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He was of stature passing tall,

u

But sparely formed, and lean withal:
A battered morion " on his brow;
A leathern jack, as fence enow,
On his broad shoulders loosely hung;
A border-axe behind was slung;

His spear, six Scottish ells in length,
Seemed newly dyed with gore;

His shafts and bow, of wondrous strength,
His hardy partner bore.

VI

Thus to the Ladye did Tinlinn show
The tidings of the English foe:-

"Belted Will Howard is marching here,
And hot Lord Dacre," with many a spear.
And all the German hagbut men,
Who have long lain at Askerten:
They crossed the Liddel at curfew hour,
And burned my little lonely tower;
The fiend receive their souls therefor!
It had not been burned this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight;

But I was chased the live-long night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Græme,
Fast upon my traces came,

Until I turned at Priesthaugh-Scrogg,

And shot their horses in the bog,

Slew Fergus with my lance outright

I had him long at high despite;

He drove my cows last Fastern's night."

VII

Now weary scouts from Liddesdale,

Fast hurrying in, confirmed the tale;

habitations, so much exposed to be burned and plundered, they were proportionally anxious to display splendour in decorating and ornamenting their females.

u A conical skull-cap, with a rim round it.-Halliwell, Arch. Dict. ▾ Lord William Howard, third son of Thomas, duke of Norfolk. By a poetical anachronism, he is introduced into the romance a few years earlier than he actually flourished. He was warden of the Western Marches; and, from the rigour with which he repressed the Border excesses, the name of Belted Will Howard is still famous in Border traditions. Naworth Castle was his residence.

w The well-known name of Dacre is derived from the exploits of one of their ancestors at the siege of Acre or Ptolemais, under Richard Cœur de Lion. There were two powerful branches of that name.

In the wars with Scotland, Henry VIII. and his successors em. ployed numerous bands of mercenary troops. • Shrove Tuesday.

› Musketeers.

As far as they could judge by ken,

Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand
Three thousand armèd Englishmen.-
Meanwhile, full many a warlike band,
From Teviot, Aill, and Ettricke shade,
Came in, their Chief's defence to aid.
There was saddling and mounting in haste,
There was pricking o'er moor and lee;
He, that was last at the trysting place,
Was but lightly held of his gay ladye.

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From fair St. Mary's silver wave;
From dreary Gamescleuch's dusky height,
His ready lances Thirlestane brave a
Arrayed beneath a banner bright.
The tressured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreathe his shield, since royal James,
Encamped by Fala's mossy wave,
The proud distinction grateful gave,
For faith 'mid feudal jars;

What time, save Thirlestane alone,
Of Scotland's stubborn barons none
Would march to southern wars;
And hence, in fair remembrance worn,
Yon sheaf of spears his crest has borne;
Hence his high motto shines revealed,-
"Ready, aye ready," for the field.

IX

An aged knight, to danger steeled,

With many a moss-trooper came on;
And azure in a golden field,

The stars and crescent graced his shield,
Without the bend of Murdieston.b
Wide lay his lands round Oakwood tower,
And wide round haunted Castle-Ower;
High over Borthwick's mountain flood,
His wood-embosomed mansion stood;

a Sir John Scott of Thirlestane flourished in the reign of James V., and possessed the estates of Thirlestane, Gamescleuch, &c., lying upon the river Ettricke, and extending to St. Mary's Loch, at the head of Yarrow. It appears, that when James had assembled his nobility, and their feudal followers, at Fala, with the purpose of invading England, and was, as is well known, disappointed by the obstinate refusal of his peers, this baron alone declared himself ready to follow the king wherever he should lead. In memory of his fidelity, James granted to his family a charter of arms, entitling them to bear a border of fleurs-de-luce, similar to the tressure in the royal arms, with a bundle of spears for the crest; motto, "Ready, aye ready." The family of Harden, before alluded to.

In the dark glen, so deep below,

The herds of plundered England low;

His bold retainers' daily food,

And bought with danger, blows, and blood.
Marauding chief! his sole delight

The moonlight raid, the morning fight;
Not even the Flower of Yarrow's charms,
In youth, might tame his rage for arms;
And still, in age, he spurned at rest,
And still his brows the helmet pressed,
Albeit the blanchèd locks below
Were white as Dinlay's spotless snow:
Five stately warriors drew the sword
Before their father's band;

A braver knight than Harden's lord
Ne'er belted on a brand.

X

Scotts of Eskdale, a stalwart band,
Came trooping down the Todshaw hill;
By the sword they won their land,

And by the sword they hold it still.
Hearken, Ladye, to the tale,
How thy sires won fair Eskdale.-
Earl Morton was lord of that valley fair,
The Beattisons were his vassals there.
The Earl was gentle, and mild of mood,
The vassals were warlike, and fierce, and rude;
High of heart, and haughty of word,

Little they recked of a tame liege-lord.
The Earl to fair Eskdale came,

Homage and seignory to claim:

Of Gilbert the Galliard, a heriotd he sought,

Saying, "Give thy best steed, as a vassal ought."—
"Dear to me is my bonny white steed,
Oft has he helped me at pinch of need;
Lord and Earl though thou be, I trow,
I can rein Bucksfoot better than thou.'
Word on word gave fuel to fire,

Till so highly blazed the Beattison's ire,

In this, and the following stanzas, some account is given of the mode in which the property of the valley of Eske was transferred from the Beattisons, its ancient possessors, to the name of Scott. It is needless to repeat the circumstances, which are given in the poem, literally as they have been preserved by tradition. Lord Maxwell, in the latter part of the sixteenth century, took upon himself the title of earl of Morton. The descendants of Beattison of Woodkerrick, who aided the earl to escape from his disobedient vassals, continued to hold these lands within the memory of man, and were the only Beattisons who had property in the dale. The old people give locality to the story by showing the Galliard's Haugh, the place where Buccleuch's men were left, &c.

a The feudal superior, in certain cases, was entitled to the best horse of the vassal, in name of Heriot, or Herezeld.

But that the Earl the flight had ta'en,
The vassals there their lord had slain.
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.

XI

The Earl was a wrathful man to see!
Full fain avengèd 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 merry men 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."

XII

Loudly the Beattison laughed in scorn:"Little care we for thy winded horn.

Ne'er shall it be the Galliard's lot,

To yield his steed to a haughty Scott.
Wend thou to Branksome back on foot,

With rusty spur and miry boot."

He blew his bugle so loud and hoarse,

That the dun deer started at fair Craíkcross;

He blew again so loud and clear,

Through the grey mountain-mist there did lances appear;

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 Eskdale 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.

XIII

Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came,
And warriors more than I may name;
From Yarrow-cleuche to Hindhaugh-swair,
From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen,
Trooped man and horse, and bow and spear;
Their gathering word was "Bellenden!"""
And better hearts o'er Border sod
To siege or rescue never rode.

The Ladye marked the aids come in,
And high her heart of pride arose:
She bade her youthful son attend,
That he might know his father's friend,
And learn to face his foes.
"The boy is ripe to look on war;
I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff,
And his true arrow struck afar

The raven's nest upon the cliff;

The Red Cross, on a southern breast,

Is broader than the raven's nest;

Thou, Whitslade, shall teach him his weapon to wield,
And o'er him hold his father's shield."-

XIV

Well may you think, the wily Page
Cared not to face the Ladye sage.

He counterfeited childish fear,

And shrieked, and shed full many a tear,
And moaned and plained in manner wild.
The attendants to the Ladye told,
Some fairy, sure, had changed the child,
That wont to be so free and bold.

Then wrathful was the noble dame;
She blushed blood-red for very shame:-
"Hence! ere the clan his faintness view;
Hence with the weakling to Buccleuch
Watt Tinlinn, thou shalt be his guide
To Rangleburn's lonely side.-

Sure some fell fiend has cursed our line,
That coward should e'er be son of mine!"

• A cleuch is a rugged ascent.

' Bellenden is situated near the head of Borthwick Water, and, being in the centre of the possessions of the Scotts, was frequently used as their place of rendezvous and as a gathering-word.

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