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Full on his face the moonbeam strook,
A face could never be mistook!
I knew the stern vindictive look,
And held my breath for awe.
I saw the face of one who, fled
To foreign climes, has long been dead, -
I well believe the last ;
For ne'er, from visor raised, did stare
A human warrior, with a glare
So grimly and so ghast.
Thrice o'er my head he shook the blade;
But when to good Saint George I prayed,
(The first time e'er I asked his aid,) . :
He plunged it in the sheath ; And, on his courser mounting light, He seemed to vanish from my sight: The moon-beam drooped, and deepest night Sunk down upon the heath.
Twere long to tell what cause I have
To know his face, that met me there,
Called by his hatred from the grave,
To cumber upper air:
Dead, or alive, good cause had he
To be my mortal enemy."
Marvelled Sir David of the Mount;
Then, learned in story, 'gan recount
Such chance had hap'd of old,
When once, near Norham, there did fight
A spectre fell, of fiendish might,
In likeness of a Scottish knight,
With Brian Bulmer bold,
And trained him nigh to disallow
The aid of his baptismal vow.
“ And such a phantom, too, 'tis said,
With Highland broad-sword, targe, and plaid,
And fingers red with gore,
Is seen in Rothiemurcus glade,
Or where the sable pine-trees shade
Dark Tomaptoul, and Achnaslaid,
Dromouchty, or Glenmore."
And yet, whate'er such legends say,
Of warlike demon, ghost, or fay.
On mountain, moor, or plain,
Spotless in faith, in bosom bold,
True son of chivalry should hold,
These midnight terrors vain ;
For seldom have such spirits power
To harm, save in the evil hour,
When guilt we meditate within,
Or harbour unrepented sin.”- .
Lord Marmion turned him half aside,
And twice to clear his voice he tried,
Then pressed Sir David's hand, -
But nought, at length, in answer said ;
And here their farther converse staid,
• See the traditions concerning Bulmer, and the spectre called Lhamdearg, or Bloody-hand, in a note on Canto IV.
Each ordering that his band
Should bowne them with the rising day,
To Scotland's camp to take their way,–
Such was the King's command.
Early they took Dun-Edin's road,
And I could trace each step they trode ;
Hill, brook, nor dell, nor rock, nor stone,
Lies on the path to me unknown.
Much might it boast of storied lore ;
But, passing such digression o’er,
Suffice it, that their route was laid
Across the furzy hills of Braid.
They passed the glen and scanty rill,
And climbed the opposing bank, until
They gained the top of Blackford Hill.
Blackford ! on whose uncultured breast,
Among the broom, and thorn, and whin,
A truant-boy, I sought the nest,
Or listed, as I lay at rest,
While rose on breezes thin,
The murmur of the city crowd,
And, from his steeple jangling loud,
Saint Giles’s mingling din.
Now, from the summit to the plain,
Waves all the hill with yellow grain ;
And o'er the landscape as I look,
Nought do I see unchanged remain,
Save the rude cliffs and chiming brook. To me they make a heavy moan, Of early friendships past and gone.
But different far the change has been,
Since Marmion, from the crown
Of Blackford, saw that martial scene
Upon the bent so brown : Thousand pavilions, white as snow, Spread all the Borough-moor below,