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175

And, by his order, I, your guide,
Must lodging fit and fair provide,
Till finds King James meet time to see
The flower of English chivalry.”

IX.

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Though inly chafed at this delay,
Lord Marmion bears it as he may.
The Palmer, his mysterious guide,
Beholding thus his place supplied,

Sought to take leave in vain;
Strict was the Lion-King's command
That none who rode in Mármion's band,

Should sever from the train :
England has here enow of spies
In Lady Heron's witching eyes;
To Marchmount thus, apart, he said,
But fair pretext to Marmion made.
The right hand path they now decline,
And trace against the stream the Tyne.

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X.

195

At length up that wild dale they wind,

Where Crichtoun Castle crowns the bank; For there the Lion's care assigned

A lodging meet for Marmion's rank.
That castle rises on the steep

Of the green vale of Tyne:
And far beneath, where slow they creep
From pool to eddy, dark and deep,
Where alders moist and willows weep,

You hear her streams repine.

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The towers in different ages rose;
Their various architecture shows

The builders' various hands;
A mighty mass, that could oppose,
When deadliest hatred fired its foes,

The vengeful Douglas bands.

XI.

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Crichtoun! though now thy miry court

But pens the lazy steer and sheep,

Thy turrets rude and tottered keep, Have been the minstrel's loved resort. Oft have I traced, within thy fort,

Of mouldering shields the mystic sense,

Scutcheons of honor or pretence, Quartered in old armorial sort,

Remains of rude magnificence.
Nor wholly yet hath time defaced

Thy lordly gallery fair;
Nor yet the stony cord unbraced,
Whose twisted knots, with roses laced,

Adorn thy ruined stair.
Still rises unimpaired below,
The court-yard's graceful portico;
Above its cornice, row and row
Of fair hewn facets richly show

Their pointed diamond form,
Though there but houseless cattle go,

To shield them from the storm.
And, shuddering, still may we explore,

Where oft whilom were captives pent,
The darkness of thy Massy More;

Or, from thy grass-grown battlement,

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May trace in undulating line
The sluggish mazes of the Tyne.

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XII.

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Another aspect Crichtoun showed,
As through its portal Marmion rode;
But yet 'twas melancholy state
Received him at the outer gate;
For none were in the castle then,
But women, boys, or aged men.
With eyes scarce dried, the sorrowing dame,
To welcome noble Marmion, came;
Her son, a stripling twelve years old,
Proffered the Baron's rein to hold;
For each man that could draw a sword
Had marched that morning with their lord,
Earl Adam Hepburn, he who died
On Flodden, by his sovereign's side.
Long may his lady look in vain!
She ne'er shall see his gallant train
Come sweeping back through Crichtoun-Dean,
'Twas a brave race, before the name
Of hated Bothwell stained their fame.

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XIII.

255

And here two days did Marmion rest,

With every rite that honor claims, Attended as the King's own guest:

Such the command of Royal James, Who marshalled then his land's array, Upon the Borough-moor that lay.

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Perchance he would not foeman's eye
Upon his gathering host should pry,
Till full prepared was every band
To march against the English land.
Here while they dwelt, did Lindesay's wit
Oft cheer the Baron's moodier fit;
And, in his turn, he knew to prize
Lord Marmion's powerful mind, and wise, -
Trained in the lore of Rome and Greece,
And policies of war and peace.

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XIV.

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It chanced, as fell the second night,

That on the battlements they walked,
And, by the slowly fading light

Of varying topics talked;
And, unaware, the herald-bard
Said Marmion might his toil have spared,

In travelling so far;
For that a messenger from heaven
In vain to James had counsel given

Against the English war;
And closer questioned, thus he told
A tale which chronicles of old
In Scottish story have enrolled :-

.

280

XV.

SIR DAVID LINDESAY'S TALE.

285

“Of all the palaces so fair,

Built from the royal dwelling
In Scotland, far beyond compare

Linlithgow is excelling;

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And in its park in jovial June,
How sweet the merry linnet's tune,

How blithe the blackbird's lay!
The wild buck bells from ferny brake,
The coot dives merry on the lake,
The saddest heart might pleasure take

To see all nature gay.
But June is to our sovereign dear
The heaviest month in all the

year:
Too well his cause of grief you know,
June saw his father's overthrow.
Woe to the traitors who could bring
The princely boy against his King !
Still in his conscience burns the sting.
In offices as strict as Lent,
King James's June is ever spent.

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XVI.

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" When last this ruthful month was come,
And in Linlithgow's holy dome

The King, as wont, was praying;
While for his royal father's soul
The chanters sung, the bells did toll,

The Bishop mass was saying -
For now the year brought round again
The day the luckless king was slain-
In Katharine's aisle the monarch knelt,
With sackcloth-shirt and iron belt,

And eyes with sorrow streaming;
Around him in their stalls of state
The Thistle's Knight-Companions sate,

Their banners o'er them beaming.

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