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MARMION.

CANTO FIRST.

The Castle.

I.

DAY set on Norham's Castled steep,

And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,

And Cheviot's mountains lone :

The battled towers, the Donjon Keep,

The loop-hole grates where captives weep, The flanking walls that round it sweep,

In yellow lustre shone.

The warriors on the turrets high,

Moving athwart the evening sky,

Seem'd forms of giant height:

Their armour, as it caught the rays, Flash'd back again the western blaze,

In lines of dazzling light.

II.

Saint 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 warn'd 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.

Flodden Field.

30

The warriors on the turrets high,

Moving athwart the evening sky,

Seem'd forms of giant height:

Their armour, as it caught the

rays,

Flash'd back again the western blaze,

In lines of dazzling light.

II.

Saint 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. 1

The scouts had parted on their search,

The Castle gates were barr'd;bas

Above the gloomy portal arch,

Timing his footsteps to a march

The Warder kept his guard

Low humming, as he pace
Some ancient Bo

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