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“ Now pledge me here, Lord Marmion ::
But first I pray thee fair,
Whose beauty was so rare?
The boy I closely eyed,
With tears he fain would hide :
Or saddle battle-steed;
The slender silk to lead :
His bosom—when he sigh’d,
Could scarce repel its pride!
Say, hast thou given that lovely youth
To serve in lady's bower?
A gentle paramour ?”—
He rolled his kindling eye,
Yet made a calm reply: “ That boy thou thought’st so goodly fair,
He might not brook the northern air. More of his fate if thou would’st learn,
I left him sick in Lindisfarn :
Why does thy lovely lady gay
He spoke in covert scorn, for fame
XVII. Unmarked, at least unrecked, the taunt,
Careless the Knight replied,
Delights in cage to bide :
And many, a darksome tower;,
In fair Queen Margaret's bower.
Our falcon on our glove;
For dame that loves to rove?
XVIII. “ Nay, if with Royal James's bride The lovely Lady Heron bide, Behold me here a messenger, Your tender greetings prompt to bear ; For, to the Scottish court addressed, I journey at our king's behest, And pray you, of your grace, provide For me, and mine, a trusty guide. I have not ridden in Scotland since James backed the cause of that mock prince, Warbeck, that Flemish counterfeit, Who on the gibbet paid the cheat. Then did I march with Surrey's power, What time we razed old Ayton tower."
“ For such like need, my lord, I trow, Norham can find you guides enow;
For here be some have pricked as far
XX. “ Now, in good sooth,” Lord Marmion cried, “ Were I in warlike-wise to ride, A better guard I would not lack, Than your stout forayers at my back: But, as in form of peace I go, A friendly messenger, to know, Why through all Scotland, near and far, Their king is mustering troops for war, The sight of plundering Border spears Might justify suspicious fears, And deadly feud, or thirst of spoil, Break out in some unseemly broil :