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The sun had brighten'd Cheviot grey,

The sun had brighten'd the Carter's' side;
And soon beneath the rising day

Smiled Branksome Towers and Teviot's tide.
The wild birds told their warbling tale,
And waken'd 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 ;
Why does she stop, and look often around,
As she glides down the secret stair;
And why does she pat the shaggy blood-hound,
As he rouses him up from his lair;

And, though she passes the postern alone,
Why is not the watchman's bugle blown?


The ladye steps in doubt and dread,
Lest her watchful mother hear her tread;
The ladye caresses the rough blood-hound,
Lest his voice should waken the castle round;

'A mountain on the Border of England, above Jedburgh.

The watchman's bugle is not blown,

For he was her foster-father's son;

And she glides through the greenwood at dawn of light,

To meet Baron Henry, her own true knight.


The Knight and ladye fair are met,
And under the hawthorn's boughs are set.
A fairer pair were never seen

To meet beneath the hawthorn green.
He was stately, and young, and tall;
Dreaded in battle, and loved in hall:
And she, when love, scarce told, scarce hid,
Lent to her cheek a livelier red;
When the half sigh her swelling breast
Against the silken ribbon prest;

When her blue eyes their secret told,
Though shaded by her locks of gold —

Where would you find the peerless fair,
With Margaret of Branksome might compare?


And now, fair dames, methinks I see
You listening 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,
To paint his faithful passion strove;
Swore he might at her feet expire,
But never, never cease to love;

And how she blush'd, and how she sigh'd,
And, half consenting, half denied,

And said that she would die a maid;
Yet, might the bloody feud be stay'd,
Henry of Cranstoun, and only he,

Margaret of Branksome's choice should be.


Alas! fair dames, your hopes are vain!
My harp has lost the enchanting strain;
Its lightness would my age reprove:
My hairs are grey, my limbs are old,
My heart is dead, my veins are cold:
I may not, must not, sing of love.


Beneath an oak, moss'd o'er by eld,
The Baron's Dwarf his courser held,1


And held his crested helm and spear That Dwarf was scarce 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 Through Reedsdale's glens, but rarely trod, He heard a voice cry, "Lost! lost! lost!" And, like tennis-ball by racket toss'd,

A leap, of thirty feet and three, Made from the gorse this elfin shape, Distorted like some dwarfish ape,

And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee. Lord Cranstoun was some whit dismay'd; 'Tis said that five good miles he rade,

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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:

This elvish Dwarf with the Baron staid;
Little he ate, and less he spoke,
Nor mingled with the menial flock:
And oft apart his arms he toss'd,
And often mutter'd "Lost! lost! lost!"
He was waspish, arch, and litherlie,'
But well Lord Cranstoun served he:

'[The idea of the imp domesticating himself with the first person he met, and subjecting himself to that one's authority, is perfectly consonant to old opinions. Ben Jonson, in his play of “The Devil is an Ass,” has founded the leading incident of that comedy upon this article of the popular creed. A fiend, styled Pug, is ambitious of figuring in the world, and petitions his superior for permission to exhibit himself upon earth. The devil grants him a day-rule, but clogs it with this condition,—

"Satan-Only thus more, I bind you

To serve the first man that you meet; and him
I'll show you now; observe him, follow him;
But, once engaged, there you must stay and fix."

It is observable that in the same play, Pug alludes to the spare ness of his diet. Mr. Scott's goblin, though "waspish, arch, and litherlie," proves a faithful and honest retainer to the lord, into whose service he had introduced himself. This sort of inconsistency seems also to form a prominent part of the diabolic character. Thus, in the romances of the Round Table, we find Merlin, the son of a devil, exerting himself most zealously in the cause of virtue and of religion, the friend and counsellor of King Arthur, the chastiser of wrongs, and the scourge of the infidels.]

And he of his service was full fain;
For once he had been ta'en or slain,

An it had not been for his ministry.
All between Home and Hermitage,
Talk'd of Lord Cranstoun's Goblin-Page.

For the Baron went on Pilgrimage,
And took with him this elvish Page,
To Mary's Chapel of the Lowes:
For there, beside our Ladye's lake,
An offering he had sworn to make,
And he would pay his vows.

But the Ladye of Branksome gather'd a band
Of the best that would ride at her command:1
The trysting place was Newark Lee.

Wat of Harden came thither amain,
And thither came John of Thirlestane,
And thither came William of Deloraine;
They were three hundred spears and three.
Through Douglas-burn, up Yarrow stream,
Their horses prance, their lances gleam.
They came to St. Mary's lake ere day;
But the chapel was void, and the Baron away.
They burn'd the chapel for very rage,
And cursed Lord Cranstoun's Goblin-Page.


And now, in Branksome's good green wood,
As under the aged oak he stood,
The Baron's courser pricks his ears,

As if a distant noise he hears.

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