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He put his hand on the earlie's head;
"The neist curse lights on Branxton Hills: By Flodden's high and heathery side, Shall wave a banner, red as blude,
And chieftains throng wi' meikle pride.
A Scottish king shall come full keen;
Shall make him wink and warre to see.
When he is bloody, and all to bledde,
Thus to his men he still shall sayFor God's sake, turn ye back again, And give yon southern folk a fray? Why should I lose the right is mine: My doom is not to die this day.'
Yet turn ye to the eastern hand,
And woe and wonder ye shall see; How forty thousand spearmen stand,
Where yon rank river meets the sea.
There shall the lion lose the gylte,
And the libbards bear it clean away; At Pinkyn Cleuch there shall be spilt Much gentil blude that day."
Enough, enough, of curse and ban;
"The first of blessings I shall thee show, Is by a burn, that's called of bread; Where Saxon men shall tine the bow,
And find their arrows lack the head.
Beside that brigg, out ower that burn,
Where the water bickereth bright and sheen, Shall many a falling courser spurn, And knights shall die in battle keen.
Beside a headless cross of stone,
The libbards there shall lose the gree; The raven shall come, the erne shall go,
And drink the Saxon blood sae free. The cross of stone they shall not know, So thick the corses there shall be."
"But tell me now," said brave Dunbar,
A French queen shall bear the son,
As near as in the ninth degree.
"The waters worship shall his race;
Likewise the waves of the farthest sea;
THE following attempt to commemorate the Rhymer's poetical fame, and the traditional account of his marvellous return to Fairy Land, being entirely modern, would have been placed with greater propriety among the class of Modern Ballads, had it not been for its immediate connection with the first and second parts of the same story.
WHEN seven years more had come and gone,
Then all by bonny Coldingknow,
Pitched palliouns took their room,
The Leader, rolling to the Tweed,
They roused the deer from Caddenhead,
The feast was spread in Ercildoune,
In Learmont's high and ancient hall;
Nor lacked they, while they sat at dine,
Nor goblets of the blood-red wine,
True Thomas rose, with harp in hand,
(In minstrel strife, in Fairy Land,
The elfin harp he won.)
Hushed were the throng, both limb and tongue,
And harpers for envy pale;
In numbers high, the witching tale
Those numbers to prolong.
Yet fragments of the lofty strain
He sung King Arthur's table round:
But chief, in gentle Tristrem's praise,
For Marke, his cowardly uncle's right,
No art the poison might withstand;
Had probed the rankling wound.
With gentle hand and soothing tongue,
And, while she o'er his sick-bed hung,
O fatal was the gift, I ween!
The maid must be rude Cornwall's queen,
Their loves, their woes, the gifted bard
Where lords, and knights, and ladies bright,
The Garde Joyeuse, amid the tale,
In all its wonders spread.
Brangwain was there, and Segramore,
Through many a maze the winning song
Till bent at length the listening throng
His ancient wounds their scars expand,
She comes, she comes !-like flash of flame
She comes, she comes !-she only came
She saw him die: her latest sigh
Joined in a kiss his parting breath: The gentlest pair that Britain bare, United are in death.
There paused the harp; its lingering sound
The silent guests still bent around,
Then woe broke forth in murmurs weak,
On Leader's stream, and Learmont's tower,
Lord Douglas in his lofty tent,
He starts, he wakes:-"What, Richard, he!
What venturous wight, at dead of night,
Then forth they rushed: by Leader's tide,
A hart and hind pace side by side,
As white as snow on Fairnalie.
Beneath the moon, with gesture proud,
To Learmont's tower a message sped,
First he woxe pale, and then woxe red;
The elfin harp his neck around,
Then forth he went; yet turned him oft
On the grey tower, in lustre soft,
And Leader's waves, like silver sheen,
"Farewell, my father's ancient tower! A long farewell," said he:
"The scene of pleasure, pomp, or power, Thou never more shalt be.
To Learmont's name no foot of earth
Adieu! adieu!" again he cried,
All as he turned him roun'"Farewell to Leader's silver tide! Farewell to Ercildoune!"
The hart and hind approached the place,
Lord Douglas leaped on his berry-brown steed, And spurred him the Leader o'er;
But, though he rode with lightning speed,
He never saw them more.