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THE MAID OF NEIDPATH

“But yet his saddened brow confessed

A passing shade of doubt and awe; Some fiend was whispering in his breast,

Beware of injured Bothwellhaugh!”

" The death-shot parts! the charger

springs; Wild rises tumult's startling roar ! Aud Murray's plumy helmet rings

Rings on the ground to rise no more.

" What joy the raptured youth can feel,

To hear her love the loved one tellOr he who broaches on his steel

The wolf by whom his infant fell.

“ But dearer to my injured eye

To see in dust proud Murray roll ; And mine was ten times trebled joy

To hear him groan his felon soul.

O, LOVERS' eyes are sharp to see,

and lovers' ears in hearing ; And love in life's extremity

Can lend an hour of cheering. Disease had been in Mary's bower,

And slow decay from mourning, Though now she sits on Neidpath's

tower To watch her love's returning. All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,

Her formi decayed by pining, Till through her wasted hand at night

You saw the taper shining ; By fits, a sultry hectic hue

Across her cheek was flying; By fits, so ashy pale she grew,

Her maidens thought her dying. Yet keenest powers to see and bear

Seemed in her frame residing; Before the watch-dog pricked his ear,

She heard her lover's riding ; Ere scarce a distant form was kenned,

She knew, and waved to greet him ; And o'er the battlement did bend,

As on the wing to meet him. He came--he passed-an leedless gaze,

As o'er some stranger glancing; Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase,

Lost in his courser's prancing-The castle arch, whose hollow tone

Returns each whisper spoken, Could scarcely catch the feeble noan Which told her heart was broken.

1806.

“My Margaret's spectre glided near.

With pride her bleeding victim saw, And shrieked in his death-dleafened ear,

Remember injured Bothwellhaugh!' “ Then speed thee, noble Chatlerault!

Spread to the wind thy bannered tree ! Each warrior bend his Clydesdale bow

Murray is fallen and Scotland free!” Vaults every warrior to his steed;

Loud bugles join their wild acclaim* Murray is fallen and Scotland freed ! Couch, Arran, couch thy spear of

flame!”

HUNTING SONG

But see! the minstrel vision fails-
The glimmering spears are seen no

more;
The shouts of war die on the gales,

Or sink in Evan's lonely roar. For the loud bugle pealing high,

The blackbird whistles down the vale, And sunk in ivied ruins lie

The bannered towers of Evandale.

For chiefs intent on bloody deed,

And Vengeance shouting o'er the slain, Lo! high-born Beanty rules the steed,

Or graceful guides the silken rein.

WAKEN, lords and ladies gay,
On the mountain dawns the day,
All the jolly chase is here,
With hawk and horse and hunting

spear !
Hounds are in their couples yelling,
Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling
Merrily, merrily, mingle they,
" Waken, lords and ladies gay."
Waken, lords ard ladies gay,
The mist has left the mountain gray,
Springlets in the dawn are steaming,
Diamonds on the brake are gleaming :
And foresters have busy been
To track the buck in thicket green ;
Now we come to chant our lay,
“ Waken, lords and ladies gay."

And long may Peace and Pleasure own

The maids who list the minstrel's tale; Nor e'er a ruder guest be known On the fair banks of Evandale !

1801. 1803.

Waken, lords and ladies gay,
To the green-wood haste away;
We can show you where he lies,
Fleet of foot and tall of size;
We can show the marks he made,
When 'gainst the oak his antlers frayed ;
You shall see him brought to bay,
“ Waken, lords and ladies gay.”

Louder, louder chant the lay,
Waken, lords and ladies gay!
Tell them youth and mirth and glee
Run a course as well as we;
Time, stern huntsman, who can balk,
Stanch as hound and fleet as hawk?
Think of this and rise with day,
Gentle lords and ladies gay.

1808

MARMION

A TALE OF FLODDEN FIELD

See Lockhart's Life of Scott, Vol. III, Chap. 16.

CANTO FIRST

THE CASTLE

DAY set on Norham's castled steep,
And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,

And Cheviot's mountains lone ; The battled towers, the donjon keep, · The loophole grates where captives

weep, The flanking walls that round it sweep,

In yellow lustre shone.
The warriors on the turrets high,
Moving athwart the evening sky,

Seemed forms of giant height;
Their armor, as it caught the rays,
Flashed back again the western blaze,

In lines of dazzling light. Saint George's banner, broad and gay, Now faded, as the facing ray

Less þright, and less, was fung; The evening gale had scarce the power To wave it on the donjon tower,

So heavily it hung. The scouts had parted on their search,

The castle gates were barred ;
Above the gloomy portal arch,
Timing his footsteps to a march,

The warder kept his guard,
Low humming, as he paced along,
Some ancient Border gathering song.
A distant trampling sound he hears ;
He looks abroad, and soon appears,
O'er Horncliff-hill, a plump of spears

Beneath a pepnon gay ;
A borseman, darting from the crowd
Like lightning from a summer cloud,
Spurs on his mettled courser proud,
Before the dark array.

Beneath the sable palisade
That closed the castle barricade,
His bugle-horn he blew ;
The warder hasted from the wall,
And warned the captain in the hall,

For well the blast he knew;
And joyfully that knight did call
To sewer, squire, and seneschal.
* Now broach ye a pipe of Malvoisie,

Bring pasties of the doe,
And quickly make the entrance free,
And bid my heralds ready be,
And every minstrel sound his glee,

And all our trumpets blow;
And, from the platform, spare ye not
To fire a noble salvo-shot;

Lord Marmion waits below!"
Then to the castle's lower ward

Sped forty yeomen tall, The iron-studded gates unbarred, Raised the portcullis' ponderous guard The lofty palisade unsparred,

And let the drawbridge fall. Along the bridge Lord Marmion rode, Proudly his red-roan charger trode, His helm hung at the saddle bow ; Well by his visage you might know He was a stalworth knight and keen, And had in many a battle been ; The scar on his brown cheek revealed A token true of Bosworth field ; His eyebrow dark and eye of fire Showed spirit proud and prompt to ire, Yet lines of thought upon his cheek Did deep design and counsel speak. His forehead, by his casque worn bare, His thick moustache and curly hair, Coal-black, and grizzled here and there,

But more through toil than age,

His square-turned joints and strength of

limb, Showed him no carpet knight so trim, But in close fight a champion grim,

In camps a leader sage. Well was he armed from head to heel, In mail and plate of Milan steel ; But his strong helm, of mighty cost, Was all with burnished gold embossed. Amid the plumage of the crest A falcon hovered on her nest, With wings outspread and forward

breast; E'en such a falcon, on his shield, Soared sable in an azure field : The golden iegend bore aright, " Who checks at me, to death is dight." Blue was the charger's broidered rein ; Blue ribbons decked his arching mane; The knightly housing's ample fold Was velvet blue and trapped with gold. Behind him rode two gallant squires, Of noble name and knightly sires : They burned the gilded spurs to claim, For well could each a war-horse tame, Could draw the bow, the sword could

sway, And lightly bear the ring away ; Nor less with courteous precepts stored, Could dance in hall, and carve at board, And frame love-ditties passing rare, And sing them to a lady fair. Four men-at-arms came at their backs, With halbert, bill, and battle-axe ; They bore Lord Marmion's lance so

strong And led his sumpter-mules along, And ambling palfrey, when at need Him listed ease his battle-steed. The last and trustiest of the four On high his forky pennon bore ; Like swallow's tail in shape and hue, Fluttered the streamer glossy blue, Where, blazoned sable, as before, The towering falcon seemed to soar. Last, twenty yeomen, two and two In hosen black and jerkins blue, With falcons broidered on each breast, Attended on their lord's behest. Each, chosen for an archer good, Knew hunting-craft by lake or wood ; Each one a six-foot bow could bend, And far a cloth-yard shaft could send; Each held a boar-spear tough and strong, And at their belts their quivers rung. Their dusty palfreys and array Showed they had marched a weary way.

'Tis meet that I should tell you now, How fairly armed, and ordered how,

The soldiers of the guard,
With musket, pike, and morion,
To welcome noble Marmion,

Stood in the castle-yard ;
Minstrels and trumpeters were there,
The gunner held his linstock yare,

For welcome-shot prepared:
Entered the train, and such a clang
As then through all his turrets rang

Old Norliam never heard. The guards their morrice-pikes advanced,

The trumpets flourished brave, The cannon from the ramparts glanced,

And thundering welcome gave. A blithe salute, in martial sort,

The minstrels well might sound, For, as Lord Marmion crossed the court,

He scattered angels round. “Welcome to Norham, Marmion!

Stout heart and open hand! Well dost thou brook thy gallant roar,

Thou flower of English land!” Two pursuivants, whom tabards deck, With silver scutcheon round their neck,

Stood on the steps of stone
By which you reach the donjon gate,
And there, with herald pomp and state,

They hailed Lord Marmion :
They hailed him Lord of Fontenaye,
Of Lutterward, and Scrivelbaye,

of Tamworth tower and town ; And he, their courtesy to requite, Gave them a chain of twelve marks

weight, All as he lighted down. “Now, largesse, largesse, Lord Marmion,

Knight of the crest of gold !
A blazoned shield, in battle won,

Ne'er guarded heart so bold."
They marshalled him to the castle-hall,

Where the guests stood all aside, And loudly flourished the trumpet-call,

And the heralds loudly cried, “Room, lordlings, room for Lord Mar

mion,
With the crest and helm of gold !
Full well we know the trophies won

In the lists at Cottiswold :
There, vainly Ralph de Wilton strove

'Gainst Marmion's force to stand ; To him he lost his lady-love,

And to the king his land. Ourselves beheld the listed field,

A sight both sad and fair ;

We saw Lord Marmion pierce his shield, And crowned it high with wine.
And saw his saddle bare ;

“Now pledge me here, Lord Marmion ; We saw the victor win the crest

But first I pray thee fair, He wears with worthy pride,

Where hast thou left that page of thine And on the gibbet tree, reversed,

That used to serve thy cup of wine, His foeman's scutcheon tied.

Whose beauty was so rare ? Place, nobles, for the Falcon-Knight! When last in Raby-towers we met, Room, room, ye gentles gay.

The boy I closely eyed, For linn who conquered in the right, And often marked his cheeks were wet Marmion of Fontenaye !"

With tears he fain would hide.

His was no rugged horse-boy's hand, Then stepped, to meet that noble lord, To burnish shield or sharpen brand, Sir Hugh the Heron bold,

Or saddle battle-steed, Baron of Twisell and of Ford,

But meeter seemed for lady fair, And Captain of the Hold ;

To fan her cheek, or curl lier hair, He led Lord Marmion to the deas,

Or through embroidery, rich and rare, Raised o'er the pavement high,

The slender silk to lead :
And placed him in the upper place- His skin was fair, liis ringlets gold,
They feasted full and high :

His bosom-when he sighed,
The wbiles a Northern harper rude The russet doublet's rugged fold
Chanted a rhyme of deadly feud,

Could scarce repel its pride! “How the fierce Tbirwalls, and Rid- Say, hast thou given that lovely youth leys all,

To serve in lady's bower ? Stout Willimondswick,

Or was the gentle page, in sooth, And Ilardriding Dick,

A gentle paramour ?" And Hughie of Hawdon, and Will o' the Wall,

Lord Marmion ill could brook such jest ; Have set on Sir Albany Featherston- He rolled his kindling eye, haugh,

With pain his rising wrath suppressed, And taken his life at the Dead-man's. Yet made a calm reply ; shaw."

“That boy thou thought so goodly fair, Scantly Lord Marmion's ear could. He might not brook the Northern air. brook

More of his fate if thou wouldst learn, The harper's barbarous lay,

I left him sick in Lindisfarne.
Yet much he praised the pains he took, Enough of him.-But, Heron, say,

And well those pains did pay : Why does thy lovely lady gay
For lady's suit and minstrel's strain Disdain to grace the hall to-day ?
By knight should ne'er be heard in vain. Or has that dame, so fair and sage,

Gone on some pious pilgrimage ?
“ Now good Lord Marmion," Heron says, He spoke in covert scorn, for fame
* Of your fair courtesy,

Whispered light tales of Heron's dame. I pray you bide some little space In this poor tower with me.

Unmarked, at least unrecked, the taunt Here may you keep your arms from rust, Careless the knight replied :

May breathe your war-horse well ; “No bird whose feathers gaily flaunt Seldom hath passed a week but joust Delights in cage to bide ; Or feat of arins befell.

Norham is grim and grated close, The Scots can rein a mettled steed, Hemmed in by battlement and fosse, Bud love to couch a spear ;

And many a darksome tower, Saint George ! a stirring life they lead And better loves my lady bright

That have such neighbors near ! To sit in liberty and light Then stay with us a little space,

In fair Queen Margaret's bower. Our Northern wars to learn ;

We hold our greyhound in our hand, I pray you for your lady's grace !"

Our falcon on our glove,
Lord Marmion's brow grew stern. But where shall we find leash or band

For dame that loves to rove?
The Captain marked his altered look, Let the wild falcon soar her swing,
And gave the squire the sign ;

She'll stoop when she has tried lo! A mighty wassail-bowl he took,

wing."

* Nay, if with Royal James's bride
The lovely Lady Heron bide,
Beliold me here a messenger,
Your tender greetings prompt to bear ;
For, to the Scottish court addressed,
I journey at our king's beliest,
And pray you, of your grace, provide
For me and mine a trusty guide.
I have not ridden in Scotland since
James backed 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."
· For such-like need, my lord, I trow,
Norham can find you guides enow;
For here be some have pricked as far
On Scottish grounds as to Dunbar,
Have drunk the monks of Saint

Bethan'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, 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 parıloner, or travelling priest, Or strolling pilgrim, at the least." The Captain mused a little space, And passed 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 Durbanı aisle,

And prayed for our success the while.
Our Norhain vicar, woe betide,
Is all too well in case to ride ;
The priest of Shoreswood--he could rein
The wildest war-horse in your train,
Bu then no spearman in the hall
Will sooner swear, or stab, or brawl.
Friar John of Tillmouth were the man ;
A blithesome brother at the can,
A welcome guest in hall and bower,
He knows each castle, town, and tower,
In which the wine and ale is good,
'Twixt Newcastle and Holy-Rood.
Bat that good man, as ill befalls,
Hath seldom left our castle walls,
Since, on the vigil of Saint Bede,
In evil hour he crossed the Tweed,
To teach Daine Alison her creed.
Old Bughtrig found him with his wife,
And John, an enemy to strife,
Sans frock and hood, fled for his life.
The jealous churl hath deeply sworn
That, if again he venture o'er
He shall shrieve penitent no more.
Little he loves such risks, I know,
Yet in your guard perchance will go."
Young Selby, at the fair hall-board.
Carved to his uncle and that lord,
And reverently took up the word :
" Kind uncle, woe were we each one,
If harm should hap to brother John.
He is a man of mirthful speech,
Can many a game and gambol teach;
Full well at tables can he play,
And sweep at bowls the stake away.
None can a lustier carol bawl,
The needfullest among us all,
When time hangs heavy in the hall,
And snow comes thick at Christmas

tide,
And we can neither hunt nor ride
A foray on the Scottish side.
The vowed revenge of Bughtrig rude
May end in worse than loss of hood,
Let friar John in safety still
In chimney corner snore his fill,
Roast bissing crabs, or flagons swill;
Last night, to Norham there came one
Will better guide Lord Marmion.”-

Nephew," quoth Heron, “ by my fay, Well hast thou spoke ; say forth thy

say.”“ Here is a holy Palmer come, From Salem first, and last from Rome ; One that hath kissed the blessed tomb, And visited each holy shrine In Araby and Palestine;

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