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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.




The Scots beheld the English host Leave Barmore-wood, their evening post,

And heedful watched them as they crossed The Till by Twisel bridge.

High sight it is, and haughty, while
They dive into the deep defile ;
Beneath the caverned cliff they fall,

Beneath the castle's airy wall.
By rock, by oak, by hawthorn-tree,
Troop after troop are disappearing ;
Troop after troop their banners rearing,
Upon the eastern bank you see.
Still pouring down the rocky den,

Where flows the sullen Till,
And rising from the dim-wood glen,
Standards on standards, men on men,

In slow succession still,
And sweeping o'er the Gothic arch,
And pressing on, in ceaseless march,

To gain the opposing hill.
That morn, to many a trumpet-clang,
Twisel! thy rock's deep echo rang ;

And many a chief of birth and rank,
Saint Helen! at thy fountain drank.
Thy hawthorn glade, which now we see
In spring-tide bloom so lavishly,
Had then from many an axe its doom,
To give the marching columns room.

And why stands Scotland idly now,
Dark Flodden! on thy airy brow,
Since England gains the pass the while,
And struggles through the deep defile ?
What checks the fiery soul of James ?
Why sits that champion of the dames

Inactive on his steed,
And sees, between him and his land,
Between him and Tweed's southern strand,

His host Lord Surrey lead ?
What 'vails the vain knight-errant's brand ? -
O, Douglas, for thy leading wand !

Fierce Randolph, for thy speed !
O for one hour of Wallace wight,
Or well-skilled Bruce, to rule the fight,
And cry—“ Saint Andrew and our right!”
Another sight had seen that morn,
From Fate's dark book a leaf been torn,
And Flodden had been Bannockburn !

The precious hour had passed in vain, And England's host has gained the plain ; Wheeling their march, and circling still, Around the base of Flodden hill.

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