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The towers in different ages rose;
XI. Crichtoun; though now thy miry court But pens the lazy steer and sheep, Thy turrets rude, and tottered Keep, Have been the minstrel's loved resort. Oft have 1 traced within thy fort, Of mouldering shields the mystic sense, Scutcheons of honour, or pretence, Quartered in old armorial sort, Remains of rude magnificence: Nor wholly yet hath time defaced Thy lordly gallery fair; Nor yet the stony cord unbraced, Whose twisted knots, with roses laced, Adorn thy ruined stair. Still rises unimpaired below, The court-yard's graceful portico; Above its cornice, row and row, Of fair hewn facets, richly show Their pointed diamond form, Though there but houseless cattle go To shield them from the storm,
And, shuddering, still may we explore,
XII. Another aspect Crichtoun showed, As through its portal Marmion rode, But yet 'twas melancholy state Received him at the outer gate; For none were in the castle then, But women, boys, or aged men. with eyes scarce dried, the sorrowing dame, To welcome noble Marmion, came 3 Her son, a stripling twelve years old, Proffered the Baron's rein to hold; For each man, that could draw a sword, Had marched that morning with their lord, Earl Adam Hepburn,--he who died On Flodden, by his sovereign's side. Long may his Lady look in vain? She ne'er shall see his gallant train Come sweeping back through Crichtoun-Dean. 'Twas a brave race, before the name Of hated Bothwell stained their fame.
*The pit, or prison vault. See Note. .
XIII. And here two days did Marmion rest, With every rite that honour claims, Attended as the king's own guestSuch the command of royal James; Who marshalled then his land's array, Upon the borough-moor that lay. Perchance he would not foeman's eye Upon his gathering host should pry, Till full prepared was every band To march against the English land. Here while they dwelt, did Lindesay's wit Oft cheer the Baron's moodier fit; And, in his turn, he knew to prize Lord Marmion's powerful mind, and wiserTrained in the lore of Rome, and Greece, And policies of war and peace.
XIV. It chanced, as fell the second night, That on the battlements they walked, And, by the slowly fading light, Of varying topics talked; And, unaware, the Herald-bard Said, Marmion might his toil have spared, In travelling so far; For that a messenger from heaven In vain to James had counsel given Against the English war: And, closer questioned, thus he told
A tale, which chronicles of old
XV. SIR DAVID LINDESAY'S TALE. Of all the palaces so fair, Built for the royal dwelling, In Scotland, far beyond compare Linlithgow is excelling; And in its park, in jovial June, How sweet the merry linnet's tune, How blithe the blackbird's lay ! The wild buck bells" from ferny brake, The coot dives merry on the lake, The saddest heart might pleasure take To see all nature gay. But June is to our Sovereign dear The heaviest month in all the year: Too well his cause of grief you know, June saw his father's overthrow. Wo to the traitors, who could bring The princely boy against his King! Still in his conscience burns the sting. In offices as strict as Lent, King James's June is ever spent.
XVI. “When last this ruthful month was come, And in Linlithgow's holy dome The King, as wont, was praying;
* An ancient word for the cry of deer. See Note.
While for his royal father's soul