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Sore he plied both whip and spur,
As he urged his steed through Eskdale muir;
And it fell down a weary weight,
Just on the threshold of Branksome gate.
The Earl was a wrathful man to see,
Full lain avenged would he be.
In haste to Branksome's lord he spoke,
Saying—" Take these traitors to thy yoke;
For a cast of hawks, and a purse of gold,
All Eskdale I'll sell thee, to have and hold:
Beshrew thy heart, of the Beattisons' clan
If thou leavest on Eske a landed man;
But spare Woodkerrick's lands alone,
For he lent me his horse to escape upon."—
A glad man then was Branksome bold,
Down he flung him the purse of gold;
To Eskdale soon he spurred amain,
And with him five hundred riders has ta'en.
He left his merrymen in the mist of the hill,
And bade them hold them close and still;
And alone he wended to the plain,
To meet with the Galliard and all his train.
To Gilbert the Galliard thus he said :—
"Know thou me for thy liege lord and head;
Deal not with me as with Morton tame,
For Scotts play best at the roughest game.
Give me in peace my heriot due,
Thy bonny white steed, or thou shalt rue.
If my horn I three times wind,
Eskdale shall long have the sound in mind."—
Loudly the Beattison laughed in scorn;—
He blew his bugle so loud and hoarse,
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 Eskedale 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 Hindhaugh-swair,
From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen, Trooped man and horse, and bow and spear;
Their gathering word was Bellenden.
The Ladye marked the aids come in,
And learn to face his foes.
I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff,
Thou, Whitslade, shall teach him his weapon to wield,
And o'er him hold his father's shield."—
And moaned and plained in manner wild.
Some fairy, sure, had changed the child,