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They watch, to hear the bloodhound baying:
Threaten Branksome's lordly towers,
Many a valiant knight is here;
Beside his broken spear.
VIII. Can piety the discord heal,
Or staunch the death-feud's enmity ? Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal,
Can love of blessèd charity ? No! vainly to each holy shrine,
In mutual pilgrimage, they drew; Implored, in vain, the grace divine
For chiefs their own red falchions slew : While Cessford owns the rule of Carr,
While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott, The slaughtered chiefs, the mortal jar, The havoc of the feudal war,
Shall never, never be forgot!
The warlike foresters had bent;
Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent: But o'er her warrior's bloody bier The Ladye dropped nor flower nor tear! Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain,
Had locked the source of softer woe; And burning pride, and high disdain,
Forbade the rising tear to flow; Until, amid his sorrowing clan,
Her son lisped from the nurse's knee"And if I live to be a man,
My father's death revenged shall be!' Then fast the mother's tears did seek To dew the infant's kindling cheek.
All loose her negligent attire,
All loose her golden hair, Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire,
And wept in wild despair,
Had filial grief supplied ;
Had lent their mingled tide:
With Carr in arms had stood,
All purple with their blood;
Of noble race the Ladye came,
Of Bethune's line of Picardie :
In Padua, far beyond the sea.
By feat of magic mystery;
St. Andrew's cloistered hall,
Upon the sunny wall!
And of his skill, as bards avow,
He taught that Ladye fair,
The viewless forms of air.
The bandogs bay and howl;
Loud whoops the startled owl.
Swore that a storm was near,
But the night was still and clear!
From the sound of Teviot's tide,
The Ladye knew it well!
And he called on the Spirit of the Fell.
RIVER SPIRIT. 'Sleep'st thou, brother?' MOUNTAIN SPIRIT.
To aërial minstrelsy,
Trip it deft and merrily.
RIVER SPIRIT. 'Tears of an imprisoned maiden
Mix with my polluted stream; Margaret of Branksome, sorrow-laden,
Mourns beneath the moon's pale beam. Tell me, thou, who view'st the stars, When shall cease these feudal jars? What shall be the maiden's fate? Who shall be the maiden's mate?'
MOUNTAIN SPIRIT. 'Arthur's slow wain his course doth roll, In utter darkness, round the pole; The Northern Bear lowers black and grim; Orion's studded belt is dim; Twinkling faint, and distant far, Shimmers through mist each planet star;
Ill may I read their high decree! But no kind influence deign they shower On Teviot's tide, and Branksome's tower,
Till pride be quelled, and love be free.'
And the heavy sound was still;
It died on the side of the hill. But round Lord David's tower
The sound still floated near; For it rung in the Ladye's bower,
And it rung in the Ladye's ear. She raised her stately head,