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'Tis said—but few the charge believes—
He branded them as fools and thieves.
Certes that war and woe had been,
For gleaming dirks unsheathed were seen,
The Highland minstrels ill could brook
His taunting word and haughty look.

The youth was chafed, and with disdain
Refused to touch his harp again;
Said he desired no more renown
Than keep those Highland boasters down;
Now he had seen them quite outdone,
The south had two, the north but one;
But should they bear the prize away,
For that he should not, would not play;
He cared for no such guerdon mean,
Nor for the harp, nor for the Queen.

His claim withdrawn, the victors twain Repaired to prove their skill again.

The song that tuneful Gardyn sung
Is still admired by old and young,
And long shall be at evening fold,
While songs are sung or tales are told.
Of stolen delights began the song,
Of love the Carron woods among,
Of lady borne from Carron side
To Barnard towers and halls of pride,
Of jealous lord and doubtful bride,
And ended with Gilmorice' doom
Cut off in manhood's early bloom.
Soft rung the closing notes and slow,
And every heart was steeped in woe.

The harp of Ettrick rung again,
Her bard, intent on fairy strain,
And fairy freak by moonlight shaw,
Sung young Tarn Lean of Carterha'.

Queen Mary's harp on high that hung,
And every tone responsive rung,

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With gems and gold that dazzling shone,
That harp is to the Highlands gone,
Gardyn is crowned with garlands gay,
And bears the envied prize away.
Long, long that harp, the hills among,
Resounded Ossian's warrior song;
Waked slumbering lyres from every tree
Adown the banks of Don and Dee,
At length was borne, by beauteous bride,
To woo the airs on Garry side.

When full two hundred years had fled,
And all the northern bards were dead,
That costly harp, of wonderous mould,
Defaced of all its gems and gold,
With that which Gardyn erst did play,
Back to Dunedin found its way.

As Mary's hand the victor crowned, And twined the wreath his temples round,

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