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Then, all at once, his thoughts turned round, And fervent words a passage found.
"Gone are they, bravely, though misled; With a dear father at their head! The sons obey a natural lord; The father had given solemn word To noble Percy,—and a force, Still stronger, bends him to his course. This said, our tears to-day may fall As at an innocent funeral. In deep and awful channel runs This sympathy of sire and sons; Untried our brothers were beloved, And now their faithfulness is proved; For faithful we must call them, bearing That soul of conscientious daring. There were they all in circle—there Stood Richard, Ambrose, Christopher, John with a sword that will not fail, And Marmaduke in fearless mail, And those bright twins were side by side; And there by fresh hopes beautified, Stood he, whose arm yet lacks the power Of man, our youngest, fairest flower! I by the right of eldest born, And in a second father's place, Presumed to grapple with their scorn, And meet their pity face to face; Yea trusting in God's holy aid, 1 to my father knelt and prayed, And one, the pensive Marmaduke, Methought, was yielding inwardly, And would have laid his purpose by, But for a glance of his father's eye, Which I myself could scarcely brook.
"Then be we, each and all, forgiven!
"For thee, for thee, is left the sense
Of all we loved, and loved so well;
Hope nothing, if I thus may speak
To thee a woman, and thence weak;
Hope nothing, I repeat; for we
Are doomed to perish utterly:
'Tis meet that thou with me divide
The thought while I am by thy side,
Acknowledging a grace in this,
A comfort in the dark abyss:
But look not for me when I am gone,
And be no farther wrought upon.
Farewell all wishes, all debate,
All prayers for this cause, or for that!
Weep, if that aid thee; but depend
Upon no help of outward friend;
Espouse thy doom at once, and cleave
To fortitude without reprieve.
For we must fall, both we and ours,—
This mansion and these pleasant bowers,
Walks, pools, and arbours, homestead, hall,
Our fate is theirs, will reach them all;
The young horse must forsake his manger,
And learn to glory in a stranger;
The hawk forget his perch—the hound
Be parted from his ancient ground:
The blast will sweep us all away,
One desolation, one decay!
And even this creature!" which words saying
He pointed to a lovely doe,
A few steps distant, feeding, straying,
Fair creature, and more white than snowl
'i Even she will to her peaceful woods
Return, and to her murmuring floods,
And be in heart and soul the same
She was before she hither came,—
Ere she had learned to love us all,
He ended,—or she heard no more:
Xow joy for you and sudden cheer.
Proclaim it, let your masters hear
Pronounced the word,—and the earls descry .
Forthwith the armed company
Marching down the banks of Wear.
Said fearless Norton to the panGone forth to hail him on the plain—"This meeting, noble lords! looks fair, 1 bring with me a goodly train; Their hearts are with you:—hill and date Have helped us :—Ure we crossed, and Swale, And horse and harness followed—see The best part of their yeomanry 1 Stand forth, my sons! these eight are mine, Whom to this service I commend; Which way soe'er our fate incline, These will be faithful to the end; They are my all"—voice failed him here, "My all save one, a daughter dear 1 Whom I have left, the mildest birth, The meekest child on this blest earth, I had—but these are by my side, These eight, and this is a day of pride! The time is ripe—with festive din Lol how the people are flocking in, Like hungry fowls to the feeder's hand When snow lies heavy upon the land."