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If my horn I three times wind,
Wat Tinlinn, thou shalt be his guide
Sure some fell fiend has cursed our line,
That coward should e'er be son of mine!”
XV. Ne'er shall it be the Galliard's lot,
A heavy task Wat Tinlinn 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 said,
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 chiestain 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,
Rode back to Branksome fiery fast.
Soon on the hill's steep verge he stood,
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 blown: Troop'd man and horse, and bow and spear;
The coursers's neighing he could ken,
And measured tread of marching men;
While broke at times the solemn hum,
The Almayn's sullen kettle-drum; The ladye mark'd the aids come in,
And banners tall, of crimson sheen, And high her heart of pride arose :
Above the copse appear; She bade her youthful son attend,
And, glistening through the hawthorns 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 :
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,
Lord Dacre's bill-men were at hand:
A hardy race, on Irthing bred,
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,
Behind the English bill and bow,
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.
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.”
XIX. But louder still the clamour gew, And louder still the minstrels blew, When, from beneath the greenwood tree, Rode forth Lord Howard's chiralry ; 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 !”
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 huem O sight to meet a mother's view! It was the 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
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 mollen 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 flemen'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; Unbroke 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.
* An asylum for outlaws. # Note of assault.
A moment changed that ladye's cheer ;
XXVI. “Say to your lords of high emprise, Who war on women and on boys That either William of Deloraine Will cleanse him, by oath, of march-treason stain, Or else he will the combat take 'Gainst Musgrave, for his honour's sake. No knight in Cumberland so good, But William may count with him kin and blood. Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword, When English blood swell’d Ancram ford; And but that Lord Dacre's steed was wight, And bore him ably in the flight, Himself had seen him dubb'd a knight. For the young heir of Branksome's line, God be his aid, and God be mine; Through me no friend shall meet his doom; Here, while I live, no foe finds room.
Then, if thy lords their purpose urge, Take our defiance loud and high ;
Our slogan is their lyke-wake* dirge, Our moat, the grave where they shall lie.”
And Jedwood, Esk, and Teviotdale,
Have to proud Angus come;
Have risen with haughty Home.
In Liddesdale I've wander'd long;
And cannot brook my country's wrong ;
XXVII. Proud she look'd round, applause to claimThen lighten'd Thirlestane's eye of flame;
His bugle Wat of Harden blew: Pensils and pennons wide were flung, To heaven the Border slogan rung,
« Saint Mary for the young Buccleuch !” The English war-cry answered wide,
And forward bent each southern spear; Each Kendal archer made a stride,
And drew the bow-string to his ear ; Each minstrel's war-note loud was blown :But, ere a gray goose shaft had flown,
A horseman gallop'd from the rear.
XXXI. Ill could the haughty Dacre brook His brother-warden's sage rebuke: And yet his forward step he stay'd, And slow and sullenly obey'd. But ne'er again the Border-side Did these two lords in friendship ride ; And this slight discontent, men say, Cost blood upon another day.
XXVIII. “ Ah! noble lords !” he, breathless, said, “What treason has your march betray'd ? What make you here, from aid so far, Before you walls, around you war? Your foemen triumph in the thought, That in the toils the lion's caught. Already on dark Ruberslaw The Douglas holds his weapon-schaw,t The lances, waving in his train, Clothe the dun heap like autumn grain ; And on the Liddel's northern strand, To bar retreat to Cumberland, Lord Maxwell ranks his merry men good, Beneath the eagle and the rood;
XXXII. The pursuivant-at-arms again
Before the castle took his stand;
The leaders of the Scottish band;
Vanquish the knight of Deloraine,
Shall hostage for his clan remain : If Deloraine foil good Musgrave, The boy his liberty shall have.
* Lyke-wake, the watching a corpse previous to intor. ment.
+ Weapon-schau, the military array of a country.
Howe'er it falls, the English band,
Though much their ladye 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,
By which the coming help was known.
Beneath a castle, on a lawn:
At the fourth hour from peep of dawn;
He paused: the listening dames again
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.
Who say, that when the poet dies,
And celebrates his obsequies ;
Such combat should be made on horse,
Should shiver in the course :
In guise which now I say ;
In the old Douglas' day.
Or call his song untrue ;
The bard of Reull he slew.
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 ?
The phantom knight, his glory fled,
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,
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 how a day of fight was 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;
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 watchword of their clan; And revellers o'er their bowls proclaim Douglas or Dacre's conquering name.
At length, the various clamours died;
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.