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Rides forth upon destruction's wing;
Then shall these vaults, so strong and deep,
Burst open to the sea-winds' sweep;
Some traveller then shall find my bones
Whitening amid disjointed stones,
And, ignorant of priests' cruelty,
Marvel such relics here should be.”

[graphic]

XXXII. Fix'd was her look, and stern her air : Back from her shoulders stream'd her hair; The locks, that wont her brow to shade, Stared up erectly from her head ;

Her figure seem'd to rise more high ;
Her voice despair's wild energy
Had given a tone of prophecy.
Appall’d the astonish'd conclave sate ;
With stupid eyes, the men of fate
Gazed on the light inspired form,
And listen'd for the avenging storm ;
The judges felt the victim's dread ;
No hand was moved, no word was said,
Till thus the Abbot's doom was given,
Raising his sightless balls to heaven :-
“Sister, let thy sorrows cease ;
Sinful brother, part in peace !!!

From that dire dungeon, place of doom,
Of execution too, and tomb,

Paced forth the judges three;
Sorrow it were, and shame, to tell
The butcher-work that there befell,
When they had glided from the cell

Of sin and misery.

XXXIII.

An hundred winding steps convey
That conclave to the upper day ;
But, ere they breathed the fresher air,
They heard the shriekings of despair,

And many a stifled groan : With speed their upward way they take, (Such speed as age and fear can make,)

1 See Note on Stanza xxv., ante, p. 132.

And cross'd themselves for terror's sake,

As hurrying, tottering on: Even in the vesper's heavenly tone, They seem'd to hear a dying groan, And bade the passing knell to toll For welfare of a parting soul. Slow o'er the midnight wave it swung, Northumbrian rocks in answer rung; To Warkworth cell the echoes roll’d, His beads the wakeful hermit told, The Bamborough peasant raised his head, But slept ere half a prayer he said ; So far was heard the mighty knell, The stag sprung up on Cheviot Fell, Spread his broad nostril to the wind, Listed before, aside, behind, Then couch'd him down beside the hind, And quaked among the mountain fern, To hear that sound, so dull and stern.

Introduction to Canto Third.

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