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The red cross, on a southern breast,

Is broader than the raven's nest;

Thou, Whitslade, shalt teach him his weapon to

wtcln\ And o'er him hold h* father's shield.»


Well may you think, the wily page

Cared-not to fact* the La dye sage.

He counterfeited childish fear,

Aud shrick'd. and shed full many a tear.

And moand and plain'd in manner wild.

The attendants to the Ladye told.
Some fairy sure had changed the child,

That wont to or so free and hold.
Then wrathful was the noble dame;
She blush'd blood-red for very shame;
« Hence! ere the elan his faintness view;
Hence with the weakling to Bucrlcuch!—
Watt Tinlinu. thou shalt be his guide
To Kanglcbum's lonely aide.—
Sure some fell fiend Itas cursed our line,
That coward should e'er be sou of mine !**—

A heavy task Watl Tinliun had
To guide the counterfeited lad.
Soon as the |>a]frey felt the weight
Of that ill-omen'd clh'sh freight,
He bolted, sprung, audreard amain.
Nor heeded bit, uot curb, nor rein.
It east Watt 1 inliiin miekle toil
To drive him but a Scottish mite;

But, as a shallow brook they cross'd.
The elf. amid the running stream,
His figure changed, like form iu dream.

And tied, and shouted, « Lost! lost! lost!*
Full fast the urchin ran aud liugh'd,
Rut faster still * cloth-yard snail
Whirled from startled TinUuu's yew.
And pierced bis shoulder through aud through.
Although ill:' imp might not be slain.
And (bough the wound soon heal d again,
Yet, as he rau, he yell'd for pain;
And Watt of Tiuliun, much aghast,
Rode back to Uruukiomc fiery Cast.


Soon on the hill's steep verge he stood,

Thai looks o'er Rranksome's tower* and wood;

Aud in irii p] murmurs, from below,

I'roclaiirTd the approaching southern foe.

Through the dark wood, in mingled tone.

Were Border-pipes and bugles blown;

The coursers' neighing he could ken,

And measured tread of marching men.

While broke at timet the solemn hum.

The Almayn's sullen kettle-drum;

And banners tall, of crimson sheen.

Above the copse appear;
And, glistening through the hawtltorm green,

Shine helm, and shield, and spear.


Light foraycrt, first, to view the ground,
Spurr'd their fleet coursers loosely round;

Rchind, in close array, and fast,

The Kendal archers, all in green, Obedient to the bugle blast,

Advancing from the wood were seen. To back and guard the archer band, Lord Dacrc's bill-men were at hand: A hardy race, on Irthing bred, With kirtles white, and crosses red, Array'd beneath the banner tall, That stream d o'er Acre's conquerd wall; And minstrels, as they march'd in order, Play'd «Noble Lord Dacre, he dwells ou the Border,.


Behind the English bill and bow,
The mercenaries, (inn and slow,

Moved on to fijjht, in dark array,
Bf Conrad led of Wolfenstein,
Who brought the band from distant Rhine,

Aud sold their blood for foreign pay;
The camp their home, their law the sword.
They knew no country, own'd no lord, (i \)
They were not arm'd like England's sons.
But bore the levin-darting guns;
Ruff coats, all frouueed and 'broidcred o'er.
And morsing-horns ' and scarfs they wore;
Each better knee was bared, to aid
The warriors in the escalade;
And, as thev marched, in nigged tongue1.
Sounds of Teutonic feuds they sung.


Rut louder still the clamour grew.

And louder still the minstrels blew,.

Whru from beneath the green-wood tree

Rode forth Lord Howard's chivalry;

His men-at-arms, with glaive and spear.

Brought op the battle's |;tittering rear.

There many a vouthful knight, full keen

To gai/i his spurs, in anns was wen;

With favour in his crest, or glove.

Memorial of his ladve-lovc.

So rode they forth in fair array.

Till full their lengthen'd lines display;

Then call'd a ball, and made a stand.

And cried, « St Ceorgc for merry England!»


Now every English eye, intent,
On Rranksome's armed towers was beut:
So near they were, that thev might know
The Mi lining harsh of each cross-bow;
On battlement aud bartiian
Gleajn'd axe, and spear, and partisan;
Falcon aud culver,1 on each tower.
Stood prompt their deadly hail to shower;
And Mashing armour frequent broke
From eddying whirls of sable smoke,
Where, ii[»on Tower and turret-bead.
The seething piteh and molten lead
Reek'd, like a witch's cauldron red.
While yet they gaze, the bridges fall,
The wicket opes, and from the wall
Rides forth the hoary seneschal.


Ancient pi*.Ti of •rtillrry,

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Harried ' the lands of Richard Musgrave,
And slew his brother by dint of glaive.
Then, since a lone and widow'd dame
These restless riders may not tame,
Either receive within thy towers
Two hundred of my master's powers,
Or straight they sound their warrison,3
And storm and spoil thy garrison:
And this fair boy, to London led.
Shall good King Edwards page be bred.»—


He ceased—and loud the boy did cry,
And stretch'd his little arms on high,
Implored for aid each well-known face,
And strove to seek the dame's embrace.
A moment changed that I.adye's cheer;
Gush'd to her eye the unbidden tear;
She gazed upon the leaders round,
And dark and sad each warrior frown'd;
Then, deep within her sobbing breast
She lock'd the struggling sigh to rest;
I'nalter'd and collected stood.
And thus replied, in dauntless mood—


¥ Say to your lords of high emprize.

Who war on women and on hoys,

That either William of Deloraine

Will cleanse him, by oath, of march-treason

stain, (17)
Or else he will the combat take
Gainst Musgrave, for his honour's sake.
No knight in Cumberland so good,
But William may count with him kin and blood.
Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword, (18)
When English blood swell'd Ancram ford \ 1 o)
And but that Lord Dae re's steed was wight.
And bore him ably in the flight.
Himself had seen him dubh'd a knight.
For the young heir of Hranksomes line,
God be his aid, and God be mine;
Through me no friend shall meet his doom ,
Here, while-I live, no foe finds room.
Then, if thy lords their purpose urge,

Take our da fiance loud and high:
Our slogan is their lyke-wake3 dirge,

Our moat the grave where they shall lie.»—


Proud she look'd round, applause to claim—
Then lightcu'd Thirlestaue's eye of flame,

His bugle Wat of Harden blew;
Pensils and pennpns wide were flung,
To heaven the Bonier slogan rung,

« St Mary for the young Buccleuch!»
The English war-cry answer'd wide.

And forward bent each southern spear;
Each Kendal archer made a stride,

And drew the bow-string to his ear;
Each minstrel's war-note loud was blown; —
But, ere a gray-goose shaft had flown,

A horseman galiop'd from the rear.


1 Note of assault.

1 Lyke'wakc. Iiil- »a tilting a ct>r|>te previous to inii-rnic-ni.


« Ah ! noble lords !» lie, breathless, said,"'

« What treason has your march betray'd?

What make you here, from aid so far.

Before you walls, around you war?

Your foemen triumph iu the thought,

That in the toils the lion 's caught.

Already on dark Ruberslaw

The Douglas holds his wcapon-shaw;'

The lances, waving in his train,

Clothe the dun heath like autumn grain;

And on the Liddels northern strand,

To bar retreat to Cumberland,

Lord Maxwell ranks his merry-men good.

Beneath the eagle and the rood;

And Jedwood, Eske, and Teviotdale,

Have to proud Angus come! And all the Mcr&c and Lauderdale

Have risen with haughty Home. An exile from Northumberland,

In Liddesdale I 've wandcr'd long; But still my heart was with merry England,

And cannot brook my country's wrong; And hard I 've spurr'd ail night to show The mustering of the coming foe.»—


« And let them come'.* fierce Dacre cried;
« For soou you crest, my father's pride,
That swept the shores of Judah's sea,
And waved in gales of Galilee,
From Branksomcs highest towers display'd,
Shall mock the rescue's lingering aid!—
Level each harqucbuss ou row;
Draw, merry archers, draw the bow;
L'p, bill-men, to the walls, and cry,
Dacre for England, win or die!»


« Yet hear,» quoth Howard, « calmly hear,

Nor deem my words the words of fear;

For who, in Held or foray slack.

Saw the blanche lion {20) e'er fall back?

But thus to risk our Border tlowcr

In strife against a kingdom's power,

Ten thousand Scots 'gainst thousands three,

Certcs, were desperate policy.

Nay, take the terms the Ladye made,

Ere conscious of the advancing aid:

Let Musgrave meet fierce Deloraine

In single fight, (21) and if he gain,

He gains for us; but if he 's cross'd,

T is but a single warrior lost:

The rest, retreating as they came,

Avoid defeat, and death, and shame.»—


Ill could the haughty Dacre brook
His brother-warden's sage rebuke;
And yet his forward step he staid,
And slow and sullenly obey'd.
But ne'er again the Border side
Did these two lords in friendship ride;
And this slight discontent, men say,
Cost blood upon another day.
n'ffifHuftkav, lh* miliiarj array of a country.


The pursuivant-at-arms again

Before the castle took his stand;
His trumpet call'd, with parleying strain.

The leaders of the Scottish band;
And he defied, in Musgrave's right.
Stout Deloraine 10 single tight;
A gauntlet at their feet he laid.
And thus the terms of fight lie said:—
« If in the lists good Musgrave's sword

Vanquish the knight of Deloraine,
Your youthful chieftain. Branksome's lord,

Shall hostage for his clan remain:
If Deloraine foil good Musgrave,
The boy his liberty shall have.

Howc'er it falls, the English band,
Unharming Scots, by Scots unharm'd.
In peaceful march, like men unarm'd,

Shall straight retreat to Cumberland.»


Unconscious of the near relief,

The proffer pleased each Scottish chief.

Though much the Ladye sage gainsaid; For though their hearts were brave and true. From Jed wood's recent sack they knew

How tardy was the regent's aid: And you may guess the noble dame

Durst not the secret prescience «wn, Sprung from the art she might not name.

By which the coming help was known.
Closed was the compact, aud agreed.
That lists should be inclosed with speed.

Beneath the castle, on a lawn:
They fix'd the morrow for the strife,
On foot, with Scottish axe and knife.

At the fourth hour from peep of dawn;
When Deloraine, from sickness freed,
Or else a champion in his stead,
Should for himself and chieftain stand,
Against stout Musgravc, hand to hand.

I know right well, that, in their lay,
Full many minstrels sing.aud say.

Such combat should be made on horse,
Ou foaming steed, in full career,
With brand lo aid, when as the spear

Should shiver iu the course:
But he, the jovial harper, (22) taught
Me, yet a youth, how it was fought,

In guise which now I say;
He knew each ordinance and clause
Of black Lord Archibald's battle laws,

Iu the old Douglas' day. (23)
He brook'd not, he, that scoffing tongue
Should tax his miuslrclsy with wrong.

Or call his soug untrue:
For this, when they the goblet plied,
And such rude taunt had chafed his pride,

The Bard of Beull he slew.
On Teviol's side in fight they stood,
And tuneful hands were staiu'd with blood;
Where still the thorn's white branches wave,
Meiuori.il o'er his rival's grave.


Why should I tell the rigid doom.
Thai draggd my master to his tomb;

BowOuwnams maidens tore their hair, *ept till their eyes were dead and dim, Aad wrung their hands for love of him,

Who died at Jed wood Air?
Be died! — hi* scholars, one by one,
7o uV cold silent grave are gone;
Aod I, ala»! survive alone,
To mu4 o'er rivalries of yore.
And grieve that I shall bear no more
Tie strains, with envy heard before;
For, with my minstrel brethren (led,
My jealousy of song is dead.

Hi paused: the listening dames again Applaud the hoary Minstrel's strain. With many a word of kindly cheer,— In pity half, and half sincere,— larveuTd the duchess how so well His legendary song could tell— <ti aixrir-nt deeds, so long forgot; Of ftmds, whose memory was not; Of forests, D*w laid waste and bare: Of towers, which harbour now the hare; Of manners, long since chauged and gone; (tf chiefs, who under their gray stone So long had slept, that fickle Fame Bad blotted from her rolls their name, And twined round some new minion's bead The fading wreath for which they bled; la sooth, 'i was strange, this old man's verse; Lculu call them from their marble hearse.

The harper smiled, well.pleased; for ne'er Was flattery lost on poet's ear. A ample race! they waste their toil For the vain tribute of a smile; I Ten when in age their tiamc expires, Her dulcet breath can fan its fires; Their drooping fancy wakes at praise, And strives to trim the short-lived blaze.

Smiled then, well pleased, the aged man, And iliu- his* talc continued ran.



Call it not vain :—they do not err,
Who say, that, wheu the poet dies,

Mute Nature mourns her worshipper,
And celebrates his obsequies;

Who say, tall cliff, and cavern lone,

For the departed bard make moan;

That mountains weep in crystal rill;

That flowers in tears of balm distil;

Through lii-. loved groves that breezes sigh,

And oaks in deeper groan reply;

And rivers teach their ruslting wave

To murmur dirges round bis grave.


Not that, in sooth, o'er mortal urn

Those things inanimate can mourn;

But that the stream, the wood, the gale,

Is vocal with the plaintive wail

Of those, who, else forgotten long.

Lived in the poet's faithful song.

And, with the poet's parting breath,

Whose memory feels a second death.

The maid's pale shade, who wails her lot,

That love, true love, should be forgot,

From rose and hawthorn shakes the teat

Upon the gentle minstrel's bier ■

The phantom knight, his glory fled,

Mourns o'er the field be beap'd with dead;

Mounts the wild blast that sweeps amain.

And shrieks along the battle-plain:

The chief, whose antique crowulet long

Still sparkled in the feudal song,

Mow, from the mountain's misty throne,

Sees, in the thanedom once his own,

His ashes undistinguish'd lie.

His place, bis power, bis memory die;

His groans the lonely caverns fill,

His tears of rage impel the rill;

All mourn the minstrel's harp unstrung,

Their name unknown, their praise unsung.


Scarcely the hot assault was staid,

The terms of truce were scarcely made,

When they could spy, from Branksome's lowers,

The advancing march of martial powers:

Thick clouds of dust afar appear'd,

And trampling steeds were faintly heard;

Bright spears, above the columus dun,

Glanced momentary to the sun;

And feudal banners fair display'd

The bands that moved to Branksome's aid.

'Vails not to tell each hardy clan,

From the fair Middle Marches came;
The Bloody Heart blazed in the van,

Announcing Douglas, dreaded name! (i)
'Vails not to tell what steeds did spurn,
Where the Seven Spears of Wcddcrburne (2)

Their men in battle-order set;
And Swinton laid the lance in rest,
That tamed of yore the sparkling crest

Of Clarence's Plantagcnct. (3)
Nor lists I say what hundreds more,
From the rich Merse and Lammermore,
And Tweed's fair borders, to the war,
Beneath the crest of old Duubar,

And Hepburn's mingled banners, come,
Down the sleep mountain glittering far,

And shouting still, « A Home! a Home!» (4)

Now squire and knight, from Branksome sent,

On many a courteous message went j

To every chief and lord they paid

Meet thanks for prompt and powerful aid;

Aud told them,—bow a truce was made,

And how a day of fight was ta'cn
Twixt Musgrave and stout I Moraine;
And how the Ladye pray 'I them deaf,
Th,it alt would stay the fight to sec,
And deign, in'love and courtesy,
To taste of Ilrnnksomc cheer.
Nor, while they had*; to feast each Scot,
Were England's noble lords forgot;
Himself, the hoary seneschal,-
Bode forth, in seemly terms to call
Those gallant foes to Branksome-hall.
Accepted Howard, than whom knight
Was never dubb'd more bold in fight;
Nor, when from war and armour free,
More famed for stately courtesy:
But angry Dacrc rather chose
lu his pavilion to repose.


Now, noble dame, perchance you ask,

How these two hostile armies met?
Deeming it were no easy task

To keep the truce which here was set:
Where martial spirits, all on fire,
Breathod only blood and mortal ire.
By mutual inroads, mutual blows,
By habit, and by nation, foes.

They met on Teviot's strand:
They met, aud sate them mingled down,
Without a threat, without a frown,
As brothers meet in foreign land:
The hands, the spear that lately graspd,
Still in the mailed gauntlet clasp'd,

Were interchanged in greeting dear;
Visors were rais'd, aud faces shown,
And many a friend, to friend made known,

Partook of social cheer.
Some drove the jolly bowl about,-

With dice and draughts some chased the day;
And some, with many a merry sjiout,
hi riot, revelry, and rout.

Pursued the foot-ball play. (5)


Yet, be it known, had bugles blown.

Or sign of war been seen,
Those bands, so fair together ranged,
Those hands, so frankly interchanged,

Had dyed with gore the green:
The merry shout by Teviot side
Had sunk in war-cries wild and wide.

And in the groan of death;
And whingers,» now in friendship hare.
The social meal to part and share.

Had found a bloody sheath.
Twixt truce and war such sudden change
Was not infrequent, nor held strange.

In the old Border day: (6)
But yet on Branksomes towers and town,
In peaceful merriment, sunk down

The sun's declining ray.


The blithesome signs of wavscl gay
IVcay'd not with the dyiug day;

'A wirt "f ItBif*. 01 ponianl.

Soon through the latticed windows tall
Of lofty Branksomes lordly hall.
Divided square by shafts of stone,
Huge flakes of ruddy lustre shone;
Nor less the gilded rafter*, rang
With merry harp and beakers' clang:
And, frequent, on the darkening plain,

Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran.
As bands, their stragglers to regain.

Gave the shrill watch-word of their clan; (7) And revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim Douglas' or Dacrc's conquering name.

Less frequent beard, and fainter still,

At length the various clamours died;
And you might hear, from Brauksome hill.

No sound but Teviot's rushing tide:
Save, when the changing sentinel
The challenge of his watch could tell;
And save where, through the dark profound.
The clanging axe and hammer's sound

Rung from the nether lawn;
For many a busy hand toil'd there,
Strong pales to shape, and beams to square
The lists' dread barriers to prepare

Against the morrow's dawn.'


Margaret from hall did soon retreat,

Despite the dame's reproving eye;
Nor mark'd she, as she left her seat,

Full many a stifled sigh:
For many a noble warrior strove
To win tlie Flower of Teviot's love,

Aud many a hold ally.—
With throbbing head and anxious heart.
All in her lonely bower apart,

In broken sleep she lay:
By times, from silken couch she rose;
While yet the banuer'd hosts repose,

She view'd the dawning day:
Of all the hundreds sunk to rest,
First woke the loveliest and the best.


She gazed upon the inner court,

Which in the tower's tall shadow lay; Whei* coursers* clang, and stamp, aud snort.

Had rung the livelong yesterday;
Now still as death; till, stalking slow,—

The jingling spurs announced his tread,— A stately warrior piss'd below;

But when he raised his plumed head—

Blessed Mary! can it be'—
Secure, :is if in Ousenain bowers.
He walks through Itranksnmc's hostile lowers.

With fearless step and free.
She dared not sign, she dared not speak—
Oh ! if one page's slumbers break.

His blood the price must pay!
Not all the pearls Oueen Mary wean,
Not Margaret's yet more precious tears.

Shall buy his life a day.


Yet was his hazard small; for well
You may bethink yon of the spell

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