Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Irregularly traced and planned,
But yet so glowing and so grand;
So shall be strive, in changetul hue,
Field, feast, and combat, to renew,
And loves, and arms, and harpers' glee,
And all the pomp of chivalry.

CANTO FIFTH.

THE COURT.

I.

The train has left the hills of Braid;
The barrier guard have open made
(So Lindesay bade) the palisade,

That closed the tented ground,
Their men the warders backward drew,
And carried pikes as they rode through,

Into its ample bound.
Fast ran the Scottish warriors there,
Upon the Southern baud to stare;
And envy with their wonder rose,
To see such well-appointed foes;
Such length of shafts, such mighty bows,
So huge, that many simple thought,
But for a vaunt such weapons wrouglit;
And little deemed their force to feel,
Through links of mail, and plates of steel,
Wher, rattling upon Fludden vale,
The cloth-yard arrows flew like hail.

IL

Nor less did Marmion's skilful view
Glance every line and squadron through;

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

And much he marvelled one small land
Could marshal forth such various band:

For men-at-arms were here,
Heavily sheathed in mail and plate,
Like iron towers for strength and weight,
On Flemish steeds of bone and height,

With battle-axe and spear.
Young knights and squires, a lighter train,
Practised their chargers on the plain,
By aid of leg, of hand, and rein,

Each warlike feat to show;
To pass, to wheel, the croupe to gain,
And high curvett, that not in vain
The sword-sway might descend amain

On foeman's casque below.
He saw the hardy burghers there
March armed, on foot, with faces bare,

For visor they wore none,
Nor waving plume, nor crest of knight;
But burnished were their corslets bright,
Their brigantines, and gorgets- light,

Like very silver shone.
Long pikes they had for standing fight,

Two-handed swords they wore,
And many wielded mace of weighty

And bucklers bright they bore.

III

On foot the yeoman too, but dressed
In his steel jack, a swarthy vest,

With iron quilted well;
Each at his back, (a slender store,)
His forty days' provision bore,

As feudal statutes tell.
His arms were halberd, axe, or spear,
A. cross-bow there, a hagbut here,

A dagger-knife and brand.
Sober he seemed, and sad of cheer,
As loth to leave his cottage dear,

And march to foreign strand;
Or musing who would guide his steer,
To till the fallow land,

[ocr errors]

Yet deem not in his thoughtful eye
Did aught of dastard terror lie;

More dreadful far his ire,
Than theirs, who, scorning danger's namo,
In eager mood to battle came,
Their valour like liglit straw on flames

A fierce but fading fire.

IV.

Not so the Borderer :-bred to war,
He knew the battle's din afar,

And joyed to hear it swell.
His peaceful day was slothful ease;
Nor harp, nor pipe, his ear could plcuse,

Like the loud slogan yell.
On active steed, with lance and blade,
The light-armed pricker plied his trade-

Let nobles fight for fame;
Let vassals follow where they lead,
Burghers, to guard their townships, bleed,

But war's the Borderers' game.
Their gain--their glory--their delight,
To sleep the day--maraud the night,

O'er mountain, moss, and moor;
Joyful to fight they took their way,
Scarce caring who might win the day,

Their booty was secure.
These, as Lord Marmion's train passed by,
Looked on at first with careless eye,
Nor marvelled aught, well taught to kuow
The form and force of English bow.
But when they saw the Lord arrayed
In splendid arms and rich brocade,
Each Borderer to his kinsman said

“Hist, Ringan! seest thou there!
Canst guess which road they'll homeward ride ?
OI could we but on Border side,
By Eusedale glen, or Liddell's tide,

Beset a prize so fair!
That fangless. Lion, too, their guide,
Might chance to lose his glistering hido;
Brown Maudlin, of that doublet pied,

Could make a kirtle rare."

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Next Marmion marked the Celtic race,
Of different language, form, and face,

A various race of man;
Just then the chiefs their tribes arrayed,
And wild and garish semblance made,
The chequered trews, and belted :plaid,
And varying notes the war-pipes brayesi

To every varying clan;
Wild through their red or sable hair
Looked out their eyes, with savage stellen

On Marmion as he past;
Their legs above the knee were bare;
Their frame was sinewy, short, and spare

And hardened to the blast;
Of taller race, the chiefs they own
Were by the eagle's plumage known.
The hunted red-deer's undressed hicio
Their hairy buskins well supplied;
The graceful bonnet decked their hearts
Back from their shoulders hung the plaiks
A broad-sword of unwieldy length,
A dagger proved for edge and strength,

A studded targe they wore,
And quivers, bows, and shafts,--

but, (!
Short was the shaft, and weak the bow,

To that which England bore.
The Isles-men carried at their backs
The ancient Danish battle-axe.
They raised a wild and wondering cry,
As with his guide rode Marmion by.
Loud were their clamouring tongues, as when
The clanging sea-fowl leave the fen,
And, with their cries discordant mixed,
Grumbled and yelled the pipes bet wixt.

[ocr errors]

Thus through the Scottish camp they passcu,
And reached the City gate at last,
Where all around, a wakeful guard,
Armed burghers kept their watch and ward,

معده متن :: مع معهميعهن من

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Well had they cause of jealous tear,
When lay encamped, in field so near,
The Borderer and the Mountaineer:
As through the bustling streets they go;.
All was alive with martial show;
At every turn, with dinning clang,
The armourer's anvil clashed and rang;
Or toiled the swarthy smith, to wheel
The bar that arms the charger's lieel;
Or axe, or falchion, to the side
Of jarring grind-stone was applied.
Page, groom, and squire, with hurrying pace,
Through street, and lane, and market-place,

Bore lance, or casque, or sword;
While burghers, with important face, ,

Described each new-come lord,
Discussed his lineage, told his name,
His following,* and his warlike fame.
The Lion led to lodging meet,
Which high o'erlooked the crowded street's

There must the Baron rest,
Till past the hour of vesper tide,
And then to Holy-Rood must ride,

Such was the King's hehest.
Meanwhile the Lion's care assigns
A banquet rich, and costly wines,

To Marmion and his train.
And when the appointed hour succeeds;
The Baron dons his peaceful weeds,
And following Lindesay as he leads,

The palace-halls they gain.

VIL

Old Holy-Rood rung merrily,
That night, with wassel, mirth, and glee:
King James within her princely bower
Feasted the chiefs of Scotland's power,
Summoned to spend the parting hour;

For he had charged, that his array
Should southward march by break of day

* Following-Feudal Retainers

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »