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But to assure my soul, that none
Shall ever wed with Marmion.
Had fortune my last hope betrayed,
This packet, to the king conveyed,
Had given him to the headsman's stroke,
Although my heart that instant broke.-
Now, men of death, work forth your will,
For I can suffer, and be still ;
And come he slow, or come he fast,
It is but Death who comes at last.
“ Yet dread me, from my living tomb,
Ye vassal slaves of bloody Rome,
If Marmion's late remorse should wake,
Full soon such vengeance will be take,
That you shall wish the fiery Dane
Had rather been your guest again.
Behind, a darker hour ascends!
The altars quake, the crosier bends,
The ire of a despotic king
Rides forth upon destruction's wing ;
Then shall these vaults, so strong and deep,
Burst open to the sea-winds' sweep;
Some traveller then shall find my bones,
Whitening amid disjointed stones,
And, ignorant of priests' cruelty,
Marvel such relics here should be.”—
XXXII. Fixed was her look, and stern her air ; Back from her shoulders streamed her hair ; The locks, that wont her brow to shade, Stared up erectly from her head; Her figure seemed to rise more high ; Her voice, despair's wild energy Had given a tone of prophecy. Appalled the astonished conclave sate; With stupid eyes, the men of fate
Gazed on the light inspired form,
And listened for the avenging storın ;
The judges felt the victim's dread,
No hand was moved, no word was said,
Till thus the Abbot's doom was given,
Raising his sightless balls to heaven :-
“ 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 stern.