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Himself, the hoary Seneschal,
Now, noble Dame, perchance you ask,
To keep the truce which here was set;
They met on Teviot's strand:
Were interchanged in greeting dear;
Partook of social cheer.
With dice and draughts some chased the day j
Pursued the foot-ball play.
Yet, be it known, had bugles blown,
Those bands, so fair together ranged,
Had dyed with gore the green:
And in the groan of death;
Had found a bloody sheath.
In the old Border-day: But yet on Branksome's towers and town, In peaceful merriment, sunk down
The sun's declining ray.
The blithesome signs of wassel gay
* A sort of knife, or poniard.
Soon through the latticed windows tall
Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran,
Give the shrill watch-word of their clan; And revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim Douglas or Dacre's conquering name.
Less frequent heard, and fainter still,
And you might hear, from Branksome hill,
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.
Margaret from hall did soon retreat,
Nor marked she, as she left her seat,
For many a noble warrior strove
To win the Flower of Teviot's love,
With throbbing head and anxious heart,
All in her lonely bower apart,