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Unless the swifter I speed away,

Short shrift will be at my dying day."

VIII

Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode;
The Goblin Page behind abode:
His lord's command he ne'er withstood,
Though small his pleasure to do good.
As the corslet off he took,

The Dwarf espied the Mighty Book!
Much he marvelled, a knight of pride
Like a book-bosomed priest should ride:

He thought not to search or stanch the wound,
Until the secret he had found.

IX

The iron band, the iron clasp,
Resisted long the elfin grasp;
For when the first he had undone,
It closed as he the next begun.
Those iron clasps, that iron band,
Would not yield to unchristened hand,
Till he smeared the cover o'er
With the Borderer's curdled gore;
A moment then the volume spread,
And one short spell therein he read.
It had much of glamour might,
Could make a ladye seem a knight;
The cobwebs on a dungeon wall
Seem tapestry in lordly hall;
A nut-shell seem a gilded barge,
A sheeling seem a palace large,

And youth seem age, and age seem youth-
All was delusion, nought was truth.

X

He had not read another spell,
When on his cheek a buffet fell,

So fierce, it stretched him on the plain,
Beside the wounded Deloraine.
From the ground he rose dismayed,
And shook his huge and matted head;
One word he muttered, and no more→
"Man of age, thou smitest sore!"
No more the Elfin Page durst try
Into the wondrous Book to pry;

r There is a tradition, that friars were wont to come from Melrose, or Jedburgh, to baptize or marry in the parish of Unthank. As they carried the mass-book in their bosoms, these were called, by the inhabitants, "Book-a-bosomes."

Glamour in the legends of Scottish superstition, means the magic power of imposing on the eyesight of the spectators, so that the appearance of an object shall be totally different from the reality.

A shepherd's hut.

The clasps, though smeared with Christian gore,
Shut faster than they were before.

He hid it underneath his cloak.-
Now, if you ask who gave the stroke,
I cannot tell, so motu I thrive;
It was not given by man alive.

ΧΙ

Unwillingly himself he addressed,
To do his master's high behest:
He lifted up the living corse,
And laid it on the weary horse;
He led him into Branksome hall,
Before the beards of the warders all;
And each did after swear and say,
There only passed a wain of hay.
He took him to Lord David's tower,
Even to the Ladye's secret bower;

And, but that stronger spells were spread,
And the door might not be opened,

He had laid him on her very bed.

Whate'er he did of gramarye,

Was always done maliciously;

He flung the warrior on the ground,

And the blood welled freshly from the wound,

XII

As he repassed the outer court,

He spied the fair young child at sport:
He thought to train him to the wood;
For, at a word, be it understood,

He was always for ill, and never for good,
Seemed to the boy some comrade gay,
Led him forth to the woods to play;
On the drawbridge the warders stout
Saw a terrier and lurcher passing out.
XIII

He led the boy o'er bank and fell,

Until they came to a woodland brook;
The running stream dissolved the spell,
And his own elvish shape he took.
Could he have had his pleasure vilde,
He had crippled the joints of the noble child;
Or, with his fingers long and lean,

Had strangled him in fiendish spleen:

But his awful mother he had in dread,
And also his power was limited;

u May.

▾ Magic.

It is a firm article of popular faith, that no enchantment can sub. sist in a living stream. Nay, if you can interpose a brook betwixt you and witches, spectres, or even fiends, you are in perfect safety.

= Vile.

So he but scowled on the startled child,
And darted through the forest wild;
The woodland brook he bounding crossed,
And laughed, and shouted, "Lost! lost! lost!"-

XIV

Full sore amazed at the wondrous change,
And frightened, as a child might be,
At the wild yell and visage strange,
And the dark words of gramarye,
The child, amidst the forest bower,
Stood rooted like a lilye flower;

And when at length, with trembling pace,
He sought to find where Branksome lay,
He feared to see that grisly face

Glare from some thicket on his way.
Thus, starting oft, he journeyed on,
And deeper in the wood is gone,-
For aye the more he sought his way,
The farther still he went astray,-
Until he heard the mountains round
Ring to the baying of a hound.

XV

And hark! and hark! the deep-mouthed bark Comes nigher still, and nigher;

Bursts on the path a dark blood-hound,

His tawny muzzle tracked the ground,

And his red eye shot fire.

Soon as the wildered child saw he,

He flew at him right furiouslie.

I ween you would have seen with joy
The bearing of the gallant boy,

When, worthy of his noble sire,

His wet cheek glowed 'twixt fear and ire;

He faced the blood-hound manfully,

And held his little bat on high;

So fierce he struck, the dog, afraid,

At cautious distance hoarsely bayed,
But still in act to spring;

When dashed an archer through the glade,
And when he saw the hound was stayed,
He drew his tough bow-string;

But a rough voice cried, "Shoot not, hoy!
Ho! shoot not, Edward-'tis a boy!"

XVI

The speaker issued from the wood,
And checked his fellow's surly mood,
And quelled the ban-dog's ire:
He was an English yeoman good,
And born in Lancashire.

y Bewildered.

Well could he hit a fallow deer

Five hundred feet him fro';

With hand more true, and eye more clear,
No archer bended bow.

His coal-black hair, shorn round and close,
Set off his sun-burned face;

Old England's sign, St. George's cross,
His barret-cap did grace;

His bugle-horn hung by his side,

All in a wolf-skin baldric tied;

And his short falchion, sharp and clear,
Had pierced the throat of many a deer.

XVII

His kirtle, made of forest green,
Reached scantly to his knee;
And, at his belt, of arrows keen
A furbished sheaf bore he;"
His buckler scarce in breadth a span,
No longer fence had he;

He never counted him a man

Would strike below the knee;

His slackened bow was in his hand,

And the leash, that was his bloodhound's band.

XVIII

He would not do the fair child harm,
But held him with his powerful arm,
That he might neither fight nor flee;
For when the Red-Cross spièd be,
The boy strove long and violently.
"Now, by St. George," the archer cries,
'Edward, methinks we have a prize!
This boy's fair face, and courage free,
Show he is come of high degree."

XIX

"Yes, I am come of high degree,

For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch;

And, if thou dost not set me free,

False Southron, thou shalt dearly rue!

For Walter of Harden shall come with speed,
And William of Deloraine, good at need,
And every Scott from Eske to Tweed;
And, if thou dost not let me go,
Despite thy arrows, and thy bow,

I'll have thee hanged to feed the crow!".

XX

"

Gramercy, for thy good will, fair boy!
My mind was never set so high;

• Imitated from Drayton's account of Robin Hood and his followers.

D

But if thou art chief of such a clan,
And art the son of such a man,
And ever comest to thy command,

Our wardens had need to keep good order:
My bow of yew to a hazel wand,

Thou'lt make them work upon the Border.
Meantime, be pleased to come with me,
For good Lord Dacre shalt thou see;
I think our work is well begun,
When we have taken thy father's son."-

XXI

Although the child was led away,
In Branksome still he seemed to stay,
For so the Dwarf his part did play;
And, in the shape of that young boy,
He wrought the castle much annoy.
The comrades of the young Buccleuch
He pinched, and beat, and overthrew;
Nay, some of them he well nigh slew.
He tore Dame Maudlin's silken tire;"
And, as Sym Hall stood by the fire,
He lighted the match of his bandelier,b
And woefully scorched the hackbutteer.
It may be hardly thought, or said,
The mischief that the urchin made.
Till many of the castle guessed
That the young Baron was possessed!

XXII

Well I ween, the charm he held
The noble Ladye had soon dispelled;
But she was deeply busied then

To tend the wounded Deloraine.

Much she wondered to find him lie,

On the stone threshold stretched along;
She thought some spirit of the sky

Had done the bold moss-trooper wrong,

Because, despite her precept dread,
Perchance he in the Book had read;
But the broken lance in his bosom stood,
And it was earthly steel and wood.

XXIII

She drew the splinter from the wound,
And with a charm she stanched the blood;
She bade the gash be cleansed and bound:
No longer by his couch she stood;
But she has ta'en the broken lance,
And washed it from the clotted gore,
And salved the splinter o'er and o'er.
William of Deloraine, in trance,

• Head-dress.

b Belt for carrying ammunition.

• Musketeer.

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