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Thy volumes, open as thy heart,
Delight, amusement, science, art,
To every ear and eye impart;
Yet who, of all who thus employ them,
Can, like the owner's self, enjoy them 2–
But, hark' I hear the distant drum :
The day of Flodden field is come.— -
Adieu, dear Heber' life and health,
And store of literary wealth,

19

AMARNAVON'.

CANTO SIXTH.

THE BATTLE.

I. While great events were on the gale, And each hour brought a varying tale, And the demeanour, changed and cold, Of Douglas, fretted Marmion bold, And, like the impatient steed of war, He snuffed the battle from afar; And hopes were none, that back again Herald should come from Terouenne, Where England's King in leaguer lay, Before decisive battle-day;While these things were, the mournful Clare Did in the Dame's devotions share: For the good Countess ceaseless prayed, To Heaven and Saints, her sons to aid, And, with short interval, did pass From prayer to book, from book to mass,

And all in high Baronial prider-
A life both dull and dignified;—
Yet as Lord Marmion nothing pressed
Upon her intervals of rest,
Dejected Clara well could bear
The formal state, the lengthened prayer,
Though dearest to her wounded heart
The hours that she might spend apart.

II. I said, Tantallon's dizzy steep Hung o'er the margin of the deep. Many a rude tower and rampart there Repelled the insult of the air, Which, when the tempest vexed the sky, Half breeze, half spray, came whistling by. Above the rest, a turret square Did o'er its Gothic entrance bear, Of sculpture rude, a stony shield; The Bloody Heart was in the field, And in the chief three mullets stood, The cognizance of Douglas blood. The turret held a narrow stair, Which, mounted, gave you access where A parapet's embattled row Did seaward round the castle go; Sometimes in dizzy steps descending, Sometimes in narrow circuit bending, Sometimes in platform broad extending;

Its varying circuit did combine
Bulwark, and bartisan, arid line,
And bastion, tower, and vantage-coign;
Above the booming ocean leant
The far-projecting battlement;
The billows burst, in ceaseless flow,
Upon the precipice below.
Where'er Tantallon faced the land,
Gate-works, and walls, were strongly manned;
No need upon the sea-girt side;
The steepy rock, and frantic tide,
Approach of human step denied;
And thus these lines, and ramparts rude,
Were left in deepest solitude.

III.

And, for they were so lonely, Clare
Would to these battlements repair,
And muse upon her sorrows there,

And list the sea-bird's cry;
Or slow, like noontide ghost, would glide
Along the dark-gray bulwark's side,
And ever on the heaving tide

Look down with weary eye.
Oft did the cliff, and swelling main,
Recall the thoughts of Whitby's fane,
A home she ne'er might see again;

For she had laid adown,

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