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Albeit their hearts of rugged mould,

Were stubborn as the steel they wore.
For the grey warriors prophesied,

How the brave boy, in future war,
Should tame the Unicorn's pride,'
Exalt the Crescent and the Star.2


The Ladye forgot her purpose high,
One moment, and no more;
One moment gazed with a mother's eye,
As she paused at the arched door:
Then from amid the armed train,

She call'd to her William of Deloraine.3


A stark moss-trooping Scott was he,
As e'er couch'd Border lance by knee:
Through Solway sands, through Tarras moss,
Blindfold he knew the paths to cross;
By wily turns, by desperate bounds,
Had baffled Percy's best blood-hounds.
In Eske, or Liddel, fords were none,
But he would ride them, one by one;

1 [This line, of which the metre appears defective, would have its full complement of feet according to the pronunciation of the poet himself as all who were familiar with his utterance of the letter r will bear testimony. - ED.]

2 The arms of the Kerrs of Cessford were, Vert on a cheveron, betwixt three unicorns' heads erased argent, three mullets sable, crest, a unicorn's head erased proper. The Scotts of Buccleuch bore, Or, on a bend azure; a star of six points betwixt two cres cents of the first.

See Appendix, Note H.

'See Appendix, Note L

Alike to him was time or tide,
December's snow, or July's pride;
Alike to him was tide or time,
Moonless midnight, or matin prime:
Steady of heart, and stout of hand,
As ever drove prey from Cumberland;
Five times outlawed had he been,
By England's King, and Scotland's Queen.


"Sir William of Deloraine, good at need,
Mount thee on the wightest steed;
Spare not to spur, nor stint to ride,
Until thou come to fair Tweedside;
And in Melrose's holy pile

Seek thou the Monk of St. Mary's aisle.
Greet the Father well from me;

Say that the fated hour is come,
And to-night he shall watch with thee,
To win the treasure of the tomb:

For this will be St. Michael's night,

And, though stars be dim, the moon is bright; And the Cross, of bloody red,

Will point to the grave of the mighty dead.


"What he gives thee, see thou keep;

Stay not thou for food or sleep:

Be it scroll, or be it book,

Into it, Knight, thou must not look;
If thou readest, thou art lorn!

Better had'st thou ne'er been born."


"O swiftly can speed my dapple-grey steed,
Which drinks of the Teviot clear;

Ere break of day," the Warrior 'gan say,
"Again will I be here:

And safer by none may thy errand be done,
Than, noble dame, by me;

Letter nor line know I never a one,
Were't my neck-verse at Hairibee."1


Soon in his saddle sate he fast,
And soon the steep descent he past,
Soon cross'd the sounding barbican,2
And soon the Teviot side he won.
Eastward the wooded path he rode,
Green hazels o'er his basnet nod;
He pass'd the Peel3 of Goldiland,

And cross'd old Borthwick's roaring strand;
Dimly he view'd the Moat-hill's mound,
Where Druid shades still flitted round:4
In Hawick twinkled many a light;
Behind him soon they set in night;

1 Hairibee, the place of executing the Border marauders at Carlisle. The neck-verse is the beginning of the 51st Psalm, Miserere mei, &c., anciently read by criminals claiming the benefit of clergy.


Barbican, the defence of the outer gate of a feudal castle. "Peel, a Border tower.

This is a round artificial mount near Hawick, which, from its name, (Mot. Ang. Sax. Concilium, Conventus,) was probably anciently used as a place for assembling a national council of the adjacent tribes. There are many such mounds in Scotland, and they are sometimes, but rarely, of a square form.

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