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LOCK THE DOOR LARISTON
James Hogg

 
                                    Lock the door, Lariston, lion of Liddlesdale,
                                    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 carbinier,
                                        Billman and halberdier;
                                    Fierce is the foray, and far is the cry.
 
                                    Bewcastle brandishes high his broad scimitar,
                                    Ridley is riding his fleet-footed grey,
                                        Hedley and Howard there,
                                        Wandale and Windermere -
                                    Lock the door, Lariston, hold them at bay.
 
                                    Why doest 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 foeman,
                                        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 the moss-troopers' might
                                        Lindhope and Sorby, true,
                                        Sundhope and Milburn too,
                                    Gentle in manner, but lions in fight!
 
                                    'I've Mangerton, Gornberry, 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.'
 
                                    Scowl'd the broad sun o'er the links of green Liddlesdale,
                                    Red as 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 warrior shout,
                                    Lances and halberds 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 wild welkin rend,
                                        While the Scots' shouts ascend,
                                    'Elliot of Lariston, Elliot for aye!'

Footnote : James Hogg, 'The Ettrick Sheperd' (1770-1835), presented himself as the successor to the mantle of Robert Burns, and indeed claimed the 25th of January as his own birth-date but he was actually born in November. This song was published in a volume of his lyrics published in the 1830s and introduced by Hogg as 'having no merit whatsoever, excepting a jingle of names, which Sir Walter's (Scott) good taste rendered popular.'