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Shakes its loose tresses on the night?
Is yon red glare the western star?-
0, 'tis the beacon-blaze of war !
Scarce could she draw her tighten'd breath,
For well she knew the fire of death !

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HE Warder view'd it blazing strong,

And blew his war-note loud and long, Till, at the high and haughty sound, Rock, wood, and river, rung around. The blast alarm'd the festal hall, And startled forth the warriors all; Far downward, in the castle-yard, Full many a torch and cresset glared ; And helms and plumes, confusedly toss'd, Were in the blaze half-seen, half-lost; And spears in wild disorder shook Like reeds beside a frozen brook.

XXVII.

CHE Seneschal, whose silver hair

Was redden'd by the torches' glare, Stood in the midst, with gesture proud, And issued forth his mandates loud :

“On Penchryst glows a bale of fire, And three are kindling on Priesthaughswire:+

Ride out, ride out,

The foe to scout !
Mount, mount for Branksome,t every man !
Thou, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan,

That ever are true and stout-
Ye need not send to Liddesdale ;
For when they see the blazing bale,
Elliots and Armstrongs never fail. —
Ride, Alton, ride, for death and life !
And warn the Warder of the strife.
Young Gilbert, let our beacon blaze,
and clan, and friends, to raise.”

XXVIII.
M AIR Margaret, from the turret heart,
Rok Heard, far below, the coursers' tread,

While loud the harness rung,
As to their seats, with clamour dread,

The ready horsemen sprung ;
And trampling hoofs, and iron coats,
And leaders' voices, mingled notes,

And out ! and out!

In hasty route,
The horsemen gallop'd forth ;
Dispersing to the south to scout,

And east, and west, and north,
To view their coming enemies,
And warn their vassals and allies.

XXIX.
HE ready page, with hurried hand,

Awaked the need-fire’st slumbering brand,
And ruddy blush'd the heaven :
For a sheet of flame, from the turret high,
Waved like a blood-flag on the sky,

All flaring and uneven ; And soon a score of fires, I ween, From height, and hill, and cliff, were seen ; Each with warlike tidings fraught; Each from each the signal caught; Each after each they glanced to sight, As stars arise upon the night. They gleam'd on many a dusky tarn, Haunted by the lonely earn ; + On many a cairn's grey pyramid, Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid ;+

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