ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Himself, the hoary Seneschal,
Rode forth, in seemly terms to call
Those gallant foes to Branksome Hall.
Accepted Howard, than whom knight
Was never dubbed, more bold in fight;
Nor, when from war and armour free,
More famed for stately courtesy:
But angry Dacre rather chose
In his pavilion to repose.

VI.

Now, noble Dame, perchance you ask,
How these two hostile armies met?
Deeming it were no easy task

To keep the truce which here was set;
Where martial spirits, all on fire,
Breathed only blood and mortal ire.—
By mutual inroads, mutual blows,
By habit, and by nation, foes,

They met on Teviot's strand:
They met, and sate them mingled down,
Without a threat, without a frown,
As brothers meet in foreign land:
The hands, the spear that lately grasped,
Still in the mailed gauntlet clasped,

Were interchanged in greeting dear;
Visors were raised, and faces shewn, . -
And many a friend, to friend made known,

Partook of social cheer.
Some drove the jolly bowl about;

With dice and draughts some chased the day j
And some, with many a merry shout,
In riot, revelry, and rout,

Pursued the foot-ball play.

VII.

Yet, be it known, had bugles blown,
Or sign of war been seen,

Those bands, so fair together ranged,
Those hands, so frankly interchanged,

Had dyed with gore the green:
The merry shout by Teviot-side
Had sunk in war-cries wild and wide,

And in the groan of death;
And whingers, * now in friendship bare,
The social meal to part and share,

Had found a bloody sheath.
'Twixt truce and war, such sudden change
Was not unfrequent, nor held strange,

In the old Border-day: But yet on Branksome's towers and town, In peaceful merriment, sunk down

The sun's declining ray.

via

The blithesome signs of wassel gay
Decayed not with the dying day;

* A sort of knife, or poniard.

Soon through the latticed windows tall
Of lofty Branksorae's lordly hall,
Divided square by shafts of stone,
Huge flakes of ruddy lustre shone;
Nor less the gilded rafters rang
With merry harp and beakers' clang:
And frequent, on the darkening plain,

Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran,
As bands, their stragglers to regain,

Give the shrill watch-word of their clan; And revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim Douglas or Dacre's conquering name.

IX.

Less frequent heard, and fainter still,
At length the various clamours died;

And you might hear, from Branksome hill,
No sound but Teviot's rushing tide;

Save, when the changing centinel

The challenge of his watch could tell;

And save, where, through the dark profound, The clanging axe and hammer's sound

Rung from the nether lawn; For many a busy hand toiled there, Strong pales to shape, and beams to square, The lists' dread barriers to prepare

Against the morrow's dawn.

X.

Margaret from hall did soon retreat,
Despite the Dame's reproving eye;

Nor marked she, as she left her seat,
Full many a stifled sigh:

For many a noble warrior strove

To win the Flower of Teviot's love,
And many a bold ally.—

With throbbing head and anxious heart,

All in her lonely bower apart,

« 前へ次へ »