Puslapio vaizdai

having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made men well, they imitated humanity so abominably!


The train from out the castle drew;
But Marmion stopped to bid adieu :-
"Though some I might complain," he said,
"Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your king's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I strayed,-
Part we in friendship from your land,
And, noble Earl, receive my hand."
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke :-
"My manors, halls, and bowers, shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,

To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation-stone ;-
The hand of Douglas is his own;
And never shall, in friendly grasp,
The hand of such as Marmion clasp !
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire,
And-"This to me!" he said :


"An' 'twere not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head!

And first I tell thee, haughty Peer,
He who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate! .
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,
Even in thy pitch of pride,

Here, in thy hold, thy vassals near,
(Nay, never look upon your Lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword!)
I tell thee, thou'rt defied!

And if thou said'st I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"
On the Earl's cheek the flush of
O'ercame the ashen hue of age;
Fierce he broke forth :-" And dar'st thou, then,
To beard the lion in his den,—



The Douglas in his hall?

And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go?

No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no!

Up drawbridge, grooms !—what, warder, ho!
Let the portcullis fall."

Lord Marmion turned,-well was his need,--
And dashed the rowels in his steed;
Like arrow through the archway sprung,
The ponderous gate behind him rung:
To pass, there was such scanty room,
The bars descending raised his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise:

Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim:
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clench-ed hand,
A shout of loud defiance pours,
And shakes his gauntlet at the towers!


And soon straight up the hill there rode,
Two horsemen, drenched with gore,
And in their arms, a helpless load,

A wounded knight they bore.

His hand still strained the broken brand;
His arms were smeared with blood and sand;
Dragged from among the horses' feet,
With dinted shield and helmet beat,
The falcon crest and plumage gone,—
Can that be haughty Marmion ?
Young Blount his armor did unlace,
And, gazing on his ghastly face,
Said," By Saint George, he's gone!
The spear-wound has our master sped:
And see the deep cut on his head!
Good night to Marmion ! "

"Unnurtured Blount thy brawling cease;
He opes his eyes," said Eustace; "peace!
When, doffed his casque, he felt free air,
Around 'gan Marmion wildly stare ;
"Where's Harry Blount? Fitz Eustace, where?
Linger ye here, ye hearts of hare?

Redeem my pennon !—charge again!

[ocr errors]

Cry, Marmion to the rescue !'-Vain!
Last of my race, on battle-plain
That shout shall ne'er be heard again!
Must I bid twice ?-hence, varlets! fly!
Leave Marmion here alone-to die."
With fruitless labor, Clara bound,

And strove to staunch the gushing wound.
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now, trebly thundering, swelled the gale,
And "Stanley!" was the cry;

A light on Marmion's visage spread,
And fired his glazing eye;

With dying hand, above his head

He shook the fragment of his blade,

And shouted, "Victory!"

66 Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on !" Were the last words of Marmion.


1. THE FOURTH OF JULY, 1851.-From Webster's Speech (on laying the corner-stone of the new wing of the Capitol).

This is the day of the year which announced to mankind the great fact of American Independence! This fresh and brilliant morning blesses our vision with another beholding of the birthday of our nation; and we see that nation, of recent origin, now among the most considerable and powerful, and spreading over the continent from sea to sea.

"Westward the course of empire takes its way,
The four first acts already past,

A fifth shall close the drama with the day,—
Time's noblest offspring is the last."

On the day of the Declaration of Independence, our illustrious fathers performed the first scene in the last great act of this drama; one, in real importance, infinitely exceeding that for which the great English poet invoked

[ocr errors][merged small]

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene."

The muse inspiring our fathers was the Genius of Liberty, all on fire with a sense of oppression, and a resolution to throw it off; the whole world was the stage, and higher characters than princes trod it, and, instead of monarchs,-countries, and nations, and the age, beheld the swelling scene. How well the characters were cast, and how well each acted his part, and what emotions the whole performance excited, let history, now and hereafter, tell.

On the Fourth of July, 1776, the representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, declared that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States. This declaration, made by most patriotic and resolute men, trusting in the justice of their cause, and the protection of Heaven,—and yet made not without deep solicitude and anxiety, has now stood for seventy-five years, and still stands. It was sealed in blood. It has met dangers, and overcome them; it has had enemies, and conquered

« AnkstesnisTęsti »