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How could I name love's very name,
Nor wake my harp to notes of name!


In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed;

In war, he mounts the warrior's steed;

In halls, in gay attire is seen;

In hamlets, dances on the green.

Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,

And men below, and saints above;

For love is heaven, and heaven is love.


So thought Lord Cranstoun, as I ween,
While, pondering deep the tender scene,
He rode through Branksome's hawthorn green.
But the Page shouted wild and shrill—
And scarce his helmet could he don,
When downward from the shady hill
A stately knight came pricking on,

That warrior's steed, so dapple-gray,

Was dark with sweat, and splashed with clay;

His armour red with many a stain; / He seemed in such a weary plight, As if he had ridden the live-long night;

For it was William of Deloraine,


But no whit-weary did he seem,
When, dancing in the sunny beam,
He marked the crane on the Baron's crest;
For his ready spear was in his rest.

Few were the words, and stern and high,
That marked the foemen's feudal hatej

For question fierce, and proud reply,
Gave signal soon of dire debate.
Their very coursers seemed to know
That each was other's mortal foe;
And snorted fire; when wheeled around,
To give each knight his vantage ground,


In rapid round the Baron bent;

He sighed a sigh, and prayed a prayer: The prayer was to his patron saint,

The sigh was to his ladye fair. Stout Deloraine nor sighed, nor prayed, Nor saint, nor ladye, called to aid; But he stooped his head, and couched his spear, And spurred his steed to full career. The meeting of these champions proud Seemed like the bursting thunder-cloud.


Stern was the dint the Borderer lent!

The stately Baron backwards bent;

Bent backwards to his horse's tail,

And his plumes went scattering on the gale;

The tough ash spear, so stout and true,

Into a thousand flinders flew.

But Cranstoun's lance, of more avail,

Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail;

Through shield, and jack, and acton, past,
Deep in his bosom broke at last.—
Still sate the warrior saddleTfast,
Till, stumbling in the mortal shock,
Down went the steed, the girthing broke,
Hurled on a heap lay man and horse.
The Baron onward passed his course;
Nor knew—so giddy rolled his brain—
His foe lay stretched upon the plain.


But when he reined his courser round,
And saw his foeman on the ground

Lie senseless as the bloody clay,
He bade his Page to staunch the wound,

And there beside the warrior stay, And tend him in his doubtful state, And lead him to Branksonie castle-gate: His noble mind was inly moved For the kinsman of the maid he loved.

"This shalt thou do without delay;
No longer here myself may stay:
Unless the swifter I speed away,
Short shrift will be at my dying day."


Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode;

The Goblin-Page behind abode:

His lord's command he ne'er withstood,

Though small his pleasure to do good.

As the corslet off he took,

The Dwarf espied the Mighty Book I

Much he marvelled, a knight of pride

Like a book-bosom'd priest should ride:

He thought not to search or staunch the wound,

Until the secret he had found.


The iron band, the iron clasp,
Resisted long the elfin grasp;

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