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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 fair Craikcross ;
He blew again so loud and clear,
Through the grey mountain mist there did lances
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 were emptied, 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 through 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 Eskdale they left but one landed man.
The valley of Eske, from the mouth to the source,
Was lost and won for that bonny white horse.
Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came,
And warriors more than I may name;
From Yarrow Cleugh to Hindaugh 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 Ladye 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 to wield,
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, bad changed the child,
That wont to be so free and bold.
Then wrathful was the noble dame;
She blushed blood-red for very shaine :
“ Hence ! ere the clan his faintness view;
Hence with the weakling to Buccleuch !
Wat Tinlinn, 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 Watt Tinlinn had,
To guide the counterfeited lad.
Soon as the palfrey felt the weight
Of that ill-omened elvish freight,
He bolted, sprung, and reared amain,
Nor heeded bit, nor curb, nor rein.
It cost Watt Tinlinn 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 i losi !
Full fast the urchin ran and laughed,
But faster still a cloth-yard shaft
Whistled from startled Tinlinn's yew,
And pierced his shoulder through and through.
Although the imp might not be slain,
And though the wound soon healed again,
Yet, as he ran, he yelled for pain ;
And Wat of Tinlinn, 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 wood;
And martial murmurs, from below,
Proclaimed the approaching southern foe.
Through the dark wood, in mingled tone,
Were Border pipes and bugles blown;
The coursers' neighing he could ken,
And ineasured 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 were seen.
To back and guard the archer band,
Lord Dacre's bill-men were at hand :
A hardy race, on Irthing bred,
With kirtles 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 the
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 ;
Each better knee was bared, to aid
The warriors in the escalade;
All, as they marched, in rugged tongue,
Songs of Teutonic feuds they sung.
But louder still the clamour grew,
And louder still the minstrels blew,
When, from beneath the greenwood tree,
Rode forth Lord Howard's chivalry;
His men-at-arms, with glaive and spear,
Brought up the battle's glittering rear.
There many a youthful knight, full keen
To gain his spurs, in arms was seen ;
With favour in his crest, or glove,
Memorial of his ladye-love.
So rode they forth in fair array,
Till full their lengthened lines display;
Then called a halt, and made a stand,
And cried “ St. George, for merry England !"
xx. Now every English eye, intent, On Branksome's armèd towers was bent ; So near they were, that they might know The straining harsh of each cross-bow; On battlement and bartizan Gleamed axe, and spear, and partizan; Falcon and culver, * on each tower, Stood prompt their deadly hail to shower ; And flashing armour frequent broke From eddying whirls of sable smoke, Where, upon tower and turret head, The seething pitch and molten lead Reeked, 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.
Armèd he rode, all save the head,
His white beard o'er his breast-plate spread ;
Unbroke by age, erect his seat,
He ruled his eager courser's gait;
Forced him, with chastened fire, to prance,
And, high curvetting, slow advance :
In sign of truce, his better hand
Displayed a peeled willow wand;
His squire, attending in the rear,
Bore high a gauntlet on a spear.
When they espied him riding out,
Lord Howard and Lord Dacre stout
Sped to the front of their array,
To hear what this old knight should say.
“Ye English warden lords, of you
Demands the Ladye of Buccleuch,
Why, 'gainst the truce of Border tide,
In hostile guise ye dare to ride,
With Kendal bow, and Gilsland brand,
And all yon anercenary band,
Upon the bounds of fair Scotland ?
My Ladye reads you swith return;
And, if but one poor straw you burn,
Or do our towers so much molest,
As scare one swallow from her nest,
St. Mary! but we'll light a brand
Shall warm your hearths in Cumberland.”-
A wrathful man was Dacre's lord,
But calmer Howard took the word :-
* Ancient pieces of artillery.
“May't please thy Dame, Sir Seneschal,
To seek the castle's outward wall,
Our pui suivant-at-arms shall show
Both why we came, and when we go."
The message sped, the noble Dame
To the wall's outward circle came;
Each chief around leaned on his spear,
To see the pursuivant appear.
All in Lord Howard's livery dressed,
The lion argent decked his breast;
He led a boy of blooming hue-
O sight to meet a mother's view !
It was the heir of great Buccleuch.
Obeisance meet the herald made,
And thus his master's will he said.
“ It irks, high Dame, my noble Lords,
'Gainst ladye fair to draw their swords;
But yet they may not tamely see,
All through the western wardenry,,
Your law-contemning kinsmen ride,
And burn and spoil the Border-side ;
And ill beseems your rank and birth
To make your towers a flemens-firth. *
We claim from thee William of Deloraine,
That he may suffer march-treason pain. +
It was but last St. Cuthbert's even
He pricked to Stapleton on Leven,
Harried I the lands of Richard Musgrave,
And slew his brother by dint of glaive.
Then, since a lone and widowed 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, S
And storm and spoil thy garrison :
And this fair boy, to London led,
Shall good King Edward's page be bred."
He ceased and loud the boy did cry,
And stretched his little arms on high ;
In plored for aid each well-known face,
And strove to seek the Dame's embrace.
A moment changed that Ladye's cheer,
Gushed to ber eye the unbidden tear :
She gazed upon the leaders round,
And dark and sad each warrior frowned ;
Then, deep within her sobbing breast
She locked the struggling sigh to rest ;
• An asylum for outlaws. I Plundered.
† Border treason. $ Note of assauit.