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And held his crested helm and spear. That dwarf was scarcely an earthly man, If the tales were true that of him ran Through all the Border, far and near. ‘Twas said, when the baron a hunting rode, Through Reedsdale’s glens, but rarely trod, He heard a voice cry, “Lost! lost! lost '', And, like tennis-ball by raquet tost, A leap of thirty feet and three, Made from the gorse this elfin shape, Distorted like some dwarfish ape, And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee. Lord Cranstoun was some whit dismayed; 'Tis said that five good miles he rade, To rid him of his company; But where he rode one mile, the dwarf ran four, And the dwarf was first at the castle door.


Use lessens marvel, it is said,
This elfish dwarf with the baron staid ;
Little he eat, and less he spoke,
Nor mingled with the menial flock;
And oft apart his arms he tossed,
And often muttered, “Lost! lost! lost!”

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He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,

But well Lord Cranstoun served he .
And he of his service was full fain;
For once he had been ta'en or slain,

An' it had not been his ministry.
All between Home and Hermitage,
Talked of Lord Cranstoun's goblin page.

XXXIII, For the baron went on pilgrimage, And took with him this elfish page, To Mary's chapel of the Lowes : For there, beside our ladye's lake, An offering he had sworn to make, And he would pay his vows. But the ladye of Branksome gathered a band Of the best that would ride at her command : The trysting place was Newark Lee. Wat of Harden came thither amain, And thither came John of Thirlestaine, And thither came William of Deloraine ; They were three hundred spears and three. Through Douglas-burn, up Yarrow stream, Their horses prance, their lances gleam. They came to St. Mary's lake ere day; But the chapel was void, and the baron away.

They burned the chapel for very rage,
And cursed lord Cranstoum's goblin page.


And now, in Branksome's good green wood,
As under the aged oak he stood,
The baron's courser pricks his ears,
As if a distant noise he hears.
The dwarf waves his long lean arm on high,
And signs to the lovers to part and fly ;
No time was then to vow or sigh,
Fair Margaret, through the hazel grove,
Flew like the startled cushat-dove:*
The dwarf the stirrup held and rein ;
Vaulted the knight on his steed amain,
And pondering deep that morning's scene,
Rode eastward through the hawthorns green.

WHILE thus he poured the lengthened tale,
The Minstrel's voice began to fail;
Full slily smiled the observant page,
And gave the withered hand of age

* Wood-pigeon.

A goblet, crowned with mighty wine,
The blood of Velez' scorched vine.
He raised the silver cup on high,
And, while the big drop filled his eye,
Prayed God to bless the duchess long,
And all who cheered a son of song.
The attending maidens smiled to see,
How long, how deep, how zealously,
The precious juice the Minstrel quaffed;
And he, emboldened by the draught,
Pooked gaily back to them, and laughed.
e cordial nectar of the bowl
Swelled his old veins, and cheered his soul:
A lighter, livelier prelude ran,
*re thus his tale again began.

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AND said I that my limbs were old ;
JAnd said I that my blood was cold,
And that my kindly fire was fled,
And my poor withered heart was dead,
And that I might not sing of love :
How could I, to the dearest theme,
That ever warmed a Minstrel's dream,
So foul, so false, a recreant prove 1
How could I name love's very name,
Nor wake my harp to notes of flame !

~ II. In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed; In war he mounts the warrior's steed ;

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