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Against fierce Musgrave axe did wield,
Under the name of Deloraine.
Hence, to the field, unarmed, he ran,
And hence his presence scared the clan,
Who held him for some fleeting wraith,"
And not a man of blood and breath.
Not much this new ally he loved,
Yet, when he saw what hap had proved,
He greeted him right heartilie:
He would not waken old debate,
For he was void of rancorous hate,

Though rude, and scant of courtesy ;
In raids he spilt but seldom blood,
Unless when men at arms withstood,
Or, as was meet, for deadly feud.
He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow,
Ta'en in fair fight from gallant foe:
And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now,

When on dead Musgrave he looked down;
Grief darkened on his rugged brow,

Though half disguised with a frown;

And thus, while sorrow bent his head,
His foeman's epitaph he made:

XXIX

"Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here! I ween, my deadly enemy;

For if I slew thy brother dear,

Thou slewst a sister's son to me;

And when I lay in dungeon dark,

Of Naworth Castle, long months three,
Till ransomed for a thousand mark,
Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee.
And, Musgrave, could our fight be tried,
And thou wert now alive, as I,
No mortal man should us divide,
Till one, or both of us, did die.
Yet rest thee Go! for well I know,
I ne'er shall find a nobler foe.
In all the northern counties here,
Whose word is, Snaffle, spur, and spear,y
Thou wert the best to follow gear.
"Twas pleasure, as we looked behind,
To see how thou the chase couldst wind,
Cheer the dark bloodhound on his way,
And with the bugle rouse the fray! z

The spectral apparition of a living person.

• Hostile incursions.

"The lands, that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear, Have for their blazon had, the snaffle, spur, and spear." Poly-Albion, Song xill.

• The pursuit of Border marauders was followed by the injured party

F

I'd give the lands of Deloraine,

Dark Musgrave were alive again."

XXX

So mourned he, till Lord Dacre's band
Were bowning back to Cumberland.
They raised brave Musgrave from the field,
And laid him on his bloody shield;
On levelled lances, four and four,
By turns, the noble burden bore:
Before, at times, upon the gale,
Was heard the Minstrel's plaintive wail;
Behind, four priests, in sable stole,
Sung requiem for the warrior's soul:
Around, the horsemen slowly rode;
With trailing pikes the spearmen trod;
And thus the gallant knight they bore,
Through Liddesdale, to Leven's shore;
Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave,
And laid him in his father's grave.

The harp's wild notes, though hushed the song.
The mimic march of death prolong;

Now seems it far, and now a-near,

Now meets, and now eludes the ear;

Now seems some mountain-side to sweep,
Now faintly dies in valley deep;
Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail,
Now the sad requiem, loads the gale;
Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave,
Rung the full choir in choral stave.

After due pause, they bade him tell,
Why he, who touched the harp so well,
Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil,
Wander a poor and thankless soil,
When the more generous Southern Land
Would well requite his skilful hand.

The Aged Harper, howsoe'er
His only friend, his harp, was dear,
Liked not to hear it ranked so high
Above his flowing poesy:

and his friends with bloodhounds and bugle-horn, and was called the hot-trod. He was entitled, if his dog could trace the scent, to follow the invaders into the opposite kingdom; a privilege which often occasioned bloodshed. In addition to what has been said of the bloodhound, I may add, that the breed was kept up by the Buccleuch family on their Border estates till within the eighteenth century. A person was alive in the memory of man, who remembered a bloodhound being kept at Eldinhope, in Ettricke Forest, for whose maintenance the tenant had an allowance of meal. At that time the sheep were always watched at night.

Less liked he still, that scornful jeer
Misprized the land he loved so dear;
High was the sound, as thus again
The Bard resumed his minstrel strain.

CANTO SIXTH.

I

BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,

From wandering on a foreign strand!-
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.

II.

O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!

Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band,

That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still, as I view each well-known scene,

Think what is now, and what hath been,

Seems as, to me, of all bereft,

Sole friends thy woods and streams were left; And thus I love them better still,

Even in extremity of ill.

By Yarrow's stream still let me stray,

Though none should guide my feeble way;
Still feel the breeze down Ettricke break,
Although it chill my withered cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot stone,"

This line is not found in the first edition.

Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.

III

Not scorned like me! to Branksome Hall
The Minstrels came, at festive call;
Trooping they came, from near and far,
The jovial priests of mirth and war;
Alike for feast and fight prepared,
Battle and banquet both they shared.
Of late, before each martial clan,
They blew their death-note in the van,
But now, for every merry mate,
Rose the portcullis' iron grate;

They sound the pipe, they strike the string,
They dance, they revel, and they sing,
Till the rude turrets shake and ring.

IV

Me lists not at this tide declare

The splendour of the spousal rite,
How mustered in the chapel fair

Both maid and matron, squire and knight;
Me lists not tell of owches rare,

b

Of mantles green, and braided hair,
And kirtles furred witb miniver; c
What plumage waved the altar round,

How spurs, and ringing chainlets, sound:
And hard it were for Bard to speak
The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek;
That lovely hue which comes and flies,
As awe and shame alternate rise!

V

Some bards have sung, the Ladye high
Chapel or altar came not nigh;
Nor durst the rites of spousal grace,
So much she feared each holy place.
False slanders these:-I trust right well,
She wrought not by forbidden spell;d
For mighty words and signs have power
O'er sprites in planetary hour:

Yet scarce I praise their venturous part,
Who tamper with such dangerous art.

b Jewels.-Halliwell.

• The fur of the ermine mixed with that of the small weasel. The white stoat is called a minifer in Norfolk.-Halliwell.

d Popular belief, though contrary to the doctrines of the church, made a favourable distinction betwixt magicians, and necromancers, or wizards; the former were supposed to command the evil spirits, and the latter to serve, or at least to be in league and compact with, those enemies of mankind. The arts of subjecting the demons were manifold; sometimes the fiends were actually swindled by the magicians, as in the case of the bargain betwixt one of their number and the poet Virgil.

But this for faithful truth I say,-
The Ladye by the altar stood,
Of sable velvet her array,

And on her head a crimson hood,
With pearls embroidered and entwined,
Guarded with gold, with ermine lined;
A merlin sat upon her wrist,
Held by a leash of silken twist.

VI

The spousal rites were ended soon:
"Twas now the merry hour of noon,
And in the lofty arched hall

Was spread the gorgeous festival.
Steward and squire, with heedful haste,
Marshalled the rank of every guest;
Pages, with ready blade, were there,
The mighty meal to carve and share:
O'er capon, heron-shew, and crane,
And princely peacock's gilded train,
And o'er the boar-head, garnished brave,
And cygneti from St. Mary's wave;
O'er ptarmigan and venison,
The priest had spoke his benison.
Then rose the riot and the din,
Above, beneath, without, within!
For, from the lofty balcony,

Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery;

Their clanging bowls old warriors quaffed,
Loudly they spoke, and loudly laughed;
Whispered young knights, in tone more mild,
To ladies fair, and ladies smiled.

The hooded hawks, high perched on beam,
The clamour joined with whistling scream,
And flapped their wings, and shook their bells,
In concert with the stag-hounds' yells.

Round go the flasks of ruddy wine,

From Bourdeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine;

• A merlin, or sparrow-hawk, was usually carried by ladies of rank, as a falcon was, in time of peace, the constant attendant of a knight, or baron.-See LATHAM on Falconry.

f Heron.

The peacock, it is well known, was considered, during the times of chivalry, not merely as an exquisite delicacy, but as a dish of peculiar solemnity. After being roasted, it was again decorated with its plumage, and a sponge, dipped in lighted spirits of wine, was placed in its bill. When it was introduced on days of grand festival, it was the signal for the adventurous knights to take upon them vows to do some deed of chivalry, "before the peacock and the ladies."

h The boar's head was also a usual dish of feudal splendour. In Scotland it was sometimes surrounded with little banners, displaying the colours and achievements of the baron at whose board it was served.

i There are often flights of wild swans upon St. Mary's Lake, at the head of the river Yarrow.

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