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By narrow drawbridge, outworks strong,
To the main court they pass.
And towers of various form,
The gathering ocean storm.
Or why the tidings say,
With every varying day?
Etal, and Wark, and Ford; and then,
That Norham's castle strong was ta’en. At that sore marvelled Marmion ;And Douglas hoped his monarch's hand Would soon subdue Northumberland :
But whispered news there came, That, while his host inactive lay, And melted by degrees away,
King James was dallying off the day
With Heron's wily dame. Such acts to chronicles I yield;
Go seek them there, and see : Mine is a tale of Flodden field,
And not a history.At length, they heard the Scottish host On that high ridge had made their post,
Which frowns o'er Millfield Plain ; And that brave Surrey many a band Had gathered in the Southern land, And marched into Northumberland,
And camp at Wooler ta’en. Marmion, like charger in the stall, That hears without the trumpet call,
Began to chafe, and swear :“ A sorry thing to hide
head In castle, like a fearful maid,
When such a field is near! Needs must I see this battle-day : Death to my fame, if such a fray Were fought, and Marmion away!
The Douglas, too, I wot not why,
Hath 'bated of his courtesy : No longer in his balls I'll stay.”Then bade his band, they should array For march against the dawning day.
END OF CANTO FIFTH.