Imágenes de páginas

Until, amid his sorrowing clan,
Her son lisped from the nurse's knee-
And, if I live to be a man,

My father's death revenged shall be !"
Then fast the mother's tears did seek
To dew the infant's kindling cheek.


All loose her negligent attire,
All loose her golden hair,
Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire,
And wept in wild despair.
But not alone the bitter tear
Had filial grief supplied;
For hopeless love, and anxious fear,
Had lent their mingled tide:
Nor in her mother's altered eye
Dared she to look for sympathy.

Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan,
With Carr in arms had stood,
When Mathouse burn to Melrose ran,
All purple with their blood.
And well she knew, her mother dread,
Before Lord Cranstounj she should wed,
Would see her on her dying bed.


Of noble race the Ladye came;
Her father was a clerk of fame,

Of Bethune's line of Picardie:
He learned the art, that none may name,
In Padua, far beyond the sea.
Men said, he changed his mortal frame
By feat of magic mystery;

For when, in studious mood, he paced
St. Andrew's cloistered hall,

His form no darkening shadow m traced
Upon the sunny wall!

i The Cranstouns are an ancient border family, whose chief seat was at Crailing, in Teviotdale. They were at this time at feud with the clan of Scott; for it appears that the lady of Buccleuch, in 1557, beset the laird of Cranstoun, seeking his life. Nevertheless, the same Cranstoun, or perhaps his son, was married to a daughter of the same lady. The Bethunes were of French origin, and derived their name from a small town in Artois. The family of Bethune, or Beatoun, in Fife, produced three learned and dignified prelates; namely, Cardinal Beaton, and two archbishops of Glasgow, all of whom flourished about the date of this romance. Of this family was descended Dame Janet Beaton, Lady Buccleuch, widow of Sir Walter Scott of Branksome. She was a woman of masculine spirit, as appeared from her riding at the head of her son's clan after her husband's murder.

1 Padua was long supposed by the Scottish peasants to be the principal school of necromancy.

in The shadow of a necromancer was supposed to be independent of the sun.


And of his skill, as bards avow,
He taught that Ladye fair,
Till to her bidding she could bow
The viewless forms of air."
And now she sits in secret bower,
In old Lord David's western tower,
And listens to a heavy sound,
That moans the mossy turrets round.
Is it the roar of Teviot's tide,

That chafes against the scaur's red side?
Is it the wind that swings the oaks ?
Is it the echo from the rocks?

What may it be, the heavy sound,
That moans old Branksome's turrets round?

[blocks in formation]


From the sound of Teviot's tide,
Chafing with the mountain's side,
From the groan of the wind-swung oak,
From the sullen echo of the rock,
From the voice of the coming storm,
The Ladye knew well!

It was the Spirit of the Flood that spoke,
And he called on the Spirit of the Fell.




Sleepest thou, brother ?"

-"Brother, nay—

On my hills the moon-beams play.

n The Scottish vulgar, without having any very definite notion of their attributes, believe in the existence of an intermediate class of spirits residing in the air, or in the waters; to whose agency they ascribe floods, storms, and all such phenomena as their own philosophy can. not readily explain. They are supposed to interfere in the affairs of mortals, sometimes with a malevolent purpose, and sometimes with milder views.

• A precipitous bank of earth.

P According to Nares, a dog always kept tied up on account of his fierceness, and with a view to increase that quality in him, which it certainly would do.-Halliwell, Arch. Dict.

From Craik-cross to Skelfhill-pen,
By every rill, in every glen,
Merry elves their morrice pacing,
To aërial minstrelsy,

Emerald rings on brown heath tracing,
Trip it deft and merrily.
Up, and mark their nimble feet!
Up, and list their music sweet!"


"Tears of an imprisoned maiden
Mix with my polluted stream;
Margaret of Branksome, sorrow-laden,

Mourns beneath the moon's pale beam.
Tell me, thou, who view'st the stars,
When shall cease these feudal jars ?
What shall be the maiden's fate?
Who shall be the maiden's mate ?"



"Arthur's slow wain his course doth roll,
In utter darkness round the pole;
The Northern Bear lowers black and grim;
Orion's studded belt is dim;
Twinkling faint, and distant far,
Shimmers through mist each planet star;
Ill may I read their high decree:
But no kind influence deign they shower
On Teviot's tide, and Branksome's tower,
Till pride be quelled, and love be free."


The unearthly voices ceased,
And the heavy sound was still;
It died on the river's breast,

It died on the side of the hill-
But round Lord David's tower

The sound still floated near; For it rung in the Ladye's bower, And it rung in the Ladye's ear. She raised her stately head,

And her heart throbbed high with pride:"Your mountains shall bend, And your streams ascend,

Ere Margaret be our foeman's bride!"


The Ladye sought the lofty hall,
Where many a bold retainer lay,
And, with jocund din, among them all,
Her son pursued his infant play.
¶ Dexterously

r Shines.

A fancied moss-trooper,s the boy
The truncheon of a spear bestrode,
And round the hall, right merrily,
In mimic foray rode.

Even bearded knights, in arms grown old,
Share in his frolic gambols bore,
Albeit their hearts, of rugged mould,

Were stubborn as the steel they wore.
For the grey warriors prophesied,

How the brave boy, in future war,
Should tame the Unicorn's pride,

Exalt the Crescents and the Star.t

The Ladye forgot her purpose high,
One moment, and no more;

One moment gazed with a mother's eye,
As she paused at the archèd door:
Then, from amid the armèd train,
She called to her William of Deloraine."


A stark moss-trooping Scot was he,
As e'er couched border lance by knee:
Through Solway sands, through Tarras moss,
Blindfold, he knew the paths to cross;
By wily turns, by desperate bounds,
Had baffled Percy's best blood-hounds;"
In Eske, or Liddel, fords were none,
But he would ride them, one by one;
Alike to him was time, or tide,
December's snow, or July's pride;
Alike to him was tide, or time,
Moonless midnight, or matin prime:

This was the usual appellation of the marauders upon the Border; a profession diligently pursued by the inhabitants of both sides, and by none more actively and successfully than by Buccleuch's clan. Long after the union of the Crowns, the moss-troopers, although sunk in reputation, and no longer enjoying the pretext of national hostility, continued to pursue their calling. They are said to have been called moss-troopers, because dwelling in the mosses, and riding in troops together.

t Alluding to the armorial bearings of the Scotts and Carrs. The arms of the Kerrs, of Cessford, were, vert on a chiveron, betwixt three unicorns' heads erased, argent, three mollets sable crest, a unicorn's head erased proper. The Scotts of Buccleuch bore or on a bend azure; a star of six points between two crescents of the first.

u The lands of Deloraine are adjoining to those of Buccleuch, in Ettricke Forest. They were immemorially possessed by the Buccleuch family under the strong title of occupancy, although no charter was obtained from the crown until 1545. Like other possessions, the lands of Deloraine were occasionally granted by them to vassals, or kinsmen, for border service.

The kings and heroes of Scotland, as well as the border-riders, were sometimes obliged to study how to evade the pursuit of bloodhounds.

Steady of heart, and stout of hand,
As ever drove prey from Cumberland;
Five times outlawed had he been,
By England's king and Scotland's queen.


"Sir William of Deloraine, good at need,
Mount thee on the wightest steed;
Spare not to spur, nor stint to ride,
Until thou come to fair Tweedside;
And in Melrose's holy pile
Seek thou the Monk of St. Mary's aisle.
Greet the father well from me;
Say, that the fated hour is come,
And to-night he shall watch with thee,
To win the treasure of the tomb:
For this will be St. Michael's night,

And, though stars be dim, the moon is bright;
And the Cross, of bloody red,

Will point to the grave of the mighty dead.


"What he gives thee, see thou keep;
Stay not thou for food or sleep:
Be it scroll, or be it book,

Into it, knight, thou must not look ;
If thou readest, thou art lorn! w
Better hadst thou ne'er been born."


"O swiftly can speed my dapple-grey steed,
Which drinks of the Teviot clear;

Ere break of day," the warrior 'gan say,


'Again will I be here:

And safer by none may thy errand be done,
Than, noble dame, by me;
Letter nor line know I never a one,

Wer't my neck-verse at Hairibee." y


Soon in his saddle sate he fast,
And soon the steep descent he passed,
Soon crossed the sounding barbican,"
And soon the Teviot side he won.
Eastward the wooded path he rode;
Green hazels o'er his basnet nod:
He passed the Peela of Goldiland,
And crossed old Borthwick's roaring strand;

w Lost, undone.

* The beginning of the 51st psalm, Miserere mei, &c., anciently read by criminals claiming benefit of clergy.

The place of execution at Carlisle for the border marauders.

z The defences of the outer gate of a feudal castle.

a A border tower.

« AnteriorContinuar »