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Say, hast thou given that lovely youth
To serve in lady's bower ?
A gentle paramour ?"
XVI. Lord Marmion ill could brook such jest ;
He roll'd his kindling eye, With pain his rising wrath suppressid,
Yet made a calm reply : " That boy thou thought so goodly fair, He might not brook the northern air.
More of his fate if thou wouldst learn,
I left him sick in Lindisfarn :' Enough of him.-But, Heron, say, Why does thy lovely lady gay Disdain to grace the hall to-day? Or has that dame, so fair and sage, Gone on some pious pilgrimage ?"He spoke in covert scorn, for fame Whisper'd light tales of Heron's dame.
Unmark'd, at least unreck’d, the taunt,
Careless the Knight replied, “ No bird, whose feathers gaily flaunt,
Delights in cage to bide :
1 See Note, canto ii., stanza i.
We hold our greyhound in our hand,
Our falcon on our glove ;
For dame that loves to rove ?
The lovely Lady Heron bide,
Then did I march with Surrey's power,
1 The story of Perkin Warbeck, or Richard Duke of York, is well known. In 1496, he was received honourably in Scotland; and James IV., after conferring upon him in marriage his own relation, the Lady Catherine Gordon, made war on England in behalf of his pretensions. To retaliate an invasion of England, Surrey advanced into Berwickshire at the head of considerable forces, but retreated, after taking the inconsiderable fortress of Ayton. Ford, in his Dramatic Chronicle of Perkin Warbeck, makes the most of this inroad:
Hid in the fogges of their distemper'd climate,
Norham can find you guides enow;
1 The garrisons of the English castles of Wark, Norham, and Berwick, were, as may be easily supposed, very troublesome neighbours to Scotland. Sir Richard Maitland of Ledington wrote a poem, called “The Blind Baron's Comfort;" when his barony of Blythe, in Lauderdale, was harried by Rowland Foster, the English captain of Wark, with his company, to the number of 300 men. They spoiled the poetical knight of 5000 sheep, 200 nolt, 30 horses and mares; the whole furniture of his house of Blythe, worth 100 pounds Scots, (£8:6:8,) and everything else that was portable. “This spoil was committed the 16th day of May, 1570, (and the said Sir Richard was threescore and fourteen years of age, and grown blind), in time of peace; when nane of that country lippened [expected] such a thing."-" The Blind Baron's Comfort" consists in a string of puns on the word Blythe, the name of the lands thus despoiled. Like John Littlewit, he had " a conceit left him in his miserya miserable conceit."
The last line of the text contains a phrase, by which the Borderers jocularly intimated the burning a house. When the Maxwells, in 1685, burned the Castle of Lochwood, they said they did so to give the Lady Johnstone “ light to set her hood." Nor was the phrase inapplicable; for, in a letter, to which I have mislaid the reference, the Earl of Northumberland writes to the King and Council, that he dressed himself at midnight, at Warkworth, by the blaze of the neighbouring villages burned by the Scottish marauders,
A better guard I would not lack,
XXI. The Captain mused a little space, And pass'd his hand across his face. _"Fain would I find the guide you want, But ill may spare a pursuivant, The only men that safe can ride Mine errands on the Scottish side : And though a bishop built this fort, Few holy brethren here resort ; Even our good chaplain, as I ween, Since our last siege, we have not seen : The mass he might not sing or say, Upon one stinted meal a-day; So, safe he sat in Durham aisle, And pray'd for our success the while.