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The meeting of these champions proud Seem'd like the bursting thunder-cloud.


Stern was the dint the Borderer lent!
The stately Baron backwards bent;
Bent backwards to his horse's tail,

And his plumes went scattering on the gale;
The tough ash spear, so stout and true,
Into a thousand flinders flew.

But Cranstoun's lance, of more avail,
Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail;
Through shield, and jack, and acton, past,
Deep in his bosom broke at last.-
Still sate the warrior saddle-fast,
Till, stumbling in the mortal shock,
Down went the steed, the girthing broke,
Hurl'd on a heap lay man and horse.
The Baron onward pass'd his course;
Nor knew-so giddy roll'd his brain-
His foe lay stretch'd upon the plain.


But when he rein'd his courser round,
And saw his foeman on the ground

Lie senseless as the bloody clay,
He bade his page to stanch the wound
And there beside the warrior stay,
And tend him in his doubtful state,
And lead him to Branksome castle-gate:
His noble mind was inly moved

For the kinsman of the maid he loved.
"This shalt thou do without delay:
No longer here myself may stay;
Unless the swifter I speed away,
Short shrift will be at my dying day."


Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode;
The Goblin Page behind abode;
His lord's command he ne'er withstood,
Though small his pleasure to do good.
As the corslet off he took,

The dwarf espied the Mighty Book!
Much he marvell'd a knight of pride,
Like a book-bosom'd priest should ride :1

He thought not to search or stanch the wound,
Until the secret he had found.


The iron band, the iron clasp,
Resisted long the elfin grasp:
For when the first he had undone,
It closed as he the next begun.
Those iron clasps, that iron band,

1 See Appendix, Note 2 L. 2 Magical delusion.

Would not yield to unchristen'd hand,
Till he smear'd the cover o'er
With the Borderer's curdled gore;
A moment then the volume spread,
And one short spell therein he read:
It had much of glamour might,
Could make a ladye seem a knight;
The cobwebs on a dungeon wall
Seem tapestry in lordly hall;
A nutshell seem a gilded barge,
A sheeling seem a palace large,
And youth seem age, and age seem youth-
All was delusion, nought was truth.*


He had not read another spell,
When on his cheek a buffet fell,
So fierce, it stretch'd him on the plain,
Beside the wounded Deloraine.
From the ground he rose dismay'd,
And shook his huge and matted head;
One word he mutter'd, and no more,
"Man of age, thou smitest sore !"— i‹ €
No more the Elfin Page durst try
Into the wondrous Book to pry;

The clasps, though smeared with Christian gore,
Shut faster than they were before.

He hid it underneath his cloak.-
Now, if you ask who gave the stroke,
I cannot tell, so mot I thrive;
It was not given by man alive."

Unwillingly himself he address'd,
To do his master's high behest:
He lifted up the living corse,
And laid it on the weary horse;
He led him into Branksome Hall,
Before the beards of the warders all;
And each did after swear and say,
There only pass'd a wain of hay.
He took him to Lord David's tower,

Even to the Ladye's secret bower;
And, but that stronger spells were spread,
And the door might not be opened,
He had laid him on her very bed.
Whate'er he did of gramarye,

Was always done maliciously;
He flung the warrior on the ground,

And the blood well'd freshly from the wound.

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For, at a word, be it understood,
He was always for ill, and never for good.
Seem'd to the boy, some comrade gay
Led him forth to the woods to play;
On the drawbridge the warders stout
Saw a terrier and lurcher passing out.


He led the boy o'er bank and fell,

Until they came to a woodland brook; The running stream dissolved the spell,1

And his own elvish shape he took. Could he have had his pleasure vilde, He had crippled the joints of the noble child; Or, with his fingers long and lean, Had strangled him in fiendish spleen: But his awful mother he had in dread, And also his power was limited; So he but scowl'd on the startled child, And darted through the forest wild; The woodland brook he bounding cross'd, And laugh'd, and shouted, "Lost! lost! lost!"


Full sore amazed at the wondrous change,
And frighten'd as a child might be,
At the wild yell and visage strange,
And the dark words of gramarye,
The child, amidst the forest bower,
Stood rooted like a lily flower;

And when at length, with trembling pace,
He sought to find where Branksome lay,
He fear'd to see that grisly face,

Glare from some thicket on his way.
Thus, starting oft, he journey'd on,
And deeper in the wood is gone,-
For aye the more he sought his way,
The farther still he went astray,-
Until he heard the mountains round
Ring to the baying of a hound.


And hark! and hark! the deep-mouthed bark
Comes nigher still, and nigher:
Bursts on the path a dark blood-hound,
His tawny muzzle track'd the ground,
And his red eye shot fire.
Soon as the wilder'd child saw he,
He flew at him right furiouslie.

I ween you would have seen with joy
The bearing of the gallant boy,
When, worthy of his noble sire,

His wet cheek glow'd 'twixt fear and ire!
He faced the blood-hound manfully,
And held his little bat on high;
So fierce he struck, the dog, afraid,

1 See Appendix, Note 2 0.

At cautious distance hoarsely bay'd,

But still in act to spring; When dash'd an archer through the glade, And when he saw the hound was stay'd,

He drew his tough bow-string;

But a rough voice cried, "Shoot not, hoy! Ho! shoot not, Edward-'Tis a boy!"


The speaker issued from the wood,
And check'd his fellow's surly mood,

And quell'd the ban-dog's ire:
He was an English yeoman good,
And born in Lancashire.

Well could he hit a fallow-deer

Five hundred feet him fro;

With hand more true, and eye more clear,

No archer bended bow.

His coal-black hair, shorn round and close,
Set off his sun-burn'd face:

Old England's sign, St. George's cross,
His barret-cap did grace;
His bugle-horn hung by his side,

All in a wolf-skin baldric tied;
And his short falchion, sharp and clear,
Had pierced the throat of many a deer.


His kirtle, made of forest green,

Reach'd scantly to his knee;
And, at his belt, of arrows keen

A furbish'd sheaf bore he;
His buckler, scarce in breadth a span,
No larger fence had he;

He never counted him a man,

Would strike below the knee :2

His slacken'd bow was in his hand,

And the leash, that was his blood-hound's band.


He would not do the fair child harm,
But held him with his powerful arm,
That he might neither fight nor flee;
For the Red-Cross spied he,

The boy strove long and violently.
"Now, by St. George," the archer cries,
"Edward, methinks we have a prize!
This boy's fair face, and courage free,
Show he is come of high degree."


"Yes! I am come of high degree,

For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch ; And if thou dost not set me free,

False Southron, thou shalt dearly rue! For Walter of Harden shall come with speed,

See Appendix, Note 2 P.

And William of Deloraine, good at need,
And every Scott from Esk to Tweed;
And if thou dost not let me go,
Despite thy arrows, and thy bow,
I'll have thee hang'd to feed the crow!"—


"Gramercy, for thy good-will, fair boy!
My mind was never set so high;
But if thou art chief of such a clan,
And art the son of such a man,

And ever comest to thy command,

Our wardens had need to keep good order;

My bow of yew to a hazel wand,

Thou'lt make them work upon the Border. Meantime be pleased to come with me, For good Lord Dacre shalt thou see; I think our work is well begun, When we have taken thy father's son."


Although the child was led away,
In Branksome still he seem'd to stay,
For so the Dwarf his part did play;
And, in the shape of that young boy,
He wrought the castle much annoy.
The comrades of the young Buccleuch
He pinch'd, and beat, and overthrew ;
Nay, some of them he wellnigh slew.
He tore Dame Maudlin's silken tire,
And, as Sym Hall stood by the fire,
He lighted the match of his bandelier,'
And wofully scorch'd the hackbuteer.'
It may be hardly thought or said,
The mischief that the urchin made,
Till many of the castle guess'd,
That the young Baron was possess'd!


Well I ween the charm he held
The noble Ladye had soon dispell'd;
But she was deeply busied then
To tend the wounded Deloraine.
Much she wonder'd to find him lie,
On the stone threshold stretch'd along;
She thought some spirit of the sky

Had done the bold moss-trooper wrong;
Because, despite her precept dread,
Perchance he in the Book had read;
But the broken lance in his bosom stood,
And it was earthly steel and wood.

1 Bandelier, belt for carrying ammunition.

* Hackbuteer, musketeer.

See Appendix, Note 2 Q.

Ibid. Note 2 R.


She drew the splinter from the wound,
And with a charm she stanch'd the blood;"
She bade the gash be cleansed and bound:
No longer by his couch she stood;
But she has ta'en the broken lance,
And wash'd it from the clotted gore,
And salved the splinter o'er and o'er.1
William of Deloraine, in trance,
Whene'er she turn'd it round and round,
Twisted as if she gall'd 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 toil'd; for she did rue
Mishap to friend so stout and true.


So pass'd 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,
Enjoy'd and bless'd the lovely hour.
Far more fair Margaret loved and bless'd
The hour of silence and of rest.

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

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Far downward, in the castle-yard,
Full many a torch and cresset glared;
And helms and plumes, confusedly toss'd,
Were in the blaze half-seen, half-lost;
And spears in wild disorder shook,
Like reeds beside a frozen brook.


The Seneschal, whose silver hair
Was redden'd by the torches' glare,
Stood in the midst, with gesture proud,
And issued forth his mandates loud :-
"On Penchryst glows a bale1 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 Warder of the strife.
Young Gilbert, let our beacon blaze,
Our kin, and clan, and friends to raise."


Fair Margaret, from the turret head,
Heard, far below, the coursers' tread,
While loud the harness rung,
As to their seats, with clamor dread,
The ready horsemen sprung:
And trampling hoofs, and iron coats,
And leaders' voices, mingled notes,
And out! and out!
In hasty route,
The horsemen gallop'd forth;
Dispersing to the south to scout,

And east, and west, and north,
To view their coming enemies,
And warn their vassals and allies.


The ready page, with hurried hand, Awaked the need-fire's slumbering brand, And ruddy blush'd 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;
Each with warlike tidings fraught;

1 See Appendix, Note 2 8.

* Mount for Branksome was the gathering word of the Scotts. 3 See Appendix, Note 2 T.

4" We absolutely see the fires kindling, one after another, in the following animated description.”—Annual Review, 1804.

Each from each the signal caught;
Each after each they glanced to sight,
As stars arise upon the night.
They gleam'd on many a dusky tarn,"
Haunted by the lonely earn;"

On many a cairn's gray 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.


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 watchword from the sleepless ward;
While, wearied by the endless din,
Blood-hound and ban-dog yell'd within.


The noble Dame, amid the broil,
Shared the gray Seneschal's high toil,
And spoke of danger with a smile;
Cheer'd the young knights, and council sage
Held with the chiefs of riper age.
No tidings of the foe were brought,
Nor of his numbers knew they aught,
Nor what in time of truce he sought.

Some said, that there were thousands ten;
And others ween'd that it was naught
But Leven clans, or Tynedale men,
Who came to gather in black-mail;10
And Liddesdale, with small avail,

Might drive them lightly back agen.
So pass'd the anxious night away,
And welcome was the peep of day.

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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 stoop'd 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.'

The Lay of the Last Minstrel.



SWEET Teviot! on thy silver tide

The glaring bale-fires blaze no more, No longer steel-clad warriors ride

Along thy wild and willow'd shore;2 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 roll'd upon the Tweed, Had only heard the shepherd's reed, Nor started at the bugle-horn.


Unlike the tide of human time,

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

Its earliest course was doom'd to know;
And, darker as it downward bears,
Is stain'd with past and present tears.

Low as that tide has ebb'd with me,
It still reflects to Memory's eye
The hour my brave, my only boy,

Fell by the side of great Dundee."

1 "Nothing can excel the simple concise pathos of the close of this Canto-nor the touching picture of the Bard when, with assumed business, he tries to conceal real sorrow. How well the poet understands the art of contrast-and how judiciously it is exerted in the exordium of the next Canto, where our mourning sympathy is exchanged for the thrill of pleasure!"-ANNA SEWARD.

2. What luxury of sound in this line !"-ANNA SEWARD. Orig." Since first they rolled their way to Tweed." The Viscount of Dundee, slain in the battle of Killicrankie. "Some of the most interesting passages of the poem are those in which the author drops the business of his story to moralize, and apply to his own situation the images and reflections it has suggested. After concluding one Canto with an account of the warlike array which was prepared for the reception of the English invaders, he opens the succeeding one with the following beautiful verses, (Stanzas i. and ii.)

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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.10
Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock
At his lone gate, and prove the lock;
It was but last St. Barnabright
They sieged him a whole summer night,
But fled at morning: well they knew,
In vain he never twang'd 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.""

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10" And when they cam to Branksome ha',
They shouted a' baith loud and hie,

Till up and spak him auld Buccleuch,
Said-Whae's this brings the fraye to me?'-
'It's I, Jamie Telfer, o' the fair Dodhead,
And a harried man I think I be,'" &c.

Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii. 8.

11 An inroad commanded by the Warden in person. 12 The dawn displays the smoke of ravaged fields, and shepherds, with their flocks, flying before the storm. Tidings brought by a tenant of the family, not used to seek a shelter on light occasions of alarm, disclose the strength and object of the invaders. This man is a character of a lower and of a rougher cast than Deloraine. The portrait of the rude retainer is sketched with the same masterly hand. Here, again, Mr. Scott has trod in the footsteps of the old romancers, who

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