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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, Which, curling in the rising sun, Showed southern ravage was begun.
Now loud the heedful gate-ward cried—"Prepare ye all for blows and blood!
Comes wading through the flood.
It was but last St Barnabright
While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
* An inroad commanded by the Warden in person,
Laughed to her friends among the crowd. 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 wonderous strength, His hardy partner bore.
Thus to the Ladye did Tinlinn shew 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 Askerten: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 Graeme,
Fast upon my traces came,
Until I turned at Priesthaugh Scrogg,
And shot their horses in the bog,
Slew Fergus with my lance outright—
I had him long at high despite:
He drove my cows last Fastern's night."—
VII. Now weary scouts from Liddesdale, Fast hurrying in, confirmed the tale; As far as they could judge by ken,
Three hours would bring toTeviot's strand Three thousand armed Englishmen.— Meanwhile, full many a warlike band,
From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade,
There was pricking o'er moor and lee; He that was last at the trysting place Was but lightly held of his gay ladye.
From fair St Mary's silver wave,
From dreary Gamescleuch's dusky height, His ready lances Thirlestane brave
Arrayed beneath a banner bright.
For faith mid feudal jars;
Would march to southern wars;