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Yet his plate-jack 1 was braced, and his helmet was laced,
And his vaunt-brace of proof he wore ;
Full ten pound weight and more.
The Baron returned in three days' space,
And his looks were sad and sour ;
As he reached his rocky tower.
He came not from where Ancram Moor.
Ran red with English blood ;
'Gainst keen Lord Evers stood.
Yet was his helmet hacked and hewed,
His acton pierced and tore,
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 ;
I think thou art true to me.
'Come, tell me all that thou hast seen,
And look thou tell me true !
What did my lady do?-
That burns on the wild Watchfold ;
Of the English foemen told.
' The plate-jack is coat armour; the vaunt-brace, or wam-brace, armour for the body; the sperthe, a battle-axe.
“The bittern clamoured from the moss,
The wind blew loud and shrill;
To the eiry Beacon Hill.
Where she sat her on a stone;
It burned all alone.
Till to the fire she came,
Stood by the lonely flame.
Did speak to my lady there ;
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 heard her name the midnight hour, And name this holy eve;
Come this night to thy lady's bower ; Ask no bold Baron's leave. "" He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch ;
His lady is all alone ;
On the eve of good St. John.”—
I dare not come to thee ;
In thy bower I may not be.”-
Thou shouldst not say me nay ;
Is worth the whole summer's day.
"“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 St. 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."
"“O fear not the priest, who sleepeth to the east;
For to Dryburgh the way he has ta’en ;
For the soul of a knight that is slain.”
"He turned him around, and grimly he frowned ;
Then he laughed right scornfully“He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that knight,
May as well say mass for me :
6« At the lone midnight hour, when bad spirits have power,
In thy chamber will I be.”—
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 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 ;
And his crest was a branch of the yew.'—
1 The black-rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, and of superior sanctity.
'Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page,
Loud dost thou lie to me!
All under the Eildon-tree 1.'
‘Yet hear but my word, my noble lord !
For I heard her name his name ;
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 stark
So I may not trust thy tale.
"Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,
And Eildon slopes to the plain,
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 grate,
And he mounted the narrow stair
He found his lady fair.
That lady sat in mournful mood;
Looked over hill and vale ;
And all down Teviotdale.
Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conical summits, immediately above the town of Mulrose, where are the admired ruins of a magnificent monastery. Eildon-tree is said to be the spot where Thomas the Rhymer uttered his prophecies.
Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright !'
Now hail, thou Baron true !
What news from the bold Buccleuch?'
“The Ancram Moor is red with gore,
For many a Southron fell ;
To watch our beacons well.'
The lady blushed red, but nothing she said;
Nor added the Baron a word ;
And so did her moody lord.
In sleep the lady mourned, and the Baron tossed and turned,
And oft to himself he said "The worms around him creep, and his bloody grave is deep ...
It cannot give up the dead !'
It was near the ringing of matin-bell,
The night was wellnigh done,
On the eve of good St. John.
The lady looked through the chamber fair
By the light of a dying flame;
Sir 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.