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What foe do they chase? for I see no foe;
Their good steeds fly-say, seek they work
I see no foe-yet a foe they pursue,
Sir Richard spurs on his bonnie brown steed,
There are a hundred steeds, and each
Has a Selby on his back:
And the meanest man there draws a brand
The Eden is deep in flood-lo! look
How it dashes from bank to bank!
They brave the water and breast the banks,
The winding and haunted Eske is nigh,
"Our steeds are white with foam; shall we wash Their flanks in the river sheen ?"
But their steeds may be doom'd to a sterner task
All at once they stoop on their horses' necks,
And bury their spurs in their coursers' flanks,
The spurn'd-up turf is scatter'd behind,
For they go as the hawk when he sails with the
Before them not far on the lilied lea.
And at his side rides a lovely maid,
On his basnet dances the heron's plume,
And fans the maid's cheek all of ripe rose bloom.
"Now do thy best, my bonnie grey steed,
And carry my true love over,
And thy corn shall be served in a silver dish,
Oh, bear her safe through dark Eske's fords,
Proud look'd the steed, and had braved the flood
Turn'd his head in joy, and his eye seem'd to say, "I'm proud of my lovely rider:
And though Selbys stood thick as the leaves on the tree,
All scatheless I'd bear thee o'er mountain and lea."
A rushing was heard on the river-banks,
And that instant an hundred horsemen at speed
"Turn back, turn back, thou Scottish loon
Let us measure our swords 'neath the light of the
An hundred horsemen leap'd lightly down,
With their silver spurs all ringing,
And drew back, as Sir Richard his good blade bared
While the signal-trump kept singing :
Sir Roland Graeme down his mantle threw
With a martial smile, and his bright sword drew.
With a measuring eye and a measured pace
Nigher they came and nigher;
Then made a bound and made a blow,
"Now yield thee, Graeme, and give me back
"My sword is steel, Sir Richard, like thine,
And again their dark eyes flash'd, and again
The ringdoves sprung from their roosts, for the blows
Were echoing far and wide:
Sir Richard was stark, and Sir Roland was strong; And the combat was fierce, but it lasted not long.
There's blood upon young Roland's blade,
But blood to a warrior 's like dew to the flower,
A dash was heard in the moonlit Eske,
Fair Edith Selby came with a shriek,
And knelt the knights between:
"Oh, spare him, Sir Richard!"—she held her white hands
All spotted with blood 'neath the merciless brands.
Young Roland look'd down on his true love and smiled,
Sir Richard look'd also, and said,
"Curse on them that true love would sunder!".
With his broad palm his berry-brown blade; And long may the Selbys, abroad and at hame, Find a friend and a foe like the good gallant Graeme!
The Merry Heart.
I WOULD not from the wise require
Nor would I from the rich desire
Like other mortals of my
I've struggled for dame Fortune's favour, And sometimes have been half inclined
To rate her for her ill-behaviour. But life was short-I thought it folly To lose its moments in despair; So slipp'd aside from melancholy, With merry heart, that laugh'd at care.
And once, 'tis true, two 'witching eyes
And quite subdued my better reason.
from idle wishes clear,
I make the good I may not find; Adown the stream I gently steer,
And shift my sail with every wind.
Can still with pliant heart prepare,
Yet, wrap me in your sweetest dream,