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Yet was poetic impulse given, By the green hill and clear blue heaven. It was a barren scene, and wild, Where naked cliffs were rudely piled ; But ever and anon between Lay velvet tufts of loveliest green ; And well the lonely infant knew Recesses where the wallflower grew, And honeysuckle loved to crawl Up the low crag and ruined wall. I deemed such nooks the sweetest shade The sun in all his round surveyed ; And still I thought that shattered tower The mightiest work of human power ; And marvelled as the aged hind With some strange tale bewitched my mind Of forayers, who, with headlong force, Down from that strength had spurred their horse, Their southern rapine to renew, Far in the distant Cheviots blue, And, home returning, filled the hall With revel, wassel-rout, and brawl. -Methought that still with tramp and clang The gateway's broken arches rang ; Methought grim features, seamed with scars, Glared through the windows' rusty bars. And ever, by the winter hearth, Old tales I heard of woe or mirth,
Of lovers' sleights, of ladies' charms,
The Scottish clans, in headlong sway,
SCENES FROM "MARMION.”
That castle rises on the steep
Of the green vale of Tyne ; And far beneath, where slow they creep From pool to eddy, dark and deep, Where alders moist, and willows weep,
You hear her streams repine.
The builders' various hands ;
The vengeful Douglas bands.
Crichtoun! though now thy miry court
But pens the lazy steer and sheep,
Thy turrets rude, and tottered Keep, Have been the minstrel's loved resort. Oft have I traced within thy fort,
Of mouldering shields the mystic sense,
Quartered in old armorial sort,
Remains of rude magnificence:
Thy lordly gallery fair ;
Adorn thy ruined stair.
Their pointed diamond form,
To shield them from the storm.
Where oft whilome were captives pent, The darkness of thy Massy More ;1
Or, from thy grass-grown battlement, May trace, in undulating line, The sluggish mazes of the Tyne.
Another aspect Crichtoun showed,
1 The pit, or prison vault.
For none were in the castle then,
And here two days did Marmion rest,
With every rite that honour claims,
Such the command of royal James ;