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Oh! say


thou Red-Cross Knight,
But if you will stay with me,
With feast and with dance, with tourey* and lance,
We'll honour thy bravery.'

'I cannot stay,' cried the Red-Cross Knight,

Nor can I feast with thee;
But I must haste to a pleasant bower,t
Where a lady's waiting for me.'

"Oh! say not so, dear Red-Cross Knight,

Nor heed that fond lady;
For she can't compare to my daughter fair,
And she shall wed with thee.'

And now the lute's sweet silver sound

Re-echoed through the hall,
And in that lord's fair daughter came,
With her ladies clad in pall. I

The lady was decked in costly robes,

And shone as bright as day; And with courtesy sweet the knight she did greet, And presséd him to stay.

* Right welcome, brave Sir Red-Cross Knight,

Right welcome unto me;
And here long time I hope thou ʼlt stay,

And bear us company.' * Tournament.

+ Boudoir, lady's drawing-room. # A fine robe, from Lat. pallium, 'a cloak.'


It grieves me much, thou lady fair,

That here I cannot stay ;
For a beauteous lady is waiting for me,

Whom I've not seen many a day.'

And as the lady pressed the knight,

With her attendants all,
Oh! then bespake a pilgrim youth,

As he stood in the ball :

18. Now, Heaven thee save, good Red-Cross Knight,

I'm come from the north country, Where a lady is laid all in her sick-bed,

And evermore calls for thee.'

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20. Oh ! heed her not,' the lady cried,

• But send a page to see, While the mass is sung, and the bells are rung,

And we feast us merrily.'

21. Again bespake the pilgrim-boy,

Ye need not send to see ;
For know, Sir Knight, that lady's dead,

And died for love of thee,'

Oh! then the Red-Cross Knight was pale,

And not a word could say ;
But his heart did swell, and his tears down fell,

And he almost swooned away.

23. Now fie on thee! thou weakly knight,

To weep for a lady dead; Were I a noble knight like thee,

I would find another to wed.

So come, cheer up, and comfort your heart,

And be good company,
While the mass is sung, and the bells are rung,

And we feast so merrily.'

25. In vain that courtly lady strove

The sorrowing knight to cheer; Each word he answered with a groan,

Each soothing with a tear.

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And now farewell, thou noble lord,

And farewell, lady fair,
In pleasure and joy your hours employ,

Nor think of my despair.'

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27. And where is her grave, cried the Red-Cross Knight,

• The grave where she doth lie?' Oh! I know it well,' cried the pilgrim-boy,

And I'll shew it thee hard by.'

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"I'm glad I've found thee, pilgrim-boy,

And thou shalt go with me,
And thou shalt guide to my lady's grave,
And great thy reward shall be.'

Again he sighed, and wept forlorn,

For his lady that was dead; Lady, how sad thy wedding-tide, How cold thy bridal-bed !'

30. Thus the Red-Cross Knight complained and sighed,

While all around did cry, · Let the minstrels sing, and the bells out ring, And the feast eat merrily.'

And now the gentle moon around

Her silver lustre shed,
Brightened each current, wall, and tower,

And distant mountain's head.

32. By whose sweet light the knight his way

Hath ta’en, though not with joy, And with him goes, on mounted steed, The faithful pilgrim-boy.

33. Oh! fast they sped, to reach the dead,

And few the words they spoke; Save when the passing* convent bell

Fresh tears and sighs awoke.

* The bell which tolled for the dying.

34. Save when at midnight, o'er the wold, The priests did bend their

way, With taper bright and holy light,

For some sinful soul to pray.

35. Then louder wailed the knight; and rued

His fortune, to be torn From a maid as fair, and true, and good

As ever yet was born.

36. Now slower sped that pilgrim-boy,

And reined his prancing steed, Some sudden pang had seized his heart,

So formed for gentle deed.


“Why art thou pale, thou pilgrim-boy ?'.

The knight all wondering cried ; Why dost thou pant, thou pilgrim-boy,

When I am by thy side ?'

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38. The knight he ran and clasped the youth,

And oped his pilgrim's vest, And, lo ! it was his lady fair,

His lady dear he pressed.

39. «Grieve not for me, my

faithful knight,' The lady faint did cry ; 'I'm well content, my faithful knight,

Though in thy arms I die.

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