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HE Abbess, seeing strife was vain,
Assumed her wonted state again,For much of state she had, Composed her veil, and raised her head, And—“ Bid,” in solemn voice she said,
“Thy master, bold and bad,
The records of his house turn o'er,
And, when he shall there written see,
That one of his own ancestry
Drove the Monks forth of Coventry,t Bid him his fate explore !
Prancing in pride of earthly trust,
His charger hurld him to the dust,
And, by a base plebeian thrust,
He died his band before.
God judge 'twixt Marmion and me ;
He is a Chief of high degree, And I a poor recluse ;
Yet oft, in holy writ, we see
Even such weak minister as me May the oppressor bruise .
For thus, inspired, did Judith slay
The mighty in his sin,
And Jael thus, and Deborah---
Here hasty Blount broke in :
Fitz-Eustace, we must march our band;
St. Anton' fire thee! wilt thou stand
All day, with bonnet in thy hand,
To hear the Lady preach?
By this good light ! if thus we stay,
Lord Marmion, for our fond delay,
Will sharper sermon teach.
Come, d'on thy cap, and mount thy horse ;
The Dame must patience take perforce."--
UBMIT we then to force,” said Clare ;
“But let this barbarous lord despair
His purposed aim to win ;
Let him take living, land, and life ;
But to be Marmion's wedded wife
In me were deadly sin :
And if it be the King's decree,
That I must find no sanctuary,
In that inviolable dome,
Where even a homicide might come,
And safely rest his head,
Though at its open portals stood,
Thirsting to pour forth blood for blood,
The kinsmen of the dead ;
Yet one asylum is my own
Against the dreaded hour;
A low, a silent, and a lone,
Where kings have little power.
One victim is before me there.-
Mother, your blessing, and in prayer
Remember your unhappy Clare !”-
Loud weeps the Abbess, and bestows
Kind blessings many a one ;
Weeping and wailing loud arose,
Round patient Clare, the clamorous woes
Of every simple nun.
His eyes the gentle Eustace dried,
And scarce rude Blount the sight could
Then took the squire her rein,
And gently led away her steed,
And, by each courteous word and deed,
To cheer her strove in vain.
UT scant three miles the band had rode,
When o'er a height they pass'd,
And, sudden, close before them show'd
His towers, Tantallon vast;
Broad, massive, high, and stretching far,
And held impregnable in war.
On a projecting rock they rose,
And round three sides the ocean flows,
The fourth did battled walls enclose,
And double mound and fosse.
By narrow draw-bridge, outworks strong,
Through studded gates, an entrance long,
To the main court they cross.
It was a wide and stately square :
Around were lodgings, fit and fair,
And towers of various form,
Which on the court projected far,
And broke its lines quadrangular.
Here was square keep, there turret high,
Or pinnacle that sought the sky,
Whence oft the Warder could descry
The gathering ocean-storm.
ERE did they rest.— The princely care
Of Douglas, why should I declare,
Or say they met reception fair ?
Or why the tidings say,
Which, varying, to Tantallon came,
By hurrying posts, or fleeter fame,
With every varying day?
And, first, they heard King James had won
Etall, and Wark, and Ford ; and then,
That Norham Castle strong was ta’en.
At that sore marvell’d Marmion ;-
And Douglas hoped his Monarch's hand
Would soon subdue Northumberland :
But whisper'd news there came,
That, while his host inactive lay,
And melted by degrees away,
King James was dallying off the day
With Heron's wily dame. -
Such acts to chronicles I yield;
Go seek them there, and see: Mine is a tale of Flodden Field,
And not a history. -