Constance de Beverley they know,
Sister professed of Fontevraud,
Whom the church numbered with the dead,
For broken vows, and convent filed.

Victim and executioner
Were blindfold when transported there.
In low dark rounds the arches hung,
From the rude rock the side-walls sprung;
The gravestones, rudely sculptured o'er,
Half sunk in earth, by time half wore,
Were all the pavement of the floor;
The mildew-drops fell one by one,
With tinkling splash, upon the stone.
A cresset, in an iron chain,
Which served to light this drear domain,
With damp and darkness seemed to strive,
As if it scarce might keep alive ;
And yet it dimly served to show
The awful conclave met below.

When thus her face was given to view,
(Although so pallid was her hue,
It did a ghastly contrast bear
To those bright ringlets glistering fair,)
Her look composed, and steady eye,
Bespoke a matchless constancy;
And there she stood so calm and pale
That, but her breathing did not fail,
And motion slight of eye and head,
And of her bosom, warranted
That neither sense nor pulse she lacks,
You might have thought a form of wax,
Wrought to the very life, was there ;
So still she was, so pale, so fair.

There, met to doom in secrecy,
Were placed the heads of convents three:
All servants of Saint Benedict,
The statutes of whose order strict

On iron table lay ;
In long black dress, on seats of stone,
Behind were these three judges shown

By the pale cresset's ray:
The Abbess of Saint Hilda there
Sate for a pace with visage bare,
Until, to hide her bosom's swell,
And tear-drops that for pity fell,

She closely drew her veil.
Yon shrouded figure, as I guess,
By her proud mien and flowing dress,
Is Tynemouth's haughty Prioress,

And she with awe looks pale.
And he, that Ancient Man, whose sight
Has long been quenched by age's night,
Upon whose wrinkled brow alone
Nor ruth nor mercy's trace is shown,

Whose look is hard and stern, Saint Cuthbert's Abbot is his style ; For sanctity called, through the Isle,

The Saint of Lindisfarne.

Her comrade was a sordid soul,

Such as does murder for a meed; Who, but of fear, knows no control, Because his conscience, seared and foul,

Feels not the import of his deed : One whose brute feeling ne'er aspires Beyond his own more brute desires. Such tools the tempter ever needs To do the savagest of deeds ; For them no visioned terrors daunt, Their nights no fancied spectres haunt; One fear with them, of all most base, The fear of death, — alone finds place. This wretch was clad in frock and cowl, And shamed not loud to mourn and howl, His body on the floor to dash, And crouch, like hound beneath the lash; While his mute partner, standing near, Waited her doom without a tear. Yet well the luckless wretch might shriek, Well might her paleness terror speak ! For there was seen, in that dark wall, Two niches, narrow, deep, and tall. Who enters at such grisly door, Shall ne'er, I ween, find exit more. In each a slender meal was laid Of roots, of water, and of bread: By each, in Benedictine dress, Two haggard monks stood motionfess, Who, holding high a blazing torch, Showed the grim entrance of the porch : Reflecting back the smoky beam, The dark red walls and arches gleam. Hewn stones and cement were displayed, And building-tools in order laid.

Before them stood a guilty pair ;
But, though an equal fate they share,
Yet one alone deserves our care.
Her sex a page's dress belied ;
The cloak and doublet, loosely tied,
Obscured her charms, but could not hide.
Her cap down o'er her face she drew;

And, on her doublet breast,
She tried to hide the badge of blue,

Lord Marmion's falcon crest.
But at the Prioress' command,
A monk undid the silken band

That tied her tresses fair,
And raised the bonnet from her head,
And down her slender form they spread

In ringlets rich and rare.

These executioners were chose
As men who were with mankind foes,

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And, with despite and envy fired,
Into the cloister had retired ;

Or who, in desperate doubt of grace,
Strove, by deep penance, to efface

Of some foul crime the stain
For, as the vassals of her will,
Such men the Church selected still,
As either joyed in doing ill

Or thought more grace to gain,
If, in her cause, they wrestled down
Feelings their nature strove to own.
By strange device were they brought there,
They knew not how, and knew not where.
And now that blind old Abbot rose,

To speak the Chapter's doom
On those the wall was to enclose

Alive within the tomb;
But stopped, because that woful maid,
Gathering her powers, to speak essayed.
Twice she essayed, and twice in vain ;
Her accents might no utterance gain ;
Naught but imperfect murmurs slip
From her convulsed and quivering lip.

'Twixt each attempt all was so still,
You seemed to hear a distant rill,

'T was ocean's swell and falls ;
For though this vault of sin and fear
Was to the sounding surge so near,
A tempest there you scarce could hear,

So massive were the walls.

Who forfeited, to be his slave,
All here, and all beyond the grave.
He saw young Clara's face more fair,
He knew her of broad lands the heir,
Forgot his vows, his faith forswore,
And Constance was beloved no more.
'T is an old tale, and often told;

But, did my fate and wish agree,
Ne'er had been read, in story old,
Of maiden true betrayed for gold,

That loved, or was avenged, like me. “ The King approved his favorite's aim ; In vain a rival barred his claim,

Whose faith with Clare's was plight,
For he attaints that rival's fame
With treason's charge, - and on they came,
In mortal lists to fight.

Their oaths are said,
Their prayers are prayed,

Their lances in the rest are laid,
They meet in mortal shock ;
And, hark! the throng, with thundering cry,
Shout ‘Marmion, Marmion, to the sky!

De Wilton to the block !'
Say ye, who preach Heaven shall decide,
When in the lists two champions ride,

Say, was Heaven's justice here,
When, loyal in his love and faith,
Wilton found overthrow or death

Beneath a traitor's spear? How false the charge, how true he fell, This guilty packet best can tell.”. Then drew a packet from her breast, Paused, gathered voice, and spoke the rest. “Still was false Marmion's bridal stayed ; To Whitby's convent fled the maid,

The hated match to shun. * Ho ! shifts she thus ?' King Henry cried ; "Sir Marmion, she shall be thy bride,

If she were sworn a nun.'
One way remained, the King's command
Sent Marmion to the Scottish land ;
I lingered here, and rescue planned

For Clara and for me.
This caitiff monk for gold did swear
He would to Whitby's shrine repair,
And, by his drugs, my rival fair

A saint in heaven should be.
But ill the dastard kept his oath,
Whose cowardice hath undone us both.
“And now my tongue the secret tells,
Not that remorse my bosom swells,
But to assure my soul that none
Shall ever wed with Marmion.
Had fortune my last hope betrayed,
This packet, to the King conveyed,

At length an effort sent apart
The blood that curdled to her heart,

And light came to her eye,
And color dawned upon her cheek,
A hectic and a fluttered streak,
Like that left on the Cheviot peak

By autumn's stormy sky ;
And when her silence broke at length,
Still as she spoke she gathered strength,

And armed herself to bear.
It was a fearful sight to see
Such high resolve and constancy

In form so soft and fair.

“I speak not to implore your grace ; Well know I for one minute's space

Successless might I sue. Nor do I speak your prayers to gain ; For if a death of lingering pain To cleanse my sins be penance vain,

Vain are your masses too. I listened to a traitor's tale, I left the convent and the veil ; For three long years I bowed my pride, A horse-boy in his train to ride ; And weli my folly's meed he gave,

Had given him to the headsman's stroke,
Although my heart that instant broke.
Now, men of death, work forth your will,
For I can suffer, and be still ;
And come he slow, or come he fast,
It is but Death who comes at last.

“Yet dread me, from my living tomb, Ye vassal slaves of bloody Rome! If Marmion's late remorse should wake, Full soon such vengeance will he take, That you shall wish the fiery Dane Had rather been your guest again. Behind, a darker hour ascends ! The altars quake, the crosier bends, The ire of a despotic king Rides forth upon destruction's wing ; Then shall these vaults, so strong and deep, Burst open to the sea-winds' sweep. Some traveller then shall find my bones Whitening amid disjointed stones, And, ignorant of priests' cruelty, Marvel such relics here should be."

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.



Fixed was her look, and stern her air,
Back from her shoulders streamed her hair;
The locks, that wont her brow to shade,
Stared up erectly from her head ;
Her figure seemed to rise more high ;
Her voice, despair's wild energy
Had given a tone of prophecy.
Appalled the astonished conclave sate ;
With stupid eyes the men of fate
Gazed on the light inspired form,
And listened for the avenging storm.
The judges felt the victim's dread ;
No hand was moved, no word was said,
Till thus the Abbot's doom was given,
Raising his sightless balls to heaven :
“Sister, let thy sorrows cease ;
Sinful brother, part in peace !'

From that dire dungeon, place of doom,
Of execution too, and tomb,

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.

(Baltimore is a small seaport in the barony of Carbery, in South Munster. It grew up round a castle of O'Driscoll's, and was, after his ruin, colonized by the English. On the 20th of June, 1631, the crew of two Algerine galleys landed in the dead of the night, sacked the town, and bore off into slavery all who were not too old, or too young, or too fierce, for their purpose. The pirates were steered up the intricate channel by one Hackett, a Dungarvan fisherman, whom they had taken at sea for the purpose. Two years after he was convicted, and executed for the crime. Ballimore never recovered from this.) The summer sun is falling soft on Carbery's hun

dred isles, The summer's sun is gleaming still through Ga

briel's rough defiles, Old Inisherkin'scrumbled fane looks like a moult

ing bird ; And in a calm and sleepy swell the ocean tide is

heard : The hookers lie upon the beach ; the children

cease their play ; The gossips leave the little inn; the households

kneel to pray, And full of love and peace and rest, - its daily

labor o'er, Upon that cosey creek there lay the town of Bal



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;

A deeper rest, a starry trance, has come with mid

night there ; No sound, except that throbbing wave, in earth

or sea or air. The massive capes and ruined towers seem con

scious of the calm ; The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing

heavy balm. So still the night, these two long barks round

Dunashad that glide Must trust their oars - methinks not few

against the ebbing tide,


F 08



is seen,

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0, some sweet mission of true love must urge | O, some are for the arsenals by beauteous Darthem to the shore,

danelles, They bring some lover to his bride, who sighs in And some are in the caravan to Mecca's sandy dells. Baltimore!

The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen

for the Dey, All, all asleep within each roof along that rocky She's safe, she's dead, --- she stabbed him in street,

the midst of his Serai ; And these must be the lover's friends, with gently And when to die a death of fire that noble maid gliding feet.

they bore, A stifled gasp ! a dreamy noise ! “The roof is in She only smiled,

O'Driscoll's child, — she a flame!”

thought of Baltimore. From out their beds, and to their doors, rush maid and sire and dame,

'T is two long years since sunk the town beneath And meet, upon the threshold stone, the gleam- that bloody band, ing sabre's fall,

And all around its trampled hearths a larger conAnd o'er each black and bearded face the white course stand, or crimson shawl ;

Where high upon a gallows-tree a yelling wretch The yell of “ Allah !” breaks above the prayer and shriek and roar.

'T is Hackett of Dungarvan, – he who steered O blesséd God, the Algerine is lord of Baltimore!

the Algerine !

He fell amid a sullen shout, with scarce a passing Then flung the youth his naked hand against the

prayer, shearing sword ;

For he had slain the kith and kin of many a hunThen sprung the mother on the brand with which dred there : her son was gored;

Some muttered of MacMorrogh, who had brought Then sunk the grandsire on the floor, his grand- the Norman o'er, babes clutching wild ;

Some cursed him with Iscariot, that day in BaltiThen fled the maiden moaning faint, and nestled

with the child. But see, yon pirate strangling lies, and crushed

with splashing heel,
While c'er him in an Irish hand there sweeps his

Syrian steel;

(Hatto, Archbishop of Mentz, in the year 914 barbarously murThough virtue sink, and courage fail, and misers dered a number of poor people to prevent their consuming a por.

tion of the food during that year of famine. He was afterwards yield their store,

devoured by rats in his tower on an island in the Rhine. — There's onc hearth well avenged in the sack of Old Legends Baltimore!

The summer and autumn had been so wet, Midsummer morn, in woodland nigh, the birds "T was a piteous sight to see all around

That in winter the corn was growing yet. begin to sing ;

The grain lie rotting on the ground.
They see not now the milking.maids, deserted is
the spring!

Every day the starving poor
Midsummer day, this gallant rides from distant They crowded around Bishop Hatto's door ;

Bandon's town,
These hookers crossed from stormy Skull, that And all the neighborhood could tell

For he had a plentiful last-year's store,
skiff from Afiadown.

His granaries were furnished well. They only found the smoking walls with neighbors' blood besprent,

At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile To quiet the poor without delay ; they wildly went,

He bade them to his great barn repair,
Then dashed to sea, and passed Cape Clear, and And they should have food for the winter there.


five leagues before, The pirate-galleys vanishing that ravaged Balti. Rejoiced the tidings good to hear,

The poor folks flocked from far and near;

The great barn was full as it could hold
O, some must tug the galley's oar, and some must of women and children, and young and old.

tend the steed, -
This boy will bear a Scheik's chibouk, and that Then, when he saw it could hold no more,
a Bey's jerreed.

Bishop Hatto he made fast the door;

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And whilst for mercy on Christ they call, And down from the ceiling and up through the He set fire to the barn, and burnt them all.


From the right and the left, from behind and before, “I' faith 't is an excellent bonfire !" quoth he; From within and without, from aboveand below, – “And the country is greatly obliged to me And all at once to the bishop they go. For ridding it, in these times forlorn, Of rats that only consume the corn."

They have whetted their teeth against the stones, So then to his palace returned he,

And now they pick the bishop's bones ; And he sate down to supper merrily,

They gnawed the flesh from every limb, And he slept that night like an innocent man;

For they were sent to do judgment on him !
But Bishop Hatto never slept again.
In the morning, as he entered the hall,
Where his picture hung against the wall,

A sweat like death all over him came,
For the rats had eaten it out of the frame. PARRHASIUS stood, gazing forgetfully

Upon the canvas. There Prometheus lay,
As he looked, there came a man from his farm, --

Chained to the cold rocks of Mount Caucasus, He had a countenance white with alarm :

The vulture at his vitals, and the links "My lord, I opened your granaries this morn, And the rats had eaten all your corn."

Of the lame Lemnian festering in his flesh ;

And, as the painter's mind felt through the dim Another came running presently,

Rapt mystery, and plucked the shadows forth And he was pale as pale could be.

With its far-reaching fancy, and with form “Fly! my lord bishop, fly!" quoth he,

And color clad them, his fine, earnest eye “ Ten thousand rats are coming this way,

Flashed with a passionate fire, and the quick curl The Lord forgive you for yesterday !”

Of his thin nostril, and his quivering lip,

Were like the winged god's breathing from his “I'll go to my tower in the Rhine," replied he; flights. “'T is the safest place in Germany, The walls are high, and the shores are steep, “Bring me the captive now ! And the tide is strong, and the water deep." My hand feels skilful, and the shadows lift

From my waked spirit airily and swift ; Bishop Hatto fearfully hastened away;

And I could paint the bow And he crossed the Rhine without delay,

Upon the bended heavens, — around me play And reached his tower in the island, and barred Colors of such divinity to-day. All the gates secure and hard. He laid him down and closed his eyes,

Ha ! bind him on his back ! But soon a scream made him arise ;

Look ! as Prometheus in my picture here ; He started, and saw two eyes of flame

Quick, or he faints ! - stand with the cordial On his pillow, from whence the screaming came.

near !

Now, - bend him to the rack ! He listened and looked, - it was only the cat ; Press down the poisoned links into his flesh ! But the bishop he grew more fearful for that, And tear agape that healing wound afresh ! For she sate screaming, mad with fear At the army of rats that were drawing near.

“So, - let him writhe ! How long

Will he live thus? Quick, my good pencil, now! For they have swum over the river so deep,

What a fine agony works upon his brow ! And they have climbed the shores so steep,

Ha! gray-haired, and so strong ! And now by thousands up they crawl

How fearfully he stifles that short moan !
To the holes and the windows in the wall.

Gods ! could I but paint a dying groan !
Down on his knees the bishop fell,
And faster and faster his beads did he tell,

* Pity thee ! so I do! As louder and louder, drawing near,

I pity the dumb victim at the altar, The saw of their teeth without he could hear.

But does the robed priest for his pity falter !

I'd rack thee, though I knew And in at the windows, and in at the door, A thousand lives were perishing in thine ; And through the walls, by thousands they pour ; | What were ten thousand to a fame like mine?

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