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“Our borders sacked by many a raid, Our peaceful liege-men robbed,” he said; “On day of truce our Warden slain, Stout Barton killed, his vessels ta'enUnworthy were we here to reign, Should these for vengeance cry in vain; Our full defiance, hate, and scorn, Our herald has to Henry borne.”
XIV. He paused, and led where Douglas stood, And with stern eye the pageant viewed: I mean that Douglas, sixth of yore, Who coronet of Angus bore, And, when his blood and heart were high, King James's minions led to die On Lauder's dreary flat: Princes and favourites long grew tame, And trembled at the homely name Of Archibald Bell the-Cat, The same who left the dusky vale Of Hermitage in Liddesdale, Its dungeons, and its towers; Where Bothwell's turrets brave the air, And Bothwell bank is blooming fair, To fix his princely bowers. Though now, in age, he had laid down His armour for the peaceful gown, And ior a staff his brand,
Yet often would flash forth the fire,
XV. 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. Near Douglas when the monarch stood, His bitter speech he thus pursued:— “Lord Marmion, since these letters say That in the North you needs must stay, While slightest hopes of peace remain, Uncourteous speech it were, and stern, To say—Return to Lindisfarn, Until my herald come againThen rest you in Tantallon Hold; Your host shall be the Douglas bold,— A chief unlike his sires of old. He wears their motto on his blade, Their blazon o'er his towers displayed; Yet loves his sovereign to oppose, More than to face his country's foes.
And, Ibethink me, by Saint Stephen, But e'en this morn to me was given A prize, the first fruits of the war, Ta'en by a galley from Dunbar, A bevy of the maids of heaven. Under your guard, these holy maids Shall safe return to cloister shades, And, while they at Tantallon stay, Requiem for Cochran's soul may say.” And, with the slaughtered favourite's name, Across the monarch's browthere came A cloud of ire, remorse, and shame.
In answer nought could Angus speak;
A burning tear there stole. *
I well may say of your-
More tender, and more true:"
Forgive me, Douglas, once again.”—
XVII. Displeased was James, that stranger viewed And tampered with his changing mood. “Laugh those that can, weep those that may,” Thus did the fiery monarch say, “Southward I march by break of day; And if within Tantallon strong, The good Lord Marmion tarries long, . Perchance our meeting next may fall At Tamworth, in his castle-hall.”— The haughty Marmion felt the taunt, And answered, grave, the royal vaunt: “Much honoured were my humble home, If in its halls King James should come;
But Nottingham has archers good,
Leave we these revels now, to tell
And soon, by his command,
Again to English land.
* The ancient cry to make room for a dance, or pageant.