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He ceased—and loud the Boy did cry,
And stretched his little arms on high;
Implored for aid each well-known face,
And strove to seek the Dame's embrace.
A moment changed that Ladye's cheer,
Gushed to her eye the unbidden tear;
She gazed upon the leaders round,
And dark and sad each warrior frowned;
Then, deep within her sobbing breast
She locked the struggling sigh to rest;
Unaltered and collected stood,
And thus replied, in dauntless mood.

"Say to your Lords of high emprize,
Who war on women and on boys,
That either William of Deloraine
Will cleanse him, by oath, of march-treason stain,
Or else he will the cpmbat take
'Gainst Musgrave, for his honour's sake.

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,
Take our defiance loud and high;

Our slogan is their lyke-wake* dirge,

Our moat, the grave where they shall lie."


Proud she looked round, applause to claim—
Then lightened Thirlestane's eye of flame;

* 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
The Douglas holds his weapon-schaw *;
The lances, waving in his train,
Clothe the dun heath like autumn grain;
And on the Liddle's northern strand,
To bar retreat to Cumberland,
Lord Maxwell ranks his merry-men good.
Beneath the eagle and the rood;
And Jedwood, Eske, and Teviotdale,

Have to proud Angus come;
And all the Merse and Lauderdale
Have risen with haughty Home.
An exile from Northumberland,

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;
"For soon yon crest, my father's pride,
That swept the shores of Judah's sea,
And waved in gales of Galilee,
From Branksome's highest towers displayed,
Shall mock the rescue's lingering aid!—
Level each harquebuss on row;
Draw, merry archers, draw the bow;
Up, bill-men, to the walls, and cry,
Dacre for England, win or die!"


"Yet hear," quoth Howard, "calmly hear,
Nor deem my words the words of fear;
For who, in field or foray slack,
Saw the blanche lion e'er fall back?
But thus to risque our Border flower
In strife against a kingdom's power,

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