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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. 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.

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Jntroduction to Canto Third.

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