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The fiend receive their souls therefor!
It had not been burned this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight;
But I was chased the live-long night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Graeme,
Fast upon my traces came,
Until I turned 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."—
Now weary scouts from Liddesdale,
Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand Three thousand armed Englishmen.— Meanwhile, full many a warlike band,
From Teviot, AilL and Ettrick shade,
There was pricking o'er moor and lea j
From fair St Mary's silver wave,
From dreary Gamescleuch's dusky height, His ready lances Thirlestane brave
Arrayed beneath a banner bright
For faith 'mid feudal jars;
Would march to southern wars;
And hence, in fair remembrance worn,
An aged Knight, to danger steeled,
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-embosomed mansion stood; In the dark glen, so deep below, The herds of plundered England low, His bold retainers' daily food, And bought with danger, blows, and blood.
Marauding chief! his sole delight
Five stately warriors drew the sword
A braver knight than Harden's lord
Scotts of Eskdale, a stalwart band,
By the sword they won their land,
Harken, Ladye, to the tale,
How thy sires won fair Eskdale.—
Earl Morton was lord of that valley fair,
The Beattisons were his vassals there.
The Earl was gentle, and mild of mood,
The vassals were warlike, and fierce, and rude;
High of heart, and haughty of word,
Little they recked of a tame liege lord.
The Earl to fair Eskdale came,
Homage and seignory to claim:
Of Gilbert the Galliard a heriot* he sought,
Saying, '' Give thy best steed, as a vassal ought"
—" Dear to me is my bonny white steed,
Oft has he helped me at pinch of need;
Lord and Earl though thou be, I trow,
I can rein Bucksfoot better than thou."—
Word on word gave fuel to fire,
Till so highly blazed the Beattisons' ire,
But that the Earl his flight had ta'en,
The vassals there their lord had slain.
* The feudal superior, in certain cases, was entitled to the best horse of the vassal, in name of Heriot, or Herezeld.