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The westland wind is husht and still,
The lake lies sleeping at my feet.
Yet not the landscape to mine eye
Bears those sweet hues that once it bore; Though Evening, with her richest dye,
Flames o'er the hills of Ettrick shore.
With listless look along the plain,
I see Tweed's silver current glide, And coldly mark the holy fane
Of Melrose rise in ruin'd pride. The quiet lake, the balmy air,
The hill, the stream, the tower, the treeAre they still sweet as once they were, Or is the dreary change in me?
Alas! the warp'd and broken board,
How can it bear the painter's dye?
The harp of strain'd and tuneless chord,
How to the minstrel's skill reply?
To aching eyes each landscape lours,
To feverish pulse each gale blows chill; And Araby, or Eden's bowers,
Were barren as this moorland hill.
THEY parted, and alone he lay; Clare drew her from the sight away, Till pain wrung forth a lowly moan, And half he murmur'd,-"Is there none,
Of all my halls have nurst, Page, squire, or groom, one cup to bring Of blessed water from the spring,
To slake my dying thirst?"
O Woman! in our hours of ease,
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou!-
Scarce were the piteous accents said,
When, with the Baron's casque, the maid
To the nigh streamlet ran:
Forgot were hatred, wrongs, and fears-
The plaintive voice alone she hears,
Sees but the dying man.
She stoop'd her by the runnel's side,
But in abhorrence backward drew; For, oozing from the mountains wide, Where raged the war, a dark-red tide
Was curdling in the streamlet blue. Where shall she turn? behold her mark
A little fountain cell,
Where water, clear as diamond-spark,
In a stone basin fell.
Above, some half-worn letters say,
Drink. weary. pilgrim. drink. and. pray.
For . the . kind. soul . of . Sybil . Grey .
Who. built. this. cross. and, well .
She fill'd the helm, and back she hied,
And with surprise and joy espied
A Monk supporting Marmion's head-
A pious man, whom duty brought
To dubious verge of battle fought,
To shrive the dying, bless the dead.
SOON murkier clouds the Hall enfold,
Than e'er from battle-thunders roll'd-
So dense, the combatants scarce know
To aim or to avoid the blow.
Smoth'ring and blindfold grows the fight-
But soon shall dawn a dismal light!
'Mid cries, and clashing arms, there came
The hollow sound of rushing flame;
New horrors on the tumult dire
Arise-the Castle is on fire!
Doubtful, if chance had cast the brand,
Or frantic Bertram's desperate hand.
Matilda saw-for frequent broke
From the dim casements gusts of smoke.
Yon tower, which late so clear defin'd
On the fair hemisphere reclin'd,
That, pencill'd on its azure pure,
The eye could count each embrasure,
Now, swath'd within the sweeping cloud,
Seems giant spectre in his shroud;
Till, from each loophole flashing light,
A spout of fire shines ruddy bright,
And, gathering to united glare,
Streams high into the midnight air;
A dismal beacon, far and wide
That waken'd Greta's slumbering side.
Soon all beneath, through gallery long
And pendant arch, the fire flash'd strong,
Snatching whatever could maintain,
Raise, or extend, its furious reign;
Startling, with closer cause of dread,
The females who the conflict fled,
And now rush'd forth upon the plain,
Filling the air with clamours vain.
But ceas'd not yet, the Hall within,
The shriek, the shout, the carnage-din,
Till bursting lattices give proof
The flames have caught the rafter'd roof.
What! wait they till its beams amain
Crash on the slayers and the slain?
Th' alarm is caught-the drawbridge falls-
The warriors hurry from the walls;