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Who could win maiden's breast,
Ruin, and leave her?
Borne down by the flying,
Her wing shall the eagle flap
O'er the false hearted;
Ere life be parted.
By his grave ever ;
XII. It ceased, the melancholy sound; And silence sunk on all around. The air was sad; but sadder still It fell on Marmion's ear, And plained as if disgrace and ill, And shameful death were near. He drew his mantle past his face, Between it and the band, And rested with his head a space, Reclining on his hand. His thoughts I scarf not; but I ween, That, could their import have been seen, The meanest groom in all the hall, That e'er tied courser to a stall, Would scarce have wished to be their prey, For Lutterward and Fontenaye.
Most deeply feel thy pangs, Remorse!
Fear, for their scourge, mean villains have, Thou art the torturer of the brave; Yet fatal strength they boast to steel Their minds to bear the wounds they feel; Even while they writhe beneath the smart Of civil conflict in the heart. For soon Lord Marmion raised his head, And, smiling, to Fitz-Eustace said :“ Is it not strange, that, as ye sung, Seemed in mine ear a death-peal rung, Such as in nunneries they toll For some departing sister's soul ?
Say, what may this portend?"Then first the Palmer silence broke, (The live-long day he had not spoke,)
“ The death of a dear friend.”
Marmion, whose steady heart and eye
Marmion, whose soul could scantly brook,
For either in the tone,
That answer he found none.
A feather daunts the brave;
Before their meanest slave.
Well might he faulter !—by his aid
Not that he augur'd of the doom, Which on the living closed the tomb; But, tired to hear the desperate maid Threaten by turns, beseech, upbraid ; And wroth, "because, in wild despair, She practised on the life of Clare;. Its fugitive the church he gave, Though not a victim, but a slave; And deemed restraint in convent strange, Would hide her wrongs, and her revenge. Himself, proud Henry's favourite peer, Held Romish thunders idle fear, Secure his pardon he might hold, For some slight mulct of penance-gold. Thus judging, he gave secret way, When the stern priests surprised their prey: His train but deemed the favourite page Was left behind, to spare his age ; Or other if they deemed, none dared To mutter what he thought and heard :