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Or why the tidings say,
The damsel donned her kirtle sheen: Which, varying, to Tantallon came,
The hall was dressed with holly green; By hurrying posts, or fleeter fame,
Forih to the wood did merry-men go,
To gather in the mistletoe.
To vassal, tenant, sers, and all ;
Power laid his rod of rule aside, It that sore marvelled Marmion:
And ('eremony doffed his pride. And Douglas hoped his Monurch's hand
The heir, with roses in his shoes, Would soon subdue Northumberland:
That night might village partner choose; But whispered news there came,
The lord, underogating share That, while his host inactive lay,
The vulgar game of " post and pair," and melted by degrees away,
All hailed, with uncontrolled delight, King James was dallying off the day
And general voice, the happy night, With Heron's wily dame.
That to the cottage, as the crown, Such acts to chronicles I yield;
Brought tidings of salvation down. Go seek them there, and see:
The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, Mine is a tale of Floddon Field,
Went roaring up the chimney wide; And not a history.-
The huge hall-table's oaken face, At length they heard the Scottish host
Scrubbed til 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 liad gathered in the Southern land,
By old blue coated serving-man;
Then the grim boar's-head frowned on high,
Crested with bays and rosemary. Marmion, like charger in the stall,
Well can the green-garbed ranger tell, That hears, without, the trumpet-call,
How, when, and where, the monster fell; Began to chafe and swear:
What dogs before his death he tore,
And all the baiting of the boar.
The wassel round, in good brown bowls,
Garnished with ribbons, blithely trowls;
There the huge sirloin reeked; hard by
Plum-porridge stood, and Christmas pie;
Nor failed old Scotland to produce Hath 'bated of his courtesy :
At such high tide, her savoury goose.
Then came the merry masquers in,
And carols roared with blithesome din;
If unmelodius was the song,
It was a hearty note, and strong.
White shirts supplied the masquerade,
And smutted cheeks the visors made ;
But, oh! what masquers, richly dight,
Can boast of bosoms half so light!
England was merry England, when
'Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale; HEAP on more wood!--the wind is chill;
'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale ; Biit let it whistle as it will,
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer We'll keep our Christmas merry still.
The poor man's heart through half the year, Lach age has deemed the new-born year The fittest time for festal cheer:
Still linger, in our northern clime, Even heathen yet, the savage Dane
Some remnants of the good old time; At Iol more deep the mead did drain;
And still, within our valleys here, High on the beach his galleys drew,
We hold the kindred title dear. and feasted all his pirate crew;
Even when, perchance, its far-fetebed claim lin in his low and pine-built hall,
To Southron ear sounds empty name, Where shields and axes deck the wall,
For course of blood, our proverbs deem, They gorged upon the half-dressed steer:
Is warmer than the mohintain-stream.* (aroused in seas of sable beer;
And thus, my Christmas still I hold While round, in brutal jest, were thrown
Where my great-grandsire came of old, The half-gnawed rib and marrow-bone;
With amber beard, and flaxen hair, Or listened all, in grim delight,
And reverend apostolic airWhile scalds yelled out the joys of fight.
The feast and holy-tide to share, Then forth, in frenzy, would they hie,
And mix sobriety with wine, While wildly loose their red locks fly,
And honest mirth with thoughts divine : und dancing round the blazing pile,
Small thought was his, in after time They make such barbarous mirth the whlle,
E'er to be hitched into a rhyme. As best might to the mind recall
The simple sire could only boast, line boisterous joys of Odin's hall.
That he was loyal to his cost;
The banished race of kings revered,
And lost his hand, -but kept his beard.
In these dear halls, where welcome kind
Is with fair liberty combined; Dornestic and religious rite
Where cordial friendship gives the hand, Gave honour to the holy night:
And flies constraint the magic wand
Of the fair dame that rules the land,
* “Blood is warmer than water, "--a proverb Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
meant to vindicate our family predilections.
Little we heed the tempest drear,
Since 'twixt them first the strife begun, While music, mirth, and social cheer,
And neither yet has lost or won. Speed on their wings the passing year.
And oft the Conjuror's words will make And Mertoun's halls are fair e'en now,
The stubborn Demon groan and quake; When not a leaf is on the bough.
And oft the bands of iron break, Tweed loves them well, and turns again,
Or bursts one lock, that still amain, As loath to leave the sweet domain;
Fast as 'tis opened shuts again. And holds his mirror to her face,
That magic strife within the tomb And clips her with a close embrace:
May last until the day of doom, Gladly as he, we seek the dome,
Unless the Adept shall learn to tell And as reluctant turn us home.
The very word that clenched the spell,
When Franch'mont locked the treasure cell. How just, that, at this time of glee,
An hundred years are past and gone
And scarce three letters has he won.
Such general superstition may Cease, then, my friend! a moment cease,
Excuse for old Pitscottie say ! And leave these classic tomes in peace!
Whose gossip history has given Of Roman and of Grecian lore,
My song the messenger from Heaven. Sure mortal brain can hold no more.
That warned, in Lithgow, Scotland's King, These ancients, as Noll Bluff might say,
Nor less the infernal summoning; Were pretty fellows in their day ;'**
May pass the Monk of Durham's tale, But time and tide o'er all prevail
Whose Demon fought in Gothic mail; On Christmas eve a Christmas tale
May pardon plead for Fordun grave, Of wonder and of war" Profane!
Who told of Gifford's Goblin Cave. What! leave the lofty Latian strain,
But why such instances to you, Her stately prose, her verse's charms,
Who, in an instant, can review To hear the clash of rusty arms;
Your treasured hoards of various lore, In Fairy Land or Limbo lost,
And furnish twenty thousand more? To jostle conjuror and ghost,
Hoards, not like theirs whose volumes rest Goblin and witch!"-Nay, Heber dear,
Like treasures in the Franch'mont chest, Before you touch my charter, hear;
While gripple owners still refuse Though Leyden aids, alas! no more,
To others what they cannot use; My cause with many-languaged lore;
Give them the priest's whole century, This may I say :-in realms of death
They shall not spell you letters three; Ulysses meet Alcides' wraith:
Their pleasure in the books the same Æneas, upon Thracia's shore,
The magpie takes in pilfered gem. The ghost of murdered Polydore;
Thy volumes, open as thy heart, For omens, we in Livy cross,
Delight, amusement, science, art, At every turn, locutus Bos,
To every ear and eye impart; As grave and duly speaks that ox,
Yet who, of all who thus employ them, As if he told the price of stocks;
Can, like the owner's self, enjoy them? Or held, in Rome republican,
But, hark! I hear the distant drum : The place of common-councilman.
The day of Flodden field is come. All nations have their omens drear,
Adieu, dear Heber! life and health,
And store of literary wealth.
While great events were on the gale,
And each hour brought a varying tale, He walks among the sons of men.
And the demeanour, changed and cold, Didst e'er, dear Heber, pass along
Of Douglas fretted Marmion bold, Beneath the towers of Franchéimont,
And, like the impatient steed of war, Which, like an eagle's nest in air,
He snuffed the battle from afar; .. Ilang o'er the stream and hamlet fair?
And hopes were none, that back again Deep in their vaults, the peasants say,
Herald should come from Terouenne,
Where England's King in leaguer lay,
While these things were, the mournful Cinre The iron chest is bolted hard,
Did in the Dame's devotions share: A huntsman sits, its constant guard;
For the good Countess ceaseless prayed, Around his neck his horn is hung,
To Heaven and Saints, her sons to aid, His hanger in his belt is slung;
And, with short interval, did pass Before his feet his bloodhounds lie :
From prayer to book, from book to mass, An 'twere not for his gloomy eye,
And all in high Baronial pride, Whose withering glance no heart can brook, A life both dull and dignified; As true a huntsman doth he look
Yet as Lord Marmion nothing pressed As bugle e'er in brake did sound,
Upon her intervals of rest, Or ever halloo'd to a hound.
Dejected Clara well could bear To chase the fiend, and win the prize,
The formal state, the lengthened prayer, In that same dungeon ever tries
Though dearest to her wounded heart An aged Necromantic Priest;
The hours that she might spend apart. It is an hundred years at least,
II. * “Hannibal was a pretty fellow, sir-a very I said, Tantallon's dizzy steep pretty fellow in his day."-old Bachelor.
Hung o'er the margin of the deep
can who car soment's the reale sainee
Adi day of
wili battle ander, Pirit's only,
Where erks and sea-girt side
Many a rude tower and rampart there
Where oft Devotion's tranced glow, Repelled the insult of the air,
Can such a glimpse of Heaven bestow, Which, when the tempest vexed the sky,
That the enraptured sisters see Half breeze, half spray, came whistling by.
High vision and deep mystery; Above the rest a turret square
The very form of Hilda fair, ** Did o'er its Gothic entrance bear,
Hovering upon the sunny air, Of sculpture rude, a stony shield;
And smiling on her votaries' prayer. The Bloody Heart was in the field,
0! wherefore to my duller eye, And in the chief three mullets stood,
Did still the Saint her form deny ? The cognizance of Douglas blood,
Was it, that, scared by sinful scorn, The turret held a narrow stair,
My heart could neither melt nor burn? Which, mounted, gave you access where
Or lie my warm affections low, A parapet's embattled row
With him that taught them first to glow? Did seaward round the castle go;
Yet, gentle Abbess, well I knew, Sometimes in dizzy steps descending,
To pay thy kindness grateful due, Sometimes in narrow circuit bending,
And well could brook the mild command, Sometimes in platform broad extending,
That ruled thy simple maiden band. Its varying circle did combine
How different now! condemned to bide Bulwark, and bartisan, and line,
My doom from this dark tyrant's pride. And bastion, tower, and vantage-coign;
But Marmion has to learn, ere long, Above the booming ocean leant
That constant mind, and hate of wrong, The far-projecting battlement;
Descended to a feeble girl, The billows burst, in ceaseless flow,
From Red De Clare, stout Gloster's Earl: Upon the precipice below.
Of such a stem, a sapling weak,
He ne'er shall bend, although he break.
“But see!--what makes this armour here!" And thus these lines and ramparts rude,
For in her path there lay Were left in deepest solitude.
Targe, corslet, helm ;-she viewed them rar.
"The breast-plate pierced !-Aye, much I fear, III.
Weak fence wert thou 'gainst foeman's spear,
That hath made fatal entrance here, And, for they were so lonely, Clare
As these dark blood-gouts say Would to these battlements repair,
Thus Wilton!-Oh! not corslet's ward, And muse upon her sorrows there,
Not truth, as diamond pure and hard,
ond pure itna nard, And list the sea-bird's cry;
Could be thy manly bosom's guard, Or slow, like noon-tide ghost, would glide
On yon disastrous day!" Along the dark-grey bulwarks' side,
She raised her eyes in mournful mood, And ever on the heaving tide
Wilton himself before her stood! Look down with weary eye.
It might have seemed his passing ghost, Oft did the cliff and swelling main,
For every youthful grace was lost; Recall the thoughts of Whitby's fane,
And joy unwonted, and surprise, A home she ne'er might see again;
Gave their strange wildness to his eyes. For she had laid adown,
Expect not, noble dames and lords, So Douglas bade, the hood and veil,
Than I can tell such scene in words: And frontlet of the cloister pale,
What skilful limner ere would chuse And Benedicite gown:
To paint the rainbow's varying hues, It were unseemly sight, he said,
Unless to mortal it were given A novice out of convent shade.
To dip his brush in dyes of heaven? Now her bright locks, with sunny glow,
Tar less can my weak line declare Again adorned her brow of snow;
Each changing passion's shade; Her mantle rich, whose borders, round,
Brightening to rapture from despair A deep and fretted broidery bound,
Sorrow, surprise, and pity there, In golden foldings sought the ground;
And joy, with her angelic air, Of holy ornament, alone
And hope, that paints the future fair, Remained a cross with ruby stone;
Their varying hues displayed: And often did she look
Each o'er its rival's ground extending, On that which in her hand she bore,
Alternate conquering, shifting, blending. With velvet bound, and broidered o'er,
Till all, fatigued, the conflict yield, Her breviary book.
And mighty Love retains the field. In such a place, so lone, so grim,
Shortly I tell what then he said, At dawning pale, or twilight dim,
By many a tender word delayed, It fearful would have been,
And modest blush, and bursting sigh,
And question kind, and fond reply.
DE WILTON'S HISTORY.
“Forget we that disastrous day, Some love-lorn Fay she might have been,
When senseless in the lists I lay, Or, in romance, soine spell-bound queen;
Thence dragged, -but how I cannot know, For ne'er, in work-day world, was seen
For sense and recollection fled, A form'so witching fair.
I found me on a pallet low,
Within my ancient beadsman's shed.
Austin,-remember'st thou, my Clare, Once walking thus, at evening tide,
How thou didst blush, when the old man, it chanced a gliding sail she spied,
When first our infant love began,
* See Note.
And womedere all in armont's nea
Menials, and friends, and kinsmen fled
| Perchance you heard the Abbess tell From the degraded traitor's bed, -
of the strange pageantry of Hell, He only held my burning head,
That broke our secrec speech And tended me for many a day,
It rose from the infernal shade, While wounds and fever held their sway; Or featly was some juggle played, But far more needful was his care,
A tale of peace to teach.
Appeal to Heaven I judged was best,
When my name came among the rest.
* Now here, within Tantallon Hold With him I left my native strand,
To Douglas late my tale I told, And, in a palmer's weeds arrayed,
To whom my house was known of old. My hated name and form to shade,
Won by my proofs, his faulchion bright I journeyed many a land;
This eve anew shall dub me knight. No more a lord of rank and birth,
These were the arms that once did turn But mingled with the dregs of earth.
The tide of fight on Otterburne, Oft Austin for my reason feared,
And Harry Hotspur forced to yield, When I would sit, and deeply brood,
When the Dead Douglas won the field. On dark revenge, and deeds of blood,
These Angus gave-his armourer's care, Or wild mad schemes upreared.
Ere morn, shall every breech repair; My friend at length fell sick, and said,
For nought, he said, was in his hallo, God would remove him soon;
But ancient armour on the walls, And, while upon his dying bed,
And aged chargers in the stalls, He begged of me a boon
And women, priests, and grey-halred men; If ere my deadliest enemy
The rest were all in Twisel glen. * Beneath my brand should conquered lie,
And now I watch my armour here, Even then my mercy should awake,
By law of arms, till midnight's near; And spare his life for Austin's sake.
Then, once again a belted knight,
Seek Surrey's camp with dawn of light. VII. “Still restless as a second Cain,
"There soon again we meet, my Clare! To Scotland next my route was ta en:
This Baron means to guide thee there : Full well the paths I knew;
Douglas reveres his king's command, Fame of my fate made various sound,
Else would he take thee from his band. That death in pilgrimage I found,
And there thy kinsman, Surrey, too, That I had perished of my wound,
Will give De Wilton justice due. None cared which tale was true:
Now meeter far for martial broil, And living eye conld never guess
Firmer my limbs, and strung by toil, De Wilton in his palmer's dress:
Onoe more"- "O, Wilton! must we then For now that sable slough is shed,
Risk new-found happiness again, And trimmed my shaggy beard and head,
Trust fate of arms once more ? I scarcely know me in the glass.
And is there not a humble glen A chance most wondrous did provide
Where we, content and poor, That I should be that Baron's guide
Might build a cottage in the shade, I will not name his name.
A shepherd thou, and I to aid Vengeance to God alone belongs;
Thy task on dale and moor? But, when I think on all my wrongs,
That reddening brow ?-too well I know, My blood is liqui flame!
Not even thy Clare can peace bestow And ne'er the time shall I forget,
While falsehood stain thy name: When, in a Scottish hostel set,
Go then to fight! Clare bids thee go! Dark looks we did exchange:
Clure can a warrior's feelings know, What were his thoughts I cannot tell:
• And weep a warrior's shame; But in my bosom mustered hell
Can Red Earl Gilbert's spirit feel, Its plans of dark revenge.
Buckle the spurs upon thy heel,
And belt thee with thy brand of steel,
And send thee forth to fame!" "A word of vulgar angury,
XI. That broke from me, I scarce knew why,
That night, upon the rocks and bay, Brought on a village tale;
The midnight moonbeam slumbering lay, Which wrought upon his moody sprite,
And poured its silver light, and pure, And sent him armed forth by night.
| Through loophole and through embrazuire, I borrowed steed and mail,
Upon Tantallon tower and hall; And weapons from his sleeping band;
But chief where arched windows wide And, passing from a postern door,
Illuminate the chapel's pride, We met, and 'countered hand to hand
The sober glances fall. He fell on Gifford-moor.
Much was their need; though, seamcd with For the death-stroke my brand I drew
scars, (O then my helmed head he knew,
Two veterans of the Douglas' wars, The palmer's cowl was gone.)
Though two grey priests were there, Then had three inches of my blade
And each a blazing torch held high, The heavy debt of vengeance paid,
You could not by their blaze descry My hand the thought of Austin staid;
The chapel's carving fair. I left him there alone.
Amid that dim and smoky light, 0, good old man! even from the grave
Chequering the silvery moonshine bright,
A Bishop by the altar stood,
A noble lord of Douglas blood,
* Where James encamped before taking post And yindicate De Wilton's name,
As seemeat judeur las m
With mitre sheen, and rocquet white.
And never shali in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp."
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire, Than that beneath his rule he held
And shook his very frame for ire The bishopric of fair Dunkeld.
And-“This to me!" he said, Beside him ancient Angus stood,
" An 'twere not for thy hoary beard, Doffed his furred gown and sable hood:
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared O'er his huge form and visage pale,
To cleave the Douglas' head! He wore a cap and shirt of mail :
And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer, And leaned his large and wrinkled hand
He, who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate;
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here, As wood-knife lops the sapling spray.
Even in thy pitch of pride, He seemed as, from the tombs around
Here in thy hold, thy vassals near, Rising at judgment-day,
(Nay, never look upon your lord, Some giant Douglas may be found
And lay your hands upon your sword),
I tell thee, thou'rt defied!
And if thon said'st, I am not peer
Lowland or Highland, far or near,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage Then at the altar Wilton kneels,
O'ercame the ashen hue of age: And Clare the spurs bound on his heels;
Fierce he broke forth:-"And dar'st thou then And think what next he must have felt
To beard the lion in his den, At buckling of the faulchion belt !
The Douglas in his hall ? And judge how Clara changed her hue,
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go? Yhile fastening to her lover's side
No, by Saint Bryde of Bothwell, no! A friend, which, though in danger tried,
Up drawbridge, grooms-what, Warder, ho! He once had found untrue!
Let the portcullis fall." Then Douglas struck him with his blade.
Lord Marmion turned,--well was his need! " Saint Michael and Saint Andrew aid,
And dashed the rowels in his steed, I dub thee knight.
Like arrows through the archway sprung; Arise, Sir Ralph, De Wilton's heir!
The ponderous grate behind him rung : For king, for church, for lady fair
To pass there was such scanty room,
The bars descending, razed his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies, May give thee donble."
Just as it trembled on the rise; De Wilton sobbed, for sobbed he must
Not lighter does the swallow skim “Where'er I meet a Douglas, trust
Along the smooth lake's level brim: That Douglas is my brother!"
And when Lord Marmion reached his band, “Nay, nay," old Angus said, “not so;
He halts, and turns with clenched hand, To Surrey's camp thou now must go,
And shout of loud defiance pours, Thy wrongs no longer smother.
And shook his gauntlet at the towers. I have two sons in yonder field;
" Horse! horse!" the Douglas cried, “and And, if thou meet'st them under shield, .
chase!" Upon them bravely-do thy worst;
But soon he reined his fury pace: And foul fall him that blenches first !"
"A royal messenger he came,
Though most unworthy of the name.
A letter forged! Saint Jude to speed.'
Did ever knight so foul a deed!
At first in heart it liked me ill,
When the King praised his clerkly skill. To Surrey's camp to ride ;
Thanks to Saint Bothan, son of mine, He had safe conduct for his band,
Save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line: Beneath the royal seal and hand,
So swore I, and I swear it still, And Donglas gave a guide:
Let my boy-bishop fret his fill. The ancient Earl, with stately grace,
Saint Mary mend my fiery mood ! Would Clara on her palfrey place,
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas blood, And whispered, in an under-tone,
I thought to stay him where he stood. “Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown.”
Tis pity of him too," he cried; The train from out the castle drew;
“Both can he speak, and fairly ride : But Marmion stopped to bid adieu:
I warrant him a warrior tried." “Though something I might plain," he said,
With this his mandate he recalls, “Of cold respect to stranger guest,
And slowly seeks his castle halls.
The day in Marmion's journey wore ; But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Yet, ere his passion's gust was o'er, Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:
They crossed the heights of Stanrig-moor. “My manors, halls, and bowers, shall still His troop more closely there he scaun'd, Be open, at my sovereign's will,
And missed the Palmer from the band. To each one whom he lists, howe'er
“Palmer or not," young Blount did say, Uameet to be the owner's peer.
“ He parted at the peep of day; My cast16° are my king's alone,
Good sooth, it was in strange array." From: what to foundation-stone
“In what array?" said Marmion, quick. The land of Douglas is his own;
"My lord, I ill can spell the trick: