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It was but last Saint Barnabright
They sieged him a whole summer night,
But fled at morning; well they knew,
In vain he never twanged the yew.
Right sharp has been the evening shower,
That drove him from his Liddle tower;
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 mag,
That through a bog, from hag to hag,t
Could bound like any Bilhope stag.
It bore his wife and children twain;
A half-clothed serf; was all their train:
His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark-browed,
Of silver broach and bracelet proud,
Laughed to her friends among the crowd.
He was of stature passing tall,
But sparely formed, and lean withal:
A battered morion on his brow;
A leathern 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.

{* An inroad commanded by the warden in person. † The broken * a bog # Bondsman, 2

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 many a spear,
And all the German hagbut-men,”
Who long have lain at Askerten :
They crossed the Liddle at curfew hour,
And burned my little lonely tower;
The fiend receive their souls therefor!
It had not been burned this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight;
But I was chased the livelong night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Graeme,
Fast upon my traces came,
Until I turned at Priesthaughscrogg,
And shot their horses in the bog,
Slew Fergus with my lance outright—
I had him long at high despite:
He drove my cows last Fastern's night.”

VII.

TNow weary scouts from Liddesdale,
Fast hurrying in, confirmed the tale;
As far as they could judge by ken,
Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand
Three thousand armed Englishmen.
Meanwhile, full many a warlike band,

* Musketeers.

From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade,
Came in, their chief's defence to aid.
There was saddling and mounting in haste,
There was pricking o'er moor and lee;
He that was last at the trysting place
Was but lightly held of his gay ladye.

VIII.

From fair Saint Mary's silver wave,
From dreary Gamescleuch's dusky height,
His ready lances Thirlestame brave
Arrayed beneath a banner bright.
The tressured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreath his shield, since royal James,
Encamped by Fala'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 revealed—
“Ready, aye ready,” for the field.

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An aged knight, to danger steeled,
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 i

High over Borthwiek's mountain flood,
His wood-embosomed mansion stood;
In the dark glen, so deep below,
The herds of plundered England low;
His bold retainers' 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 spurned at rest,
And still his brows the helmet pressed,
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 Todshawhill;
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
rade;
High of heart, and haughty of word,
Little they recked of a tame liege lord.

The Earl to fair Eskdale came,
Homage and Seignory to claim:
Of Gilbert the Galhard, a heriot" he sought,
Saying, “Give thy best steed as a vassal
ought.”
—“Dear to me is my bonny white steed,
Oft has he helped 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 Beattisons' ire,
But that the Earl the flight had ta'en,
The vassals there their lord had slain.
Sore he plied both whip and spur,
As he urged his steed through Eskdale Muir;
And it fell down a weary weight,
Just on the threshold of Branksome gate.

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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 see thee, to have and hold:
Beshrew thy heart, of the Beattisons' clan
If thou leavest on Eske a landed man;
But spare Woodkerrick's land alone,
For he lent me his horse to escape upon."—

* The feudal superior, in certain cases was entitled to thebest horse of the vassal, inname of Heriot, or HereZeld.

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