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Cheered the young knights, and council sage
Held with the chiefs of riper age.
No tidings of the foe were brought,
Nor of his numbers knew they ought,
Nor in what time the truce he sought.
Some said, that there were thousands ten,
And others weened that it was nought
But Leven Clans, or Tynedale men,
Who came to gather in black mail;*
And Liddesdale, with small avail,
Might drive them lightly back agen.
So passed the anxious night away,
And welcome was the peep of day.

CEASED the high sound-the listening throng
Applaud the Master of the Song;
And marvel much, in helpless age,
So hard should be his pilgrimage.
Had he no friend-no daughter dear,
His wandering toil to share and cheer;
No son, to be his father's stay,
And guide him on the rugged way?—
"Aye! once he had-but he was dead!"
Upon the harp he stooped his head,
And busied himself the strings withal,
To hide the tear, that fain would fall.
In solemn measure, soft and slow,
Arose a father's notes of woe.



SWEET Teviot! on thy silver tide
The glaring bale-firest blaze no more;

Protection-money exacted by free-booters.

+ 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 faggot 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.

No longer steel-clad warriors ride
Along thy wild and willowed shore
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 rolled upon the Tweed,
Had only beard the shepherd's reed,
Nor started at the bugle-horn.


Unlike the tide of human time,

Which, though it change in ceaseless flow,
Retains each grief, retains each crime,

Its earliest course was doomed to know,
And, darker as it downward bears,
Is stained with past and present tears.
Low as that tide has ebbed with me,
It still reflects to memory's eye
The hour, my brave, my only boy,

Fell by the side of great Dundee.*
Why, when the volleying musket played
Against the bloody Highland blade,
Why was not I beside him laid!-
Enough he died the death of fame;
Enough he died with conquering Græme.


Now over Border dale and fell,

Full wide and far was terror spread;
For pathless marsh, and mountain cell,
The peasant left his lowly shed.+
The frightened flocks and herds were pent
Beneath the peel's rude battlement;
And maids and matrons dropped the tear,
While ready warriors seized the spear.
From Branksome's towers, the watchman's eye
Dun wreaths of distant smoke can spy,

The Viscount of Dundee, slain in the battle of Killycrankie. + The Morasses were the usual refuge of the Border herdsmen, on the approach of an English army. Caves, hewed in the most dangerous and inaccessible places, also afforded an occasional re treat.

Which, curling in the rising sun,
Showed southern ravage was begun.*

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Now loud the heedful gate-ward cried-
Prepare ye all for blows and blood!
Watt Tinlinn, from the Liddle-side,+
Comes wading through the flood.
Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock
At his lone gate, and prove the lock;
It was but last St Barnabright
They sieged him a whole summer night,
But fled at morning; well they knew,
In vain he never twanged the yew.
Right sharp has been the evening shower,
That drove him from his Liddle tower;
And, by my faith," the gate-ward said,
"I think 'twill prove a Warden-Raid."‡


While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
Entered the echoing barbican.
He led a small and shaggy nag,
That through a bog, from hag to hag,§
Could bound like any Bilhope stag;||
It bore his wife and children twain;
A half-clothed serf¶ was all their train:
His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark-browed,
Of silver broach and bracelet proud,**
Laughed to her friends among the crowd.

The mutual cruelties of the Borderers, and the personal hatred of the Wardens gave to the Border wars, between England and Scotland, a character of savage atrocity which could not be paralelled even in the wars of the sixteenth century,

+ Watt Tinlinn was a retainer of the Buccleuch family, and held for his Border service a small tower on the frontiers of Liddesdale. Watt was, by profession, a autor (shoemaker), but, by inclination and practice, an archer and warrior,

An inroad commanded by the Warden in person.
The broken ground in a bog.

Bilhope was famous among hunters for bucks and roes.

*The Borderers, ou account of being exposed to having their houses burned or plundered, were anxious to display splendour in decorating and ornamenting their females.

He was of stature passing tall,
But sparely formed, and lean withal:
A battered morion on his brow;
A leathern jack, as fence enow,
On his broad shoulders loosely hung;
A border-axe behind was slung;

His spear, six Scottish ells in length,
Seemed newly dyed with gore;

His shafts and bow, of wondrous strength, His hardy partner bore.


Thus to the Ladye did Tinlinn show
The tidings of the English foe:—

"Belted Will Howard is marching here,*

And hot Lord Dacre, with many a spear,
And all the German hagbut-men,+
Who have long lain at Askertain:
They crossed the Liddle at curfew hour,
And burned my little lonely tower;
The fiend receive their souls therefor!

It had not been burned this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight;

But I was chased the live-long night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Græme,
Fast upon my traces came,

Until I turned at Priesthaugh-Scrogg,

And shot their horses in the bog,

Lord William Howard, third son of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, By a poetical anachronism, he is introduced into the romance a few years earlier than be actually flourished. He was warden of the Western Marches; and from the rigour with which he repressed the Border excesses, the name of Belted Will Howard is still famous in our traditions. The well-known name of Dacre is derived from the exploits of one of their ancestors at the siege of Acre or Ptolemais, under Richard Cour de Lion. The lord Dacre of this period, was a man of hot and obstinate character, as appears from some particulars of Lord Surrey's letter to Henry VIII, giving an account of his behaviour at the siege and storm of Jedburgh.

In the wars with Scotland, Heury VIII, and his successors employed numerous bands of mercenary troops. At the battle of Pinky there were in the English army six hundred hackbutteers, or musketeers on foot, and two hundred on horseback, composed chiefly of foreigners. From the battle pieces of the ancient Fem ish painters, we learn that the Low-Country and German soldiers marched to an assault with their right knees bared,

Slew Fergus with my lance outright—
I had him long at high despite :

He drove my cows last Fastern's night."


Now weary scouts from Liddesdale,
Fast hurrying in, confirmed the tale;
As far as they could judge by ken,
Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand
Three thousand armed Englishmen.-
Meanwhile, full many a warlike band,
From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade,
Came in, their Chief's defence to aid.


From fair St Mary's silver wave,
From dreary Gamescleuch's dusky height,
His ready lances Thirlestane brave*
Arrayed beneath a banner bright,
The treasured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreathe his shield, since royal James,
Encamped by Fala's mossy wave,
The proud distinction grateful gave,
For faith mid feudal jars;

What time, save Thirlestane alone,
Of Scotland's stubborn barons none
Would march to southern wars;
And hence, in fair remembrance worn,
Yon sheaf of spears his crest has borne:
Hence his high motto shines revealed,-
"Ready, aye ready," for the field.


An aged knight, to danger steed,
With many a moss-trooper, camo on:

When James had assembled his nobility at Fala, to invade England, and was disappointed by their refusal, Sir John Scott of Thirlestane alone declared himself ready to follow the king wher ever he should lead. In memory of his fidelity, James granted to his family a charter of arms, entitling them to bear a border of Beurs-de-lace, similar to the treasure in the royal arms, with a bundle of spears for the crest; motto, Ready, aye ready.


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