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His ashes undistinguish'd lie,
From the fair Middle Marches came;
Announcing Douglas' dreaded name!
The men in battle-order set;
Of Clarence's Plantagenet.
And Hepburn's mingled banners come,
And shouting still, “ a bome! a home !"
Where martial spirits, all on fire,
They met on Teviot's strand :
As brothers meet in foreign land:
Were interchanged in greeting dear;
Partook of social cheer.
With dice and draughts some chased the day;
Pursued the foot-ball play.
Or sign of war been seen,
Had died with gore the green.
And in the groan of death;
Had found a bloody sheath. 'Twixt truce and war, such sudden change Was not infrequent, nor held strange,
In the old Border-day ;
Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran,
Give the shrill watch word of their clan; And revellers o'er their bowls proclaim Douglas or Dacre's conquering name.
And how a day of fight wa ta'en
And how the ladye pray'd them dear,
To taste of Branksome cheer.
How these two hostile armies met?
To keep the truce which here was set;
At length, the various clamours died; And you might hear, from Branksome hill,
No sound but Teviot's rushing tide; Save, when the changing sentinel The challenge of his watch could tell; And save, where, through the dark profound, The clanging axe and hammer's sound
* A sort of knife, or poniard.
Rung from the nether lawn ;
And oft I've deem'd, perchance he thought For many a busy hand toild there,
Their erring passion might have wrought Strong pales to shape, and beams to square,
Sorrow, and sin, and shame; The lists' dread barriers to prepare
And death to Cranstoun's gallant knight, Against the morrow's dawn.
And to the gentle ladye bright,
Disgrace, and loss of fame.
But earthly spirit could not tell
The heart of them that love so well. Despite the dame's reproving eye;
True love's the gift which God has given Nor mark'd she, as she left her seat,
To man alone beneath the heaven. Full many a stifled sigh:
It is not fantasy's hot fire, For many a noble warrior strove
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly; To win the power of Teviot's love,
It liveth not in fierce desire, And many a bold ally
With dead desire it doth not die; With throbbing head and anxious heart,
It is the secret sympathy, All in her lonely bower apart,
The silver link, the silken tie, In broken sleep she lay;
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, By times, from silken couch she rose;
In body and in soul can bind.While yet the banner'd hosts repose,
Now leave we Margaret and her knight,
To tell you of the approaching fight.
Their warning blast the bugles blew,
The pipe's sbrill port* aroused each clan: She gazed upon the inner court,
In haste, the deadly strife to view, Which in the tower's tall shadow lay;
The trooping warriors eager ran : Where coursers' clang, and stamp, and snort, Thick round the lists their lances stood, Had rung the livelong yesterday ;
Like blasted pines in Ettrick wood;
To Branksome many a look they threw,
And bandied many a word of boast,
About the knight each favour'd most.
For now arose disputed claim,
Of who should fight for Deloraine, 0! if one page's slumbers break,
'Twixt Harden and 'twixt Thirlestane: His blood the price must pay!
They 'gan to reckon kin and rent, Not all the pearls queen Mary wears,
And frowning brow on brow was bent; Not Margaret's yet more precious tears,
But yet not long the strife-for, lo!
Himself, the knight of Deloraine,
Strong, as it seem'd, and free from pain,
In armour sheath'd from top to toe, Yet was his hazard small; for well
Appear'd, and craved the combat due. You may bethink you of the spell
The dame her charm successful knew,t Of that sly urchin page ;
And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew. This to his lord he did impart, And made him seem, by glamour art,
XVI. A knight from hermitage.
When for the lists they sought the plain, Unchallenged, thus, the warder's post,
The stately ladye's silken rein The court, unchallenged, thus he crossid,
Did noble Howard hold; For all the vassalage:
Unarmed by her side he walk'd, But, 0! what magic's quaint disguise
And much in courteous phrase they talk'd Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes !
Of feats of arms of old. She started from her seat;
Costly his garb—his Flemish ruff While with surprise and fear she strove,
Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff, And both could scarcely master love
With satin slash'd and lined;
Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,
His cloak was all of Poland fur,
His hose with silver twined; Oft have I mused, what purpose bad
His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt,
Hung in a broad and studded belt;
* A martial piece of music, adapted to the bagpipes. In such no joy is found;
+ See p. 609, stanza XXIII.
Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still
Whose foot-cloth swept the ground;
Of whitest roses bound. The lordly Angus, by her side, In courtesy to cheer her tried ; Without his aid her hand in vain Had strove to guide her broider'd rein. He deem'd she shudder'd at the sight Of warriors met for mortal fight; But cause of terror, all unguess'd, Was fluttering in her gentle breast, When, in their chair of crimson placed, The dame and she the barriers graced.
XVIII. Prize of the field, the young Buccleuch, An English knight led forth to view ; Scarce rued the boy his present plight, So much he long'd to see the fight. Within the lists, in knightly pride, High Home and haughty Dacre ride ; Their leading staffs of steel they wield, As marshals of the mortal field; While to each knight their care assign'd Like vantage of the sun and wind. Then heralds hoarse did loud proclaim, In king and queen, and warden's name,
That none, while lasts the strife,
On peril of his life;
Then, Teviot ! how thine echoes rang,
Let loose the martial foes,
XXII. 'Tis done, 'tis done! that fatal blow
Has stretch'd him on the bloody plain ; He strives to rise-Brave Musgrave, no!
Thence never shalt thou rise again! He chokes in blood--some friendly hand Undo the visor's barred band, Unfix the gorget's iron clasp, And give him room for life to gasp! O, bootless aid !-Haste, holy friar, Haste, ere the sinner shall expire ! Of all his guilt let him be shriven, And smooth bis path from earth to heaven?
Here standeth Richard of Musgrave,
Good knight, and true, and freely born, Amends from Deloraine to crave,
For foul despiteous scathe and scorn :
Is traitor false by Border laws;
SCOTTISH HERALD. Here stan-leth William of Deloraine, Good knight, and true, of noble strain, Who sayeth, that foul treason's stain, Since he bore arms, ne'er soil'd his coat;
And that, so help bim God above!
He will on Musgrave's body prove, He lies most foully in his throat.
As through the lists he ran :
He raised the dying man;
Still props him from the bloody sod;
And bids him trust in God! Unheard he prays ;-the death-pang's o'er ! Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.
The silent victor stands :
Of gratulating bands. When, lo! strange cries of wild surprise, Mingled with seeming terror, rise
Among the Scottish bands;
Forward, brave champions to the fight! Sound trumpets !
* God defend the right!"
And all, amid the throng'd array,
As dizzy, and in pain;
Knew William of Deloraine !
“And who art thou,” they cried, “ Who hast this battle fought and won ?" His plumed helm was soon undone
“ Cranstoun of Teviotside! For this fair prize I've fought and won:"And to the ladye led her son.
But well she thought, ere midnight came,
XXV. Full oft the rescued boy she kiss'd, And often press'd him to her breast; For, under all her dauntless show, Her heart had throbb'd at every blow; Yet not Lord Cranstoun deign'd she greet, Though low he kneeled at her feet. Me list not tell what words were made, What Douglas, Home, and Howard said
- For Howard was a generous foeAnd how the clan united pray'd,
The ladye would the feud forego, And deign to bless the nuptial hour Of Cranstoun's lord and Teviot's flower.
And taught that, in the listed plain,
Under the name of Deloraine.
Not much this new ally he loved,
He greeted him right heartilie :
Though rude, and scant of courtesy.
When on dead Musgrave he look'd down; Grief darken'd on his rugged brow,
Though half disguised with a frown;
Thought on the spirit's prophesy,
“Not you, but fate, has vanquish'd me ; Their influence kindly stars may shower On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower,
Por pride is quell'a, and love is free.” She took fair Margaret by the hand, Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand;
That hand to Cranstoun's lord gave she:-
This clasp of love our bond shall be,
To grace it with their company.
XXIX. “Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here!
I ween, my deadly enemy; For, if I slew thy brother dear,
Thou slewest a sister's son to me; And when I lay in dungeon dark,
Of Naworth Castle, long months three, Till ransom'd for a thousand mark,
Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee. And, Musgrave, could our fight be tried,
And thou wert now alive, as I, No mortal man should us divide,
Till one or both of us did die. Yet rest thee, God! for well I know I ne'er shall find a nobler foe. In all the northern counties here, Whose word is snafle, spur, and spear,t Thou wert the best to follow gear. 'Twas pleasure, as we look'd behind, To see how thou the chase couldst wind,
XXVII. All as they left the listed plain, Much of the story she did gain : How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine, And of his page, and of the book Which from the wounded knight he took ; And how he sought her castle high, That morn by help of gramarye ; How, in Sir William's armour dight, Stolen by his page, while slept the knight, He took on him the single fight. But half his tale he left unsaid, And linger'd till he join'd the maid.Cared not the ladye to betray Her mystic arts in view of day ;
* The spectral apparition of a living person. † The lands that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear, Have for their blazon had, the snafle, spur, and spear.
Poly-Albion, song xiii.
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwept, uphonour'd, and unsung
Cheer the dark bloodhound on his way,
XXX. So mourn'd he, till Lord Dacre's band Were bowning back to Cumberland. They raised brave Musgrave from the field, And laid him on his bloody shield; On leveli'd lances four and four, By turns, the noble burden bore. Before, at times, upon the gale, Was heard the minstrel's plaintive wail; Behind, four priests, in sable stole, Sung requiem for the warrior's soul: Around, the horsemen slowly rode ; With trailing pikes the spearmen trode; And thus the gallant knight they bore, Through Liddesdale, to Leven's shore ; Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave, And laid him in his father's grave.
II. O Caledonia! stern and wild, Meet nurse for a poetic child! Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, Land of the mountain and the flood, Land of my sires ! what mortal band Can e'er untie the filial band, That knits me to thy rugged strand ! Still, as I view each well known scene, Think what is now, and what hath been, Seems as, to me, of all bereft, Sole friends thy woods and streams are left i And thus I love them better still, Even in extremity of ill. By Yarrow's stream still let me stray, Though none should guide iny feeble way; Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break, Although it chill my wither'd cheek; Still lay my head by Teviot's stone, Though there, forgotten and alone, The bard may draw his parting groan.
III. Not scorn'd like me! to Branksome Hall 'The minstrels came, at festive call: Trooping they came, from near and far, The jovial priests of mirth and war; Alike for feast and fight prepared, Battle and banquet both they shared. Of late, before each martial clan, They blew their death-note in the van, But now, for every merry mate, Rose the portcullis' iron grate; They sound the pipe, they strike the string, They dance, they revel, and they sing, Till the rude turrets shake and ring.
The harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song,
The aged harper, howsoe'er
1. BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land ! Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd, As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand ? If such there breathe, go, mark him well; For him no minstrel's raptures swell; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concentred all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down
Some bards have sung, the ladye high Chapel or altar came not nigh; Nor durst the rites of spousal grace, So much she fear'd each holy place. False slanders these ;-1 trust right well, She wrought not by forbidden spell; For mighty words and signs have power O'er sprites in planetary hour: Yet scarce I praise their venturous part, Who tamper with such dangerous art: