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Whene'er she turned it round and round,
Twisted, as if she galled his wound.

Then to her maidens she did say,
That he should be whole man and sound,
Within the course of a night and day.
Full long she toiled; for she did rue
Mishap to friend so stout and true.

XXIV

So passed the day-the evening fell,
'Twas near the time of curfew bell;
The air was mild, the wind was calm,
The stream was smooth, the dew was balm;
E'en the rude watchman, on the tower,
Enjoyed and blessed the lovely hour.
Far more fair Margaret loved and blessed
The hour of silence and of rest.
On the high turret sitting lone,

She waked at times the lute's soft tone;
Touched a wild note, and all between
Thought of the bower of hawthorns green.
Her golden hair streamed free from band,
Her fair cheek rested on her hand,
Her blue eyes sought the west afar,
For lovers love the western star.

XXV

Is yon the star, o'er Penchryst Pen,
That rises slowly to her ken,

And, spreading broad its wavering light,
Shakes its loose tresses on the night?
Is yon red glare the western star?-

O, 'tis the beacon-blaze of war!

Scarce could she draw her tightened breath,
For well she knew the fire of death!

XXVI

The Warder viewed it blazing strong,
And blew his war-note loud and long,
Till, at the high and haughty sound,
Rock, wood, and river rung around.
The blast alarmed the festal hall,
And startled forth the warriors all;
Far downward, in the castle-yard,
Full many a torch and cresset glared;
And helms and plumes, confusedly tossed,
Were in the blaze half seen, half lost;
And spears in wild disorder shook,
Like reeds beside a frozen brook.

d An open lamp, suspended on pivots in a kind of fork, and carried upon a pole. It was sometimes a hollow pan filled with combustibles, and indeed, any hollow vessel employed for holding a light, was so called.-Halliwell, Arch. Dict.

XXVII

The Seneschal, whose silver hair

Was reddened by the torches' glare,
Stood, in the midst, with gesture proud,
And issued forth his mandates loud:-
"On Penchryst glows a balee of fire,
And three are kindling on Priesthaughswire;
Ride out, ride out,

The foe to scout!

Mount, mount for Branksome, every man!
Thou, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan,
That ever are true and stout.-
Ye need not send to Liddesdale;
For, when they see the blazing bale,
Elliots and Armstrongs never fail.-
Ride, Alton, ride, for death and life,
And warn the warden of the strife.
Young Gilbert, let our beacon blaze,
Our kin, and clan, and friends, to raise."

XXVIII

Fair Margaret, from the turret head,
Heard, far below, the coursers' tread,
While loud the harness rung,
As to their seats, with clamour dread,
The ready horsemen sprung;
And trampling hoofs, and iron coats,
And leaders' voices, mingled notes,
And out! and out!

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The ready page, with hurried hand,
Awaked the need-fire'ss slumbering brand,
And ruddy blushed the heaven:

For a sheet of flame, from the turret high,
Waved like a blood-flag on the sky,

All flaring and uneven.

And soon a score of fires, I ween,

From height, and hill, and cliff, were seen,

A Border beacon. From their number and position they formed a kind of telegraphic communication with Edinburgh. These beacons were "a long and strong tree set up, with a long iron pole across the head of it, and an iron brander fixed on a stalk in the middle of it, for holding a tar-barrel.

f "Mount for Branksome,” was the gathering cry of the Scotts. * Beacon,

Each with warlike tidings fraught;
Each from each the signal caught;
Each after each they glanced to sight,
As stars arise upon the night.
They gleamed on many a dusky tarn,
Haunted by the lonely earn ;i
On many a cairn's grey pyramid,
Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid:
Till high Dunedin the blazes saw,
From Soltra and Dumpender Law;
And Lothian heard the Regent's order,
That all should bowne* them for the Border.

XXX

The livelong night in Branksome rang
The ceaseless sound of steel;
The castle-bell, with backward clang,
Sent forth the larum peal;

Was frequent heard the heavy jar
Where massy stone and iron bar
Were piled on echoing keep and tower,
To whelm the foe with deadly shower;
Was frequent heard the changing guard,
And watch-word from the sleepless ward;
While, wearied by the endless din,
Blood-hound and ban-dog yelled within.

XXXI

The noble Dame, amid the broil,

Shared the grey Seneschal's high toil,
And spoke of danger with a smile;
Cheered the young knights, and counsel sage
Held with the chiefs of riper age.
No tidings of the foe were brought,
Nor of his numbers knew they aught,
Nor in what time the truce he sought.

Some said, that there were thousands ten;
And others weened that it was nought
But Leven clans, or Tynedale mien,
Who came to gather in black mail;1
And Liddesdale, with small avail,

Might drive them lightly back again.
So passed the anxious night away,
And welcome was the peep of day.

h A mountain lake.

i The Scottish eagle.

The cairns, or piles of loose stones, which crown the summit of most of our Scotch hills, and are found in other remarkable situations, seem usually, though not universally, to have been sepulchral monuments. They appear to have been a barbarous imitation of the Romar fashion of sepulture.

* Make ready.

1 Protection-money exacted by freebooters.

CEASED the high sound-the listening throng
Applaud the Master of the Song;
And marvel much, in helpless age,
So hard should be his pilgrimage.
Had he no friend-no daughter dear,
His wandering toil to share and cheer;
No son, to be his father's stay,
And guide him on the rugged way
"Ay! once he had-but he was dead!"
Upon the harp he stooped his head,
And busied himself the strings withal,
To hide the tear, that fain would fall.
In solemn measure, soft and slow,
Arose a father's notes of woe.

१.

CANTO FOURTH.

I

SWEET Teviot! on thy silver tide
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more;
No longer steel-clad warriors ride
Along thy wild and willowed shore;
Where'er thou wind'st by dale or hill,
All, all is peaceful, all is still,

As if thy waves, since Time was born,
Since first they rolled upon the Tweed,
Had only heard the shepherd's reed,
Nor started at the bugle-horn.

II

Unlike the tide of human time,

Which, though it change in ceaseless flow, Retains each grief, retains each crime,

Its earliest course was doomed to know,

And, darker as it downward bears,

Is stained with past and present tears.
Low as that tide has ebbed with me,

It still reflects to memory's eye
The hour, my brave, my only boy,
Fell by the side of great Dundee.m

Why, when the volleying musket played
Against the bloody Highland blade,
Why was not I beside him laid!-
Enough-he died the death of fame;

Enough-he died with conquering Græme.

The viscount of Dundee, slain in the battle of Killycrankia

III

Now over Border dale and fell,

Full wide and far was terror spread;
For pathless marsh, and mountain cell,"
The peasant left his lowly shed.

n

The frightened flocks and herds were pent
Beneath the peel's rude battlement;

And maids and matrons dropped the tear,
While ready warriors seized the spear.
From Branksome's towers, the watchman's eye
Dun wreaths of distant smoke can spy,
Which, curling in the rising sun,
Showed southern ravage was begun.

IV

Now loud the heedful gate-ward cried-
"Prepare ye all for blows and blood!
Watt Tinlinn," from the Liddel-side,
Comes wading through the flood.
Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock,
At his lone gate, and prove the lock;
It was but last St. Barnabright P
They sieged him a whole summer night,
But fled at morning; well they knew,
In vain he never twanged the yew.
Right sharp has been the evening shower,
That drove him from his Liddel tower;
And, by my faith," the gate-ward said,
"I think 'twill prove a Warden-Raid." a

While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
Entered the echoing barbican.
He led a small and shaggy nag,
That through a bog, from hag to hag,"
Could bound like any Bilhopes stag.
It bore his wife and children twain;
A half-clothed serf was all their train:
His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark-browed,
Of silver brooch and bracelet proud,

Laughed to her friends among the crowd.

■ The morasses were the usual refuge of the Border herdsmen, on the approach of an English army. Caves, hollowed out in the most dangerous and inaccessible places, also afforded an occasional retreat.

• The theme of many a fireside tale. He was a retainer of the Buccleuch family, and held for his Border service a small tower on the frontiers of Liddesdale.

P The provincial name for St. Barnabas' day, June 11th, which has been celebrated in proverbs and nursery-rhymes under this name. -Halliwell, Arch. Dict.

a An inroad commanded by the warder in person.

The broken ground in a bog.

• A place in Liddesdale celebrated for its game.

As the Borderers were indifferent about the furniture of their

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