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Ili'ojh drarest to her grounded sheart
Hk- hours thai she might spend apart.
I Jlj. TantalJon's dizzy steep
ILog o'er the margin of the deep.
liny a rude tower and ram pit rt there
Ir^elld the insult of the air,
KTitfh, vben the tempest vex'd tlie sky,
Hai breeze, half spni^ came whistling by.
AW* the rest, a turret square
W o'er it* Gothic entrance bear,
(I'fcnJptore rude, a stony shield;
T* iSoody Heart was in the field,
Asia the chief three mullets stood,
Tifrogainnce of Douglas blood.
T.'.-'sttci held a narrow stair,
fil i, mounted, gave you access where
i parapet's embattled row
& tea-ward round the castle go.
V-a-timr-s in dizzy steps descending,
S-wtimes in narrow circuit bending,
SraNimeain platform broad extending,
lis nniog circle did combine
t&Jiark, and b.irtizon, and line,
WbiUioD, tower, and vantage-coign;
AU*e the booming ocean leant
L billow* burst, in ceaseless flow,
41*1 the precipice below.
Tiere'erTantallon faced the land,
!r-»orks, and walls, were strongly mann'd; Saowd upon the sea-girt side; ft* sterpyrork and frantic tide, ipproacb of human step denied; A"-hliu=. these lines and ramparts rude, Vo left in deepest solitude.
And. for they were so lonely, Clare
* dd lo these battlements repair,
And mas* upon her sorrows there,
And lUt the sea-bird's cry;
(Vskrw, like noontide ghost, would glide
Abag the dark-pray bulwark's side,
Aadeveron the heaving tide
Urfik down with weary eye.
Oft did the cliff, and swelling main,
lecal the thoughts of Whitby's fane,—
Home =he ne'er might see again:
F"r slio had laid adown,
S» Douglas bade, the hood and veil,
Aw! frontlet of the cloister pale,
And Benedictine gown:
Ii *Te unseemly sight, he said,
A wnice out of convent shade.—
>'f>* her bright locks, with sunny glow.
Again adornd her brow of snow;
lfcr mantle rich, whose borders round,
A deep and fretled broidery bouud,
In golden foldings sought the ground;
"f holy ornament, alone
ii'maind a cross with ruby stone;
And nfVn did she look On that which in her hand she bore, lUr breviary book.
In such a place, so lone, so grim,
At dawning pale, or twilight dim,
It fearful would have been,
To meet a form so richly dress'd,
With book in hand, and cross on brexst.
And such a woeful mien,
Fiu-Eustacc, loitering with his bow,
To practise on the gull and crow,
Saw her, at distance, gliding slow,
And did by llary swear, Some love-lorn fay she might have been. Or, in romance, some spell-bound queen; For ne'er, in work-day world, was seen
A form so witching fair.
Once walking thus, at evening tide,
It chanced a gliding sail she spied,
And, sighing, thought—« The abbess there,
Perchance, does to her home repair;
Her peaceful rule, where duty, free,
Walks hand in band with charity;
Where oft devotion's tranced glow
Can such a glimpse of heaven bestow,
That the enraptured sisters sec
High vision, and deep mystery;
The very form of Hilda fair,'
Hovering upon the sunny air, (8)
And smiling on her votaries' prayer.
0! wherefore, to my duller eye.
Did still the saint her form deny?
Was it, that, sear'd by sinful scorn,
My heart could neither melt nor burn7
Or lie my warm affections low
With him, that taught them first to glow?
Yet, gentle abbess, well I knew,
To pay thy kindness grateful due,
And well oould'brook the mild command,
That ruled thy simple maiden band.
How different now! condemn d to bide
My doom from this dark tyrant's pride.—
Dut Marmion has to learn, ere long,
That constant mind, and hate of wrong,
Descended to a feeble girl
From red De Clare, stout GlostersEarl:
Of such a stem a sapling weak,
He ne'er shall bend, although he break.
And joy unwonted, and surprise,
Gave their strange wildness to his eyes.
Expect not, noble dames and lords.
That I can tell such scene in words:
What skilful limner e'er would chuse
To paint the rainbow's varying hues,
Unless to mortal it were given
To dip his brush in dyes of heaven?
Far less can my weak line declare
Each changing passion's shade;
Brightening to rapture from despair,
Sorrow, surprise, and pity there,
And joy, with her angelic air,
And hope, that paints the future fair,
Their varying hues display'd:
Each o'er its rival's ground extending,
Alternate conquering, shifting, blending,
Till all, fatigued, the conflict yield,
And mighty Love retains the field.
Shortly I tell what then he said,
By many a tender word delay'd,
And modest blush, and bursting sigh,
And question kind, and fond reply.
DE WILTOW'S BISTORT.
« Forget we that disastrous day, When senseless in the lists I lay. Thence dragg'd,—but how I cannot know,
For sense and recollection fled, I found me on a pallet low,
Within my ancient beadsman's shed, Austin,—remcmbers't thou, my Clare,
How thou didst blush, when the old man, When first our infant love began, Said we would make a matchless pair?— Menials, and friends, and kinsmen fled From the degraded traitor's bed,— He, only, held my burning head, And tended me for many a day, While wounds and fever held their sway. But far more needful was his care, When sense return'd to wake despair; For I did tear the closing wound, And dash me frantic on the ground, If e'er I heard the name of Glare. At length, to calmer reason brought, Much by his kind attendance wrought,
With him I left ray native strand,
And, in a palmer's weeds array'd,
My hated name and form to shade,
I journey'd many a land;
No more a lord of rank and birth.
But mingled with the dregs of earth.
Oft Austin for my reason fear'd,
WThen I would sit, and deeply brood
On dark revenge, and deeds of blood,
Or wild mad schemes uprear'd.
My friend at length fell sick and said,
God would remove him soon;
And, while upon his dying bed,
He begg'd of me a boon—
If e'er my deadliest enemy,
Beneath my brand should conquer'd lie,
Even then my mercy should awake,
And spare his life for Austins sake.
« Still restless as a second Cain,
To Scotland next my route was ta'eo,
Full well the paths I knew.
Fame of my fate made various sound,
That death in pilgrimage I found,
That I had perish'd of my wound,—
None cared which tale was true:
And living eye could never guess
De Wilton in his palmer's dress:
For, now that sable slough is shed,
And trimm'd my shaggy beard and head, I scarcely knew me in the glass. A chance most wond'rous did provide, That I should be that baron's guide—
I will not name his name! Vengeance to God alone belongs; But, when I think on all my wrongs,
My blood is liquid flame!
Anrfne'er the time shall I forget,
When, in a Scottish hostel set.
Dark looks we did exchange;
What were his thoughts I cannot tell;
But in my bosom muster'd hell
Its plans of dark revenge.
« A word of vulgar augury,
That broke from me, I scarce knew why,
Brought on a village tale;
Which wrought upon his moody sprite,
And sent him armed forth by night.
I borrow'd steed, and mail,
And weapons from his sleeping band;
And, passing from a postern-door,
We met, and 'countcrd hand to hand,—
He fell on Gifford-moor.
For the death-stroke my brand I drew
(O then my helmed head he knew,
The palmer's cowl was gone),
Then had three inches of my blade
The heavy debt of vengeance paid,—
My hand the thought of Austiu staid;
I left him there alone.—
O, good old man! even from the grave,
Thy spirit could thy master save:
If I had slain my foeman, ne'er
Had Whitby's Abbess, iu her fear,
Given to my hand this packet dear,
Of power to clear my injured fame,
And vindicate De Wilton's name.—
Perchance you heard the abbess tell
Of the strange pageantry of hell.
That broke our secret speech-
It rose from the infernal shade,
Or fcatly was some juggle play'd,
A tale of peace to teach.
Appeal to Heaven I judged was best,
When my name came among the rest.
« Now here, within Tan nil on Hold,
To Douglas late ray talc I told.
To whom my house was known of old.
Won by my proofs, his falchion bright
This eve anew shall dub me knight.
The instant thai Fiti-Eustace spoke,
A sudden light on Marmion broke;
« Aii! dastard fool to reason losl!«
fie mutter'd; * T was nor fay nor ghost,
! met upon the moon-light wold,
But living man of earthly mould.—
0 dotage blind and gross!
B»d I but fought as wont, one thrust
Had laid I>e Wilton in the dust,
Mv path no more to cross.—
How stand we now?—he told his talc
To Douglas; and with some avail;
T »;is therefore gloom'd his rugged brow.—
Will Surrey dare to entertain,
'Gainst Marmion, charge disproved and vain?
Snail risk of that, I trow.
Y« Clare's sharp questions must I shun;
M»t separate Constance from the nun—
0 * ha t a tangle* t web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!—
A pilnier too !—no wonder why
1 Wt rebuked beneath his eye:
I might have known there was but one
Whose look could quell Lord Marmion..*—
Stung with these thoughts, be urged to speed
Bis troop, and reach d, at eve. the Tweed,
Where Lennel's convent closed their march (i'
(TLere uow i* h*ft but one frail arch,
Tel mourn lliou not its cells;
Our time a fair exchange has made;
nard by, in hospitable shade,
A reverend pilgrim dwells,
Wtll worth tin: whole bernnrdine brood,
That e'er wore sandal, frock, or hood).
Tet did Saint Bernard's Abbot there
Cu* iljrruion entertainment fair,
A&d lodging for his train and Clare.
5l«t morn the baron climb'd the lower,
To view afar llie Scottish power,
fcocamp'd on Flodden edge;
TW white pavilions made a show,
Like remnants of the winter snow,
Along the dusky ndge.
Long Manniou look'd :—at length his eye
CnosaaJ movement might descry
Amid the chitting lines:
The Scottish host drawn out appears,
Tor Hashing on the hedge of spears
The eastern sun-beam shines.
Their front now deepening, now extending,
Their flank inclining, wheeling, hendiug,
Kow drawing hack, and now descending,
The skilful liar re ion well could know
Tliey watch'd the motions of some foe,
Who traversed on the plaiu below.
Etch to it was;—from Flodden ridge
The Scots beheld the English host
leave Parmore-wood, their evening post,
Aud heedful watch'd them as they cross d
The Tilt by Twisel Bridge. (M)
High sight it is, and haughty, while
Tliey dive into the deep defile;
Beneath the caveru'd cliff they fall,
Beneath the castle's airy wall.
By rock, by oak, by hawthorn-tree,
Troop after troop are disappearing;
Troop after troop their banners rearing,
Upou the eastern bank you see.
Still pouring down the rocky den,
Where flows the sullen Till,
And rising from the dim-wood glen,
Standards on standards, men on men,
In slow succession still,
And sweeping o'er the Gothic arch,
Aud pressing on, in ceaseless march,
To gain the opposing hill.
That morn, to many a trumpet-clang,
Twisel! thy rocks' deep echo rang;
And many a chief of birth and rank,
Sn.nl Helen! at thy fountain drank.
Thy hawthorn glade, which now we sec
In spring-tide bloom so lavishly,
Had theu from many an axe its doom,
To give the marching columns room.
And why stands Scotland idly now,
Dark Flodden! on thy airy brow,
Since England gains the pass the while.
And struggles through the deep defile?
What checks the fiery soul of James?
Why sits that champion of the dames
Inactive ou his steed,
Aud sees, bctvveeu him aud Ins land.
Between him and Tweed's southern strand,
His host Lord Surrey lead?
What vails the vain knight-erraut's brand!
—O, Douglas, for thy leading wand!
Fierce Randolph, for thy speed!
O for one hour of Wallace wight,
Or wcll-skill'd Bruce, to rule the fight.
And cry—« Saint Audrew and our right!»
Another sight hud seen that morn,
From Fate's dark book a leaf been torn.
And Flodden bad been Bannock-bourne!—
The precious hour has pass'd iu vain.
And England's host has gain'd the plain;
Wheeling their march, aud circling still,
Around the base of Flodden-hill.
Ere yet the bands met Marmion's eye,
Fiti-Eustace shouted loud and high,—
« Nark! hark! my lord, an English drum!
And see, ascending squadrons come
Between Tweed's river and the lull.
Foot, horse, and cannon :—hap what hap,
My basnet to a 'prentice cap,
Lord Surrey 's o'er the Till!—
Vet more! yet more!—how fair array'd
They tile from out the hawthorn shade,
And sweep so gallant by!
With all their banners bravely spread
Aud all their armour flashing high,
Saint George might waken from the dead,
To see fair England's standards tly.»— « Stint in thy pratc,» quoth Blount, vthou'dst he And listen lo our lord's behest.»>—