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I. While great events were on the gale, And each hour brought a varying tale, And the demeanour, changed and cold, Of Douglas, fretted Marmion bold, And, like the impatient steed of war, He snuffed the battle from afar; And hopes were none, that back again Herald should come from Terouenne, Where England's King in leaguer lay, Before decisive battle-day;While these things were, the mournful Clare Did in the Dame's devotions share: For the good Countess ceaseless prayed, To Heaven and Saints, her sons to aid, And, with short interval, did pass From prayer to book, from book to mass,
And all in high Baronial pride,
II. I said, Tantallon's dizzy steep Hung o'er the margin of the deep. Many a rude tower and rampart there Repelled the insult of the air, Which, when the tempest vexed the sky, Half breeze, half spray, came whistling by. Above the rest, a turret square Did o'er its Gothic entrance bear, Of sculpture rude, a stony shield; The Bloody Heart was in the field, And in the chief three mullets stood, The cognizance of Douglas blood. The turret held a narrow stair, Which, mounted, gave you access where A parapet's embattled row Did seaward round the castle go; Sometimes in dizzy steps descending, Sometimes in narrow circuit bending, Sometimes in platform broad extendingi
Its varying circuit did combine
And list the sea-bird's cry;
Look down with weary eye.
So Douglas bade, the hood and veil,
And Benedictine gown:
And often did she look
Her breviary book.
It fearful would have been,
And such a woful mien.
And did by Mary swear,-
A form so witching fair.
IV. Once walking thus, at evening tide, It chanced a gliding sail she spied, And, sighing, thought The Abbess there, Perchance, does to her home repair; Her peaceful rule, where Duty, free, Walks hand in hand with Charity; Where oft Devotion's tranced glow Can such a glimpse of heaven bestow, That the enraptured sisters see High vision, and deep mystery ; The very form of Hilda fair,* Hovering upon the sunny air, And smiling on her votaries' prayer. O! wherefore, to my duller eye, Did still the Şaint her form deny! Was it, that, seared by sinful scorn, My heart could neither melt nor burn ? Or lie my warm affections low, With him, that taught them first to glow?Yet, gentle Abbess, well I knew, To pay thy kindness grateful due, And well could brook the mild command, That ruled thy simple maiden band.How different now! condemned to bide My doom from this dark tyrant's pride.-But Marmion has to learn, ere long, Phat constant mind, and hate of wrong,
* See Note.