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Here standeth William of Deloraine,
Good knight, and true, of noble strain,
Who sayeth, that foul treason's stain,
Since he bore arms ne'er soiled his coat,
And that so help him God above,
He will on Musgrave's body prove,
He lies most foully in his throat.
LORD DACRE, Forward, brave champions, to the fight! Sound trumpets —
LORD HOME, “God defend the right !” At the last word, with deadly blows, The ready warriors fiercely close.
XXI. Ill would it suit your gentle ear, Ye lovely listeners to hear How to the axe the helms did sound, And blood poured down from many a wound; For desperate was the strife, and long, And either warrior fierce and strong. But were each dame a listening knight, I well could tell how warriors fight 3
For I have seen war's lightning flashing,
Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing,
Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing,
And scorned amid the reeling strife,
To yield a step for death or life.
- XXII, 'Tis done, ’tis done ! that fatal blow
Has stretched him on the bloody plain;
He strives to rise—Brave Musgrave, no
Thence never shalt thou rise again :
He chokes in blood—some friendly hand,
Undo the visor's barred band,"
Unfix the gorget's iron clasp,
And give him room for life to gasp —
In vain, in vain—haste holy friar,
Haste e'er the sinner shall expire :
Of all his guilt let him be shriven,
And smooth his path from earth to heaven. * ."
In haste the holy friar sped,
His naked foot was dyed with red,
As through the lists he ran;
Unmindful of the shouts on high,
That hailed the conqueror's victory,
He raised the dying man ; *
Loose waved his silver beard and hair,
As o'er him he kneeled down in prayer.
And still the crucifix on high,
He holds before his darkening eye,
And still he bends an anxious ear,
His faultering penitence to hear;
Still props him from the bloody sod,
Still even when soul and body part,
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart,
And bids him trust in God
Unheard he prays; 'tis o'er, 'tis o'er
Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.
As if exhausted in the fight,
Or musing o'er the piteous sight,
The silent victor stands;
His beaver did he not unclasp,
Marked not the shouts, felt not the grasp,
Of gratulating hands.
When lo! strange cries of wild surprise,
Mingled with seeming terror, rise
Among the Scottish bands; *****
And all amid the thronged array,
In panic haste gave open way,
To a half-naked ghastly man,
Who downward from the castle ran ;
He crossed the barriers at a bound,
And wild and haggard looked around,
As dizzy, and in pain ;
And all, upon the armed ground,
Knew William of Deloraine!
Each ladye sprung from seat with speed ;
Vaulted each marshal from his steed;
“And who art thou,” they cried,
“Who hast this battle fought and won "
His plumed helm was soon undone—
“Cranstoun of Teviotside :
For this fair prize I've fought and won,”—
And to the ladye led her son.
Full oft the rescued boy she kissed,
And often pressed him to her breast ;
For, under all her dauntless show,
Her heart had throbbed at every blow ;
Yet not lord Cranstoun deign she greet,
Though low he kneeled at her feet.
Melists not tell what words were made,
What Douglas, Home, and Howard said—s
—For Howard was a generous foe-
And how the clan united prayed,
The ladye would the feud forego,
And deign to bless the nuptial hour
Of Cranstoun's lord and Teviot's Flower.
xxvi. She looked to river, looked to hill, Thought on the spirit's prophecy, Then broke her silence stern and still, “Not you, but fate, has vanquished me; Their influence kindly stars may shower On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower, For pride is quelled, and love is free.” She took fair Margaret by the hand, Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand; That hand to Cranstoun's lord gave she. “As I am true to thee and thine, Do thou be true to me and mine ! This clasp of love our bond shall be; For this is your betrothing day, And all these noble lords shall stay, To grace it with their company.”
All as they left the listed plain,
Much of the story she did gain,
How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine;
And of his page, and of the book,