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Nor to that lady free alone Did the gay King allegiance own; For the fair Queen of France Sent him a turquois ring, and glove, And charged him, as her knight and love, For her to break a lance; And strike three strokes with Scottish brand, And march three miles on southern land, And bid the banners of his band In English breezes dance. And thus, for France's Queen he drest His manly limbs in mailed vest; And thus admitted English fair His inmost counsels still to share; And thus, for both, he madly plann'd The ruin of himself and land! And yet, the sooth to tell, Nor England's fair, nor France's Queen, Were worth one pearl-drop bright and sheen, From Margaret's eyes that fell,— His own Queen Margaret, who, in Lithgow's bower, All lonely sat, and wept the weary hour.
The Queen sits lone in Lithgow pile,
And weeps the weary day,
The war against her native soil,
Her Monarch's risk in battle broil;-
And in gay Holy-Rood, the while,
Dame Heron rises with a smile
Upon the harp to play.
Fair was her rounded arm, as o'er
The strings her fingers flew;
And as she touch'd and tuned them all,
Ever her bosom's rise and fall
Was plainer given to view;
For all, for heat, was laid aside
Her wimple, and her hood untied.
And first she pitch'd her voice to sing,
Then glanced her dark eye on the King,
And then around the silent ring;
And laugh'd, and blush'd, and oft did say
Her pretty oath, by yea, and nay,
She could not, would not, durst not play!
At length, upon the harp, with glee,
Mingled with arch simplicity,
A soft yet lively air she rung,
While thus the wily lady sung.
Lady Heron's Song.
O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broad-sword he weapons had
He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone. [none,
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,
He swam the Eske river whereford there was none;
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, A
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.
Since England gains the pass the while,
And struggles through the deep defile
What checks the fiery soul of James?
Why sits that champion of the dames
Inactive on his steed,
And sees, between him and his land,
Between him and Tweed's southern strand,
His host Lord Surrey lead
What vails the vain knight-errant's brand?
—O, Douglas, for thy leading wand!
Fierce Randolph, for thy speed!
O for one hour of Wallace wight,
Or well-skill'd Bruce, to rule the fight,
And cry—“Saint Andrew and our right!”
Another sight had seen that morn,
From fate’s dark book a leaf been torn,
And Flodden had been Bannock-bourne !
The precious hour has pass'd in vain,
And England's host has gain'd the plain;
Wheeling their march, and circling still,
Around the base of Flodden-hill.
Ere yet the bands met Marmion's eye,
Fitz-Eustace shouted loud and high,
“Hark! hark! my lord, an English drum!
And see ascending squadrons come
Between Tweed's river and the hill,
Foot, horse, and cannon:—hap what hap,
My basnet to a prentice cap,
Lord Surrey's o'er the Till!—
Yet more: yet more!—how fair array'd
They file from out the hawthorn shade,
And sweep so gallant by 1
With all their banners bravely spread,
And all their armour flashing high,
Saint George might waken from the dead,
To see fair England's standards fly.”—
“Stint in thy prate,” quoth Blount; “thou'dst best,
And listen to our lord's behest.”—
With kindling brow Lord Marmion said,
“This instant be our band array'd;
The river must be quickly cross'd,
That we may join Lord Surrey's host.
If fight King James-as well I trust,
That fight he will, and fight he must-
The Lady Clare behind our lines
shall tarry, while the battle joins.”—
Himself he swift on horseback threw,
Scarce to the Abbot bade adieu,
Far less would listen to his prayer,
To leave behind the helpless Clare.
Down to the Tweed his band he drew,
And mutter'd as the flood they view,
“The pheasant in the falcon's claw,
He scarce will yield to please a daw:
Lord Angus may the Abbot awe,
So Clare shall bide with me.” -
Then on that dangerous ford, and deep,
Where to the Tweed Leat's eddies creep,
He ventured desperately:
And not a moment will he bide,
Till squire, or groom, before him ride;
Headmost of all he stems the tide,
And stems it gallantly.
Eustace held Clare upon her horse,
Old Hubert led her rein,
Stoutly they braved the current's course,
And though far downward driven per force,
The southern bank they gain;
Behind them, straggling, came to shore,
As best they might, the train:
Each o'er his head his yew-bow bore,
A caution not in vain;
Deep need that day that every string,
By wet unharm’d, should sharply ring.
A moment then Lord Marmion staid,
And breath'd his steed, his men array'd,
Then forward moved his band,
Until, Lord Surrey's rear-guard won,
He halted by a cross of stone,
That, on a hillock standing lone,
Did all the field command.
Hence might they see the full array
Of either host, for deadly fray;
Their marshall'd lines stretch'd east and west
And fronted north and south,
And distant salutation past
From the loud cannon mouth;
Not in the close successive rattle,
That breathes the voice of modern battle,
But slow and far between.—
The hillock gain'd, Lord Marmion staid:
“Here, by this cross,” he gently said,
“You well may view the scene.
Here shalt thou tarry, lovely Clare:
O! think of Marmion in thy prayer!—
Thou wilt not?—well,—no less my care
Shall, watchful, for thy weal prepare.—
You, Blount and Eustace, are her guard,
With ten pick'd archers of my train;
With England if the day go hard,
To Berwick speed amain.
But, if we conquer, cruel maid!
My spoil shall at your feet be laid,
When here we meet again.”—
He waited not for answer there,
And would not mark the maid's despair,
Nor heed the discontented look
From either squire; but spurr'd amain,
And, dashing through the battle-plain,
His way to Surrey took.
Would gladly to the vanguard go;
Edmund, the admiral, Tunstall there,
With thee their charge will blithely share;
There fight thine own retainers too,
Beneath De Burg, thy steward true.”—
“Thanks, noble Surrey!” Marmion said,
Nor further greeting there he paid;
But, parting like a thunderbolt,
First in the vanguard made a halt,
Where such a shout there rose
Of “Marmion! Marmion" that the cry
Up Flodden mountain shrilling high,
Startled the Scottish foes.
Blount and Fitz-Eustace rested still With Lady Clare upon the hill; On which, (for far the day was spent.) The western sunbeams now were bent. The cry they heard, its meaning knew, Could plain their distant comrades view; Sadly to Blount did Eustace say, “Unworthy office here to stay! No hope of gilded spurs to-day.— But, see I look up—on Flodden bent The Scottish foe has fired his tent.”— And sudden, as he spoke, From the sharp ridges of the hill, All downward to the banks of Till, Was wreath’d in sable smoke; Volumed and vast, and rolling far, The cloud enveloped Scotland's war, As down the hill they broke; Nor martial shout, nor minstrel tone, Announced their march; their tread alone, At times one warning trumpet blown, At times a stifled hum, Told England, from his mountain-throne King James did rushing come.— Scarce could they hear, or see their foes, Until at weapon-point they close.— They close, in clouds of smoke and dust, With sword-sway, and with lances thrust; And such a yell was there, Of sudden and portentous birth, As if men fought upon the earth, And fiends in upper air; O life and death were in the shout, Recoil and rally, charge and rout, And triumph and despair. Long look'd the anxious squires; their eye Could in the darkness nought descry.
At length the freshening western blast
Aside the shroud of battle cast;
And, first, the ridge of mingled spears
Above the brightening cloud appears;
And in the smoke the pennons flew,
As in the storm the white sea-mew.
Then mark'd they, dashing broad and far,
The broken billows of the war,
And plumed crests of chieftains brave,
Floating like foam upon the wave;
But nought distinct they see:
Wide raged the battle on the plain;
Spears shook, and faulchions flash'd amain;
Fell England's arrow-flight like rain;
Crest rose, and stoop'd, and rose again,
Wild and disorderly.
Amid the scene of tumult, high
They saw Lord Marmion's falcon fly:
And stainless Tunstall's banner white,
And Edmund Howard's lion bright,
Still bear them bravely in the fight:
Although against them come,
Of gallant Gordons many a one,
And many a stubborn Highlandman,
And many a rugged border clan,
With Huntley, and with Home.
THE DEATH OF RODERICK DillTHE CONCLUSION.
Thus, motionless, and moanless, drew
His parting breath, stout Rhoderick Dhul-
Old Allan-bane look'd on aghast,
While grim and still his spirit pas'd,
But when he saw that life was fled,
He pour’d his wailing o'er the dead.
“And art thou cold and lowly laid,
Thy foeman's dread, thy people's aid. t
Breadalbane's boast, Clan-Alpine’so
For thee shall none a requiem say?
—For thee-who loved the minstre" lay,
For thee, of Bothwell's house the stay,
The shelter of her exiled line,
E’en in this prison-house of thine,
I'll wail for Alpine's honour'd pine!
“What groans shall yonder vallies fill! t
What shrieks of grief shall rendy” hill!
What tears of burning rage shall tho'
When mourns thy tribe thy battle”
Thy fall before the race was won,
Thy sword ungirt ere set of sun' ..
There breathes not clansman of thy it.
But would have given his life for thine-
O woe for Alpine's honour'd fine!
“Sad was thy lot on mortal stage !-
The captive thrush may brook the *
The prison'd eagle dies for rage. I
Brave spirit, do not scorn my stral":
And, when its notes awake again,
Even she, so long beloved in vain.
Shall with my harp her voice combo
And mix her woe and tears with mino
To wail clan-Alpine's honoured Pio T
Ellen, the while, with bursting” Remain’d in lordly bower apart, 'd ple where play'd, with many-colo", d gle Through storied pane the rising beams. In vain on gilded roof they fall,
And lighten’d up a tapestried wall, And for her use a menial train A rich collation spread in vain. The banquet proud, the chamber gay, Scarce drew one curious glance astray; Or, if she look'd, 'twas but to say, With better omen dawn'd the day In that lone isle, where waved on high The dun deer's hide for canopy; Where oft her noble father shared The simple meal her care prepared, While Lufra, crouching by her side, Her station claim'd with jealous pride, And Douglas, bent on woodland game, Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Graeme, Whose answer, oft at random made, The wandering of his thoughts betray'd.— Those, who such simple joys have known, Are taught to prize them when they're gone. But sudden, see, she lifts her head! The window seeks with cautious tread. What distant music has the power To win her in this woeful hour! 'Twas from a turret that o'erhung Her latticed bower, the strain was sung.
LAY OF THE IMPRIson Ed HUNTs MAN.
“My hawk is tired of perch and hood,
My idle greyhound loathes his food,
My horse is weary of his stall,
And I am sick of captive thrall.
I wish I were as I have been,
Hunting the hart in forest green,
With bended bow and blood-hound free,
For that's the life is meet for me.
“I hate to learn the ebb of time,
From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime,
Or mark it as the sunbeams crawl,
Inch after inch, along the wall.
The lark was wont my matins ring,
The sable rook my vespers sing;
These towers, although a king's they be,
Have not a hall of joy for me.
“No more at dawning morn I rise,
And sun myself in Ellen's eyes,
Drive the fleet deer the forest through,
And homeward wend with evening dew;
A blithesome welcome blithely meet,
And lay my trophies at her feet,
While fled the eve on wing of glee,_
That life is lost to love and me!”—
The heart-sick lay was hardly said,
The list’ner had not turn'd her head,
It trickled still, the starting tear,
When light a footstep struck her ear,
And Snowdoun's graceful knight was near.
She turn'd the hastier, lest again
The prisoner should renew his strain.
O welcome, brave Fitz-James!” she said;
How may an almost orphan maid
Pay the deep debt”—“O say not so!
To me no gratitude you owe.
Not mine, alas! the boon to give,
And bid thy noble father live;
I can but be thy guide, sweet maid,
With Scotland's King thy suit to aid.
No tyrant he, though ire and pride
May lead his better mood aside.
Come, Ellen, come!—'tis more than time,
He holds his court at morning prime.”—
With beating heart, and bosom wrung,
As to a brother's arm she clung.
Gently he dried the falling tear,
And gently whisper'd hope and cheer;
Her faultering steps half led, half staid,
Through gallery fair and high arcade,
Till, at his touch, its wings of pride
A portal arch unfolded wide.
Within 'twas brilliant all and light,
A thronging scene of figures bright;
It glow'd on Ellen's dazzled sight,
As when the setting sun has given
Ten thousand hues to summer even,
And, from their tissue, fancy frames
Aerial knight and fairy dames.
Still by Fitz-James her footing staid;
A few faint steps she forward made,
Then slow her drooping head she raised,
And fearful round the presence gazed;
For him she sought, who own'd this state,
The dreaded prince whose will was fate!—
She gazed on many a princely port,
Might well have ruled a royal court;
On many a splendid garb she gazed,
Then turn'd bewilder'd and amazed,
For all stood bare; and, in the room,
Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume.
To him each lady's look was lent;
On him each courtier's eye was bent;
Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen,
He stood, in simple Lincoln green,
The centre of the glittering ring.—
And Snowdoun's knight is Scotland's king!
As wreath of snow, on mountain-breast,
Slides from the rock that gave it rest,
Poor Ellen glided from her stay,
And at the monarch's feet she lay;
No word her choaking voice commands,-
She show'd the ring—she clasp'd her hands.
O! not a moment could he brook,
The generous prince, that suppliant look :
Gently he raised her—and, the while,
Check'd with a glance the circle's smile ;
Graceful, but grave, her brow he kiss'd,
And bade her terrors be dismiss'd:—
“Yes, Fair; the wandering poor Fitz-James
The fealty of Scotland claims.
To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring;
He will redeem his signet ring.
Ask nought for Douglas;—yester even,
His prince and he have much forgiven:
Wrong hath he had from slanderous tongue,
I, from his rebel kinsmen, wrong.
We would not to the vulgar crowd
Yield what they craved with clamour loud;
Calmly we heard and judged his cause,
Our council aided, and our laws.
I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern,
With stout De Vaux and grey Glencairn;
And Bothwell's Lord henceforth we own
The friend and bulwark of our throne.—
But, lovely infidel, how now?
What clouds thy misbelieving brow?
Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid;
Thou must confirm this doubting maid.”
Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,
And on his neck his daughter hung.
The monarch drank, that happy hour,
The sweetest, holiest draught of power,
When it can say with godlike voice,
Arise, sad virtue, and rejoice!
Yet would not James the general eye
On nature's raptures long should pry;
He stepp'd between—“Nay, Douglas, nay,
Steal not my proselyte away !
The riddle 'tis my right to read,
That brought this happy chance to speed.
Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray
In life's more low but happier way,
'Tis under name which veils my power,
Nor falsely veils—for Stirling's tower
Of yore the name of Snowdon claims,
And Normans call me James Fitz-James.
Thus watch I o'er insulted laws,
Thus learn to right the injured cause.”
Then, in a tone apart and low,
-“Ah, little trait’ress! none must know
What idle dream, what lighter thought,
What vanity full dearly bought,
Join'd to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew
My spell-bound steps to Benvenue,
In dangerous hour, and all but gave
Thy monarch's life to mountain glaive!"—
Aloud he spoke—“Thou still dost hold
That little talisman of gold,
Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ring—
What seeks fair Ellen of the king "–
Full well the conscious maiden guess'd,
He probed the weakness of her breast;
But, with that consciousness, there came
A lightning of her fears for Graeme,
And more she deem'd the monarch's ire
Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire,
Rebellious broad-sword boldly drew;
And, to her generous feeling true,
She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu.—
“Forbear thy suit:—the King of kings
Alone can stay life's parting wings.
I know his heart, I know his hand,
Have shared his cheer, and proved his brand:—
My fairest earldom would I give
To bid Clan-Alpine's Chieftain live!—
Hast thou no other boon to crave *
No other captive friend to save?”—
Blushing, she turn'd her from the King,
And to the Douglas gave the ring,
As if she wish'd her sire to speak
The suit that stain'd her glowing cheek.-
“Nay, then, my pledge has lost its force,
And stubborn justice holds her course.
Malcolm, come forth !”—And, at the word.
Down kneel'd the Graeme to Scotland's lord.
“For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
From thee may vengeance claim her dues,
Who, nurtured underneath our smile,
Hast paid our care by treacherous wile,
And sought, amid thy faithful clan,
A refuge for an outlaw'd man,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.—
Fetters and warder for the Graeme !
His chain of gold the King unstrung,
The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung,
Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.
HARP of the north, farewell: the hills grow dark.
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
ln twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark.
The deer, half-seen, are to the covert weniog
Resume thy wizard elm the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy;
Thy numbers sweet with nature's vespers blend og.
With distant echo from the sold and les, [bee.
And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of hovsn;
Yet, once again, farewell, thou minstrel harp!
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
And little reck I of the censure sharp
May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way,
Through secret woes the world has never knowl.
When on the weary night dawn'd wearier day,
And bitterer was the grief devour'd alone.
That Io'er live such woes, Enchantress! is thineowi.
Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
Some spirit of the air has waked thy string:
'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire,
'Tis now the brush of fairy's frolic wing.
Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell,
And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spell–
And now,'tissilentall!—Enchantress, fare thee well.
The blood left Wilfrid's ashen cheek; Matilda sees, and hastes to speak.“Happy in friendship's ready aid, Let all my murmurs here be staid! And Rokeby's maiden will not part