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"It was a night of woe and dread, ,
When Michael in the tomb Haid!
Strange sounds along the chancel past,
The banners waved without a blast/'—
—Still spoke the Monk, when the bell tolled one!—
I tell you, that a braver man
Than William of Deloraine, good at need,
Against a foe ne'er spurred a steed;
Yet somewhat was he chilled with dread,
And his hair did bristle upon his head.
"Lo, Warrior! now, the Cross of Red
Slow moved the Monk to the .broad flag-stone.
An iron bar the warrior took;
With beating heart to the task he went;
His sinewy frame o'er the grave-stone bent;
With bar of iron heaved amain,
Till the toil-drops fell from his brows, like rain.
It was by dint of passing strength,
That he moved the massy stone at length.
I would you had been there, to see
How the light broke forth so gloriously;
Streamed upward to the chancel roof,
And through the galleries far aloof!
And, issuing from the tomb. Shewed the Monk's cowl, and visage pale, Danced on the dark-browed Warrior's mail,
And kissed his waving plume.
Before their eyes the Wizard lay,
A palmer's amice wrapped him round.
With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,
His left hand held his Book of Might;
A silver cross was in his right;
The lamp was placed beside his knee: High and majestic was his look, At which the fellest fiends had shook, And all unruffled was his face :— They trusted his soul had gotten grace.
Often had William of Deloraine
And neither known remorse or awe;
When this strange scene of death he saw.
And when the priest his death-prayer had prayed,
Thus unto Deloraine he said :—
"Now speed thee what thou hast to da,
Or, Warrior, we may dearly rue;
For those, thou mayest not look upon,
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone!"—
Then Deloraine, in terror, took
From the cold hand the Mighty Book,
With iron clasped, and with iron bound:
He thought, as he took it, the dead man frowned;
But the glare of the sepulchral light,
Perchance, had dazzled the warrior's sight.
When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb,
The night returned, in double gloom;
For the moon had gone down, and the stars were few;
And, as the Knight and Priest withdrew,
With wavering steps and dizzy brain,
They hardly might the postern gain.
Tis said, as through the aisles they passed,
They heard strange noises on the blast;
And through the cloister-galleries small,
Which at mid-height thread the chancel wall,