Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

SWEET Teviot! on thy silver tide,
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more ;
No longer steel-clad warriors ride
Along thy wild and willowed shore ;
Where'er thou wind'st by dale or hill,
All, all is peaceful all is still,
As if thy waves, since Time was born,
Since first they rolled their way to Tweed,
Had only heard the shepherd's recd,
Nor started at the bugle-horn.

II. Unlike the tide of human time, Which, though it change in ceaseless flow, Retains each grief, retains each crime, Its earliest course was doomed to know ; And, darker as it downward bears, Is stained with past and present tears. Low as that tide has ebbed with me, It still reflects to memory's eye The hour, my brave, my only boy, Fell by the side of great Dundee. Why, when the volleying musket played Against the bloody Highland blade, Why was not I beside him laid— Enough—he died the death of fame; Enough—he died with conquering Graeme.

III. Now over Border dale and fell,

Full wide and far, was terror spread;
For pathless marsh, and mountain cell,

The peasant left his lowly shed.
The frightened flocks and herds were pent
Beneath the peel's rude battlement ;
And maids and matrons dropped the tear,
While ready warriors seized the spear.

From Branksome's towers the watchman's eye
Dun wreaths of distant smoke can spy,
Which, curling in the rising sun
Shewed southern ravage was begun.


Now loud the heedfull gate-ward cried—

“Prepare ye all for blows and blood |
Watt Tinlinn, from the Liddle-side,

Comes wading through the flood.
Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock
At his lone gate, and prove the lock;
It was but last Saint Barnabright
They sieged him a whole summer night,
But fled at morning ; well they knew,
In vain he never twanged the yew.
Right sharp has been the evening shower,
That drove him from his Liddle tower ;
And, by my faith,” the gate-ward said,
“I think 'twill prove a warden-raid.”


While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman
Entered the echoing barbican,

* An inroad commanded by the warden in person;

He led a small and shaggy nag,
That through a bog from hag to hag,”
Could bound like any Bilhope stag ;
It bore his wife and children twain;
A half-clothed serf t was all their train:
His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark browed,
Of silver broach and bracelet proud,
Laughed to her friends among the croud.
He was of stature passing tall,
But sparely formed, and lean withal ;
A battered marion on his brow ;
A leathern jack, as fence enow,
On his broad shoulders loosely hung;
A border axe behind was slung;
His spear, six Scottish ells in length,
Seemed newly dyed with gore;
His shafts and bow, of wond’rous strength,
His hardy partner bore.


Thus to the ladye did Tinlinn shew
The tidings of the English foe—

* The broken ground in a bog. t Bondsman.

“Belted Will Howard is marching here,
And hot Lord Dacre, with many a spear,
And all the German hagbut-men,”
Who long have lain at Askerten:
They crossed the Liddle at curfew hour,
And burned my little lonely tower;
The fiend receive their souls therefor "
It had not been burned this year and more.
Barn-yard and dwelling, blazing bright,
Served to guide me on my flight;
But I was chased the livelong night.
Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Graeme,
Fast upon my traces came, -
Until I turned at Priesthaugh-Scrogg,
And shot their horses in the bog,
Slew Fergus with my lance outright;
I had him long at high despite,
He drove my cows last Fastern's night.”


Now weary scouts from Liddesdale,
Fast hurrying in, confirmed the tale;

* Musketeers.

« PreviousContinue »