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Say, hast thou given that lovely youth

To serve in lady's bower ?
Or was the gentle page, in sooth,

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 :
Norham is grim and grated close,
Hemm’d in by battlement and fosse,

1 See Note, canto ii., stanza i.

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We hold our greyhound in our hand,

Our falcon on our glove ;
But where shall we find leash or band,

For dame that loves to rove ?
Let the wild falcon soar her swing,
She'll stoop when she has tired her wing."

“Nay, if with Royal James's bride

The lovely Lady Heron bide,
Behold me here a messenger,
Your tender greetings prompt to bear ;
For, to the Scottish court address’d,
I journey at our King's behest,
And pray you, of your grace, provide
For me, and mine, a trusty guide.
I have not ridden in Scotland since
James back'd the cause of that mock prince,
Warbeck, that Flemish counterfeit,
Who on the gibbet paid the cheat.

Then did I march with Surrey's power,
What time we razed old Ayton tower.”—1

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:

“Are all our braving enemies shrunk back,

Hid in the fogges of their distemper'd climate,
Not daring to behold our colours wave
In spight of this infected ayre? Can they
Looke on the strength of Cundrestine defac't;
The glorie of Heydonhall devasted; that
of Eddington cast downe; the pile of Fulden
Orethrowne: And this, the strongest of their forts,
Old Ayton Castle, yeelded and demolished,
And yet not peepe abroad? The Scots are bold,
Hardie in battayle, but it seems the cause
They undertake consider'd, appeares
Unjoynted in the frame on't.”

“For such-like need, my lord, I trow,

Norham can find you guides enow;
For here be some have prick'd as far,
On Scottish ground, as to Dunbar ;
Have drunk the monks of St. Bothan's ale,
And driven the beeves of Lauderdale ;
Harried the wives of Greenlaw's goods,
And given them light to set their hoods.”_

“Now, in good sooth,” Lord Marmion cried,
“ Were I in warlike wise to ride,

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,
Than your stout forayers at my back;
But as in form of peace I go,
A friendly messenger, to know,
Why through all Scotland, near and far,
Their King is mustering troops for war,
The sight of plundering Border spears
Might justify suspicious fears,
And deadly feud, or thirst of spoil,
Break out in some unseemly broil :
A herald were my fitting guide ;
Or friar, sworn in peace to bide ;
Or pardoner, or travelling priest,
Or strolling pilgrim at the least.”

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.

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