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And prayed the Earls in self-defence
To rise, and prove their innocence. -
“Rise, noble Earls, put forth your might
For holy Church, and the People's right !”
The Norton fixed, at this demand, His eye upon Northumberland, And said, “ The Minds of Men will own No loyal rest while England's Crown Remains without an Heir, the bait Of strife and factions desperate ; Who, paying deadly hate in kind Through all things else, in this can find A mutual hope, a common mind; And plot, and pant to overwhelm All ancient honour in the realm. - Brave Earls ! to whose heroic veins Our noblest blood is given in trust, To you a suffering State complains, And ye must raise her from the dust. With wishes of still bolder scope On you we look, with dearest hope, Even for our Altars, for the prize In Heaven, of life that never dies; For the old and holy Church we mourn, And must in joy to her return. Behold !” — and from his Son whose stand Was on his right, from that guardian hand He took the Banner, and unfurled The precious folds — “behold,” said he, “ The ransom of a sinful world; Let this your preservation be, The wounds of hands and feet and side, And the sacred Cross on which Jesus died !
- This bring I from an ancient hearth,
These Records wrought in pledge of love
By hands of no ignoble birth,
A Maid o'er whom the blessed Dove
Vouchsafed in gentleness to brood
While she the holy work pursued.”
“ Uplift the Standard!” was the cry
From all the Listeners that stood round,
“ Plant it, — by this we live or die” –
The Norton ceased not for that sound,
But said, “ The prayer which ye have heard,
Much injured Earls! by these preferred,
Is offered to the Saints, the sigh
Of tens of thousands, secretly.”
“ Uplift it!” cried once more the Band,
And then a thoughtful pause ensued.
- Uplift it !” said Northumberland -
Whereat, from all the multitude,
Who saw the Banner reared on high
In all its dread emblazonry,
With tumult and indignant rout
A voice of uttermost joy brake out:
The transport was rolled down the river of Were,
And Durham, the time-honoured Durham, did hear,
And the Towers of Saint Cuthbert were stirred by the shout!
Now was the North in arms: — they shine
In warlike trim from Tweed to Tyne,
At Percy's voice: and Neville sees
His Followers gathering in from Tees,
From Were, and all the little Rills
Concealed among the forkèd Hills —
Seven Hundred Knights, Retainers all
Of Neville, at their Master's call
Had sate together in Raby Hall!
Such strength that Earldom held of yore;
Nor wanted at this time rich store
Of well-appointed Chivalry.
- Not loth the sleepy lance to wield,
And greet the old paternal shield,
They heard the summons; - and, furthermore,
Horsemen and Foot of each degree,
Unbound by pledge of fealty,
Appeared, with free and open hate
Of novelties in Church and State;
Knight, Burgher, Yeoman, and Esquire;
And Romish Priest, in Priest's attire.
And thus, in arms, a zealous Band
Proceeding under joint command,
To Durham first their course they bear;
And in Saint Cuthbert's ancient seat
Sang Mass, — and tore the book of Prayer, ---
And trod the Bible beneath their feet.
Thence marching southward smooth and free, “ They mustered their Host at Wetherby, Full sixteen thousand fair to see;"* The choicest Warriors of the North! But none for beauty and for worth Like those eight Sons — embosoming Determined thoughts — who, in a ring Each with a lance, erect and tall, A falchion, and a buckler small, Stood by their Sire, on Clifford-moor, To guard the Standard which he bore. - With feet that firmly pressed the ground They stood, and girt their Father round;
Such was his choice, - no Steed will he
Henceforth bestride; — triumphantly
He stood upon the grassy sod,
Trusting himself to the earth, and God.
Rare sight to embolden and inspire!
Proud was the field of Sons and Sire,
Of him the most; and, sooth to say,
No shape of Man in all the array
So graced the sunshine of that day. -
The monumental pomp of age
Was with this goodly Personage;
A stature undepressed in size,
Unbent, which rather seemed to rise,
In open victory o'er the weight
Of seventy years, to higher height;
Magnific limbs of withered state, —
A face to fear and venerate,
Eyes dark and strong, and on his head
Bright locks of silver hair, thick spread,
Which a brown morion half-concealed,
Light as a hunter's of the field;
And thus, with girdle round his waist,
Whereon the Banner-staff might rest
At need, he stood, advancing high
The glittering, floating Pageantry.
Who sees him? — many see, and One With unparticipated gaze; .. Who 'mong these thousands Friend hath none, And treads in solitary ways. He, following wheresoe'er he might, Hath watched the Banner from afar, As Shepherds watch a lonely star,
Or Mariners the distant light
That guides them on a stormy night.
And now, upon a chosen plot
Of rising ground, yon heathy spot!.
He takes this day his far-off stand,
With breast unmailed, unweaponed hand.
- Bold is his aspect; but his eye
Is pregnant with anxiety,
While, like a tutelary Power,
He there stands fixed, from hour to hour:
Yet sometimes, in more humble guise,
Stretched out upon the ground he lies;
As if it were his only task
Like Herdsman in the sun to bask,
Or by his mantle's help to find
A shelter from the nipping wind:
And thus, with short oblivion blest,
His weary spirits gather rest.
Again he lifts his eyes; and lo!
The pageant glancing to and fro;
And hope is wakened by the sight,
He thence may learn, ere fall of night,
Which way the tide is doomed to flow.
To London were the Chieftains bent; But what avails the bold intent? A Royal army is gone forth To quell the RISING OF THE NORTH; They march with Dudley at their head, And, in seven days' space, will to York be led ! Can such a mighty Host be raised Thus suddenly, and brought so near ? The Earls upon each other gazed; And Neville was opprest with fear;