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His axe and his dagger with blood embrued,
But it was not English gore.
He lighted at the Chapellage,
He held him close and still,
His name was English Will,
“ Come thou hither, my little foot page,
" Come hither to my knee, Though thou art young, and tender of age,
66 I think thou art true to me.
« Come, tell me all that thou hast seen,
66 And look thou tell me true ; « Since I from Smaylho'me Tower have been,
“ What did thy Lady do?"
My Lady each night, fought the lonely light, “ That burns on the wild Watchfold; “ For from height to height, the beacons bright,
“Of the English foemen told.
¢ The bittern clamour'd from the moss,
“ The wind blew loud and shrill, “ Yet the craggy pathway she did cross
“ To the çiry * beacon hill.
* Eiry is a Scotch expression, signifying the feeling inspired by the dread of apparitions,
« I watch'd
“ I watch'd her steps, and silent came
" Where The fate her on a stone ; “ No watchman stood by the dreary flame,
“ It burned all alone,
“ The second night I kept her in sight,
« Till to the fire she came ; « And by Mary's might, an armed knight
“ Stood by the lonely flame.
“ And many a word that warlike lord
“ Did speak to my Lady there, " But the rain fell fast, and loud blew the blast,
“ And I heard not what they were.
“ The third night there the sky was fair,
“ And the mountain blaft was still, “ As again I watch'd the secret pair,
« On the lonesome beacon hill ;
“ And I heard her name the midnight hour,
“ And name this holy eve; “ And say, cone that night to thy Lady's bower;
66 Ask no bold Baron's leave.
“ He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch,
“ His Lady is alone ; “ The door she'll undo, to her knight so true,
« On the eve of good St. John.”
" I cannot
-“ I cannot come, I must not come,
" I dare not come to thee; “. On the eve of St. John I must wander alone,
“ In thy bower I may not be.”—
66 Now out on thee, faint-hearted knight!
66 Thou should'st not say me nay, " For the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet,
“ Is worth the whole summer's day.
" And I'll chain the blood-hound, and the warder shall
not found, • And rushes shall be strew'd on the stair, “ So by the rood-stone,* and by holy St. John,
“ I conjure thee, my love, to be there.'
“ Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush be
neath my foot, “ And the warder his bugle should not blow, " Yet there sleepcth a priest in the chamber to the east,
“ And my footitep he would know.”
- O fear not the priest who sleepeth to the east, “ For to Dryburgh † the way he has ta'en ;
* The hlack-rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, and of fuperior sanctity.
+ Dryburgh Abbey is beautifully situated on the banks of the Tweed. After its dissolution it became the property of the Haliburtons of Newmains, and is now the seat of the Right Honourable the Earl of Buchan.
< And there to say mass, till three days do pass,
“ For the soul of a knight that is flayne.”
• He turn’d him around, and grimly he frown’d,
“ Then he laugh'd right scornfully“ He who says the mass rite, for the soul of that knights
May as well say mass for me.
« At the lone midnight hour, when bad Spirits have power,
“ In thy chamber will I be."* With that he was gone, and my Lady left alone,
t6 And no more did I see.”.
Then changed I trow, was that bold Baron's brow,
From dark to blood-red high. -“ Now tell me the mien of the knight thou hast seen,
For by Mary he shall die !” –
“ His arms shone full bright, in the beacon's red light,
“ His plume it was scarlet and blue ; & On his shield was a hound in a silver leash bound,
** And his creft was a branch of the yew.”
-“ Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot page,
66 Loud dost thou lie to me ; " For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould,
“, All under the Eildon* tree.'
Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conical summits, imme. diately above the town of Melrose, where are the admired ruins of a magnificent monastery. Eildon tree was said to be the spot where Thwa mas the Rhymer uttered his prophecies.
" Yet hear but my word, my noble lord,
" For I heard her name his name; o And that Lady bright she called the knight
“ Sir Richard of Coldinghame."
Thé bold Baron's brow then changed, I trow,
From high blood-red to pale. “ The grave is deep and dark, and the corpse is stiff and
stark; “ So I may not trust thy tale.
“ Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,
“ And Eildon slopes to the plain, " Full three nights ago, by some secret foe,
" That gallant knight was slain.
“ The varying light deceiv'd thy sight,
" And the wild winds drown'd the name, “ For the Dryburg bells ring, and the white Monks they sing,
“ For Sir Richard of Coldinghame.”
He pass’d the court-gate, and he oped the tower grate,
And he mounted the narrow stair, To the bartizan-seat, where, with maids that on her wait,
He found his Lady fair.
That Lady fat in mournful mood,
Look'd over hill and vale,
And all down Tiviotdale.