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A glad man them was Branksome bold,
Down he flung him the purse of gold;
To Eskdale soon he spurred amain,
And with him five hundred riders has ta'en.
He left his merrymen in the midst of the hill,
And bade them hold them close and still;
And alone he wended to the plain,
To meet with the Galliard and all his train.
To Gilbert the Galliard, thus he said:—
“Know thou me for thy iiege lord and head:
Deal not with me as with Morton tame,
For Scotts play best at the roughest game.
Give me in peace my heriot due,
Thy bonny white steed, or thou shalt rue.
If my hori, I three times wind,
Eskdale shall long have the sound in mind.”
Loudly the Beattison laughed in scorn;–
“Little care we for thy winded horn.
Ne'er shall it be the Galliard's lot,
To yield his steed to a haughty Scott.
Wend thou to Branksome back on foot,
With rusty spur and miry boot.”—
He blew his bugle so loud and hoarse,
That the dun deer started at far Craikcross;
He blew again so loud and clear,
Through the gray mountain mist there did
And the third blast rang with such a din,
That the echoes answered from Pentoun-linn;
And all his riders came lightly in.
Then had you seen a gallant shock, When saddles wereemptied,and lances broke! For each scornful word the Galliard had said, A Beattison on the field was laid. His own good sword the chieftain drew, And he bore the Galliard thro' and through ; Where the Beattisons' blood mixed with the rill, The Galliard's Haugh, men call it still. The Scotts have scattered the Beattison clan, In Eskedale they left but one landed man. The valley of Eske, from the mouth to the - source, Was lost and won for that bonny whitehorse,
Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came,
And warriors more than I may name;
From Yarrow-cleuch to Hindhaugh-swair,
From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen,
Trooped man and horse, and bow and spear;
Their gathering word was Bellenden.
And better hearts o'er Border sod
To siege or rescue never rode.
The Lady marked the aids come in,
And high her heart of pride arose:
She bade her youthful son attend,
That he might know his father's friend,
And learn to face his foes.
“The boy is ripe to look on war;
I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff,
And his true arrow struck afar
The raven's nest upon the cliff;
The red cross, on a southern breast,
Is broader than the raven's nest:
Thou, Whitslade, shall teach him his weapon
And o'er him hold his father's shield.”
Well may you think, the wily page
Cared not to face the Ladye sage.
He counterfeited childish fear,
And shrieked and shed full many a tear,
And moaned and plained in manner wild.
The attendants to the Ladye told,
Some fairy, sure, had changed the child,
That wont to be so free and bold.
Then wrathful was the noble dame;
She blushed blood-red for very shame :-
“Hence; ere the clan his faintness view;
Hence with the weakling to Buccleugh!–
Wat Timlinn thou shalt be his guide
To Rangleburn's lonely side—
Sure some fell fiend has cursed our line,
That coward should e'er be son of mine!”
A heavy task Wat Timlinn had,
To guide the counterfeited lad.
Soon as the palfrey felt the weight
Of that ill-omen'd elfish freight,
He bolted, sprung, and reared amain,
Nor heeded bit, nor, curb, nor rein.
It cost Wat Timlinn mickle toil
To drive him but a Scottish mile;
But, as a shallow brook they crossed,
The elf, amid the running stream,
His figure changed, like form in dream, .
And fled, and shouted, “Lost! lost! lost!”
Full fast the urchin ran and laughed,
But faster still a cloth-yard shaft
Whistled from startled Timlinn's yew,
And pierced his shoulder thro' and thro'.
Although the imp might not be slain,
And though the wound soon healed again,
Yet, as he ram, he yelled for pain;
And Wat of Timlinn, much aghast,
Rode back to Branksome fiery fast.
Soon on the hill's steep verge he stood,
That looks o'er Branksome's towers and
And martial murmurs, from below,
Proclaimed the approaching southern foe.
Through the dark wood, in mingled tone,
Were border-pipes and bugles blown;
The courser's neighing he could ken,
And measured tread of marching men;
While broke at times the solemn hum,
The Almayn's sullen kettle-drum;
And banners tall, of crimson sheen,
Above the copse appear;
And, glistening through the hawthorns green,
Shine helm, and shield, and spear.
Light forayers first, to view the ground,
Spurred their fleet coursers loosely round;
Behind, in close array, and fast,
The Kendal archers, all in green,
Obedient to the bugle blast,
Advancing from the wood are seen.
To back and guard the archer band,
Lord Dacre's bill-men were at hand :
A hardy race, on Irthing bred,
With kirties white, and crosses red,
Arrayed beneath the banner tall,
That streamed o'er Acre's conquered wall:
And minstrels, as they marched in order,
Played, “Noble lord Dacre, he dwells on
Behind the English bill and bow,
The mercenaries, firm and slow,
Moved on to fight, in dark array,
By Conrad led of Wolfenstein,
Who brought the band from distant Rhine,
And sold their blood for foreign pay.
The camp their home, their law the sword,
They knew no country, owned no lord:
They were not armed like England's sons,
But bore the levin-darting guns;
Buff-coats, all frounced and 'broidered o'er,
And morsing-horns" and scarfs they wore;