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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 priests for Marmion breathed the prayer,
The last Lord Marmion lay not there.
From Ettricke woods, a peasant swain
Followed bis 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 dragged him to its foot, and died,
Close by the noble Marmion's side.
The spoilers stripped and gashed the slain,
And thus their corpses were mista'en ;
And thus, in the proud Baron's tomb,
The lowly woodsman took the room.
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 Grey,
And broke her font of stone:
But yet from out 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 trode,
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.”
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 hewed
Amid the spearmen's stubborn wood:
Unnamed by Holinshed 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 to 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, passed 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 !"
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 Statesman 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 soft to 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.
• Used generally for tale, or discourse.
The scene of the following poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch
Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Perthshire. The time of action includes six days, and the transactions of each day occupy a Canto.)
HARP of the North ! that mouldering long hast hung
On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring, And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Muffling with verdant ringlet every string,
O minstrel Harp, still must thine accents sleep? 'Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep? Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd, When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,
sed the fearful, or subdued the prond. At each according pause, was heard aloud
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high!
Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bowed ;
For still the burthen of thy minstrelsy
Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty's
O wake once more ! how rude soe'er the hand
That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray; O wake once more ! though scarce my skill command
Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay: Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away,
And all unworthy of thy nobler strain, Yet if one beart throb higher at its sway,
The wizard note has not been touched in vain. Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again !