Изображения страниц

The warriors on the turrets high, Moving athwart the evening sky,

Seemed forms of giant height : Their armour, as it caught the rays, Flashed back again the western blaze,

In lines of dazzling light,

[ocr errors][merged small]

St George's banner, broad and gay,
Now faded, as the fading ray /

Less bright, and less, was flung ;
The evening gale had scarce the power
To wave it on the Donjon tower,

So heavily it hung. The scouts had parted on their search,

The castle gates were barr’d; Above the gloomy portal arch, Timing his footsteps to a march,

The warder kept his guard, Low humming, as he paced along, Some ancient Border gathering song.

III. A distant trampling sound he hears; He looks abroad, and soon appears, O’er Horncliff-hill, a plump of spears,

Beneath a pennon gay;
A horseman darting from the crowd,
Like lightning from a summer cloud,
Spurs on his mettled courser proud,

Before the dark array.
Beneath the sable palisade,
That closed the castle barricade,

His bugle-horn he blew ;
The warder hasted from the wall,
And warned the Captain in the hall,

For well the blast he knew ;
And joyfully that Knight did call,
To sewer, squire, and seneschal.

* This word properly applies to a flight of water-fowl; but is applied, by analogy, to a body of horse.

There is a Knight of the North Country, ; Which leads a lusty plump of spears,

Battle of Flodden.

IV. « Now broach ye a pipe of Malvoisie, ; Bring pasties of the doe,

And quickly make the entrance free,
And bid my heralds ready be,
And every minstrel sound his glee,

And all our trumpets blow;
And, from the platform, spare ye not
To fire a noble salvo-shot:

Lord Marmion waits below.”— Then to the Castle's lower ward

Sped forty yeomen tall, The iron-studded gates unbarred, Raised the portcullis' ponderous guard, The lofty palisade unsparred,

And let the draw-bridge fall.

V. Along the bridge Lord Marmion rode, Proudly his red-roaņ charger trod,

His helm hung at the saddle bow;
Well, by his visage, you might know
He was a stalworth knight, and keen,
And had in many a battle been ;
The scar on his brown cheek revealed
A token true of Bosworth field;
His eye-brow dark, and eye of fire,
Shewed spirit proud, and prompt to ire ;
Yet lines of thought upon his cheek,
Did deep design and counsel speak.

His forehead, by his casque worn bare,
His thick moustache, and curly hair,
Coal-black, and grizzled here and there,

But more through toil than age ;
His square-turned joints, and strength of limb,
Shewed him no carpet knight so trim,
But, in close fight, a champion grim,

In camps, a leader sage. :.

VI. Well was he armed from head to heel, In mail, and plate, of Milan steel ; But his strong helm, of mighty cost, Was all with burnish'd gold emboss'd ; Amid the plumage of the crest, A falcon hovered on her nest, With wings outspread, and forward breast ; E'en such a falcon, on his shield, Soared sable in an azure field : , The golden legend bore aright, “ Who CHECKS AT ME, TO DEATH IS DIGHT.” Blue was the charger's broidered rein ; Blue ribbons decked his arching mane ; The knightly housing's ample fold Was velvet blue, and trapp'd with gold.

Behind him rode two gallant squires,
Of noble name, and knightly sires ;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »