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Eustace, I said, did blithely mark
The first notes of the merry lark.
The lark sung shrill, the cock he crew,
And loudly Marmion's clarions blew,
And, with their light and lively call,
Brought grooın and yeoman to the stall.
Whistling they came, and free of heart;

But soon their mood was changed :
Complaint was heard on every part,

Of something disarranged.

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I swear,

Some clamoured loud for armour lost;
Some brawled and wrangled with the host;

By Becket's bones,” cried one,
That some false Scot has stolen my spear !”
Young Blount, Lord Marmion's second squire,
Found his steed wet with sweat and mire';
Although the rated horse-boy sware,
Last night he dressed him sleek and fair.
While chafed the impatient squire like thunder,
Old Hubert shouts, in fear and wonder,-

Help, gentle Blount ! help, comrades all !
Bevis lies dying in his stall :
To Marmion who the plight dare tell,
Of the good steed he loves so well ?”
Gaping for fear and ruth, they saw
The charger panting on his straw;
Till one, who would seem wisest, cried,
" What else but evil could betide,
With that cursed Palmer for our guide

Better we had through mire and bush
Been lanthorn-led by Friar Rush.” a

Fitz-Eustace, who the cause but guessed,

Nor wholly understood,
His comrades clamourous plaints suppressed;

He knew Lord Marmion's mood. Him, ere be issued forth, he sought, And found deep plunged in gloomy thought,

And did his tale display
Simply, as if he knew of nought

To cause such disarray.
Lord Marmion gave attention cold,
Nor marvelled at the wonders told,
Passed them as accidents of course,
And bade his clarions sound to horse.

? Alias Will o' the Wisp. See Note.


Young Henry Blount meanwhile the cost
Had reckoned with their Scottish host;
And, as the charge he cast and paid,
“ Ill thou deserv’st thy hire,” he said;
- Dost see, thou knave, my

horse's plight? Fairies have ridden him all the night,

And left him in a foam !
I trust, that soon a conjuring band,
· With English cross and blazing brand,
Shall drive the devils from this land,

To their infernal home :
For in this haunted den, I trow,
All night they trampled to and fro.”
The laughing host looked on the hire, —
“Gramercy, gentle southern squire,
And if thou com’st among the rest,
With Scottish broad sword to be blest,
Sharp be the brand, and sure the blow,
And short the pang to undergo.”—

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