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XX.

66

Gramercy, for thy good-will, fair boy!
My mind was never set so high;

But if thou art chief of such a clan,
And art the son of such a man,
And ever comest to thy command,

Our wardens had need to keep good order; My bow of yew to a hazel wand,

Thou'lt make them work upon the Border Meantime, be pleased to come with me, For good Lord Dacre shalt thou see; I think our work is well begun, When we have taken thy father's son."

XXI.

Although the child was led away,
In Branksome still he seem'd to stay,
For so the Dwarf his part did play;
And, in the shape of that young boy,
He wrought the castle much annoy.
The comrades of the young Buccleuch
He pinch'd, and beat, and overthrew ;
Nay, some of them he wellnigh slew.
He tore Dame Maudlin's silken tire,
And, as Sym Hall stood by the fire,
He lighted the match of his bandelier,'
And wofully scorch'd the hackbuteer."
It may be hardly thought or said,
The mischief that the urchin made,
Till many of the castle guess'd,
That the young Baron was possess'd!

1 Bandelier, belt for carrying ammunition.
' Hackbuteer, musketeer.

XXII.

Well I ween the charm he held
The noble Ladye had soon dispell'd;
But she was deeply busied then
To tend the wounded Deloraine.
Much she wonder'd to find him lie,

On the stone threshold stretch'd along;
She thought some spirit of the sky

Had done the bold moss-trooper wrong;
Because, despite her precept dread,
Perchance he in the Book had read;
But the broken lance in his bosom stood,
And it was earthly steel and wood.

XXIII.

She drew the splinter from the wound,
And with a charm she stanch'd the blood;'
She bade the gash be cleansed and bound:
No longer by his couch she stood;

But she has ta'en the broken lance,
And washed it from the clotted gore,
And salved the splinter o'er and o'er.2
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,

1 See several charms for this purpose in Reginald Scott's Dis

very of Witchcraft, p. 273.

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Tom Potts was but a serving man,

But yet he was a doctor good;

He bound his handkerchief on the wound,

And with some kinds of words he stanched the blood."

Pieces of Ancient Popular Poetry, Lond. 1791, p. 131.

'See Appendix, Note W.

That he should be whole man and sound,

Within the course of a night and day. Full long she toil'd; for she did rue

Mishap to friend so stout and true.

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.

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?

O, '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-scen, half-lost;
And spears in wild disorder shook,
Like reeds beside a frozen brook.

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 bale' of fire,
And three are kindling on Priesthaughswire;

:

1 Bale, beacon-fagot. The border beacons, from their number and position, formed a sort of telegraphic communication with Edinburgh.—The act of Parliament 1455, c. 48, directs, that one bale or fagot shall be warning of the approach of the English in any manner; two bales that they are coming indeed; four bales, blazing beside each other, that the enemy are in great force. "The same taikenings to be watched and maid at Eggerhope (Eggerstand) Castell, fra they se the fire of Hume, that they fire right swa. And in like manner on Sowtra Edge, sall se the fire of Eggerhope Castell, and mak taikening in like manner: And then may all Louthaine be warned, and in special the Castell of Edinburgh; and their four fires to be made in like manner, that they in Fife, and fra Striveling east, and the east part of VOL. I.

9

Ride out, ride out,

The foe to scout!

Mount, mount for Branksome,' every man!
Thou, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan,
That ever are true and stout-

Ye need not send to Liddesdale;
For when they see the blazing bale,
Elliots and Armstrongs never fail.-
Ride, Alton, ride, for death and life!
And warn the warder of the strife.
Young Gilbert, let our beacon blaze,
Our kin, and clan, and friends, to raise."

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,

The horsemen gallop'd forth;
Dispersing to the south to scout,

Louthaine, and to Dunbar, all may se them, and come to the defence of the realme." These beacons (at least in latter times) were a "long and strong tree set up, with a long iron pole across the head of it, and an iron brander fixed on a stalk in the middle of it, for holding a tar-barrel." STEVENSON'S History, vol. ii.

p. 701.

1 Mount for Branksome was the gathering-word of the Scotts.

* See Appendix, Note X.

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