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XXVIII. « Ah! noble lords !» he, breathless, said, « What treason has your march betray'd ? What make you here, from aid so far, Before you walls, around you war? Your foemen triumph in the thought, That in the toils the lion 's caught. Already on dark Rubershiw The Douglas holds his weapon-shaw;' The lances, waving in his train, Clothe the dun heath like autumn grain ; And on the Liddel's northern straud, To bar retreat lo Cumberland, Lord Maxwell ranks his merry-men good, Beneath the eagle and the rood; And Jedwood, Eske, and Tevioidale,

llave to proud Angus come! And all the Merse and Lauderdale

llave risen with haughty Home. Av exile from Northumberland,

In Liddesdale I've wanderd long; But still my

heart was with merry England, And cannot brook my country's wrong; And hard I've spurrid all night to show The mustering of the coming foe.»

XXXII.
The pursuivant-at-arms again

Before the castle took his stand;
His trumpet calld, with parleying strain,

The leaders of the Scottish band;
And he defied, in Musgrave's right,
Scout Delopaine to single fight;
A gauntlet at their feet he laid,
And thus the terms of highe he said :-
« If in the lists good Musgrave's sword

Vanquish the knight of Deloraine,
Your youthful chieftain, Branksome's lord,

Shall hostage for his clan remain :
Jf Deloraine foil good Musgrave,
The boy his liberty shall have.

Howe'er it falls, the English band,
Unharming Scots, by Scots unharm'd,
In peaceful march, like men unarm’d,

Shall straight retreat to Cumberland.»

XXIX. « And let them come!» fierce Dacre cried; « For soou yon crest, my father's pride, That swept the shores of Judali's sea, And waved in gales of Galilee, From Branksome's highest towers display'd, Shall mock the rescue's lingering aid !Level each harquebuss on row; Draw, merry arcbers, draw the bow; l'p, bill-men, to the walls, and cry, Dacre for England, win or die!»

XXXUI.
Unconscious of the near relief,
The proffer pleased each Scottish chief,

Though much the Ladye sage gainsaid;
For though their hearts were brave and true,
From Jedwood's recent sack they knew

How tardy was the regent's aid: And you may guess the noble dame

Durst not the secret prescience own, Sprung from the art she might not name,

By which the coming help was known.
Closed was the compact, and agreed,
That lists should be inclosed with speed,

Beneath the castle, on a lawn :
They fix'd the morrow for the strife,
On foot, with Scottish axe and knife,

At the fourth hour from peep of dawn;
When Deloraine, from sickness freed,
Or else a champion in his stead,
Should for himself and chieftain stand,
Against stout Musgrave, hand to hand.

XXX. « Yet hear,» quoth Howard, « calmly hear, Nor deem my words the words of fear; For who, in field or foray slack, Saw the blanche lion (20) e'er fall back? But thus to risk our Border flower In strife against a kingdom's power, Ten thousand Scots gainst thousands three, Certes, were desperate policy. Nay, take the terms the Ladye made, Ere conscious of the advancing aid : Let Musgrave meet fierec Deloraine Jo single fight, (21) and if he gain, He gains for us; but if be's cross'd, "T is but a single warrior lost: The rest, retrcating as they came, Avoid defcat, and death, and shame,»

XXXIV.
I know right well, that, in their lay, ,
Full many minstreis sing and say,

Such combat should be made on horse,
On foaming steed, in full career,
With brand to aid, when as the spear

Should shiver in the course :
But he, the jovial harper, (22) taught
Me, yet a youth, how it was fought,

In guise whichi now I say;
lle kuew each ordinance and clause
Of black Lord Archibald's battle laws,

In the old Donglas' day. (23)
Ne brook'd not, lie, that seofling tongue
Should tax lijs miostrcisy with wrong,

Or call bis song untrue:
For this, when they the goblet plied,
And such rude taunt had chafed his pride,

The Bard of Reull he slew.
On Teviot's side in fight they stood,
And tuneful hands were stam'd with blood;
Where still the thorn's white branches wave,
Memorial o'er luis rival's grave.

XXXI.
IlI could the haughty Dacre brook
llis brother-warden's sage rebuke;
And yet bis forward step be staid,
And slow and sullenly obey'd.
But ne'er again the Border side
Did these two lords in friendship ride ;
And this slight discontent, men say,

Cost blood upon another day.
"Weapon-shaw, the military array of a country.

XXIV.
Wby should I tell the rigid doom,
That draugd my master to his tomb,

How Ousenam's maidens tore their hair, Wepl till their eyes were dead and dim, And wrung their hands for love of him,

Who died at Jedwood Air?
He died !- his scholars, one by one,
To the cold silent grave are gone
And I, alas ! survive alone,
To muse o'er rivalries of yore,
And grieve that I shall bear no more
The strains, with envy heard before;
For, with my minstrel brethren fled,
My jealousy of song is dead.

II. Not that, in sooth, o'er mortal uru Those things inanimate can mourn; But that the stream, the wood, the gale, Is vocal with the plaintive wail Of those, who, else forgotten long Lived in the poet's faithful song. And, with the poet's parting breath, Whose memory feels a second death. The maid's pale shade, who wails her lot, Tiat love, true love, should be forgot, From rose and hawthorn shakes the tear Upon the gentle minstrel's bier The phantom knight, his glory fled, Mourns o'er the field he heap'd with dead; ! Mounts the wild blast that sweeps amain, And shrieks along the battle-plain : The chief, whose antique crownlet long Still sparkled in the feudal song, Now, from the mountain's misty throne, Sees, in the thanedom once his own, His ashes undistinguish'd lie, His place, his power, his memory die: His groans the lonely caverns fill," : Ilis tears of rage impel the rill; All mourn the mriostrel's harp unstrung, Their name unknown, their praise unsung.

Be paused: the listening dames again Applaud the hoary Minstrel's strain. With many a word of kindly cheer,In pity half, and half sincere, Marvellid the duchess how so well His legendary song could tellOf ancient deeds, so long forgot ; Of feuds, whose memory was not; Of forests, pow laid waste and bare: Of towers, which harbour now the hare; Of manners, long since changed and gone; Of chiefs, who under their

gray stone So long had slept, that fickle Fame Had blotted from her rolls their name, And twined round some new minion's head The fading wreath for which they bled ; In sooth, 't was strange, this old man's verse; Could call them from their marble hearse.

JII.
Scarcely the trot assault was staid,
The terms of truce were scarcely made,
When they could spy,

from Brauksome's lowers,
The advancing march of martial powers :
Thick clouds of dust afar appear'd,
And trampling steeds were faintly heard;
Bright spears, above the columns dun,
Glanced momentary to the sun;
And feudal banners fair display'd
The bands that moved to Brank some's aid.

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IV.
Vails not to tell each hardy clan,

From the fair Middle Marches came;
The Bloody Heart blazed in the van,

Announcing Douglas, dreaded name! (1)
'Vails not to tell what steeds did spurn,
Where the Seven Spears of Wedderburne (2)

Their men in baitle-order sel;
And Swinton laid the lance in rest,
That tamed of yore the sparkling crest

Of Clarence's Plantagenet. (3)
Nor lists I say what hundreds more,
From the rich Mersc and Lammermore,
And Tweed's fair borders, to the war,
Beneath the crest of old Dunbar,

And Hepburn's mingled banners, come,
Down the steep mountain glittering far,

And shouting still, « A Home! a Home!» (4)

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Now squire and knight, from Branksome scot,
On many a courteous message went;
To
every

chief and Jord they paid
Meet thanks for prompt and powerful aid;
And told them,-how a truce was made,

And how a day of fight was ta'en
'Twixt Musgrave and stout Deloraine ;
And how the Ladye pray'd them dear,
That all would stay the fight to see,
And deign, in love and courtesy,

To taste of Branksome cheer.
Nor, while they bade to fcast each Scot,
Were England's noble lords forgot;
Himself, the hoary seneschal,
Rode forth, in seemly terms to call
Those gallant foes to Branksome-hall.
Accepled Howard, than whom knight
Was never dubbd more bold in fight;
Nor, when from war and armour free,
More famed for stately courtesy:
But angry Dacre rather chose
Jo liis 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 truee 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 mel, and sate them mingled down,
Without a threat, without a frown,
As brothers meet in foreign land:
The hands, the spear that lately grasp'd,
Still in the mailed gauntlet clasp'd,

Were interchanged in greeting dear;
Visors were rais'd, and faces shown,
And many a friend, to friend made known,

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

With dice and draughits some chased the day; And some,

with

many a merry shout,
Jo riot, revelry, and rout,
Pursued the foot-ball play. (5)

VI.
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 hy 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 infrequent, nor held strange,

In the old Border day:(6)
But yet on Branksome's towers and town,
In peaceful merriment, sunk down

The sun's declining ray.

Soon through the latticed windows tall
Of lofty Branksome'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,

Gave the shirill watch-word of their clan; (7) 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 sentinel
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 toild 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 mark'd 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,

In broken sleep she lay:
By times, from silken couch she rose;
While yet the banner'd hosts repose,

She view'd the dawning day:
Of all the hundreds sunk to rest,
First woke the loveliest and the best.

XI.
She gazed upon the inner court,

Which in the tower's tall shadow lay;
Where coursers' clang, and stamp, and snort,
Had
rung

the livelong yesterday; Now still as death; till, stalking slow,—

The jingling spurs announced his tread, A stately warrior pass'd below;

But when he raised his plumed head

Blessed Mary! can it be?---
Secure, as if in Ousenam bowers,
He walks through Branksome's hostile towers,

With fearless step and free.
She dared not sigo, she dared not speak-
Oh! if one page's slumbers break,

His blood the price must pay!
Not all the pearls Queen Mary wears,
Not Margaret's yet more precious tears,

Shall buy his life a day.

VIII.
The blithesome signs of wassel gay

Decay'd not with the dyiog day; "A sort of knife, or poniard.

XII. Yet was his hazard small; for well You may bethink you of the spell

In armour sheath'd from top to toe, Appear'd, and craved the combat due. The dame her charm successful knew,' And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew.

Of that sly urchin page;
This to his lord he did impart,
And made him seem, by glamour art,

A kuight from Hermitage: Unchallenged, thus, the warder's post, The court, unchallenged, thus he crossid,

For all the 'assalage: But, 0! what magic's quaint disguise Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes!

She started from her seat; While with surprise and fear she strove, And both could scarcely master love

Lord Henry's at her feet.

XU.
Oft have I mused, what purpose bad
That vile malicious urchin had

To bring this meeting round;
For happy love's a heavenly sight,
And by a vile malignant sprite

In such no joy is found; And oft I've deem'd, perchance he thought Their erring passion might' have wrought

Sorrow, and sin, and shame: And death to Cranstoun's gallant knight, And to the gentle ladye bright,

Disgrace, and loss of fame. But earthly spirit could not tell The heart of them that loved so well. True love's the gift which God has given To man alone beneath the heaven. It is not fantasy's bot fire,

Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly; It liveth not in fierce desire,

With dead desire it doth not die; It is the secret sympathy, The silver link, the silken tie, Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, In body and in soul ean bind. Now leave we Margaret and her knight, To tell you of the approaching fight.

XVI. When for the lists they sought the plain, The stately Ladye's silken reia

Did noble Howard hold;
Unarmed by her side be walkid,
And much, in courteous phrase, they talk'd

Of feats of arms of old.
Costly his garb—his Flemish ruff
Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff,

With satin slash'd and lined;
*Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,
His cloak was all of Poland fur;

His hose with silver twined: His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt, Hung in a broad and studded belt; Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still Call'd noble Howard, Belted Will.

XVII.
Behind Lord Howard and the dame,
Fair Margaret on her palfrey came,
Whose foot-cloth swept the ground;
White was her wimple, and her veil,
And her loose locks a chaplet pale
Of whitest roses bound.
The lordly Angus, by her side,
In courtesy to cheer her tried;
Without his aid, her hand in vain
Had strove to guide her broider'd rein.
He deem'd, she shudder'd at the sight
Of warriors met for mortal fight;
But cause of terror, all unguess'd,
Was fluttering in her gentle breast,
When, in their chairs of crimson placed,
The dame and she the barriers graced.

XVIII.
Prize of the field, the young Buccleuch,
An Englishı knight led forth to view;
Scarce rued the boy his present plight,
So much be long'd to see the fight.
Within the lists, in-knightly pride,
High Home and haughty Dacre ride;
Their leading-staffs of steel they wield,
As marshals of the mortal field;
While to each knight their care assign'd
Like vantage of the sun and wind.
Then heralds hoarse did loud proclaim,
In king and queen, and warden's name,

That none, while lasts the strife,
Should dare, by look, or sigo, or word,
Aid to a champion to afford,

On peril of his life;
And not a breath the silence broke,
Till thus the alternate heralds spoke:

XIV.
Their warning blast the bugles blew,

The pipe's shrill port', aroused each clan; In haste, the deadly strife to view,

The trooping warriors eager ran:
Thick round the lists their lanccs stood,
Like blasted pines in Eurrick wood;
To Branksome many a look they threw,
The combatants' approach to view,
And bandied many a word of boast,
About the knight each favour'd most.

XV.
Meantime full anxious was the dame;
For now aro

disputed claim, Of who should fight for Deloraine, "Twixt Harden and 'twixt Thirlestanc; They 'gan to reckon kin and rent, And frowning brow on brow was bent;

But yet not long the strife-for, lo! Himself, the Knight of Deloraine, Strong, as it seem'd, and free from pain,

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"See p. 12, Stanza 23.

Amends from Deloraine to crave,

For foul despiteous scathe and scoru. He sayeth that William of Deloraine

Is traitor false by Border laws; This with his sword he will maintain,

So help him God, and his good cause!

And still the crucifix on high
Ile holds before luis darkening eye;
And still he bends an anxious ear,
His faltering penitence to hear ;

Still props him from the bloody sod,
Still, even when soul and body part,
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart,

And bids him trust in God! Unheard he prays;- the death-pang 's o'er!-Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.

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XXI. Ill would it suit your gentle ear, Ye lovely listeners, to hear How to the axe the helms did sound, And blood pour'd down from many a wound; For desperate was the strife and long, And either warrior fierce and strong. But, were each dame a listening knight, I well could tell how warriors fight; For I have seen war's lightning flashing, Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing, Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing, And scorn'd, amid the reeling, strife, To yield a step for death or life.

XXIV.
As if exhausted in the fight,
Or musing o'er the piteous sight,

The sileut victor stands;
His beaver did he not unclasp,
Mark'd not the shouls, felt not the grasp

Of gratulating hands.
When lo! strange cries of wild surprise,
Mingled with seeming terror, rise

Among the Scottishi bands;
And alt, amid the throng d array,
In panic haste gave open way
To a half-naked ghastly mu,
Who downward from the castle ran:
He cross'd the barriers at a bound,
And wild and baggard look d around,

As dizzy, and in pain ;
And all, upon the armed ground,

knew William of Deloraine!
Each Jadye sprung from seal with speed ;
Vaulted each marshal from his steed;

« And who art thou,» they cried, « Who bast this battle fought and won ?» His plumed helm was soou undone

« Cranstoun of Teviot side!
For this fair prize I've fought and won,»
And to the Ladye led her son.

XXV.
Full oft the rescued boy she kiss'd,
And often pressd him to her breast;
For, under all her dauntless show,
Her heart had throbb'd at every blow;
Yet not Lord Cranstoun deign'd she groet,
Though low he kneeled at her feet.
Me list not tell what words were made,
What Douglas, Home, and Howard said

- For Howard was a generous foeAnd how the clan anited pray'd,

The Ladye would the feud forego,
And deign to bless the nuptial hour
Of Cranstoun's Lord and Teviot's Flower.

XXVI.
Shelook'd to river, look'd to hill,

Thought on the Spirits' prophecy, Then broke her silence stern and still,

« Not you, but late, has vanquish'd me; Their intluence kindly stars may shower, On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower,

For pride is quell'd, and love is free.» She took fair Margaret by the land, Who, breathless, trembling, scarce miglat stand;

That hand to Craostoun's lord gave show u As I am true to thee and thine, Do thou be true to me and mine!

XXII. "T is done, 't is done! that fatal blow

Has stretcli'd him on the bloody plain ; He strives to rise-Brave Musgrave, no!

Thence never shalt thou rise again! He chokes in blood-some friendly hand Undo the visor's barred band, Unfix the gorget's iron clay, And give him room for life lo gasp ;0, bootless aid !-haste, hely friar, Haste, ere the sinner shall expire! Of all his guilt let him be shiriven, And smooth his path from eartlı to heaven!

XXIII.
In haste the holy friar sped ;
His naked foot was dyed with red,

As through the lists he ran;
Unmindful of the shouls on high,
That haild the conqueror's victory,

He raised the dying inan; Loose waved his silver beard and hair, As o'er him he kneeld down in prayer ;

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