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'My lady, each night, sought the lonely light, That burns on the wild Watchfold;
For, from height to height, the beacons bright
'The bittern clamour'd from the moss,
'I watched her steps, and silent came
No watchman stood by the dreary flame;
'The second night I kept her in sight,
And, by Mary's might! an Armed Knight
'And many a word that warlike lord
But the rain fell fast, and loud blew the blast
'The third night there the sky was fair-
As again I watch'd the secret pair,
'And I heard her name the midnight hour, And name this holy eve;
"Come this night to thy lady's bower; Ask no bold Baron's leave.
"He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch ; His lady is all alone;
The door she'll undo, to her knight so true,
"I cannot come; I must not come ;
I dare not come to thee;
On the eve of St. John I must wander alone ·
"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,
"Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush beneath my foot,
And the warder his bugle should not blow,
Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the east,
O fear not the priest, who sleepeth to the east!
And there to say mass, till three days do pass,
'He turn'd him around, and grimly he frown'd;
'He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that knight May as well say mass for me.
'At the lone midnight hour, when bad spirits have
In thy chamber will I be."
With that he was gone, and my lady left alone,
Then changed, I trow, was that bold Baron's brow,
Now, tell me the mien of the knight thou hast seen,
His arms shone full bright, in the beacon's red light;
On his shield was a hound, in a silver leash bound,
'Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page,
For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould
'Yet hear but my word, my noble lord!
For I heard her name his name ;
And that lady bright, she called the knight
The bold Baron's brow then changed, I trow,
From high blood-red to pale—
'The grave is deep and dark-and the corpse is stiff and stark
So I may not trust thy tale.
'Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,
And Eildon slopes to the plain,
Full three nights ago, by some secret foe,
That gay gallant was slain.
'The varying light deceived thy sight,
And the wild winds drown'd the name;
For the Dryburgh bells ring, and the white monks do
For Sir Richard of Coldinghame!
He pass'd the court-gate, and he oped the tower-grate, And he mounted the narrow stair,
To the bartizan seat, where, with maids that on her wait, He found his lady fair.
That lady sat in mournful mood;
Look'd over hill and vale;
Over Tweed's fair flood, and Mertoun's wood,
And all down Teviotdale.
'Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright!'
'Now hail, thou Baron true!
What news, what news, from Ancram fight?
What news from the bold Buccleuch ?'
"The Ancram moor is red with gore,
For many a southern fell;
And Buccleuch has charged us, evermore,
To watch our beacons well.'
The lady blush'd red, but nothing she said;
Nor added the Baron a word :
Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber fair,
In sleep the lady mourn'd, and the Baron toss'd and turn'd,
And oft to himself he said
'The worms around him creep, and his bloody grave is deep
It cannot give up the dead!'—
It was near the ringing of matin-bell,
When a heavy sleep on that Baron fell,
The lady look'd through the chamber fair,
'Alas! away, away!' she cried,
'For the holy Virgin's sake!' 'Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side; But, lady, he will not awake.
'By Eildon tree, for long nights three,
In bloody grave have I lain;
The mass and the death-prayer are said for me, But, lady, they are said in vain.
By the Baron's brand, near Tweed's fair strand,
And my restless sprite on the beacon's height,
'At our trysting-place, for a certain space,
I must wander to and fro;
But I had not had power to come to thy bower,
Love master'd fear-her brow she cross'd;
The Vision shook his head!
'Who spilleth life, shall forfeit life;
That lawless love is guilt above,
He laid his left palm on an oaken beam;
The lady shrunk, and fainting sunk,
The sable score, of fingers four,
There is a nun in Dryburgh bower,
That nun, who ne'er beholds the day,
SING Erlington and Cowdenknowes where Homes had ance commanding,
And Drygrange with the milk-white ewes, 'twixt Tweed and Leader standing.
The bird that flees through Reedpath trees, and Gledswood banks ilk morrow,
May chant and sing sweet Leader Haughs, and bonny howms of Yarrow.
But Minstrel Burn cannot assuage his grief while life endureth,
To see the changes of this age that fleeting time procureth,
For mony a place stands in hard case, where blyth folk
kenned nae sorrow,
With Homes that dwelt on Leader braes, and Scott that dwelt on Yarrow.