Imágenes de páginas

The watchman's bugle is not blown,

For he was her foster-father's son ;

And she glides through the greenwood at dawn of light,
To meet Baron Henry, her own true knight.


The Knight and Ladye fair are met,

And under the hawthorn's boughs are set.
A fairer pair were never seen

To meet beneath the hawthorn green.
He was stately, and young, and tall;
Dreaded in battle, and loved in hall ́:
And she, when love, scarce told, scarce hid,
Lent to her cheek a livelier red;
When the half-sigh her swelling breast
Against the silken riband pressed;
When her blue eyes their secret told,
Though shaded by her locks of gold-
Where would you find the peerless fair,
With Margaret of Branksome might compare!


And now, fair dames, methinks I see
You listen to my minstrelsy;

Your waving locks ye backward throw,

And sidelong bend your necks of snow :-
Ye ween to hear a melting tale,

Of two true lovers in a dale:

And how the Knight, with tender fire,
To paint his faithful passion strove;
Swore he might at her feet expire,
But never, never cease to love;

And how she blushed, and how she sighed,
And, half consenting, half denied,

And said that she would die a maid:

Yet, might the bloody feud be stayed,
Henry of Cranstoun, and only he,

Margaret of Branksome's choice should be.


Alas! fair dames, your hopes are vain!
My harp hast lost the enchanting strain;
Its lightness would my age reprove:
My hairs are grey, my limbs are old,
My heart is dead, my veins are cold:—
I may not, must not, sing of love.


Beneath an oak, mossed o'er by eld,f
The Baron's Dwarfs his courser held,

f Old age.

The idea of Lord Cranstoun's goblin page is taken from a being called Gilpin Horner, who appeared and made some stay at a farmhouse among the Border mountains.

And held his crested helm and spear:
That Dwarf was scarcely an earthly man,
If the tales were true, that of him ran

Through all the Border, far and near.
"Twas said, when the Baron a-hunting rode
Through Reedsdale's glens, but rarely trod,
He heard a voice cry, "Lost! lost! lost!"
And, like tennis-ball by racket tossed,
A leap, of thirty feet and three,
Made from the gorse this elfin shape,
Distorted like some dwarfish ape,

And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee.
Lord Cranstoun was some whit dismayed;
'Tis said that five good miles he rade,

To rid him of his company;

But where he rode one mile, the Dwarf ran four,
And the Dwarf was first at the castle door.


Use lessens marvel, it is said.

This elvish Dwarf with the Baron stayed;
Little he ate, and less he spoke,

Nor mingled with the menial flock;
And oft apart his arms he tossed,

And often muttered, "Lost! lost! lost!"
He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,h
But well Lord Cranstoun servèd he:
And he of his service was full fain;
For once he had been ta'en or slain,
An' it had not been his ministry.
All between Home and Hermitage,
Talked of Lord Cranstoun's Goblin Page.


For the Baron went on pilgrimage,
And took with him this elvish Page,
To Mary's chapel of the Lowes:
For there, beside our Ladye's lake,i
An offering he had sworn to make,
And he would pay his vows.

But the Ladye of Branksome gathered a bandj
Of the best that would ride at her command;

h Lazy.

i This beautiful sheet of water lies at the head of the classical Yarrow, and is connected with a smaller one, called the Loch of the Lowes.

j Upon the 25th of June, 1557, Dame Janet Beatoune Lady Buc. cleuch, and a great number of the name of Scott, were accused of coming to the kirk of St. Mary of the Lowes, to the number of two hundred persons, arrayed in armour, and breaking open the doors of the said kirk, in order to apprehend the lord of Cranstoun, with a view to his destruction.

The trysting place was Newark Lee.
Wat of Hardenk came thither amain,
And thither came John of Thirlestane,
And thither came William of Deloraine;
They were three hundred spears and three.
Through Douglas-burn, up Yarrow stream,
Their horses prance, their lances gleam.
They came to St. Mary's lake ere day;
But the chapel was void, and the Baron away.
They burned the chapel for very rage,
And cursed Lord Cranstoun's Goblin Page.


And now, in Branksome's good green-wood,
As under the aged oak he stood,
The Baron's courser pricks his ears,
As if a distant noise he hears.

The Dwarf waves his long lean arm on high,
And signs to the lovers to part and fly;
No time was then to vow or sigh.
Fair Margaret, through the hazel grove,
Flew like the startled cushat-dove:1
The Dwarf the stirrup held and rein;
Vaulted the knight on his steed amain,
And, pondering deep that morning's scene,
Rode eastward through the hawthorns green.

WHILE thus he poured the lengthened tale,
The Minstrel's voice began to fail:
Full slyly smiled the observant page,
And gave the withered hand of age
A goblet, crowned with mighty wine,
The blood of Velez' scorchèd vine.
He raised the silver cup on high,
And, while the big drop filled his eye,
Prayed God to bless the Duchess long,
And all who cheered a son of song.
The attending maidens smiled to see,
How long, how deep, how zealously,
The precious juice the Minstrel quaffed;
And he, emboldened by the draught,
Looked gaily back to them, and laughed.
The cordial nectar of the bowl

Swelled his old veins, and cheered his soul;

A lighter, livelier prelude ran,

Ere thus his tale again began.

Walter Scott of Harden, who flourished during the reign of Queen Mary, was a renowned Border freebooter.




AND said I that my limbs were old;
And said I that my blood was cold,
And that my kindly fire was fled,
And my poor withered heart was dead,
And that I might not sing of love?—
How could I to the dearest theme,
That ever warmed a minstrel's dream,
So foul, so false, a recreant prove!
How could I name love's very name,
Nor wake my harp to notes of flame!


In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed;
In war, he mounts the warrior's steed;
In halls, in gay attire is seen;

In hamlets, dances on the green.

Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.


So thought Lord Cranstoun, as I ween,
While, pondering deep the tender scene,
He rode through Branksome's hawthorns green.
But the Page shouted wild and shrill-
And scarce his helmet could he don,
When downward from the shady hill
A stately knight came pricking on.
That warrior's steed, so dapple-grey,
Was dark with sweat, and splashed with clay;
His armour red with many a stain:

He seemed in such a weary plight,
As if he had ridden the live-long night;
For it was William of Deloraine.


But no whit weary did he seem,

When, dancing in the sunny beam,

He marked the crane on the Baron's crest; m

For his ready spear was in his rest.

Few were the words, and stern and high,
That marked the foemen's feudal hate;

For question fierce, and proud reply,
Gave signal soon of dire debate.

The crest of the Cranstouns, in allusion to their name, is a crane dormant, holding a stone in his foot, with an emphatic Border motto"Thou shalt want ere I want."

Their very coursers seemed to know
That each was other's mortal foe;
And snorted fire, when wheeled around,
To give each knight his vantage-ground.

[ocr errors]

In rapid round the Baron bent;

He sighed a sigh, and prayed a prayer:
The prayer was to his patron saint,
The sigh was to his ladye fair.

Stout Deloraine nor sighed, nor prayed,
Nor saint, nor ladye, called to aid;

But he stooped his head, and couched his spear
And spurred his steed to full career.
The meeting of these champions proud
Seemed like the bursting thunder-cloud.


Stern was the dint" the Borderer lent!
The stately Baron backwards bent;
Bent backwards to his horse's tail,

And his plumes went scattering on the gale;
The tough ash spear, so stout and true,
Into a thousand flinders flew.

But Cranstoun's lance, of more avail,

Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail;
Through shield, and jack, and acton, passed,
Deep in his bosom broke at last.-
Still sate the warrior saddle-fast,
Till, stumbling in the mortal shock,
Down went the steed, the girthing broke,
Hurled on a heap lay man and horse.
The Baron onward passed his course;
Nor knew-so giddy rolled his brain-
His foe lay stretched upon the plain.


But when he reined his courser round,
And saw his foeman on the ground
Lie senseless as the bloody clay,
He bade his page to stanch the wound.
And there beside the warrior stay,
And tend him in his doubtful state,
And lead him to Branksome castle-gate:
His noble mind was inly moved

For the kinsman of the maid he loved.
This shalt thou do without delay;
No longer here myself may stay:

a Stroke.

• Pieces.

PA coat of mail, or a defensive upper garment quilted with stout leather.

A leather jacket sometimes worn under a coat of mail. It was, in fact, a kind of tunic.-Halliwell, Arch. Dict.

« AnteriorContinuar »