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Albeit the blanch'd locks below
Were white as Dinlay's spotless snow:
Five stately warriors drew the sword

Before their father's band;
A braver knight than Harden's lord

Ne'er belted on a brand.

They cross'd the Liddel at curfew hour,
And burn'd my little lonely tower ;
The fiend receive their souls therefor!
It had not been burn'd this year and more,
Barn-yard, and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight:
But I was chased the livelong night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Grame,
Full fast upon my traces came,
Until I turn’d at Priesthaughscrogg,
And shot their horses in the bog,
Slew Fergus with my lance outright-
I had him long at high despite :
He drove my cows last Fastern's night.”

VII.
Now, weary scouts from Liddesdale,
Fast hurrying in, confirm’d the tale:
As far as they could judge by ken,

Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand Three thousand armed Englishmen.

Meanwhile, full many a warlike band, From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade, Came in their chief's defence to aid. There was saddling and mounting in haste,

There was pricking o'er moor and lee; He that was last at the trysting place

Was but lightly held of his gay ladye.

X.
Scotts of Eskdale, a stalwart band,

Came trooping down the Todshawhill;
By the sword they won their land,

And by the sword they hold it still, Hearken, ladye, to the tale, How thy sires won fair Eskdale.Earl Morton was lord of that valley fair, The Beattisons were his vassals there. The earl was gentle.and mild of mood, The vassels were warlike, and fierce, and rude ; High of heart, and haughty of word, Little they reck'd of a tame liege lord. The earl to fair Eskdale came, Homage and seignory to claim : of Gilbert the Galliard, a heriot* he sought, Saying, “ Give thy best steed, as a vassel ought. -- Dear to me is my bonny white steed, Oft has he help'd me at pinch of need; Lord and earl though thou be, I trow I can rein Bucksfuot better than thou.” Word on word gave fuel to fire, Till so highly blazed the Beattisons' ire, But that the earl to flight had ta'en, The vassals there their lord had slain. Sore he plied both whip and spur, As he urged his steed through Eskdale muir; And it fell down a dreary weight, Just on the threshold of Branksome gate.

VIII.
From fair Saint Mary's silver wave,

From dreary Gamescleugh's dusky height, His ready lances Thirlestane brave

Array'd beneath a banner bright.
The treasured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreath his shield, since royal James,
Encamp'd by Fala's mossy wave,
The proud distinction grateful gave.

For faith mid feudal jars;
What time save Thirlestane alone,

Would march to southern wars ;
And hence in fair remembrance worn
Yon sheas of spears his crest has borne ;
Hence his high motto shines reveal'd-
“ Ready, aye ready,” for the field.

IX.
An aged knight, to danger steeld,

With many a mosstrooper came on:
And azure in a golden field,
The stars and crescent graced his shield,

Without the bend of Murdieston.
Wide lay his hands round Oakwood tower,
And wide round haunted Castle Ower ;
High over Borthwick's mountain flood,
His wood-embosom'd mansion stood;
In the dark glen so deep below,
The herds of plunder'd England low,
His bold retainers' daily food,
And bought with danger, blows, and blood.
Marauding chief! his sole delight
The moonlight raid, the morning fight;
Not even the flower of Yarrow's charms
In youth might tame his rage for arms;
And still, in age, he spurn'd at rest,
And still his brows the helmet press'd,

XI. The earl was a wrathful man to see, Full fain avenged would he be. In haste to Branksome's lord he spoke, Saying—« Take these traitors to thy yoke: For a cast of hawks, and a purse of gold; All Eskdale I'll sell thee, to have and hold: Beshrew thy heart, of the Beattisons' clan If thou leavest on Esk a landed man: But spare Woodkerrick's lands alone, For he lent me his horse to escape upon.”A glad man then was Branksome bold, Down he flung him the purse of gold ; To Eskdale soon he spurr'd amain, And with him five hundred riders has ta’en. He left his merryman in the midst of the hill, And bade them hold them close and still ; And alone he wended to the plain, To meet with the Galliard and all his train. To Gilbert the Galliard thus he said :“ Know thou me for thy liege lord and head: Deal not with me as with Morton tame, For Scots play best at the roughest game. Give me in peace my heriot due, Thy bonny white steed, or thou shalt rue.

* The feudal superior, in certain cases, was entitled to the best horse of the vassal, in name of Heriot, or Herezeld.

If my horn I three tines wind,

Wat Tinlinn, thou shalt be his guide
Eskdale shall long have the sound in mind.” To Rangleburn's lonely side-

Sure some fell fiend has cursed our line,
XII.

That coward should e'er be son of mine!”
Loudly the Beattison laugh’d in scorn :-
“Little care we for thy winded horn.

XV. Ne'er shall it be the Galliard's lot,

A heavy task Wat Tinlion had, To yield his steed to a haughty Scott.

To guide the counterfeited lad, Wend thou to Branksome back on foot,

Soon as the palfrey felt the weight With rusty spur and miry boot.”_

Of that ill-omen'd elfish freight, He blew his bugle so loud and hoarse,

He bolted, sprung, and rear'd amain, That the dun deer started at far Craikcross;

Nor heeded bit, nor curb, nor rein. He blew again so loud and clear,

It cost Wat Tinlinn mickle toil Through the gray mountain mist there did lances To drive him but a Scottish mile ; appear;

But, as a shallow brook they cross'd, And the third blast wrung with such a din,

The elf, amid the running stream, That the echoes answer'd from Pentoun-linn,

His figure changed, like form, in dream, And all his riders came lightly in.

And fled, and shouted, “ Lost! lost! lost!” Then had you seen a gallant shock,

Full fast the urchin ran and laugh'd, When saddles were emptied, and lances broke!

But faster still a cloth yard shaft For each scornful word the Galliard had

Whistled from startled Tinlinn's yew, A Beattison on the field was laid.

And pierced his shoulder through and through. His own good sword the chieftain drew,

Although the imp might not be slain, And he bore the Galliard through and through ;

And though the wound soon heal'd again, Where the Beattisons' blood mix'd with the rill,

Yet, as he ran, he yell’d for pain; The Galliard's Haugh, men call it still.

And Wat of Tinlinn, much aghast,
The Scotts have scatter'd the Beattison clan.

Rode back to Branksome fiery fast.
In Eskdale they left but one landed man.
The valley of Esk, from the mouth to the source,

XVI.
Was lost and won for that bonny white horse.

Soon on the hill's steep verge he stood,
XIII.

That looks o'er Branksome's towers and wood: Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came,

And martial murmurs from below, And warriors more than I may name;

Proclaim'd the approaching southern foe. From Yarrow-cleuch to Hindhaug-swair,

Through the dark wood, in mingled tone, From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen,

Were Border pipes and bugles blowo: Troop'd man and horse, and bow and spear ;

The coursers's neighing he could ken,

And measured tread of marching men ; Their gathering word was Bellenden.

While broke at times the solemn hum, And better hearts o'er Border sod

The Almayn's sullen kettle-drum; To siege or rescue never rode.

And banners tall, of crimson sheen,
The ladye mark'd the aids come in,

Above the copse appear;
And high her heart of pride arose :
She bade her youthful son attend,

And, glistening through the bawthorns green, That he might know his father's friend,

Shine helm, and shield, and spear. And learn to face his foes.

XVII. “ The boy is ripe to look on war; I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff,

Light forayers first, to view the ground, And his true arrow struck afar

Spurr'd their fleet coursers loosely round; The raven's nest upon the cliff;

Behind, in close array and fast, The red cross on a southern breast,

The Kendal archers, all in green, Is broader than the raven's nest:

(wield,

Obedient to the bugle blast, Thou, Whitslade, shall teach him his weapon to

Advancing from the wood were seen.

To back and guard the archer band,
And over him hold his father's shield.”

Lord Dacre's bill-men were at hand:
XIV.

A hardy race, on Irthing bred,
Well may you think, the wily page

With kirtles white, and crosses red, Cared not to face the ladye sage.

Array'd beneath the banners tall, He counterfeited childish fear,

That stream'd o'er Acre's conquer'd wall. And shriek'd, and shed full many a tear,

And minstrels as they march'd in order, And moan'd and plain'd in manner wild. Play'd, “Noble Lord Dacre, he dwells on the The attendants to the ladye told,

Border.”
Some fairy, sure, had changed the child,

XVIII.
That wont to be so free and bold.
Then wrathful was the noble dame;

Behind the English bill and bow,
Shę blush'd blood-red for very shame:-

The mercenaries, firm and slow, « Hence! ere the clan his faintness view;

Moved on to fight in dark array, Hence with the weakling to Buccleuch !

By Conrad led of Wolfenstein.

Who brought the band from distant Rhine,

And sold their blood for foreign pay; The camp their home, their law the sword, They knew no country, own'd no lord. They were not arm'd like England's sons, But bore the levin-darting guns ; Buff coats, all frounced and 'broider'd o'er, And morsing-horns* and scarfs they wore; Each better knee was bared, to aid The warriors in the escalade: And, as they march'd in rugged tongue, Songs of Teutonic feuds they sung.

XIX. But louder still the clamour gew, And louder still the minstrels blew, When, from beneath the greenwood tree, Rode forth Lord Howard's chivalry; His men at arms, with glaive and spear, Brought up the battle's glittering rear. There many a youthful knight, full keen To gain his spurs, in arms was seen ; With favour 'in his crest, or glove, Memorial of his ladye-love. So rode they forth in fair array, Till full their lengthen'd lines display ; Then call’d a halt, and made a stand, And cried, “ Saint George for merry England !”

XXII. “ Ye English warden lords, of you Demands the ladye of Buccleuch, Why, 'gainst the truce of Border tide, In hostile guise ye dare to ride, With Kendal bow, and Gilsland brand, And all yon mercenary band, Upon the bounds of fair Scotland ? My ladye redes you swithe return; And, if but one poor straw you burn, Or do our towers so much molest, As scare one swallow from her nest, Saint Mary! but we'll light a brand, Shall warm your hearths in Cumberland.”

XXIII. A wrathful man was Dacre's lord, But calmer Howard took the word: “May't please thy dame, sir seneschal, To seek the castle's outward wall, Our pursuivant-at-arms shall show, Both why we came, and when we go.” The message sped, the noble dame To the wall's outward circle came; Each chief around lean'd on his spear To see the pursuivant appear. All in Lord Howard's livery dress'd, The lion argent deck'd his breast; He led a boy of blooming hueO sight to meet a mother's view! It wasthe heir of great Buccleuch. Obeisance meet the herald made, And thus his master's will he said:

XX.

Now every English eye, intent,
On Branksome's armed towers was bent:
So near they were, that they might know
The straining harsh of each cross bow;
On battlement and bartizan
Gleam'd axe, and spear, and partizan;
Falcon and culver,t on each tower,
Stood prompt their deadly hail to shower;
And flashing armour frequent broke
From eddying whirls of sable smoke,
Where, upon tower and turret head,
The seathing pitch and molten lead
Reek'd, like a witch's cauldron red.
While yet they gaze, the bridges fall,
The wicket opes, and from the wall
Rides forth the hoary seneschal.

XXIV. “ It irks, high dame, my noble lords, 'Gainst ladye fair to draw their swords; But yet they may not tamely see, All through the western wardenry, Your law-contemning kinsmen ride, And burn and spoil the Border-side ; And ill beseems your rank and birth To make your towers a femen's firth.* We claim from thee William of Deloraine, That he may suffer march-treason pain; It was but last Saint Cuthbert's even He prick'd to Stapleton on Leven, Harriedt the lands of Richard Musgrave, And slew his brother by dint of glaive. Then, since a lone and widow'd dame These restless riders may not tame, Either receive within thy towers Two hundred of my master's powers, Or straight they sound their warrison ; And storm and spoil thy garrison; And this fair boy, to London led, Shall good king Edward's page be bred."

XXI. Armed he rode, all save the head, His white beard o'er his breastplate spread; L'nbroke by age, erect his seat, He ruled his eager courser's gait; Forced him, with chasten'd fire, to prance, And, high curvetting, slow advance: In sign of truce, his better hand Display'd a peeled willow wand; His squire, attending in the rear, Bore high a gauntlet on a spear. When they espied him riding out, Lord Howard and Lord Dacre stout Sped to the front of their array, To hear what this old knight should say.

XXV. He ceased :—and loud the boy did cry,And stretch'd his little arms on high ; Implored for aid each well-known face, And strove to seek the dame's embrace.

* Powder flasks. + Ancient pieces of Artillery.

† Plundered.

* An asylum for outlaws. Note of assault.

A moment changed that ladye's cheer;

And Jedwood, Esk, and Teviotdale, Gush'd to her eye the unbidden tear;

Have to proud Angus come; She gazed upon the leaders round,

And all the Merse and Lauderdale And dark and sad each warrior frown'd;

Have risen with haughty Home. Then deep within her sobbing breast

An exile from Northumberland, She lock'd the struggling sigh to rest;

In Liddesdale I've wander'd long ; Unalter'd and collected stood,

But still my heart was with merry England, And thus replied in dauntless mood :

And cannot brook my country's wrong ;

And hard I've spurr'd all night to show
XXVI.

The mustering of the coming foe.” “Say to your lords of high emprise,

XXIX.
Who war on women and on boys
That either William of Deloraine

“And let them come!” fierce Dacre cried ; Will cleanse him, by oath, of march-treason stain, “ For soon yon crest, my father's pride, Or else he will the combat take

That swept the shores of Judah's seas, 'Gainst Musgrave, for his honour's sake.

And waved in gales of Galilee, No knight in Cumberland so good,

From Branksome's highest towers display'd, But William may count with him kin and blood. Shall mock the rescue's lingering aid !"Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword,

Level each harquebuss on row; When English blood swellid Ancram ford; Draw, merry archers, draw the bow; And but that Lord Dacre's steed was wight, Up, bill-men, to the walls, and cry, And bore him ably in the flight,

Dacre, for England, win or die!"
Himself had seen him dubb'd a knight.

XXX.
For the young heir of Branksome's line,
God be his aid, and God be mine;

“ Yet hear,” quoth Howard,“ calmly hear, Through me no friend shall meet his doom; Nor deem my words the words of fear: Here, while I live, no foe finds room.

For who, in field or foray slack, Then, if thy lords their purpose urge,

Saw the blanche lion e'er fall back? Take our defiance loud and high ;

But thus to risk our Border flower Our slogan is their lyke-wake* dirge,

In strife against a kingdom's power, Our moat, the grave where they shall lie.":

Ten thousand Scots 'gainst thousands three,

Certes, were desperate policy.
XXVII.

Nay, take the terms the ladye made,
Proud she look'd round, applause to claim

Ere conscious of the advancing aid ; Then lightend Thirlestane's eye of flame;

Let Musgrave meet fierce Deloraine His bugle Wat of Harden blew :

In single fight, and if he gain, Pensils and pennons wide were fung,

He gains for us; but if he's cross'd, To heaven the Border slogan rung,

'Tis but a single warrior lost : “ Saint Mary for the young Buccleuch!”

The rest, retreating as they came,
The English war-cry answered wide,

Avoid defeat, and death, and shame."
And forward bent each southern spear;
Each Kendal archer made a stride,

XXXI.
And drew the bow-string to his ear;

Ill could the haughty Dacre brook Each miostrel's war-note loud was blown :

His brother-warden's sage rebuke: But, ere a gray goose shaft had down,

And yet his forward step he stay'd, A horseman gallop'd from the rear.

And slow and sullenly obey'd.

But ne'er again the Border-side
XXVIII.

Did these two lords in friendship ride ; “ Ah! noble lords !” he, breathless, said,

And this slight discontent, men say, “What treason has your march betray'd ?

Cost blood upon another day.
What make you here, from aid so far,
Before you walls, around you war?

XXXII.
Your foemen triumph in the thought,

The pursuivant-at-arms again That in the toils the lion's caught.

Before the castle took his stand; Already on dark Ruberslaw

His trumpet call’d, with parleying strain, The Douglas holds his weapon-schaw,t

The leaders of the Scottish band; The lances, waving in his train,

And he defied, in Musgrave's right, Clothe the dun heap like autumn grain ;

Stout Deloraine to single fight; And on the Liddel's northern strand,

A gauntlet at their feet he laid, To bar retreat to Cumberland,

And thus the terms of fight he said :Lord Maxwell ranks his merry men good,

“ If in the lists good Musgrave's sword Beneath the eagle and the rood;

Vanquish the knight of Deloraine,

Your youthful chieftain, Branksome's lord, Lyke-wake, the watching a corpse previous to inter.

Shall hostage for his clan remain : ment.

If Deloraine foil good Musgrave, + Weapon-schau, the military array of a country.

The boy his liberty shall have.

Howe'er it falls, the English band,
Unharming Scots, by Scots unharm’d,
In peaceful march, like men unarm’d,
Shall straight retreat to Cumberland."

XXXIII.
Unconscious of the near relief,
The pr ffer pleased each Scottish chief,

Though much their lad sage gainsay'd, For though their hearts were brave and true, From Jedwood's recent sack they knew,

How tardy was the regent's aid : And you may guess the noble dame

Durst not the secret prescience own, Sprung from the art she might not name,

By which the coming help was known.
Closed was the compact, and agreed,
That lists should be enclosed with speed,

Beneath a castle, on a lawn:
They fix'd the morrow for the strife,
On foot, with Scottish axe and knife,

At the fourth hour from peep of dawn;
When Deloraine, from sickness freed,
Or else a champion in his stead,
Should for himself and chieftain stand,
Against stout Musgrave, hand to band.

He paused: the listening dames again
Applaud the hoary minstrel's strain ;
With many a word of kindly cheer,-
In pity half, and half sincere, -
Marvellid the dutchess how so well
His legendary song could tell,-
Of ancient deeds, so long forgot;
Of feuds, whose memory was not;
Of forests, now laid waste and bare ;
Of towers, which harbour now the hare ;
Of manners, long since changed and gone ;
Of chiefs, who under their gray stone
So long had slept, that fickle fame
Had blotted from her rolls their name,
And twined round some new minion's head
The fading wreath for which they bled;
In sooth, 'twas strange, this old man's verse
Could call them from their marble hearse.

The harper smiled, well pleased; for ne'er
Was flattery lost on poet's ear.
A simple race! they waste their toil
For the vain tribute of a smile ;
E’en when in age their flame expires,
Her dulcet breath can fan its fires :
Their drooping fancy wakes at praise,
And strives to trim the shortlived blaze.

Smiled then, well pleased, the aged man, And thus his tale continued ran.

Canto V.

I.
Call it not vain :-they do not err,

Who say, that when the poet dies,
Mute nature mourns her worshipper,

And celebrates his obsequies ;
Who say tall cliff, and cavern lone,
For the departed bard make moan;
That mountains weep in crystal rill;
That flowers in tears of balm distil ;
Through his loved groves that breezes sigh,
And oaks, in deeper groan, reply ;
And rivers teach their rushing wave
To murmur dirges round his grave.

XXXIV.
I know right well, that, in their lay,
Full many minstrels sing and say,

Such combat should be made on horse,
On foaming steed, in full career,
With brand to aid, when as the spear

Should sbiver in the course :
But he, the jovial harper, taught
Me, yet a youth, how it was fought,

In guise which now I say ;
He knew each ordinance and clause
Of black Lord Archibald's battle laws,

In the old Douglas' day.
He brook'd not, he, that scoffing tongue
Should tax his minstrelsy with wrong,

Or call his song untrue ;
For this, when they the goblet plied,
Apd such rude taunt had chafed his pride,

The bard of Reull he slew.
On Teviot's side, in fight they stood,
And tuneful hands were stain'd with blood;
Where still the thorn's white branches wave
Memorial o'er his rival's grave.

XXXV.
Why should I tell the rigid doom,
That dragg'd my master to his tomb;

How Ousenam's maidens tore their hair, Wept till their eyes were dead and dim, And wrung their hands for love of him

Who died at Jedwood Air ?
He died !-His scholars, one by one,
To the cold silent grave are gone;
And I, alas! survive alone,
To muse o'er rivalries of yore,
And grieve that I shall hear no more
The strains, with envy heard before ;
For, with my minstrel brethren fled,
Mv jealousy of song is dead.

II. Not that, in sooth, o'er mortal urn Those things inanimate can mourn ; But that the stream, the wood, the gale, Is vocal with the plaintive wail Of those, who, else forgotten long, Lived in the poet's faithful song, And, with the poet's parting breath, Whose memory feels a second death. The maid's pale shade, who wails her lot, That love, true love, should be forgot, From rose and hawthorn shakes the tear Upon the gentle minstrel's bier: The phantom knight, his glory fled, Mourns o'er the field he heap'd with dead; Mounts the wild blast that sweeps amain, And shrieks along the battle-plain : The chief, whose antique crownlet long Still sparkled in the feudal song, Now, from the mountain's misty throne, Sees, in the thanedom once his own,

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