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MARMION AND DOUGLAS. (Nay, never look upon your lord, (Marmion, Canto vi.)
And lay your hands upon your sword,)
I tell thee thou'rt dehed!
And if thou said'st I am not peer
Lord Angus, thou hast lied !” He had safe conduct for his band, On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage Beneath the royal seal and hand, O'ercame the ashen hue of age : And Douglas gave a guide:
Fierce he broke forth, -- "And darest The ancient Earl, with stately grace,
thou, then, Would Clara on her palfry place, To beard the lion in his den, And whisper'd in an under tone,
The Douglas in his hall? * Let the hawk stoop, his prey is And hopest thou hence unscathed to fiown."
go?— The train from out the castle drew, No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no! But Marmion stopp'd to bid adieu: Up drawbridge, grooms—what, Warder, “ Though something I might plain,"
ho! he said,
Let the portcullis fall.” "Of cold respect to stranger guest, Lord Marmion turn'd, — well was his Sent hither by your King's behest,
need, While in Tantallon's towers I staid; And dash'd the rowels in his steed, Part we in friendship from your land, Like arrow through the archway sprung And, noble Earl, receive my hand.” - The ponderous grate behind him rung: But Douglas round him drew his cloak, To pass there was such scanty room, Folded his arms, and thus he spoke: The bars, descending, razed his plume. ** My manors, halls, and bowers, shall
still Be open, at my Sovereign's will, To each one whom he lists, howe'er The steed along the drawbridge flies, Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
Just as it trembled on the rise; My castles are my King's alone,
Nor lighter does the swallow skim From turret to foundation-stone
Along the smooth lake's level brim : The hand of Douglas is his own; And when Lord Marmion reach'd his And never shall in friendly grasp
band, The hand of such as Marmion clasp.” — He halts, and turn'd with clench'd hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers. Burn's Marmion's swarthy cheek like " Horse! horse!” the Douglas cried, fire,
"and chase!” And shook his very frame for ire, But soon he rein'd his fury's pace:
And — “This to me!” he said, “ A royal messenger he came, “An 'twere not for thy hoary beard, Though most unworthy of the name. Such hand as Marmion's had not spared A letter forged! Saint Jude to speed ! To cleave the Douglas' head!
Did ever knight so foul a deed ! And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer, At first in heart it liked me ill, He who does England's message here, When the King praised his clerkly Although the meanest in her state,
skill. May well, proud Angus, be thy mate: Thanks to Saint Bothan, son of mine, And, Douglas, more I tell thee here, Save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line. Even in thy pitch of pride,
So swore I, and I swear it still, Here in thy hold, thy vassals near, Let my boy-bishop fret his fill. -
Saint Mary mend my liery mood !
[Lady of the Lake, Canto i.]
The noble stag was pausing now, I warrant him a warrior tried."
Upon the mountain's southern brow, With this his mandate he recalls,
Where broad extended, far beneath, And slowly seeks his castle halls. The varied realms of fair Menteith.
With anxious eye he wanderd o'er
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray
And mingled with the pine-trees blue [Marmion, Canto vi.]
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.
With flying foot the heath he spurn'd, With fruitless labor, Clara bound, Held westward with unwearied race, And strove to stanch the gushing And left behind the panting chase.
wound; The Monk, with unavailing cares,
VIII. Exhausted all the Church's prayers. The Hunter mark'd that mountain high, Ever, he said, that, close and near, The lone lake's western boundary, A lady's voice was in his ear,
And deem'd the stag must turn to bay, And that, the priest he could not hear, Where that huge rampart barr'd the For that she ever sung,
way. “ In the lost battle, borne down by the Already glorying in the prize, Nying,
Measured his antlers with his eyes; Where mingles war's rattle with groans For the death-wound and death-halloo, of tre dying !”
Muster'd his breath, his whinyard drew; So the notes rung:
But thundering as he came prepared, “Avoid thee, Fiend! — with cruel hand, With ready arm and weapon bared, Shake not the dying sinner's sand ! The wily quarry shunn'd the shock, O, look, my son, upon yon sign
And turn'd him from the opposing, of the Redeemer's grace divine;
rock; O, think on faith and bliss !
Then, dashing down a darksome glen, By many a death-bed I have been, Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken, And many a sinner's parting seen, In the deep Trosach's wildest nook But never aught like this.”
His solitary refuge took. The war, that for a space did fail, There, while close couch'd, the thicket Now trebly thundering swellid the
Cold dews and wild flowers on his head And STANLEY! was the cry; He heard the baffled dogs in vain A light on Marmion's visage spread, Rave through the hollow pass amain, And fired his glazing eye;
Chiding the rocks that yell’d again. With dying hand, above his head, He shook the fragment of his blade, And shouted " Victory!
Close on the hounds the Hunter came, Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, To cheer them on the vanish'd game; on!"
But, stumbling in the rugged dell, Were the last words of Marmion. The gallant horse exhausted fell.
The impatient rider strove in vain To view this Lady of the Lake.
And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace
Of finer form, or lovelier face!
What though the sun, with ardent frown,
Had slightly tinged her cheek with Then through the dell his horn resounds,
brown, From vain pursuit to call the hounds. Back limp d, with slow and crippled Had dyed her glowing hue so bright,
The sportive toil, which, short and light, pace,
Served too in hastier swell to show
Short glimpses of a breast of snow:
What though no rule of courtly grace With drooping tail and humbled crest;
To measured mood had train'd her But still the dingle's hollow throat
, Prolong'd the swelling bugle-note.
pace, The owlets started from their dream,
A foot more light, a step more true,
Ne'er from the heath-flower dash'd the The eagles answer'd with their scream,
dew; Round and arcund the sounds were
E’en the slight harebell raised its head, cast, Till echo seem'd an answering blast;
Elastic from her airy tread: And on the Hunter hied bis way,
What though upon her speech there
hung To join some comrades of the day;
The accents of the mountain tongue, Vet often paused, so strange the road,
Those silver sounds, so soft, so dear, So wondrous were the scenes it show'd.
The listener held his breath to hear!
XIX. But scarce again his horn he wound, A Chieftain's daughter seem'd the maid; When lo! forth starting at the sound, Her satin snood, her silken plaid, From underneath an aged oak,
Her golden brooch, such birth betray'd. That slanted from the islet rock,
And seldom was a snood amid A damsel guider of its way,
Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid, A little skiff shot to the bay,
Whose glossy black to shame mighi . That round the promontory steep
bring Led its deep line in graceful sweep,
The plumage of the raven's wing; Eddying in almost viewless wave, And seldom o'er a breast so fair, The weeping willow-twig to lave, Mantled a plaid with modest care, And kiss, with whispering sound and And never brooch the folds combined slow,
Above a heart more good and kind. The beach of pebbles bright as snow.
Her kindness and her worth to spy, The boat had touch'd this silver strand, You need but gaze on Ellen's eye; Just as the Hunter left his stand,
1 Snood, the fillet worn round the hair of And stood conceal'd amid the brake, maidens.