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Of that unhallowed morn arose,

When first the Scott and Car were foes;

When royal James beheld the fray,

Prize to the victor of the day;

When Home and Douglas, in the van,
Bore down Buccleuch's retiring clan,
Till gallant Cessford's heart-blood dear
Reeked on dark Elliot's Border spear.


In bitter mood he spurred fast,

And soon the hated heath was past;
And far beneath, in lustre wan,

Old Melros' rose, and fair Tweed ran:
Like some tall rock, with lichens gray,
Seemed, dimly huge, the dark Abbaye.
When Hawick he passed, had curfew rung,
Now midnight lauds* were in Melrose sung.

* Lauds, the midnight service of the Catholic church.

The sound, upon the fitful gale,

In solemn wise did rise and fail,

Like that wild harp, whose magic tone

Is wakened by the winds alone.

But when Melrose he reached, 'twas silence all;

He meetly stabled his steed in stall,

And sought the convent's lonely wall.

HERE paused the harp; and with its swell
The Master's fire and courage fell :
Dejectedly, and low, he bowed,

And, gazing timid on the crowd,
He seemed to seek, in every eye,
If they approved his minstrelsy;
And, diffident of present praise,
Somewhat he spoke of former days,
And how old age, and wandering long,
Had done his hand and harp some wrong.

The Duchess, and her daughters fair,

And every gentle ladye there,

Each after each, in due degree,

Gave praises to his melody;

His hand was true, his voice was clear, And much they longed the rest to hear. Encouraged thus, the Aged Man,

After meet rest, again began.






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