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“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 befen,
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 stern

10

CANTO III.

THE HOSTEL, OR INN.

10

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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And twice his Sovereign's mandate came,
Like damp upon a kindling flame:
And twice he thought, “ Gave I not charge
She should be safe, though not at large ?
They durst not, for their island, shred
One golden ringlet from her head.”—
WHILE thus in Marmion's bosom strove
Repentance and reviving love,
Like whirlwinds, whose contending sway
I've seen Loch Vennachar obey,
Their Host the Palmer's speech had heard,
And, talkative, took up the word :

“Aye, reverend Pilgrim, you, who stray From Scotland's simple land away,

To visit realms afar,
Full often learn the art to know,
Of future weal, or future woe,

By word, or sign, or star;
Yet might a knight his fortune hear,
If, knight-like, he despises fear,
Not far from hence ;—if fathers old
Aright our hamlet legend told.”—
These broken words the menials move,
(For marvels still the vulgar love,)
And, Marmion giving license cold,
His tale the Host thus gladly told :-

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THE HOST'S TALE.
A CLERK could tell what years have flown
Since Alexander filled our throne,
(Third monarch of that warlike name,)
And eke the time when here he came
To seek Sir Hugo, then our lord :
A braver never drew a sword;
A wiser never, at the hour
Of midnight, spoke the word of power :

The same, whom ancient records call
The founder of the Goblin Hall.
I would, Sir Knight, your longer stay
Gave you that cavern to survey.
Of lofty roof, and ample size,
Beneath the castle deep it lies:
To hew the living rock profound,
The floor to pave, the arch to round,
There never toiled a mortal arm,
It all was wrought by word and charm;
And I have heard my grandsire say,
That the wild clamour and affray
Of those dread artisans of hell,
Who laboured under Hugo's spell,
Sounded as loud as ocean's war,
Among the caverns of Dunbar.
THE KING Lord Gifford's castle sought,
Deep-labouring with uncertain thought:
Even then he mustered all his host,
To meet upon the western coast;
For Norse and Danish galleys plied
Their oars within the frith of Clyde.
There floated Haco's banner trim,
Above Norweyan warriors grim,
Savage of heart, and large of limb;
Threatening both continent and isle,
Bute, Arran, Cunninghame, and Kyle.
Lord Gifford, deep beneath the ground,
Heard Alexander's bugle sound,
And tarried not his garb to change,
But, in bis wizard habit strange,
Came forth,—a quaint and fearful sight
His mantle lîned with fox-skins white
His high and wrinkled forehead bore
A pointed cap, such as of yore
Clerks say that Pharaoh's Magi wore;

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His shoes were marked with cross and spell ;
Upon his breast a pentacle;
His zone, of virgin parchment thin,
Or, as some tell, of dead man's skin,
Bore many a planetary sign,
Combust, and retrograde, and trine;
And in his hand he held prepared,
A naked sword without a guard.
DIRE dealings with the fiendish race
Had marked strange lines upon his face ;
Vigil and fast had worn him grim,
His eyesight dazzled seemed, and dim,
As one unused to upper day;
Even his own menials with dismay
Beheld, Sir Knight, the grisly Sire,
In this unwonted wild attire;
Unwonted, for traditions run,
He seldom thus beheld the sun.
“ I know," he said, his voice was hoarse,
And broken seemed its hollow force,
“I know the cause, although untold,
Why the King seeks his vassal's hold:
Vainly from me my liege would know
His kingdom's future weal or woe;
But yet, if strong his arm and heart,
His courage may do more than art.
Of middle air the demons proud,
Who ride upon the racking cloud,
Can read, in fixed or wandering star,
The issue of events afar;
But still their sullen aid withhold,
Save when by mightier force controlled.
Such late I summoned to my hall;
And though so potent was the call,
That scarce the deepest nook of hell
I deemed a refuge from the spell,

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