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Those bands, so fair together ranged,
Those hands, so frankly interchanged,

Had dyed with gore the green:
The merry shout by Teviot-side
Had sunk in war-cries wild and wide,

And in the groan of death;
And whingers *, now in friendship bare,
The social meal to part and share,

Had found a bloody sheath.
Twixt truce and war, such sudden change
Was not unfrequent, nor held strange,

In the old Border-day;
But yet on Brauksome's towers and town,
In peaceful merriment, sunk down

The sun's declining ray.


The blithesome signs of wassel gay
Decayed not with the dying day;

* A sort of knife, or poniard.

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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.
The tressured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreathe his shield, since royal James,
Encamped by Fala's mossy wave,'
The proud distinction grateful gave,

For faith mid feudal jars;
What time, save Thirlestane alone,
Of Scotland's stubborn barons none

Would march to southern wars;
And hence, in fair remembrance worn,
Yon sheaf of spears his crest has borne;
Hence his high motto shines revealed,—
"Ready, aye ready," for the field.


An aged knight, to danger steeled,
With many a moss-trooper, came on;

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,
The herds of plundered England low;
His bold retainers' daily food,
And bought with danger, blows, and blood.
Marauding chief! his sole delight
The moonlight raid, the morning fight;
Not even the Flower of Yarrow's charms,
In youth, might tame his rage for arms;
And still, in age, he spurned at rest,
And still his brows the helmet pressed,
Albeit the blanched locks below
Were white as Dinlay's spotless snow:

Five stately warriors drew the sword
Before their father's band;

A braver knight than Harden's lord
Ne'er belted on a brand.


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.
And better hearts o'er Border sod
To siege or rescue never rode.

The Ladye marked the aids come in,
And high her heart of pride arose;
She bade hej: youthful son attend,
That he might know his father's friend,

And learn to face his foes,
"The boy is ripe to look on war;
I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff,
And his true arrow struck afar
The raven's nest upon the cliff;
The Red Cross, on a southern breast,
Is broader than the raven's nest:
Thou, Whitslade, shall teach him his weapon to

wield, And o'er him bold his father's shield,"

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