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Rung from the nether lawn ; For many a busy hand toil'd there, Strong pales to shape, and beams to square, The lists' dread barriers to prepare
Against the morrow's dawn.
Margaret from hall did soon retreat,
Despite the dame's reproving eye;
Full many a stiffed sigh:
And many a bold ally.
In broken sleep she lay ; By times, from silken couch she rose; While yet the banner'd hosts repose,
She view'd the dawning day: Of all the hundreds sunk to rest, First woke the loveliest and the best.
And oft I've deem'd, perchance he thought
Sorrow, and sin, and shame;
Disgrace, and loss of fame.
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
With dead desire it doth not die ;
The pipe's shrill port* aroused each clan : In haste, the deadly strife to view,
The trooping warriors eager ran :
Which in the tower's tall shadow lay; Where coursers' clang, and stamp, and snort,
Had rung the livelong yesterday;
The jingling spurs announced his tread, -
Blessed Mary! can it be? -
With fearless step and free.
His blood the price must pay!
Shall buy his life a day.
Meantime full anxious was the dame ;
They 'gan to reckon kin and rent,
But yet not long the strife-for, lo!
In armour sheath'd from top to toe, Appear'd, and craved the combat due. The dame her charm successful knew,t And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew,
Of that sly urchin page;
A knight from hermitage.
For all the vassalage: But, O! what magic's quaint disguise Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes!
She started from her seat; While with surprise and fear she strove, And both could scarcely master love
Lord Henry's at her feet.
XVI. When for the lists they sought the plain, The stately ladye's silken rein
Did noble Howard hold;
Of feats of arms of old.
With satin slash'd and lined ;
His hose with silver twined;
XIII. Oft have I mused, what purpose bad That foul malicious urchin had
To bring this meeting round; For happy love's a heavenly sight, And by a vile malignant sprite
In such no joy is found;
*A martial piece of music, adapted to the bagpipes. See p. 609, stanza XXIII.
Then, Teviot ! how thine echoes rang, When bugle sound, and trumpet clang
Let loose the martial foes, And in ’mid list, with shield poised high, And measured step, and wary eye,
The combatants did close.
XXI. Ill would it suit your gentle ear, Ye lovely listeners, to hear How to the axe the helms did sound, And blood pour'd down from many a wound; For desperate was the strise and long, And either warrior fierce and strong. But, were each dame a listening knight, I well could tell how warriors fight; For I have seen war's lightning flashing, Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing, Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing, And scorn'd, amid the reeling strife, To yield a step for death or life.
Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still
Whose foot-cloth swept the ground;
Of whitest roses bound.
That none, while lasts the strife,
On peril of his life;
ENGLISH HERALD. 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 standeth 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 him God above!
He will on Musgrave's body prove,
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 ! 0, bootless aid -Haste, holy friar, Haste, ere the sinner shall expire ! Of all his guilt let him be shriven, And smooth his path from earth to heaven?
As through the lists he ran :
He raised the dying man;
And bids him trust in God!
The silent victor stands :
Of gratulating hands. When, lo! strange cries of wild surprise, Mingled with seeming terror, rise 1 Among the Scottish bands;
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,
-For Howard was a generous foeAnd how the clan united pray'd,
The ladye would the feud forego,
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,
For pride is quell’d, 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.
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; And thus, while sorrow bent his head, His foeman's epitaph he made.
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;
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,
* 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 xili.
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwert, unhonour'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 losty 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 food, Land of my sires! what mortal hand 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 : And thus I love them better still, Even in extremity of ill. By Yarrow's stream still let me stray, Though none should guide my 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.
The harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song, The mimic march of death prolong; Now seems it far, and now anear, Now meets, and now eludes the ear; Now seems some mountain side to sweep, Now faintly dies in valley deep; Seems now as if the minstrel's wail, Now the sad requiem loads the gale: Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave, Rung the full choir in choral stave. After due pause, they bade him tell, Why he who touch'd the harp so well, Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil, Wander a poor and thankless soil, When the more generous southern land Would well requite his skilful hand.
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 aged harper, howsoe'er His only friend, his harp, was dear, Liked not to hear it rank'd so high Above his flowing poesy ; Less liked he still that scornful jeer Misprized the land be loved so dear; High was the sound, as thus again The bard resumed his minstrel strain.
Me lists not at this tide declare
The splendour of the spousal rite, How muster'd in the chapel fair Both maid and matron, squire and knight; Me lists not tell of owches rare, Of mantles green, and braided hair, And kirtles furr'd with miniver; What plumage waved the altar round, How spurs, and ringing chainlets sound: And hard it were for bard to speak The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek; That lovely hue which comes and flies, As awe and shame alternate rise.
BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
From wandering on a foreign strand ?
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; I 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:
But this for faithful truth I say,
The ladye by the altar stood,
And on her head a crimson hood,
But ever from that time, 'twas said,
VI. The spousal rites were ended soon: 'Twas now the merry of noon, And in the lofty arched hall Was spread the gorgeous festival. Steward and squire, with heedful haste, Marshall'd the rank of every guest; Pages, with ready blade, were there, The mighty meal to carve and share : O'er capon, heron-shew, and crane, And princely peacock's gilded train, And o'er the boar-head, garnish'd brave, And cygnet from St. Mary's wave; O’er ptarmigan and venison, The priest had spoke his benison ; Then rose the riot and the din, Above, beneath, without, within ! For, from the lofty balcony, Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery ; Their changing bowls old warriors quaff'd, Loudly they spoke, and loudly laugh'd ; Whisper'd young knights, in tone more mild, To ladies fair, and ladies smiled. The hooded hawks, high perch'd on beam, The clamour join'd, with whistling scream, And flapp'd their wings, and shook their bells, In concert with the staghounds' yells. Round go the flasks of ruddy wine, From Bordeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine, Their tasks the busy sewers ply, And all is mirth and revelry.
Remember'd him of Tinlinn's yew,
That ever he the arrow drew. First, he the yeoman did molest, With bitter gibe and taunting jest ; Told how he fled at Solway strife, And how Hob Armstrong cheer'd his wife: Then, shunning still his powerful arm, At unawares he wrought him harm; From trencher stole his choicest cheer, Dash'd from his lips his can of beer; Then, to his knee sly creeping on, With bodkin pierced him to the bone; The venom'd wound, and festering joint, Long after rued that bodkin's point. The startled yeoman swore and spurn'd, And board and flagons overturn'd, Riot and clamour wild began; Back to the hall the urchin ran; Took in a darkling nook his post, And grinn'd, and mutter'd, “ Lost! lost! lost !"
VII. The goblin page, omitting still No opportunity of ill, Strove now, while blood ran hot and high, To rouse debate and jealousy ; Till Conrad, Lord of Wolfenstein, By nature fierce, and warm with wine, And now in humour highly cross'd, About some steeds his band had lost, High words to words succeeding still, Smote, with his gauntlet, stout Hunthil; A hot and haughty Rutherford, Whom men call's Dickon Draw-the-sword. He took it on the page's saye, Hunthil had driven these steeds away. Then Howard, Home, and Douglas rose, The kindling discord to compose: Stern Rutherford right little said, But bit his glove and shook his head. A fortnight thence, in Inglewood, Stout Conrad, cold, and drench'd in blood, His bosom gored with many a wound, Was by a woodman's lyme-dog found; Unknown the manner of his death, Gone was his brand, both sword and sheath ;
By this, the dame, lest farther fray Should mar the concord of the day, Had bid the minstrels tune their lay. And first stept forth old Albert Græme, The minstrel of that ancient name: Was none who struck the harp so well, Within the Land Debateable; Well friended, too, his hardy kin, Whoever lost were sure to win ; They sought the beeves, that made their broth, In Scotland and in England both. In homely guise, as nature bade, | His simple song the Borderer said.
ALBERT GRÆME. It was an English ladye bright,
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)