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In Hawick twinkled many a light; Behind him soon they set in night; And soon he spurr'd his courser keen Beneath the tower of Hazeldean.'

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 gain’d the landing place.

XXVI. The clattering hoofs the watchmen mark; “ Stand, ho! thou courier of the dark.”“ For Branksome, ho!” the knight rejoin'd, And left the friendly tower behind. He turn’d him now from Teviotside,

And, guided by the tinkling rill,
Northward the dark ascent did ride,

And gained the moor at Horsliehill;
Broad on the left before him lay,
For many a mile, the Roman way..

XXX. Now Bowden Moor the march-man won,

And sternly shook his plumed head, As glanced his eye o'er Halidon;6

For on his soul the slaughter red Of that unhallow'd 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 Reek’d on dark Elliot's Border spear.

XXVII. A moment now he slack'd his speed, A moment breathed his panting steed ; Drew saddle-girth and corslet-band, And loosen'd in the sheath his brand. On Minto-crags the moonbeams glint, Where Barnhill hew'd his bed of flint; Who Alung his outlaw'd limbs to rest, Where falcons hang their giddy nest, Mid cliffs, from whence bis eagle eye For many a league his prey could spy; Cliffs, doubling, on their echoes borne, The terrors of the robber's horn? Cliffs, which, for many a later year, The warbling Doric reed shall hear, When some sad swain shall teach the grove, Ambition is no cure for love!

XXXI. In bitter mood he spurred fast, And soon the hated heath was past; And far beneath, in lustre wan, Old Melros' rose, and fair Tweed ran: Like some tall rock with lichens grey, Seem'd dimly huge, the dark Abbaye. When Hawick he pass’d, had curfew rung, Now midnight lauds7 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 waken'd by the winds alone. But when Melrose he reach'd, 'twas silence all; He meetly stabled his steed in stall, And sought the convent's lonely wall.8

XXVIII. Unchallenged, thence pass’d Deloraine, To ancient Riddel's fair domain,

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 borse sunk low, And the water broke o'er the saddlebow; 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 Stemm'd a midnight torrent's force.

HERE paused the barp; and with its swell
The Master's fire and courage fell ;
Dejectedly, and low, he bow'd,
And, gazing timid on the crowd,
He seem'd 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 wand'ring long,
Had done his hand and harp some wrong.
The Duchess, and her daughters fair,
And every gentle lady there,
Each after each, in due degree,
Gave praises to his melody;
His hand was true, his voice was clear,
And much they long'd the rest to hear.
Encouraged thus, the Aged Man,
After meet rest, again began.

See Appendix, Note 8.

& Halidon was an ancient seat of the Kerrs of Cessford, now ? An ancient Roman road, crossing through part of Ror demolished. About a quarter of a mile to the north ward lay burghshire.

the field of battle betwixt Buccleuch and Angus, which is 3 See Appendix, Note T.

• Ibid. Note U. called to this day the Skirmish Field.-See Appendix, Note D. 6 Bardal, or barbed, -applied to a horse accoutred with

i Lauds, the midnight service of the Catholic church. defensive arinour.

6 See Appendix, Note V.

XVIII.

Alike to him was tide or time, The unearthly voices ceast,

Moonless midnight, or matin prime: And the heavy sound was still;

Steady of heart, and stout of hand, It died on the river's breast,

As ever drove prey from Cumberland; It died on the side of the hill.

Five times outlawed had he been,
But round Lord David's tower

By England's King, and Scotland's Queen.
The sound still floated near;
For it rung in the Ladye's bower,

XXII.
And it rung in the Ladye's ear.

“ Sir William of Deloraine, good at need, She raised her stately head,

Mount thee on the wightest steed; And her heart throbb’d high with pride :

Spare not to spur, nor stint to ride, “ Your mountains shall bend,

Until thou come to fair Tweedside ; And your streams ascend,

And in Melrose's holy pile Ere Margaret be our foeman's bride!”

Seek thou the Monk of St. Mary's aisle.

Greet the Father well from me;
XIX.

Say that the fated hour is come,
The Ladye sought the lofty hall,

And to-night he shall watch with thee, Where many a bold retainer lay,

To win the treasure of the tomb: And, with jocund din, among them all,

For this will be St. Michael's night, Her son pursued his infant play.

And, though stars be dim, the moon is bright; A fancied moss-trooper,' the boy

And the Cross, of bloody red,
The truncheon of a spear bestrode,

Will point to the grave of the mighty dead.
And round the hall, right merrily,
In mimic foray rode.

XXIII.
Even bearded knights, in arms grown old,

“ What he gives thee, see thou keep; Share in his frolic gambols bore,

Stay not thou for food or sleep: Albeit their hearts of rugged mould,

Be it scroll, or be it book, Were stubborn as the steel they wore.

Into it, Knight, thou must not look ; For the grey warriors prophesied,

If thou readest, thou art lorn!
How the brave boy, in future war,

Better had'st thou ne'er been born."-
Should tame the Unicorn's pride,
Exalt the Crescent and the Star.

XXIV.

“O swiftly can speed my dapple-grey steed, XX.

Which drinks of the Teviot clear; The Ladye forgot her purpose high,

Ere break of day," the Warrior 'gan say, One moment, and no more;

“ Again will I be here: One moment gazed with a mother's eye,

And safer by none may thy errand be done, As she paused at the arched door:

Than, noble dame, by me; Then from amid the armed train,

Letter nor line know I never a one, She callid to her William of Deloraine.3

Wer't my neck-verse at Hairibee.” 7

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XXI.
A stark moss-trooping Scott was he,
As e'er couch'd 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;

Xxv.
Soon in his saddle sate he fast,
And soon the steep descent he past,
Soon cross'd 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 Peel of Goldiland,
And cross'd old Borthwick's roaring strand;
Dimly he view'd the Moat-hill's mound,
Where Druid shades still fitted round ;10

1 See Appendix, Note N.

Miserere mei, &c., anciently read by criminals claiming the 2 Foray, a predatory in road.

benefit of clergy. (“In the rough but spirited sketch of the 3 This line, of which the metre appears defective, would marauding Borderer, and in the naïveté of his last declaration, have its full complement of feet according to the pronunciation the reader will recognise some of the most striking features of the poet himself-as all who were familiar with his atter of the ancient ballad."-Critical Review. 1 ance of the letter r will bear testimony.-ED.

8 Barbican, the defence of the outer gate of a feudal castle. * See Appendix, Note 0. 5 Ibid. Note P. 6 Ibid. Note Q.

7 Hairibee, the place of executing the Border marauders at Peel, a Border tower. Carlisle. The neck-verse is the beginning of the 51st Psalın, 10 See Appendix, Note R.

In Hawick twinkled many a light; Behind him soon they set in night; And soon he spurr'd his courser keen Beneath the tower of Hazeldean.'

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 gain'd the landing place.

XXVI. The clattering hoofs the watchmen mark; “ Stand, ho! thou courier of the dark.”— “ For Branksome, ho!” the knight rejoin'd, And left the friendly tower behind. He turn'd him now from Teviotside,

And, guided by the tinkling rill,
Northward the dark ascent did ride,

And gained the moor at Horsliehill;
Broad on the left before him lay,
For many a mile, the Roman way.

XXX. Now Bowden Moor the march-man won,

And sternly shook his plumed head, As glanced his eye o'er Halidon ;6

For on his soul the slaughter red Of that unhallow'd 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 Reek'd on dark Elliot's Border spear.

XXVII. A moment now he slack'd his speed, A moment breathed his panting steed; Drew saddle-girth and corslet-band, And loosen'd in the sheath his brand. On Minto-crags the moonbeams glint, 3 Where Barnhill hew'd his bed of flint ; Who Aung his outlaw'd limbs to rest, Where falcons bang their giddy nest, Mid cliffs, from whence bis eagle eye For many a league his prey could spy; Cliffs, doubling, on their echoes borne, The terrors of the robber's horn ? Cliffs, which, for many a later year, The warbling Doric reed shall hear, When some sad swain shall teach the grove, Ambition is no cure for love!

XXXI. In bitter mood he spurred fast, And soon the hated heath was past; And far beneath, in lustre wan, Old Melros' rose, and fair Tweed ran: Like some tall rock with lichens grey, Seem'd dimly huge, the dark Abbaye. When Hawick he pass'd, 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 waken'd by the winds alone. But when Melrose he reach'd, 'twas silence all ; He meetly stabled his steed in stall, And sought the convent's lonely wall.8

XXVIII. Unchallenged, thence pass'd Deloraine, To ancient Riddel's fair domain,

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 saddlebow; Above the foaming tide, I ween, Scarce half the charger's neck was seen; For he was barded 5 from counter to tail, And the rider was armed complete in mail; Never heavier man and horse Stemm'd a midnight torrent's force.

HERE paused the barp; and with its swell
The Master's fire and courage fell ;
Dejectedly, and low, he bow'd,
And, gazing timid on the crowd,
He seem'd 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 wand'ring long,
Had done his hand and harp some wrong.
The Duchess, and her daughters fair,
And every gentle lady there,
Each after each, in due degree,
Gave praises to his melody;
His hand was true, his voice was clear,
And much they long'd the rest to hear.
Encouraged thus, the Aged Man,
After meet rest, again began.

See Appendix, Note S.

6 Halidon was an ancient seat of the Kerrs of Cessford, now ? An ancient Roman road, crossing through part of Roxo demolished. About a quarter of a mile to the northward lay burghshire.

the field of battle betwixt Buccleuch and Angus, which is 3 See Appendix, Note T.

• Ibid. Note U. called to this day the Skirmish Field.-See Appendix, Note D. * Bordert, or barbed, -applied to a horse accoutred with : Lauds, the midnight service of the Catholic church. defensive armour.

* See Appendix, Note V.

The Lay of the Last Minstrel.

And lifted his barred aventayle,
To hail the Monk of St. Mary's aisle.

CAXTO SECOND.

IV.
“ The Ladye of Branksome greets thee by nie;

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 stiffen'd limbs he rear'd;
A hundred years had fiung their snow's

On his thin locks and floating beard.

I.
If thou would'st 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 ruin'd central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon, and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die ;?
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to loot o'er the dead man's grave,
Then go-but go

alone the while-
Then view St. David's ruin'd pile ;3
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!

V.
And strangely on the Knight look'd be,

And his blue eyes gleam'd 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 fiinty stones have worn;
Yet all too little to atone
For knowing what should ne'er be known.
Would'st thou thy every future year

In ceaseless prayer and penance drie,
Yet wait thy latter end with fear-

Then, daring Warrior, follow me!”–

II.
Short halt did Deloraine make there ;
Little reck'd 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 opend 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 shrive for their souls' repose.*

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."-

IlI.
Boid 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 cloister, far and wide,
Rang to the warrior's clanking stride,
Till, stooping low his lofty crest,
He enter'd the cell of the ancient priest,

VII.
Again on the Knight look'd 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

high :-
Now, slow and faint, he led the way,
Where, cloister'd round, the garden lay;
The pillar'd arches were over their head,
And beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.

1 “In the description of Melrose, which introduces the 4 The Buccleuch family were great benefactors to the Abbey Second Canto, the reader will observe how skilfully the Au- of Melrose. As early as the reign of Robert II., Robert Scott, thor calls in the aid of sentimental associations to heighten the Baron of Murdieston and Rankleburn, (now Buccleuch,) gave effect of the picture which he presents to the eye."-JEFFREY. to the monks the lands of Hinkery, in Ettrick Forest, zwro sa2 See Appendix, Note W.

iute anima sua.- Chartulary u Melrose, 28th May, 1415. 3 David I. of Scotland, purchased the reputation of sanctity,

6 Arentayle, visor of the helmet. by founding, and liberally endowing, not only the monastery 6 See Appendix, Note X. of Melrose, but those of Kelso, Jedburgh, and many others; 7 The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepultare. which led to the well-known observation of his successor, that an instance occurs in Dryburgh Abbey, where the cloister has he was a sore suint for the crown.

an inscription, bearing, Hic jacet frater Archibuldus.

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