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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."-

With base and with capital flourish'd around, Seem'd bundles of lances which garlands had

bound.

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.

X.
Full many a scutcheon and banner riven,
Shook to the cold night-wind of heaven,

Around the screened altar's pale;
And there the dying lamps did burn,
Before thy low and lonely urn,
O gallant Chief of Otterburne 18

And thine, dark Knight of Liddesdale !"
O fading honors of the dead!
O high ambition, lowly laid !

VIII.
Spreading herbs, and flowerets bright,
Glisten'd with the dew of night;
Nor herb, nor floweret, glisten’d there,
But was carved in the cloister-arches as fair.
The Monk gazed long on the lovely moon,

Then into the night he looked forth;
And red and bright the streamers light

Were dancing in the glowing north. So had he seen, in fair Castile,

The youth in glittering squadrons start;" Sudden the flying jennet wheel,

And hurl the unexpected dart. He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright, That spirits were riding the northern light.

XI.
The moon on the east oriel shone
Through slender shafts of shapely stone,

By foliaged tracery combined ; Thou wouldst have thought some fairy's hand 'Twixt poplars straight the ozier wand,

In many a freakish knot, had twined; Then framed a spell, when the work was done, And changed the willow-wreaths to stone. The silver light, so pale and faint, Show'd many a prophet, and many a saint,

Whose image on the glass was dyed;
Full in the midst, his Cross of Red
Triumphant Michael brandished,

And trampled the Apostate's pride.
The moonbeam kiss'd the holy pane,
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain.

20

IX.
By a steel-clenched postern door,

They enter'd now the chancel tall;
The darken'd roof rose high aloof

On pillars lofty and light and small: The key-stone, that lock'd each ribbed aisle, Was a fleur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille ; The corbells were carved grotesque and grim; And the pillars, with cluster'd shafts so trim,

XII.
They sate them down on a marble stone,

(A Scottish monarch slept below); Thus spoke the Monk, in solemn tone :

“ I was not always a man of woe; For Paynim countries I have trod, And fought beneath the Cross of God: Now, strange to my eyes thine arms appear, And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear.

XIII. “ In these far climes it was my lot To meet the wondrous Michael Scott;"

1 See Appendix, Note X.

2 The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulture. An instance occurs in Dryburgh Abbey, where the cloister has an inscription, bearing, Hic jacet frater Archibaldus.

3 See Appendix, Note Y.

* Corbells, the projections from which the arches spring, usually cut in a fantastic face, or mask. 5“With plinth and with capital flourish'd around.”

First Edition. 6 See Appendix, Note Z. 7 Ibid. Note 2 A. 8 Ibid. Note 2 B.

"Bombay, September 25, 1805.-I began last night to read Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, as part of my evening readings to my children. I was extremely delighted by the poetical beauty of some passages, the Abbey of Melrose for

The cos

example, and most of the prologues to the cantos. tume, too, is admirable. The tone is antique ; and it might be read for instruction as a picture of the manners of the mid dle ages." “ November 2, 1805.-We are perfectly enchanted with Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. He is surely the man born at last to translate the Iliad. Are not the good parts of his poem the most Homeric of any thing in our language? There are tedious passages, and so are there in Hom mer."-Sir James MACKINTOSH, Life, vol. i. pp. 254, 262.

10 A large marble stone, in the chancel of Melrose, is pointed out as the monument of Alexander II., one of the greatest of our early kings; others say, it is the resting-place of Waldeve, one of the eariy abbots, who died in the odor of sanctity.

11 See Appendix, Note 2 C.

A wizard, of such dreaded fame, That when, in Salamanca's cave, Him listed his magic wand to wave,

The bells would ring in Notre Dame ! Some of his skill he taught to me; And, Warrior, I could say to thee The words that cleft Eildon hills in three, And bridled the Tweed with a curb of

stone: But to speak them were a deadly sin; And for having but thought them my heart

within, A treble penance must be done.

XVII. “Lo, Warrior! now, the Cross of Red Points to the grave of the mighty dead; Within it burns a wondrous light, To chase the spirits that love the night : That lamp shall burn unquenchably, Until the eternal doom shall be."4_ Slow moved the Monk to the broad flag-stone, Which the bloody Cross was traced upon : He pointed to a secret nook ; An iron bar the Warrior took ;5 And the Monk made a sign with his wither'd hand, The grave's huge portal to expand.

XIV. “When Michael lay on his dying bed, His conscience was awakened : He bethought him of his sinful deed, And he gave me a sign to come with speed: I was in Spain when the morning rose, But I stood by his bed ere evening close. The words may not again be said, That he spoke to me, on death-bed laid; They would rend this Abbaye's massy nave, And pile it in heaps above his grave.

XV. "I swore to bury his Mighty Book, That never mortal might therein look; And never to tell where it was hid, Save at his Chief of Branksome's need : And when that need was past and o'er, Again the volume to restore. I buried him on St. Michael's night, When the bell tollid one, and the moon was

bright, And I dug his chamber among the dead, When the floor of the chancel was stained red, That his patron's cross might over him wave, And scare the fiends from the Wizard's grave.

XVIII.
With beating heart to the task he went;
His sinewy frame o'er the grave-stone bent;
With bar of iron heaved amain,
Till the toil-drops fell from his brows, like rain.
It was by dint of passing strength,
That he moved the massy stone at length.
I would you had been there, to see
How the light broke forth so gloriously,
Stream'd upward to the chancel roof,
And through the galleries far aloof!
No earthly flame blazed e'er so bright:
It shone like heaven's own blessed light,

And, issuing from the tomb,
Show'd the Monk's cowl, and visage pale,
Danced on the dark-browd Warrior's mail,

And kiss'd his waving plume.

XIX.
Before their eyes the Wizard lay,
As if he had not been dead a day.
His hoary beard in silver roll’d,
He seem'd some seventy winters old ;

A palmer's amice wrapp'd him round,
With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,

Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea :
His left hand held his Book of Might;
A silver cross was in his right;

The lamp was placed beside his knee: High and majestic was his look, At which the fellest fiends had shook, And all unruffled was his face : They trusted his soul had gotten grace.

XVI.
* It was a night of wo and dread,
When Michael in the tomb I laid !
Strange sounds along the chancel pass'd,
The banners waved without a blast" -
-Still spoke the Monk, when the bell tolld

one -
I tell you, that a braver man
Than William of Deloraine, good at need,
Against a foe ne'er spurr'd a steed;
Yet somewhat was he chill'd with dread,
And his hair did bristle upon his head.

XX. Often had William of Deloraine Rode through the battle's bloody plain, And trampled down the warriors slain,

And neither known remorse por awe;

1 See Appendix, Note 2 D.

Ibid. Note 2 E. • See Appendix, Note 2 F. 4 Ibid. Note 2 G. • Orig.-A bar from thence the warrior took. ¢ " The agitation of the monk at the sight of the man whom

he had loved with brotherly affection—the horror of Deloraine, and his belief that the corpse frowned, as he withdrew the magic volume from its grasp, are, in a succeeding part of the narrative, circumstances not more happily conceived than exquisitely wrought."-Critical Review.

Yet now remorse and awe he own'd;
His breath came thick, his head swam round,

When this strange scene of death he saw.
Bewilder'd and unnerved he stood,
And the priest pray'd fervently and loud:
With eyes averted prayed he;
He might not endure the sight to see,
Of the man he had loved so brotherly.

XXIV. The Knight breathed free in the morning

wind, And strove his hardihood to find : He was glad when he pass’d the tombstones

gray,
Which girdle round the fair Abbaye;
For the mystic Book, to his bosom prest,
Felt like a load upon his breast;
And his joints, with nerves of iron twined,
Shook, like the aspen leaves in wind.
Full fain was he when the dawn of day
Began to brighten Cheviot gray;
He joy'd to see the cheerful light,
And he said Ave Mary, as well he might.

XXI.
And when the priest his death-prayer had pray'd,
Thus unto Deloraine he said :-

Now, speed thee what thou hast to do,
Or, Warrior, we may dearly rue;
For those, thou mayst not look upon,
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone!"
Then Deloraine, in terror, took
From the cold hand the Mighty Book,
With iron clasp'd, and with iron bound :
He thought, as he took it, the dead man frown'd;'
But the glare of the sepulchral light,
Perchance, had dazzled the warrior's sight.

XXV.
The sun had brighten'd Cheviot gray,

The sun had brighten'd the Carter's side;
And soon beneath the rising day

Smiled Branksome Towers and Teviot's tide." The wild birds told their warbling tale,

And waken'd every flower that blows; And peeped forth the violet pale,

And spread her breast the mountain rose. And lovelier than the rose so red,

Yet paler than the violet pale, She early left her sleepless bed,

The fairest maid of Teviotdale.

XXII. When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb, The night return'd in double gloom ; For the moon had gone down, and the stars were

few;

And, as the Knight and Priest withdrew,
With wavering steps and dizzy brain,
They hardly might the postern gain.
'Tis said, as through the aisles they passid,
They heard strange noises on the blast;
And through the cloister-galleries small,
Which at mid-height thread the chancel wall,
Loud sobs, and laughter louder, ran,
And voices unlike the voice of man;
As if the fiends kept holiday,
Because these spells were brought to day.
I cannot tell how the truth may be ;
I say the tale as 'twas said to me.

XXVI.
Why does fair Margaret so early awake,"

And don her kirtle so hastilie;
And the silken knots, which in hurry she would

make, Why tremble her slender fingers to tie; Why does she stop, and look often around,

As she glides down the secret stair ;
And why does she pat the shaggy blood-hound,

As he rouses him up from his lair ;
And, though she passes the postern alone,
Why is not the watchman's bugle blown?

XXVII.
The ladye steps in doubt and dread,
Lest her watchful mother hear her tread;
The lady caresses the rough blood-hound,
Lest his voice should waken the castle round;
The watchman's bugle is not blown,
For he was her foster-father's son;
And she glides through greenwood at dawn of

light To meet Baron Henry, her own true knight.

XXIII. "Now, hie thee hence," the Father said, “And when we are on death-bed laid, O may our dear Ladye, and sweet St. John, Forgive our souls for the deed we have done !"The Monk return'd him to his cell,

And many a prayer and penance sped; - When the convent met at the noontide bell

The Monk of St. Mary's aisle was dead !
Before the cross was the body laid,
With hands clasp'd fast, as if still he pray'd.

1 See Appendix, Note 2 H.

4 "How true, sweet, and original is this description of ? A mountain on the Border of England, above Jedburgh.

Margaret - the trembling haste with which she attires her 3 "How lovely and exhilarating is the fresh, cool morning self, descends, and speeds to the bower !" - ANNA SElandscape which relieves the mind after the horrors of the spellguarded tomb !"--ANNA SEWARD.

WARD.

XXVIII.
The Knight and ladye fair are met,
And under the bawthorn'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 ribbon prest;
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 !

That Dwarf was scarce 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 toss'd,

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 dismay'd; '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.

XXIX.
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 blush'd, and how she sigh’d,
And, half consenting, half denied,
And said that she would die a maid ;-
Yet, might the bloody feud be stay'd,
Henry of Cranstoun, and only he,
Margaret of Branksome's choice should be.

XXXII.
Use lessens marvel, it is said:
This elvish Dwarf with the Baron staid;
Little he ate, and less he spoke,
Nor mingled with the menial flock:
And oft apart his arms he toss'd,
And often mutter'd “Lost ! lost! lost !"

He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,

But well Lord Cranstoun served he:
And he of his service was full fain;
For once he had been ta'en or slain,

An it had not been for his ministry.
All between Home and Hermitage,
Talk'd of Lord Cranstoun's Goblin-Page.

XXX.
Alas! fair dames, your hopes are vain!
My harp has lost the enchanting strain;

Its lightness would my age reprove:
My hairs are gray, my limbs are old,
My heart is dead, my veins are cold:

I may not, must not, sing of love.

XXXIII.
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,
An offering he had sworn to make,

And he would pay his vows.
But the Ladye of Branksome gather'd a band
Of the best that would ride at her command:

The trysting place was Newark lee.
Wat of Harden came thither amain,
And thither came John of Thirlestane,
And thither came William of Deloraine ;

They were three hundred spears and three.

XXXI.
Beneath an oak, mossid o'er by eld,
The Baron's Dwarf his courser held,'

And held his crested helm and spear:

1 See Appendix, Note 2 I.

I'll show you now ; observe him, follow him; The idea of the imp domesticating himself with the first

But, once engaged, there you must stay and fix." person he met, and subjecting himself to that one's authority, It is observable that in the same play, Pug alludes to the is perfectly consonant to old opinions. Ben Jonson, in his play spareness of his diet. Mr. Scott's goblin, though “waspish, of " The Devil is an A88," has founded the leading incident arch, and litherlie," proves a faithful and honest retainer to of that comedy upon this article of the popular creed. A the lord, into whose service he had introduced himself. This fiend, styled Pug, is ambitious for figuring in the world, and sort of inconsistency seems also to form a prominent part of the petitions his superior for permission to exhibit himself upon diabolic character. Thus, in the romances of the Round earth. The devil grants him a day-rule, but clogs it with this Table, we find Merlin, the son of a devil, exerting himself condition,

most zealously in the cause of virtue and religion, the friend

and counsellor of King Arthur, the chastiser of wrongs, and * Satan-Only thus more, I bind you

the scourge of the infidels. To serve the first man that you meet; and him

3 See Appendix, Note 2 K.

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 burn'd the chapel for very rage,
And cursed Lord Cranstoun's Goblin-Page.

And that I might not sing of love ?How could I to the dearest theme, That ever warm'd a minstrel's dream,

So foul, so false a recreant prove! How could I name love's very name, Nor wake my heart to notes of flame!

XXXIV. 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 yow or sigh. Fair Margaret through the hazel grove, Flew like the startled cushat-dove: 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,

II. 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.

III.
So thought Lord Cranstown, as I ween,
While, pondering deep the tender scene,
He rode through Branksome's hawthorn 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-gray,
Was dark with sweat, and splashed with clay;

His armor red with many a stain:
He seem'd in such a weary plight,
As if he had ridden the live-long night;

For it was William of Deloraine.

WHILE thus he pour'd the lengthen'd tale,
The Minstrel's voice began to fail :
Full slyly smiled the observant page,
And
gave

the wither'd hand of age
A goblet, crown'd with mighty wine,
The blood of Velez' scorched vine.
He raised the silver cup on high,
And, while the big drop fill’d his eye,
Pray'd God to bless the Duchess long,
And all who cheer'd a son of song.
The attending maidens smild to see
How long, how deep, how zealously,
The precious juice the Minstrel quaff'd;
And he, embolden'd by the draught,
Look'd gayly back to them, and laugh’d.
The cordial nectar of the bowl
Swell’d his old veins, and cheer'd his soul;
A livelier, lighter prelude ran,
Ere thus his tale again began.

IV. But no whit weary did he seem, When, dancing in the sunny beam, He mark'd the crane on the Baron's crest ;) For his ready spear was in his rest. Few were the words, and stern and high,

That mark'd the foemen's feudal hate; For question fierce, and proud reply,

Gave signal soon of dire debate.
Their very coursers seem'd to know
That each was other's mortal foe,
And snorted fire, when wheeld around,
To give each knight his vantage-ground.

The Lay of the Last Minstrel.

CANTO THIRD.

1. 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 wither'd heart was dead,

V.
In rapid round the Baron bent;

He sigh'd a sigh, and pray'd a prayer;
The prayer was to his patron saint,

The sigh was to his ladye fair. Stout Deloraine nor sigh'd nor pray'd, Nor saint, nor ladye, call’d to aid; But he stoop'd his head, and couch'd his spear, And spurr'd his steed to full career.

1 See notes on The Douglas Tragedy in the Minstrelsy, vol. iii. p. 3.-ED.

2 Wood-pigeon.

3 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.

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