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Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
They lay down to rest,
With corslet laced,
They carved at the meal
With gloves of steel, And they drank the red wine through the helmet barred.
Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men,
A hundred more fed free in stall:—
Why do these steeds stand ready dight?
Such is the custom of Branksome-Hall.—
Many a valiant knight is here;
Bards long shall tell,
Can piety the discord heal,
Or staunch the death-feud's enmity i Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal,
Can love of blessed charity? No! vainly to each holy shrine,
In mutual pilgrimage they drew; Implored, in vain, the grace divine
For chiefs, their own red falchions slew:
* The war-cry, or gathering word, of a Border clan.
While Cessford owns the rule of Car, While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott,
The slaughtered chiefs, the mortal jar,
The havoc of the feudal war,
IX. In sorrow, o'er Lord Walter's bier The warlike foresters had bent;
Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent: But o'er her warrior's bloody bier The Ladye dropped nor flower nor tear!Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain, Had locked the source of softer woe; And burning pride, and high disdain,
Forbade the rising tear to flow; Until, amid his sorrowing clan,
Her son lisped from the nurse's knee— "And, if I live to be a man, My father's death revenged shall be!"
Then fast the mother's tears did seek
X. All loose her negligent attire,
All loose her golden hair, Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire,
And wept in wild despair.
Had filial grief supplied;
Had lent their mingled tide:
Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan,
When Mathouse-burn to Melrose ran,
And well she knew, her mother dread,
Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed,
Would see her on her dying bed.