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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

James Hogg

450. Lock the Door, Lariston

LOCK the door, Lariston, lion of Liddisdale,

Lock the door, Lariston, Lowther come on,

The Armstrongs are flying,

The 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 carbinier,

Bilman and halberdier;

Fierce is the foray, and far is the cry.

Bewcastle brandishes high his broad scimitar;

Ridley is riding his fleet-footed grey;

Hidley and Howard there,

Wandale and Windermere,—

Lock the door, Lariston; hold them at bay.

Why dost thou smile, noble Elliot of Lariston?

Why do the joy-candles 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 Sorbie true,

Sundhope and Milburn too,

Gentle in manner, but lions in fight!

‘I’ve Mangerton, Ogilvie, Raeburn, and Netherbie,

Old Sim of Whitram, and all his array;

Come, all Northumberland,

Teesdale and Cumberland,

Here at the Breaken tower end shall the fray.’

Scowl’d the broad sun o’er the links of green Liddisdale,

Red as the beacon-light tipp’d he the wold;

Many a bold martial eye,

Mirror’d that morning sky,

Never more oped on his orbit of gold!

Shrill was the bugle’s note! dreadful the warriors’ shout!

Lances and halberds in splinters were borne;

Helmet and hauberk then

Braved the claymore in vain,

Buckler 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!’