On Leaving N - St - D.

A poem by Lord George Gordon Byron

Through the cracks in these battlements loud the winds whistle,
For the hall of my fathers is gone to decay;
And in yon once gay garden the hemlock and thistle
Have choak'd up the rose, which late bloom'd in the way.

Of the barons of old, who once proudly to battle
Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain;
The escutcheon and shield, which with ev'ry blast rattle,
Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.

No more does old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers,
Raise a flame in the breast, for the war laurell'd wreath,
Near Askalon's Towers John of Horiston[1] slumbers,
Unnerv'd is the hand of his minstrel by death.

Paul and Hubert too sleep in the valley of Cressy,
For the safety of Edward and ENGLAND they fell,
My fathers! the tears of your country redress ye,
How you fought! how you died! still her annals can tell.

On [2]Marston with Rupert[3] 'gainst traitors contending,
Four Brothers enrich'd with their blood the bleak field
For Charles the Martyr their country defending,
Till death their attachment to royalty scal'd.

Shades of heroes farewell! your descendant departing,
From the seat of his ancestors, bids ye adieu!
Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting
New courage, he'll think upon glory, and you.

Though a tear dims his eye at this sad separation,
'Tis nature, not fear, which commands his regret;
Far distant he goes with the same emulation,
In the grave, he alone can his fathers forget.

Your fame, and your memory, still will he cherish,
He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown;
Like you will he live, or like you will he perish,
When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own.

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