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Poem by James Hogg

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LOCK the door, Lariston, lion of Liddisdale,
Lock the door, Lariston, Lowther comes on,
      The Armstrongs are flying,
      Their widows are crying,
The Castletown s burning, and Oliver s gone;
Lock the door, Lariston,high on the weather-gleam
See how the Saxon plumes bob on the sky,
      Yeoman and carbineer,
      Billman and halberdier;
Fierce is the foray, and far is the cry.

Bewcastle brandishes high his broad scimitar,
Ridley is riding his fleet-footed gray,
      Hidley and Howard there,
      Wandale and Windermere,
Lock the door, Lariston, hold them at bay.
Why dost thou smile, noble Elliot of Lariston?
Why does the joy-candle gleam in thine eye?
      Thou bold Border ranger,
      Beware of thy danger,
Thy foes are relentless, determined, and nigh.

Jock Elliot raised up his steel bonnet and lookit,
His hand grasped the sword with a nervous embrace;
      Ah, welcome, brave foemen,
      On earth there are no men
More gallant to meet in the foray or chase!
Little know you of the hearts I have hidden here,
Little know you of our moss-troopers might,
      Lindhope and Sorby true,
      Sundhope and Milburn too,
Gentle in manner, but lions in fight!

I ve Mangerton, Ogilvie, Raeburn, and Netherby,
Old Sim of Whitram, and all his array;
      Come, all Northumberland,
      Teesdale and Cumberland,
Here at the Breaken Tower end shall the fray.
Scowled the broad sun oer the links of green Liddisdale,
Red as the beacon-light tipped he the wold;
      Many a bold martial eye
      Mirrored that morning sky,
Never more oped on his orbit of gold!

Shrill was the bugles note, dreadful the warrior shout,
Lances and halberts in splinters were borne;
      Halberd and hauberk then
      Braved the claymore in vain,
Buckler and armlet in shivers were shorn.
See how they wane, the proud files of the Windermere,
Howard,ah! woe to thy hopes of the day!
      Hear the wide welkin rend,
      While the Scots shouts ascend,
Elliot of Lariston, Elliot for aye!

James Hogg

James Hogg's other poems:
  1. The Braes of Bushby
  2. Scotias Glens
  3. Cam Ye by Athole?
  4. Donald MacGillavry
  5. Sing on, Sing on

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