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And Dacre to our call replies
That he is unprepared to rise.
My heart is sick; this weary pause
Must needs be fatal to the cause.
The breach is open—on the wall,
This night, the banner shall be planted!"
'Twas done;—his sons were with him—all;—
They belt him round with hearts undaunted;
And others follow ;—sire and son
Leap down into the court—t''Tis won"—
They shout aloud—but Heaven decreed
To that brave deed,
High on a point of rugged ground,
The summit of this bold ascent,
But now his child, with anguish pale,
She turned to him, who with his eye
To him the lady turned: "You said
"Your noble brother hath been spared, To take his life they have not dared. On him and on his high endeavour The light of praise shall shine for ever! Nor did he (such Heaven's will) in vain His solitary course maintain; Not vainly struggled in the might Of duty, seeing with clear sight; He was their comfort to the last, Their joy till every pang was past.
"I witnessed when to York they came— What, lady, if their feet were tied 1 They might deserve a good man's blame; But, marks of infamy and shame, These were their triumph, these their pride. Nor wanted mid the pressing crowd
Deep feeling, that found utterance loud.
* Lo, Francis comes/ there were who cried,
1A prisoner once, but now set free 1
Tis well, for he the worst defied
For the sake of natural piety;
He rose not in this quarrel, he
His father and his brothers wooed,
Both for their own and country's good,
To rest in peace—he did divide.
He parted from them; but at their side
Now walks in unanimity—
Then peace to cruelty and scorn,
While to the prison they are borne,
Peace, peace to all indignity 1'
"And so in prison were they laid— Oh, hear me, hear me, gentle maid, For I am come with power to bless, By scattering gleams, through your distress, Of a redeeming happiness. Me did a reverent pity move And privilege of ancient love; And, in your service, I made bold— And entrance gained to that stronghold.
"Your father gave me cordial greeting; But to his purposes, that burned Within him, instantly returned— He was commanding and entreating, And said, 'We need not stop, my son! But I will end what is begun; 'Tis matter which I do not fear To intrust to any living ear.' And so to Francis he renewed His words, more calmly thus pursued.
"' Might this our enterprise have sped, Change wide and deep the land had seen, A renovation from the dead, A spring-tide of immortal green: The darksome altars would have blazed Like stars when clouds are rolled away; Salvation to all eyes that gazed, Once more the rood had been upraised To spread its arms, and stand for aye. Then, then, had I survived to see New life in Bolton Priory; The voice restored, the eye of truth Re-opened that inspired my youth; To see her in her pomp arrayed; This banner (for such vow I made) Should on the consecrated breast Of that same temple have found rest: I would myself have hung it high, Glad offering of glad victory!
'"A shadow of such thought remams To cheer this sad and pensive time; A solemn fancy yet sustains One feeble being—bids me climb Even to the last—one effort more To attest my faith, if not restore.
'"Hear then,' said he, 'while I impart, My son, the last wish of my heart. The banner strive thou to regam; And, if the endeavour be not vain, Bear it—to whom if not to thee Shall I this lonely thought consign ?— Bear it to Bolton Priory,
1 lay it on Saint Mary's shrine,