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Let him take living, land, and life;
But to be Marmion's wedded wife .

In me were deadly sin :
And if it be the king's decree,
That I must find no sanctuary,
Where even a hoinicide might come,

And safely rest bis head,
Though at its open portals stood, .
Thirsting to pour forth blood for blood,

The kinsmen of the dead'; Yet one asylum is my own,

Against the dreaded hour; A low, a silent, and a lone,

Where kings have little power. One victim is before me there

Mother, your blessing, and in prayer Remember your unhappy Clare !"Loud weeps the Abbess, and bestows

Kind blessings many a one; Weeping and wailing loud arose,

Round patient Clare, the clamorous woes

Of every simple nun.
His eyes the gentle Eustace dried,
And scarce rude Blount the sight could bide.

Then took the squire her rein,
And gently led away her steed,
And, by each courteous word and deed,

To cheer her strove in vain.

XXXIII.

But scant three miles the band had rode,

When o'er a height they passed,
And sudden, close before them showed,

His towers, Tantallon vast ;
Broad, massive, high, and stretching far,
And held impregnable in war.
On a projecting rock they rose,
And round three sides the ocean flows;
The fourth did battled walls inclose

And double mound and fosse.

By narrow draw-bridge, outworks strong,
Through studded gates, an entrance long,

To the main court they cross.
It was a wide and stately square:
Around were lodgings, fit and fair,

And towers of various form,
Which on the court projected far,
And broke its lines quadrangular.
Here was square keep, there turret high,
Or pinnacle that sought the sky,
Whence oft the Warder could descry

The gathering ocean-storm.

XXXIV.

Here did they rest.—The princely care
Of Douglas, why should I declare,
Or say they met reception fair ?

Or why the tidings say,
Which, varying, to Tantallon came,
By hurrying posts, or fleeter fame,

With every varying day?

And, first, they heard King James had won

Etall, and Wark, and Ford; and then,

That Norham castle strong was ta’en.
At that sore marvelled Marmion ;-
And Douglas hoped his Monarch's hand
Would soon subdue Northumberland :

But whispered news there came,
That, while his host inactive lay,
And melted by degrees away,
King James was dallying off the day

With Heron's wily dame.--
Such acts to chronicles I yield;

Go seek them there, and see :
Mine is a tale of Flodden Field,

And not a history.
At length they heard the Scottish host
On that high ridge had made their post,

Which frowns o’er Millfield Plain ;
And that brave Surrey many a band
Had gathered in the Southern land,

And marched into Northumberland,

And camp at Wooler ta’en. Marmion, like charger in the stall, That hears, without, the trumpet-call,

Began to chafe, and swear :A sorry thing to hide my head In castle, like a fearful maid,

When such a field is near! Needs must I see this battle-day: Death to my fame, if such a fray Were fought, and Marmion away!

The Douglas, too, I wot not why, Hath ’bated of his courtesy : No longer in his halls I'll stay.”— Then bade his band, they should array For march against the dawning day.

END OF CANTO FIFTH.

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