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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,
The horsemen gallop'd forth ;
Dispersing to the south to scout,

And east, and west, and north,
To view their coming enemies,
And warn their vassals and allies.

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.

XXVII.
The Seneschal, whose silver hair
Was redden'd by the torches glare,
Stood in the midst, with gesture proud,
And issued forth his mandates loud :-
"On Penchryst glows a bale of fire,
And three are kindling on Priesthaughs.

wire :
Ride out, ride out,

The foe to scout !
Mount, mount for Branksome, every

man ! Thon, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan,

That ever are true and stout-
Ye need not send to Liddesdale;
For when they see the blazing bale,
Elliots and Armstrongs never fail. —
Ride, Alton, ride, for death and life!
And warn the Warder of the strife.
Young Gilbert, let our beacon blaze,
Our kin, and clan, and friends, to raise."

XXVIII.
Fair Margaret, from the turret head,
Heard, far below, the coursers' tread,

XXIX.
The ready page, with hurried hand,
Awaked the need-fire's * slumbering

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

Border.

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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.

II.

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,
Which, though it change in ceaseless

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

Græme.

III.

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

pent

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;

CANTO FOURTH.

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."*

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While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
Entered the echoing barbican.
He led a small and shaggy nag,
That through a bog, from hag to hag, t.

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,
Laughed to her friends among the crowd.
He was of stature passing tall,
But sparely formed, and lean withal ;
A batter'd morion on his brow;
A leather jack, as fence enow,
On his broad shoulders loosely hung;
A border axe behind was slung;
His spear, six Scottish ells in length,

Seemed newly dyed with gore;
His shafts and bow, of wondrous

strength,
His hardy partner bore.

VI.
Thus to the Ladye did Tinlinn show
The tidings of the English foe :-
"Belted Will Howard is marching here,
And hot Lord Dacre, with manya spear,
And all the German hackbut-men,
Who have long lain at Askerten :
They cross'd the Liddell at curfew hour,
And burned my little lonely tower :
The fiend receive their souls therefor!
It had not been burnt this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my fight;
Bat I was chased the livelong night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus

Græme,
Fast upon my traces came,

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,
From dreary Gamescleugh's dusky

height,
His ready lances Thirlestane brave

Array'd beneath a banner bright.
The treasur'd fleur-de-luce he claims,
To wreathe his shield, since royal James,
Encamp'd by Falla's mossy wave,
The proud distinction grateful gave,

For faith 'mid feudal jars;
What time, save Thirlestane alone,
Of Scotland's stubborn barons none

Would march to southern wars ;
And hence, in fair remembrance worn,
Yon sheaf of spears his crest has borne;
Hence his high motto shines reveald-
"Ready, aye ready," for the field.

IX.
An aged Knight, to danger steel'd,

With many a moss-trooper came on;
And azure in a golden field,
The stars and crescent graced his shield,

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;

persen

And it fell down a weary weight, | Just on the threshold of Branksome gate.

His bold retainer's daily food,
And bought with danger, blows, and

blood.
Marauding chief! his sole delight
The moonlight raid, the morning fight;
Not even the Flower of Yarrow's

charms,
In youth, might tame his rage for arms;
And still, in age, he spurn'd at rest,
And still his brows the helmet press'd,
Albeit the blanched locks below
Were white as Dinlay's spotless snow :
Five stately warriors drew the sword

Before their father's band;
A braver knight than Harden's lord

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

mind."

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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;
“Little care we for thy winded hom.
Ne'er shall it be the Galliard's lot
To yield his steed to a haughty Scott.
Wend thou to Branksome back on foot,
With rusty spur and miry boot."-
He blew his bugle so loud and hoarse,
That the dun-deer started at fair Craik-

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 :
She bade her youthful son attend,
That he might know his father's

friend,
And learn to face his foes.
"The boy is ripe to look on war;

I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff,
And his true arrow struck afar

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!”

XV.
A heavy task Watt Tinlinn had,
To guide the counterfeited lad.
Soon as the palfrey felt the weight
Of that ill-omen'd elfish freight,
He bolted, sprung, and rear'd amain,
Nor heeded bit, nor curb, nor rein.

It cost Watt Tinlinn mickle toil
To drive him but a Scottish mile ;

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.

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