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I ne'er shall find a nobler foe.
In all the northern counties here,
Whose word is Snaffle, spur, and spear,
Thou wert the best to follow gear !
'Twas pleasure, as we look'd behind,
To see how thou the chase could’st wind,
Cheer the dark bloodhound on his way,
And with the bugle rouse the fray ! 2

2

1" The lands, that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear, Have for their blazon had, the snaffle, spur, and spear.”

Poly-Albion, Song 13. 2 The pursuit of Border marauders was followed by the injured party and his friends with bloodhounds and buglehorn, and was called the hot-trod. He was entitled, if his dog could trace the scent, to follow the invaders into the opposite kingdom; a privilege which often occasioned bloodshed. In addition to what has been said of the bloodhound, I may add, that the breed was kept up by the Buccleuch family on their Border estates till within the 18th century. A person was alive in the memory of man, who remembered a bloodhound being kept at Eldinhope, in Ettrick Forest, for whose maintenance the tenant had an allowance of meal. At that time the sheep were always watched at night. Upon one occasion, when the duty had fallen on the narrator, then a lad, he became exhausted with fatigue, and fell asleep upon a bank near sunrising. Suddenly he was awakened by the tread of horses, and saw five men, well mounted and armed, ride briskly over the edge of the hill. They stopped and looked at the flock; but the day was too far broken to admit the chance of their carrying any of them off. One of them, in spite, leaped from his horse, and coming to the shepherd, seized him by the belt he wore round his waist; and set ting his foot upon his body, pulled it till it broke, and carried it away with him. They rode off at the gallop; and the shepherd giving the alarm, the bloodhound was turned loose and the people in the neighbourhood alarmed. The maraud

I'd give the lands of Deloraine,
Dark Musgrave were alive again.”— 1

XXX.

So mourn’d he, till Lord Dacre's band
Were bowning back to Cumberland.
They raised brave Musgrave from the field,
And laid him on his bloody shield ;
On levell’d lances, four and four,
By turns, the noble burden bore.
Before, at times, upon the gale,
Was heard the Minstrel's plaintive wail ;
Behind, four priests, in sable stole,
Sung requiem for the warrior's soul :
Around, the horsemen slowly rode ;
With trailing pikes the spearmen trode;
And thus the gallant knight they bore,
Through Liddesdale to Leven's shore;
Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave,
And laid him in his father's grave.

ers, how

escaped, notwithstanding a sharp pursuit. This circumstance serves to show how very long the license of the Borderers continued in some degree to manifest itself.

1 [“ The style of the old romancers has been very successfully imitated in the whole of this scene; and the speech of Deloraine, who, roused from his bed of sickness, rushes into the lists, and apostrophizes his fallen enemy, brought to our recollection, as well from the peculiar turn of expression in its commencement as in the tone of sentiments which it conveys, some of the funebres orationes of the Mort Arthur.” - Critical Review.]

VOL. I.

12

The harp's wild notes, though hush'd the song,
The mimic march of death prolong ;
Now seems it far, and now a-near,
Now meets, and now eludes the ear ;
Now seems some mountain side to sweep,
Now faintly dies in valley deep ;
Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail,
Now the sad requiem, loads the gale ;
Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave,
Rung the full choir in choral stave.

After due pause, they bade him tell,
Why he, who touch'd the harp so well,
Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil,
Wander a poor and thankless soil,
When the more generous Southern Land
Would well requite his skilful hand.

The Aged Harper, howsoe'er
His only friend, his harp, was dear,
Liked not to hear it rank'd so high
Above his flowing poesy :
Less liked he still, that scornful jeer
Misprised the land he loved so dear;
High was the sound, as thus again
The Bard resumed his minstrel strain.

THE

LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.

CANTO SIXTH.

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