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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. .
6. 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:
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.
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 pemnons 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.