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Once more the Rood had been upraised
To spread its arms, and stand for aye.
Then, then, had I survived to see
New life in Bolton Priory;
The voice restored, the eye of Truth
Re-opened that inspired my youth;
To see her in her pomp arrayed;
This Banner (for such vow I made)
Should on the consecrated breast
Of that same Temple have found rest:
I would myself have hung it high,
Glad offering of glad victory!

“A shadow of such thought remains
To cheer this sad and pensive time;
A solemn fancy yet sustains
One feeble Being — bids me climb
Even to the last — one effort more
To attest my Faith, if not restore.

"Hear then,' said he,' while I impart, My Son, the last wish of my heart.

– The Banner strive thou to regain; And, if the endeavour be not vain, Bear it — to whom if not to thee Shall I this lonely thought consign? — Bear it to Bolton Priory, And lay it on Saint Mary's shrine, To wither in the sun and breeze 'Mid those decaying Sanctities. There let at least the gift be laid, The testimony there displayed; Bold proof that with no selfish aim, But for lost Faith and Christ's dear name,

I helmeted a brow though white,
And took a place in all men's sight;
Yea offered up this beauteous Brood
This fair unrivalled Brotherhood,
And turned away from thee, my Son!
And left - but be the rest unsaid,

The name untouched, the tear unshed, -
My wish is known, and I have done:
Now promise, grant this one request,
This dying prayer, and be thou blest!”

“ Then Francis answered fervently, If God so will, the same shall be.'

“ Immediately, this solemn word Thus scarcely given, a noise was heard, And Officers appeared in state To lead the Prisoners to their fate. They rose, oh! wherefore should I fear To tell, or, Lady, you to hear ? They rose — embraces none were given They stood like trees when earth and heaven Are calm ; they knew each other's worth, And reverently the Band went forth : They met, when they had reached the door, The Banner, which a Soldier bore, One marshalled thus with base intent That he in scorn might go before, And, holding up this monument, Conduct them to their punishment; So cruel Sussex, unrestrained By human feeling, had ordained. The unhappy Banner Francis saw, And, with a look of calm command

Inspiring universal awe,
He took it from the Soldier's hand;
And all the people that were round
Confirmed the deed in peace profound.
- High transport did the Father shed
Upon his Son — and they were led,
Led on, and yielded up their breath,
Together died, a happy death!
But Francis, soon as he had braved
This insult, and the Banner saved,
That moment, from among the tide
Of the spectators occupied
In admiration or dismay,
Bore unobserved his Charge away."

These things, which thus had in the sight And hearing passed of Him who stood With Emily, on the Watch-tower height, In Rylstone's woeful neighbourhood, He told ; and oftentimes with voice Of power to comfort or rejoice; For deepest sorrows that aspire, Go high, no transport ever higher. Yet, yet in this affliction,” said The old Man to the silent Maid, “ Yet, Lady! heaven is good — the night Shews yet a Star which is most bright; Your Brother lives — he lives is come Perhaps already to his home; Then let us leave this dreary place, She yielded, and with gentle pace, Though without one uplifted look, To Rylstone-hall her way she took.

CANTO SIXTH.

Why comes not Francis ? - Joyful cheer
In that parental gratulation,
And glow of righteous indignation,
Went with him from the doleful City :
He fled — yet in his flight could hear
The death-sound of the Minster-bell;
That sullen stroke pronounced farewell
To Marmaduke, cut off from pity!
To Ambrose that! and then a knell
For him, the sweet half-opened Flower !
For all — all dying in one hour !
- Why comes not Francis ? Thoughts of love
Should bear him to his Sister dear
With motion fleet as a wingèd Dove;
Yea, like a heavenly Messenger,
An Angel-guest, should he appear.
Why comes he not? — for westward fast
Along the plain of York he past;
The Banner-staff was in his hand,
The Imagery concealed from sight,
And cross the expanse, in open flight,
Reckless of what impels or leads,
Unchecked he hurries on ; — nor heeds
The sorrow through the Villages,
Spread by triumphant cruelties
Of vengeful military force,
And punishment without remorse.

He marked not, heard not as he fled ;
All but the suffering heart was dead
For him abandoned to blank awe,
To vacancy, and horror strong:
And the first object which he saw,
With conscious sight, as he swept along,
It was the banner in his hand !
He felt, and made a sudden stand.

He looked about like one betrayed : What hath he done? what promise made ? Oh weak, weak moment ! to what end Can such a vain oblation tend, And he the Bearer ? — Can he go Carrying this instrument of woe, And find, find any where, a right To excuse him in his country's sight? No, will not all Men deem the change A downward course, perverse and strange ? Here is it, — but how, when? must she, The unoffending Emily, Again this piteous object see ?

Such conflict long did he maintain Within himself, and found no rest; Calm liberty he could not gain; And yet the service was unblest. His own life into danger brought By this sad burden — even that thought, Exciting self-suspicion strong, Swayed the brave man to his wrong. And how, unless it were the sense Of all-disposing Providence,

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