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For he attaints that rival's fame
With treason's charge—and on they came,
In mortal lists to fight.
Their oaths are said,
Their lances in the rest are laid,
De Wilton to the block !”
Say ye, who preach heaven shall decide,
Say, was heaven's justice here?
Beneath a traitor's spear.
Paused, gathered voice, and spoke the rest.
“ Still was false Marmion's bridal staid;
To Whitby's convent fled the maid,
The hated match to shun.
· Ho! shifts she thus?' king Henry cried, • Sir Marmion, she shall be thy bride,
If she were swore a nun.'
One way remained—the king's command
Sent Marmion to the Scottish land:
I lingered here, and rescue plann'd
For Clara and for me:
He would to Whitby's shrine repair,
A saint in heaven should be.
But ill the dastard kept his oath,
Whose cowardice hath undone us both.
" 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 betrayed,
For I can suffer, and be still;
And come he slow, or come he fast,
It is but Death who comes at last.
“ Yet dread me, from my living tomb,
Ye vassal slaves of bloody Rome!
If Marmion's late remorse should wake,
Full soon such vengeance will he take,
The altars quake, the crosier bends,
The ire of a despotic king
to the sea-winds' sweep; Some traveller then shall find my bones,
Whitening amid disjointed stones,
Fixed was her look, and stern her air ;
Stared up erectly from her head;
Gazed on the light inspired form,
And listened for the avenging storm;
The judges felt the victim's dread;
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.
An hundred winding steps convey
That conclave to the upper day ;