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His kirtle, made of forest green,
Reached scantly to his knee;
A furbished sheaf bore he;
No longer fence had he;
Would strike below the knee; His slackened bow was in his hand, And the leash, that was his blood-hound's band.
XVIII. He would not do the fair child harm, But held him with his powerful arm, That he might neither fight nor flee; For when the Red-Cross spied he, The boy strove long and violently. "Now, by St George," the archer cries, "Edward, methinks we have a prize!
This boy's fair face, and courage free,
"Yes! I am come of high degree,
For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch; And, if thou dost not set me free,
False Southron, thou shalt dearly rue! For Walter of Harden shall come with speed, And William of Deloraine, good at need, And every Scott from Esk to Tweed; And, if thou dost not let me go, Despite thy arrows, and thy bow, I'll have thee hanged to feed the crow!"
"Gramercy, for thy good will, fair boy!
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."—
Although the child was led away,
He lighted the match of his bandelier, *
Well I ween, the charm he held
* Bandelier, belt for carrying ammunition,
But the broken lance in his bosom stood,
Whene'er she turned it round and round, Twisted, as if she galled his wound. Then to her maidens she did say, That he should be whole man and sound, Within the course of a night and day. Full long she toiled: for she did rue Mishap to friend so stout and true.