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What foe do they chase? for I see no foe;
And yet all spurr'd and gored

Their good steeds fly-say, seek they work
For the fleet hound or the sword?

I see no foe-yet a foe they pursue,
With bow, and brand, and horn, and halloo.

Sir Richard spurs on his bonnie brown steed,
Sir Walter on his black;

There are a hundred steeds, and each

Has a Selby on his back:

And the meanest man there draws a brand
Has silver spurs and a baron's land.

The Eden is deep in flood-lo! look

How it dashes from bank to bank!
To them it seems but the bonnie green lea,
Or the vale with brackens rank:

They brave the water and breast the banks,
And shake the flood and foam from their flanks.

The winding and haunted Eske is nigh,
With its woodlands wild and green;

"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
Before they pass the woodland Eske.

All at once they stoop on their horses' necks,
And utter a long shrill shout,

And bury their spurs in their coursers' flanks,
And pluck their bright blades out;

The spurn'd-up turf is scatter'd behind,

For they go as the hawk when he sails with the wind.

Before them not far on the lilied lea.
There is a fair youth flying;

And at his side rides a lovely maid,

Oft looking back and sighing;

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,
And heap'd and running over-

Oh, bear her safe through dark Eske's fords,
And leave me to cope with her kinsmen's swords!”

Proud look'd the steed, and had braved the flood
Had it foam'd a full mile wider;

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,

Wide rung wood, rock, and linn

And that instant an hundred horsemen at speed
Came foaming and fearless in.

"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,
And the smote helms yielded fire:
December's hail, or the thunder's blast,
Ne'er flash'd so bright, or fell so fast.

"Now yield thee, Graeme, and give me back
Lord Selby's beauteous daughter;
Else I shall sever thy head and heave 't
To thy light love o'er the water."

"My sword is steel, Sir Richard, like thine,
And thy head's as loose on thy neck as mine."

And again their dark eyes flash'd, and again
They closed-on sweet Eske side

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,
There's blood on Sir Richard's brand;
There's blood shower'd o'er their weeds of steel,
And rain'd on the grassy land;

But blood to a warrior 's like dew to the flower,
The combat but wax'd still more deadly and dour.

A dash was heard in the moonlit Eske,
And its banks of green


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!"he sheath'd

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
The number of their learned lore;
Nor would I from the rich desire
A single counter of their store.
For I have ease, and I have health,
And I have spirits, light as air;
And more than wisdom, more than wealth,-
A merry heart, that laughs at care.

Like other mortals of my kind,

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
Surprised me in a luckless season,
Turn'd all my mirth to lonely sighs,

And quite subdued my better reason.
Yet 'twas but love could make me grieve,
And love you know 's a reason fair,
And much improved, as I believe,
The merry heart, that laugh'd at care.

So now, 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.
And half by nature, half by reason,

Can still with pliant heart prepare,
The mind, attuned to every season,
The merry heart, that laughs at care.

Yet, wrap me in your sweetest dream,
Ye social feelings of the mind,
Give, sometimes give, your sunny gleam,
And let the rest good-humour find.

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