The Lay of the Last Minstrel

by Sir Walter Scott

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"Love Will Still Be Lord Of All"

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Context: In Canto VI the old minstrel tells of the marriage feast of Margaret, daughter of the Ladye of Branksome Hall, and Lord Cranstoun. It was said that the Ladye, a powerful magician, would not dare go near the altar, but this statement was a lie, as she was there when her daughter was married. Lord Cranstoun's goblin page, a malignant dwarf whose only joy was in causing pain and trouble to others, was especially active during the festivities attendant upon the wedding. First, he provoked a quarrel between the German, Conrad, Lord of Wolfenstein, and Hunthill, known as Dickon Draw-the-sword. Two weeks later Conrad was found dead of stab wounds in a wood, and ever afterwards Hunthill wore a Cologne sword. The goblin then caused uproar in the servants' quarters. He remembered that on a former occasion Tinlinn had shot him through the shoulder with an arrow. He therefore snatched the choicest food off Tinlinn's plate, spilled his drink, and drove a poisoned bodkin into his knee, inflicting a wound that festered for a long time. The minstrels were called into the hall and began their songs. The first to perform is old Albert Graeme, who sings of a Scottish lady who married an English lord, for love will be lord of all. The lady's brother poisoned her and was subsequently slain by the lord, who became, in penance, a Crusader.

It was an English ladye bright,
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall)
And she would marry a Scottish knight,
For Love will still be lord of all.
Blithely they saw the rising sun,
When he shone fair on Carlisle wall;
But they were sad ere day was done,
Though Love was still the lord of all.
Her sire gave brooch and jewel fine,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall;
Her brother gave but a flask of wine,
For ire that Love was lord of all.
For she had lands both meadow and lea,
Where the sun shine on Carlisle wall;
And he swore her death, ere he would see
A Scottish knight the lord of all!

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"Such Is The Custom Of Branksome Hall"