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From many Knights and many Squires

The Bruce had been selected;

And Gordon, fairest of them all,

By Ellen was rejected.

Sad tidings to that noble Youth!

For it may be proclaimed with truth,
If Bruce hath loved sincerely,

The Gordon loves as dearly.

But what is Gordon's beauteous face?

And what are Gordon's crosses

To them who sit by Kirtle's Braes

Upon the verdant mosses ?

Alas that ever he was born!

The Gordon, couched behind a thorn,

Sees them and their caressing,

Beholds them blest and blessing.

Proud Gordon cannot bear the thoughts

That through his brain are travelling,

And, starting up, to Bruce's heart

He lanched a deadly javelin!

Fair Ellen saw it when it came,

And, stepping forth to meet the same,

Did with her body cover

The Youth her chosen lover.

And, falling into Bruce's arms,

Thus died the beauteous Ellen,

Thus from the heart of her true-love

The mortal spear repelling.

And Bruce, as soon as he had slain
The Gordon, sailed away to Spain;

And fought with rage incessant
Against the Moorish Crescent.

But many days, and many months,
And many years ensuing,

This wretched Knight did vainly seek

The death that he was wooing:

And coming back across the wave,
Without a groan on Ellen's grave

His body he extended,

And there his sorrow ended.

Now ye, who willingly have heard

The tale I have been telling,

May in Kirkonnel church-yard view


grave of lovely Ellen :

By Ellen's side the Bruce is laid;
And, for the stone upon his head,
May no rude hand deface it,

And its forlorn HIC JACET!


Strange fits of passion I have known :

And I will dare to tell,

But in the Lover's ear alone,

What once to me befel.

When she I loved, was strong and gay

And like a rose in June,

I to her cottage bent my way,

Beneath the evening Moon.

Upon the Moon I fixed my eye,

All over the wide lea:

My Horse trudged on-and we drew nigh

Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reached the orchard plot;
And, as we climbed the hill,

Towards the roof of Lucy's cot

The Moon descended still.

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,
Kind Nature's gentlest boon!

And, all the while, my eyes I kept

On the descending Moon.

My Horse moved on; hoof after hoor

He raised, and never stopped :

When down behind the cottage roof

At once the Planet dropped.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide

Into a Lover's head

"O mercy!" to myself I cried,

"If Lucy should be dead!"

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