were riding the northern light.

IX

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 fleur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille;

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The corbels 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.

X

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!

ΧΙ

The moon on the east oriel shone,w
Through slender shafts of shapely stone,

* The projections from which the arches spring, usually cut in a fantastic face, or mask.

"The famous and desperate battle of Otterburne was fought 15th August, 1388, betwixt Henry Percy, called Hotspur, and James earl of Douglas. Both these renowned champions were at the head of a chosen body of troops, and were rivals in military fame. The issue of the conflict is well known: Percy was made prisoner, and the Scots won the day, dearly purchased by the death of their gallant general, the earl of Douglas, who was slain in the action. He was buried at Melrose, beneath the high altar.

▾ William Douglas, called the knight of Liddesdale, flourished during the reign of David II., and was so distinguished for his valour, that he was called the Flower of Chivalry. Nevertheless, he tarnished his renown by the cruel murder of Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, originally his friend and brother in arms. The king had conferred upon Ramsay the sheriffdom of Teviotdale, to which Douglas pretended some claim. In revenge of this preference, the knight of Liddesdale came down upon Ramsay, while he was administering justice at Hawick, seized, and carried him off to his remote and inaccessible castle of Hermitage, where he threw his unfortunate prisoner into a dungeon, and left him to perish of hunger. So weak was the royal authority, that David, though highly incensed at this atrocious murder, found himself obliged to appoint the knight of Liddesdale successor to his victim as sheriff of Teviotdale. He was soon after slain, while hunting in Ettricke Forest, by his own godson and chieftain, William earl of Douglas.

It is impossible to conceive a more beautiful specimen of the

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