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MARMION.

CANTO THIRD.

The Hostel, or Jnn.

I. . The livelong day Lord Marmion rode: The mountain path the Palmer shewed; By glen and streamlet winded still, Where stunted birches hid the rill.

They might not chuse the lowland road,

For the Merse forayers were abroad, Who, fired with hate and thirst of prey, Had scarcely failed to bar their way.

Oft on the trampling band, from crown
Of some tall cliff, the deer looked down ;
On wing of jet, from his repose
In the deep heath, the black-cock rose;
Sprung from the gorse the timid roe,
Nor waited for the bending bow;
And when the stony path began,
By which the naked peak they wan,
Up flew the snowy ptarmigan.
The noon had long been passed, before
They gained the height of Lammermoor ;
Thence winding down the northern way,
Before them, at the close of day,
Old Gifford's towers and hamlet lay.

II.

No summons calls them to the tower,
To spend the hospitable hour.
To Scotland's camp the Lord was gone;
His cautious dame, in bower alone,

Dreaded her castle to unclose,
So late, to unknown friends or foes.

On through the hamlet as they paced,
Before a porch, whose front was graced
With bush and flagon trimly placed,

Lord Marmion drew his rein :
The village inn seemed large, though rude;
Its cheerful fire and hearty food

Might well relieve his train.
Down from their seats the horsemen sprung,
With jingling spurs the court-yard rung ;
They bind their horses to the stall,
For forage, food, and firing call,
And various clamour fills the hall ;
Weighing the labour' with the cost,
Toils everywhere the bustling host.

III.

Soon, by the chimney's merry blaze,
Through the rude hostel might you gaze;

Might see, where, in dark nook aloof, The rafters of the sooty roof

Bore wealth of winter cheer; Of sea-fowl dried, and solands store, And gammons of the tusky boar,

And savoury haunch of deer. The chimney arch projected wide ; Above, around it, and beside,

Were tools for housewives' hand : Nor wanted, in that martial day, The implements of Scottish fray,

The buckler, lance, and brand. Beneath its shade, the place of state, On oaken settle Marmion sate, And viewed, around the blazing hearth, His followers mix in noisy mirth; Whom with brown ale, in jolly. tide, From ancient vessels ranged aside, Full actively their host supplied.

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