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And, by his drugs, my rival fair

A saint in heaven should be. But ill the dastard kept his oath, Whose cowardice has undone us both.

XXX. « And now my tongue the secret tells, Not that remorse my bosom swells, But to assure my soul that none Shall ever wed with Marmion. Had fortune my last hope betray'd, This packet, to the king convey'd, Had given him to the headsman's stroke, Although my heart that instant broke. Now, men of death, work forth your will, For I can suffer, and be still; And, come he slow, or come he fast, It is but Death who comes at last.

But, ere they breathed the fresher air,
They heard the shriekings of despair,

And many a stitled groan:
With speed their upward way they take
(Such speed as age and fear can make),
And crossd themselves for terror's sake,

As hurrying, lottering 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 parling soul. Slow o'er the midnight wave it swung, Northumbrian rocks in answer rung: To Warkworth cell the echoes rollid, 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 III.

TO

WILLIAM ERSKINE, ESQ.

XXXI. « Yet dread me, from my living tomb, Ye vassal slaves of bloody Rome! If Marmjon's late remorse should wake, Full soon such vengeance will he take, That you shall wish the fiery Dane Had rather been your guest again. Behind, a darker hour ascends! The altars quake, the crosier bends, The ire of a despotic king Rides forth upon destruction's wing. Then shall these vaults, so strong and deep, Burst open to the sea-wind's sweep; Some traveller then shall find my bones, Whitening amid disjointed stones, And, ignorant of priests' cruelty, Marvel such relics here should be.»—

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 seemd to rise more high;
Her voice, despair's wild energy
Had given a tone of prophecy.
Appallid the astonishid 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 befel,
When they had glided from the cell
Of sin and misery.

XXXIII
Ao hundred winding steps convey
That conclave to the upper day;

Ashestiel, Ettrick Forest. Lixe April morning clouds, that

pass
With varying shadow o'er the grass,
And imitate, on field, and furrow,
Life's chequer'd scene of joy and sorrow;
Like streamlet of the mountain north,
Now in a torrent racing forth,
Now winding slow its silver train,
And almost slumbering on the plain ;
Like breezes of the autumn day,
Whose voice inconstant dies

away,
And ever swells again as fast,
When the ear deems its murmur past;
Thus various, my romantic theme
Flits, winds, or sinks, a morning dream.
Yet pleased, our eye pursues the trace
Of light and shade's inconstant race ;
Pleased, views the rivulet afar,
Weaving its maze irregular;
And pleased, we listen as the breeze
Heaves its wild sigh through autumn trees;
Then wild as cloud, or stream, or gale,

flow unconfined, my tale.

Flow on,

Need I to thee, dear Erskine, tell, I love the license all too well, In sounds now lowly, and now strong, To raise the desultory song ?Oft, when 'mid such capricious chimic, Some transient fit of losty rhyme To thy kind judgmeut seem'd excuse For many an error of the muse,

Who soatch'd, on Alexandria's sand,
The conqueror's wreath with dying hand.

« Or, if to touch such chord be thine, Restore the ancient tragic line, And emulate the notes that rung From the wild harp, which silent húng By silver Avon's holy shore, Till iwice an hundred years roll'd o'er : When she, the bold Enchantress, came, With fearless hand and heart on flame! From the pale willow snatch'd the treasure, And swept it with a kindred measure, Till Avon's swans, while rung.the grove With Montfort's hate and Basil's love, Awakening at the inspired strain, Deem'd their own Shakspeare lived again.»

Oft hast thou said, « Jf, still mis-spent,
Thine hours to poetry are lent,
Go, and, to tame thy wandering course,
Quaff from the fountaia at the source;
Approach those masters, o'er whose tomb
Immortal laurels ever bloom :
Instructive of the feebler bard,
Still from the grave their voice is heard;
From them, and from the paths they show'd,
Chuse honour'd guide and practised road;
Nor ramble on thouglu brake and maze,
With larpers rude of barbarous days.

« Or, deem'st thou not our later time
Yields topic meet for classic rhyme ?
Hast thou no elegiac verse
For Brunswick's venerable hearse ?
What! not a line, a tear, a sigh,
When valour bleeds for liberty?
Oh, hero of that glorious time,
When, with unrivall'd light sublime,
Though martial Austria, and though all
The might of Russia, and the Gaul,
Though banded Europe stood her foes-
The star of Brandenburgh arose !
Thou couldst not live to see her beam
For ever quench'd in Jena's stream.
Lamented chief!-it was not given
"To thee to change the doom of Heaven,
And crush that dragon in its birth,
Predestined scourge of guilty earth.
Lamented chief!-not thine the power,
To save in that presumptuous hour,
When Prussia hurried to the field,
And snatch'd the spear, but left the shield!
Valour and skill 't was thine to try,
And, tried in vain, 'I was thine to die.
III had it seem'd thy silver hair
The last, the bitterest pang to share,
For princedoms reft, and scutcheons riven,
And birthrights to usurpers given; •
Thy land's, thy children's wrongs to feel,
And witness woes thou couldst not heal!
On thee relenting Heaven bestows
For honour'd life an honour'd close;
And when revolves, in time's sure change,
The hour of Germany's revenge,
When, breathing fury for her sake,
Some new Arminius shall awake,
Her champion, ere he strike, shall come
To whet his sword on BRUNSWICK's tomb,

Thy friendship thus thy judgment wronging,
With praises not to me belonging,
In task more meet for mightiest powers,
Wouldst thou engage my thriftless hours.
But say, my Erskine, hast thou weigh'd
That secret power by all obey'd,
Which warps not less the passive mind,
Its source conceal'd or undefined;
Whether an impulse, that has birth
Soon as the infant wakes on earth,
One with our feelings and our powers,
And rather part of us than ours:
Or whether fitlier term'd the sway
Of habit, form'd in early day!
Howe'er derived, its force confess'd
Rules with despotic sway the breast,
And drags us on by viewless chain,
While taste and reason plead in vain.
Look east, and ask the Belgian why,
Bencath Batavia's sultry sky,
lle seeks not eager to inhale
The freshness of the mountain gale,
Content to rear his whitend wall
Beside the dank and dull canal!
He 'll say, from youth he loved to see
The white sail gliding by the tree.
Or see yon weather-beaten bind,
Whose sluggish herds before him wind,
Whose tatler'd plaid and rugged cheek
His northern clime and kindred speak;
Through England's laughing meads he goes,
And England's wealth around him flows;
Ask, if it would content him well,
At ease in these gay plains to dwell,
Where hedge-rows spread a verdant screen,
And spires and forests intervene,
And the neat cottage peeps between ?
No! not for these will he exchange
His dark Lochaber's boundless range,
Nor for fair Devon's meads forsake
Ben-Nevis gray, and Garry's lake.

Thus, while I ape the measure wild
Of tales that charm d me yet a child,
Rude though they be, still with the chime
Return the thoughts of early time;
And feelings, roused in life's first day,
Glow in the line, and prompt the lay.

« Or of the Red-Cross hero teach,
Dauntless in dungeon as on breach:
Alike to him the sea, the shore,
The brand, the bridle, or the oar;

)
Alike to him the war that calls
Its votaries to the shatter'd walls,
Which the grim Turk, besmear'd with blood,
Against the Invincible made good;
Or thal, whose thundering voice could wake
The silence of the polar lake,
When stubborn Russ, and mettled Swede,
On the warp'd wave their death-game play'd ;
Or that, where vengeance and affright
Howl'd round the father of the fight,

[graphic]

Lord Marmion drew his rein: The village inn (1) seem'd large, though rude ; Its cheerful fire and hearty food

Might well relieve his train. Down from their seats the horsemen sprang, With jingling spurs the court-yard rang; They bind their horses to the stall, For forage, food, and firing call, And various clamour fills the hall; Weighing the labour with the cost, Toils every where the bustling host.

VI.
By fits less frequent from the crowd
Was heard the burst of laughter loud;
For still as squire and archer stared
On that dark face and matied beard,

Their glee and game declined.
All gazed at length in silence drear,
Unbroke, save when in comrade's ear
Some yeoman, wondering in his fear,

Thus whisperd forth his mind:
« Saint Mary! saw'st thou e'cr such sight?
How pale his cheek, his eye how bright,
Whene'er the fire-brand's fickle light

Glances beneath his cowl! Full on our lord he sets his eye; For his best palfrey, would not I

Endure that sullen scowl.»

III.
Soon, by the chimney's merry blaze,
Through the rude hostel might you gaze;
Might see, where in dark nook aloof,
The rafters of the sooty roof

Bore wealth of winter cheer;
Of sea-fowl dried, and solands store,
And gammons of the tusky boar,

And savoury haunch of decr.
The chimüey arch projected wide;
Above, around it, and beside,

Were tools for housewives' hand; Nor wanted, in that martial day, The implements of Scottish fray,

The buckler, lance, and brand. Beneath its shade, the place of state, On oaken sette Marmion sate, And view'd, around the blazing hearth, His followers mix in noisy mirth, Whom with brown ale, in jolly tide, From ancient vessels ranged aside, Full actively their bost supplied.

VJI. But Marmion, as to chase the awe Which thus had quelld their hearts, who saw The ever-varying fire-light show That figure stern and face of woe,

Now call'd upon a squire :

Fitz-Eustace, know'st thou not some lay, To speed the lingering night away?

We slumber by the fire.»

iv. Theirs was the glee of martial breast, And laughter theirs at little jest; And oft Lord Marmion deigo'd to aid, And mingle in the mirųh they made : For though, with men of high degree, The proudest of the proud was he, Yet, traind in camps, he knew the art To win the soldier's hardy heart. They love a captain to obey, Boisterous as March, yet fresh as May; With open hand, and brow as free, Lover of wine and minstrelsy; Ever the first to scale a tower, As venturous in a lady's bower :Such buxom chief shall lead his host From India's fires to Zembla's frost.

VIII. «So please you,» thus the youth rejoin'd, « Our choicest minstrel's left behind. Ill may we hope to please your ear, Accustom'd Constant's strains to hear. The harp full defuy can he strike, And wake the lover's lute alike; To dear St Valentine, no thrush Sings livelier from a spring-tide bush; No nightingale her love-lorn tune More sweetly warbles to the moon. Woe to the cause, whate'er it be, Detains from us his melody, Lavish'd on rocks and billows stern, Or duller monks of Lindisfarn. Now must I venture, as I may, To sing his favourite roundelay.»

V. Resting upon his pilgrim staff,

Right opposite the Palmer stood : His thin dark visage seen but half,

Half hidden by his hood. Still fix'd on Marmion was his look, Which he, who ill such gaze could brook,

Strove by a frown to quell; But not for that, though more than once Full met their stero encountering glance,

The Palmer's visage fell.

IX. A mellow voice Fitz-Eustace had, The air he chose was wild and sad; Such have I heard, in Scoçtish land, Rise from the busy harvest band, When falls before the mountaineer, On Lowland plains, the ripen'd ear. Now one shrill voice the notes prolong, Now a wild chorus swells the song: Oft have I listen'd, and stood still, As it came soften'd up the hill, And deem'd it the lament of men Who languish'd for their native glen; And thought how sad would be such sound, Od Susquehanna's swampy ground, Kentucky's wood-encumber'd brake, Or wild Ontario's boundless lake, Where heart-sick exiles, in the strain, Recall'd fair Scotland's hills again!

X.

SONG.
Where shall the lover rest,

Whom the fates sever
From his true maiden's breast,

Parted for ever?,
Where, through groves deep and high,

Sounds the far billow, Where early violets die,

Under the willow.

XII. High minds, of native pride and force, 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, Seem'd in mine ear a death-peal rung, Such as in nuvperies they toll For some departing sister's soul ?

Say, what may this portend ?»— Then first the Palmaer silence broke (The livelong day he had not spoke),

« The death of a dear friend.»(2)

CHORUS Eleu loro, etc.

Soft shall be his pillow. There through the summer day,

Cool streams are laving; There, while the tempests sway,

Scarce are boughs waving; There, thy rest shalt thou take,

Parted for ever, Never again to wake, - Never, O never.

CHORUS. Eleu loro, etc. Never, 0 never.

XI.
Where shall the traitor rest,

He, the deceiver,
Who could win maiden's breast,

Ruin, and leave her?
In the lost baitle,

Borne down by the flying,
Where mingles war's rattle
With
groans

of the dying

XIV.
Marmion, whose steady heart and eye
Ne'er changed in worst extremity;
Marmion, whose soul could scandy brook,
Even from his king, a haughty look;
Whose accent of command controllid,
In camps, the boldest of the bold-
Thought, look, aud utterance, fail'd him now,
Fall'o was his glance, and flush'd his brow :

For either in the tone,
Or something in the Palmer's look,

conscience strook,
That answer he found none.'
Thus oft it haps, that when within,
They shrink at sense of secret sin,

A feather daunts the brave,
A fool's wild speech confounds the wise,
And proudest princes veil their

eyes
Before their meanest slave.

So full upon

CHORUS. Eleu loro, etc. There shall he be lying.

Her wing shall the eagle flap

O'er the false-hearted, His warm blood the wolf shall lap,

Ere life be parted. Shame and dishonour sit

By his grave ever; Blessing shall hallow it,

Never, 0 never!

CHORUS. Eleu loro, èlc. Never, O never.

XII.
Jt ceased, the melancholy sound,
And silence sunk on all around.
The air was sad; but sadder still

It fell on Marmion's ear,
And plain'd 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 scan not; but I wees,
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 wish'd to be their prey,
For Lutterward, and Fontenaye.

Well might he falter !– By his aid
Was Constance Beverley betray'd;
Not that he augurd 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 viction, but a slave;
And deem'd 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 deem'd the favourite page
Was left behind, to spare his age;
Or other if they deem'd, none dared
To mutter what he thought and heard :
Woe to the vassal, wlio durst pry.
Into Lord Marmion's privacy!

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