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The rest, retreating as they came, Avoid defeat, and death, and shame."


Ill could the haughty Dacre brook
His brother Warden's sage rebuke;
And yet his forward step he staid,
And slow and sullenly obey'd
But ne'er again the Border side

Did these two lords in friendship ride;
And this slight discontent, men say,
Cost blood upon another day.


The pursuivant-at-arms again

Before the castle took his stand;
His trumpet call'd, with parleying strain,
The leaders of the Scottish band;
And he defied, in Musgrave's right,
Stout Deloraine to single fight;
A gauntlet at their feet he laid,

And thus the terms of fight he said :-
"If in the lists good Musgrave's sword
Vanquish the knight of Deloraine,
Your youthful chieftain, Branksome's

Shall hostage for his clan remain:
If Deloraine foil good Musgrave,
The boy his liberty shall have.

Howe'er it falls, the English band, Unharming Scots, by Scots unharm'd, In peaceful march, like men unarm’d, Shall straight retreat to Cumberland."


Unconscious of the near relief,

The proffer pleased each Scottish chief,

Though much the Ladye sage gainsay'd;

For though their hearts were brave and true,

From Jedwood's recent sack they knew

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How tardy was the Regent's aid: And you may guess the noble Dame

Durst not the secret prescience own, Sprung from the art she might not name,

By which the coming help was known. Closed was the compact, and agreed

That lists should be enclosed with speed, Beneath the castle, on a lawn: They fix'd the morrow for the strife, On foot, with Scottish axe and knife,

At the fourth hour from peep of dawn; When Deloraine, from sickness freed, Or else a champion in his stead, Should for himself and chieftain stand, Against stout Musgrave, hand to hand

1 See Appendix, Note 3 0.


I know right well, that, in their lay,
Full many minstrels sing and say,

Such combat should be made on horse,
On foaming steed, in full career,
With brand to aid, when as the spear
Should shiver in the course:
But he, the jovial Harper,' taught
Me, yet a youth, how it was fought,
In guise which now I say;

He knew each ordinance and clause
Of Black Lord Archibald's battle-laws,
In the old Douglas' day.

He brook'd not, he, that scoffing tongue
Should tax his minstrelsy with wrong,

Or call his song untrue:

For this, when they the goblet plied,
And such rude taunt had chafed his pride,
The Bard of Reull he slew.

On Teviot's side, in fight they stood,

And tuneful hands were stain'd with blood; Where still the thorn's white branches wave, Memorial o'er his rival's grave.


Why should I tell the rigid doom,
That dragg'd my master to his tomb;

How Ousenam's maidens tore their hair,
Wept till their eyes were dead and dim,
And wrung their hands for love of him,
Who died at Jedwood Air?
He died!-his scholars, one by one,
To the cold silent grave are gone;
And I, alas! survive alone,
To muse o'er rivalries of yore,

And grieve that I shall hear no more
The strains, with envy heard before;
For, with my minstrel brethren fled,
My jealousy of song is dead.

He paused: the listening dames again
Applaud the hoary Minstrel's strain.
With many a word of kindly cheer,—
In pity half, and half sincere,-
Marvell'd the Duchess how so well
His legendary song could tell-
Of ancient deeds, so long forgot;
Of feuds, whose memory was not;
Of forests, now laid waste and bare;
Of towers, which harbor now the hare;
Of manners, long since changed and gone;
Of chiefs, who under their gray stone
So long have slept, that fickle Fame
Had blotted from her rolls their name,
And twined round some new minion's head

2 See Appendix, Note 3 P.

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Not that, in sooth, o'er mortal urn
Those things inanimate car mourn;
But that the stream, the wood, the gale,
Is vocal with the plaintive wail
Of those, who, else forgotten long,
Lived in the poet's faithful song,
And, with the poet's parting breath,
Whose memory feels a second death.
The Maid's pale shade, who wails her lot,
That love, true love, should be forgot,
From rose and hawthorn shakes the tear
Upon the gentle Minstrel's bier:
The phantom Knight, his glory fled,

1 Crig." Spear-heads above the columns dun."-ED.

2 See Appendix, Note 3 Q.

9 In the first edition we read

"Vails not to tell what hundreds more

From the rich Merse and Lammermore," &c.

The lines on Wedderburne and Swinton were inserted in

he second edition.-ED.

Mourns o'er the field he heap'd with dead;
Mounts the wild blast that sweeps amain,
And shrieks along the battle-plain.
The Chief, whose antique crownlet long
Still sparkled in the feudal song,
Now, from the mountain's misty throne,
Sees, in the thanedom once his own,
His ashes undistinguish'd lie,

His place, his power, his memory die:
His groans the lonely caverns fill,
His tears of rage impel the rill:
All mourn the Minstrel's harp unstrung,
Their name unknown, their praise unsung.


Scarcely the hot assault was staid,
The terms of truce were scarcely made,
When they could spy, from Branksome's towers,
The advancing march of martial powers.
Thick clouds of dust afar appear'd,
And trampling steeds were faintly heard;
Bright spears,' above the columns dun,
Glanced momentary to the sun;

And feudal banners fair display'd

The bands that moved to Branksome's aid.


Vails not to tell each hardy clan,

From the fair Middle Marches came; The Bloody Heart blazed in the van,

Announcing Douglas, dreaded name !a
Vails not to tell what steeds did spurn, 3
Where the Seven Spears of Wedderburne
Their men in battle-order set;
And Swinton laid the lance in rest,
That tamed of yore the sparkling crest
Of Clarence's Plantagenet.

Nor list I say what hundreds more,
From the rich Merse and Lammermore,
And Tweed's fair borders, to the war,
Beneath the crest of Old Dunbar,

And Hepburn's mingled banners come, Down the steep mountain glittering far, And shouting still, "A Home! a Home!"


Now squire and knight, from Branksome sent,
On many a courteous message went;
To every chief and lord they paid
Meet thanks for prompt and powerful aid;
And told them,-how a truce was made,

4 Sir David Home of Wedderburne, who was slain in the fatal battle of Flodden, left seven sons by his wife, Isabel, daughter of Hoppringle of Galashiels (now Pringle of Whitebank). They were called the Seven Spears of Wedderburne.

6 See Appendix, Note 3 R.

Ibid. Note 3 S.

And how a day of fight was ta'en
'Twixt Musgrave and stout Deloraine;
And how the Ladye pray'd them dear,
That all would stay the fight to see,
And deign, in love and courtesy,

To taste of Branksome cheer.
Nor, while they bade to feast each Scot,
Were England's noble Lords forgot.
Himself, the hoary Seneschal
Rode forth, in seemly terms to call
Those gallant foes to Branksome Hall.
Accepted Howard, than whom knight
Was never dubb'd, more bold in fight;
Nor, when from war and armor free,
More famed for stately courtesy:
But angry Dacre rather chose

In his pavilion to repose.


Now, noble Dame, perchance you ask,
How these two hostile armies met ?
Deeming it were no easy task

To keep the truce which here was set;
Where martial spirits, all on fire,
Breathed only blood and mortal ire.—
By mutual inroads, mutual blows,
By habit, and by nation, foes,

They met on Teviot's strand;
They met and sate them mingled down,
Without a threat, without a frown,

As brothers meet in foreign land:
The hands, the spear that lately grasp'd,
Still in the mailed gauntlet clasp'd,

Were interchanged in greeting dear;
Visors were raised, and faces shown,
And many a friend, to friend made known,
Partook of social cheer.

Some drove the jolly bowl about;

With dice and draughts some chased the day;

And some, with many a merry shout,

In riot, revelry, and rout,

Pursued the foot-ball play.'


Yet, be it known, had bugles blown,
Or sign of war been seen,
Those bands, so fair together ranged,
Those hands, so frankly interchanged,

Had dyed with gore the green:
The merry shout by Teviot-side
Had sunk in war-cries wild and wide,
And in the groan of death;
And whingers, now in friendship bare,
The social meal to part and share,

1 See Appendix, Note 3 T.

2 A sort of knife or poniard.

Had found a bloody sheath.

"Twixt truce and war, such sudden change
Was not infrequent, nor held strange,
In the old Border-day:

But yet on Branksome's towers and town,
In peaceful merriment sunk down
The sun's declining ray.


The blithsome signs of wassel gay
Decay'd not with the dying day;
Soon through the latticed windows tall
Of lofty Branksome's lordly hall,
Divided square by shafts of stone,
Huge flakes of ruddy lustre shone;
Nor less the gilded rafters rang
With merry harp and beakers' clang:
And frequent, on the darkening plain,
Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran,
As bands, their stragglers to regain,

Give the shrill watchword of their clan;* And revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim Douglas or Dacre's conquering name.


Less frequent heard, and fainter still,
At length the various clamors died:
And you might hear, from Branksome hill,
No sound but Teviot's rushing tide;
Save when the changing sentinel
The challenge of his watch could tell;
And save, where, through the dark profound,
The clanging axe and hammer's sound

Rung from the nether lawn;
For many a busy hand toil'd there,
Strong pales to shape, and beams to square,
The lists' dread barriers to prepare
Against the morrow's dawn.


Margaret from hall did soon retreat,

Despite the Dame's reproving eye; Nor mark'd she, as she left her seat, Full many a stifled sigh; For many a noble warrior strove To win the Flower of Teviot's love, And many a bold ally.

With throbbing head and anxious heart, All in her lonely bower apart,

In broken sleep she lay: By times, from silken couch she rose; While yet the banner'd hosts repose, She view'd the dawning day: Of all the hundreds sunk to rest, First woke the loveliest and the best.

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She gazed upon the inner court,

Which in the tower's tall shadow lay; Where courser's clang, and stamp, and snort, Had rung the livelong yesterday; Now still as death; till stalking slow,

The jingling spurs announced his tread,— A stately warrior pass'd below;

But when he raised his plumed head

Blessed Mary! can it be?Secure, as if in Ousenam bowers,

He walks through Branksome's hostile towers,
With fearless step and free.

She dared not sign, she dared not speak-
Oh! if one page's slumbers break,

His blood the price must pay!
Not all the pearls Queen Mary wears,
Not Margaret's yet more precious tears,
Shall buy his life a day.


Yet was his hazard small; for well
You may bethink you of the spell
Of that sly urchin page;
This to his lord he did impart,
And made him seem, by glamour art,

A knight from Hermitage. Unchallenged thus, the warder's post, The court, unchallenged, thus he cross'd, For all the vassalage:

But O! what magic's quaint disguise Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes! She started from her seat;

While with surprise and fear she strove, And both could scarcely master loveLord Henry's at her feet.


Oft have I mused, what purpose bad
That foul malicious urchin had

To bring this meeting round;
For happy love's a heavenly sight,
And by a vile malignant sprite :

In such no joy is found;

And oft I've deem'd, perchance he thought
Their erring passion might have wrought
Sorrow, and sin, and shame;

And death to Cranstoun's gallant Knight,
And to the gentle ladye bright,
Disgrace, and loss of fame.

But earthly spirit could not tell

1 In the first edition, "the silver cord;"-
"Yes, love, indeed, is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared, by Alla given,

To lift from earth our low desire," &c.
The Giaour.

2 A martial piece of music, adapted to the bagpipes.

The heart of them that loved so well.
True love's the gift which God has given
To man alone beneath the heaven:
It is not fantasy's hot fire,

Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
It liveth not in fierce desire,

With dead desire it doth not die; It is the secret sympathy, The silver link,' the silken tie, Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, In body and in soul can bind.⇒ Now leave we Margaret and her Knight, To tell you of the approaching fight.


Their warning blasts the bugles blew,
The pipe's shrill port aroused each clan;
In haste, the deadly strife to view,

The trooping warriors eager ran:
Thick round the lists their lances stood,
Like blasted pines in Ettrick wood;
To Branksome many a look they threw,
The combatants approach to view,
And bandied many a word of boast,
About the knight each favor'd most.

XV. Meantime full anxious was the Dame; For now arose disputed claim, Of who should fight for Deloraine, "Twixt Harden and 'twixt Thirlestaine :3 They 'gan to reckon kin and rent, And frowning brow on brow was bent; But yet not long the strife-for, lo! Himself, the Knight of Deloraine, Strong, as it seem'd, and free from pain, In armor sheath'd from top to toe, Appear'd, and craved the combat due. The Dame her charm successful knew, And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew.


When for the lists they sought the plain, The stately Ladye's silken rein

Did noble Howard hold;
Unarmed by her side he walk'd,

And much, in courteous phrase, they talk'd
Of feats of arms of old.
Costly his garb-his Flemish ruff
Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff,

With satin slash'd and lined;

It may be noticed that the late Lord Napier, the representative of the Scotts of Thirlestane, was Lord Lieutenant of Selkirkshire (of which the author was sheriff-depute) at the time when the poem was written; the competitor for the honor of supplying Deloraine's place was the poet's own ancestor.-ED.

4 See Canto III. Stanza xxiii.

Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,

His cloak was all of Poland fur,

His hose with silver twined; His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt, Hung in a broad and studded belt; Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still Call'd noble Howard, Belted Will.


Behind Lord Howard and the Dame, Fair Margaret on her palfrey came,

Whose foot-cloth swept the ground: White was her wimple, and her veil, And her loose locks a chaplet pale Of whitest roses bound; The lordly Angus, by her side, In courtesy to cheer her tried; Without his aid, her hand in vain Had strove to guide her broider'd rein. He deem'd, she shudder'd at the sight Of warriors met for mortal fight; But cause of terror all unguess'd, Was fluttering in her gentle breast, When, in their chairs of crimson placed, The Dame and she the barriers graced.


Prize of the field, the young Buccleuch,
An English knight led forth to view;
Scarce rued the boy his present plight,
So much he long'd to see the fight.
Within the lists, in knightly pride,
High Home and haughty Dacre ride;
Their leading staffs of steel they wield,
As marshals of the mortal field;
While to each knight their care assign'd
Like vantage of the sun and wind.'
Then heralds hoarse did loud proclaim,
In King and Queen, and Warden's name,
That none, while lasts the strife,
Should dare, by look, or sign, or word,
Aid to a champion to afford,

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He sayeth, that William of Deloraine
Is traitor false by Border laws;
This with his sword he will maintain,
So help him God, and his good cause !"



"Here standeth William of Deloraine,
Good knight and true, of noble strain,
Who sayeth, that foul treason's stain,
Since he bore arms, ne'er soil'd his coat;
And that, so help him God above!
He will on Musgrave's body prove,
He lies most foully in his throat.”


"Forward, brave champions, to the fight! Sound trumpets !”


-"God defend the right !"—
Then, Teviot! how thine echoes rang,
When bugle-sound and trumpet-clang
Let loose the martial foes,

And in mid list, with shield poised high,
And measured step and wary eye,
The combatants did close.


Ill would it suit your gentle ear,
Ye lovely listeners, to hear

How to the axe the helms did sound,
And blood pour'd down from many a wound;
For desperate was the strife and long,
And either warrior fierce and strong.
But, were each dame a listening knight,
I well could tell how warriors fight!

For I have seen war's lightning flashing,
Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing,

Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing,
And scorn'd amid the reeling strife,

To yield a step for death or life.


'Tis done, 'tis done! that fatal blow

Has stretch'd him on the bloody plain; He strives to rise-Brave Musgrave, no! Thence never shalt thou rise again! He chokes in blood-some friendly hand Undo the visor's barred band, Unfix the gorget's iron clasp, And give him room for life to gasp!— O, bootless aid!-haste, holy Friar, Haste, ere the sinner shall expire!

ducted according to the strictest ordinances of chivalry, and delineated with all the minuteness of an ancient romancer. The modern reader will probably find it rather tedious; all but the concluding stanzas, which are in a loftier measure'Tis done! 'tis done!'" &c.-JEFFREY.

4 First Edition, "In vain-In vain! haste, holy Friar."

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