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Earl Adam Hepburn,—he who died
On Flodden, by his sovereign's side.
Long may his Lady look in vain!
She ne'er shall see his gallant train
Come sweeping back through Crichtoun-Dean.
'Twas a brave race, before the name
Of hated Bothwell stained their fame.
And here two days did Marmion rest,
With every rite that honour claims,
Attended as the King's own guest,—
Such the command of royal James;
Who marshalled then his land's array,
Upon the Borough-moor that lay.
Perchance he would not foeman's eye
Upon his gathering host should pry,
Till full prepared was every band,
To march against the English land.
Here while they dwelt, did Lindesay's wit
Oft cheer the Baron's moodier fit;
And, in his turn, he knew to prize
Lord Marmion's powerful mind, and wise,—
Trained in the lore of Rome, and Greece,
And policies of war and peace.
It chanced, as fell the second night,
That on the battlements they walked, And, by the slowly fading light,
Of varying topics talked;
And, unaware, the Herald-bard
Said, Marmion might his toil have spared,
In travelling so far;
For that a messenger from heaven
In vain to James had counsel given
Against the English war:
And, closer questioned, thus he told
A tale, which chronicles of old
In Scottish story have enrolled:—
Of all the palaces so fair,
Built for the royal dwelling,
In Scotland, far beyond compare
Linlithgow is excelling;
And in its park, in jovial June,
How sweet the merry linnet's tune.
How blithe the blackbird's lay!
The wild buck bellsa from ferny brake,
The coot dives merry on the lake,
The saddest heart might pleasure take
To see all nature gay. But June is to our Sovereign dear The heaviest month in all the year: Too well his cause of grief you know,— June saw his father's overthrow. Woe to the traitors, who could bring
a An ancient word for the cry of deer. See Note.
The princely boy against his King!
Still in his conscience burns the sting.
In offices as strict as Lent,
King James's June is ever spent.
"When last this ruthful month was come, And in Linlithgow's holy dome
The King, as wont, was praying;
While for his royal father's soul
The chaunters sung, the bells did toll,
The Bishop mass was saying—
For now the year brought round again
The day the luckless king was slain—
In Katharine's aisle the monarch knelt,
With sackcloth-shirt, and iron belt,
And eyes with sorrow streaming;
Around^him, in their stalls of state,
The Thistle's Knight-Companions sate,
Their banners o'er them beaming.
I too was there, and, sooth to tell,
Bedeafened with the jangling knell,
Was watching where the sunbeams fell,
Through the stained casement gleaming;
But, while I marked what next befel,
It seemed as I were dreaming.
Stepped from the crowd a ghostly wight,
In azure gown, with cincture white;
His forehead bald, his head was bare,
Down hung at length his yellow hair.—
Now mock me not, when, good my Lord,
I pledge to you my knightly word,
That, when I saw his placid grace,
His simple majesty of face,
His solemn bearing, and his pace
So stately gliding on;
Seemed to me ne'er did limner paint
So just an image of the Saint,
Who propped the Virgin in her faint,—
The loved Apostle John.