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Their front now deepening, now extending, “ Hark! hark! my lord, an English drum! Their flank inclining, wheeling, bending,
And see, ascending squadrons come Now drawing back, and now descending,
Between Tweed's river and the hill, The skilful Marmion well could know
Foot, horse, and cannon :-hap what hap, They watch the motion of some foe,
My basnet to a 'prentice cap, Who traversed on the plain below.
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! The Scots beheld the English host
With all their banners bravely spread, Leave Barmore-wood, their evening post,
And all their armour flashing high, And heedful watch'd them as they cross'd
Saint George might waken from the dead, The Till by Twisel bridge.
To see fair England's standards fly.”— High sight it is, and haughty, while
“Stint in thy prate,” quoth Blount, thou'dst best They dive into the deep defile;
And listen to our lord's behest.”— Beneath the cavern'd cliff they fall,
With kindling brow Lord Marmion said, Beneath the castle's airy wall.
“ This instant be our band array'd; By rock, by oak, by hawthorn tree,
The river must be quickly crossid, Troop after troop are disappearing;
That we may join Lord Surrey's host. Troop after troop their banners rearing
If fight king James—as well I trust, Upon the eastern bank you see.
That fight he will, and fight he must, Still pouring down the rocky den,
The Lady Clare behind our lines
Shall tarry, while the battle joins."
Himself he swift on horseback threw, And sweeping o'er the Gothic arch,
Scarce to the abbot bade adieu, And pressing on, in ceaseless march,
Far less would listen to his prayer, To gain the opposing hill.
To leave behind the helpless Clare. That morn, to many a trumpet-clang,
Down to the Tweed his band he drew, Twisel ! thy rock's deep echo rang;
And mutter'd, as the flood they view, And many a chief of birth and rank,
“ The pheasant in the falcon's claw, Saint Helen! at thy fountain drank.
He scarce will yield to please a daw:
So Clare shall bide with me.”
Then on that dangerous ford, and deep, To give the marching columns room.
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; Dark Flodden! on thy airy brow,
Headmost of all he stems the tide, Since England gains the pass the while,
And stems it gallantly. And struggles through the deep defile?
Eustace held Clare upon her horse, What checks the fiery soul of James ?
Old Hubert led her rein, Why sits that champion of the dames
Stoutly they braved the current's course, Inactive on his steed,
And, though far downward driven per force, And sees, between him and his land,
The southern bank they gain; Between him and Tweed's southern strand, Behind them, straggling, came to shore, His host lord Surrey lead ?
As best they might, the train : What vails the vain knight-crrant's brand ! Each o'er his head his yew-bow bore 0, Douglas, for thy leading wand !
A caution not in vain ; Fierce Randolph, for thy speed !
Deep need that day that every string, O for one hour of Wallace wight,
By wet vnharm'd should sharply ring. Or well-skill'd Bruce, to rule the fight,
A moment then Lord Marmion stay'd, And cry—“ Saint Andrew and our right!” And breathed his steed, his men array'd, Another sight had seen that morn,
Then forward moved his band, From fate's dark book a leaf been torn,
Until, Lord Surrey's rear-guard won, And Flodden had been Bannock-bourne
He halted by a cross of stone, The precious hour has pass'd in vain,
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 line stretch'd east and west, Fitz-Eustace shouted loud and high,
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 stay'd: “Here, by this cross," he gently said,
“ You well may view the scene. Here shalt thou tarry, lovely Clare: O thiok 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 ;
To Berwick speed amain.-
When here we meet again.”-
Nor beed the discontented look
His way to Surrey took.
And sudden, as he spoke,
Was wreath'd in sable smoke;
As down the hill they broke ;
At times a stifted hum,
King James did rushing come.-
And such a yell was there,
And fiends in upper air;
And triumph and despair. Long look'd the anxious squires; their eye Could in the darkness naught descry.
Welcome to danger's hour!
Thus have I ranged my power:
Stout Stanley fronts their right,
With Brian Tunstall, stainless knight;
Shall be in rearward of the fight,
Now, gallant Marmion, well I know,
Where such a shout there rose
Startled the Scottish foes.
XXVI. 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 crest of chieftains brave, Floating like foam upon the wave,
But naught distinct they see :
Wild and disorderly.
Although against them come,
With Huntley, and with Home.
XXV. Blount and Fitz-Eustace rested still With Lady Clare upon the hill; On which (for far the day was spent) The western sum beams 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! look up-on Flodden bent, The Scottish foe has fired his tent."
(VII. Far on the left, unseen the wbile, Stanley broke Lennox and Argyle ; Though there the western mountaineer Rush'd with bare bosom on the spear, And flung the feeble targe aside, And with both hands the broadsword plied : "Twas vain :-But fortune, on the right, With fickle smile, cheer'd Scotland's fight. Then sell that spotless banner white,The Howard's lion fell;
Yet still Lord Marmion's falcon flew
Around the battle yell.
Loud were the clanging blows;
The pennon sunk and rose;
It waver'd 'mid the foes.
I will not see it lost!
I gallop to the host.”
The rescued banner rose,
It sunk among the foes.
When, fast as shaft can fly,
Lord Marmion's steed rush'd by ; And Eustace, maddening at the sight,
A look and sign to Clara cast,
To mark he would return in haste, Then plunged into the fight.
To Dacre bear my signet-ring:
Of all my halls have nurst,
To slake my dying thirst !”
Left in that dreadful hour alone :
Perchance a courage, not her own,
Braces her mind to desperate tone.
She only said, as loud in air
Fight but to die, _“ Is Wilton there?”
Two horsemen drench'd with gore, And in their arms, a helpless load,
A wounded knight they bore. His hand still strain'd the broken brand; His arms were smear'd with blood and sand: Dragg’d from among the horses' feet, With dinted shield, and helmet beat, The falcon crest and plumage gone, Can that be baughty Marmion ! Young Blount his armour did unlace, And, gazing on his ghastly face,
Said—“ By Saint George, he's gone ! That spear-wound has our master sped, And see the deep cut on his head!
Good night to Marmion.” “ Unnurtured Blount ! thy brawling cease : He opes his eyes," said Eustace ; “ peace !"
XXX. 0, woman! in our hours of ease, Uncertain, coy, and hard to please, And variable as the shade By the light quivering aspen made,When pain and anguish wring the brow, A ministering angel thou Scarce were the piteous accents said, When, with the baron's casque, the maid
To the nigh streamlet ran :
Sees but the dying man.
But in abhorrence backward drew;
Was curdling in the streamlet blue. Where shall she turn ?-behold her mark
A little fountain cell,
In a stone basin fell.
Who built this cross and well.
A monk supporting Marmion's head;
To shrive the dying, bless the dead.
XXXI. Deep drank Lord Marmion of the wave, And as she stoop'd his brow to lavem “ Is it the hand of Clare,” he said, “Or injured Constance, bathes my head ?”
Then, as remembrance rose,“ Speak not to me of shrift or prayer !
I must redress her woes. Short space, few words are mine, to spare: Forgive and listen, gentle Clare!"
“ Alas!” she said, “ the while,O think of your immortal weal! In vain for Constance is your zeal;
She-died at Holy Isle.”
I would the fiend, to whom belongs
Would spare me but a day!
Might bribe him for delay.
By this, though deep the evening fell,
Where Huntley, and where Home?-
That to King Charles did come, When Rowland brave, and Olivier, And every paladin and peer,
On Roncesvalles died ! Such blast might warm them, not in vain, To quit the plunder of the slain, And turn the doubtful day again,
While yet on Flodden side, Afar the royal standard Aies, And round it toils, and bleeds, and dies,
Our Caled ian pride! In vain the wish—for, far away, While spoil and havoc mark their way, Near Sybil's cross the plunderers stray.“O, lady,” cried the monk," away !"
And placed her on her steed, And led her to the chapel fair
Of Tilmouth upon Tweed. There all the night they spent in prayer, And, at the dawn of morning, there She met her kinsman, Lord Fitz-Clare.
For that she ever sung, “In the lost battle, borne down by the flying, Where mingles war's rattle with groans of the
So the notes rung;
O think on faith and bliss -
But never aught like this."-
And-Stanley! was the cry;
And fired his glazing eye:
And shouted « Victory
But as they left the darkening heath,
That fought around their king.
Unbroken was the ring :
The instant that he fell.
As fearlessly and well;
And from the charge they drew,
Sweep back to ocean blue.
blow. Dissolves in silent dew.
The spoilers stripp'd and gash'd the slain,
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,
While many a broken band,
To gain the Scottish land ;
Of Flodden's fatal field,
And broken was her shield !
Nor cherish hope in vain,
May yet return again.
And fell on Flodden plain :
Beseem'd the monarch slain.
Unto my tale again.
Less easy task it were, to show
But every mark is gone ;
And broke her font of stone.
Oft halts the stranger there,
And shepherd boys repair
And plait their garlands fair;
That holds the bones of Marmion brave.-
His hands to heaven upraised;
His arms and feats were blazed.
I do not rhyme to that dull elf,