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xxxiii

. “Sister, let thy sorrows cease ;
Sinful brother, part in peace !"

From that dire dungeon, place of doom,
Of execution too, and tomb,

Paced forth the judges three;
Sorrow it were, and shame, to tell
The butcher-work that there befell,
When they had glided from the cell

Of sin and misery
AN HUNDRED winding steps convey
That conclave to the upper day;
But, ere they breathed the fresher air,
They heard the shriekings of despair,

And many a stifled groan:
With speed their upward way they take,
(Such speed as age and fear can make,)

And crossed themselves for terror's sake,

As hurrying, tottering on:
Even in the vesper's heavenly tone,
They seemed to hear a dying groan,
And bade the passing knell to toll
For welfare of a parting soul.
Slow o'er the midnight wave it swung,
Northumbrian rocks in answer rung;
To Warkworth cell the echoes rolled,
His beads the wakeful hermit told;
The Bamborough peasant raised his head,
But slept ere half a prayer he said ;
So far was heard the mighty knell,
The stag sprung up on Cheviot Fell,
Spread his broad nostril to the wind,
Listed before, aside, behind,
Then couched him down beside the hind;
And quaked among the mountain fern,
To hear that sound, so dull and stem

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CANTO III.

THE HOSTEL, OR INN.

THE livelong day Lord Marmion rode : The mountain path the Palmer shewed; By glen and streamlet winded still, Where stunted birches hid the rill. They might not choose the lowland road, For the Merse forayers were abroad, Who, fired with hate and thirst of prey, Had scarcely failed to bar their way. Oft on the trampling band, from crown Of some tall cliff, the deer looked down; On wing of jet, from his repose In the deep heath, the black-cock rose; Sprung from the gorse the timid roe, Nor waited for the bending bow; And when the stony path began, By which the naked peak they wan, Up flew the snowy ptarmigan. The noon had long been passed, before They gained the height of Lammermoor ; Thence winding down the northern way, Before them, at the close of day, Old Gifford's towers and hamlet lay. NO SUMMONS calls them to the tower, To spend the hospitable hour. To Scotland's camp the Lord was gone; His cautious dame in bower alone,

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Dreaded her castle to unclose,
So late, to unknown friends or foes.
On through the hamlet as they paced,
Before a porch, whose front was graced
With bush and flagon trimly placed,

Lord Marmion drew his rein:
The village inn seemed large, though rude;
Its cheerful fire and hearty food

Might well relieve his train.
Down from their seats the horsemen sprung,
With jingling spurs the courtyard rung ;
They bind their horses to the stall,
For forage, food, and firing call,
And various clamour fills the hall;
Weighing the labour with the cost,
Toils everywhere the bustling host.
Soon, by the chimney's merry blaze,
Through the rude hostel might you gaze;
Might see, where, in dark nook aloof,
The rafters of the sooty roof

Bore wealth of winter cheer;
Of sea-fowl dried, and solands store,
And gammons of the tusky boar,

And savoury haunch of deer.
The chimney arch projected wide;
Above, around it, and beside,

Were tools for housewives' hand :
Nor wanted, in that martial day,
The implements of Scottish fray,

The buckler, lance, and brand.
Beneath its shade, the place of state,
On oaken settle Marmion sate,
And viewed, around the blazing hearth,
His followers mix in noisy mirth;
Whom with brown ale, in jolly tide,
From ancient vessels ranged aside,
Full actively their host supplied.

THEIRS was the glee of martial breast,
And laughter theirs at little jest; ?
And oft Lord Marmion deigned to aid,
And mingle in the mirth they made:
For though, with men of high degree,
The proudest of the proud was he,
Yet, trained in camps, he knew the art
To win the soldier's hardy heart.
They love a captain to obey,
Boisterous as March, yet fresh as May;
With open hand, and brow as free,
Lover of wine and minstrelsy;
Ever the first to scale a tower,
As venturous in a lady's bower:
Such buxom chief shall lead his host
From India's fires to Zembla's frost.
RESTING upon his pilgrim staff,

Right opposite the Palmer stood;
His thin dark visage seen but half,

Half hidden by his hood.
Still fixed on Marmion was his look,
Which he, who ill such gaze could brook,

Strove by a frown to quell;
But not for that, though more than once
Full met their stern encountering glance

The Palmer's visage fell.
By fits less frequent from the crowd
Was heard the burst of laughter loud;
For still, as squire and archer stared
On that dark face and matted beard,

Their glee and game declined.
All gazed at length in silence drear,
Unbroke, save when in comrade's ear
Some yeoman, wondering in his fear,

Thus whispered forth his mind :-
“Saint Mary! saw'st thou e'er such sight ?

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How pale his cheek, his eye how bright,
Whene'er the firebrand's fickle light

Glances beneath his cowl!
Full on our Lord he sets his eye;
For his best palfrey would not I

Endure that sullen scowl.”—
But Marmion, as to chase the awe
Which thus had quelled their hearts, who saw
The ever-varying firelight shew
That figure stern and face of woe,

Now called upon a squire :
“Fitz-Eustace, know'st thou not some lay,
To speed the lingering night away?

We slumber by the fire.”— .
“SO PLEASE YOU,” thus the youth rejoined,
“Our choicest minstrel's left behind.
Ill may we hope to please your ear,
Accustomed Constant's strains to hear.
The harp full deftly can he strike,
And wake the lover's lute alike;
To dear Saint Valentine no thrush
Sings livelier from a springtide bush ;
No nightingale her love-lorn tune
More sweetly warbles to the moon.
Woe to the cause, whate'er it be,
Detains from us his melody,
Lavished on rocks, and billows stern,
Or duller monks of Lindisfarne!
Now must I venture, as I may,
To sing his favorite roundelay.”-
A MELLOW VOICE Fitz-Eustace had,
The air he chose was wild and sad;
Such have I heard, in Scottish land,
Rise from the busy harvest band,
When falls before the mountaineer,
On lowland plains, the ripened ear.

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