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And how a day of fight was ta'en Had sunk in war-cries wild and wide, 'Twixt Musgrave and stout Deloraine, And in the groan of death ; And how the Ladye pray'd them | And whingers, * now in friendship bare, dear,
The social meal to part and share, That all would stay the fight to see, Had found a bloody sheath. And deign, in love and courtesy, 'Twixt truce and war, such sudden change
To taste of Branksome cheer. Was not infrequent, nor held strange, Yor, while they bade to feast each Scot, In the old Border-day : Were England's noble Lords forgot. But yet on Branksome's towers and town, Himself, the hoary Seneschal
In peaceful merriment, sunk down Rode forth, in seemly terms to call
The sun's declining ray. Those gallant foes to Branksome Hall.
The blithsome signs of wassel gay
Decay'd not with the dying day :
Soon through the latticed windows tall
Of lofty Branksome's lordly hall, But angry Dacre rather chose
Divided square by shafts of stone,
Huge flakes of ruddy lustre shone;
Nor less the gilded rafters rang
How these two hostile armies met ? And frequent, on the darkening plain, Deeming it were no easy task
Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran, To keep the truce which here was set; As bands, their stragglers to regain, Where martial spirits, all on fire,
Give the shrill watchword of their Breathed only blood and mortal ire.
clan; By mutual inroads, mutual blows, And revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim By habit, and by nation, foes,
Douglas' or Dacre's conquering name. They met on Teviot's strand; They met and sate them mingled down,
Less frequent heard, and fainter still, Without a threat, without a frown, As brothers meet in foreign land :
At length the various clamours died : The hands, the spear that lately grasp'd,
And you might hear, from Branksome
hill, Still in the mailed gauntlet clasp'd,
No sound but Teviot's rushing tide; Were interchanged in greeting dear;
Save when the changing sentinel Visors were raised, and faces shown,
The challenge of his watch could tell ; And many a friend, to friend made
And save, where, through the dark known,
profound, Partook of social cheer.
The clanging axe and hammer's sound Some drove the jolly bowl about;
Rung from the nether lawn; With dice and draughts some chased
For many a busy hand toil'd there, the day, And some, with many a merry shout,
Strong pales to shape, and beams to
square, In riot, revelry, and rout,
The lists' dread barriers to prepare
Against the morrow's dawn.
Margaret from hall did soon retreat,
Despite the Dame's reproving eye ; Those hands, so frankly interchanged,
Nor mark'd she, as she left her seat, Had dyed with gore the green :
Full many a stifled sigh; The merry shout by Teviot-side
* A sort of knife, or poniard.
For many a noble warrior strove
XIII. To win the Flower of Teviot's love,
Oft have I mused, what purpose bad And many a bold ally,
That foul malicious urchin had With throbbing head and anxious heart,
To bring this meeting round; All in her lonely bower apart,
For happy love's a heavenly sight, In broken sleep she lay :
And by a vile malignant sprite By times, from silken couch she rose;
In such no joy is found; While yet the banner'd hosts repose, And oft I've deem'd, perchance he She view'd the dawning day :
thought Of all the hundreds sunk to rest,
Their erring passion might have wrought First woke the loveliest and the best.
Sorrow, and sin, and shame;
And death to Cranstoun's gallant XI.
Knight, She gazed upon the inner court,
And to the gentle ladye bright, Which in the tower's tall shadow lay; Disgrace, and loss of fame. Where coursers' clang, and stamp, and
But earthly spirit could not tell snort,
The heart of them that loved so well. Had rung the livelong yesterday; True love's the gift which God has given Now, still as death; till stalking slow, To man alone beneath the heaven : The jingling spurs announced his It is not fantasy's hot fire, tread,
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly; A stately warrior pass'd below;
It liveth not in fierce desire, But when he raised his plumed head
With dead desire it doth not die ; Blessed Mary! can it be?
It is the secret sympathy, Secure, as if in Ousenam bowers,
The silver link, the silken tie, He walks through Branksome's hostile Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, towers,
In body and in soul can bind.With fearless step and free.
Now leave we Margaret and her Knight, She dared not sign, she dared not speak To tell you of the approaching fight. Oh ! if one page's slumbers break,
XIV. His blood the price must pay!
Their warning blasts the bugles blew, Not all the pearls Queen Mary wears, The pipe's shrill port * aroused each Not Margaret's yet more precious tears,
clan; Shall buy his life a day.
In haste, the deadly strife to view,
The trooping warriors eager ran : XII.
Thick round the lists their lances stood, Yet was his hazard small; for well Like blasted pines in Ettrick Wood; You may bethink you of the spell
To Branksome many a look they threw, Of that sly urchin page ;
The combatants' approach to view, This to his lord he did impart,
And bandied many a word of boast, And made him seem, by glamour art, About the knight each favour'd most. A knight from Hermitage.
XV. Unchallenged thus, the warder's post, The court, unchallenged, thus he cross'd, Meantime full anxious was the Dame; For all the vassalage :
For now arose disputed claim, But O! what magic's quaint disguise
Of who should fight for Deloraine, Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes! |
'Twixt Harden and twixt Thirlestaine : She started from her seat ;
They 'gan to reckon kin and rent, While with surprise and fear she strove, And frowning brow on brow was bent ; And both could scarcely master love
* A martial piece of music, adapted to the Lord Henry's at her feet.
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, Appear'd, and craved the combat due. The Dame her charm successful knew, And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew.
XVI. When for the lists they sought the plain, The stately Ladye's silken rein
Did noble Howard hold;
With satin slash'd and lined;
His hose with silver twined; His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt, Hung in a broad and studded belt; Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers
Within the lists, in knightly pride,
On peril of his life ; And not a breath the silence broke, Till thus the alternate Herald spoke :
Calld aobie Howard, 'Belted Will.
XVII. · Benind Lord Howard and the Dame, Fair Margaret on her palfrey came,
Whose foot-cloth swept the ground : White was her wimple, and her veil, And her loose locks a chaplet pale
Of whitest roses bound; The lordly, Angus, by her side, In courtesy to cheer her tried ; Without his aid, her hand in vain Had strove to guide her broider'd rein. He deem'd, she shudder'd at the sight Of warriors met for mortal fight; Bat cause of terror, all unguess'd, Was fluttering in her gentle breast, When, in their chairs of crimson placed, The Dame and she the barriers graced.
XVIII. Prize of the field, the young Buccleuch, An English knight led forth to view ; Scarce rued the boy his present plight, So much he long'd to see the fight.
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, He lies most foully in his throat."
LORD DACRE. “Forward, brave champions, to the fight! Sound trumpets !"
_“God defend the right!"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.
I!I would it suit your gentle ear,
dashing, And scorn'd, amid the reeling strife, To yield a step for death or life.
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!
As through the lists he ran :
He raised the dying man ; Loose waved his silver beard and hair, As o'er him he kneel'd down in prayer; And still the crucifix on high He holds before his darkening eye; And still he bends an anxious ear, His faltering penitence to hear;
Still props him from the bloody sod, Still, even when soul and body part, Pours ghostly comfort on his heart,
And bids him trust in God! Unheard he prays ;--the death-pang's
o'er ! Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.
The silent victor stands;
Of gratulating hands. When lo! strange cries of wild surprise, Mingled with seeming terror, rise
Among the Scottish bands;
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 Teviot-side! For this fair prize I've fought and
won," And to the Ladye led her son.
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 lists 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,
Thought on the Spirit's prophecy, Then broke her silence stern and still, “Not you, but Fate, has vanquish'd
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
she: "As I am true to thee and thine, Do thou be true to me and mine!
This clasp of love our bond shall be ; For this is your betrothing day, And all these noble lords shall stay,
To grace it with their company."
Hence, to the field, unarm’d, he ran,
Not much this new ally he loved,
He greeted him right heartilie: He would not waken old debate, For he was void of rancorous hate,
Though rude, and scant of courtesy; In raids he spilt but seldom blood, Unless when men-at arms withstood, Or, as was meet, for deadly feud. He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow, Ta'en in fair fight from gallant foe: And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now, When on dead Musgrave he look'd
down; Grief darkened on his rugged brow,
Though half disguised with a frown; And thus, while sorrow bent his head, His foeman's epitaph he made :
All as they left the listed plain,
lord; Nor how she told the former woes, And how her bosom fell and rose, While he and Musgrave bandied blows.Needs not these lovers' joys to tell : One day, fair maids, you'll know them well.
XXVIII. William of Deloraine, some chance Had waken'd from his deathlike trance;
And taught that, in the listed plain, Another, in his arms and shield, Against fierce Musgrave axe did wield,
Under the name of Deloraine.
xxix, “Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou
here! I ween, my deadly enemy; For, if I slew thy brother dear,
Thou slew'st 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 Snaffle, spur, and spear, Thou wert the best to follow gear 'Twas pleasure, as we look'd behind, To see how thou the chase could'st wind, Cheer the dark blood-hound on his
way, And with the bugle rouse the fray ! I'd give the lands of Deloraine, Dark Musgrave were alive again."* The spectral apparition of a living person.