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In broken sleep she lay: By times, from silken couch she rose; While yet the banner'd hosts repose,
She view'd the dawning day: Of all the hundreds sunk to rest, First woke the loveliest and the best.
Which in the tower's tall shadow lay; Where coursers' clang, and stamp, and snort,
Had rung the livelung yesterday; Now still as death; till stalking slow,
The jingling spurs announced his tread, A stately warrior pass'd below; But when he raised his plumed head
Blessed Mary! can it be ?
With fearless step and free.
His blood the price must pay!
Shall buy his life a day.
Sorrow, and sin, and shame; And death to Cranstoun's gallant Knight, And to the gentle ladye bright,
Disgrace, and loss of fame. But earthly spirit could not tell The heart of them that loved so well. True love's the gift which God has given To man alone beneath the heaven: It is not fantasy's hot fire,
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly; It liveth not in fierce desire,
With dead desire it doth not die; It is the secret sympathy, The silver link,' the silken tie, Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, In body and in soul can bind.Now leave we Margaret and her Knight, To tell you of the approaching fight.
The pipe's shrill porto aroused each clue: In haste, the deadly strife to view,
The trooping warriors eager ran :
Of that sly urchin page;
A knight from Hermitage. Unchallenged thus, the warder's post, The court, unchallenged, thus he cross’d,
For all the vassalage: But 0! what magic's quaint disguise Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes !
She started from her seat; While with surprise and fear she strove, And both could scarcely master love
Lord Henry's at her feet.
XV. Meantime full anxious was the Dame; For now arose disputed claim, Of who should fight for Deloraine, 'Twixt Harden and 'twixt Thirlestaine: 8
They 'gan to reckon kin and rent, And frowning brow on brow was bent;
But yet not long the strife-for, lo! Himself, the Knight of Deloraine, Strong, as it seem'd, and free from pain,
In armour sheath'd from top to toe, Appear'd, and craved the combat due. The Dame her charm successful knew, And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew.
To bring this meeting round;
In such no joy is found; And oft I've deem'd, perchance he thought Their erring passion might have wrought
Did noble Howard hold;
Of feats of arms of old.
• In the first edition, “ the silver cord;"
“ Yes, love, indeed, is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
The Giaour. ? A martial piece of music, adapted to the bagpipes.
3 It may be noticed that the late Lord Napier, the represen. tative of the Scotts of Thirlestane, was Lord Lieutenant of Selkirkshire (of which the author was sheriff-depute) at the time when the poem was written; the competitor for the honour of supplying Deloraine's place was the poet's own ancestor.-ED.
4 See Canto III. Stanza xxiii.
Costly his garbhis Flemish ruff
He sayeth, that William of Deloraine Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff,
Is traitor false by Border laws; With satin slash'd and lined;
This with his sword he will maintain,
So help him God, and his good cause !'
SCOTTISH HERALD. Hung in a broad and studded belt;
“ Here standeth William of Deloraine, Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still
Good knight and true, of noble strain, Callid noble Howard, Belted Will.
Who sayeth, that foul treason's stain,
Since he bore arms, ne'er soil'd his cuat ;
And that, so help him God above!
He will on Musgrave's body prove, Fair Margaret on her palfrey came,
He lies most foully in his throat.” Whose foot-cloth swept the ground:
LORD DACRE. White was her wimple, and her veil,
“Forward, brave champions, to the fight! And her loose locks a chaplet pale
-“ God defend the right!". In courtesy to cheer her tried;
Then, Teviot! how thine echoes rang, Without his aid, her hand in vain
When bugle-sound and trumpet-clang Had strove to guide her broider'd rein.
Let loose the martial foes, He deem'd, she shudder'd at the sight
And in mid list, with shield poised high, Of warriozs met for mortal fight;
And measured step and wary eye,
The combatants did close.
Ill would it suit your gentle ear,
Ye lovely listeners, to hear
How to the axe the helms did sound,
And blood pour'd down from many a wound; An English knight led forth to view;
For desperate was the strife and long, Scarce rued the boy his present plight,
And either warrior fierce and strong. So much he long'd to see the fight.
But, were each dame a listening knight, Within the lists, in knightly pride,
I well could tell how warriors fight! High Home and haughty Dacre ride;
For I have seen war's lightning flashing, Their leading staffs of steel they wield,
Scen the claymore with bayonet clashing, As marshals of the mortal field;
Se through red blood the war-horse dash While to each knight their care assign'd
ing, Like vantage of the sun and wind."
And scorn'd, amid the reeling strife,
To yield a step for death or life.-
'Tis done, 'tis done! that fatal blow 3 Aid to a champion to afford,
Has stretch'd him on the bloody plain; On peril of his life;
He strives to rise-Brave Musgrave, no! And not a breath the silence broke,
Thence never shalt thou rise again! Till thus the alternate Heralds spoke :
He chokes in blood-some friendly hand
Undo the visor's barred band,
Unfix the gorget's iron clasp,
And give him room for life to gasp “ Here standeth Richard of Musgrave,
O, bootless aid !-haste, holy Friar, Good knight and true, and freely born,
Haste, ere the sinner shall expire ! Amends from Deloraine to crave,
Of all his guilt let him be shriven, For foul despiteous scathe and scorn.
And smooth his path from earth to heaven! " This couplet was added in the second edition.
ducted according to the strictest ordinances of chivalry, and 1 After this, in the first edition, we read only,
delineated with all the minuteness of an ancient romancer.
The modern reader will probably find it rather tedious; all “At the last words, with deadly blows,
but the concluding stanzas, which are in a loftier measureThe ready warriors fiercely close.”—ED.
" "Tis done! 'tis done!"&c.- JEFFREY. 9" To whole scene of the duel, or judicial combat, is con- + First Edition, “ In vain-In vain.' haste, holy FHar.“
The Ladye would the feud forego, And deign to bless the nuptial hour Of Cranstoun's Lord and Teviot's Flower.
As through the lists he ran;
He raised the dying man;
Still props him from the bloody sod,
And bids him trust in God! Unheard he prays ;—the death-pang's oer!! Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.
Thought on the Spirit’s prophecy,
“ Not you, but Fate, has vanquish'd me Their influence kindly stars may shower On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower,
For pride is quell’d, and love is free.”— She took fair Margaret by the hand, Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand
That hand to Cranstoun's lord gave she :“ As I am true to thee and thine, Do thou be true to me and mine!
This clasp of love our bond shall be;
it with their company.”
The silent victor stands;
Of gratulating hands.
Among the Scottish bands;
As dizzy, and in pain ;
Knew William of Deloraine !
“ And who art thou,” they cried, w Who hast this battle fought and won ?"His plumed helm was soon undone
“ Cranstoun of Teviot-side! For this fair prize I've fought and won,” And to the Ladye led her son.
XXVII. All as they left the listed plain, Much of the story she did gain ; How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine, And of his page, and of the Book Which from the wounded knight he took; And how he sought her castle high, That morn, by help of gramarye ; How, in Sir William's armour dight, Stolen by his page, while slept the knight, He took on him the single fight. But half his tale he left unsaid, And linger'd till he joind the maid.Cared not the Ladye to betray Her mystic arts in view of day; But well she thought, ere midnight came, Of that strange page the pride to tame, From his foul hands the Book to save, And send it back to Michael's grave.Needs not to tell each tender word 'Twixt Margaret and 'twixt Cranstoun's lord ; Nor how she told of former woes, And how her bosom fell and rose, While he and Musgrave bandied blows.Needs not these lovers' joys to tell: One day, fair maids, you'll know them well.
- For Howard was a generous foeAnd how the clan united pray'd
Orig.--"Unheard he prays; -'lis o'er / 'tis o'er !!
XXVIII. William of Deloraine, some chance Had waken'd from his deathlike trance;
And taught that, in the listed plain, Another, in his arms and shield, Against fierce Musgrave axe did wield,
Under the name of Deloraine. Hence, to the field, unarm’d, he ran, And hence his presence scared tlie clan, Who held him for some fleeting wraith,
9 The spectral apparition of a living person,
And not a man of blood and breath.
Around, the horsemen slowly rode; Not much this new ally he loved,
With trailing pikes the spearmen trode; Yet, when he saw what hap had proved,
And thus the gallant knight they bore, He greeted him right heartilie:
Through Liddesdale to Leven's shore; He would not waken old debate,
Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave,
And laid him in his father's grave.
The harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song, Unless when men-at-arms withstood,
The mimic march of death prolong; Or, as was meet; for deadly feud.
Now seems it far, and now a-near, lle ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow,
Now meets, and now eludes the ear; Ta'en in fair fight from gallant foe:
Now seems some mountain side to sweep, And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now,
Now faintly dies in valley deep; When on dead Musgrave he look'd down; Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail, Grief darken'd on his rugged brow,
Now the sad requiem, loads the gale; Though balf disguised with a frown;'
Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave, And thus, while sorrow bent his head,
Rung the full choir in choral stave.
After due pause, they bade him tell,
Why he, who touch'd the harp so well, “Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here!
Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil, I ween, my deadly enemy;
Wander a poor and thankless soil, For, if I slew thy brother dear,
When the more generous Southern Land
Would well requite his skilful hand.
The Aged Harper, howsoe'er
His only friend, his harp, was dear, Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee.
Liked not to hear it rank'd so high And, Musgrave, could our fight be tried,
Above his flowing poesy: And thou wert now alive, as I,
Less liked he still, that scornful jeer No mortal man should us divide,
Misprised the land he loved so dear; Till one, or both of us, did die:
High was the sound, as thus again
The Bard resumed his minstrel strain.
The Lay of the Last Minstrel
I. I'd give the lands of Deloraine,
BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead, Dark Musgrave were alive again.”_3
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd, Were bowning back to Cumberland.
From wandering on a foreign strand ! They raised brave Musgrave from the field,
If such there breathe, go, mark him well; And laid him on his bloody shield;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell; On leveli'd lances, four and four,
High though his titles, proud his name, By turns, the noble burden bore.
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; Before, at times, upon the gale,
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, Was heard the Minstrel's plaintive wail;
The wretch, concentred all in self, Bobind, four priests, in sable stole,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, Sung requiem for the warrior's soul:
And, doubly dying, shall go down | “The lands, that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear, Deloraine, who, roused from his bed of sickness, rushes into Have for their blazon had, the snaffle, spur, and spear." the lists, and apostrophizes his fallen enemy, brougnt to on
Poly-Albion, Song 13 recollection, as well from the peculiar turn of expression in ? See Appendix, Note 3 W
its commencement, as in the tone of sentiments which it con8 “The style of the old romancers has been very success- veys, some of the funebres orationes of the Mort Arthur.". fully imitated in the whole of this scene; and the speech of Critical Revier.
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
That lovely hue which comes and flies, As awe and shame alternate rise!
of all bereft, Sole friends thy woods and streams were
V. Some bards have sung, the Ladye biglı Chapel or altar came not nigh; Nor durst the rites of spousal grace, So much she fear'd each holy place. False slanders these :- I trust right wel! She wrought not by forbidden spell;" For mighty words and signs have power O'er sprites in planetary hour: Yet scarce I praise their venturous part, Who tamper with such dangerous art. But this for faithful truth I say,
The Ladye by the altar stood, Of sable velvet her array,
And on her head a crimson hood, With pearls embroider'd and entwined, Guarded with gold, with ermine lined; A merlin sat upon her wrist 5 Held by a leash of silken twist.
And thus I love them better still,
III. Not scorn'd like me! to Branksome Hall The Minstrels came, at festive call; Trooping they came, from near and far, The jovial priests of mirth and war; Alike for feast and fight prepared, Battle and banquet both they shared. Of late, before each martial clan, They blew their death-note in the van, But now, for every merry mate, Rose the portcullis’ iron grate; They sound the pipe, they strike the string, They dance, they revel, and they sing, Till the rude turrets shake and ring.
The splendour of the spousal rite,
1 “The Lady of the Lake has nothing so good as the address to Scotland."-MACINTOSH.
2 The preceding four lines now form the inscription on the monument of Sir Walter Scott in the market-place of Sel. kirk.-See Life, vol. x. p. 257.
3 The line “ Still lay my head," &c., was not in the first edition.. ED.
• See Appendix, Note 3 X. 6 Ibid. Note 3 Y. 6 Sce Appendix, Note 3 Z.
7 There are often flights of wild swans upon St. Maryi Lake, at the head of the river Yarrow. See Wordsworth's Yarrow Visited.
“The swan on still St. Mary's Lake
Floats double, swan and shadow."-ED