Page images

Sore he plied both whip and spur,

As he urged his steed through Eskdale muir;

And it fell down a weary weight,

Just on the threshold of Branksome gate.


The Earl was a wrathful man to see,

Full lain avenged would he be.

In haste to Branksome's lord he spoke,

Saying—" Take these traitors to thy yoke;

For a cast of hawks, and a purse of gold,

All Eskdale I'll sell thee, to have and hold:

Beshrew thy heart, of the Beattisons' clan

If thou leavest on Eske a landed man;

But spare Woodkerrick's lands alone,

For he lent me his horse to escape upon."—

A glad man then was Branksome bold,

Down he flung him the purse of gold;

To Eskdale soon he spurred amain,

And with him five hundred riders has ta'en.

He left his merrymen in the mist of the hill,

And bade them hold them close and still;

And alone he wended to the plain,

To meet with the Galliard and all his train.

To Gilbert the Galliard thus he said :—

"Know thou me for thy liege lord and head;

Deal not with me as with Morton tame,

For Scotts play best at the roughest game.

Give me in peace my heriot due,

Thy bonny white steed, or thou shalt rue.

If my horn I three times wind,

Eskdale shall long have the sound in mind."—


Loudly the Beattison laughed in scorn;—
"Little care we for thy winded horn.
Ne'er shall it be the Galliard's lot,
To yield his steed to a haughty Scott.
Wend thou to Branksome back on foot,
With rusty spur and miry boot."—

He blew his bugle so loud and hoarse,
That the dun deer started at far Craikcross;
He blew again so loud and clear,
Through the gray mountain mist there did lances

And the third blast rang with such a din,

That the echoes answered from Pentoun-linn';

And all his riders came lightly in.

Then had you seen a gallant shock,

When saddles were emptied, and lances broke!

For each scornful word the Galliard had said,

A Beattison on the field was laid.

His own good sword the chieftain drew,

And he bore the Galliard through and through;

Where the Beattisons' blood mixed with the rill,

The Galliard's Haugh, men call it still.

The Scotts have scattered the Beattison clan,

In Eskedale they left but one landed man.

The valley of Eske, from the mouth to the source,

Was lost and won for that bonny white horse.



Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came, And warriors more than I may name; From Yarrow-cleugh 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 her 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 hold his father's shield."—

XIV. .
Well may you think, the wily Page
Cared not to face the Ladye sage.
He counterfeited childish fear,
And shrieked, and shed full many a tear,

And moaned and plained in manner wild.
The attendants to the Ladye told,

Some fairy, sure, had changed the child,
That wont to be so free and bold.
Then wrathful was the noble dame;
She blushed blood-red for very shame :—
"Hence! ere the clan his faintness view;
Hence with the weakling to Buccleuch !—
Watt Tinlinn, thou shalt be his guide
To Rangleburn's lonely side.—

« PreviousContinue »