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And distant salutation past
From the loud cannon mouth : Not in the close successive rattle, That breathes the voice of modern battle,
But slow and far between.The hillock gaind, Lord Marmion stay'd: “Here, by this cross,” he gently said,
“You well may view the scene. Here shalt thou tarry, lovely Clare: O think of Marmion in thy prayer ! Thou wilt not !
-well, -no less my care Shall, watchful, for thy weal prepare.You, Blount and Eustace, are her guard,
With ten pick'd archers of my train;
To Berwick speed amain.-
When here we meet again.”-
Nor heed the discontented look
His way to Surrey took.
And sudden, as he spoke,
Was wreath'd in sable smoke;
As down the hill they broke;
At times a stifled hum,
King James did rushing come.-
And such a yell was there,
And fiends in upper air ;
And triumph and despair. Long look'd the anxious squires; their eye Could in the darkness naught descry.
Welcome to danger's hour!
Thus have I ranged my power:
Stout Stanley fronts their right,
With Brian Tunstall, stainless knight;
Shall be in rearward of the fight,
Now, gallant Marmion, well I know,
Where such a shout there rose
Startled the Scottish foes.
XXVI. At length the freshening western blast Aside the shroud of battle cast; And, first, the ridge of mingled spears Above the brightening cloud appears ; And in the smoke the pennons few, As in the storm the white sea-mew. Then mark'd they, dashing broad and far, The broken billows of the war, And plumed crest of chieftains brave, Floating like foam upon the wave,
But naught distinct they see :
Wild and disorderly.
Although against them come,
With Huntley, and with Home.
XXV. Blount and Fitz-Eustace rested still With Lady Clare upon the hill; On which (for far the day was spent) The western sumbeams now were bent; The cry they heard, its meaning knew, Could plain their distant comrades view; Sadly to Blount did Eustace say, “ Unworthy office here to stay, No hope of gilded spurs to-day.-But, see ! look up-on Flodden bent, The Scottish foe has fired his tent."
XXVII. Far on the left, unseen the while, Stanley broke Lennox and Argyle ; Though there the western mountaineer Rush'd with bare bosom on the spear, And Aung the feeble targe aside, And with both hands the broadsword plied : 'Twas vain :-But fortune, on the right, With fickle smile, cheer'd Scotland's fight. Then fell that spotless banner wbite, The Howard's lion fell;
Yet still Lord Marmion's falcon flew
Around the battle yell.
Loud were the clanging blows;
The pennon sunk and rose;
It waver'd 'mid the foes.
By heaven, and all its saints, I swear,
I will not see it lost!
I gallop to the host."
The rescued banner rose,
It sunk among the foes.
-yet stay'd, As loath to leave the helpless maid,
When, fast as shaft can fly, Bloodshot his eyes, his nostrils spread, The loose rein dangling from his head, Housing and saddle bloody red,
Lord Marmion's steed rush'd by; And Eustace, maddening at the sight,
A look and sign to Clara cast,
To mark he would return in haste, Then plunged into the fight.
To Dacre bear my signet-ring:
Of all my halls have ourst,
To slake my dying thirst !"
Left in that dreadful hour alone :
Perchance a courage, not her own,
Braces her mind to desperate tone.
She only said, as loud in air
Fight but to die,-" Is Wilton there?”
Two horsemen drench'd with gore, And in their arms, a helpless load,
A wounded knight they bore. His hand still strain'd the broken brand; His arms were smear'd with blood and sand: Dragg'd from among the horses' feet, With dinted shield, and heimet beat, The falcon crest and plumage gone, Can that be haughty Marmion S Young Blount his armour did unlace, And, gazing on his ghastly face,
Said" By Saint George, he's gone! That spear-wound has our master sped, And see the deep cut on his head !
Good night to Marmion." “ Unnurtured Blount ! thy brawling cease : He opes his eyes,” said Eustace; “ peace!”
To the nigh streamlet ran :
Sees but the dying man.
But in abhorrence backward drew;
Was curdling in the streamlet blue. Where shall she turn ?-behold her mark
A little fountain cell,
In a stone basin fell.
Who built this cross and well.
A monk supporting Marmion's head;
To shrive the dying, bless the dead.
XXXI. Deep drank Lord Marmion of the wave, And as she stoop'd his brow to lave“ Is it the hand of Clare,” he said, « Or injured Constance, bathes my head?”
Then, as remembrance rose, « Speak not to me of shrift or prayer!
I must redress her woes. Short space, few words are mine, to spare: Forgive and listen, gentle Clare!”—
* Alas!” she said, “ the while,O think of your immortal weal! In vain for Constance is your zeal;
She died at Holy Isle.”
I would the fiend, to whom belongs
Would spare me but a day!
Might bribe him for delay.
XXXIII. By this, though deep the evening fell, Still rose the battle's deadly swell, For still the Scots, around their king, Unbroken, fought in desperate ring. Where's now their victor va'ward wing,
Where Huntley, and where Home? -O for a blast of that dread horn, On Fontarabian echoes borne,
That to King Charles did come, When Rowland brave, and Olivier, And every paladin and peer,
On Roncesvalles died ! Such blast might warm them, not in vain, To quit the plunder of the slain, And turn the doubtful day again,
While yet on Flodden side, Afar the royal standard flies, And round it toils, and bleeds, and dies,
Our Caledonian pride! In vain the wish-for, far away, While spoil and havoc mark their way, Near Sybil's cross the plunderers stray:“0, lady," cried the monk, “away!"
And placed her on her steed, And led her to the chapel fair
Of Tilmouth upon Tweed. There all the night they spent in prayer, And, at the dawn of morning, there She met her kinsman, Lord Fitz-Clare.
For that she ever sung, “In the lost battle, borne down by the flying, Where mingles war's rattle with groans of the
So the notes rung;
O think on faith and bliss !
But never aught like this.”—
And-Stanley! was the cry;
And fired his glazing eye:
And shouted “ Victory -
XXXIV. But as they left the darkening heath, More desperate grew the strise of death. The English shafts in volleys haild, In headlong charge their horse assail'd; Front, flank, and rear, the squadrons sweep, To break the Scottish circle deep,
That fought around their king.
Unbroken was the ring :
The instant that he fell.
As fearlessly and well;
And from the charge they drew,
Sweep back to ocean blue.
blow. Dissolves in silent dew,
The spoilers stripp'd and gash'd the slain,
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,
While many a broken band,
To gain the Scottish land;
of Flodden's fatal field, Where shiver'd was fair Scotland's spear,
And broken was her shield !
Nor cherish hope in vain,
May yet return again.
And fell on Flodden plain :
Beseem'd the monarch slain.
Unto my tale again.
Less easy task it were, to show
But every mark is gone ;
And broke her font of stone.
Oft halts the stranger there,
And shepherd boys repair
And plait their garlands fair;
That holds the bones of Marmion brave.-When thou shalt find the little hill; With thy heart commune, and be still. If ever, in temptation strong, Thou left'st the right path for the wrong: If every devious step thus trod, Still lead thee further from the road; Dread thou to speak presumptuous doom On noble Marmion's lowly tomb; But say, “ He died a gallant knight, With sword in hand, for England's right.”
His hands to heaven upraised;
His arms and feats were blazed.
XXXVIII. I do not rhyme to that dull elf, Who cannot image to himself, That all through Flodden's dismal night, Wilton was foremost in the fight; That, when brave Surrey's steed was slain, 'Twas Wilton mounted him again; 'Twas Wilton's brand that deepest hew'd Amid the spearmen's stubborn wood, Unnamed by Hollinshed or Hall, He was the living soul of all; That, after fight, his faith made plain, He won his faith and lands again; And charged his old paternal shield With bearings won on Flodden field.Nor sing I to that simple maid, To whom it must in terms be said, That king and kinsmen did agree To bless fair Clara's constancy ; Who cannot, unless I relate, Paint to her mind the bridal's state ; That Wolsey's voice the blessing spoke, More, Sands, and Denny, pass'd the joke ; That bluff king Hal the curtain drew, And Catherine's hand the stocking threw: And afterwards for many a day, That it was held enough to say, In blessing to a wedded pair, “ Love they like Wilton and like Clare!"
L'ENVOY TO THE READER.
O wake once more! how rude soe'er the hand
That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray ; Why, then, a final note prolong
O wake once more! though scarce my skill comOr lengthen out a closing song, Unless to bid the gentles speed,
mand Who long have listed to my rede ?" —
Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay: To statesman grave, if such may deign
Though harsh and saint, and soon to die away, To read the minstrel's idle strain,
And all unworthy of thy nobler strain; Sound head, clean hand, and piercing wit,
Yet, if one heart throb higher at its sway,
The wizard note has not been touch'd in vain. And patriotic heart—as Pitt! A garland for the hero's crest,
Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again! And twined by her he loves the best;
I. To every lovely lady bright,
The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
In lone Glenartney's hazel shade ; And knowledge to the studious sage,
But when the sun his beacon red And pillose to the head of age.
Had kindled on Ben voirlich's head, To thee, dear schoolboy, whom my lay
The deep-mouth'd bloodhound's heavy bay Has cheated of thy hour of play,
Resounded up the rocky way, Light task and merry holiday !
And faint, from farther distance borne, To all, to each, a fair good night,
Were heard the clanging hoof and born.
“ To arms! the foemen storm the wall,”THE LADY OF THE LAKE. The antler'd monarch of the waste
Sprung from his heathery couch in haste.
But, e'er his fleet career he took,
The dew drops from his flanks he shook ;
Like crested leader proud and high,
A moment gazed adown the dale,
A moment snuild the tainted gaie,
A moment listen'd to the cry, The scene of the following poem is laid chiefly
That thickend as the chase drew nigh; in the vicinity of Loch-Katrine, in the Western
Then, as the headmost foes appeard, Highlands of Perthshire. The time of action in
With one brave bound the copse he clear'd, cludes six days, and the transactions of each day
And, stretching forward free and far, occupy a canto.
Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.
Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Mufiling with verdant ringlet every string,
O minstrel harp, still must thine accents sleep? 'Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep? Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd, When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,
Aroused the fearful or subdued the proud. At each according pause was heard aloud
Thine ardent symphony sublime and bigh!
For still the burthen of thy minstrelsy
Used generally for tale, or discourse.