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For monarchs ill can rivals brook,
Even in a word, or smile, or look.
Strait took he forth the parchment broad,
Which Marmion's high commission showed :
“ Our Borders sacked by many a raid,
Our peaceful liege-men robbed,” he said ;
“ On day of truce our Warden slain,
Stout Barton killed, his vessels ta’en—
Unworthy were we here to reign,
Should these for vengeance cry in vain;
Our full defiance, hate, and scorn,
Our herald has to Henry borne.”—

XIV.
He paused, and led where Douglas stood,
And with stern eye the pageant viewed :

I mean that Douglas, sixth of yore,
Who coronet of Angus bore,
And, when his blood and heart were high,
Did the third James in camp defy,
And all his minions led to die,

On Lauder's dreary flat: Princes and favourites long grew tame, And trembled at the homely name

Of Archibald Bell-the-Cat. The same who left the dusky vale Of Hermitage in Liddisdale,

Its dungeons, and its towers, Where Bothwell's turrets brave the air, And Bothwell bank is blooming fair,

To fix his princely bowers. Though now, in age, he had laid down His armour for the peaceful gown,

And for a staff his brand, Yet often would flash forth the fire, That could, in youth, a monarch’s ire

And minion's pride withstand ; And even that day, at council board,

Unapt to sooth his sovereign's mood,

Against the war had Angus stood, And chafed his royal Lord.

XV.
His giant-form, like ruined tower,

Though fallen its muscles' brawny vaunt,

Huge-boned, and tall, and grim, and gaunt, Seemed o’er the gaudy scene 'to lower: '

His locks and beard in silver grew; .
His eye-brows kept their sable hue.
Near Douglas when the Monarch stood,
His bitter speech he thus pursued :-
“ Lord Marmion, since these letters say
That in the North you needs must stay,

While slightest hopes of peace remain,
Uncourteous speech it were, and stern,
To say—Return to Lindisfarn,

Until my herald come again.- .
Then rest you in Tantallon Hold,
Your host shall be the Douglas bold, —
A chief unlike his sires of old. .
He wears their motto on his blade,
Their blazon o'er his towers displayed;
Yet loves his sovereign to oppose,
More than to face his country's foes.

And, I bethink me, by Saint Stephen,

But e'en this morn to me was given A prize, the first fruits of the war, Ta'en by a galley from Dunbar, .

A bevy of the maids of heaven. Under your guard, these holy maids Shall safe return to cloister shades, And, while they at Tantallon stay, Requiem for Cochran's soul may say.”— And, with the slaughtered favourite's name, Across the Monarch's brow there came A cloud of ire, remorse, and shame.

XVI. In answer nought could Angus speak; His proud heart swelled well nigh to break : He turned aside, and down his cheek

A burning tear there stole..... His hand the Monarch sudden took, That sight his kind heart could not brook :

“ Now, by the Bruce's soul,

Angus, my hasty speech forgive!
For sure as doth his spirit live,
As he said of the Douglas old,

I well may say of you,-.
That never king did subject hold,
In speech more free, in war more bold,

More tender, and more true:* Forgive me, Douglas, once again.”— And, while the King his hand did strain, The old man's tears fell down like rain. To seize the moment Marmion tried, And whispered to the King aside :- , “ Oh! let such tears unwonted plead For respite short from dubious deed!

A child will weep a bramble's smart, · A maid to see her sparrow part,

A stripling for a woman's heart :
But woe awaits a country, when
She sees the tears of bearded men.

• 0, Dowglas! Dowglas!
Tendir and trew.

The Houlate.

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