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LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
Ir thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins grey.
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;1
1 The buttresses, ranged along the sides of the ruins of Melrose Abbey, are, according to the Gothic style, richly carved and fretted, containing niches for the statues of saints, and labelled with scrolls, bearing appropriate texts of Scripture. Most of these statues have been demolished.
Then go but go alone the while-
Short halt did Deloraine make there;
Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose."
Bold Deloraine his errand said;
'David I. of Scotland, purchased the reputation of sanctity, by founding, and liberally endowing, not only the monastery of Melrose, but those of Kelso, Jedburgh, and many others; which led to the well-known observation of his successor, that he was a sore saint for the crown.
'The Buccleuch family were great benefactors to the Abbey of Melrose. As early as the reign of Robert II., Robert Scott, Baron of Murdieston and Rankleburn, (now Buccleuch,) gave to the monks the lands of Hinkery, in Ettrick Forest, pro salute animæ suæ. - Chartulary of Melrose, 28th May, 1415.
The arched cloister, far and wide,
To hail the monk of St. Mary's aisle.
"The Ladye of Branksome greets thee by me;
And strangely on the Knight looked he, And his blue eyes gleam'd wild and wide; "And, darest thou, Warrior! seek to see
What heaven and hell alike would hide? My breast, in belt of iron pent,
With shirt of hair and scourge of thorn; For threescore years, in penance spent,
My knees those flinty stones have worn;
In ceaseless prayer and penance drie,
1Aventayle, visor of the helmet.