In Sight of Dacre Castle

The Past.(in Sight of Dacre Castle.)

Through yon old archway grey and broken
Rides forth a belted knight;
Upon his breast his true-love's token
And armour glittering bright.

His arm a fond adieu is waving,
And answering waves a hand
From one whose love her grief is braving—
The fairest of the land.

The trumpet calls, and plain and valley
Give forth their armed men;
And round the red-cross flag they rally,
From every dale and glen.

And she walks forth in silent sorrow,
Who was so blest to-day,
And thinks on many a lone to-morrow
In those old towers of grey.

From many a piping throat so mellow
The joyful song bursts forth:
On many a field the corn so yellow
Makes golden bright the earth.

And mountains o'er the green woods frowning
Close round the banner'd walls;
While mid-day sunshine, all things crowning,
In summer splendour falls.

But ours is not the age they walk in;
It is the years of yore:
And ours is not the tongue they talk in;
'Tis language used no more.

Yet many an eye in silence bending
O'er this unmurmur'd lay,
Beholds that knight the vale descending,
And feels that summer's day.

Lives it then not? Yes; and when hoary
Beneath our years we stand,
That scene of summer, love, and glory,
Shall still be on the land.

Truth from the earth itself shall perish
Ere that shall be no more;
The heart in song will ever cherish
What has been life of yore.