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Ten thousand Scots 'gainst thousands three,
Certes, were desperate policy.
Nay, take the terms the Ladye made,
E'er conscious of the advancing aid:
Let Musgrave meet fierce Deloraine
In single fight; and if he gain,
He gains for us; but if he's crossed,
Tis but a single warrior lost:
The rest, retreating as they came,
Avoid defeat, and death, and shame." .
Ill could the haughty Dacre brook
XXIX. The pursuivant-at-arms again
Before the castle took his stand; His trumpet called, with parleying strain,
The leaders of the Scottish band; And he defied, in Musgrave's right, Stout Deloraine to single fight; A gauntlet at their feet he laid, „ And thus the terms of fight he said:— "If in the lists good Musgrave's sword
Vanquish the knight of Deloraine, Your youthful chieftain, Branksome's lord,
Shall hostage for his clan remain: If Deloraine foil good Musgrave, The boy his liberty shall have.
Howe'er it falls, the English band, Unharming Scots, by Scots unharmed. In peaceful march, like men unarmed,
Shall straight retreat to Cumberland."
Unconsqious of the near relief,
The proffer pleased each Scottish chief,
Though much the Ladye sage gainsayed;
How tardy was the regent's aid:
Durst not the secret prescience own,
By which the coming help was known.
Beneath the castle, on a lawn:
At the fourth hour from peep of dawn;
Should for himself and chieftain stand,
I know right well, that, in their lay,
Such combat should be made on horse,
Should shiver in the course:
In guise which now I say;
In the old Douglas' day.
Or call his song untrue: For this, when they the goblet plied, And such rude taunt had chafed his pride,
The bard of Reull he slew.
How Ousenam's maidens tore their hair, Wept till their eyes were dead and dim, And wrung their hands for love of him,
Who died at Jedwood Air?