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LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
Sweet Teviot! on thy silver tide
No longer steel-clad warriors ride
Where'er thou wind'st, by dale or hill,
All, all is peaceful, all is still,
As if thy waves, since Time was born, Since first they rolled upon the Tweed, Had only heard the shepherd's reed,
Nor started at the bugle-horn.
Unlike the tide of human time,
Which, though it change in ceaseless flow, Retains each grief, retains each crime,
Its earliest course was doomed to know;
Low as that tide has ebbed with me,
Fell by the side of great Dundee.
Now over border dale and fell,
Full wide and far was terror spread; For pathless marsh, and mountain cell,
The peasant left his lowly shed. The frightened flocks and herds were pent Beneath the peel's rude battlement; And maids and matrons dropped the tear, While ready warriors seized the spear. From Branksome's towers, the watchman's Dun wreaths of distant smoke can spy, Which, curling in the rising sun, Shewed southern ravage was begun.
Now loud the heedful gate-ward cried—
Watt Tinlinn, from the Liddel-side,
Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock
At his lone gate, and prove the lock;
It was but last St Barnabright
While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
* An inroad commanded by the Warden in person.
Laughed to her friends among the crowd.
His spear, six Scottish ells in length,
His shafts and bow of wonderous strength, His hardy partner bore.
Thus to the Ladye did Tinlinn shew