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THE

British Muinstrel.

HARDYKNUTE.

PART I.

STATELY stept he east the ha,

And stately stept he west;
Full seventy yeirs he now had sene,

With scerce sevin yeirs of rest.
He livit whan Britons breach of faith

Wrocht Scotland meikle wae,
And

ay

his sword tauld to their cost He was their deidly fae. Hie on a hill his castle stude,

With halls and touris a hicht, And gudely chambers fair to see,

Whare he lodgit mony a knicht. His dame sae peirles anes, and fair,

For chaste, and bewtie, shene,
Nae marrow had in a' the land,

Save Emergard the quene.
Full thirtein sons to him she bare,

All men of valour stout,
In bluidy ficht, with sword in hand,

Nyne lost their lives bot doubt;
II.

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Four yit remaind; lang mote they live

To stand by liege and land:
Hie was their fame, hie was their michi,

And hie was their command.
Greit luve they bare to Fairly fair,

Their sister saft and deir,
Her girdle shawd her middle jimp,

And gowdin glist her hair.
What waefou wae her bewtie bred !

Waefou to young and auld,
Waefou I trow to kyth and kin,

As story ever tauld.
The king of Norse, in summer tide,

Puft up with pouir and micht,
Landed in fair Scotland the yle,

Wi mony a hardie knight.
The tidings tu our gude Scots king

Came as he sat at dyne,
With noble chiefs, in braive aray,

Drinking the bluid-red wyne.
« To horse, to horse, my royal liege !

“ Your faes stand on the strand; " Full twenty thousand glittering speirs

“ The chiefs of Norse command. Bring me my steid Mage dapple gray."

Our gude king raise and cryd : A trustier beist in all the land,

A Scots king nevir seyd. “ Gae, little page, tell Hardyknute,

“ Wha lives on hill sae hie, “ To draw his sword, the dreid of faes,

“ And haste and follow me.' The little page flew swift as dart,

Flung by his master's arm; Cum down, cum down, lord Hardyknute, * And red your king frae harm.'

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Then reid, reid grew his dark-brown cheiks

Sae did his dark-brown brow;
His luiks grew kene, as they were wont

In danger grit to do.
He has tane a horn as green as grass,

And gien five sounds sae shrill,
That trees in grene wode shuke thereat,

Sae loud rang ilka hill.
His sons in manly sport and glie

Had past the summer's morn;
Whan lo! down in a grassy dale,

They heard their father's horn
That horn,' quoth they, 'neir sounds in peace,

“We have other sport to bide;' And sune they hied them up the hill,

And sune were at his side.
* Late, late yestrene, I weind in peace

“ To end my lengthened lyfe;
My age micht well excuse my arm

“ Frae manly feats of stryfe :
“ But now that Norse does proudly boast

« Fair Scotland to enthral, * It's neir be said of Hardyknute,

“ He feird to ficht or fall. * Robin of Rothsay bend thy bow,

Thy arrows shute sae leil, " That mony a comely countenance

“ They've turn’d to doidly pale. “ Braive Thomas taike ye but your lance,

“ Ye neid nae weapons mair; “ Gif ye fecht wi't, as ye did anes,

“ Gainst Westmoreland's ferce heir. « And Malcolm, licht of fute as stag

“ That runs in forest wilde, “ Get me my thousands thrie of men “ Weil bred to sword and shield:

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Bring me my horse and harnisine,

My blade of metal clere."
If faes but kend the hand it bare,

They sune had fled for feir.
Farewell my dame sae peirless gude,"

And tuke her by the hand, " Fairer to me in age you seim

« Than maids for bewtie famd:
My youngest son sall here remain,

"To guard these stately touirs,
" And shute the silver bolt that keips

* Sae fast your painted bowers.” And first she wet her comely cheiks,

And then her boddice grene; The silken cords of twirtle twist

Were plet with silver shene;
And apron set with mony a dyce

Of neidle-wark sae rare,
Wove by nae band, as ye may guess,

Save that of Fairly fair.
And he has ridden owre muir and moss,

Owre hills and mony a glen, When he cam to a wounded knicht,

Making a heavy mane: • Here maun I lye, here maun I dye

By treacheries fause gyles; • Witless I was that eir gave faith

• To wicked woman's smyles.'
“ Sir knicht, gin ye were in my bouir,

To lean on silken seat,
My ladies kindlie care you'd pruve

“'Wha neir kend deidly hate;
“ Hirsell wald watch ye all the day,

“ Hir maids at deid of night; “ And Fairly fair your heart would cheir,

“As she stands in your sicht.

"Arise young knicht, and mount your steid,

“ Bricht lows the shynand day; « Chuse frae my menzie wham ye pleise,

“ To leid ye on the way." Wi smyless luik, and visage wan

The wounded knicht replyd, • Kind chieftain your intent pursue,

• For heir I maun abide. To me nae after day nor nicht

• Can eir be sweit or fair; • But sune beneath sum draping tree,

• Cauld dethe sall end my care.' Still him to win strave Hardyknute,

Nor strave he lang in vain ; Short pleiding eithly micht prevale,

Him to his lure to gain. “ I will return wi speid to bide,

“ Your plaint and mend your wae: “ But private grudge maun neir be quelled,

“ Before our countries fae. « Mordac, thy eild may best be spaird

“ The fields of stryfe fraemang; Convey Sir knicht to my abode,

• And meise his egre pang.” Syne he has gane far hynd, out ower

Lord Chattan's land sae wyde; That lord a worthy wicht was ay,

Whan faes his courage seyd:
Of Pictish race, by mother's side:

Whan Picts ruled Caledon,
Lord Chattan claim'd the princely maid

When he sav'd Pictish crown.
Now with his ferce and stalwart train

He recht a rising hicht,
Whare brad encanpit on the dale,

Norse army lay in sicht;

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