« PreviousContinue »
Those bands, so fair together ranged,
Had dyed with gore the green:
And in the groan of death;
Had found a bloody sheath.
In the old Border-day;
The sun's declining ray.
The blithesome signs of wassel gay
* A sort of knife, or poniard.
As far as they could judge by ken,
Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand Three thousand armed Englishmen.—
Meanwhile, full many a warlike band, From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade, Came in, their Chief's defence to aid.
There was saddling and mounting in haste,
There was pricking o'er moor and lea; He that was last at the trysting place
Was but lightly held of his gay ladye.
From fair St Mary's silver wave,
From dreary Gamescleuch's dusky height, His ready lances Thirlestane brave
Arrayed beneath a banner bright.
For faith mid feudal jars;
Would march to southern wars;
An aged knight, to danger steeled,
And azure in a golden field,
The stars and crescent graced his shield, Without the bend of Murdieston.
Wide lay his hands round Oakwood tower,
And wide round haunted Castle-Ower;
High over Borthwick's mountain flood,
His wood-embosomed mansion stood;
In the dark glen, so deep below,
Five stately warriors drew the sword
A braver knight than Harden's lord
Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came, And warriors more than I may name;
From Yarrow-cleuch to Hindhaugh-swair,
From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen, Trooped man and horse, and bow and spear;
Their gathering word was Bellenden.
The Ladye marked the aids come in,
And learn to face his foes,
wield, And o'er him bold his father's shield,"