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Day set on Norham's castled steep,
And Cheviot's mountains lone :
In yellow lustre shone.
The warriors on the turrets high, Moving athwart the evening sky, Seemed forms of giant height: Their armour, as it caught the rays, Flashed back again the western blaze,
In lines of dazzling light.
St. George's banner, broad and gay,
Less bright, and less, was flung; The evening gale had scarce the power To wave it on the Donjon tower,
So heavily it hung. The scouts had parted on their search,
The castle gates were barr'd;
The warder kept his guard;
Some ancient Border gathering-song.
III. A distant trampling sound he hears; He looks abroad, and soon appears, O'er Horncliff-hill, a plump" of spears, Beneath a pennon gay; A horseman darting from the crowd, Like lightning from a summer cloud, Spurs on his mettled courser proud, Before the dark array. Beneath the sable palisade, That closed the castle barricade, His bugle-horn he blew; The Warder hasted from the wall, And warned the Captain in the hall, For well the blast he knew; And joyfully that Knight did call,
To sewer, squire, and seneschal.
* This word properly applies to a flight of water-fowl; but is applied, by analogy, to a body of horse. There is a Knight of the North Country,
Which leads a lusty plump of spears.