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He put his hand on the earlie's head,
He showed him a rock beside the sea, Where a king lay stiff beneath his steed, *
And steel-dight nobles wiped their ee.
"The neist curse lights on Branxton hills:
By Flodden's high and heathery side Shall wave a banner red as blude,
And chieftains throng wi' meikle pride.
*A Scottish king shall come full keen,
The ruddy lion beareth he;
Shall make him wink and warre to see.
"When he is bloody, and all to bledde,
Thus to his men he still shall say, “For God's sake, turn ye back again,
And give yon Southern folk a fray! Why should I lose, the right is mine?
My doom is not to die this day." +
"Yet turn ye to the eastern hand,
And woe and wonder ye sall see; How forty thousand spearmen stand,
Where yon rank river meets the sea.
“There shall the lion lose the gylte,
And the libbards bear it clean away; At Pinkyn Cleuch there shall be spilt
Much gentil bluid that day.'
• Alexander III.
'Enough, enough, of curse and ban;
Some blessings show thou now to me, Or, by the faith o'my bodie,' Corspatrick said,
*Ye shall rue the day ye e'er saw me!' “The first of blessings I shall thee show,
Is by a burn, that's called of bread; * Where Saxon men shall tine the bow,
And find their arrows lack the head.
‘Beside that brigg, out ower that burn,
Where the water bickereth bright and sheen, Shall many a fallen courser spurn,
And knights shall die in battle keen.
Beside a headless cross of stone,
The libbards there shall lose the gree: The raven shall come, the erne shall go,
And drink the Saxon bluid sae free. The cross of stone they shall not know,
So thick the corses there shall be.' But tell me, now,' said brave Dunbar,
True Thomas, tell now unto me, What man shall rule the isle Britain,
Even from the north to the southern sea ?'
'A French Queen shall bear the son,
Shall rule all Britain to the sea ; He of the Bruce's blood shall come,
As near as in the ninth degree.
* The waters worship shall his race;
Likewise the waves of the farthest sea :
WHEN seven years more were come and gone,
Was war through Scotland spread, And Ruberslaw showed high Dunyon
His beacon blazing red.
Then all by bonny Coldingknow
Pitched palliouns took their room, And crested helms, and spears a-rowe,
Glanced gaily through the broom.
The Leader, rolling to the Tweed,
Resounds the ensenzie;
To distant Torwoodlee.
The feast was spread in Ercildoune,
In Learmont's high and ancient hall : And there were knights of great renown,
And ladies laced in pall.
Nor lacked they, while they sat at dine,
The music nor the tale,
Nor mantling quaighs of ale.
True Thomas rose, with harp in hand,
Whenas the feast was done:
The elfin harp he won.
Hushed were the throng, both limb and tongue,
And harpers for envy pale;
And hearkened to the tale.
In numbers high, the witching tale
The prophet poured along; No after bard might e'er avail
Those numbers to prolong.
Yet fragments of the lofty strain
Float down the tide of years, As, buoyant on the stormy main,
A parted wreck appears.
He sung King Arthur's table round:
The warrior of the lake;
And bled for ladies' sake.
But chief, in gentle Tristrem's praise,
The notes melodious swell;
The knight of Lionelle.
For Marke, his cowardly uncle's right,
A venomed wound he bore;
Upon the Irish shore.
No art the poison might withstand;
I lovely Isolde's lily hand
With gentle hand and soothing tongue
She bore the leech's part;
He paid her with his heart.
Oh, fatal was the gift, I ween!
For, doomed in evil tide, The maid must be rude Cornwall's queen,
His cowardly uncle's bride.
Their loves, their woes, the gifted bard,
In fairy tissue wove; Where lords, and knights, and ladies bright,
In gay confusion strove.
The Garde Joyeuse, amid the tale,
High reared its glittering head; And Avalon's enchanted vale
In all its wonders spread.
Brangwain was there, and Segramore,
And fiend-born Merlin's gramarye ; Of that famed wizard's mighty lore,
Oh, who could sing but he ?
Through many a maze the winning song
In changeful passion led,
O'er Tristrem's dying bed.
His ancient wounds their scars expand,
With agony his heart is rung: Oh, where is Isolde's lilye hand,
And where her soothing tongue ?