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While loud the harness rung, As to their seats, with clamour dread, • The ready horsemen sprung: And trampling hoofs, and iron coats, And leaders' voices, mingled notes,
And out! and out !
In hasty route,
And east, and west, and north,
XXV. Is yon the star, o'er Penchryst Pen, That rises slowly to her ken, And, spreading broad its wavering light, Shakes its loose tresses on the light? Is yon red glare the western star ?Oh! 'tis the beacon-blaze of war! Scarce could she draw her tighten'd
breath, For well she knew the fire of death!
XXVI. The warder viewd it blazing strong, And blew bis war-note loud and long, Till, at the high and haughty sound, Rock, wood, and river, rung around. The blast alarm'd the festal hall, And started forth the warriors all ; Far downward, in the castle yard,
Full many a torch and cresset glared; ! And helms and plumes, confusedly
toss'd, Were in the blaze half-seen, half-lost; And spears in wild disorder shook, Like reeds beside a frozen brook.
The foe to scout !
man ! Thon, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan,
That ever are true and stout-
brand, And ruddy blush'd the heaven: For a sheet of flame, from the turret
high, Waved like a blood-flag on the sky
All flaring and uneven ; And soon a score of fires, I ween, From height, and hill, and cliff, were
seen ; Each with warlike tidings fraught; Each from each the signal caught; Each after each they glanced to sight, As stars arise upon the night. They gleam'd on many a dusky tarn, + Haunted by the lonely earn ; I On many a cairn's grey pyramid, Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid; Till high Dunedin the blazes saw, From Soltra and Dumpender Law; And Lothian heard the Regent's order, That all should bowne & them for the
As if thy waves, since Time was born, Since first they roll'd upon the Tweed, Had only heard the shepherd's reed,
Nor started at the bugle-horn.
Was frequent heard the changing guard, And watch-word from the sleepless ward; While, wearied by the endless din, Blood-hound and ban-dog yell’d within.
XXXI. The noble Dame, amid the broil, Shared the grey Seneschal's high toil, And spoke of danger with a smile ; Cheer'd the young knights, and council
sage Held with the chiefs of riper age. No tidings of the foe were brought, Nor of his numbers knew they aught, Nor what in time of truce he sought. Some said that there were thousands
ten; And others ween'd that it was nought
But Leven Clans, or Tynedale men, Who came to gather in black mail ; * And Liddesdale, with small avail,
Might drive them lightly back agen. So pass'd the anxious night away, And welcome was the peep of day.
Unlike the tide of human time,
flow, Retains each grief, retains each crime
Its earliest course was doom'd to know; And, darker as it downward bears, Is stained with past and present tears.
Low as that tide has ebb'd with me, It still reflects to Memory's eye The hour my brave, my only boy,
Fell by the side of great Dundee. Why, when the volleying musket play'd Against the bloody Highland blade, Why was not I beside him laid ? Enough-he died the death of fame; Enough-he died with conquering
Now over Border, dale and fell,
Full wide and far was terror spread; For pathless marsh, and mountain cell,
The peasant left his lowly shed. | The frighten'd flocks and herds were
CEASED the high sound-the listening
throng Applaud the Master of the Song; And marvel much, in helpless age, So hard should be his pilgrimage. Had he no friend-no daughter dear, His wandering toil to share and cheer; No son to be his father's stay, And guide him on the rugged way? “Ay, once he had—but he was dead!" Upon the harp he stoop'd his head, And busied himself the strings withall, To hide the tear that fain would fall, In solemn measure, soft and slow, Arose a father's notes of woe.
Beneath the peel's rude battlement ; And maids and matrons dropp'd the tear, While ready warriors seiz'd the spear. From Branksome's towers, the watch
man's eye Dun wreaths of distant smoke can spy, Which, curling in the rising sun, Show'd southern ravage was begun.
IV. Now loud the heedful gate-ward cried
"Prepare ye all for blows and blood ! Watt Tinlinn, from the Liddel-side,
Comes wading through the flood. Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock
At his lone gate, and prove the lock; It was but last St. Barnabright They sieged him a whole summer night, But filed at morning ; well they knew In vain he never twang'd the yew. Right sharp has been the evening shower That drove him from his Liddel tower;
1. SWEET Teviot ! on thy silver tide
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more; No longer steel-clad warriors ride
Along thy wild and willow'd shore; Where'er thou wind'st, by dale or hill, All, all is peaceful, all is still,
* Protection money exacted by freebooters.
And, by my faith," the gate-ward said, "I think 'twill prove a Warden-Raid."*
While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
Could bound like any Billhope stag. ! I bore his wife and children twain;
A half-clothed serf I was all their train ; | His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark-brow'd,
Of silver brooch and bracelet proud,
Seemed newly dyed with gore;
Until I turn'd at Priesthaugh Scrogg, | And shot their horses in the bog, Slew Fergus with my lance outrightI had him long at high despite : He drove my cows last Fastern's night." * An inroad commanded by the Warden in * The broken ground in a bog. Bondsman.
From fair St Mary's silver wave,
Array'd beneath a banner bright.
For faith 'mid feudal jars;
Would march to southern wars ;
With many a moss-trooper came on;
Without the bend of Murdieston. Wide lay his lands round Oakwood
tower, And wide round haunted Castle-Ower ; High over Borthwick's mountain flood, His wood-embosom'd mansion stood; In the dark glen, so deep below, The herds of plunder'd England low;
And it fell down a weary weight, | Just on the threshold of Branksome gate.
His bold retainer's daily food,
Before their father's band;
Ne'er belted on a brand.
x. Scotts of Eskdale, a stalwart band, Came trooping down the Todshaw
hill; By the sword they won their land,
And by the sword they hold it still. Hearken, Ladye, to the tale, How thy sires won fair Eskdale. Earl Morton was lord of that valley fair, The Beattisons were his vassals there. The earl was gentle, and mild of mood, The vassals were warlike, and fierce,
and rude; High of heart, and haughty of word, Little they reck'd of a tame liege Lord. The Earl into fair Eskdale came Homage and seignory to claim : Of Gilbert the Galliard a heriot * he
sought, Saying, "Give thy best steed, as a vas
sal ought.” _“Dear to me is my bonny white steed, Oft has he help'd me at pinch of need; Lord and Earl though thou be, I trow I can rein Bucksfoot better than thou."Word on word gave fuel to fire, Till so highly blazed the Beattison's ire,
XI. The Earl was a wrathful man to see, Full fain avenged would he be. In haste to Branksome's Lord he spoke, Saying, “Take these traitors to thy yoke; For a cast of hawks, and a purse of gold, All Eskdale I'll sell thee, to have and
hold : Beshrew thy heart, of the Beattisons' clan If thou leavest on Eske a landed man; But spare Woodkerrick's lands alone, For he lent me his horse to escape upon." A glad man then was Branksome bold, Down he flung him the purse of gold; To Eskdale soon he spurr'd amain, And with him five hundred riders has
ta'en. He left his merrymen in the midst of the
hill, And bade them hold them close and still; And alone he wended to the plain, To meet with the Galliard and all his
train. To Gilbert the Galliard thus he said : “Know thou me for thy liege-lord and
head; Deal not with me as with Morton tame, For Scotts play best at the roughest
game. Give me in peace my heriot due, Thy bonny white steed, or thou shalt rue. If my horn I three times wind, Eskdale shall long have the sound in
The vassals there their lord had slain. Sore he plied both whip and spur,. As he urged his steed through Eskdale
muir ; * The feudal superior, in certain cases, was entitled to the best horse of the vassal, in name of Heriot, or Herezeld.
Loudly the Beattison laugh'd in scorn;
cross; He blew again so loud and clear, Through the grey mountain-mist there
did lances appear;
And the third blast rang with such a din, That the echoes answer'd from Pentoun.
linn, And all his riders came lightly in. Then had you seen a gallant shock, When saddles were emptied, and lances
broke ! For each scornful word the Galliard had
said, A Beattison on the field was laid. His own good sword the chieftain drew, And he bore the Galliard through and
through ; Where the Beattisons' blood mix'd with
the rill, The Galliard's-Haugh men call it still. The Scotts have scatter'd the Beattison
clan, In Eskdale they left but one landed
man The valley of Eske, from the mouth to
the source, Was lost and won for that bonny white horse.
XIII, Whitslade the hawk, and Headshaw
same, And warriors more than I may name, | From Yarrow-cleugh to Hindhaugh
swair, i From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen. Troop'd man and horse, and bow and
spear; Their gathering word was Bellenden. And better hearts o'er Border sod To siege or rescue never rode. The Ladye mark'd the aids come in,
And high her heart of pride arose :
I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff,
The raven's nest upon the cliff ; The red cross, on a southern breast, Is broader than the raven's nest : Thou, Whitslade, shalt teach him his
weapon to wield, And o'er him hold his father's shield."
XIV. Well may you think, the wily page Cared not to face the Ladye sage. He counterfeited childish fear, And shriek'd, and shed full many a tear, And moan'd and plain'd in manner
wild. The attendants to the Ladye told, Some fairy, sure, had changed the child,
That wont to be so free and bold. Then wrathful was the noble dame; She blush'd blood-red for very shame:“Hence! ere the clan his faintness view; Hence with the weakling to Buccleuch! Watt Tinlinn, thou shalt be his guide To Rangleburn's lonely side. Sure some fell fiend has cursed our line, That coward should ere be son of mine!”
It cost Watt Tinlinn mickle toil
But as a shallow brook they cross'd, The elf, amid the running stream, His figur'd chang'd, like form in dream,
And fled, and shouted,“ Lost! lost !
lost! Full fast the urchin ran and laugh'd, But faster still a cloth-yard shaft Whistled from startled Tinlinn's yew, And pierced his shoulder through and
through. Although the imp might not be slain, And though the wound soon heal'd again, Yet, as he ran, he yell’d for pain ; And Watt of Tinlinn, much aghast, Rode back to Branksome fiery fast.