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“ The bittern clamour'd from the moss,'
The wind blew loud and shrill;
To the eiry Beacon hill.
“ I watch'd her steps, and silent came
Where she sat her on a stone;
It burned all alone.
“ The second night I kept her in sight,
Till to the fire she came,
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 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, 'Come this night to thy lady's bower;
• Ask no bold Baron's leave.
• He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch ;
• On the eve of good Saint John.'
I cannot come; I must not come;
*I dare not come to thee; • On the eve of Saint John I must wander alone
• In thy bower I may not be.'
• Now, out on thee, faint-hearted knight!
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 sound, • And rushes shall be strew'd 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 be
neath my foot, • And the warder his bugle should not blow, • Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the
east, • And my foot-step he would know.'
* The black rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, ani of superior sanctity.
"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 turn’d him round, and grimly he frown'd;
Then he laugh'd right scornfully• He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that
• 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,
And no more did I see."
* Dryburgh Abbey is beautifully situated on the banks of the Tweed. After its dissolution, it became the property of the Halliburtons of Newmains, and is now the seat of the Right Honourable the Earl of Buchan.. It belonged to the order of Premonstratenses.
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; 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!
All under the Eildon-tree.”*
“ Yet hear but my word, my noble lord !
For I heard her name his name;
* Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conical summits, immediately above the town of Melrose, where are the admired ruins of a magnificent monastery. Eildon-tree is said to be the spot where Thomas the Rhymer uttered his prophecies.