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And in the groan of death;
Of that sly urchin Page; And whigers,* now in friendship bare,
This to his lord he did impart, The social meal to part and share,
And made hinu seem, by glamour art,
A knight from hermitage.
The court, unchallenged, thus he crossed, In the old Border-day;
For all the vassalage. But yet on Branksome's towers and town,
But, O! what magic's quaint disguise In peaceful merriment, sunk down
Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes!
She started from her seat-
While with surprise and fear she strove,
And both could scarcely master love-
Lord Henry's at her feet.
Oft have I mused, what purpose bad
That foul malicious urchin had Nor less the gilded rafters rang
To bring this meeting round; With merry harp and beakers' clang;
For happy love's a heavenly sight, And frequent, on the darkening plain,
And by a vile malignant sprite Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran,
In such no joy is found: As bands, their stragglers to regain,
And oft I've deemed, perchance he thought, Gave the shrill watchword of their clan;
Their erring passion might have wrought And revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim
Sorrow, and sin, and shameDouglas or Dacre's conquering name.
And death to Cranstoun's gallant Knight,
And to the gentle Ladye bright
Disgrace, and loss of fame.
But earthly spirit could not tell At length the various clamours died:
The heart of them that loved so well. And you might hear from Branksome hill
True love's the gift which God has given No sound but Teviot's rushing tide,
To man alone beneath the heaven. Save when the changing sentinel
It is not Fantasy's hot fire,
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
With dead desire it doth not die.
It is the secret sympathy, For many a busy hand toiled there,
The silver link, the silken tie, Srong pales to shape and beams to square,
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, The lists' dread barriers to prepare,
In body and in soul can bind. Against the morrow's dawn.
Now leave we Margaret and her knight,
To tell you of the approaching fight.
Their warning blast the bugles blew, Nor marked she, as she left her seat,
The pipe's shrill port* aroused each clan; Full many a stifted sigh;
In haste the deadly strife to view For many a noble warrior strove
The trooping warriors eager ran: To win the Flower of Teviot's love,
Thick round the lists their lances stood And many a bold ally.
Like blasted pines in Ettricke wood. With throbbing head and anxious heart
To Branksome many a look they threw, All in her lonely bower apart,
The combatants approach to view, In broken sleep she lay :
And bandied many a word of boast
About the knight each favoured most.
Meantime full anxious was the Dame;
For now arose disputed claim,
Of who shonld fight for Deloraine,
'Twixt Harden and 'twixt Thirlestane: She gazed upon the inner court,
They 'gan to reckon kin and rent, Which in the tower's tall shadow lay,
And frowning brow on brow was bent. Where courtiers' clang, and stamp, and snort,
But yet not long the strife-for, lo! Had ring the live-long yesterday.
Himself, the Knight of Deloraine, Now still as death, till, stalking slow,
Strong, as it seemed, and free from pain, The jingling spurs announced his tread
In armour sheathed from top to toe, A stately warrior passed below,
Appeared, and craved the combat due. But when he raised his plumed head
The Dame her charm snccessful knew, t. Blessed Mars! can it be?
And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew. Secure as if in Ousenam bowers, He walks through Branksome's hostile towers
XVI. With fearless step and free.
When for the lists they sought the plain, She dared not sign, she dared not speak
The stately Ladye's silken rein Oh! if one page's slumbers break
Did noble Howard hold; His blood the price must pay!
Unarmed by her side he walked, Not all the pearls Queen Mary wears,
And much, in conrteous phrase, they talked Not Margaret's get more precious tears,
Of feats of arms of old.
Costly his garb-his Flemish ruff
Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff,
* A martial piece of music adapted to the bag
pipes. .. A sort of knife, or poniard.
See p. 18, Stanza xxIII.
pove was Herceisten hiemashin Bise
With satin slashed and lined;
XXI. Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,
Ill would it suit your gentle ear, His cloak was all of Poland fur,
Ye lovely listeners to hear His hose with silver twined ;
How to the axe the helms did sound, His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen feit,
And blood poured down from many a wound: Hung in a broad and studded belt;
For desperate was the strife and long, Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still
And either warrior fierce and strong Called 'noble Howard Belted Will.
But, were each dame a listening knight,
I well could tell how warriors fight;
For I have seen war's lightning flashing,
Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing, Fair Margaret on her palfrey came,
Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing Whose foot-cloth swept the ground;
And scorned, amid the reeling strife,
To yield a stép for death or life.
Tis done, 'tis done! that fatal blow In courtesy to cheer her tried;
Has stretched him on the bloody plain; Without his aid, her hand in vain
He strives to rise-Brave Musgrave, to; Had strove to guide her broidered rein.
Thence never shalt thou rise again! He deemed, she shuddered at the sight
He chokes in blood-some friendly hand Of warriors met for mortal fight;
Undo the visor's barred band, But cause of terror, all unguessed,
Unfix the gorget's iron clasp, Was fluttering in her gentle breast,
And give him room for life to gasp ! When, in their chairs of crimson placed,
0, bootless aid !--haste, holy FriarThe Dame and she the barriers graced.
Haste, ere the sinner shall expire!
Of all his guilt let him be shriven,
And smooth his path from earth to heaven!
XXIII. Scarce rued the boy his present plight,
In haste the holy Friar sped:So much he longed to see the fight.
His naked foot was dyed with red Within the lists, in knightly pride,
As throngh the lists he ran; High Home and haughty Dacre ride ;
Unmindful of the shouts on high, Their leading staffs of steel they wield,
That hailed the conqueror's victory, As marshals of the mortal field;
He raised the dying man; While to cach knight their care assigned
Loose waved his silver beard and hair. Like vantage of the sun and wind.
As o'er kim he kneeled down in prayer, Then heralds hoarse did loud proclalm,
And still the crucifix on high In king and queen, and wardens' name,
He holds before his darkening eye; That none, while lasts the strife,
And still he bends an anxious ear, Should dare, by look, or sign, or word.
His faltering penitence to hear; Aid to a champion to afford,
Still props him from the bloody sod, On peril of his life;.
Still, even when soul and body part, And not a breath of silence broke,
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart, Till thus the alternate Heralds spoke
And bids him trust in God!
Unheard he prays ;-the death-pang's o'er!
Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.
As if exhausted in the fight, Good knight and true, and freely born,
Or musing o'er the piteous sight, Amends from Deloraine to crave,
The silent victor stands; For foul despiteous scathe and scorn.
His beaver did he not unclasp, He sayeth, that William of Deloraine
Marked not the shouts, felt not the grasp 13 traitor false by Border laws;
Of gratulating hands. This with his sword he will maintain,
When lo! strange cries of wild surprise, So help him God, and his good cause !
Mingled with seeming terror, rise
Among the Scottish bands;
And all, amid the thronged array,
In panic haste gave open way
To a half-naked ghastly man, Here standeth William of Deloraine,
Who downward from the castle ran : Good knight and true, of noble strain,
He crossed the barriers at a bound, Who sayeth, that foul treason's stain,
And wild and haggard looked around, Since he bore arms, ne'er soiled his coat;
As dizzy, and in pain; And that, so help him God above,
And all, upon the armed ground, He will on Musgrave's body prove,
Knew William of Deloraine! He lyes most fonlly in his throat.
Each ladye sprung from seat with speed;
Vaulted each marshal from his steed;
"And who art thou," they cried, Forward, brave champions, to the fight!
" Who hast this battle fought and won ?" Sound trumpets !-
His plumed helm was soon indone
"Cranstoun of Teviotside! Lord Home.
For this fair prize I've fought and won," --"God defend the right!"
And to the Ladye led her son.
Full oft the rescued boy she kissed, And in mid list, with shield poised high,
And often pressed him to her breast; And measured step and wary eye,
For under all her dauntless show, The combatants did close,
Her heart had throbbed at every blow;
And stitering pen from the body part:
An all, Pilliaruns, mirones candy
Theireviote is quelle cher birinin
Yet not Lord Cranstoun deigned she greet. And thus, while sorrow bent his head,
His foeman's epitaph he made :-
"Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here! The Ladye would the fend forego,
I ween, my deadly enemy; And deign to bless the nuptial hour
For, if I slew thy brother dear, Of Cranstoun's Lord and Teviot's Flower.
Thou slewest a sister's son to me:
And when I lay in dungeon dark,
Of Naworth Castle, long months three,
Till ransomed for a thousand mark, Thought on the Spirit's prophecy,
Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee. Then broke her silence stern and still, -
And, Musgrave, could our fight be tried, _"Not you, but Fate, has vanquished me;
And thou wert now alive, as I, Their influence kindly stars may shower
No mortal man should us divide, On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower,
Till one, or both of us, did die: For pride is quelled, and love is free."
Yet rest thee, God! for well I know, She took fair Margaret by the hand,
I ne'er shall find a nobler foe. Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand, In all the northern counties here,
That hand to Cranstoun's lord gave she: - Whose word is, Snaffle, spur, and spear " As I am true to thee and thine,
Thou wert the best to follow gear! Do thou be true to me and mine!
'Twas pleasure, as we looked behind, This clasp of love our bond shall be ;
To see how thou the chase conldst wind, For this is your betrothing day,
Cheer the dark bloodhound on his way, And all these noble lords shall stay,
And with the bugle rouse the fray!
I'd give the lands of Deloraine,
Dark Musgrave were alive again."
So mourned he, till Lord Dacre's band And of his Page, and of the Book,
Were bowning back to Cumberland. Which from the wounded knight he took :
I They raised brave Musgrave from the field, And how he sought her castle high,
And laid him on his bloody shield; That morn, by help of gramarye:
On levelled lanses, four and four, How, in Sir William's armour dight,
By turns, the noble burden bore: Stolen by his Page, while slept the knight,
Before, at times, upon the gale, He took on him the single fight.
Was heard the Minstrel's plaintive wall; But half his tale he left unsaid,
Behind, four priests, in sable stole, And lingered till he joined the maid.
Sung requiem for the warrior's soul; Cared not the Ladye to betray
Around, the horsemen slowly rode : Her mystic arts in view of day:
With trailing pikes the spearmen trod; But well she thought, ere midnight eame,
And thus the gallant knight they bore, Of that strange Page the pride to tame,
Through Liddesdale, to Leven's shore: From his foul hands the Book to save,
Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave,
And laid him in his father's grave.
The harp's wild notes, though hushed the song, Needs not these lovers' joys to tell;
The mimic march of death prolong ; One day, fair maids, you'll know them well.
Now seems it far, and now a-near,
Now meets, and now eludes the ear;
Now seems some mountain-side to sweep,
Now faintly dies in valley deep; Had wakened from his death-like trance ;
Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail, And taught that, in the listed plain,
Now the sad requiem loads the gale; Another, in his arms and shield,
Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave,
Rung the full choir in choral stave.
After due pause, they bade him tell,
Why he, who touched the harp so well, Who held him for some fleeting wraith,*
Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil, And not a man of blood and breath.
Wander a poor and thankless soil, Not much this new ally he loved,
When the more generous southern land Yet, when he saw what hap had proved, Would well requite his skilful hand.
He greeted him right heartile : He would not waken old debate,
The Aged Harper, howsoe'er For he was void of rancorons hate,
His only friend, his harp, was dear, Though rude and scant of courtesy;
Liked not to hear it ranked so high In raids he spilt but seldom blood,
Above his flowing poesy; Unless when men at arms withstood,
Less liked he still, that scornful jeer Or, as was meet, for deadly feud.
Misprized the land he loved so dear; He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow,
High was the sound, as thus again Ta'en in fair fight from gallant foe:
The Bard resumed his minstrel strain. And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now,
When on dead Musgrave he looked down; Grief darkened on his rugged brow,
1 * The lands, that over Ouse to Berwick forth do Though half disguised with a frown;
Have for their blazon had, the snaffle, spiu', and * The spectral apparition of a living person.
Poly-albion, Song xxiii.
Still lay my head by Teviot stone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.
III. This is iny own, my native land! Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned. Not scorned like me! to Branksome Hall As home his footsteps he hath turned,
The Minstrels came, at festive call; From wandering on a foreign strand !
Trooping they came, from near and far, If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
The jovial priests of mirth and war; For him no minstrel raptures swell;
Allke for feast and fight prepared, High though his titles, proud his name,
Battle and banquet both they shared. Boundless his wealth as wish can claim:
Of late, before each martial clan, Despite those titles, power, and pelf.
They blew their death note in the van, The wretch, concentred all in self,
But now, for every merry mate, Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
Rose the portcullis' iron grate; And, doubly dying, shall go down
They sound the pipe, they strike the string, To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
They dance, they revel, and they sing, Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.
Till the rudé turi ake and ring.
anquet boartial clathe van,
The spistered in theron, squir
Me lists not at this tide declare
The splendour of the spousal rite,
Both maid and matron, squire and knight;
Some bards have sung, the Ladye high | Chapel or altar came not nigh;
Nor durst the rites of spousal grace,
Revelled as merrily and well So much she feared each holy place.
As those that set in lordly selle. False slanders these :-1 trust right well,
Wat Tinlinn there did frankly raise She wrought not by forbidden spell;
The pledge to Arthur Fire-the-Braes; For mighty words and signs have power
And he, as by his breeding bouud, O'er sprites in planetary hour:
To Howard's merry-men sent it round. Yet scarce I praise their venturous part,
To quit them on the English side Who tamper with such dangerous art.
Red Roland Forster loudly cried, But this for faithful truth I say ;
"A deep carouse to yon fair bride!" 1 The Ladye by the altar stood,
At every pledge, from vat and pail, Of sable velvet her array,
Foamed forth, in floods, the nut-brown ale: And on her head a crimson hood,
While shout the riders every one, With pearls embroidered and entwined,
Such day of mirth ne'er cheered their clan Guarded with gold, with erinine lined;
Since old Buccleuch the name did gain, A merlin sat upon her wrist,
When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en.
The wily Page, with vengeful thought,
Remeinbered him of Tinlinn's yew, 'Twas now the inerry hour of noon,
And swore it should be dearly bought And in the lofty arched hall
That ever he the arrow drew. Was spread the gorgeous festival.
First, he the yeoman did molest Steward and squire, with heedful haste,
With bitter gibe and taunting jestMarshalled the rank of every guest;
Told how he fled at Solway strife, Pages, with ready blade, were there,
And how Hob Armstrong cheered his wife: The mighty meal to carve and share ;
Then shunning still his powerful alm. O'er capon, heron-shew, and crane,
At unawares he wrought him harm; And princely peacock's gilded train,
From trencher stole his choicest cheer, And o'er the boar-head, garnished grave,
Dashed from his lips his call of beer; And cygnet from St. Mary's wave;
Then, to his knee sly creeping on O'er ptarmigan and venison,
With bodkin pierced him to the bone : The priest had spoke his benison.
The venoin'd wound and festering joint Then rose the riot and the din,
Long after rued that bodkin's point. Above, beneath, without, within !
The startled yeoman swore and spurned, For, from the lofty balcony,
And board and flagons overturned; Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery;
Riot and clamour wild beganTheir clanging bowls old warriors quaffe 1, Back to the hall the urchin ran; Loudly they spoke, and loudly laughed:
Took in a darkling nook his post, Whispered young knights, in tone more mild, And grinned and muttered, "Lost! lost! lost!" To ladies fair, and ladies smiled. The hooded hawks, high perched on beam,
x. The clamour joined with whistling scream, And flapped their wings, and shook their bells
By this, the Dame, lest further fray In concert with the staghounds' yells.
Should mar the concord of the day, Round go the flasks of ruddy wine,
Had bid the minstrels tune their lay. From Bourdeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine ;
And first stept forth old Albert Græme, Their task the busy sewers ply,
The Minstrel of that ancient name: And all is mirth and revelry.
Was none who struck the harp so well,
Within the Land Debateable;
Well friended, too, his hardy kin,
Whoever lost, were sure to win; The Goblin Page, omitting still
They sought the beeves that made their broth, No opportunity of ill.
In Scotland and in England both. Strovė now, while blood ran hot and high,
In homely guise, as nature bade,
His simple song the Borderer said.
It was an English Ladye bright, Smote with his gauntlet stout Hunthill ;
The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall, A hot and hardy Rutherford,
And she would marry a Scottish Knight,
For Love will still be lord of all.
Blithely they saw the rising sun
When he shone fair on Carlisle wall, The kindling discord to compose :
But they were sad ere day was done, Stern Rutherford right little said,
Though Love was still the lord of all.
Her sire gave brooch and jewel fine,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall:
Her brother gave but a flask of wine,
For ire that Love was lord of all.
For she had lands, both meadow and lea, Gone was his brand, both sword and sheath:
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall. But ever from that time, 'twas said,
And he swore her death, ere he would see That Dickon wore a Cologne blade.
A Scottish knight the lord of all!
They stland and was nature or said
The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall -
For Love was still the lord of all.