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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!"-

XXX. « 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? 1 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: The rest, retreating as they came, Avoid defeat, and death, and shame."

'Though much the Ladye sage gainsay'd; For though their hearts were brave and true, From Jedwood's recent sack they knew,

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.


XXXI. 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.

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,3 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 rivai's grave.

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 Lord,

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 unharmid,
In peaceful march, like men unarm’d,

Shall straight retreat to Cumberland."

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.

XXXIII. Unconscious of the near relief, The proffer pleased each Scottish chief,

I Soe Appendix, Note 3 M.

• Ibid. Note 3 N.

3 See Appendix, Note 3 0.

• Ibid, Note 3 P.

Ae paused: the listening dames again

II. Applaud the hoary Minstrel's strain.

Not that, in sooth, o'er mortal urn With many a word of kindly cheer,

Those things inanimate can mourn; In pity half, and half sincere

But that the stream, the wood, the gale, Marvell’d the Duchess how so well

Is vocal with the plaintive wail His legendary song could tell

Of those, who, else forgotten long, Of ancient deeds, so long forgot;

Lived in the poet's faithful song, Of feuds, whose memory was not;

And, with the poet's parting breath, Of forests, now laid waste and bare;

Whose memory feels a second death. Of towers, which harbour now the hare;

The Maid's pale shade, who wails her lot, Of manners, long since changed and gone;

That love, true love, should be forgot, Of chiefs, who under their grey stone

From rose and hawthorn shakes the tear So long had slept, that fickle Fame

Upon the gentle Minstrel's bier: Had blotted from her rolls their name,

The phantom Knight, his glory fled, And twined round some new minion's head

Mourns o'er the field he heap'd with dead; The fading wreath for which they bled;

Mounts the wild blast that sweeps amain, In sooth, 'twas strange, this old man's verse

And shrieks along the battle-plain. Could call them from their marble hearse.

The Chief, whose antique crownlet long

Still sparkled in the feudal song,
The Harper smiled, well-pleased; for ne'er Now, from the mountain's misty throne,
Was flattery lost on poet's ear:

Sees, in the thanedom once his own,
A simple race ! they waste their toil

His ashes undistinguish'd lie, For the vain tribute of a smile;

His place, his power, his memory die: E'en when in age their flame expires,

His groans the lonely caverns fill, Her dulcet breath can fan its fires :

His tears of rage impel the rill: Their drooping fancy wakes at praise,

All mourn the Minstrel's harp unstrung, And strives to trim the short-lived blaze.

Their name unknown, their praise unsung.

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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 !”;

Those bands, so fair together rangel,
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,

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.

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,

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 armour free,
More famed for stately courtesy:
But angry Dacre rather chose
In bis pavilion to repose.

VIII. 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 fakes 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; Avd revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim Douglas or Dacre's conquering name.

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.®

Less frequent heard, and fainter still,

At length the various clamours 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,

VII. Yet, be it known, had bugles blown,

Or sign of war been seen,

1 See Appendix, Note 3 S. a A sort of knife or poniard

. Ibid. Note 3 T.

5 Ibid. Note 3 V.

* See Appendix, Note 3 U.
6 This line is not in the first edition.

In broken sleep she lay: By times, from siiken 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.

She gazed upon the inner court,

Which in the tower's tall shadow lay; Where coursers' clang, and stamp, and snort,

Hlad 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.

Sorrow, and sin, and shame; And death to Cranstoun's gailant Knight, And to the gentle ladye bright,

Disgrace, and loss of fame. But earthly spirit could not tell 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, dy; 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 porto 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 favour'd most.

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 crossid,

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 love

Lord Henry's at her feet.

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 armour 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.

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

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.

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3 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 honour of supplying Deloraine's place was the poet's own ancestor.-RD.

4 See Canto III. Stanza xxiii.


Costly his garb-his Flemish ruff

He sayeth, that William of Deloraine Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff,

Is traitor false by Border laws; With satin slash'd and lined;

This with his sword he will maintain,
Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,

So help him God, and his good cause !”.
His cloak was all of Poland fur,
His hose with silver twined;

His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt,

SCOTTISH HERALD. Hung in a broad and studded belt;

“ Here standeth William of Deloraine, Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still

Good knight and true, of noble strain, Callid noble Howard, Belted Will.

Who sayeth, that foul treason's stain,

Since he bore arms, ne'er soil'd his coat;

And that, so help him God above!
Behind Lord Howard and the Dame,

He will on Musgrave's body prove, Fair Margaret on her palfrey came,

He lies most foully in his throat.” Whose foot-cloth swept the ground:

LORD DACRE. White was her wimple, and her veil,

“ Forward, brave champions, to the fight! And her loose locks a chaplet pale

Sound trumpets !”-
Of whitest roses bound;
The lordly Angus, by her side,

“ God defend the right!"In courtesy to cheer her tried;

Then, Teviot! how thine echoes rang, Without his aid, her hand in vain

When bugle-sound and trumpet-clang Had strove to guide her broider'd rein.

Let loose the martial foes, He deern'd, she shudder'd at the sight

And in mid list, with shield poised high, Of warriors met for mortal fight;

And measured step and wary eye,
But cause of terror, all unguess'd,

The combatants did close.
Was fluttering in her gentle breast,
When, in their chairs of crimson placed,

The Dame and she the barriers graced.

III would it suit your gentle ear,

Ye lovely listeners, to hear

How to the axe the helms did sound,
Prize of the field, the young Buccleuch,

And blood pour'd down from many a wound; An English knight led forth to view;

For desperate was the strife and long, Scarce rued the boy his present plight,

And either warrior fierce and strong. So much he long'd to see the fight.

But, were each dame a listening knight, Within the lists, in knightly pride,

I well could tell how warriors fight! High Home and haughty Dacre ride ;

For I have seen war's lightning flashing, Their leading staffs of steel they wield,

Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing, As marshals of the mortal field;

Seen through red blood the war-horse dashWhile to each knight their care assign'd

ing, Like vantage of the sun and wind."

And scorn'd, amid the reeling strife,
Then heralds hoarse did loud proclaim,

To yield a step for death or life.-
In King and Queen, and Warden's name,
That none, while lasts the strife,

Should dare, by look, or sign, or word,

'Tis done, 'tis done! that fatal blow 3 Aid to a champion to afford,

Has stretch'd him on the bloody plain; On peril of his life;

He strives to rise- Brave Musgrave, no! And not a breath the silence broke,

Thence never shalt thou rise again! Till thus the alternate Heralds spoke:

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 ! “ Here standeth Richard of Musgrave,

0, bootless aid !-haste, holy Friar, Good knight and true, and freely born,

Haste, ere the sinner shall expire ! Amends from Deloraine to crave,

Of all his guilt let him be shriven, For foul despiteous scathe and scorn.

And smooth his path from earth to heaven! This couplet was added in the second edition.

ducted according to the strictest ordinances of chivalry, and 2 After this, in the first edition, we read only,

delineated with all the minuteness of an ancient romancer. “ At the last words, with deadly blows,

The modern reader will probably find it rather tedious; all

but the concluding stanzas, which are in a loftier measureThe ready warriors fiercely close."--Ed.

+ "Tis done! 'tis done!'" &c.- JEFFREY. 1 " The whole scene of the duel, or judicial combat, is con- * First Edition, “ în vain-In rain! haste, holy Friar"


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