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To wither in the sun and breeze
“Then Francis answered fervently, 'If God so will, the same shall be.'
“Immediately, this solemn word Thus scarcely given, a noise was heard, And officers appeared in state To lead the prisoners to their fate. They rose, oh! wherefore should I fear To tell, or, lady, you to hear? They rose-embraces none were given They stood like trees when earth and heaven Are calm; they knew each other's worth, And reverently the band went forth: They met, when they had reached the door, The banner which a soldier bore, One marshalled thus with base intent That he in scorn might go before, And, holding up this monument,
Conduct them to their punishment;
These things, which thus had in the sight And hearing passed of him who stood With Emily, on the watch-tower height, In Rylstone's woeful neighbourhood, He told; and oftentimes with voice Of power to comfort or rejoice; For deepest sorrows that aspire, Go high, no transport ever higher. “Yet, yet in this affliction," said The old man to the silent maid, “Yet, lady! Heaven is good-the night Shows yet a star which is most bright; Your brother lives-he lives-is come Perhaps already to his home; Then let us leave this dreary place.”
She yielded, and with gentle pace,
CANTO VI. Why comes not Francis ?-Joyful cheer In that parental gratulation, And glow of righteous indignation, Went with him from the doleful city :He fled--yet in his flight could hear The death-sound of the minster-bell; That sullen stroke pronounced farewell To Marmaduke, cut off from pity! To Ambrose that ! and then a knell For him, the sweet half-opened flower! For all-all dying in one hour! Why comes not Francis? Thoughts of love Should bear him to his sister dear With motion fleet as winged dove; Yea, like a heavenly messenger, An angel-guest, should he appear. Why comes he not?-for westward fast Along the plain of York he passed ; The banner-staff was in his hand, The imagery coréealed from sight, And 'cross the expanse, in open flight, Reckless of what impels or leads, Unchecked he hurries on :-nor heeds The sorrow of the villages; Spread by triumphant cruelties Of vengeful military force, And punishment without remorse. He marked not, heard not as he fled; All but the suffering heart was dead
For him, abandoned to blank awe,
He looked about like one betrayed: What hath he done? what promise made? Oh, weak, weak moment ! to what end Can such a vain oblation tend, And he the bearer?-Can he go Carrying this instrument of woe, And find, find anywhere, a right To excuse him in his country's sight? No, will not all men deem the change A downward course, perverse and strange? Here is it,-but how, when? must she, The unoffending Emily, Again this piteous object see?
Such conflict long did he maintain
And no obstruction to prevent
So forward with a steady will He went, and traversed plain and hill; And up the vale of Wharfe his way Pursued ;-and, on the second day, He reached a summit whence his eyes Could see the tower of Bolton rise. There Francis for a moment's space Made halt-but hark! a noise behind Of horsemen at an eager pace He heard, and with misgiving mind. 'Tis Sir George Bowes who leads the band : They come, by cruel Sussex sent; Who, when the Nortons from the hand Of death had drunk their punishment Bethought him, angry and ashamed, How Francis had the banner claimed, And with that charge had disappeared ; By all the standers-by revered. His whole bold carriage (which had quelled Thus far the opposer, and repelled All censure, enterprise so bright That even bad men had vainly striven