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Beneath, when that was blown aside, A rusty shirt of mail I spied, By Archibald won in bloody work, Against the Saracen and Turk : Last night it hung not in the hall; I thought some marvel would befall. And nest I saw them saddled lead Old Cheviot forth, the Earl's best steed; A matchless horse, though something old, Prompt in his paces, cool and bold. I heard the Sheriff Sholto say, The Earl did much the Master' pray To use him on the battle-day ; But he preferr'd”— “Nay, Henry, cease ! - Thou sworn horse-courser, hold thy peace.Eustace, thou bear'st a brain—I pray, What did Blount see at break of day?"
XVII. “In brief, my lord, we both descried
(For then I stood by Henry's side) The Palmer mount and outwards ride,
Upon the Earl's own favourite steed : All sheathed he was in armour bright, And much resembled that same knight, Subdued by you in Cotswold fight :
Lord Angus wish'd him speed."-The instant that Fitz-Eustace spoke, A sudden light on Marmion broke ;
His eldest son, the Master of Angus.
“ Ah! dastard fool, to reason lost !"
O dotage blind and gross !
My path no more to cross.-
'Twas therefore gloom'd his rugged brow. -
Small risk of that, I trow.
Stung with these thoughts, he urged to speed
• This was a (istertian house of religion, now almost entirely demolished, It is situated near Coldstream, almost opposite to Cornhill, and consequently very ncar to Flodden Field.
(There now is left but one frail arch,
Yet mourn thou not its cells;
A reverend pilgrim dwells,
Encamp'd on Flodden edge :
Along the dusky ridge.
Amid the shifting lines:
The eastern sunbeam shines.
Even so it was. From Flodden ridge
The Scots beheld the English host
And heedful watch'd them as they cross'd
1 On the evening previous to the memorable battle of Flodden, Surrey's head-quarters were at Barmoor Wood, and King James held an inaccessible position on the ridge of Flodden-hill, one of the last and lowest eminences detached from the ridge of Cheviot. The Till, a deep and slow river, windeid
High sight it is, and haughty, while
Beneath the castle's airy wall.
Troop after troop are disappearing;
Troop after troop their banners rearing,
Where flows the sullen Till,
In slow succession still,
between the armies. On the morning of the 9th September 1513, Surrey marched in a north-westerly direction, and crossed the Till, with his van and artillery, at Twisel-bridge, nigh where that river joins the Tweed, his rearguard column passing about a mile higher, by a ford. This movement had the double effect of placing his army between King James and his supplies from Scotland, and of striking the Scottisb monarch with surprise, as he seems to have relied on the depth of the river in his front. But as the passage, both over the bridge and through the ford, was difficult and slow, it seems possible that the English might have been attacked to great advantage while struggling with these natural obstacles. I know not if we are to impute James's forbearance to want of military skill, or to the romantic declaration which Pitscottie puts in his mouth, “that he was determined to have his enemies before him on a plain field," and therefore would suffer no interruption to be given, even by artillery, to their passing the river.
The ancient bridge of Twisel, by which the English crossed the Till, is still standing beneath Twisel Castle, a splendid pile of Gothic architecture, as now rebuilt by Sir Francis Blake, Bart., whose extensive plantations have so much improved the country around. The glen is romantic and delightful, with steep banks on each side, covered with copse, particularly with hawthorn. Beneath a tall rock, near the bridge, is a plentiful fountain, called St. Helen's Well.