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He ceased—and loud the Boy did cry,
No knight in Cumberland so good,
But William may count with him kin and blood.
Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword,
When English blood swelled Ancram ford;
And but that Lord Dacre's steed was wight,
And bare him ably in the flight,
Himself had seen him dubbed a knight.
For the young heir of Branksome's line,
God be his aid, and God be mine;
Through me no friend shall meet his doom;
Here, while I live, no foe finds room.
Then, if thy lords their purpose urge,
Our slogan is their lyke-wake* dirge,
Our moat, the grave where they shall lie."
Proud she looked round, applause to claim—
* Lyke-wake, the watching a corpse previous to interment.
His bugle Watt of Harden blew; Pensils and pennons widewere flung, To heaven the Border slogan rung,
* St Mary for the young Buccleuch!" The English war-cry answered wide, v
And forward bent each southern spear; Each Kendal archer made a stride,
And drew the bow-string to his ear; Each minstrel's war-note loud was blown ;— But, e'er a gray-goose shaft had flown,
A horseman galloped from the rear.
"Ah! noble Lords!" he, breathless,said, "What treason has your march betrayed i What make you here, from aid so far, Before you walls, around you war? Your foemen triumph in the thought, That in the toils the lion's caught.
Already on dark Ruberslaw
Have to proud Angus come;
In Liddesdale I've wandered long; But still my heart was with merry England, And cannot brook my country's wrong; And hard I've spurred all night, to shew The mustering of the coming foe."
* Weapon-schaw, the military array of a county.
"And let them come!" fierce Dacre cried;
"Yet hear," quoth Howard, "calmly hear,