Fair Margaret’s Bower - Canto The Second

Above the grey--hills of the East,
Blithe morning smil'd in saffron drest,
With silver dew besprent;
When Margaret left her chamber fair,
O that she'd ne'er been pillow'd there!
Pale wretched child of love and care,
Alas! a weary night she spent.

Why didst thou, Margaret, leave thy bower,
To rest thee in thy chamber fair?
O had'st thou ne'er been pillow'd there,
Poor hapless child of love and care!
Was it the tempest of the night
That did thy anxious mind affright?
True to his vow,
Sir Edward flew;
Spite of loud wind, or heavy shower,
He came at love's appointed hour,
To pluck the rose at Margaret's Bower.

Scarce sleep, the soother of each woe,
Had clos'd her eyes of azure hue,
When various ghastly forms she saw
Flit hideous to her fancied view;
The owl next at her casement flapp'd,
The raven hoarsely scream'd aloud:
Her tortur'd breast
Could hope no rest,
For cross the room Sir Edward stepp'd,
And near her stood,
All bath'd in blood,
Clad only in a shroud.

And now, to rise, she strove in vain;
Alas! disorder'd was her brain;
Then fainting on the floor she fell:
The morning smil'd on her pale cheek,
Fled was the bloom, sweet maiden meek,
Whom many a suitor lov'd too well!
She rose, her tresses bath'd in tears,
But all her hopes, her pains, her fears,
No pen can paint, no tongue can tell.

Now for her father, in the hall,
Loud, and louder did she cry;
But echo round each massy wall,
Only made a long reply.

``Ah! whither, father, art thou gone?
Who will now my grief allay?
I ne'er was wont to be alone;
But at this early hour of day,
When with thy Margaret all was gay!''

Now for her father in the glen,
Loud, and louder did she cry;
But echo from her darken'd den,
Only made a long reply.

``Come hither, little trembling page,
All wan and pale, what aileth thee?
Why dost thou weep, boy? speak my page!
What heavy tidings bring'st thou me?
From either eye there falls a tear,
Alas! thy tale I fain would hear;
Say, trembling page, what aileth thee?''
The boy he wept, the boy he sigh'd,
In vain to speak the boy oft tried.

Now for her father in the wood,
Loud, and louder did she cry;
The passing stream, the distant flood,
Only made a deep reply.

She thought not of her rosy Bower,
But sought the highest western tower,
And eager gaz'd around;
But nought could see,
Save moor and tree,
And scatter'd flocks upon the lea:
Tho' great her fear,
She nought could hear,
Save Tyne's hoarse--murm'ring sound.

``Methinks, I see in yonder vale
My father slowly come this way;
Alas! no father's in the vale;
Where can he be? What can he ail?
Distraction doth my thoughts betray!''

Again she look'd, and near the Bow'r,
Beheld a mile--white steed
Bend o'er a corse; Ah! luckless hour!
She little dreamt who had the pow'r
To do the hellish deed.

As darts a mountain eagle down,
She from the castle flew;
But every hope forsook her, soon
As she Sir Edward knew:
On his pale face, and gory breast,
She sunk, and oft his cold lips prest,
And oft did Edward call:
Alas! what some are doom'd to know,
What trials mortals undergo!
Now from her eyes, quite dim with woe,
Love's last sad tears did fall.

Soon, soon in wild despair,
The silver pin from her fair hair,
She took, and piere'd her heart:
His bleeding corse she dying prest,
Life's current quickly left her breast;
``Edward!'' she cried, ``I come, my love!
The joys denied, we yet may prove!
We meet no more to part!''

by Robert Anderson

Comments (7)

Not a high quality poem. It confirms my view that any old poem hits the spot for the administrators of this site. What criteria is used to decide the rating of this poet? I don't expect an answer.
I have come back to read this a few times today and each time I have visited I have fallen for this beautiful poem. 'but his allegiance is not to permanent forms. His garden's all furious change' And... 'I think he could be forever pleased to participate in motion. Something opens. He writes it down. Heaven steadies and concentrates near the lavender. He's already there. So impressed by the movement and change images in your poem
Coming up again! Thanks for sharing.
His garden's all furious change, budding and rot and then the coming up again; I think he could be forever pleased.... // Beautifully articulated philosophy of life. Thanks.
There's nothing like wisdom and experience.Life may be repetitive but it also packs many surprises..a ten..
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