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He sayeth, that William of Deloraine
This with his sword he will maintain,
Here standeth William of Deloraine,
Forward, brave champions, to the fight!
"God defend the right !"—
Then, Teviot! how thine echoes rang,
Let loose the martial foes,
The combatants did close.
Ill would it suit your gentle ear,
Ye lovely listeners, to hear
How to the axe the helms did sound,
And blood poured down from many a wound;
For desperate was the strife and long,
And either warrior fierce and strong.
But, were each dame a listening knight,
I well could tell how warriors fight;
For I have seen war's lightning flashing,
Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing,
Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing,
And scorned, amid the reeling strife,
To yield a step for death or life.
Tis done, 'tis done! that fatal blow
Has stretched him on the bloody plain; He strives to rise—Brave Musgrave, no!
Thence never shalt thou rise again! He chokes in blood—some friendly hand Undo the visor's barred band, Unfix the gorget's iron clasp, And give him room for life to gasp!— O, bootless aid!—haste, holy Friar, Haste, ere the sinner shall expire! Of all his guilt let him be shriven, And smooth his path from earth to heaven
In haste the holy Friar sped;—
As through the lists he ran;
He raised the dying man;
Loose waved his silver beard and hair,
Still props him from the bloody sod,
And bids him trust in God! Unheard he prays;—the death-pang's o'er Richard of Musgrave breathes no more.
As if exhausted in the fight, 1
The silent victor stands;
Of gratulating hands.
When lo! strange cries of wild surprise,
Among the Scottish hands;
And wild and hagard looked around,
And all, upon the armed ground,
"And who art thou," they cried, "Who hast this battle fought and won?" His plumed helm was soon undone—
"Cranstoun of Teviotside! For this fair prize I've fought and won,"— And to the Ladye led her son.