Sir Allan’s Wooing.


Nor shroud can hap, nor the marble hide,1
For the Morisons dust has a living one’s pride ;2
They walk the earth, and they seek i’ the flood,3
To cleanse their right hands from the red red blood.4
And if ye maun wi’ a Morison wed,5
Frae nae mortal lips shall yere doom be read ;6
Sir Allan look’d thrice to the lift and the linn7
Come forth and appear ye shapes o’ sin.8


Sir Allan looked thrice to the rushing flood,9
And the stream seemed changed to a stream of blood ;10
Sir Allan looked thrice to the lift aboon ; 11
And a dark shape sailed between him and the moon ;12
Again he gazed down to the torrent beneath,13
And the stream lay as quiet and mute as death ;14
Sir Allan stood there to ask and to prove,15
If May Morison and he would be blessed in their love.16


The linn seem’d changed to a mourning hall ;17
The rough rocks gleamed like a marble wall ;18
The Morisons forms were ranked around ;19
And their looks were of wrath and their dark brows frowned.20
A deep groan came from the dark deep flood21
The shuddering river all bubbled with blood22
And Sir Allan’s true love, in a wreath of reek,23
Sailed past with a wave of her hand, and a shriek.24


And then a grim form, from the haunted linn,25
Came up with a stride—’twas a shape of sin ;26
And brave as he was—yet its shape and its look,27
Were such as Sir Allan did shudder to brook ;28
For it seemed so like his true love’s brother,29
And it took one long stride after another.30
But for every mute stride that the vision took,31
Lord Herbert took one, and his dagger he shook ;32
For he sought the fair lady with love all unholy33
To cast her pure spirit to sin and to folly.34


Cold, dark, and disdainful, and fierce in its pride ;35
The spectre sprung up, and stood stern at his side36
Sir Allan-all dauntless—dark vision, he said,37
I am a true knight, and I love a leal maid.38
With an eye streaming light, waxing fiercer of mood,39
And raising its dagger, the dread vision stood ;40
And raising his dagger as fierce and as fell,41
Lord Herbert stood near, with an aspect of hell.42


Sir Allan knew not his love’s brother was near43
Now vision, tell me, is my bride’s bed or bier44
The meetest—Yet, oh, but its blissful to wed,45
If maid, like May Morrison, blesses my bed.46
The vision’s bright dagger came down with a gleam47
And down came Lord Herbert’s—The fair moonlight stream48
Ran moaning, and heaven waxed dark, while his blood49
Reeked up to the stars, as it mixed with the flood.50