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On the settled face of death
A strong and ruddy glare;
Though dimmed at times by the censer's breath,
The marble floor was swept
As the kneeling priests round him that slept
And solemn were the strains they poured
There was heard a heavy clang
And the holy chant was hushed awhile,
A gleam of arms, up the sweeping aisle,
He came with haughty look,
An eagle glance and clear,
But his proud heart through its breast-plate shook,
When he stood beside the bier!
He stood there still with a drooping brow,
And silently he strove.
With the workings of his breast;
For his face was seen by his warrior-train,
He looked upon the dead,
And sorrow seemed to lie,
A weight of sorrow, even like lead,
Till bursting words, yet all too weak,
"O father! is it vain,
This late remorse and deep?
Were but this work undone !
I would give England's crown, my sire,
but hear me father, chief! My king! I must be heard.
Hushed, hushed;-how is it that I call,
And that thou answerest not?
When was it thus ?-woe, woe for all
Thy silver hairs I see,
So still, so sadly bright!
And, father father! but for me
O! for one moment of the past
To kneel and say,- Forgive!""
"Thou wert the noblest king
And thou didst prove, where spears are proved
Oh! ever the renowned and loved
Thou wert ;-and there thou art!
"Thou, that my boyhood's guide Didst take fond joy to be !— The times I've sported by thy side,
And climbed the parent-knee!
And there before the blessed shrine,
How will that still, sad face of thine
I CLIMBED the dark brow of the mighty Hellvellyn, Lakes and mountains beneath me gleamed misty and
All was still, save, by fits, when the eagle was yelling, And starting around me the echoes replied.
On the right, Striden-edge round the Red-tarn was
And Catchedicam its left verge was defending,
Dark green was that spot 'mid the brown mountain. heather,
Where the Pilgrim of Nature lay stretched in decay, Like the corpse of an outcast, abandoned to weather,
Till the mountain winds wasted the tenantless clay. Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended, For, faithful in death, his mute favorite attended, The much-loved remains of her master defended, And chased the hill fox and the raven away.
How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber?
When the wind waved his garment, how oft didst
How many long days and long weeks didst thou number,
Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart? And, oh! was it meet that, no requiem read o'er him, No mother to weep and no friend to deplore him, And thou, little Guardian, alone stretched before him, Unhonored the pilgrim from life should depart!
When a prince to the fate of the peasant has yielded, The tapestry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall, With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded,
And pages stand mute by the canopied pall; Through the courts at deep midnight, the torches are gleaming;
In the proudly-arched chapel the banners are
Far adown the long aisle sacred music is streaming,
But meeter for thee, gentle Lover of Nature,
When, wildered, he drops from some cliff huge in
And draws his last sob by the side of his dam. And more stately this couch by this desert lake lying, Thy obsequies sung by the gay plover flying, With one faithful friend but to witness thy dying
In the arms of Hellvellyn and Catchedicam.