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There, face by face, and hand by hand,
In the ruthless wars of the White and Red;
Who dragged Earl Pembroke from Banbury church,
Earl Pembroke, slain so impiously!
That slender Youth, a scholar pale,
It is, thinks he, the gracious Fairy,
Wild notes she in his hearing sang,
And oftentimes before him stood,
Amid the trees of some thick wood,
In semblance of a lady fair;
And taught him signs, and showed him sights,
A Shepherd clad in homely grey,
Nor left him at his later day.
And hence, when he, with spear and shield,
But not in wars did he delight,
This Clifford wished for worthier might;
Most happy in the shy recess
And choice of studious friends had he
Of Bolton's dear fraternity;
Who, standing on this old church tower,
Ah, pensive Scholar, think not so, But look again at the radiant Doe! What quiet watch she seems to keep, Alone, beside that grassy heap!
Why mention other thoughts unmeet For vision so composed and sweet? While stand the people in a ring, Gazing, doubting, questioning; Yea, many overcome in spite Of recollections clear and bright; Which yet do unto some impart An undisturbed repose of heart.
And all the assembly own a law
But see they vanish, one by one,
And last, the Doe herself is gone.
Harp! we have been full long beguiled By busy dreams, and fancies wild; To which, with no reluctant strings, Thou hast attuned thy murmurings; And now before this Pile we stand In solitude, and utter peace:
But, harp! thy murmurs may not cease Thou hast breeze-like visitings;
For a Spirit with angel wings
Hath touched thee, and a Spirit's hand:
To chant, in strains of heavenly glory,
THE Harp in lowliness obeyed;
And first we sang of the green-wood shade,
Beginning, where the song must end,
The Friend who stood before her sight,
Her only unextinguished light;
Her last companion in a dearth
Of love, upon a hopeless earth.
For She it was this Maid, who wrought
Meekly, with foreboding thought,
In vermeil colours and in gold
An unblest work; which, standing by,
Her Father did with joy behold,
Exulting in the imagery;
A Banner, one that did fulfil
Too perfectly his headstrong will: