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"For Branksome, ho!" the knight rejoined,
And, guided by the tinkling rill,
A moment now he slacked his speed,
A moment breathed his panting steed;
Drew saddle-girth and corslet band,
And loosened in the sheath hi9 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.
XXVIII. Unchallenged, thence past Deloraine To ancient Riddel's fair domain,
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,
Scarce half the charger's neck was seen;
For he was barded* from counter to tail,
And the rider was armed complete in mail;
Never heavier man and horse
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 Halidonf;
* Barded, or barbed, applied to a horse accoutered with defensive armour.
t Halidon-hill, on which the battle of Melrose was fought.
Of that unhallowed morn arose.
* Lauds, the midnight service of the Catholie 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