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Whose hand the armorial truncheon held, That feudal strife had often quelled,
When wildest its alarms.
He was a man of middle age;
In aspect manly, grave, and sage,
As on king's errand come;
But in the glances of his eye,
A penetrating, keen, and sly
Expression found its home!
The flash of that satiric rage,
Which, bursting on the early stages
Branded the vices of the age,
And broke the keys of Rome.
On milk-white palfrey forth he paced;
His cap of maintenance was graced
With the proud heron-plume.
From his steed's shoulder, loin, and breast
Silk housings swept the ground, With Scotland's arms, device, and crest,
Embroidered round and round.
The double tressure might you see,
First by Achaius borne,
The thistle, and the fleur-de-lis,
And gallant unicorn.
So bright the king's armorial coat,
That scarce the dazzled eye could note;
In living colours blazoned brave,
The lion, which biş title gave,
A train, which well beseemed his state,
But all unarmed, around him wait.
Still is thy name in high account,
And still thy verse has, charms,
Sir David Lindesay of the Mount,
Lord Lion King-at-arms!
Down from his horse did Marmion spring;
Soon as he saw the Lion-king;
For well the stately Baron knew,
To him such courtesy was due,
Whom royal James himself had crowned
And on his temples placed the round
Of Scotland's ancient diadem;
And wet his brow with hallowed winę
And on his finger gave to shine
The emblematic gem.
Their mutual greetings duly made,
The Lion thus his message said :-
61 Though Scotland's King hath deeply swores
Ne'er to knit faith with Henry more,
And strictly hath forbid resort
From England to his royal court;
Yet, for he knows Lord Marmion's name,
And honours much his warlike fame,
My liege hath deemed it shame, and lack
Of courtesy, to turn him back;
And, by his order, I, your guide,
Must lodging fit and fair provide,
Till finds King James meet time to see
The flower of English chivalry.”
Though inly chafed at this delay,
Lord Marmion bears it as he may.
The Palmer, his mysterious guide,
Beholding thus his place supplied,
Sought to take leave in vain :
Strict was the Lion King's command,
That none who rode in Marmion's band
Should sever from the train :
« England has here enow of spies
In Lady Heron's witching eyes;"
To Marchmount thus, apart, he said,
But fair pretext to Marmion made.
The right hand path they now decline,
And trace against the stream the Tyne.
At length up that wild dale they wind,
Where Crichtoun-Castle crowns the bank;
For there the Lion's care assigned
A lodging meet for Marmion's rank.
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 towers in different ages rose ;
Their various architecture shows
The builders' various hands;
A mighty mass, that could oppose,
When deadliest hatred fired its foes,
The vengeful Douglas bands,
XI. 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,
Scutcheons of honour, or pretence, Quartered in old armorial sort,
Remains of rude magnificence:
Nor wholly yet hath time defaced
Thy lordly gallery fair;
Nor yet the stony cord unbraced,
Whose twisted knots, with roses laced,
Adorn thy ruined stair.
Still rises unimpaired below,
The court-yard's graceful portico;
Above its cornice, row and row,
Of fair hewn facets, richly show
Their pointed diamond form,
Though there but houseless cattle go
To shield them from the storm.
And, shuddering, still may we explore,
Where oft whilome were captives pent,
The darkness of thy Massy More : *
Or, from thy grass-grown battlement,
May trace, in undulating line,
The sluggish mazes of the Tyne.
XII. Another aspect Crichtoun showed, As through its portal Marmion rode, But yet 'twas melancholy state Received him at the outer gate ; For none were in the castle then, But women, boys, or aged men. With eyes scarce dried, the sorrowing dame, To welcome noble Marmion, came; Her son, a stripling twelve years old, Proffered the Baron's rein to hold; For each man, that could draw a sword, Had marched that morning with their lord, 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.
* The pit, or prison vault. See Note.'