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Has long been quenched by age's night,

Yet well the luckless wretch might shriek, Upon whose wrinkled brow alone,

Well might her paleness terror speak! Nor ruth, nor mercy's trace is shewn,

For there were seen in that dark wall Whose look is hard and stern,

Two niches, narrow, deep, and tall;Saint Cuthbert's Abbot is his stile;

Who enters at such griesly door, For sanctity called, through the isle,

Shall ne'er, I ween, find exit more. The saint of Lindisfarn.

In each a slender meal was laid,

Of roots, of water, and of bread: Before them stood a guilty pair;

By each, in Benedictine dress, But, though an equal fate they share,

Two haggard monks stood motionless; Yet one alone deserves our care.

Who, holding high a blazing torch, Her sex a page's dress belied ;

Shew'd the grim entrance of the porch: The cloak and doublet, loosely tied,

Reflecting back the smoky beam, Obscured her charms, but could not hide.

The dark-red walls and arches gleam. Her cap down o'er her face she drew;

Hewn stones and cement were display'd,
And, on her doublet-breast,

And building tools in order laid.
She tried to hide the badge of blue,
Lord Marmion's falcon crest.

These executioners were chose,
But, at the Prioress' command,

As men who were with mankind foes, A monk undid the silken band,

And, with despite and envy fired,
That tied her tresses fair,

Into the cloister had retired;
And raised the bonnet from her head,

Or who, in desperate doubt of grace, And down her slender form they spread,

Strove, by deep penauce, to efface
In ringlets rich and rare.

Of some foul crime the stain;
Constance de Beverley they know,

For, as the vassals of her will, Sister profess'd of Fontevraud,

Such men the church selected still, Whom the church numbered with the dead,

As either joy'd in doing ill, For broken vows, and convent fled.

Or thought more grace


If, in her cause, they wrestled down When thus her face was given to view

Feelings their nature strove to own. (Although so pallid was her hue,

By strange device were they brought there, It did a ghastly contrast bear

They knew not how, and knew not where.
To those bright ringlets glittering fair)
Her look composed, and steady eye,

And now that blind old Abbot rose,
Bespoke a matchless constancy.
And there she stood, so calm and pale,

To speak the Chapter's doom,

On those the wall was to inclose, That, but her breathing did not fail,

Alive, within the tomb: And motion slight of eye and head,

But stopp'd, because that woeful maid, And of her bosom, warranted That neither sense nor pulse she lacks,

Gathering her powers, to speak essay'd. You might have thought a form of wax,

Twice she essay'd, and twice in vain;

Her accents might no utterance gain; Wrought to the very life, was there;

Nought but imperfect murmurs slip So still she was, so pale, so fair.

From her convulsed and quivering lip: Her comrade was a sordid soul,

”Twixt each attempt all was so still, Such as does murder for a meed;

You seem'd to hear a distant rillWho, but of fear, knows no controul,

'Twas ocean's swells and falls; Because his conscience, sear'd and foul,

For though this vault of sin and fear Feels not the import of his deed;

Was to the sounding surge so near, One, whose brute feeling ne'er aspires

A tempest there you scarce could hear, Beyond his own more brute desires.

So massive were the walls.
Such tools the Tempter ever needs
To do the savagest of deeds ;

At length, an effort sent apart
For them no vision'd terrors daunt,

The blood that curdled at her heart, Their nights no fancied spectres haunt;

And light came to her eye, One fear with them, of all most base,

And colour dawnd upon her cheek, The fear of death,-alone finds place.

A hectic and a futter'd streak, This wretch was clad in frock and cowl,

Like that left on the Cheviot peak, And shamed not loud to moan and howl,

By Autumn's stormy sky; His body on the floor to dash,

And when her silence broke at length, And crouch, like hound beneath the lash;

Still as she spoke she gathered strength, While his mute partner, standing near,

And arm'd herself to bear; Waited her doom without a tear.

It was a fearful sight to



Such high resolve and constancy,

And, by his drugs, my rival fair In form so soft and fair.

A saint in heaven should be.

But ill the dastard kept his oath, “ I speak not to implore your grace;

Whose cowardice has undone us both.
Well know I for one minute's space
Successless might I sue:

“ And now my tongue the secret tells, Nor do I speak your prayers to gain;

Not that remorse my bosom swells, For if a death of lingering pain

But to assure my soul that none To cleanse my sins be penance vain,

Shall ever wed with Marmion. Vain are your masses too.

Had fortune my last hope betray'd, I listened to a traitor's tale,

This packet, to the king convey'd, I left the convent and the veil;

Had given him to the headsman's stroke, For three long years I bow'd my pride,

Although my heart that instant broke.A horse-boy in his train to ride;

Now, men of death, work forth your will, And well my folly's meed he gave,

For I can suffer and be still; Who forfeited, to be his slave,

And come he slow, or come he fast,
All here, and all beyond the grave.

It is but Death who comes at last.
He saw young Clara's face more fair,
He knew her of broad lands the heir,

“ Yet dread me, from my living tomb, Forgot his vows, his faith forswore,

Ye vassal slaves of bloody Rome! And Constance was beloved no more.

If Marmion's late remorse should wake, 'Tis an old tale, and often told;

Full soon such vengeance will he take, But, did my fate and wish agree,

That you shall wish the fiery Dane Ne'er had been read, in story old,

Had rather been your guest again. Of maiden true betray'd for gold,

Behind, a darker hour ascends! That loved, or was avenged like me!

The altars quake, the crosier bends,

The ire of a despotic King “ The King approved his favourite's aim;

Rides forth upon destruction's wing. In vain a rival barr'd his claim,

Then shall these vaults, so strong and deep, Whose faith with Clare's was plight,

Burst open to the sea-winds' sweep; For he attaints that rival's fame

Some traveller then shall find my bones, With treason's charge—and on they came,

Whitening amid disjointed stones, In mortal lists to fight.

And, ignorant of priests' cruelty,
Their oaths are said,

Marvel such relics here should be."
Their prayers are pray'd,
Their lances in the rest are laid,

Fix'd was her look, and stern her air;
They meet in mortal shock;

Back from her shoulders stream'd her hair; And hark! the throng, with thundering cry,

The locks that wont her brows to shade, Shout “ Marmion, Marmion!” to the sky,

Stared up erectly from her head; “ De Wilton to the block !"

Her figure seem'd to rise more high; Say ye, who preach heaven shall decide,

Her voice, despair's wild energy When in the lists two champions ride,

Had given a tone of prophecy. Say, was heaven's justice here?

Appall'd the astonished conclave sate; When, loyal in his love and faith,

With stupid eyes, the men of fate Wilton found overthrow or death,

Gazed on the light inspired form, Beneath a traitor's spear.

And listen’d for the avenging storm; How false the charge, how true he fell,

The judges felt the victim's dread; This guilty packet best can tell”—

No hand was moved, no word was said, Then drew a packet from her breast,

Till thus the Abbot's doom was given, Paused, gather's voice, and spoke the rest. Raising his sightless balls to heaven :

Sister, let thy sorrows cease ; “ Still was false Marmion's bridal staid;

Sinful brother, part in peace!"To Whitby's convent fled the maid,

From that dire dungeon, place of doom, The hated match to shun.

Of execution too, and tomb, • Ho! shifts she thus?' king Henry cried,

Paced forth the judges three; • Sir Marmion, she shall be thy bride,

Sorrow it were, and shame, to tell If she were sworn a nun.'

The butcher-work that there befell, One way remained—the king's command

When they had glided from the cell
Sent Marmion to the Scottish land:

Of sin and misery.
I linger'd here, and rescue plann'd
For Clara and for me:

An hundred winding steps convey
This caitiff Monk, for gold, did swear

That conclave to the upper day; He would to Whitby's shrine repair,

But ere they breathed the fresher air

They heard the slıriekings of despair,

While, reverent, all made room. And many a stifled groan:

An easy task it was, I trow, With speed their upward way they take,

King James's manly form to know, (Such speed as age and sear can make,)

Although, his courtesy to show, And cross'd themselves for terror's sake,

He doff'd, to Marmion bending low, As hurrying, tottering on,

His broider'd cap and plume. Even in the vesper's heavenly tone,

For royal were his garb and mien, They seem'd to hear a dying groan,

His cloak of crimson velvet piled, And bade the passing knell to toll

Trimm'd with the fur of martin wild; For welfare of a parting soul.

His vest of changeful satin sheen Slow o'er the inidnight wave it swung,

The dazzled eye beguiled; Northumbrian rocks in answer rung;

His gorgeous collar hung adown, To Warkworth cell the echoes roll’d,

Wrought with the badge of Scotland's crown, His beads the wakeful hermit told;

The thistle brave, of old renown; The Bamborough peasant raised his head,

His trusty blade, Toledo right, But slept ere half a prayer he said;

Descended from a baldric bright; So far was heard the migiity knell,

White were his buskins, on the heel The stag sprung up on Cheviot Fell,

His spurs inlaid of gold and steel; Spread his broad nostril to the wind,

His bonnet, all of crimson fair, Listed before, aside, behind,

Was button'd with a ruby rare: Then couch'd him down beside the hind,

And Marmion deem'd he ne'er had seen And quaked among the mountain fern,

A prince of such a noble mnien. To hear that sound, so dull and stern.

The Monarch's form was middle size;

For feat of strength, or exercise, COURT OF JAMES OF SCOTLAND.

Shaped in proportion fair;

And hazle was his eagle eye, Old Holy-Rood rung merrily

And auburn of the darkest dye That night, with wassal, mirth, and glee:

His short curled beard and hair. King James within her princely bower

Light was his footstep in the dance, Feasted the chiefs of Scotland's power,

And firm his stirrup in the lists; Summon’d to spend the parting hour;

And, oh! he had that merry glance For he had charged, that his array

That seldom lady's heart resists.
Should southward march by break of day. Lightly from fair to fair he flew,
Well loved that splendid monarch aye

And loved to plead, lament, and sue;-
The banquet and the song,

Suit lightly won, and short-lived pain,
By day the tourney, and by night

For monarchs seldom sigh in vain. The merry dance, traced fast and light,

I said he joy'd in banquet-bower; The masquers quaint, the pageant bright,

But, mid his mirth, 'twas often strange, The revel loud and long.

How suddenly his cheer would change, This feast outshone his banquets past ;

His look o'ercast and lower, It was his blithest,—and his last.

If, in a sudden turn he felt The dazzling lamps, from gallery gay,

The pressure of his iron belt, Cast on the court a dancing ray;

That bound his breast in penance pain, Here to the harp did minstrels sing;

In memory of his father slain. There ladies touch'd a softer string;

Even so 'twas strange how, evermore, With long-ear'd cap, and motley vest,

Soon as the passing pang was o'er, The licensed fool retail'd his jest;

Forward he rush’d, with double glee, His magic tricks the juggler plied;

Into the stream of revelry: At dice and draughts the gallants vied;

Thus, dim-seen object of affright While some, in close recess apart,

Startles the courser in his flight,
Courted the ladies of their heart,

And half he halts, half springs aside;
Nor courted them in vain;

But feels the quickening spur applied, For often, in the parting hour,

And, straining on the tighten'd rein, Victorious love asserts his power

Scours doubly swift o'er hill and plain. O’er coldness and disdain ;

O'er James's heart, the courtiers say,
And flinty is her heart, can view
To battle march a lover true-

Sir Hugh the Heron's wife held sway:
Can hear, perchance, his last adieu,

To Scotland's court she came, Nor own her share of pain.

To be a hostage for her lord,

Who Cessford's gallant heart had gored, Through this mix'd crowd of glee and game And with the King to make accord, The King to greet Lord Marmion came,

Had sent his lovely dame.




Nor to that lady free alone

So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall, (all: Did the gay King allegiance own;

Among bride's men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and For the fair Queen of France

Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword, Sent him a turquois ring, and glove,

(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,) And charged him, as her knight and love, “O come ye in peace, or come ye in war, For her to break a lance;

Or to dance atour bridal,young Lord Lochinvar?”— And strike three strokes with Scottish brand, And march three miles on southern land,

“I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied ;

Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tideAnd bid the banners of his band

And now am I come, with this lost love of mine, In English breezes dance.

To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. And thus, for France's Queen he drest

There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far, His manly limbs in mailed vest; And thus admitted English fair

That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.” His inmost counsels still to share ;

The bride kiss'd the goblet; the knight took it up, And thus, for both, he madly plann'd

He quaff’d off the wine, and he threw down the cup. The ruin of himself and land!

She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to sigh, And yet, the sooth to tell,

With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye. Nor England's fair, nor France's Queen, He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar, Were worth one pearl-drop bright and sheen, “ Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar. From Margaret's eyes that fell,

So stately his form, and so lovely his face, His own Queen Margaret, who, in Lithgow's bower,

That never a hall such a galliard did grace; All lonely sat, and wept the weary hour.

While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, The Queen sits lone in Lithgow pile,

And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and And weeps the weary day,


[by far The war against her native soil,

And the bride-maidens whisper, “ 'Twere better Her Monarch's risk in battle broil ;

To have match'd our fair cousin with young LochAnd in gay Holy-Rood, the while,

invar." Dame Heron rises with a smile

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, Upon the harp to play. Fair was her rounded arm, as o'er

When they reach'd the hall-door, and the charger

stood near; The strings her fingers flew; And as she touch'd and tuned them all,

So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung, Ever her bosom's rise and fall

So light to the saddle before her he sprung! Was plainer given to view;

“ She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and For all, for heat, was laid aside


(Lochinvar. Her wimple, and her hood untied.

They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young And first she pitch'd her voice to sing,

There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby Then glanced her dark eye on the King,


(they ran : And then around the silent ring ;

Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and And laugh’d, and blush'd, and oft did say

There was racing, and chasing, on Cannobie Lee, Her pretty oath, by yea, and nay,

But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see, She could not, would not, durst not play! So daring in love, and so dauntiess in war, At length, upon the harp, with glee,

Have ye e'er heard of gallant like youug Lochinvar! Mingled with arch simplicity, A soft yet lively air she rung,

The Monarch o'er the syren hung, While thus the wily lady sung.

And beat the measure as she sung;

And, pressing closer, and more near,

He whisper'd praises in her ear.
Lady Heron's Song.

In loud applause the courtiers vied;

And ladies wink'd, and spoke aside. O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,

The witching dame to Marmion threw Through all the wide Border his steed was the best; And save his good broad-sword he weapons had

A glance, where seem'd to reign

The pride that claims applauses due,
He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone. (none,
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,

And of her royal conquest, too,

A real or feign'd disdain : There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

Familiar was the look, and told,
He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,

Marmion and she were friends of old.
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:

For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, And why stands Scotland idly now,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar. Dark Flodden! on thy airy brow,


Since England gains the pass the while,

Headmost of all he stems the tide,
And struggles through the deep defile?

And stems it gallantly.
What checks the fiery soul of James ?

Eustace held Clare upon her horse,
Why sits that champion of the dames

Old Hubert led her rein,
Inactive on his steed,

Stoutly they braved the current's course,
And sees, between him and his land,

And though far downward driven per force,
Between him and Tweed's southern strand,

The southern bank they gain;
His host Lord Surrey lead ?

Behind them, straggling, came to shore,
What vails the vain knight-errant's brand?

As best they might, the train :
-0, Douglas, for thy leading wand!

Each o'er his head his yew-bow bore,
Fierce Randolph, for thy speed!

A caution not in vain;
O for one hour of Wallace wight,

Deep need that day that every string,
Or well-skill'd Bruce, to rule the fight,

By wet unharm’d, should sharply ring.
And cry—“ Saint Andrew and our right!"

A moment then Lord Marmion staid,
Another sight had seen that morn,

And breath'd his steed, his men array'd,
From fate's dark book a leaf been torn,

Then forward moved his band,
And Flodden had been Bannock-bourne!

Until, Lord Surrey's rear-guard won,
The precious hour has pass'd in vain,

He halted by a cross of stone,
And England's host has gain’d the plain;

That, on a hillock standing lone,
Wheeling their march, and circling still,

Did all the field command. Around the base of Flodden-hill.

Hence miglit they see the full array
Ere yet the bands met Marmion's eye,

Of either host, for deadly fray;
Fitz-Eustace shouted loud and high-

Their marshall'd lines stretch'd east and west “ Hark! hark! my lord, an English drum!

And fronted north and south, And see ascending squadrons come

And distant salutation past
Between Tweed's river and the hill,

From the loud cannon mouth;
Foot, horse, and cannon:-hap what hap,

Not in the close successive rattle,
My basnet to a prentice cap,

That breathes the voice of modern battle, Lord Surrey's o'er the Till!

But slow and far between.Yet more! yet more!-how fair array'd

The hillock gain'd, Lord Marmion staid: They file from out the hawthorn shade,

“ Here, by this cross," he gently said, And sweep so gallant by!

“ You well may view the scene. With all their banners bravely spread,

Here shalt thou tarry, lovely Clare:
And all their armour flashing high,

0! think of Marmion in thy prayer! Saint George might waken from the dead,

Thou wilt not?- well,

-no less my care To see fair England's standards fly.”—

Shall, watchful, for thy weal prepare.“Stint in thy prate," quoth Blount; “ thou’dst best, You, Blount and Eustace, are her guard, And listen to our lord's behest."

With ten pick'd archers of my train; With kindling brow Lord Marmion said,

With England if the day go hard, “ This instant be our band array’d;

To Berwick speed amain. The river must be quickly crossid,

But, if we conquer, cruel maid ! That we may join Lord Surrey's host.

My spoil shall at your feet be laid, If fight King James,-as well I trust,

When here we meet again.”— That fight he will, and fight he must,

He waited not for answer there, The Lady Clare behind our lines

And would not mark the maid's despair, Shall tarry, while the battle joins.”—

Nor heed the discontented look Himself he swift on horseback threw,

From either squire; but spurr'd amain,
Scarce to the Abbot bade adieu,

And, dashing through the battle-plain,
Far less would listen to his prayer,

His way to Surrey took.
To leave behind the helpless Clare.

-The good Lord Marmion, by my life! Down to the Tweed his band he drew,

Welcome to danger's hour! And mutter'd as the flood they view,

Short greeting serves in time of strife:“ The pheasant in the falcon's claw,

Thus have I ranged my power: He scarce will yield to please a daw :

Myself will rule this central host,
Lord Angus may the Abbot awe,

Stout Stanley fronts their right,
So Clare shall bide with me."

My sons command the vaward post,
Then on that dangerous ford, and deep,

With Brian Tunstall, stainless knight; Where to the Tweed Leat's eddies creep,

Lord Dacre, with his horsemen light,
He ventured desperately:

Shall be in rearward of the fight,
And not a moment will he bide,

And succour those that need it most. Till squire, or groom, before him ride;

Now, gallant Marmion, well I know,


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