ページの画像
PDF
ePub

He waited not for answer there,

And would not mark the maid's despair,

Nor heed the discontented look

From either squire; but spurred amain,
And, dashing through the battle-plain,

His way to Surrey took.

XXIV.

-The good Lord Marmion, by my life! Welcome to danger's hour! Short greeting serves in time of strife :

Thus have I ranged my power:

Myself will rule this central host,

Stout Stanley fronts their right,
My sons command the vaward post,

With Brian Tunstall, stainless knight;
Lord Dacre, with his horsemen light,
Shall be in rear-ward of the fight,

And succour those that need it most.

Now, gallant Marmion, well I know,

Would gladly to the vanguard go ;

Edmund, the Admiral, Tunstal there, With thee their charge will blithely share ;

There fight thine own retainers too,
Beneath De Burg, thy steward true.”
“ Thanks, noble Surrey !” Marmion said,
Nor further greeting there he paid;
But, parting like a thunder-bolt,
First in the vanguard made a halt,

Where such a shout there rose

Of “ Marmion! Marmion!” that the cry

Up Flodden mountain shrilling high,

Startled the Scottish foes.

XXV.

Blount and Fitz-Eustace rested still

With Lady Clare upon the hill;
On which, (for far the day was spent,)

The western sun-beams now were bent.

The cry they heard, its meaning knew, Could plain their distant comrades view:

[ocr errors]

Sadly to Blount did Eustace say,
“ Unworthy office here to stay!
No hope of gilded spurs to-day.—
But, see! look up-on Flodden bent,

The Scottish foe has fired his tent.”.

And sudden, as he spoke,
From the sharp ridges of the hill,
All downward to the banks of Till,

Was wreathed in sable smoke;

Volumed and vast, and rolling far,
The cloud enveloped Scotland's war,

As down the hill they broke;

Nor martial shout, nor minstrel tone, Announced their march, their tread alone, At times one warning trumpet blown,

At times a stifled hum,

Told England, from his mountain-throne

King James did rushing come.Scarce could they hear, or see their foes, Until at weapon-point they close.

They close, in clouds of smoke and dust, With sword-sway, and with lance's thrust;

And such a yell was there,
Of sudden and portentous birth,

As if men fought upon the earth,

And fiends in upper air ;
O life and death were in the shout;
Recoil and rally, charge and rout,

And triumph and despair.
Long looked the anxious squires; their eye'
Could in the darkness nought descry.

XXVI.

At length the freshening western blast

Aside the shroud of battle cast;

And, first, the ridge of mingled spears
Above the brightening cloud appears ;
And in the smoke the penons flew,
As in the storm the white sea-mew,

Then marked they, dashing broad and far

The broken billows of the war,

And plumed crests of chieftains brave,

Floating like foam upon the wave;

But nought distinct they see:
Wide raged the battle on the plain ;
Spears shook, and faulchions flashed amain;
Fell England's arrow-flight like rain ;
Crests rose, and stooped, and rose again,

Wild and disorderly.
Amid the scene of tumult, high
They saw lord Marnion's falcon fly:
And stainless Tunstall's banner white,

And Edmund Howard's lion bright,

Still bear them bravely in the fight;

Although against them come,
Of gallant Gordons many a one,
And many a stubborn Highlandman,
And many a rugged Border clan,

With Huntley, and with Home.

« 前へ次へ »