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The meeting of these champions proud Seem'd like the bursting thunder-cloud.
VI. Stern was the dint the Borderer lent! The stately Baron backwards bent; Bent backwards to his horse's tail, And his plumes went scattering on the gale; The tough ash spear, so stout and true, Into a thousand flinders flew. But Cranstoun's lance, of more avail, Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail; Through shield, and jack, and acton, past, Deep in his bosom broke at last. Still sate the warrior saddle-fast, Till, stumbling in the mortal shock, Down went the steed, the girthing broke, Hurld on a heap lay man and horse. The Baron onward pass’d his course; Nor knew-so giddy rollid his brainHis foe lay stretch'd upon the plain.
Would not yield to unchristen'd hand,
Lie senseless as the bloody clay,
And there beside the warrior stay, And tend him in his doubtful state, And lead him to Branksome castle-gate: His noble mind was inly moved For the kinsman of the maid he loved. * This shalt thou do without delay: No longer here myself may stay; Unless the swifter I speed away, Short shrift will be at my dying day."
X. He had not read another spell, When on his cheek a buffet fell, So fierce, it stretch'd him on the plain, Beside the wounded Deloraine. From the ground he rose dismay'd, And shook his huge and matted head; One word he mutter'd, and no more, “ Man of age, thou smitest sore !”-. No more the Elfin Page durst try Into the wondrous Book to pry; 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 mot I thrive; It was not given by man alive.
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 marvelld a knight of pride, Like a book-bosom'd priest should ride :: He thought not to search or stanch the wound, Until the secret he had found.
XI. Unwillingly himself he address’d, 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 pass'd 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 well’d freshly from the wound.
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,
XII. As he repass’d the outer court, He spied the fair young child at sport: He thought to train him to the wood;
1 See Appendix, Note 2 L. ? Magical delusion.
3 A shepherd's hut.
* See Appendix, Note 2 M.
For, at a word, be it understood,
At cautious distance hoarsely bay'd,
But still in act to spring; When dash'd an archer through the glade, And when he saw the hound was stay'd,
He drew his tough bow-string ; But a rough voice cried, “Shoot not, hoy! Ho! shoot not, Edward—'Tis a boy!"
Until they came to a woodland brook;
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; So he but scowl'd on the startled child, And darted through the forest wild; The woodland brook he bounding cross'd, And laugh’d, and shouted, “ Lost ! lost ! lost !"
And quell'd the ban-dog's ire :
And born in Lancashire.
Five hundred feet him fro;
No archer bended bow.
Set off his sun-burn'd face:
His barret-cap did grace;
All in a wolf-skin baldric tied ;
And frighten'd as a child might be,
And the dark words of gramarye, The child, amidst the forest bower, Stood rooted like a lily flower ; And when at length, with trembling pace,
He sought to find where Branksome lay,
Glare from some thicket on his way.
Reach'd scantly to his knee;
A furbish'd sheaf bore he;
No larger fence had he;
Would strike below the knee:
XV. And hark! and hark! the deep-mouthed bark
Comes nigher still, and nigher:
And his red eye shot fire.
XVIII. He would not do the fair child harm, But held him with his powerful arm, That he might neither fight nor flee; For the Red-Cross spied he, 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,
1 See Appendix, Note 2 0.
. See Appendix, Note 2 P.
And William of Deloraine, good at need,
XX. “Gramercy, for thy good-will, fair boy ! My mind was never set so high ; 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 or
der; 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."
And with a charm she stanch'd 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 wash'd it from the clotted gore,
And salved the splinter o'er and o'er. William of Deloraine, in trance,
Whene'er she turn'd it round and round, Twisted as if she gall'd his wound.
Then to her maidens she did say, That he should be whole man and sound,
Within the course of a night and day. Full long she toil'd ; for she did rue Mishap to friend so stout and true.
XXI. Although the child was led away, In Branksome still he seem'd 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 pinch'd, and beat, and overthrew; Nay, some of them he wellnigh slew. He tore Dame Maudlin's silken tire, And, as Sym Hall stood by the fire, He lighted the match of his bandelier, And wofully scorch'd the backbuteer.' It may be hardly thought or said, The mischief that the urchin made, Till many of the castle guess’d, That the young Baron was possess'd !
XXIV.: So pass’d the day—the evening fell, 'Twas near the time of curfew bell; The air was mild, the wind was calm, The stream was smooth, the dew was balm ; E'en the rude watchman, on the tower, Enjoy'd and bless'd the lovely hour. Far more fair Margaret loved and blessid The hour of silence and of rest. On the high turret sitting lone, She waked at times the lute's soft tone; Touch'd a wild note, and all between Thought of the bower of hawthorns green. Her golden hair stream'd free from band, Her fair cheek rested on her hand, Her blue eyes sought the west afar, For lovers love the western star.
red glare the western star 2-
On the stone threshold stretch'd 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.
XXVI. The Warder view'd it blazing strong, And blew his war-note loud and long, Till, at the high and haughty sound, Rock, wood, and river rung around. The blast alarm'd the festal hall, And startled forth the warriors all;
o “ As another illustration of the prodigious improvement which the style of the old romance is capable of receiving from a more liberal admixture of pathetic sentiments and gentle affections, we insert the following passage (Stanzas xxiv. to xxvii.], where the effect of the picture is finely assisted by the contrast of its two compartments."-JEFFREY.
1 Bandeier, belt for carrying ammunition.
Hackbuteer, musketeer. • See Appendix, Note 2 Q.
• Ibid. Note 2 R.
Each from each the signal caught;
Par downward, in the castle-yard,
Ride out, ride out,
The foe to scout !
That ever are true and stout
XXVIII. Fair Margaret, from the turret head, Heard, far below, the coursers' tread,
While loud the harness rung, As to their seats, with clamor dread,
The ready horsemen sprung: And trampling hoofs, and iron coats, And leaders' voices, mingled notes,
And out! and out!
In hasty route,
And east, and west, and north,
The ceaseless sound of steel;
Sent forth the larum peal;
Cheer'd the young knights, and council sage
Held with the chiefs of riper age. No tidings of the foe were brought, Nor of his numbers knew they aught, Nor what in time of truce he sought.
Some said, that there were thousands ten; And others ween'd that it was naught
But Leven clans, or Tynedale men,
Might drive them lightly back agen.
XXIX. The ready page, with hurried hand, Awaked the need-fire's slumbering brand,
And ruddy blush'd the heaven: For a sheet of flame, from the turret high, Waved like a blood-flag on the sky,
All flaring and uneven; And soon a score of fires, I ween, From height, and hill, and cliff were seen; Each with warlike tidings fraught;
CEASED the high sound—the listening throng
1 See Appendix, Note 2 S.
Mount for Branksome was the gathering word of the Scotts. 9 See Appendix, Note 2 T.
4 “We absolutely see the fires kindling, one after another, in the following animated description."- Annual Review, 1804.
6 Need-fire, beacon.
No son to be his father's stay,
Why, when the volleying musket play'd
:و من . ممم
The Lay of the Last Minstrel.
Full wide and far was terror spread;
The peasant left his lowly shed."
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more,
Along thy wild and willow'd shore;' Where'er thou wind'st, by dale or hill, All, all is peaceful, all is still,
As if thy waves, since Time was born,
Which, though it change in ceaseless flow,
Its earliest course was doom'd to know;
Low as that tide has ebb'd with me,
Fell by the side of great Dundee."
“Prepare ye all for blows and blood;
Comes wading through the flood.10
1 "Nothing can excel the simple concise pathos of the which might be quoted in proof of the effect which is produced Gose of this Canto-nor the touching picture of the Bard when, by this dramatic interference of the narrator."'--JEFFREY. with assumed business, he tries to conceal real sorrow. How * See Appendix, Note 2 V. well the poet anderstands the art of contrast—and how judi- 8 Ibid. Note 2 W.
Ibid. Note 2 X. ciously it is exerted in the exordium of the next Canto, where oar mourning sympathy is exchanged for the thrill of pleas
10 “ And when they cam to Branksome ba', ure!"'--ANNA SEWARD.
They shouted a' baith loud and hie, 2. What luxury of sound in this line !"'-ANNA SEWARD.
Till up and spak him auld Buccleuch, * Orig.-"Since first they rolled their way to Tweed.”
Said—Whae's this brings the fraye to me?' * The Viscount of Dundee, slain in the battle of Killicrankie.
• It's I, Jamie Telfer, o' the fair Dodhead, 5 " Some of the most interesting passages of the poem are
And a harried man I think I be,'" &c. those in which the author drops the business of his story to
Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii. p. 8. moralize, and apply to his own situation the images and reflec- 11 An inroad commanded by the Warden in person. tione it has suggested. After concluding one Canto with an
12 “ The dawn displays the smoke of ravaged fields, and shepsecount of the warlike array which was prepared for the re
herds, with their flocks, flying before the storm. Tidings ception of the English invaders, he opens the succeeding one
brought by a tenant of the family, not used to seek a shelter with the following beautiful verses, (Stanzas i. and ii.)
on light occasions of alarm, disclose the strength and object * There are several other detached passages of equal beauty, of the invaders. This man is a character of a lower and of a # No one will dissent from this, who reads, in particular, the first two
rougher cast than Deloraine. The portrait of the rude re and beart-glowing stanzas of Canto VI.-nou, by association of the past,
tainer is sketched with the same masterly hand. Here, again, rendered the more affecting.-ED.
Mr. Scott has trod in the footsteps of the old romancers, who 5