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Bards long shall tell,
Can piety the discord heal,
Or staunch the death-feud's enmity? Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal,
Can love of blessed charity? No! vainly to each holy shrine,
In mutual pilgrimage they drew; Implored, in vain, the grace divine
For chiefs, their own red falchions slew:
* The war-cry, or gathering word, of a Border clan.
While Cessford owns the rule of Car,
The slaughtered chiefs, the mortal jar,
The havoc of the feudal war,
In sorrow, o'er Lord Walter's bier
The warlike foresters had bent; And many a flower, and many a tear,
Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent: But o'er her warrior's bloody bier The Ladyfe dropped nor flower nor tear!
Vengeance, deep*brooding o'er the slain.
Had locked the source of softer woe 5 And burning pride, and high disdain,
Forbade the rising tear to flow; Until, amid his sorrowing clan,
Her son lisped from the nurse's knee— "And, if I live to be a man,
My father's death revenged shall be P'
Then fast the mother's tears did seek
All loose her negligent attire,
All loose her golden hair, Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire,
And wept in wild despair.
Had filial grief supplied;
Had lent their mingled tide:
Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan,
When Mathouse-burn to Melrose ran,
And well she knew her mother dread,
Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed,
Would see her on her dying bed.
Of noble race the Ladye came;
Of Bethune's line of Picardie:
In Padua, far beyond the sea.
By feat of magic mystery;
St Andrew's cloistered hall,
Upon the sunny wall!
And of his skill, as bards avow,
He taught that Ladye fair,
The viewless forms of air.
And listens to a heavy sound,
That moans the mossy turrets round.
Is it the roar of Teviot's tide,
That chafes against the scaur's * red side?
Is it the wind, that swings the oaks?
Is it the echo from the rocks?
What may it be, the heavy sound,
That moans old Branksome's turrets round?
At the sullen, moaning sound,
The ban-dogs bay and howl; And, from the turrets round,
Loud whoops the startled owl. In the hall, both squire and knight
Swore that a storm was near, And looked forth to view the night;
But the night was still and clear!
Scaur, a precipitous bank of earth.