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The wild birds told their warbling tale,
And wakened every flower that blows; And peeped forth the violet pale,
And spread her breast the mountain rose: And lovelier than the rose so red,
Yet paler than the violet pale, She early left her sleepless bed,
The fairest maid of Teviotdale.
Why does fair Margaret so early awake,
And don her kirtle so hastilie; And the silken knots, which in hurry she would make.
Why tremble her slender fingers to tie;
As she glides down the secret stair;
As he rouses him up from his lair;
The ladye steps in doubt and dread,
To meet Baron Henry, her own true knight.
"When the half sigh her swelling breast
And now, fair dames, methinks I see
You listen to my minstrelsy;
Your waving locks ye backward throw,
And sidelong bend your necks of snow :—
Ye ween to hear a melting tale,
Of two true lovers in a dale;
And how the Knight, with tender fire,
Swore, he might at her feet expire,
And said that she would die a maid j—
Alas! fair dames, your hopes are vain f
Its lightness would my age reprove:
I may not, must not, sing of love.
Beneath an oak, mossed o'er by eld,
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
A leap, of thirty feet and three,
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.