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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.' 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 eourse of a night and day. Full long she toil'd; for she did rue Mishap to friend so stout and true.
XXVII. 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 bale3 of fire, And three are kindling on Priesthaughswire;
Ride out, ride out,
The foe to scout!
That ever are true and stout-
XXIV.? 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.
XXVIII. Fair Margaret, from the turret head, Heard, far below, the coursers' tread,
While loud the harness rung, As to their seats, with clamour dread,
The ready horsemen sprung: And trampling hoofs, and iron coats, And leaders' voices, mingled notes,
And out! and out!
In hasty route,
And east, and west, and north,
XXV. Is yon the star, o'er Penchryst Pen, That rises slowly to her ken, And, spreading broad its wavering light, Shakes its loose tresses on the night? Is yon red glare the western star ? 0, 'tis the beacon-blaze of war! Scarce could she draw her tighten'd breath, For well she knew the fire of death!
XXVI. The Warder view'd it blazing strong, And blew his war-note loud and long, Till, at the high and haughty sound, Rock, wood, and river, rung around. The blast alarm’d the festal hall, And startled forth the warriors all; 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.
XXIX. The ready page, with hurried hand, Awaked the need-fire's7 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; 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 10 grey pyramid, Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid;
1 See Appendix, Note 2 R.
3 See Appendix, Note 2 S & “ As another illustration of the prodigious improvement 4 Mount for Branksome was the gathering word of the Scotts which the style of the old romance is capable of receiving from 5 See Appendix, Note 2 T. a more liberal admixture of pathetic sentiments and gentle 6 We absolutely see the fires kindling, one after another, in affections, we insert the following passage, (Stanzas xxiv. to the following animated description."- Annual Review, 1844. Ixvii., ) where the effect of the picture is finely assisted by the 7 Needl-fire, beacon. 8 Tarn, a mountain lake. contrast of its two compartments."-JEFFREY.
9 Earn, a Scottish eagle. 10 See Appendix, Note 2 U.
Till high Dunedin the blazes saw,
And busied himself the strings withal,
The Lay of the Last Minstrel
SWEET Teviot! on thy silver tide Was frequent heard the changing guard,
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more; And watch-word from the sleepless ward;
No longer steel-clad warriors ride While, wearied by the endless din,
Along thy wild and willow'd shore ;* Blood-hound and ban-dog yell’d within.
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," Shared the grey Seneschal's high toil,
Had only heard the shepherd's reed,
Nor started at the bugle-horn.
Unlike the tide of human time, Nor of his numbers knew they aught,
Which, though it change in ceaseless flow, Nor what in time of truce he sought.
Retains each grief, retains each crime Some said, that there were thousands ten;
Its earliest course was doom'd to know; And others ween'd that it was nought
And, darker as it downward bears, But Leven Clans, or Tynedale men,
Is stain'd with past and present tears. Who came to gather in black-mail ;:
Low as that tide has ebb’d with me, And Liddesdale, with small avail,
It still reflects to Memory's eye Might drive them lightly back agen.
The hour my brave, my only boy, So pass'd the anxious night away,
Fell by the side of great Dundee.
Why, when the volleying musket play'd
Why was not I beside him laid !
fame; Applaud the Master of the Song;
Enough—he died with conquering Græme?
Now over Border, dale and fell, His wandering toil to share and cheer;
Full wide and far was terror spread; No son to be his father's stay,
For pathless marsh, and mountain cell, And guide him on the rugged way?
The peasant left his lowly shed. 8 Ay, once he had—but he was dead !”
The frighten'd flocks and herds were pent Upon the harp he stoop'd his head,
Beneath the peel's rude battlement; 1 Borne, make ready
those in which the author drops the business of his story to 2 Protection money exacted by freebooters.
moralize, and apply to his own situation the images and reflec3“ Nothing can excel the simple concise pathos of the tions it has suggested. After concluding one Canto with an clase of this Canto-nor the touching picture of the Bard when, account of the warlike array which was prepared for the rewith assumed business, he tries to conceal real sorrow. How ception of the English invaders, he opens the succeeding ono well the pret understands the art of contrast--and how judi- with the following beautiful verses, (Stanzas i. and ii.) eiously it is exerted in the exordium of the next Canto, where “ There are several other detached passages of equal our mourning sympathy is exchanged for the thrill of plea- beauty,9 which might be quoted in proof of the effect which sure!"—AxxA SEWARD.
is produced by this dramatic interference of the narrator."4 "What luxury of sound in this line!"-ANNA SEWARD. JEFFREY. 3 Orig. “Since first they rolled their way to Tweed."
8 See Appendix, Note 2 V. & The Viscount of Dundee, slain in the battle of Killicrankie.
9 No one will dissent from this, who reade, in particular, the first two
and heart-glowing stanzas of Canto VI.-yon, hy association of the 9 " Some of the most interesting passages of the poem are past, rendered the more affecting.-es
And maids and matrons dropp'd the tear,
His spear, six Scottish ells in length,
Seem'd newly dyed with gore;
His hardy partner bore.
“ Prepare ye all for blows and blood ! Watt Tinlinn, from the Liddel-side,
Comes wading through the flood.
At his lone gate, and prove the lock;
Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand
Meanwhile, full many a warlike band,
There was pricking o'er moor and lea;
Was but lightly held of his gaye ladye.13
1 See Appendix, Note 2 W. 2 See Appendix, Note 2 X. structure of their plan. It is this, amongst other circum3 “And when they cam to Branksome ha',
stances, which enables them to carry us along with them, They shouted a' baith loud and hie,
under I know not what species of fascination, and to make Till up and spak him auld Buccleuch,
us, as it were, credulous spectators of their most extravagant Said—Whae's this brings the fraye to me?'
scenes. In this they seem to resemble the painter, who, in “It's I, Jamie Telfer, o'the fair Dodhead,
the delineation of a battle, while he places the adverse heroes And a harried man I think I be,'" &c.
of the day combating in the front, takes care to fill his backBorder Minstrelsy, vol. ii. p. 8.
ground with subordinate figures, whose appearance adds at
once both spirit and an air of probability to the scene"4 An inroad commanded by the Warden in person.
Critical Review, 1805. 6“The dawn displays the smoke of ravaged fields, and shep- 6 The broken ground in a bog. herds, with their flocks, flying before the storm. Tidings
7 See Appendix, Note 2 Y. brought by a tenant of the family, not used to seek a shelter
8 Bondsman. on light occasions of alarm, disclose the strength and object of the invaders. This man is a character of a lower and of a
9 As the Borderers were indifferent about the furniture of rougher cast than Deloraine. The portrait of the rude 10
their habitations, so much exposed to be burned and pluntainer is sketched with the same masterly hand. Here, again, dered, they were proportionally anxious to display splendoui Mr. Scott has trod in the footsteps of the old romancers, who
in decorating and ornamenting their females.-See LESLEY
de Moribus Limitancorum confine not themselves to the display of a few personages
who stalk over the stage on stately stilts, but usually reflect all the 10 See Appendix, Note 2 2. 11 See Appendix, Note 3 A. varietiesof character that marked the era to which they belong. 12 Musketeers. See Appendix, Note 3 B. The interesting example of manners thus preserved to us is 13 The four last lines of stanza vii. are not in the Ist Edition not the only advantage which results from this peculiar -Ed.
VIUI. From fair St. Mary's silver wave,
From dreary Gamescleugh's dusky height, His ready lances Thirlestane brave
Array'd beneath a banner bright.
For faith 'mid feudal jars;
Would march to southern wars;
Ready, aye ready,” for the field.
The Earl was gentle, and mild of mood,
_“ Dear to me is my bonny white steed,
With many a moss-trooper, came on ;
Without the bend of Murdieston.?
Before their father's band;
Ne'er belted on a brand. 3
XI. 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; 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 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.”
Came trooping down the Todshawhill; 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.
XII. Loudly the Beattison laugh’d 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.
I See Appendix, Note 3 C. See Appendix, Note 3 D. 3 See, besides the note on this stanza, one in the Border Minstreisy, 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 Vinstrelsy, bas these lines :
“A modern author spends a hundred leaves,
To prove his ancestors notorious thieres. '-En 4 Stanzas x, xi. xii. were not in the first Edition.
See Appendix, Note 3 B. 8 The feudal superior, in certain cases, was entitled to the hest horse of the vassal, in name of Heriot, or flerereid.
Then wrathful was the noble dame;
Wend thou to Branksome back on foot,
source, Was lost and won for that bonny white horse.
It cost Watt Tinlinn mickle toil
But as a shallow brook they cross'd,
And fled, and shouted, “ Lost ! lost! lost"
From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen.
Their gathering word was Bellenden.?
And high her heart of pride arose:
And learn to face his foes.
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
wield, And o'er him hold his father's shield.”
XVI. 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 green,
Shine helm, and shield, and spear.
XIV. 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.
XVII. 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 band:
1 This and the three following lines are not in the first edition.-ED.
2 See Appendix, Note 3 F