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Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
With belted sword, and spur on heel:
They quitted not their harness bright,
Neither by day, nor yet by night:

They lay down to rest,

With corslet laced,
Pillowed on buckler cold and hard;

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,
Waited the beck of the warders ten;
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight,
Stood saddled in stable day and night,
Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow,
And with Jedwood-axe at saddle-bow;


A hundred more fed free in stall:—
Such was the custom of Branksome Hall.

Why do these steeds stand ready dight?
Why watch these warriors, armed, by night ?—
They watch, to hear the blood-hound baying;
They watch, to hear the war-horn braying;
To see St George's red cross streaming,
To see the midnight beacon gleaming;They watch, against Southern force and guile,
Lest Scroop, or Howard, or Percy's powers,
Threaten Branksome's lordly towers,
From Warkworth,or Naworth, or merry Carlisle.

Such is the custom of Branksome-Hall.—

Many a valiant knight is here;
But he, the chieftain of them all,
His sword hangs rusting on the wall, Beside his broken spear.

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Bards long shall tell,
How Lord Walter fell!
When startled burghers fled, afar,
The furies of the Border war;
When the streets of high Dunedin
Saw lances gleam, and falchions redden,
And heard the slogan's* deadly yell—
Then the Chief of Branksome fell.


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,
Shall never, never be forgot!

IX. In sorrow, o'er Lord Walter's bier The warlike foresters had bent;
And many a flower, and many a tear,

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
To dew the infant's kindling cheek.

X. All loose her negligent attire,

All loose her golden hair, Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire,

And wept in wild despair.
But not alone the bitter tear

Had filial grief supplied;
For hopeless love, and anxious fear,

Had lent their mingled tide:
Nor in her mother's altered eye
Dared she to look for sympathy.

Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan,
With Car in arms had stood,

When Mathouse-burn to Melrose ran,
All purple with their blood;

And well she knew, her mother dread,

Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed,

Would see her on her dying bed.

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