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At length they heard the Scottish host On that high ridge had made their post,

Which frowns o'er Millfield Plain ; And that brave Surrey many a band Had gather'd in the Southern land, And march'd into Northumberland,

And camp at Wooler ta’en. Marmion, like charger in the stall, That hears, without, the trumpet-call,

Began to chafe, and swear :A sorry thing to hide my head In castle, like a fearful maid,

When such a field is near! Needs must I see this battle-day : Death to my fame if such a fray Were fought, and Marmion away! The Douglas, too, I wot not why, Hath 'bated of his courtesy : No longer in his halls I'll stay." Then bade his band they should array For march against the dawning day.

Oranto Sixth.

Introduction.

To RICHARD HEBER, Esq.

MERTOUN-HOUSE, Christmas. EAP on more wood !- the wind is

chill;

But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still.
Each age has deem'd the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer :
Even, heathen yet, the savage Dane
At Iol more deep the mead did drain ; +
High on the beach his galleys drew,
And feasted all his pirate crew;
Then in his low and pine-built hall,
Where shields and axes deck'd the wall,
They gorged upon the half-dress'd steer ;
Caroused in seas of sable beer ;

While round, in brutal jest, were thrown
The half-gnaw'd rib, and marrow-bone,
Or listen'd all, in grim delight,
While scalds yell’d out the joys of fight.
Then forth, in frenzy, would they hie,
While wildly-loose their red locks fly,
And dancing round the blazing pile,
They make such barbarous mirth the

while,
As best might to the mind recall
The boisterous joys of Odin's hall.

And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had rolld,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all his hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night :
On Christmas Eve the bells were rung ;
On Christmas Eve the mass was sung :

:t
That only night, in all the year,
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn'd her kirtle sheen ;

The hall was dress'd with holly green ;
Forth to the wood did merry-men go,
To gather in the mistletoe.
Then open'd wide the Baron's hall
To vassal, tenant, serf, and all ;
Power laid his rod of rule aside,
And Ceremony doff'd his pride.
The heir, with roses in his shoes,
That night might village partner choose ;
The Lord, underogating, share
The vulgar game of “post and pair.”
All hail'd, with uncontrolld delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.

The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, Went roaring up the chimney wide ; The huge hall-table's oaken face, Scrubb'd till it shone, the day to grace, Bore then upon its massive board No mark to part the squire and lord. Then was brought in the lusty brawn,

By old blue-coated serving-man ; Then the grim boar's head frown'd on high, Crested with bays and rosemary. Well can the green-garb'd ranger tell, How, when, and where, the monster fell ; What dogs before his death he tore, And all the baiting of the boar. The wassel round, in good brown bowls, Garnish'd with ribbons, blithely trowls. There the huge sirloin reek’d; hard by Plum-porridge stood, and Christmas pie; Nor fail'd old Scotland to produce, At such high tide, her savoury goose. Then came the merry maskers in, And carols roar'd with blithesome din ; If unmelodious was the song, It was a hearty note, and strong. Who lists

may

in their mumming sce
Traces of ancient mystery ; +
White shirts supplied the masquerade,
And smutted cheeks the visors made ;
But, O! what maskers, richly dight,
Can boast of bosoms half so light !

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