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Rung from the nether lawn;
And oft I've deem'd, perchance he thought For many a busy hand toil'd 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 Margaret from hall did soon retreat,
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 stiffed sigh:
It is not fantasy's hot fire, For many a noble warrior strove
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly; To win the flower 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 shrill 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. Blessed Mary! can it be?
Secure, as if in Ousenam bowers,
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 cross'd,
Did noble Howard hold; For all the vassalage:
Unarmed by her side he walk'd, But, O! 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 garbhis 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 po joy is found;
† 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 strife 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 'S-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?
XXIII. In haste the holy friar sped,
His naked foot was died with red,
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.
LORD DACRE, Forward, brave champions to the fight! Sound trumpets !
The silent victor stands :
Of gratulating hands. When, lo! strange cries of wild surprise, Mingled with seeming terror, rise
Among the Scottish bands;
LORD HOME. “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; And thus, while sorrow bent his head, His foeman's epitaph he made.
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
This clasp of love our bond shall be,
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.
Cheer the dark bloodhound on his way,
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwert, unhonour'd, and unsung.
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. Ó 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 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 aged harper, howsoe'er
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.
IV. 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.
1. 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
But this for faithful truth I say,
The ladye by the altar stood,
And on her head a crimson hood,
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.
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 ;
But ever from that time, 'twas said,
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 strise, 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 !”
X. 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,)