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While yet on Flodden side,
Afar, the Royal Standard flies,
And round it toils, and bleeds, and dies,

Our Caledonian pride!
In vain the wish — for far away,
While spoil and havoc mark their way,
Near Sybil's Cross the plunderers stray.
“O Lady,” cried the Monk, "away!"

And placed her on her steed,
And led her to the chapel fair,

Of Tilmouth upon Tweed.
There all the night they spent in prayer,
And at the dawn of morning, there
She met her kinsman, Lord Fitz-Clare.

XXXIV.

But as they left the dark’ning heath,
More desperate grew the strife of death.
The English shafts in volleys haild,
In headlong charge their horse assail'd;
Front, flank, and rear, the squadrons sweep
To break the Scottish circle deep,

That fought around their King.
But yet, though thick the shafts as snow,
Though charging knights like whirlwinds go,
Though bill-men ply the ghastly blow,

Unbroken was the ring;
The stubborn spear-men still made good
Their dark impenetrable wood,
Each stepping where his comrade stood,

The instant that he fell.
No thought was there of dastard flight;
Link'd in the serried phalanx tight,
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,

As fearlessly and well;
Till utter darkness closed her wing.
O'er their thin host and wounded King.
Then skilful Surrey's sage commands
Led back from strife his shatter'd bands;

And from the charge they drew,
As mountain-waves,

from wasted lands, Sweep back to ocean blue.

Then did their loss his foemen know;
Their King, their Lords, their mightiest low,
They melted from the field, as snow,
When streams are swoln and south winds blow,

Dissolves in silent dew.
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,

While many a broken band,
Disorder'd, through her currents dash,

To gain the Scottish land;
To town and tower, to down and dale,
To tell red Flodden's dismal tale,
And raise the universal wail.
Tradition, legend, tune, and

song,
Shall many an age that wail prolong:
Still from the sire the son sball hear
Of the stern strife, and carnage drear,

Of Flodden's fatal field,
Where shiver'd was fair Scotland's spear,

And broken was her shield!

XXXV.

Day dawns upon the mountain's side:
There, Scotland! lay thy bravest pride,
Chiefs, knights, and nobles, many a one:
The sad survivors all are gone.
View not that corpse mistrustfully,
Defaced and mangled though it be;
Nor to yon Border castle high,
Look northward with upbraiding eye;

Nor cherish hope in vain,
That, journeying far on foreign strand,
The Royal Pilgrim to his land

May yet return again.
He saw the wreck his rashness wrought;
Reckless of life, he desperate fought,

And fell on Flodden plain:
And well in death his trusty brand,
Firm clench'd within his manly hand,

Beseem'd the Monarch slain. 78
But, Oh! how changed since yon blithe night!
Gladly I turn me from the sight,

Unto my tale again.

XXXVI.

Short is my tale: – Fitz-Eustace' care
A pierced and mangled body bare
To moated Lichfield's lofty pile;
And there, beneath the southern aisle,
A tomb, with Gothic sculpture fair,
Did long Lord Marmion's image bear,
(Now vainly for its sight you look;
'Twas levell’d when fanatic Brook
The fair cathedral storm'd and took;7

79
But, thanks to Heaven and good Saint Chad!
A guerdon meet the spoiler had.)
There erst was martial Marmion found,
His feet upon a couchant hound,

His hands to heaven upraised;
And all around, on scutcheon rich,
And tablet carved, and fretted niche,

His arms and feats were blazed.
And yet, though all was carved so fair,
And priest for Marmion breathed the prayer,
The last Lord Marmion lay not there.
From Ettrick woods, a peasant swain
Follow'd his lord to Flodden plain,
One of those flowers whom plaintive lay
In Scotland mourns as “wede away:"
Sore wounded, Sybil's Cross he spied,
And dragg'd him to its foot, and died,
Close by the noble Marmion's side.
The spoilers stripp'd and gash'd the slain,
And thus their corpses were mista'en;
And thus, in the proud Baron's tomb,
The lowly woodsman took the room.

XXXVII.

Less easy task it were, to show
Lord Marmion's nameless grave, and low.
They dug his grave e'en where he lay,

But every mark is gone;
Time's wasting hand has done away
The simple Cross of Sybil Gray,

And broke her font of stone:

But yet out from the little hill
Oozes the slender springlet still.

Oft halts the stranger there,
For thence may best his curious eye
The memorable field descry;

And shepherd boys repair
To seek the water-flag and rush,
And rest them by the hazel bush,

And plait their garlands fair;
Nor dream they sit upon

the

grave That holds the bones of Marmion brave. When thou shalt find the little hill, With thy heart commune, and be still. If ever, in temptation strong, Thou left'st the right path for the wrong; If every devious step, thus trod, Still led thee further from the road; Dread thou to speak presumptuous doom On noble Marmion's lowly tomb; But say, "He died a gallant knight, With sword in hand, for England's right."

XXXVIII.

I do not rhyme to that dull elf, Who cannot image to himself, That all through Flodden's dismal night, Wilton was foremost in the fight; That, when brave Surrey's steed was slain, 'Twas Wilton mounted him again; 'Twas Wilton's brand that deepest hew'd, Amid the spearman's stubborn wood: Unnamed by Hollinshed or Hall, He was the living soul of all; That, after fight, his faith made plain, He won his rank and lands again; And charged his old paternal shield With bearings won on Flodden Field. Nor sing I that simple maid, To whom it must in terms be said, That King and kinsmen did agree To bless fair Clara's constancy;

Who cannot, unless I relate,
Paint to her mind the bridal's state;
That Wolsey's voice the blessing spoke,
More, Sands, and Denny, pass’d the joke:
That bluff King Hal the curtain drew,
And Catherine's hand the stocking threw:
And afterwards, for many a day,
That it was held enough to say,
In blessing to a wedded pair,
“Love they like Wilton and like Clare!"

L'ENVOY.

TO THE READER.

Why then a final note prolong,
Or lengthen out a closing song,
Unless

to bid the gentles speed, Who long have listed to my.

rede?
To Statesmen grave, if such may deign
To read the Minstrel's idle strain,
Sound head, clean hand, and piercing wit,
And patriotic heart – as Pitt!
A garland for the hero's crest,
And twined by her he loves the best;
To every lovely lady bright,
What can I wish but faithful knight?
To every faithful lover too,
What can I wish but lady true?
And knowledge to the studious sage;
And pillow to the head of age.
To thee, dear school-boy, whom my lay
Has cheated of thy hour of play,
Light task, and merry holiday!
To all, to each, a fair good-night,
And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light!

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