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The trysting place was Newark Lee.

Wat of Harden came thither amain,

And thither came John of Thirlestaine,
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 burned 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.

The Dwarf waves his long lean arm on high,

And signs to the lovers to part and fly;

No time was then to vow or sigh.

Fair Margaret, through the hazel grove,

Flew like the startled cushat-dove:*

The Dwarf the stirrup held and rein;
Vaulted the knight on his steed amain,
And, pondering deep that morning's scene,
Rode eastward through the hawthorns green.

WHILE thus he poured the lengthened tale,
The Minstrel's voice began to fail:
Full slyly smiled the observant page,
And gave the withered hand of age
A goblet, crowned with mighty wine,
The blood of Velez' scorched vine.
He raised the silver cup on high,
And, while the big drop filled his eye,
Prayed God to bless the Duchess long,
And all who cheered a son of song.

* Wood pigeon.

The attending maidens smiled to see,
How long, how deep, how zealously,

The precious juice the Minstrel quaffed;
And he, emboldened by the draught,

Looked gaily back to them and laughed.
The cordial nectar of the bowl

Swelled his old veins, and cheered his soul;

A lighter, livelier prelude ran,

Ere thus his tale again began.






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