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Far more fair Margaret loved and blessed
The hour of silence and of rest.
On the high turret sitting lone,
Is yon the star, o'er Penchryst Pen,
For well she knew the fire of death!
The Warder viewed it blazing strong,
in wild disorder shook, Like reeds beside a frozen brook.
The Seneschal, whose silver hair
“On Penchryst glows a bale of fire, And three are kindling on Priesthaughswire ;
Ride out, ride out,
The foe to scout!
Mount, mount for Branksome, every man ! Thou, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan,
That ever are true and stout.
Ye need not send to Liddesdale;
For, when they see the blazing bale,
Fair Margaret, from the turret head,
While loud the harness rung,
As to their seats, with clamour dread,
The ready horsemen sprung ;
And trampling hoofs, and iron coats,
And out! and out!
In hasty route,
And east, and west, and north,
The ready page, with hurried hand, Awaked the need-fire's slumbering brand,
And ruddy blushed the heaven : For a sheet of flame, from the turret high, Waved like a blood-flag on the sky,
All flaring and uneven ; And soon a score of fires, I ween, From height, and hill, and cliff, were seen; Each with warlike tidings fraught; Each from each the signal caught;