« PreviousContinue »
That castle rises on the steep
Of the green vale of Tyne; And far beneath, where slow they creep From pool to eddy, dark and deep, Where alders moist, and willows weep,
You hear her streams repine. The towers in different ages rose; Their various architecture shows
The builders' various hands;
A mighty mass, that could oppose,
When deadliest hatred fired its foes,
The vengeful Douglas bands.
Crichtoun! though now thy miry court
But pens the lazy steer and sheep,
Thy turrets rude, and tottered Keep, Have been the minstrel's loved resort. Oft have I traced within thy fort,
Of mouldering shields the mystic sense,
Scutcheons of honour, or pretence,
Quartered in old armorial sort,
Remains of rude magnificence:
Nor wholly yet hath time defaced
Thy lordly gallery fair ;
Nor yet the stony cord unbraced,
Whose twisted knots, with roses laced,
Adorn thy ruined stair.
Still rises unimpaired, below,
The courtyard's graceful portico ;
Above its cornice, row and row
Of fair hewn facets richly show
Their pointed diamond form,
Though there but houseless cattle go
To shield them from the storm.
And, shuddering, still may we explore,
Where oft whilome were captives pent, The darkness of thy Massy More ;?
Or, from thy grass-grown battlement, May trace, in undulating line, The sluggish mazes of the Tyne.
Another aspect Crichtoun showed,
As through its portal Marmion rode ;
But yet 'twas melancholy state
Received him at the outer gate ;
For none were in the castle then,
But women, boys, or aged men.
With eyes scarce dried, the sorrowing dame,
To welcome noble Marmion came;
Her son, a strippling twelve years old,
Proffered the Baron's rein to hold ;
For each man, that could draw a sword,
Had marched that morning with their lord,
Earl Adam Hepburn-he who died
On Flodden, by his sovereign's side.
Long may his lady look in vain !
She ne'er shall see his gallant train
Come sweeping back through Crichtoun-Dean.
'Twas a brave race, before the name
Of hated Bothwell stained their fame.
And here two days did Marmion rest,
With every rite that honour claims,
Attended as the King's own guest,-
Such the command of royal James ;
Who marshalled then his land's array,
Upon the Borough moor that lay.
Perchance he would not foeman's eye
Upon his gathering host should pry,
Till full prepared was every band
To march against the English land.
Here while they dwelt, did Lindesay's wit
Oft cheer the Baron's moodier fit;
And, in his turn, he knew to prize
Lord Marmion's powerful mind and wise-
Trained in the lore of Rome and Greece,
And policies of war and peace. .
It chanced, as fell the second night,
That on the battlements they walked, And, by the slowly fading light,
Of varying topics talked ;
And, unaware, the Herald-bard
Said Marmion might his toil have spared,
In travelling so far;
For that a messenger from heaven
In vain to James had counsel given
Against the English war:
And, closer questioned, thus he told
A tale, which chronicles of old
In Scottish story have enrolled :-
“Of all the palaces so fair,
Built for the royal dwelling,
In Scotland, far beyond compare
Linlithgow is excelling;
And in its park, in jovial June,
How sweet the merry linnet's tune,