« AnteriorContinuar »
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now trebly thundering swelled the gale,
And-STANLEY! was the cry ;-
A light on Marmion's visage spread,
And fired his glazing eye:
With dying hand, above his head
He shook the fragment of his blade,
And shouted " Victory!-
Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on!”
Were the last words of Marmion.
By this, though deep the evening fell
Still rose the battle's deadly swell;
For still the Scots around their king,
Unbroken, fought in desperate ring.
Where's now their victor vaward wing ?
Where Huntley, and where Home?
Oh! for a blast of that dread horn,
On Fontarabian echoes borne,
That to King Charles did come.
When Roland brave, and Oliver,
And every paladin and peer,
On Roncesvalles died !
Such blast might warn 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 flies,
And round it toils, and bleeds, and dies,
Our Caledonian pride!
In vain the wish, for far away,
While spoil and havoc mark their way,
Near Sybil's Cross the plunderers stray,
“Oh ! 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.
But as they left the dark’ning heath,
More desperate grew the strife of death.
The English shafts in vollies hailed,
In headlong charge their horse assailed;
Front, flank, and rear, the squadrons sweep,
To break the Scottish circle deep,
That fought around their king.
But yet, though thick the shafts as snow,
Though charging knights like whirlwinds go,
Though bill-men ply the ghastly blow,
Unbroken was the ring,
Each stepping where his comrade stood,
The instant that he fell.
No thought was there of dastard flight;
Linked in the serried phalanx tight,
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,
As fearlessly and well;
Till utter darkness closed her wing
O'er their thin host and wounded king.
Then skilful Surrey's sage commands
Led back from strife his shattered bands;
And from the charge they drew,
As mountain waves, from wasted lands,
Sweep back to ocean blue.
Then did their loss his foemen know;
Their king, their lords, their mightiest, low,
They melted from the field as snow,
When streams are swoln and south winds blow,
Dissolves in silent dew.
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,
many a broken band, Disordered, through her currents dash,
To gain the Scottish land:
To town and tower, to down and dale,
To tell red Flodden's dismal tale,
And raise the universal wail.
Tradition, legend, tune, and song,
Shall many an age that wail prolong:
Still from the sire the son shall hear
Of the stern strife, and carnage drear,
Of Flodden's fatal field,
Where shivered was fair Scotland's spear,
And broken was her shield.
Day dawns upon the mountain's side :-
There, Scotland, lay thy bravest pride,
Chiefs, knights, and nobles, many a one,
The sad survivors all are gone.
View not that corpse mistrustfully,
Defaced and mangled though it be;
Nor to yon Border castle high
Look northward with upbraiding eye;
Nor cherish hope in vain,
That, journeying far on foreign strand,
The Royal Pilgrim to his land
May yet return again.
He saw the wreck his rashness wrought;
Reckless of life, he desperate fought,
And fell on Flodden plain:
And well in death his trusty brand,
Firm clenched within his manly hand,
Beseemed the monarch slain.
But, oh! how changed since yon blithe night!
Gladly I turn me from the sight,
Unto my tale again.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. Born 1770; Died 1850.
Wordsworth, in youth and early manhool, was stirred by the
revolutionary feelings of the time, and felt a keen sympathy
with the French Revolution, a sympathy which animated his
genius at this period of his life. When the excesses of the
Revolution and the ambition of the French nation had produced
a revulsion of feeling, he turned the more earnestly to the
poetry of nature and contemplation, in which his work-work
which is unsurpassed for dopth and delicacy-for the future
THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore :-
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,