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“ Know'st thou not me ?” the deep voice cried,
“So long enjoy'd, so oft misusedAlternate, in thy fickle pride;
Desired, neglected, and accused ?
“Before my breath, like blazing flax,
Man and his marvels pass away; And changing empires wane and wax,
Are founded, flourish, and decay.
“ Redeem mine hours—the space is brief
While in my glass the sand-grains shiver, And measureless thy joy or grief,
When Time and thou shalt part for ever!"
He is gone to the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,
When our need was the sorest.
The fount, reappearing,
From the raindrops shall borrow,
- But to us comes no cheering,
To Duncan no morrow !
The hand of the reaper
Takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory.
The autumn winds rushing
Waft the leaves that are searest,
But our flower was in flushing,
When blighting was nearest.
“ But, see ! look up-on Flodden bent,
The Scottish foe has fired his tent.”
And sudden, as he spoke,
From the sharp ridges of the hill,
All downward to the banks of Till,
Was wreathed in sable smoke.
Volumed and vast, and rolling far,
The cloud enveloped Scotland's war,
As down the hill they broke; Nor martial shout, nor minstrel tone, Announced their march, their tread alone, At times one warning trumpet blown,
At times a stifled hum, Told England, from his mountain-throne
King James did rushing come. —
Scarce could they hear, or see their foes,
Until at weapon-point they close. —
They close, in clouds of smoke and dust,
With sword-sway, and with lance's thrust;
And such a yell was there,
Of sudden and portentous birth,
As if men fought upon the earth
And fiends in upper air ;
Oh, life and death were in the shout,
Recoil and rally, charge and rout,
And triumph and despair.
(2.) THE DEATH OF MARMION.
When, doff'd his casque, he felt free air,
Around 'gan Marmion wildly stare :-
“Where's Harry Blount? Fitz-Eustace where ?
Linger ye here, ye hearts of hare !
Redeem my pennon,-charge again! .
Cry—Marmion to the rescue !'—Vain !
Last of my race, on battle-plain
That shout shall ne'er be heard again!
Yet my last thought is England's :-fily,
To Dacre bare my signet-ring ;
Tell him his squadrons up to bring :-
Fitz-Eustace, to Lord Surrey hie;
Tunstall lies dead upon the field,
His life-blood stains the spotless shield :
Edmund is down ;—my life is reft ;-
The Admiral alone is left.
Let Stanley charge with spur of fire,—
With Chester charge, and Lancashire,
Fall upon Scotland's central host,
Or victory and England's lost.-
Must I bid twice —hence, varlets ! fly!
Leave Marmion here alone-to die."
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now trebly thundering swell’d the gale,
And—Stanley! was the cry;-
A light on Marmion's visage spread,
And fired his glazing eye:
With dying hand, above his head
He shook the fragment of his blade,
And shouted “ Victory !
Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on!”...
Were the last words of Marmion.
(3.) THE LOSS OF THE BATTLE.
The English shafts in volleys hail'd,
In headlong charge their horse assail'd;
Front, flank, and rear, the squadrons sweep,
To break the Scottish circle deep,
That fought around their King.
But yet, though thick the shafts as snow,
Though charging knights like whirlwinds go,
Though billmen ply the ghastly blow,
Unbroken was the ring;
The stubborn spearmen still made good
Their dark impenetrable wood,
Each stepping where his comrade stood,
The instant that they fell.
No thought was there of dastard flight ;-
Link'd in the serried phalanx tight,
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,
As fearlessly and well;
Till utter darkness closed her wing
O'er their thin host and wounded King.
Then skilful Surrey's sage commands
Led back from strife his shatter'd bands;
And from the charge they drew
As mountain-waves, from wasted lands,
Sweep back to ocean blue.
"Llew down the bridge, Sir Consul,
With all the speed ye may:
I, with two more to help me,
Will hold the foc in play.