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So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochin-
O'er James's heart, the courtiers say,
Sir Hugh the Heron's wife held sway:
To Scotland's court she came,
He stay'd not for brake, and he stopp'd not for To be a hostage for her lord,
stone, Who Cessford's gallant heart had gored,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was And with the king to make accord,
none; Had sept his lovely dame.
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate, Nor to that lady free alone
The bride had consented, the gallant came late : Did the gay king allegiance own;
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, For the fair queen of France
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar. Sent him a Turquois ring, and glove, And charged him, as her knight and love, So boldly he enter'd the Netherby hall, For her to break a lance ;
Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, And strike three strokes with Scottish brand,
and all: And march three miles on southron land, Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his And bid the banners of his band
sword, In English breezes dance.
(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a And thus, for France's qucen he drest
word,) His manly limbs in mailed vest;
“Ocome ye in peace here, or come ye in war, And thus admitted English fair,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?” His inmost counsels still to share ; And thus, for both, he madly plann'd
“I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied : The ruin of himself and land!
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide; And yet, the sooth to tell,
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine, Nor England's fair, nor France's queen, To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. Were worth one pearl-drop bright and sheen, There are maidens in Scotland, more lovely by far, From Margaret's eyes that fell,
That would gladly be bride to the young LochinHis own Queen Margaret, who, in Lithgow's
bower, All lonely sat, and wept the weary hour.
The bride kiss'd the goblet: the knight took it up,
He quaff'd off the wine, and he threw down the XI.
cup. The queen sits lone in Lithgow pile,
She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to And weeps the weary day,
sigh, The war against her native soil,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye, Her monarch's risk in battle broil ;
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar, And in gay Holy-Rood, the while,
“ Now tread we a measure !” said young LochinDame Heron rises with a smile
Upon the harp to play.
Fair was her rounded arm, as o'er
So stately his form, and so lovely his face,
The strings ber fingers flew;
That never a hall such a galliard did grace; And as she touch'd, and tuned them all,
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, Ever her bosom's rise and fall
And the bride groom stood dangling his bonnet and Was plainer given to vicw;
plume; For all, for heat, was laid aside,
And the bride-maidens whisperid, “ 'Twere better Her wimple, and her hood untied. And first she pitch'd her voice to sing,
To have match'd our fair cousin with young Then glanced her dark eye on the king,
Lochinvar." And then around the silent ring; And laugh’d, and blush'd, and oft did say, One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, Her pretty oath, by yea and nay,
When they reach'd the hall door, and the charger She could not, would not, durst not play!
stood near; At length, upon the harp, with glee,
So light to the croup the fair lady be swung, Mingled with arch simplicity,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung! A soft, yet lively air she rung,
“She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and While thus the wily lady sung.
They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young
LADY HERON'S SONG.
There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the NethO, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
erby clan; Through all the wide border his steed was the best; Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and And save his good broadsword he weapons had they ran : none,
There was racing and chasing, on Cannobie Lee, He rode all unarm’d, and he rode all alone. But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochin-
The monarch o'er the syren hung,
And beat the measure as she sung;
And, pressing closer, and more near,
He whisper'd praises in her ear.
In loud applause, the courtiers vied ;
And ladies wink'd, and spoke aside.
The witching dame to Marmion threw
A glance, where seem'd to reign
The pride that claims applauses due,
And of her royal conquest, too,
A real or feign'd disdain :
Familiar was the look, and told,
Marmion and she were friends of old.
The king observed their meeting eyes,
With something like displeased surprise ;
For monarchs ill can rivals brook,
E’en in a word, or smile, or look.
Straight took he forth the parchment broad,
Which Marmion's high commission show'd:
“Our borders sack'd by many a raid,
Our peaceful liegemen robb’d,” he said;
“On day of truce our warden slain,
Stout Barton kill'd bis vessels ta’en-
Unworthy were we here to reign,
Should these for vengeance cry in vain ;
Our full defiance, hate, and scorn,
Our herald has to Henry borne.”
His locks and beard in silver grew;
His eyebrows kept their sable hue.
Near Douglas when the monarch stood,
His bitter speech he thus pursued :-
“ Lord Marmion, since these letters say,
That in the north you needs must stay,
While slightest hopes of peace remain,
Uncourteous speech it were, and stern,
To say-Return to Lindisfarn,
Until my herald come again.-
Then rest you in Tantallon hold;
Your host shall be the Douglass bold,
A chief unlike his sires of old.
He wears their motto on his blade,
Their blazon o'er his towers display'd ;
Yet loves his sovereign to oppose,
More than to face his country's foes.
And, I bethink me, by St. Stephen,
But e'en this morn to me was given
A prize, the first fruits of the war,
Ta'en by a galley from Dunbar,
A bevy of the maids of heaven.
Under your guard, these holy maids
Shall safe return to cloister shades,
And, while they at Tantallon stay,
Requiem for Cochran's soul may say.”
And, with the slaughter'd favourite name,
Across the monarch's brow there came
A cloud of ire, remorse, and shame,
In answer naught could Angus speak;
His proud heart swell'd well nigh to break:
He turn'd aside, and down his cheek
A burning tear there stole.
His hand the monarch sudden took,
That sight his kind heart could not brook ;
“Now, by the Bruce's soul,
Angus, my hasty speech forgive!
For sure as doth his spirit live,
As he said of the Douglas old,
I well may say of you, -
That never king did subject hold,
In speech more free, in war more bold,
More tender, and more true ;*
Forgive me, Douglas, once again.”-
And, while the king his hand did strain,
The old man's tears fell down like rain.
To seize the moment Marmion tried,
And whisper'd to the king aside :
“0! let such tears unwonted plead
For respite short from dubious deed!
A child will weep a bramble's smart,
A maid to see her sparrow part,
A stripling for a woman's heart:
But wo awaits a country, when
She sees the tears of bearded men.
Then, 0! what omen, dark and high,
When Douglas wets his manly eye!"
XIV. He paused, and led where Douglas stood, And with stern eye the pageant viewd:
I mean that Douglas, sixth of yore,
Who coronet of Angus bore,
And, when his blood and heart were high,
Did the third James in camp defy,
And all his minions led to die
On Lauders dreary nat:
Princes and favourites long grew tame,
And trembled at the homely name
Of Archibald Bell-the-cat;
The same who left the dusky vale
Of Hermitage in Liddesdale,
Its dungeons, and its towers,
Where Bothwell's turrets brave the air,
And Bothwell bank is blooming fair,
To fix his princely bowers.
Though now, in age, he had laid down
His armour for the peaceful gown,
And for a staff his brand;
Yet often would flash forth the fire,
That could, in youth, a monarch's ire
And minion's pride withstand ;
And e'en that day, at council board,
Unapt to sooth his sovereign's mood,
Against the war had Angus stood, And chafed his royal lord.
XVII. Displeased was James, that stranger view'd And tamper'd with his changing mood.
His giant form, like ruin’d tower,
Though fallen its muscles' brawny vaunt,
Huge-boned, and tall, and grim, and gaunt, Seem'd o'er the gaudy scene to lower:
* 0, Do'xglas! Dowglas !
Tendir and crew.-The Houlate.
She had a secret to reveal,
That much concern'd the church's weal,
And health of sinner's soul;
And with deep charge of secrecy,
She named a place to meet,
Within an open balcony,
That hung from dizzy pitch, and high,
Above the stately street;
To which, as common to each home,
At night they might in secret come.
“ Laugh those that can, weep those that may,"
Thus did the fiery monarch say,
“ Southward I march by break of day:
And is within Tantallon strong,
The good Lord Marmion tarries long,
Perchance our meeting next may fall
At Tamworth, in his castle hall."
The haughty Marmion felt the taunt,
And answer'd, grave, the royal vaunt:
“ Much honour'd were my humble home,
If in its hall king James would come ;
But Nottingham has archers good,
And Yorkshiremen are stern of mood;
Northumbrian prickers wild and rude.
On Derby hills the paths are steep :
In Ouse and Tyne the fords are deep:
And many a banner will be torn,
And many a knight to earth be borne,
And many a sheaf of arrows spent,
Ere Scotland's king shall cross the Trent:
Yet pause, brave prince, while yet you may."
The monarch lightly turn'd away,
And to his nobles loud did call,
“ Lords, to the dance,-a hall! a hall !"*
Himself his cloak and sword flung by,
And led dame Heron gallantly ;
And minstrels at the royal order,
Rung out—" Blue bonnets o’er the border.”
Leave we these revels now, to tell
What to St. Hilda's maids befell,
Whose galley, as they sail'd again
To Whitby, by a Scot was ta’en.
Now at Dun-Edin did they bide,
Till James should of their fate decide;
And soon, by his command,
Were gently summon'd to prepare
To journey under Marmion's care,
As escort honour'd, safe, and fair,
Again to English land.
The abbess told her chaplet o'er,
Nor knew which saint she should implore;
For, when she thought of Constance, sore
She fear'd Lord Marmion's mood.
And judge what Clara must have felt!
The sword, that hung in Marmion's belt,
Had drunk De Wilton's blood.
Unwittingly, King James had given,
As guard to Whitby's shades,
The man most dreaded under heaven
By these defenceless maids ;
Yet what petition could avail,
Or who would listen to the tale
Of woman, prisoner, and nun,
Mid bustle of a war begun?
They deem'd it hopeless to avoid
The convoy of their dangerous guide.
Their lodging, so the king assign's,
To Marmion's as their guardian, join'd ;
And thus it fell, that, passing nigh,
The palmer caught the abbess' eye,
Who war'd him by a scroll,
At night, in secret, there they came,
The palmer and the holy dame.
The moon among the clouds rode high,
And all the city hum was by.
Upon the street, where late before
Did dio of war and warriors roar,
You might have heard a pebble fall,
A beetle hum, a cricket sing,
An owlet flap his boding wing
On Gile's steeple tall.
The antique buildings, climbing high,
Whose Gothic frontlets sought the sky,
Were here wrapt deep in shade ;
There on their brows the moonbeam broke
Through the faint wreaths of silvery smoke,
And on the casement play'd. And other light was none to see,
Save torches gliding far,
Before some chieftain of degree,
Who left the royal revelry
To bowne him for the war,-
A solemn scene the abbess chose!
A solemn hour, her secret to disclose.
XXI. “O, holy palmer!" she began,“ For sure he must be sainted man, Whose blessed feet have trod the ground Where the Redeemer's tomb is found ;For his dear church's sake, my tale Attend, nor deem of light avail, Though I must speak of earthly love,How vain to those who wed above! De Wilton and Lord Marmion woo'd Clara de Clare, of Gloster's blood; (Idle it were of Whitby's dame, To say of that same blood I came;) And once, when jealous rage was high, Lord Marmion said despiteously, Wilton was traitor in his heart, And had made league with Martin Swart, When he came here on Simnel's part; And only cowardice did restrain His rebel aid on Stokefield's plain, And down he threw his glove the thing Was tried, as wont, before the king; Where frankly did De Wilton own, That Swart in Guelders he had known; And that between them then there went Some scroll of courteous compliment. For this he to his castle sent; But when his messenger return'd, Judge how De Wilton's fury burn'd!
The ancient cry to make room for a dance, or pageant.
For in his packet there were laid
Letters that claim'd disloyal aid,
And proved King Henry's cause betray'd.
His fame thus blighted, in the field
He strove to clear, by spear and shield ;-
To clear his fame in vain he strove,
For wondrous are His ways above!
Perchance some form was unobserved :
Perchance in prayer, or faith he swerved ;
Else how could guiltless champion quail,
Or how the blessed ordeal fail?
No clerk in all the land, like her,
Traced quaint and varying character.
Perchance you may a marvel deem,
That Marmion's paramour (For such vile thing she was) should scheme
Her lover's nuptial hour;
But o'er him thus she hoped to gain,
As privy to his honour's stain,
For this she secretly retain'd
Each proof that might the plot reveal,
Instructions with his hand and seal:
And thus Saint Hilda deign'd,
Though sinners perfidy impure,
Her house's glory to secure,
And Clare's immortal weal.
XXII. “ His squire, who now De Wilton saw As recreant doom'd to suffer law,
Repentant, own'd in vain, That, while he had the scrolls in care, A stranger maiden, passing fair, Had drench'd him with a beverage rare ;
His words no faith could gain.
With Clare alone he credence won,
Who, rather than wed Marmion,
Did to St. Hilda's shrine repair,
To give our house her livings fair,
And die a vestal votaress there-
The impulse from the earth was given,
But bent her to the paths of heaven.
A purer heart a lovelier maid,
Ne'er shelter'd her in Whitby's shade,
No, not since Saxon Edelsed;
Only one trace of earthly stain,
That for her lover's loss
She cherishes a sorrow vain,
And murmurs at the cross.-
And then her heritage,-it goes
Along the banks of Tame;
Deep fields of grain the reaper mows,
In meadows rich the heifer lows,
The falconer, and huntsman, knows
Its woodlands for the game.
Shame wore it to Saint Hilda dear,
And I, her humble votaress here,
Should do a deadly sin.
Her temple spoil'd before mine eyes,
If this false Marmion such a prize
By my consent should win ;
Yet hath our boisterous monarch sworn,
That Clare shall from our house be torn:
And grievous cause have I to fear,
Such mandate doth Lord Marmion bear.
“ 'Twere long and needless, here to tell,
How to my hand these papers fell;
With me they must not stay.
Saint Hilda keep her abbess true!
Who knows what outrage he might do,
While journeying by the way.-
O blessed saint, if e'er again
I venturous leave thy calm domain,
To travel or by land or main,
Deep penance may I pay !
Now, saintly palmer, mark my prayer ;
I give this packet to thy care,
For thee to stop they will not dare;
And, 0! with cautious speed !
To Wolsey's hand the papers bring,
That he may show them to the king;
And, for thy well-earn'd meed,
Thou holy man, at Whitby's shrine
A weekly mass shall still be thine,
While priests can sing and read.
What ail'st thou ?-Speak !”—For as he took
The charge a strong emotion shook
His frame; and, ere reply,
They heard a faint, yet shrilly tone,
Like distant clarion feebly blown.
That on the breeze did die ;
And loud the abbess shriek'd in fear,
“ Saint Withold save us -What is here?
Look at yon city cross !
See on its battled tower appear
Phantoms, that scutcheons seem to rear
And blazon banners toss!”
XXIII. “ Now, prisoner, helpless, and betray'd To evil power, I claim thine aid,
By every step that thou hast trod
To holy shrine, and grotto dim,
By every martyr's tortured limb,
By angel, saint, and seraphim,
And by the church of God!
For mark:--When Wilton was betray'd,
And with his squire forged letters laid,
She was, alas ! that sinful maid,
By whom the deed was done, O! shame and horror to be said,
She was-a perjured nun?
Dun-Edin's cross, a pillar'd stone,
Rose on a turret octagon ;
(But now is razed that monument,
Whence royal edict rang,
And voice of Scotland's law was sent
In glorious trumpet clang.
0! be his tomb as lead to lead,
Upon its dull destroyer's head !
A minstrel's malison* is said.-)
Then on its battlements they saw
A vision, passing nature's law,
Strange, wild, and dimly seen ;
The tottering child, the anxious fair,
The gray-haired sire, with pious care,
To chapels and to shrines repair.
Where is the palmer now ? and where
The abbess, Marmion, and Clare -
Bold Douglas ! to Tantallon fair
They journey in thy charge :
Lord Marmion rode on his right hand,
The palmer still was with the band ;
Angus, like Lindesay, did command,
That none should roam at large.
But in that palmer's alter'd mien
A wondrous change might now be seen ;
Freely he spoke of war,
Of marvels wrought by single hand,
When lifted for a native land ;
And still look'd high as if he plann'd
Some desperate deed afar.
His courser would he feed and stroke,
And, tucking up his sable frock,
Would first his metal bold provoke,
Then soothe and quell his pride.
Old Hubert said, that never one
He saw, except Lord Marmion,
A steed so fairly ride.
Figures that seem'd to rise and die,
Gibber and sign, advance and fly,
While naught confirm'd could ear or eye
Discern of sound or mien.
Yet darkly did it seem, as there
Heralds and pursuivants prepare,
With trumpet sound, and blazon'd fair,
A summons to proclaim ;
But indistinct the pageant proud,
As fancy forms of midnight cloud,
When flings the moon upon her shroud
A wavering tinge of flame;
It fits, expands, and shifts, till loud,
From midmost of the spectre crowd,
This awful summons came :
“ Prince, prelate, potentate, and peer,
Whose names I now shall call,
Scottish, or foreigner, give ear!
Subjects of him who sent me here,
At his tribunal to appear,
I summon one and all:
I cite you by each deadly sin,
That e'er hath soild your hearts within ;
I cite you by each brutal lust,
That e'er defiled your earthly dust,
By wrath, by pride, by* fear,
By each o’ermastering passion's tone,
By the dark grave, and dying groan!
When forty days are past and gone,
I cite you, at your monarch's throne,
To answer and appear.”-
Then thunder'd forth a roll of names :
The first was thine, unhappy James ?
Then all thy nobles came;
Crawford, Glencairn, Montrose, Argyle,
Ross, Bothwell, Forbes, Lennox, Lyle,-
Why should I tell their separate style?
Each chief of birth and fame,
Of lowland, highland, border, isle,
Fore-doomed to Flodden's carnage pile,
Was cited there by name ;
And Marmion, Lord of Fontenaye,
Of Lutterward, and Scrivelbay,
De Wilton, erst of Aberley,
The self same thundering voice did say, -
But then another spoke:
“ Thy fatal summons I deny,
And thine infernal lord defy,
Appealing me to Him on high,
Who burst the sinner's yoke.”
At that dread accent, with a scream,
Parted the pageant like a dream,
The summoner was gone.
Prone on her face the abbess fell,
And fast, and fast, her beads did tell;
Her nups came startled by the yell,
And found her there alone.
She mark'd not, at the scene aghast,
What time, or how, the palmer pass'd.
Shift we the scene.—The camp doth move,
Dun-Edin's streets are empty now,
Save when, for weal of those they love,
To pray the prayer and vow the vow,
Some half-hour's march behind, there came,
By Eustace governd fair,
A troop escorting Hilda's dame,
With all her nuns and Clare.
No audience had Lord Marmion sought;
Ever he fear’d to aggravate
Clara de Clare's suspicious hate;
And safer 'twas he thought,
To wait till from the nuns removed,
The influence of kinsmen loved,
And suit by Henry's self approved,
Her slow consent had wrought.
His was no flickering flame, that dies
Unless when fann'd by looks and sighs,
And lighted oft at lady's eyes;
He long'd to stretch his wide command
O'er luckless Clara's ample land:
Besides, when Wilton with him vied,
Although the pang of humbled pride
The place of jealousy supplied,
Yet conquest, by that meanness won,
He almost loathed to think upon,
Led him, at times, to hate the cause
Which made him burst-through honour's laws.
If e'er he lov'd 'twas her alone,
Who died within that vault of stone.
And now when close at hand they saw
North-Berwick's town, and lofty Law,
Fitz-Eustace bade them pause awhile
Before a venerable pile,
Whose turrets viewd afar
The lofty Bass, the Lambie Isle,
The ocean's peace or war.
At tolling of a bell, forth came
The convent's venerable dame,
And pray'd saint Hilda's abbess rest
With her a loved and honour'd guest,