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But scant three miles the band had rode,
When o'er a height they passed,
His towers, Tantallon vast :
And double mound and fosse.
To the main court they cross.
And towers of various form,
The gathering ocean storm.
I said, Tantallon's dizzy steep Hung o'er the margin of the deep. Many a rude tower and rampart there Repelled the insult of the air, Which, when the tempest vexed the sky, Half breeze, half spray, came whistling by. Above the rest, a turret square Did o'er its Gothic entrance bear, Of sculpture rude, a stony shield ; The Bloody Heart was in the field, And in the chief three mullets stood, The cognizance of Douglas blood. The turret held a narrow stair, Which, mounted, gave you access where A parapet's embattled row Did seaward round the castle go; Sometimes in dizzy steps descending, Sometimes in narrow circuit bending, Sometimes in platform broad extending, Its varying circle did combine Bulwark, and bartizan, and line, And bastion, tower, and vantage-coign ; Above the booming ocean leant The far-projecting battlement; The billows burst, in ceaseless flow, Upon the precipice below. Where'er Tantallon faced the land, Gate-works, and walls, were strongly manned ;