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LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
If thou would'st View fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moon-light;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave,
Then go—but go alone the while—
Then view St David's ruined pile;
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!
Short halt did Deloraine make there;
For Branksome's chiefs had in battle stood,
And lands and livings, many a rood,
Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose.
Bold Deloraine his errand said;
* Aventayle, visor of the helmet.