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Invisible to human ken,
He walks among the sons of men,
Didst e'er, dear Heber, pass along
Beneath the towers of Franchémont,
Which, like an eagle's nest in air,
Hang o'er the stream and hamlet fair?
Deep in their vaults, the peasants say,
A mighty treasure buried lay,
Amassed through rapine, and through wrong,
By the last lord of Franchémont.
The iron chest is bolted hard,
A Huntsman sits, its constant guard;
Around his neck his horn is hung,
His hanger in his belt is slung;
Before his feet his bloodhounds lie:
An 'twere not for his gloomy eye,
Whose withering glance no heart can brook,
As true a huntsman doth he look,
As bugle e'er in brake did sound
Or ever hollowed to a hound,
To chase the fiend, and win the prize,
In that same dungeon ever tries
An aged Necromantic Priest;
It is an hundred years at least,
Since 'twixt them first the strise begun,
And neither yet has lost or won.
And oft the conjuror's words will make
The stubborn Demon groan and quake;
And oft the bands of iron break,
Or bursts one lock, that still amain,
Fast as 'tis opened, shuts again.
That magic strife within the tomb
May last until the day of doom,
Unless the Adept shall learn to tell
The very word that clenched the spell,
When Franch’mont locked the treasure ceil,
An hundred years are past and gone,
And scarce three letters has he won.
Such general superstition may
Excuse for old Pitscottie say;
Whose gossip history has given
My song the messenger from heaven,
That warned, in Lithgow, Scotland's King
Nor less the infernal summoning.
May pass the monk of Durham's tale,
Whose Demon fought in Gothic mail;
May pardon plead for Fordun grave,
Who told of Gifford's Goblin-Cave.
But why such instances to you,
Who, in an instant, can review
Your treasured hoards of various lore,
And furnish twenty thousand more?
Hoards, not like their's whose volumes rest
Like treasures in the Franch'mont chest;
While gripple owners still refuse
To others what they cannot use!
Give them the priest's whole century,
They shall not spell you letters three;
Their pleasure in the book's the same
The magpie takes in pilfered gem.
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?
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.
WHILE great events were on the gale,
And each hour brought a varying taio.
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 pride,
A life both dull and dignified;-
Yet as Lord Marmion noihing 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.
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
Dið seaward round the castle go;
Sometimes in dizzy steps descending,
Sometimes in narrow circuit bending,
Sometimes in platform broad extending,
Its varying circle did combine
Bulwark, and bartisan, and line,
And bastion, tower, and vantago-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.
And, for they were so lonely, Clare
Would to these battlements repair,
And müse upon her sorrows there,
And list the sea-bird's cry;
Or slow, like noon-tide ghost, would glide
Along the dark-gray bulwarks' side,
And ever on the heaving tide
Look down with weary eye.
Oft did the cliff, and swelling mains,
Recall the thoughts of Whitby's fane,
A home she might ne'er see again;
For she had laid adown,
So Douglas bade, the hood and veil,
And frontlet of the cloister pale,
And Benedictine gown:
It were unseemly sight, he said,
A novice out of convent shade.
Now her bright locks, with sunny glow
Again adorned her brow of snow;
Her mantle rich, whose borders, round,
A deep and fretted broidery bound,
In golden foldings sought the groupd;
Of holy ornament, alone
Remained a cross with ruby stone;
And often did she look
On that which in her hand she bore
With velvet bound, and broidered o'er;
Her breviary book.
In such a place, so lone, so grim,
At dawning pale, or twilight dim,
It fearful would have been,
To meet a form so richly dressed,
With book in hand, and cross on breast,
And such a woeful mien.
Fitz-Eustace, loitering with his bow,
To practise on the gull and crow,
Saw her, at distance, gliding slow,
And did by Mary swear, --
Some love-lorn Fay she might have been,
Or, in romance, some spell-bound queen;
For ne'er, in work-day world, was seen
A form so witching fair.
Once walking thus, at evening tide,
It chanced a gliding sail she spied,
And, sighing, thought-"The Abliess there,
Perchance, does to her home repair;
Her peaceful rule, where Duty, free,
Walks hand in hand with Charity;
Where oft Devotion's tranced glow
Can such a glimpse of heaven bestow,
That the enraptured sisters see
High vision, and deep mystery;
The very form of Hilda fair,
Hovering upon the sunny air,
And smiling on her votaries' prayer.
O! wherefore to my duller eye,
Did still the Saint her form deny!
Was it, that, seared by sinful scorn,
My heart could neither melt nor burn?
Or lie my warm affections low,
With him that taught them first to glow?
Yet, gentle Abbess, well I knew,
To pay thy kindness grateful due,
And well could brook the mild command
That ruled thy simple maiden band.--
How different now! condemned to bicle
My doom from this dark tyrant's pride.
But Marmion has to learn, ere long,
That constant mind, and hate of wrong,