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On milk-white palfrey forth he paced ;
His cap of maintenance was graced
With the proud heron-plume.
From his steed's shoulder, loin, and breast,
Silk housings swept the ground,
With Scotland's arms, device, and crest,
Embroidered round and round.
The double tressure might you see,
First by Achaius borne,
The thistle and the fleur-de-lis,
And gallant unicorn.
So bright the king's armorial coat,
That scarce the dazzled eye could note,
In living colours blazoned brave,
The Lion, which his title gave.
A train, which well beseemed his state,
But all unarmed, around him wait.
Still is thy name in high account,
And still thy verse has charms
Sir David Lindesay of the Mount,
Lord Lion King-at-arms !
Down from his horse did Marmion spring,
Soon as he saw the Lion-King,
For well the stately Baron knew,
To him such courtesy was due,
Whom Royal James himself had crowned,
And on his temples placed the round
Of Scotland's ancient diadem;
And wet his brow with hallowed wine,
And on his finger given to shine
The emblematic gem.
Their mutual greetings duly made,
The Lion thus his message said :
“ Though Scotland's King hath deeply swore,
Ne'er to knit faith with Henry more,
And strictly hath forbid resort
From England to his royal court;
Yet, for he knows Lord Marmion's name,
And honours much his warlike fame,
My liege hath deemed it shame, and lack
Of courtesy, to turn him back;
And, by his order, I, your guide,
Must lodging fit and fair provide,
Till finds King James meet time to see
The flower of English chivalry."
Though inly chafed at this delay,
Lord Marmion bears it as he may.
The Palmer, his mysterious guide,
Beholding thus his place supplied,
Sought to take leave in vain :
Strict was the Lion-King's command,
That none who rode in Marmion's band,
Should sever from the train :
“ England has here enow of spies
In Lady Heron's witching eyes ;"
To Marchmount thus, apart, he said,
But fair pretext to Marmion made.
The right-hand path they now decline,
And trace against the stream the Tyne.
At length up that wild dale they wind,
Where Crichtoun Castle crowns the bank : For there the Lion's care assigned
A lodging meet for Marmion's rank.
That castle rises on the steep
Of the green vale of Tyne ;
And far beneath, where slow they creep
From pool to eddy, dark and deep,
Where alders moist, and willows weep,
You hear her streams repine.
The towers in different ages rose;
Their various architecture shows
The builders’ various hands ;
A mighty mass, that could oppose,
When deadliest hatred fired its foes,
The vengeful Douglas bands. · CRICHTOUN ! though now thy miry court
But pens the lazy steer and sheep,
Thy turrets rude, and tottered keep Have been the minstrel's loved resort. Oft have I traced, within thy fort,
Of mouldering shields the mystic sense,
Scutcheons of honour, or pretence, Quartered in old armorial sort,
Remains of rude magnificence :
Nor wholly yet hath time defaced
Thy lordly gallery fair;
Nor yet the stony cord unbraced,
Whose twisted knots, with roses laced,
Adorn thy ruined stair.
Still rises unimpaired, below,
The courtyard's graceful portico;
Above its cornice, row and row
Of fair hewn facets richly shew
Their pointed diamond form,
Though there but houseless cattle go,
To shield them from the storm.
And, shuddering, still may we explore,
Where oft whilom were captives pent, The darkness of thy Massy More;
Or, from thy grass-grown battlement,
May trace, in undulating line,
The sluggish mazes of the Tyne.
ANOTHER aspect Crichtoun shewed,
As through its portal Marmion rode;
But yet 'twas melancholy state
Received him at the outer gate;
For none were in the castle then,
But women, boys, or aged men.
With eyes scarce dried, the sorrowing dame,
To welcome noble Marmion came;
Her son, a stripling twelve years old,
Proffered the Baron's rein to hold;
For each man, that could draw a sword,
Had marched that morning with their lord,
Earl Adam Hepburn,- he who died
On Flodden, by his sovereign's side.
Long may his Lady look in vain !
She ne'er shall see his gallant train
Come sweeping back through Crichtoun-Dean.
'Twas a brave race, before the name
Of hated Bothwell stained their fame.
And here two days did Marmion rest,
With every rite that honour claims,
Attended as the King's own guest,
Such the command of Royal James, Who marshalled then his land's array, Upon the Borough Moor that lay. Perchance he would not foeman's eye Upon his gathering host should pry, Till full prepared was every band To march against the English land. Here while they dwelt, did Lindesay's wit Oft cheer the Baron's moodier fit ; And, in his turn, he knew to prize Lord Marmion's powerful mind, and wise, . Trained in the lore of Rome and Greece, And policies of war and peace. It chanced, as fell the second night,
That on the battlements they walked,
And, by the slowly-fading light,
Of varying topics talked ;
And, unaware, the Herald-bard
Said, Marmion might his toil have spared,
In travelling so far;
For that a messenger from heaven
In vain to James had counsel given
Against the English war :
And, closer questioned, thus he told
A tale, which chronicles of old
In Scottish story have enrolled :
SIR DAVID LINDESAY'S TALE.
Of all the palaces so fair,
Built for the royal dwelling,
In Scotland, far beyond compare
Linlithgow is excelling;
And in its park, in jovial June,
How sweet the merry linnet's tune,
How blithe the blackbird's lay!
The wild-buck bells from ferny brake,
The coot dives merry on the lake,
The saddest heart might pleasure take
To see all nature gay.
But June is, to our Sovereign dear,
The heaviest month in all the year:
Too well his cause of grief you know,
June saw his father's overthrow.
Woe to the traitors, who could bring
The princely boy against his King!
Still in his conscience burns the sting.
In offices as strict as Lent,
King Jame's June is ever spent.
WHEN last this ruthful month was come,
And in Linlithgow's holy dome
The King, as wont, was praying;
While, for his royal father's soul,
The chaunters sung, the bells did toll,
The Bishop mass was saying,