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All peace on earth, good will to men;
If ever from an English heart,
O! here let prejudice depart,
And partial feeling cast aside,
Record, that Fox a Briton died !
When Europe crouched to France's yoke,
And Austria bent, and Prussia broke,
And the firm Russian's purpose brave
Was bartered by a timorous slave;
Even then dishonor's peace he spurned,
The sullied olive-branch returned,
Stood for his country's glory fast,
And nailed her colors to the mast!
Heaven, to reward his firmness, gave
A portion in this honored grave;
And never held marble in its trust,
Of two such wondrous men the dust.
With more than mortal powers endowed,
How high they soared above the crowd !
Theirs was no common party race,
Jostling by dark intrigue for place;
Like fabled gods, their mighty war
Shook realms and nations in its jar;
Beneath each banner proud to stand,
Looked up the noblest of the land;
Till through the British world were known
The names of Pitt and Fox alone.
257. THE PARTING OF DOUGLAS AND MARMION.
The train from out the castle drew,
But Marmion stopped to bid adieu :
“ Though something I might plain,” he said,
“Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your king's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I staid;
Part we in friendship from your land,
And, noble earl, receive my hand.”
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke : -
“My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation stone -
The hand of Douglas is his own,
And never shall in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp."
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire,
And — “This to me!” he said, -
" An’twere not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head!
And, first, I tell thee, haughty peer,
He, who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate:
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,
Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here, in thy hold, thy vassals near
(Nay, never look upon your lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword), –
I tell thee, thou’rt defied!
And if thou said'st, I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Luwland or Highland, far or near,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied!”.
On the earl's cheek the flush of rage
O'ercame the ashen hue of age :
Fierce he broke forth, — " And dar'st thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
The Douglas in his hall?
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go?-
No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no!
Up drawbridge, grooms what, warder, ho!
Let the portcullis fall.”
Lord Marmion turned, - well was his need, -
And dashed the rowels in his steed,
Like arrow through the archway sprung,
The ponderous grate behind him rung:
To pass there was such scanty room,
The bars, descending, razed his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise;
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level briin :
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clinchéd hand,
And shout of luud defiance pours,
And shook liis gauntlet at the towers.
“ Horse! horse!” the Douglas cried, “and chase »
But soon he reined his fury's pace;
“A royal messenger he came,
Though most unworthy of the name,
A letter forged! Saint Jude to speed !
Did ever knight so foul a deed?
At first in heart it liked me ill,
WI the king praised his clerkly skill.
Thanks to Saint Bothan, son of mine,
Save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line :
So swore I, and I swear it still,
Let my boy-bishop fret his fill.
Saint Mary mend my fiery mood !
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas' blood,
I thought to slay him where he stood.
'Tis pity of him, too,” he cried :
“Bold can he speak, and fairly ride :
I warrant him a warrior tried.",
With this his mandate he recalls,
And slowly seeks his castle's halls.
258, THE DEATH OF MARMION. 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 armor did unlace, And, gazing on his ghastly face,
Said – “By St. 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!”
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 :- fly,
To Dacre bear my signet-ring;
Tell him his squadrons up to bring. -
Fitz-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 central host,
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 wide,
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 . bearg · pilgrim. drink . and. prap .
For . the . kind . soul . of. Sybil . Grey .
Who . built . this . cross . and. well.”
With fruitless labor, Clara bound,
And strove to stanch, the gushing wound:
The Monk, with unavailing cares,
Exhausted all the Church's prayers ;
Ever, he said, that, close and near,
A lady's voice was in his ear,
And that the priest he could not hear,
For that she ever sung, “ In the lost battle, borne down by the Aying, Where mingles war's rattle with groans of the dying !”
So the notes rung;
“ Avoid thee, Fiend! — with cruel hand
Shake not the dying sinner's sand! —
O look, my son, upon yon sign
Of the Redeemer's grace divine;
O think on faith and bliss ! -
By many a death-bed I have been,
And many a sinner's parting seen,
But never aught like this.”
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now trebly thundering swelled the gale,
And — STANLEY! was the cry;
A light on Marinion'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.
FROM "THE LADY OF THE LAKE.” 259. ELLEN — THE LADY OF THE LAKE.
But scarce again his horn he wound,
When lo! forth starting at the sound,
From underneath an aged oak
That slanted from the islet rock,
A damsel guider of its way,
A little skiff shot to the bay.