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Bards long shall tell,
How Lord Walter fell!
When startled burghers fled, afar,
The furies of the Border war;
When the streets of high Dunedin
Saw lances gleam, and falchions redden,
And heard the slogan's * deadly yell—
Then the chief of Branksome fell.


Can piety the discord heal,

Or staunch the death-feud's enmity? Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal,

Can love of blessed charity? No! vainly to each holy shrine,

In mutual pilgrimage they drew; Implored, in vain, the grace divine

For chiefs, their own red falchions slew:

* The war-cry, or gathering word, of a Border clan.

While Cessford owns the rule of Car,
While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott,

The slaughtered chiefs, the mortal jar,

The havoc of the feudal war,
Shall never, never be forgot!

In sorrow, o'er Lord Walter's bier

The warlike foresters had bent; And many a flower, and many a tear,

Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent: But o'er her warrior's bloody bier The Ladyfe dropped nor flower nor tear!

Vengeance, deep*brooding o'er the slain.

Had locked the source of softer woe 5 And burning pride, and high disdain,

Forbade the rising tear to flow; Until, amid his sorrowing clan,

Her son lisped from the nurse's knee— "And, if I live to be a man,

My father's death revenged shall be P'

Then fast the mother's tears did seek
To dew the infant's kindling cheek.


All loose her negligent attire,

All loose her golden hair, Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire,

And wept in wild despair.
But not alone the bitter tear

Had filial grief supplied;
For hopeless love, and anxious fear,

Had lent their mingled tide:
Nor in her mother's altered eye
Dared she to look for sympathy.

Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan,
With Car in arms had stood,

When Mathouse-burn to Melrose ran,
All purple with their blood;

And well she knew her mother dread,

Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed,

Would see her on her dying bed.



Of noble race the Ladye came;
Her father was a clerk of fame,

Of Bethune's line of Picardie:
He learned the art, that none may name,

In Padua, far beyond the sea.
Men said, he changed his mortal frame

By feat of magic mystery;
For when, in studious mood, he paced

St Andrew's cloistered hall,
His form no darkening shadow traced

Upon the sunny wall!


And of his skill, as bards avow,

He taught that Ladye fair,
Till to her bidding she could bow

The viewless forms of air.
And now she sits in secret bower,
In old Lord David's western tower,

And listens to a heavy sound,

That moans the mossy turrets round.

Is it the roar of Teviot's tide,

That chafes against the scaur's * red side?

Is it the wind, that swings the oaks?

Is it the echo from the rocks?

What may it be, the heavy sound,

That moans old Branksome's turrets round?


At the sullen, moaning sound,

The ban-dogs bay and howl; And, from the turrets round,

Loud whoops the startled owl. In the hall, both squire and knight

Swore that a storm was near, And looked forth to view the night;

But the night was still and clear!

Scaur, a precipitous bank of earth.

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