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She started from her seat;
While with surprise and fear she strove,
And both could scarcely master love—
Lord Henry's at her feet.
XIII, Oft have I mused what purpose bad That foul malicious urchin had To bring this meeting round; For happy Love's a heavenly sight, And by a vile malignant sprite In such no joy is found: And oft I’ve deemed, perchance he thought Their erring passion might have wrought Sorrow, and sin, and shame; And death to Cranstoun's gallant knight, And to the gentle ladye bright, Disgrace, and loss of fame. But earthly spirit could not tell The heart of them that loved so well : True love 's the gift which God has given To man alone beneath the heaven. It is not Fantasy's hot fire, Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly; It liveth not in fierce desire, With dead desire it doth not die;
It is the secret sympathy,
The silver cord, the silken tie,
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind,
In body and in soul can bind.
Now leave we Margaret and her knight
To tell you of the approaching fight.
Their warning blast the bugles blew,
The pipe’s shrill port* aroused each clan;
In haste the deadly strife to view,
The trooping warriors eager ran.
Thick round the lists their lances stood,
Like blasted pines in Ettricke wood;
To Branksome many a look they threw,
The combantants’ approach to view,
And bandied many a word of boast
About the knight each favoured most.
Meantime full anxious was the dame;
For now arose disputed claim
Of who should fight for Deloraine,
"Twixt Harden and 'twixt Thirlestaine;
* A martial piece of music adapted to the bagpipes.
They 'gan to reckon kin and rent,
And frowning brow on brow was bent';
But yet not long the strife—for, lo!
Himself, the knight of Dcloraine,
Strong, as it seemed, and free from pain,
In armour sheathed from top to toe,
Appeared, and craved the combat due.
The dame her charm successful knew,”
And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew,
When for the lists they sought the plain,
The stately ladye's silken rein
Did noble Howard hold ;
Unarmed by her side he walked,
And much, in courteous phrase, they talked
Of feats of arms of old.
Costly his garb—his Flemish ruff
Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff,
With satin slashed and lined ;
Tawny his boot, and gold his spur,
His cloak was all of Poland fur,
His hose with silver twined;
His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt,
Hung in a broad and studded belt;
Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still Call noble Howard, Belted Will.
Behind lord Howard and the dame,
Fair Margaret on her palfrey came,
Whose foot-cloth swept the ground ;
White was her whimple, and her veil,
And her loose locks a chaplet pale
Of whitest roses bound ; The lordly Angus by her side, In courtesy to cheer her tried ; Without his aid, her hand in vain Had strove to guide her broidered reim. He deemed she shuddered at the sight Of warriors met for mortal fight ; But cause of terror all unguessed, Was fluttering in her gentle breast, When in their chairs of crimson placed, The dame and he the barriers graced.
XV III, Prize of the field the young Buccleuch, An English knight led forth to view ; Scarce rued the boy his present plight, So much he longed to see the fight.
within the lists, in knightly pride,
High Home and haughty Dacre ride ;
Their leading staffs of steel they wield,
As marshals of the mortal field ;
Then heralds hoarse did loud proclaim,
In king, and queen, and wardens' name,
That none, while lasts the strife,
Should dare, by look, or sign or word,
Aid to a champion to afford,
On peril of his life.
Then not a breath the silence broke,
Till thus the alternate heralds spoke.
Here standeth Richard of Musgrave,
Good knight, and true, and freely born,
Amends from Deloraine to crave,
For foul despiteous scathe and scorn.
He sayeth, that William of Deloraine
Is traitor false by Border laws;
This with his sword he will maintain,
So help him God, and his good cause !