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He led a small and shaggy nag,

That through a bog, from hag to hag,'
Could bound like any Billhope stag.2
It bore his wife and children twain;
A half-clothed serfs was all their train;
His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark-brow'd,
Of silver brooch and bracelet proud,*
Laugh'd to her friends among the crowd.
He was of stature passing tall,

But sparely form'd, and lean withal;
A batter'd morion on his brow;
A leather jack, as fence enow,
On his broad shoulders loosely hung;
A border axe behind was slung;

His spear, six Scottish ells in length,
Seem'd newly dyed with gore;

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


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 hackbut-men,"
Who have long lain at Askerten:
They cross'd the Liddel at curfew hour,
And burn'd my little lonely tower:
The fiend receive their souls therefor!
It had not been burnt this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight;
But I was chased the livelong night.

Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Græme,

Fast upon my traces came,

Until I turn'd 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."


Now weary scouts from Liddesdale, Fast hurrying in, confirm'd the tale;

confine not themselves to the display of a few personages who stalk over the stage on stately stilts, but usually reflect all the varieties of character that marked the era to which they belong. The interesting example of manners thus preserved to us is not the only advantage which results from this peculiar structure of their plan. It is this, amongst other circumstances, which enables them to carry us along with them, under I know not what species of fascination, and to make us, as it were, credulous spectators of their most extravagant scenes. In this they seem to resemble the painter, who, in the delineation of a battle, while he places the adverse heroes of the day combating in the front, takes care to fill his background with subordinate figures, whose appearance adds at once both spirit and an air of probability to the scene."Critical Review, 1805.

1 The broken ground in a bog.

As far as they could judge by ken, Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand Three thousand armed Englishmen— Meanwhile, full many a warlike band, From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade, Came in, their Chief's defence to aid. There was saddling and mounting in haste, There was pricking o'er moor and lea; He that was last at the trysting-place Was but lightly held of his gaye ladye.® VIII.

From fair St. Mary's silver wave,

From dreary Gamescleugh's dusky height, His ready lances Thirlestane brave

Array'd beneath a banner bright.
The tressured fleur-de-luce he claims,
To wreath his shield, since royal James,
Encamp'd 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 reveal'd-
'Ready, aye ready," for the field."



An aged Knight, to danger steel'd,
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.10
Wide lay his lands round Oakwood tower,
And wide round haunted Castle-Ower:
High over Borthwick's mountain flood,
His wood-embosom'd mansion stood;
In the dark glen, so deep below,
The herds of plunder'd England low;
His bold retainers' daily food,

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

2 See Appendix, Note 2 Y.

3 Bondsman.

As the Borderers were indifferent about the furniture of their habitations, so much exposed to be burned and plundered, they were proportionally anxious to display splendor in decorating and ornamenting their females.-See LESLEY de Moribus Limitaneorum.

5 See Appendix, Note 2 Z.

Ibid. Note 3 A.

7 Musketeers. See Appendix, Note 3 B.

The four last lines of stanza vii. are not in the 1st Edition. -ED.

See Appendix, Note 3 C.

10 Ibid. Note 3 D.

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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 reck'd of a tame liege lord.
The Earl into fair Eskdale came,

Homage and seignory to claim:

Of Gilbert the Galliard a heriot1 he sought,
Saying, "Give thy best steed, as a vassal ought."
-"Dear to me is my bonny white steed,
Oft has he help'd 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,
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 wight,

Just on the threshold of Branksome gate.


The Earl was a wrathful man to see,
Full fain avenged 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;

1 See, besides the note on this stanza, one in the Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii. p. 10, respecting Wat of Harden, the Author's ancestor.

A satirical piece, entitled "The Town Eclogue," which made much noise in Edinburgh shortly after the appearance of the Minstrelsy, has these lines:

"A modern author spends a hundred leaves,
To prove his ancestors notorious thieves."-ED.

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 spurr'd amain,

And with him five hundred riders has ta'en.
He left his merrymen in the midst 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."


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 Craikcross;
He blew again so loud and clear,

Through the gray mountain-mist there did lances


And the third blast rang with such a din,
That the echoes answer'd 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 mix'd with the rill,
The Galliard's-Haugh men call it still.

The Scotts have scatter'd 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.


Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came,
And warriors more than I may name;
From Yarrow-cleugh to Hindhaugh-swair,

2 Stanzas x. xi. xii. were not in the first Edition.
See Appendix, Note 3 E.

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

This and the three following lines are not in the first edrtion.-ED.

From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen.
Troop'd 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 mark'd 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, shalt teach him his weapon to


And o'er him hold his father's shield."


Well may you think, the wily page
Cared not to face the Ladye sage.
He counterfeited childish fear,
And shriek'd, and shed full many a tear,
And moan'd and plain'd 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 blush'd 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 heavy task Watt Tinlinn had,
To guide the counterfeited lad.
Soon as the palfrey felt the weight
Of that ill-omen'd elfish freight,
He bolted, sprung, and rear'd amain,
Nor heeded bit, nor curb, nor rein.

It cost Watt Tinlinn mickle toil
To drive him but a Scottish mile;


But as a shallow brook they cross'd,
The elf, amid the running stream,
His figure changed, like form in dream,

And fled, and shouted, "Lost! lost! lost!"
Full fast the urchin ran and laugh'd,
But faster still a cloth-yard shaft
Whistled from startled Tinlinn's yew,

And pierced his shoulder through and through. Although the imp might not be slain,

1 See Appendix, Note 3 F.

And though the wound soon heal'd again,
Yet, as he ran, he yell'd for pain;
And Watt of Tinlinn, much aghast,
Rode back to Branksome fiery fast.


Soon on the hill's steep verge he stood,
That looks o'er Branksome's towers and wood;
And martial murmurs, from below,
Proclaim'd the approaching southern foe.
Through the dark wood, in mingled tone,
Were Border pipes and bugles blown;
The coursers' neighing he could ken,
A measured tread of marching men;
While broke at times the solemn hum,
The Almayn's sullen kettle-drum;

And banners tall, of crimson sheen,
Above the copse appear;

And, glistening through the hawthorns

Shine helm, and shield, and spear.


Light forayers, first, to view the ground,
Spurr'd their fleet coursers loosely round;
Behind, in close array, and fast,

The Kendal archers, all in green,
Obedient to the bugle blast,

Advancing from the wood were seen.
To back and guard the archer band,
Lord Dacre's bill-men were at hand:
A hardy race, on Irthing bred,
With kirtles white and crosses red,
Array'd beneath the banner tall

That stream'd o'er Acre's conquer'd wall;

And minstrels, as they march'd in order,

Play'd, "Noble Lord Dacre, he dwells on the Border."


Behind the English bill and bow,
The mercenaries, firm and slow,
Moved on to fight, in dark array,

By Conrad led of Wolfenstein,
Who brought the band from distant Rhine,
And sold their blood for foreign pay.
The camp their home, their law the sword,
They knew no country, own'd no lord:2
They were not arm'd like England's sons,
But bore the levin-darting guns;
Buff coats, all frounced and 'broider'd o'er,
And morsing-horns and scarfs they wore;
Each better knee was bared, to aid
The warriors in the escalade;
All, as they march'd, in rugged tongue,
Songs of Teutonic feuds they sung.

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But louder still the clamor grew,
And louder still the minstrels blew,
When, from beneath the greenwood tree,
Rode forth Lord Howard's chivalry;
His men-at-arms, with glaive and spear,
Brought up the battle's glittering rear:
There many a youthful knight, full keen
To gain his spurs, in arms was seen;
With favor in his crest, or glove,
Memorial of his ladye-love.

So rode they forth in fair array,
Till full their lengthen'd lines display;
Then call'd a halt, and made a stand,

And cried, "St. George, for merry England !"


Now every English eye, intent

On Branksome's armed towers was bent;
So near they were, that they might know
The straining harsh of each cross-bow;
On battlement and bartizan

Gleam'd axe, and spear, and partisan;
Falcon and culver, on each tower,
Stood prompt their deadly hail to shower;
And flashing armor frequent broke
From eddying whirls of sable smoke,
Where upon tower and turret head,
The seething pitch and molten lead
Reek'd like a witch's caldron red.
While yet they gaze, the bridges fall,
The wicket opes, and from the wall
Rides forth the hoary Seneschal.


Armed he rode, all save the head,

His white beard o'er his breast-plate spread;
Unbroke by age, erect his seat,

He ruled his eager courser's gait;
Forced him, with chasten'd fire, to prance,
And, high curvetting, slow advance:
In sign of truce, his better hand
Display'd a peeled willow wand;
His squire, attending in the rear,
Bore high a gauntlet on a spear."
When they espied him riding out,
Lord Howard and Lord Dacre stout
Sped to the front of their array,

To hear what this old knight should say.

"Ye English warden lords, of you
Demands the Ladye of Buccleuch,

1"The stanzas, describing the march of the English forces, and the investiture of the castle of Branxholm, display a great knowledge of ancient costume, as well as a most picturesque and lively picture of feudal warfare."-Critical Review. 1 Ancient pieces of artillery.

A glove upon a lance was the emblem of faith among the

Why, 'gainst the truce of Border tide,
In hostile guise ye dare to ride,
With Kendal bow, and Gilsland brand,
And all yon mercenary band,
Upon the bounds of fair Scotland?
My Ladye reads you swith return;
And, if but one poor straw you burn,
Or do our towers so much molest,
As scare one swallow from her nest,
St. Mary! but we'll light a brand
Shall warm your hearths in Cumberland."-


A wrathful man was Dacre's lord,

But calmer Howard took the word:


May't please thy Dame, Sir Seneschal, To seek the castle's outward wall,

Our pursuivant-at-arms shall show
Both why we came, and when we go."-
The message sped, the noble Dame
To the wall's outward circle came;
Each chief around lean'd on his spear,
To see the pursuivant appear.
All in Lord Howard's livery dress'd,
The lion argent deck'd his breast;
He led a boy of blooming hue-
O sight to meet a mother's view!
It was the heir of great Buccleuch.
Obeisance meet the herald made,
And thus his master's will he said:-


"It irks, high Dame, my noble Lords,
'Gainst ladye fair to draw their swords;
But yet they may not tamely see,
All through the Western Wardenry,
Your law-contemning kinsmen ride,
And burn and spoil the Border side;
And ill beseems your rank and birth
To make your towers a flemens-firth.*
We claim from thee William of Deloraine,
That he may suffer march-treason pain.
It was but last St. Cuthbert's even
He prick'd to Stapleton on Leven,
Harried the lands of Richard Musgrave,
And slew his brother by dint of glaive.
Then, since a lone and widow'd Dame
These restless riders may not tame,
Either receive within thy towers
Two hundred of my master's powers,
Or straight they sound their warrison,'
And storm and spoil thy garrison:

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And this fair boy, to London led,
Shall good King Edward's page be bred."


He ceased-and loud the boy did cry,
And stretch'd his little arms on high;
Implored for aid each well-known face,
And strove to seek the Dame's embrace.
A moment changed that Ladye's cheer,
Gush'd to her eye the unbidden tear;
She gazed upon the leaders round,
And dark and sad each warrior frown'd;
Then, deep within her sobbing breast
She lock'd the struggling sigh to rest;
Unalter'd and collected stood,
And thus replied, in dauntless mood:-


"Say to your Lords of high emprize,1
Who war on women and on boys,
That either William of Deloraine

Will cleanse him, by oath, of march-treason stain,
Or else he will the combat take
'Gainst Musgrave, for his honor's sake.
No knight in Cumberland so good,

But William may count with him kin and blood.
Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword,'
When English blood swell'd Ancram's ford;
And but Lord Dacre's steed was wight,
And bare him ably in the flight,
Himself had seen him dubb'd a knight.
For the young heir of Branksome's line,
God be his aid, and God be mine;
Through me no friend shall meet his doom;
Here, while I live, no foe finds room.
Then, if thy Lords their purpose urge,
Take our defiance loud and high;
Our slogan is their lyke-wake" dirge,
Our moat, the grave where they shall lie."


Proud she look'd round, applause to claim-
Then lighten'd Thirlestane's eye of flame;
His bugle Wat of Harden blew;
Pensils and pennons wide were flung,
To heaven the Border slogan rung

"St. Mary for the young Buccleuch !" The English war-cry answer'd wide,

And forward bent each southern spear; Each Kendal archer made a stride,

And drew the bowstring to his ear; Each minstrel's war-note loud was blown ;But, ere a gray-goose shaft had flown, A horseman gallop'd from the rear.

1 Orig.-"Say to thy Lords of high emprize." 2 See Appendix, Note 3 I.

4 Ibid. Note 3 L.


"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 Ruberslaw

The Douglas holds his weapon-schaw;
The lances, waving in his train,
Clothe the dun heath like autumn grain;
And on the Liddel's northern strand,
To bar retreat to Cumberland,

Lord Maxwell ranks his merry-men good,
Beneath the eagle and the rood;
And Jedwood, Eske, and Teviotdale,
Have to proud Angus come;
And all the Merse and Lauderdale
Have risen with haughty Home.
An exile from Northumberland,

In Liddesdale I've wander'd long;
But still my heart was with merry Eng

And cannot brook my country's wrong; And hard I've spurr'd all night, to show The mustering of the coming foe."


"And let them come!" fierce Dacre cried;
"For soon yon crest, my father's pride,
That swept the shores of Judah'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 archers, draw the bow;"
Up, bill-men, to the walls, and cry,
Dacre for England, win or die !"—


"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 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 fierce Deloraine®
In single fight, and, if he gain,

He gains for us; but if he's cross'd,

"Tis but a single warrior lost:

5 Lyke-wake, the watching a corpse previous to interment.

• Weapon-schaw, the military array of a county.

3 Ibid. Note 3 K.

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