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For, all for heat, was laid aside
Her wimple, and her hood untied.
And first she pitched her voice to sing,
Then glanced her dark eye on the king,
And then around the silent ring;
And laughed, and blushed, 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.
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 none,
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He staid not for brake, and he stopped not for stone ;
He swam the Eske river where ford 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,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar,
So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,
Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all ;
Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,
(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word)
"O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"
“I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied ;-
Lore swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine:
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."
The bride kissed the goblet ; the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar-
"Now tread we a measure !” said young Lochinvar,
So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace ;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume ;
And the bride-maidens whispered, “ 'Twere better by far
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."
One touch to her hand, and one word in her car,
When they reached the hall door, and the charger stood near ;
So light to the croup the fair lady he swung!
Bo light to the saddle before her he sprung!
" She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur ;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow !" quoth young Lochinvar.
There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan;
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran ;
There was racing, and chasing, on Cannobie Lee,
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 Lochinvar!
The monarch o'er the siren hung,
And beat the measure as she sung;
And, pressing closer, and more near,
He whispered praises in her ear.
In loud applause the courtiers vied ;
And ladies winked, and spoke aside.
The witching dame to Marmion threw
A glance, where seemed to reign
The pride that claims applauses due,
And of her royal conquest, too,
A real or a feigned disdain.” p. 257—261. The description of the battle, and of the death of Marmion, in the sixth Canto, are, in our opinion, by far the finest passages in the poem. But before closing our extracts with a part of that admirable description, we must treat our readers with the following fine sketch of an ancient Scot. tish baron, Douglas Earl of Angus, in his old age.
“ His giant form, like ruined tower,
Though fallen its muscles' brawny vaunt,
Huge boned, and tall, and grim, and gaunt,
Seemed o'er the gaudy scene to lower ;
His locks and beard in silver grew;
His eyebrows kept their sable hue." p. 263, 264.
“ O'er his huge form, and visage pale,
He wore a cap and shirt of mail,
And lean'd' his large and wrinkled hand
Upon the huge and sweeping brand,
Which wont, of yore, in battle-fray,
His foeman's limbs to shred away,
As wood-knife lops the sapling spray.
He seemed, as from the tombs around
Rising at judgment day,
Some giant Douglas may be found
In all his old array;
So pale his face, so huge his limb,
So old his arms, his looks so grim.” p. 333. We shall begin our extracts from the Flodden scenes, with the following moving picture of the passage of the English host through the deep vale of the Till, and of the fatal inactivity of the Scottish army.
“ High sight it is, and haughty, while
They dive into the deep defile ;
Beneath the caverned cliff they fall,
Beneath the castle's airy wall.
By rock, by oak, by hawthorn tree,
Troop after troop is disappearing;
Troop after troop their banners rearing,
Upon the eastern bank you see.
Still pouring down the rocky den,
Where flows the sullen Till,
And rising from the dim-wood glen,
Standards on standards, men on men,
In slow succession still,
And bending o'er the Gothick arch,
And pressing on, in ceaseless march
To gain th’ opposing hill.
And why stands Scotland idly now,
Dark Flodden! on thy airy brow,
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 !
0, Douglas, for thy leading wand !
Fierce Randolph, for thy speed !
O for one hour of Wallace wight,
Or well-skilled 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 !”- p. 345–7. The battle itself, as we have already intimated, is described as it appeared to the two squires of Lord Marmion, who were left on an eminence in the rear, as the guard of Lady Clare : and certainly, of all the poetical battles which have been fought, from the days of Homer to those of Mr. Southey, there is none, in our opinion, at all comparable, for interest and animation, for breadth of drawing, and magnificence of effect, with this of Mr. Scott's. The Scottish army set fire to its camp on the brow of the hill, and rushed down to the attack, under cover of the smoke of the conflagration.
“ 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 lance's thrust;
And such a yell was there,
Of sudden and portentous birth,
As if men fought upon the earth,
And fiends in upper air.
Long looked 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, i
And in the smoke the pennons flew,
As in the storm the white sea-mew.
Then marked 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 falchions fashed amain ;
Fell England's arrow-Aight like rain ;
Crests rose, and stooped, 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 Edmond 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.
Far on the left unseen the while,
Stanley broke Lennox and Argyle ;
Though there the western mountaineer
Rushed with bare bosom on the spear,
And Aung the feeble targe aside,
And with both hands the broad-sword plied:
'Twas vain.-But Fortune, on the right,
With fickle smile cheered Scotland's fight.
Then fell that spotless banner white,
The Howard's lion fell;
Yet still Lord Marmion's falcon flew
With wavering fight, while fiercer grew
Around the battle yell.
The Border slogan rent the sky:
A Home! a Gordon! was the cry;
Loud were the clanging blows;
Advanced,—forced back,-now low, now high,
The pennon sunk and rose ;
As bends the bark's mast in the gale,
When rent are rigging, shrouds, and sail,
It wavered mid the foes.” p. 354–357. The two squires now successively desert their fair charge to fly to the relief of their lord ; and Clara is left alone on the hill a prey to terrour and anxiety.
“ With that, straight up the hill there rode
Two horsemen drenched with gore,
And in their arms, a helpless load,
A wounded knight they bore.
His hand still strained the broken brand ;
His arms were smeared with blood, and sand.
Dragged from among the horses' feet,
With dinted shield, and helmet beat,
The falcon-crest and plumage gone,
Can that be haughty Marmion?
Young Blount his armour did unlace,
And, gazing on his ghastly face,
Said, By Saint George, he's
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; “
" When, doffed his casque, he felt free air,
Around gan Marmion wildly stare :-
Where's Harry Blount? Fitz-Eustace where?
Linger ye here, ye hearts of hare !
Redeem my pennon,-charge again!
Cry—“ Marmion to the rescue!”–Vain!
Last of my race, on battle-plain
That shout shall ne'er be heard again!
Yet my last thought is England's :-Ay.
To Dacre bear my signet-ring :
Toll him his squadrons up to brings l'itz-Eustace, to Lord Surrey hie:
Tunstall lies dead upon the field;
His life-blood stains the spotless shield :
Edmund is down ;-my life is reft ;-
The Admiral alone is left.
Let Stanley charge with spur of fire,
With Chester charge and Lancashire,
Full upon Scotland's
Or victory and England's lost.-
Must I bid twice !-hence, varlets! fly!
Leave Marmion here alone-to die.”—
They parted, and alone he lay;
Clare drew her from the sight away,
Till pain wrung forth a lowly moan,
And half he murmured, “Is there none,
Of all my halls have nurst,
Page, squire, or groom, one cup to bring
Of blessed water from the spring,
To slake my dying thirst!"-
O, 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 :
Forgot were hatred, wrongs, and fears;
The plaintive voice alone she hears,
Sees but the dying man.
She stooped her by the runnel's side,
But in abhorrence backward drew,
For, oozing from the mountain's side,
Where raged the war, a dark red tide
Was curdling in the streamlet blue.
Where shall she turn-behold her mark
A little fountain-cell,
Where water clear, as diamond-spark,
In a stone basin fell.
Above, some half-worn letters say,
“ Drink. weary. pilgrim. drink. and. pray:
For. the. kind. soul. of. Sybel. Grey.
Who. built. this. cross. and. well.”
She filled the helm, and back she hied, &c." p. 359-363
“ 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.”-
Lord Marmion started from the ground,
As light as if he felt no wound;
Though in the action burst the tide,
In torrents from his wounded side,
« Then it was truth!” he said : “I knew
That the dark presage must be true.-
I would the fiend, to whom belongs
The vengeance due to all her wrongs,
Would spare me but a day!