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Paced forth the judges three;
Sorrow it were, and shame, to tell
The butcher-work that there befell,
When they had glided from the cell
Of sin and misery.

An hundred winding steps convey
That conclave to the upper day;
But, ere they breathed the fresher air,
They heard the shriekings of despair,

•And many a stifled groan:

With speed their upward way they take (Such speed as age and fear can make), And crossed themselves for terror's sake,

As hurrying, tottering on.
Even in the vesper's heavenly tone,
They seemed to hear a dying groan,
And bade the passing knell to toll
For welfare of a parting soul.
Slow o'er the midnight wave it swung,
Northumbrian rocks in answer rung;
To Warkworth cell the echoes rolled,
His beads the wakeful hermit told;
The Bamborough peasant raised his head
But slept ere half a prayer he said :
So far was heard the mighty knell,
The stag sprung up on Cheviot Fell,
Spread his broad nostril to the wind,
Listed before, aside, behind;

Then couched him down beside the hind,
And quaked among the mountain fern,
To hear that sound so dull and stern.



LOUNT 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! 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 wreathed 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 lance's thrust;
And such a yell was there,

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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 naught desery.

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 marked they, dashing broad and far,
The broken billows of the war,

And plumèd crests of chieftains brave,
Floating like foam upon the wave;

But naught distinct they see:
Wide raged the battle on the plain;
Spears shook, and falchions flashed amain;
Fell England's arrow-flight 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 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.

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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 flung the feeble targe aside,
And with both hands the broadsword 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 flight, 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.

No longer Blount the view could bear :—
"By Heaven, and all its saints! I swear,
I will not see it lost!

Fitz-Eustace, you with Lady Clare

May bid your beads, and patter prayer,—
I gallop to the host."

And to the fray he rode amain,
Followed by all the archer train.
The fiery youth, with desperate charge,
Made, for a space, an opening large,—
The rescued banner rose,—

But darkly closed the war around;

Like pine-tree, rooted from the ground,
It sunk among the foes.
Then Eustace mounted too;-yet staid,
As loth to leave the helpless maid,

When, fast as shaft can fly,
Bloodshot his eyes, his nostrils spread,
The loose rein dangling from his head,
Housing and saddle bloody red,

Lord Marmion's steed rushed 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.

Ask me not what the maiden feels,

Left in that dreadful hour alone: Perchance her reason stoops, or reels; Perchance a courage, not her own,

Braces her mind to desperate tone.— The scattered van of England wheels;

She only said, as loud in air

The tumult roared, "Is Wilton there ?"They fly, or, maddened by despair, Fight but to die." Is Wilton there?" 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,

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