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And—“ This to me!” he said, — “ An 'twere not for thy hoary beard, Such hand as Marmion's had not spared

To cleave the Douglas' head! And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer, He, who does England's message here, Although the meanest in her state, May well, proud Angus, be thy mate : And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,

Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here in thy hold, thy vassals wear,
(Nay, never look upon your lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword,)

I tell thee, thou’rt defied!
And if thou said’st, I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,

Lord Angus, thou hast lied !"-
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage
O’ercame the ashen hue of age :

Fierce he broke forth :-“ And dar’st thou then To beard the lion in his den,

The Douglas in his hall ?
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go ?--
No, by Saint Bryde of Bothwell, no!-
Up drawbridge, grooms—what, Warder, ho!

Let the portcullis fall.”—
Lord Marmion turned,—well was his need!
And dashed the rowels in his steed,
Like arrow through the arch-way sprung,
The ponderous grate behind him rung:
To pass there was such scanty room,
The bars, descending, razed his plume.

XV.

The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise ;
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim: .
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,

name.

He halts, and turns with clenched hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers.
Horse! horse !" the Douglas cried, “ and chase !"
But soon he reined his fury's pace :
A royal messenger he came,
Though most unworthy of the name.
A letter forged! Saint Jude to speed!
Did ever knight so foul a deed!
At first in heart it liked me ill,
When the King praised his clerkly skill.
Thanks to Saint Bothan, son of mine,
Save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line :
So swore I, and I swear it still,
Let my boy-bishop fret his fill.
Saint Mary' mend my fiery mood !
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas blood,
I thought to slay him where he stood.
'Tis pity of him too,” he cried;
“ Bold can he speak, and fairly ride :
I warrant him a warrior tried."

Ya

With this his mandate he recals,
And slowly seeks his castle halls.

.

XVI.
The day in Marmion's journey wore ;
Yet, ere his passion's gust was o'er,
They crossed the heights of Stanrig-moor.
His troop more closely there he scann'd,
And missed the Palmer from the band.
" Palmer or not,” young Blount did say,
“ He parted at the peep. of day;
Good sooth, it was in strange array." —
“ In what array ?” said Marmion, quick.
“ My lord, I ill can spell the trick;
But all night long, with clink and bang;
Close to my couch did hammers clang ;
At dawn the falling drawbridge rang,
And from a loop-hole while I peep,
Old Bell-the-Cat came from the Keep,
Wrapped in a gown of sables fair,
As fearful of the morning air ;

Beneath, when that was blown aside,
A rusty shirt of mail I spied,
By Archibald won in bloody work,
Against the Saracen and Turk:
Last night it hung not in the hall; .
I thought some marvel would befal.
And next I saw them saddled lead
Old Cheviot forth, the Earl's best steed;
A matchless horse, though something old,
Prompt to his paces, cool and bold.
I heard the Sheriff Sholto.say, .
The Earl did much the Master * pray
To use him on the battle day;
But he preferred”—“ Nay, Henry, cease!
Thou sworn horse-courser, hold thy peace.-
Eustace, thou bear'st a brain- I pray,
What did Blount see at break of day?"..

e

ice.

XVII. “ In brief, my lord, we both descried , (For I then stood by Henry's side)

* His eldest son, the Master of Angus.

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