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For pillow, underneath each head,
Apart, and nestling in the hay
But, ere his dagger Eustace drew,
His master Marmion's voice he knew.
-“ Fitz-Eustace! rise,- I cannot rest;
Yon churl's wild legend haunts my breast,
And graver thoughts have chafed my mood; The air must cool my feverish blood;
And fain would I ride forth, to see
The scene of elfin chivalry.
Arise, and saddle me my steed;
Had cause for saying, o'er their ale,
That I could credit such a tale."
Then softly down the steps they slid,
And, darkling, Marmion's steed arrayed,
“ Did'st never, good my youth, hear tell,
That on the hour when I was born,
St. George, who graced my sire's chapelle,
Down from his steed of marble fell,
A weary wight forlorn ?
The flattering chaplains all agree,
The champion left his steed to me.
That I could meet this Elfin Foe!
Blithe would I battle, for the right
To ask one question at the sprite :-
Fitz-Eustace followed him abroad,
And marked him pace the village road,
And listened to his horse's tramp,
Till, by the lessening sound,
Lord Marmion sought the round.
Should, stirred by idle tale, Ride forth in silence of the night, As hoping half to meet a sprite,
Arrayed in plate and mail.
For little did Fitz-Eustace know,
That passions, in contending flow,
Unfix the strongest mind;
We welcome fond credulity,
Guide confident, though blind.
Little for this Fitz-Eustace cared, But, patient, waited till he heard,
At distance, pricked to utmost speed,
The foot-tramp of a flying steed,
Come town-ward rushing on :
Then, clattering on the village road,
Returned Lord Marmion.
Down hastily he sprung from selle,
To the squire's hand the rein he threw,
• Used by old poets for went.