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Up sprang each knight; like a beam of light Forth flash'd each trenchant blade,
And the backward start of the quivering sheath
A stirring answer made—
When, lo, on the breeze again was borne
And see, where up the hall proceeds,
A ladye, clad in mourning weeds,
Her tearful eyes betray her grief,
Her mien shows her degree;
She steps right gracefully.
She wrung her hands, and down she kneel'd,
So sorrowful, so fair,
That heart must have been triply steel'd
That could resist her prayer.
Scarce have her trembling lips the power
Their suppliant words to frame,
Her husband's name!-unwelcome sound
A wrathful whisper circles round
Who seeks Medina's duke?"
Alas, that deadly feud should be
Between two hearts so brave and free!
Alas, that long ancestral hate
Such kindred souls should separate!
Up rose that ladye at the word, And spake with queenly brow: "It is the wife of Cadiz' lord
Who seeks Medina now!
I come to tell my husband's plight,-
And I charge thee as a Christian knight
"Pent in Alhama's fort he lies, Bereft of every hope;
In vain his utmost strength he tries
With triple force to cope;
The Moor hath sworn, ere break of morn
The fortress shall be won,
And he will hang in ruthless scorn
"Then canst thou, wilt thou, not forget, The stormy words when last ye met?" "Say rather, will I not contemn
The heart that could remember them?
Am slave to love and chivalry.
Let each who keeps his honour bright
Let each who boasts the name of knight,
He spake, and shook his flashing sword,
Then darted from the festal board.
Him follow'd Guzman of Mindore
Nor set false Cadiz free!"
But out then spoke that generous lord,
And never another word spoke he,
Behind him then his vassals crowd
In legions bold and bright,
The prancing of their coursers proud,
It was a stately sight;
And the music of their eager swords,
In warlike fury clashing,
Was a stirring sound, like the wild rebound
Like the torrent plunging from the rock,
How should a mortal foe resist
The charge of such a band? They scatter'd like an April mist Cleft by the sun-god's hand!
Oh, brightly on Alhama's fort
The morning sun was beaming,
But the first embrace of those two foes
Oh, fast through all the Spanish land
Right gladsome was King Ferdinand,
But the union of those generous hearts
The Heir of Linne.
PART THE FIRST.
LITHE and listen, gentlemen,
To sing a song I will beginne: It is of a lord of faire Scotland,
Which was the unthrifty heire of Linne.
His father was a right good lord,
His mother a lady of high degree; But they, alas! were dead, him froe, And he lov'd keeping companie.
To spend the daye with merry cheare,
To ride, to runne, to rant, to roare,
To always spend and never spare,
So fares the unthrifty Lord' of Linne
His father had a keen stewàrde,
And John o' the Scales was called hee:
Sayes, "Welcome, welcome, Lord of Linne,
"My gold is gone, my money is spent,
1 "Lord" means here probably nothing more than the Scotch "Laird," or landed proprietor.