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Dun wreaths of distant smoke can spy,
Which, curling in the rising sun,
Show'd southern ravage was begun.
OW loud the heedful gate-ward criedB “Prepare ye all for blows and blood ! Watt Tinlinn,t from the Liddel-side,
Comes wading through the flood.
Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock
At his lone gate, and prove the lock;
It was but last St. Barnabright
They sieged him a whole summer night,
But fled at morning ; well they knew
In vain he never twang'd the yew.
Right sharp has been the evening shower,
That drove him from his Liddel tower;
And, by my faith," the gate-ward said,
“ I think 'twill prove a Warden-Raid.”+
HILE thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
A Entered the echoing barbican.
He led a small and shaggy nag,
That through a bog, from hag to hag,
Could bound like any Billhope stag.
It bore his wife and children twain ;
A half-clothed serf was all their train :
His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark-brow'd,
Of silver brooch and bracelet proud,
Laugh'd to her friends among the crowd.
He was of stature passing tall,
But sparely form’d, and lean withal ;
A batter'd morion on his brow;
A leather jack, as fence enow,
On his broad shoulders loosely hung ;
A Border axe behind was slung ;
His spear, six Scottish ells in length,
Seemed newly died with gore ;
His shafts and bow, of wondrous strength
His hardy partner bore.
CHUS to the Ladye did Tinlinn show
The tidings of the English foe:“ Belted Will Howard + is marching here, And hot Lord Dacre,t with many a spear, And all the German hackbut-men, Who have long lain at Askerten :
They cross'd the Liddel at curfew hour,
And burned my little lonely tower ;
The fiend receive their souls therefor!
It had not been burnt this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight ;
But I was chased the livelong night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Græme,
Fast upon my traces came,
Until I turn'd at Priesthaugh Scrogg,
And shot their horses in the bog,
Slew Fergus with my lance outright-
I had him long at high despite :
He drove my cows last Fastern's night."-
L OW weary scouts from Liddesdale,
Fast hurrying in, confirm’d the tale ;
As far as they could judge by ken,
Three hours would bring to Teviot's
Three thousand armed Englishmen-
Meanwhile, full many a warlike band, From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade,
Came in, their Chief's defence to aid.
There was saddling and mounting in haste,
There was pricking o'er moor and lea ; He that was last at the trysting-place Was but lightly held of his gay ladye.
VIII MEROM fair St. Mary's silver wave, Pet From dreary Gamescleugh's dusky
His ready lances Thirlestane brave
Array'd beneath a banner bright.
The tressur'd fleur-de-luce he claims,
To wreathe his shield, since royal James,
Encamp'd by Fala's mossy wave,
The proud distinction grateful gave,
For faith 'mid feudal jars ;
What time, save Thirlestane alone,
Of Scotland's stubborn barons none
Would march to southern wars ;
And hence, in fair remembrance worn,
Yon sheaf of spears his crest has borne ;
Hence his high motto shines reveald-
“Ready, aye ready,” for the field.
N aged Knight, to danger steeld,
With many a moss-trooper, came on;
And azure in a golden field,
The stars and crescent graced his shield,
Without the bend of Murdieston. Wide lay his lands round Oakwood tower, And wide round haunted Castle-Ower ; High over Borthwick's mountain flood, His wood-embosom'd mansion stood; In the dark glen, so deep below, The herds of plunder'd England low; His bold retainers' daily food, And bought with danger, blows, and blood. Marauding chief! his sole delight The moonlight raid, the morning fight; Not even the Flower of Yarrow's charms, In youth, might tame his rage for arms; And still, in age, he spurn'd at rest, And still his brows the helmet press’d, Albeit the blanched locks below Were white as Dinlay's spotless snow ;
Five stately warriors drew the sword