« PreviousContinue »
"For Branksome, ho!" the knight rejoined,
A moment now he slacked his speed, A moment breathed his panting steed;Drew saddle-girth and corslet-band, And loosened in the sheath his brand. On Minto-crags the moon-beams glint, Where Barnhill hewed his bed of flint;Who flung his outlawed limbs to rest, Where falcons hang their giddy nest, Mid cliffs, from whence his eagle eye For many a league his prey could spy;
* An ancient Roman road, crossing through part of Roxburghshire.
Cliffs, doubling, on their echoes borne, The terrors of the robber's horn;Cliffs, which, for many a later year, The warbling Doric reed shall hear, When some sad swain shall teach the grove, Ambition is no cure for love!
Unchallenged, thence past Deloraine
Where Aill, from mountains freed,
Like the mane of a chesnut steed.
At the first plunge the horse sunk low, And the water broke o'er the saddle-bow;
Above the foaming tide, I ween,
Stemmed a midnight torrent's force.
The warrior's very plume, I say,
Was daggled by the dashing spray;
Yet, through good heart, and Our Ladye's grace,
At length he gained the landing place.
Now Bowden Moor the march-man won,
As glanced his eye o'er Halidon; +
* Barded, or barbed,—applied to a horse accoutered with defensive armour.
f Halidon-Hill, on which the battle of Melrose was fought.
Of that unhallowed morn arose,
* Lauds, the midnight service of the Catholic church. The sound, upon the fitful gale, In solemn wise did rise and fail, Like that wild harp, whose magic tone Is wakened by the winds alone. But when Melrose he reached, 'twas silence all;He meetly stabled his steed in stall, And sought the convent's lonely wall.
Here paused the harp: and with its swell