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MARMION.

CANTO FIRST.

The Castle,

Day set on Norham's castled steep,
And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,

And Cheviot's mountains lone:
The battled towers, the Donjon Keep,
The loop-hole grates where captives weep,
The flanking walls that round it sweep,

In yellow lustre shone.

The warriors on the turrets high,
Moving athwart the evening sky,

Seemed forms of giant height:
Their armour, as it caught the rays,
· Flashed back again the western blaze,

In lines of dazzling light.

II.

St. George's banner, broad and gay, · · Now faded, as the fading ray

Less bright, and less, was flung;
The evening gale had scarce the power
To wave it on the Donjon tower,

So heavily it hung.

· The scouts had parted on their search,.

The castle gates were barr'd; ...
Above the gloomy portal arch,
Timing his footsteps to a march,

The warder kept his guard;.
Low humming, as he paced along,
Some ancient Border gathering-song.

III.
A distant trampling sound he hears ;
He looks abroad, and soon appears,
O'er Horncliff-hill, a plump* of spears,

Beneath a pennon gay;
A horseman darting from the crowd,
Like lightning from a summer cloud,
Spurs on his mettled courser proud,

Before the dark array.
Beneath the sable palisade, : :
That closed the castle barricade,

His bugle-horn he blew;
The Warder hasted from the wall,
And warned the Captain in the hall,

For well the blast he knew; .
And joyfully that Knight did call,
To sewer, squire, and seneschal.

* This word properly applies to a flight of water-fowl ; but is applied, by analogy, to a body of horse.

There is a Knight of the North Country,
Which leads a lusty plump of spears.

Flodden Field.

IV.

" Now broach ye a pipe of Malvoisie,

Bring pasties of the doe,
And quickly make the entrance free,
And bid my heralds ready be,
And every minstrel sound his glee,

And all our trumpets blow;
And, from the platform, spare ye not
To fire a noble salvo-shot:

Lord Marmion waits below.”— Then to the Castle's lower ward

Sped forty yeomen tall, The iron-studded gates unbarred, Raised the portcullis ponderous guard, The lofty palisade unsparred,

And let the draw-bridge fall.

V.

Along the bridge Lord Marmion rode, Proudly his red-roan charger trod,

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