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Their summer gambols tell, and mourn,
Yes, prattlers, yes. The daisy's flower Again shall paint your summer bower; Again the hawthorn shall supply The garlands you delight to tie; The lambs upon the lea shall bound, The wild birds carol to the round, And while you frolic light as they, Too short shall seem the summer day.
To mute and to material things New life revolving summer brings; The genial call dead Nature hears, And in her glory re-appears. But oh! my country's wintry state What second spring shall renovate 2 What powerful call shall bid arise The buried warlike and the wise; The mind that thought for Britain's weal, The hand that grasp'd the victor steel? The vernal sun new life bestows Even on the meanest flower that blows; But vainly, vainly may he shine Where Glory weeps o'er Nelson's shrine; And vainly pierce the solemn gloom That shrouds, O Pirr, thy hallow'd tomb!
Deep graved in every British heart, 0 never let those names depart' Say to your sons,—Lo, here his grave, Who victor died on Gadite wave; To him, as to the burning levin, Short, bright, resistless course was given; Where'er his country's foes were found, Was heard the fated thunder's sound, Till burst the bolt on yonder shore, Roll'd, blazed, destroy'd,—and was no more.
Nor mourn ye less his perished worth, Who bade the conqueror go forth, And launch'd that thunderbolt of war On Egypt, Hafnia,' Trafalgar; Who, born to guide such high emprize, For Britain's weal was early wise; Alas! to whom the Almighty gave, For Britain's sins, an early grave; His worth, who, in his mightiest hour, A bauble held the pride of power, Spurn’d at the sordid lust of pelf, And served his Albion for herself; Who, when the frantic crowd amain Strain’d at subjection's bursting rein, O'er their wild mood full conquest gain'd, The pride he would not crush restrain'd, Showd their fierce zeal a worthier cause, And brought the freeman's arm to aid the free
man's laws. .
Thy thrilling trump had roused the land,
Oh! think, how to his latest day, When death, just hovering, claim'd his prey, With Palinure's unalter'd mood, Firm at his dangerous post he stood; Each call for needful rest repell'd, With dying hand the rudder held, Till, in his fall, with fateful sway, The steerage of the realm gave way! Then, while on Britain's thousand plains One unpolluted church remains, Whose peaceful bells ne'er sent around The bloody tocsin's maddening sound, But still, upon the hallow'd day Convoke the swains to praise and pray; While faith and civil peace are dear, Grace this cold marble with a tear, He who preserved them, Pitt, lies here !
Nor yet suppress the generous sigh, Because his rival slumbers nigh; Nor be thy requiescat dumb, Lest it be said o'er Fox's tomb. For talents mourn, untimely lost, When best employ'd and wanted most; Mourn genius high, and lore profound, And wit that loved to play, not wound; And all the reasoning powers divine, To penetrate, resolve, combine; And feelings keen, and fancy's glow,They sleep with him who sleeps below: And, if thou mourn'st they could not save From error him who owns this grave, Be every harsher thought suppress'd, And sacred be the last long rest. Here, where the end of earthly things Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings; Where stiff the hand, and still the tongue, Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung; Here, where the fretted aisles prolong The distant notes of holy song. As if some angel spoke agen, All peace on earth, good will to men; If ever from an English heart, o here let prejudice depart, And, partial feeling cast aside, Record, that Fox a Briton died' when Europe crouch'd to Frances yoke, And Austria bent, and Prussia broke, And the firm Russian's purpose brave was barter'd by a timorous slave, Even then dishonour's peace he spurn'd, The sullied olive-branch return'd, Stood for his country's glory fast, And nail'd her colours to the inast!
Heaven, to reward his firmness gave
With more than mortal powers endowd, How high they soard above the crowd Theirs was no common party race, Jostling by dark intrigue for place; Like fabled gods, their mighty war Shook realms and nations in its jar; Beneath each banner proud to stand, Look'd up the noblest of the land, Till through the British world were known The names of Pirt and Fox alone. Spells of such force no wizard grave Eer framed in dark Thessalian cave; Though his could drain the ocean dry, And force the planets from the sky. These spells are spent, and spent with these, The wine of life is on the lees. Genius, and taste, and talent gone, For ever tomb'd beneath the stone, Where, taming thought to human pride!— The mighty chiefs sleep side by side. Drop upon Fox's grave the tear, 'T will trickle to his rival's bier; O'er Pitt's the mournful requiem sound, And Fox's shall the notes rebound. The solemn echo seems to cry, « Here let their discord with them die; Speak not for those a separate doom, Whom fate made brothers in the tomb, But search the land of living men, Where will thou find their like agen 2,
Rest, ardent spirits! till the cries Of dying Nature bid you rise; Not even your Britains groans can pierce The leaden silence of your hearse: Then, O how impotent and vain This grateful tributary strain Though not unmark'd from northern clime, Ye heard the Border Minstrel's rhyme: His Gothic harp has o'er you rung; The bard you deign d to praise, your deathless
names has sung.
Stay yet, illusion, stay a while, My wilder'd fancy still beguile! From this high theme how can I part, Ere half unloaded is my heart! For all the tears eer sorrow drew, And all the raptures fancy knew, And all the keener rush of blood, That throbs through bard in bard-like mood, Were here a tribute mean and low, Though all their mingled streams could flow— Woe, wonder, and sensation high, In one spring-tide of ecstacy!— It will not be—it may not last— The vision of enchantment's past: Like frost-work in the morning ray, The fancied fabric melts away; Each Gothic arch, memorial-stone, And long, dim, lofty aisle are gone,
And, lingering last, deception dear,
Prompt on unequal tasks to run, Thus Nature disciplines her son: Meeter, she says, for me to stray, And waste the solitary day, In plucking from yon fen the reed, And watch it floating down the Tweed; Or idly list the shrilling lay With which the milk-maid cheers her way, Marking its cadence rise and fail, As from the field, beneath her pail, She trips it down the uneven daie: Meeter for me, by yonder cairn, The ancient shepherd's tale to learn, Though oft he stop in rustic fear, Lest his old legends tire the ear Of one, who, in his simple mind, May boast of book-learn'd taste refined.
But thou, my friend, canst fitly tell (For few have read romance so well) How still the legendary lay O'er poet's boson holds its sway; How on the ancient minstrel strain Time lays his palsied hand in vain; And how our hearts at doughty deeds, By warriors wrought in steely weeds, Still throb for fear and pity's sake; As when the Champion of the Lake Enters Morgana's fated house, Or in the Chapel Perilous, Despising spells and demons' force, Holds converse with the unburied corse: (1) Or when, Dame Ganore's grace to move (Alas! that lawless was their love), He sought proud Tarquin in his den, And freed full sixty knights; or, when A sinful man, and unconfess'd, He took the Sangreal's holy quest, And, slumbering, saw the vision high, He might not view with waking eye. (2)
The mightiest chiefs of British song Scorn d not such legends to prolong: They gleam through Spenser's elfin dream, And mix in Milton's heavenly theme; And Dryden, in immortal strain, Had raised the Table Round again, But that a ribald king and court Bade him toil on, to make them sport; Demanded for their niggard pay, Fit for their souls, a looser lay, Licentious satire, song, and play; (3) The world defrauded of the high design, Profaned the God-given strength, and marr'd the
Warm'd by such names, well may we then, Though dwindled sons of little men,
Essay to break a feeble lance
And Honour, with his spotless shield;
Well has thy fair achievement shown A worthy meed may thus be won; Ylene's oaks—beneath whose shade Their theme the merry minstrels made, Of Ascapart, and Bevis bold, (4) And that Red King,” who, while of old Through Boldrewood the chace he led, By his loved huntsman's arrow bled— Wiene's oaks have heard again Renew'd such legendary strain; For thou hast sung how he of Gaul, That Amadis so famed in hall, For Oriana, foil'd in fight The necromancer's felon might: And well in modern verse hast wove Partenopex's mystic love: Hear then, attentive to my lay, A knightly tale of Albion's elder day.
Ii. St George's banner, broad and gay, Now faded, as the fading ray Less bright, and less, was flung; The evening gale had scarce the power To wave it on the donjon tower, So heavily it hung. The scouts had parted on their search, The castle gates were barr'd; Above the gloomy portal arch, Timing his footsteps to a march, The warder kept his guard; Low humming, as he paced along, Some ancient Border gathering-song.
III. A distant trampling sound he hears; He looks abroad, and soon appears, O'er Horncliffe-hill, a plump" of spears, Beneath a pennon gay : A horseman, darting from the crowd, Like lightning from a summer cloud, Spurs on his mettled courser proud Before the dark array. Beneath the sable palisade, That closed the castle barricade, His bugle-horn he blew; The warder hasted from the wall, And warn'd the captain in the hall, For well the blast he knew; And joyfully that knight did call To sewer, squire, and seneschal.
IV. « Now broach ye a pipe of Malvoisie, Bring pasties of the doe, And quickly make the entrance free, And bid my heralds ready be, And every minstrel sound his glee, And all our trumpets blow; And from the platform spare ye not To fire a noble salvo-shot; Lord Marmion waits below! »– Then to the castle's lower ward Sped forty yeomen tail, The iron-studded gates unbarr'd, Raised the portcullis ponderous guard, The lofty palisade unsparr'd, And let the draw-bridge fall.
W. Along the bridge Lord Marmion rode, Proudly his red-roan charger trod, His helm hung at the saddle-bow; well, by his visage, you might know He was a stalworth knight and keen; And had in many a battle been: The scar on his brown cheek reveal’d A token true of Bosworth field; His eye-brow dark, and eye of fire, show'd spirit proud, and prompt to ire:
1 This word properly applies to a flight of water-fowl; but is
applied, by analogy, to a body of horse.
There is a knight of the North Country, Which leads a lusty plump of spears. Flodden Field.
Yet lines of thought upon his cheek
VI. Well was he arm'd from head to heel, In mail and plate, of Milan steel; (7) But his strong helm, of mighty cost, Was all with burnish'd gold emboss'd; Amid the plumage of the crest, A falcon hover'd on her nest, With wings outspread, and forward breast; Een such a falcon on his shield, Soar'd sable in an azure field; The golden legend bore aright, Who checks at Me to death is bight. (8) Blue was the charger's broider'd rein; Blue ribands deck'd his arching mane; The knightly housing's ample fold Was velvet blue, and trapp'd with gold.
Wii. Behind him rode two gallant squires, Of noble name and knightly sires; They burn'd the gilded spurs to claim: For well could each a war-horse tame, Could draw the bow, the sword could sway, And lightly bear the ring away; Nor less with courteous precepts stored, Could dance in hall, and carve at board, And frame love-ditties passing rare, And sing them to a lady fair.
Wiii. Four men-at-arms came at their backs, With halberd, bill, and battle-axe : They bore Lord Marmion's lance so strong, And led his sumpter mules along, And ambling palfrey, when at need, Him listed ease his battle-steed. The last and trustiest of the four, On high his forky pennon bore; Like swallow's tail in shape and hue, Flutter'd the streamer glossy blue, Where, blazon'd sable, as before, The towering falcon seem'd to soar. Last, twenty yeomen, two and two, In hosen black, and jerkins blue, With falcons broider'd on each breast, Attended on their lord's behest. Each chosen for an archer good, Knew hunting-craft by lake or wood; Each one a six-foot bow could bend, And far a cloth-yard shaft could send; Each held a boar-spear tough and strong, And at their belts their quivers hung. Their dusty palfreys, and array, Show'd they had march'd a weary way.
IX. 'T is meet that I should tell you now, How fairly arm’d, and order'd how, The soldiers of the guard, With musket, pike, and morion, To welcome noble Marinion, Stood in the castle-yard; Minstrels and trumpeters were there, The gunner held his linstock yare, For welcome-shot prepared: Enter'd the train, and such a clang, As then through all his turrets rang, Old Norham never heard.
x. The guards their morrice-pikes advanced, The trumpets flourish'd brave, The cannon from the ramparts glanced, And thundering welcome gave. A blithe salute, in martial sort, The Minstrels well might sound, For, as Lord Marinion cross'd the court, He scatter dangels round. • Welcome to Norham, Marmion! Stout heart, and open hand! Well dost thou brook thy gallant roan, Thou slower of English land ' "
Xi. Two pursuivants, whom tabarts deck, With silver scutcheon round their neck, Stood on the steps of stone By which you reach the donjon gate, And there, with herald pomp and state, They hail'd Lord Marmion. They hail'd him Lord of Fontenaye, Of Lutterward, and Scrivelbaye, Of Tamworth tower and town; (9) And he, their courtesy to requite, Gave them a chain of twelve marks weight, All as he lighted down. • Now, largesse, largesse,' (10) Lord Marinion, Knight of the crest of gold! A blazon'd shield, in battle won, Ne'er guarded heart so bold." —
XII. They marshall'd him to the castle-hall, Where the guests stood all aside. And loudly flourish'd the trumpet-call, And the heralds loudly cried, - Room, lordings, room for Lord Marmion, With the crest and helm of gold' Full well we know the trophies won In the lists at Cottiswold : There vainly Ralph de Wilton strove 'Gainst Marmion's force to stand : To him he lost his lady-love, And to the king his land. Ourselves beheld the listed field, A sight both sad and fair; We saw Lord Marmion pierce his shield, And saw his saddle bare;
' The cry by which the heralds expressed their thanks for th bounty of the nobles.
We saw the victor win the crest
XIII. Then stepp'd, to meet that noble lord, Sir Hugh the Ileron bold, Baron of Twisell, and of Ford, And Captain of the Hold. (11) He led Lord Marmion to the deas, Raised o'er the pavement high, And placed him in the upper place— They feasted full and high : The whiles a northern harper rude Chaunted a rhyme of deadly feud, • How the fierce Thirlwalls, and Ridleys all, (12) Stout Willimoteswick, And Hard riding Dick, And Hughie of Ilawden, and soill o' the Wall, Have set on Sir Albany Featherstonhaugh, And taken his life at the Deadman's-shaw.”—" Scantly Lord Marmion's ear could brook The harper's barbarous lay; Yet much he praised the pains he took, And well those pains did pay: For lady's suit, and minstrel's strain, By knight should ne'er be heard in vain.
XIV. • Now, good Lord Marmion,” Heron says, • Of your fair courtesy, I pray you bide some little space In this poor tower with me. Here may you keep your arms from rust, May breathe your war-horse well; Seldom hath pass'd a week but just Or feat of arms befel: The Scots can rein a mettled steed, And love to couch a spear; St George! a stirring life they lead That have such neighbours near. Then stay with us a little space, Our northern wars to learn; I pray you for your lady's grace.”— Lord Marmion's brow grew stern.
XV. The captain mark'd his alter'd look, And gave a squire the sign; A mighty wassel-bowl he took, And crown'd it high with wine. • Now pledge me here, lord Marmion: But first, I pray thee fair, Where hast thou left that page of thine, That used to serve thy cup of wine, Whose beauty was so rare? When last in Raby towers we met, The boy I closely eyed, And often mark'd his cheeks were wet With tears he fain would hide:
'The rest of this old ballad may be found in the note.
His was no rugged horse-boy's hand,
Lord Marmion ill could brook such jest;
He roll'd his kindling eye,
Yet made a calm reply:
XWii. Unmark'd, at least unreck'd, the taunt, Careless the knight replied, « No bird whose feathers gaily slaunt, Delights in cage to bide : Norham is grim, and grated close, Hemm'd in by battlement and fosse, And many a darksome tower; And better loves my lady bright To sit in liberty and light, In fair Queen Margaret's bower. We hold our greyhound in our hand, Our falcon on our glove; But where shall we find leash or band, For dame that loves to rove? Let the wild falcon soar her swing, She'll stoop when she has tired her wing.»–
XVIII. « Nay, if with royal James's bride The lovely Lady Heron bide, Behold me here a messenger, Your tender greetings prompt to bear; For, to the Scottish court address'd, I journey at our king's behest, And pray you, of your grace, provide For me and mine a trusty guide. I have not ridden in Scotland since James back'd the cause of that mock prince, Warbeck, that Flemish counterfeit, Who on the gibbet paid the cheat. Then did I march with Surrey's power, What time we razed old Ayton tower.”—(13)