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Buff-coats, all frounced and broidered o'er,
And morsing-horns and scarfs they wore;
Each better knee was bared, to aid
The warriors in the escalade;
All, as they marched, in rugged tongue
Songs of Teutonic feuds they sung. 19. But louder still the clamour grew,
And louder still the minstrels blew,
When, from beneath the greenwood tree,
Rode forth Lord Howard's chivalry;
His men-at-arms, with glaive and spear,
Brought up the battle's glittering rear.
There many a youthful knight, full keen
To gain his spurs, in arms was seen,
With favour in his crest, or glove,
Memorial of his ladye-love.
So rode they forth in fair array,
Till full their lengthened lines display;
Then called a halt, and made a stand,
And cried, “St George, for merry England !"20. Now every English eye, intent,
On Branksome's armed towers was bent.
So near they were, that they might linow
The straining harsh of each cross-bow';
On battlement and bartizan
Gleamed axe, and spear, and partizan;
Falcon, and culver, on each tower,
Stood prompt their deadly hail to shower;
And flashing armour frequent broke
From eddying whirls of salle smoke,
Where, upon tower and turret head,
The seething pitch and molten lead
Reeked, like a witch's caldron red.
While yet they gaze, the bridges fall,
The wicket opes, and from the wall
Rides forth the hoary Seneschal. 21. Armed he rode, all save the head,
His white beard o'er his breast-plate spread;
Unbroke by age, erect his seat,
He ruled his eager courser's gait;
Forced him, with chastened Fre, to prance,
And, high curvetting, slow advance:
In sign of truce, his better hand
Displayed a peelèd willow wand;
His squire, attending in the rear,
Bore high a gauntlet on a spear.
When they espied him riding out,
Lord Howard and Lord Dacre stout
Sped to the front of their array,
To hear what this old knight should say.
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 Norham never heard.
10. 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 roan,
Thon flower of English land !”-
11. 'Two pursuivants, whom tabards deck,
With silver scutcheon round their neck,
Stood on the steps of stone,
By whrch 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.”-
12. They marshalled him to the Castle-lall,
Where the guests stood all aside,
And loudly Nourished the trumpet-call,
And the heralds loudly cried,
-“Room, lordings, room for Lori Marmion,
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 ladye-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 saw his saddle bare ;
We saw the victor win the crest
He wears with worthy pride ;
And on the gibbet-tree, reversed,
His foeman's scutcheon tied.
Place, nobles, for the Falcon-Knight!
Room, room, ye gentles gay,
For him who conquered in the right,
Marmion of Fontenaye!"
13. Then stepped to meet that noble lord,
Sir Hugh the Heron bold,
Baron of Twisell, and of Ford,
And Captain of the Hold.
He led Lord Marmion to the deas,
Raised o'er the pavement high,
And placed him in the upper place-
They feasted full and high :
The whiles a Northern harper rude
Chanted a rhyme of deadly feud,
“ How the fierce Thirwalls, and Ridley's all,
And hard-riding Dick,
And Hughie of Ilawodon, and Will o' the Ilull,
Have set on Sir Albany Featherstonhaugh,
And taken his life at the Deadman's-shaw."-
Scantly Lord Marmion's ear could brook
The harper's barbarous lay ; .
Yet much he praised the pains he took,
And well those pains did pay :
For lady's suit, and minstrel's strain,
By knight should ne'er be heard in vain.
14. “Now, good Lord Marmion,” Heron says,
"Of your fair courtesy,
I pray you bide some little space,
In this poor tower with me.
Here may you keep your arms from rust,
May breathe your war-horse well ; .
Seldom hath passed a week, but giust
Or feat of arms befell :
The Scots can rein a mettled steed,
And love to couch a spear ;-
St George! a stirring life they lead,
That have such neighbours near :
Then stay with us a little space,
Our northern wars to learn ;
I pray you for your lady's grace.”—
Lord Marmion's brow grew stern.
That in the toils the lion's caught..
Already on dark Ruberslaw
The Douglas holds his weapon-schaw;
The lances, waving in his train,
Clothe the dun heath like autumn grain;
And on the Liddel's northern strand,
To bar retreat to Cumberland,
Lord Maxwell ranks his merry-men good
Beneath the eagle and the rood;
And Jedwood, Eske, and Teviotdale,
Have to proud Angus come;
And all the Merse and Lauderdale
Have risen with haughty Home.
An exile from Northumberland,
In Liddesdale I've wandered long;
But still my heart was with merry England,
And cannot brook my country's wrong;
And liard I've spurred all night, to show
The mustering of this coming foe.”29. “And let them come !" fierce Dacre cried ;
"For soon yon crest, my father's pride,
That swept the shores of Judah's sea,
And waved in gales of Galilee,
From Branksome's highest towers displayed,
Shall mock the rescue's lingering aid -
Level each harquebuss on row;
Draw, merry archers, draw the bow;
Up, bill-men, to the walls, and cry,
Dacre for England, win or die!"30. “Yet hear,” quoth Howard, “calmly hear,
Nor deem my words the words of fear:
For who, in field or foray slack,
Saw the blanche lion e'er fall back?
But thus to risk our Border flower
In strife against a kingdom's power,
Ten thousand Scots 'gainst thousands three,
Certes, were desperate policy.
Nay, take the terms the Ladye made,
Ere conscious of the advancing aid :
Let Musgrave meet fierce Deloraine
In single fight; and if he gain,
He gains for us; but if he's crossed,
'Tis but a single warrior lost: .
The rest, retreating as they came,
Avoid defeat, and death, and shame.”--31. Ill could the haughty Dacre brook
His brother-warden's sage rebuke;
And yet his forward step he stayed,
And slow and sullenly obeyed."
But ne'er again the Border-side
Did these two lords in friendship ride;
And this slight discontent, men say,
Cost blood upon another day. 32. The pursuivant-at-arms again
Before the castle took his stand;
His trumpet called, with parleying strain,
The leaders of the Scottish band;
And he defied, in Musgrave's right,
Stout Deloraine to single fight;
A gauntlet at their feet he laid,
And thus the terms of fight he said :-
“If in the lists good Musgrave's sword
Vanquish the knight of Deloraine,
Your youthful chieftain, Branksome's lored,
Shall hostage for his clan remain :
If Deloraine foil good Musgrave,
The boy his liberty shall have.
Howe'er it falls, the English land,
Unharming Scots, by Scots unharmed,
In peaceful march like men unarmed,
Shall straight retreat to Cumberland."--33. Unconscious of the near relief,
The proffer pleased each Scottish chief,
Though much the Ladye sage gainsayed:
For though their hearts were brave and true,
From Jedwood's recent sack they knew
How tardy was the regent's aid;
And you may guess the noble Dame
Durst not the secret prescience own,
Sprung from the art she might not name,
By which the coming help was known.
Closed was the compact, and agreed
That lists should be enclosed with speed,
Beneath the castle on a lawn:
They fixed the morrow for the strife;
On foot, with Scottish axe and knife,
At the fourth hour from peep of dawn;
When Deloraine, from sickness freed,
Or else a champion in his stead,
Should for himself and chieftain stand
Against stout Musgrave, hand to hand. 34. I know right well, that, in their lay, Full many minstrels sing and say,
Such combat should be made on horse;
On foaming steed, in full career,
With brand to aid, when as the spear
Should shiver in the course:
But he, the jovial Harper, taught
Me, yet a youth, how it was fought,
In guise which now I say;
He knew each ordinance and clause
Of black Lord Archibald's lattle law.,