Walter Scott

The Monks of Bangorís March

WHEN the heathen trumpetís clang
Round beleaguered Chester rang,
Veiled nun and friar gray
Marched from Bangorís fair Abbaye;
High their holy anthem sounds,
Cestriaís vale the hymn rebounds,
Floating down the sylvan Dee.
††††††††††††††††O miserere, Domine!

On the long procession goes,
Glory round their crosses glows,
And the Virgin-mother mild
In their peaceful banner smiled;
Who could think such saintly band
Doomed to feel unhallowed hand!
Such was the Divine decree,
††††††††††††††††O miserere, Domine!

Bands that masses only sung,
Hands that censers only swung,
Met the northern bow and bill,
Heard the war-cry wild and shrill;
Woe to Brockmaelís feeble hand,
Woe to Olfridís bloody brand,
Woe to Saxon cruelty,
††††††††††††††††O miserere, Domine!

Weltering amid warriors slain,
Spurned by steeds with bloody mane,
Slaughtered down by heathen blade,
Bangorís peaceful monks are laid;
Word of parting rest unspoke,
Mass unsung and bread unbroke;
For their souls for charity,
††††††††Sing, O miserere, Domine!

Bangor! oíer the murder wail!
Long thy ruins told the tale,
Shattered towers and broken arch
Long recalled the woful march:
On thy shrine no tapers burn,
Never shall thy priests return;
The pilgrim sighs and sings for thee,
††††††††††††††††O miserere, Domine!

English Poetry - E-mail