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The falling gauntlet quits the rein,
Down drops the casque of steel,
The spur his gory heel.
The mouldering flesh the bone,
A ghastly skeleton.
Warriors from the breach of dangt
Pluck no longer laurels there; They but yield the passing strange Wild-flower wreaths for Bean
The furious barb snorts fire and foam,
And with a fearful bound
And leaves her on the ground.
Half seen by fits, by fits half heard,
Pale spectres flit along,
And howl the funeral song :
* E'en when the heart's with anguish
In glen or copse or forest dingle.
THE EVE OF SAINT JOHN
He spurred his courser on, Without stop or stay, down the re
His banner broad to rear ;
To lift the Scottish spear.
helmet was laced,
And his looks were sad and sour;
weary was his courser's pace
Ran red with English blood; Where the Douglas true and the bold
His acton pierced and tore,
He held him close and still;
Come hither to my knee ;
Though fair her gems of azure hue,
The summer sun that dew shall dry
Ere yet the day be past its morrow, Nor longer in my false love's eye Remained the tear of parting sorrow.
Come, tell me all that tho
And look thou tell me tru
· And I'll chain the blood-hound, and
the warder shall not sound, And rushes shall be strewed on the
stair; So, by the black rood-stone and by
holy Saint John, I conjure thee, my love, to be there!' • Though the blood-hound be mute and.
the rush beneath my foot, And the warder his bugle should not
blow, Yet there sleepeth a priest in the
chamber to the east, And my footstep he would know.'
"My lady, each night, sought the lonely
light That burns on the wild Watchfold ; For from height to height the beacons
bright of the English foemen told. ** The bittern clamored from the moss,
The wind blew loud and shrill ; Yet the craggy pathway she did cross
To the eiry Beacon Hill. "I watched her steps, and silent came
Where she sat 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-blast was still, As again I watched the secret pair
On the lonesome Beacon Hill. ** And I beard her name the midnight
"O, fear not the priest who sleepeth to
the east, For to Dryburgh the way he has ta'en; And there to say mass, till three days do
pass, For the soul of a knight that is
slayne.' " He turned him around and grimly he
frowned Then he laughed right scornfullyHe who says the mass-rite for the soul
of that knight 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
And say, 'Come this night to thy
lady's bower; Ask no bold baron's leave. He lifts his spear with the bold Buc
cleuch ; lady is all alone ; door she 'll undo to her knight so
true the eve of good Saint John.' cannot come; I must not come ;
are not come to thee: the eve of Saint John I must wan
der alone : In thy bower I may not be.' Now, out on thee, faint-hearted
knight! Thou shouldst not say me nay ; For the ere is sweet, and when lovers
Then changed, I trow, was that bold
baron's brow From the dark to the blood-red high; “ Now, tell me the mien of the knight
thou last 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 crest was a branch of the
yew." “ Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot
page, Loud dost thou lie to me! or that knight is cold and low laid in
mould, All under the Eildon-tree."
“ Yet hear but my word, my noble lord !
For I heard her name his name; And that lady bright, she called the
knight Sir Richard of Coldinghame."
The 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 starkSo 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 gay gallant was slain. “The varying light deceived thy sight, And the wild winds drowned the
name; For the Dryburgh bells ring and the
white monks do sing For Sir Richard of Coldinghame!" He passed the court-gate and he oped the
tower-gate, And he mounted the narrow stair To the bartizan-seat where, with maids
that on her wait, He found his lady fair.
|". The worms around him creep, and ki
bloody grave is deepIt cannot give up the dead ! It was near the ringing of matin-bell,
The night was well-nigh done, When a heavy sleep on that baron fell,
On the eve of good Saint John. The lady looked through the chamber
fair, By the light of a dying flame ; And she was aware of a knight stue
thereSir Richard of Coldinghame! “ Alas ! away, away!" she cried,
For the holy Virgin's sake! “Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side:
But, lady, he will not awake. ** By Eildon-tree for long nights three
In bloody grave have I lain ;
But, lady, they are said in vain.
strand, Most foully slain I fell ; And my restless sprite on the beacon's
height For a space is doomed to dwell. “At our trysting-place, for a certain
space, I must wander to and fro; But I had not had power to come to thr
bower Hadst thou not conjured me so." Love mastered fear-her brow she
crossed; “ How, Richard, hast thou sped ? And art thou saved or art thou lost?"
The vision shook his head !
So bid thy lord believe :
This awful sign receive."
His right upon her hand ;
For it scorched like a fiery brand.
Remains on that board impressed ; And forevermore that lady wore
A covering on her wrist.
That lady sat in mournful mood ;
Looked over hill and vale ; Over Tweed's fair flood and Mertoun's
wood, And all down Teviotdale, “Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright !”
Now hail, thou baron true ! What news, what news, from Ancram
fight? What news from the bold Buccleuch !” 6. The Ancram moor is red with gore,
For many a Southern fell; And Buccleuch has charged us evermore
To watch our beacons well." The lady blushed red, but nothing she
said : Nor added the baron a word : Then she stepped down the stair to her
chamber fair, And so did her moody lord. In sleep the lady mourned, and the baron
tossed and turned, And oft to himself he said,
Fades slow their light; the east is gray ;
The weary warder leaves his tower; Steeds snort, uncoupled stag-hounds bay,
And merry hunters quit the bower.
There is a nun in Dryburgh bower
Ne'er looks upon the sun;
He speaketh word to none.
That monk who speaks to noneThat nun was Smaylho'me's lady gay, That monk the bold baron.
The drawbridge falls—they hurry outClatters each plank and swinging
chain, As, dashing o'er, the jovial rout
Urge the shy steed and slack the rein.
First of his troop, the chief rode on;
Was fleeter than the mountain wind.
From the thick copse the roebucks
bound, The startled red-deer scuds the plain, For the hoarse bugle's warrior-sound Has roused their mountain haunts
again. Through the huge oaks of Evandale, Whose limbs a thousand years have
worn, What sullen roar comes down the gale And drowns the hunter's pealing
CADYOW CASTLE WHEN princely Hamilton's abode
Ennobled Cadyow's Gothic towers, The song went round, the goblet flowed,
And revel sped the laughing hours. Then, thrilling to the harp's gay sound,
So sweetly rung each vaulted wall, And echoed light the dancer's bound,
As mirth and music cheered the hall. But Cadyow's towers in ruins laid,
And vaults by ivy mantled o'er, Thrill to the music of the shade,
Or echo Evan's hoarser roar. Yet still of Cadyow's faded fame
You bid me tell a minstrel tale, And tune my harp of Border frame
On the wild banks of Evandale. For thou, from scenes of courtly pride,
From pleasure's lighter scenes, canst To draw oblivion's pall aside
And mark the long-forgotten urn. Then, noble maid ! at thy command
Again the crumbled halls shall rise ; Lo! as on Evan's
banks we stand, The past returns—the present Alies. Where with the rock's wood-covered side
Were blended late the ruins green, Rise turrets in fantastic pride
And feudal banners flaunt between : Where the rude torrent's brawling course Was shagged with thorn and tangling
sloe, The ashler buttress braves its force
And ramparts frown in battled row. Tis night-the shade of keep and spire
Obscurely dance on Evan's stream; And on the wave the warder's fire
Is checkering the moonlight beam.
Mightiest of all the beasts of chase
That roam in woody Caledon, Crashing the forest in his race, The Mountain Bull comes thundering
Yet missed his eye the boldest man
That bore the name of Hamilton.
Why fills not Bothwellhaugh his place,
Still wont our weal and woe to share ? Why comes he not our sport to grace?
Why shares he not our hunter's fare? "
Stern Claud replied with darkening
faceGray Paisley's haughty lord was heAt merry feast or buxom chase No more the warrior wilt thou see.
Whose hands are bloody, loose his hair
'Tis he ! 'tis he ! 'tis Bothwellhaugh. From gory selle and reeling steed Sprung the fierce horseman with
bound, And, reeking from the recent deed,
He dashed his carbine on the ground Sternly he spoke-“ 'Tis sweet to hear
In good greenwood the bugle blow But sweeter to Revenge's ear
To drink a tyrant's dying groan. “Your slaughtered quarry proudly trod
At dawning morn o'er dale and down But prouder base-born Murray rode Through old Linlithgow's crowded
** Few suns have set since Woodhouselee Saw Both wellhaugh's bright goblets
foam, When to his hearths in social glee The war-worn soldier turned him
“There, wan from her maternal throes,
Ilis Margaret, beautiful and mild, Sate in her bower, a pallid rose, And peaceful nursed her new-born
“ From the wild Border's humbled side
In baughty triumph marched he, While Knox relaxed his bigot pride
And smiled the traitorous pomp to see.
“But can stern Power, with all his vaunt.
Or Pomp, with all her courtly glare, The settled heart of Vengeance daunt,
Or change the purpose of Despair ? “ With hackbut bent, my secret stand,
Dark as the purposed deed, I chose, And marked where mingling in his ban! Trooped Scottish pipes and English
“O change accursed ! past are those days;
False Murray's ruthless spoilers came, And, for the hearth's domestic blaze,
Ascends destruction's volumed flame. “What sheeted phantom wanders wild Where mountain Eske through woodo
land flows, Her arms enfold a shadowy child
O! is it she, the pallid rose ? ** The wildered traveller sees her glide,
And hears her feeble voice with awe* Revenge,' she cries, 'on Murray's
pride! And woe for injured Bothwell
haugh!'” He ceased and cries of rage and grief
Burst mingling from the kindred band, And half arose the kindling chief,
And half unsheathed his Arran brand.
“ Dark Morton, girt with many a spear,
Murder's foul minion, led the van; And clashed their broadswords in the
rear The wild Macfarlanes' plaided clan.
But who o'er bush, o'er stream and rock,
Rides headlong with resist less speed, Whose bloody poniard's frantic stroke
Drives to the leap his jaded steed; Whose cheek is pale, whose eyeballs
glare, As one some visioned sight that saw,
“Glencairn and stout Parkhead were
nigh, Obsequious at their Regent's rein, And haggard Lindesay's iron eye,
That saw fair Mary weep in vain. “ Mid pennoned spears, a steely grove, Proud Murray's plumage Aoated
high; Scarce could his trampling charger more,
So close the minions crowded nigh, " From the raised vizor's shade his eye.
Dark-rolling, glanced the ranks along, And his steel truncheon, waved on high,
Seemed marshalling the iron throng.