Lancaster Castle

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Dark with age these towers look down
Over their once vassal town;
Warlike—yet long years have past
Since they look'd on slaughter last.

Never more will that dark wall
Echo with the trumpet's call,
When the Red Rose and the White
Call'd their warriors to the fight.

Never more the sounding yew,
Which the English archer drew,
Will decide a battle-day
Fast like its own shafts away.

Never more those halls will ring
With the ancient harper's string,
When the red wine pass'd along
With a shout and with a song.

Trumpet, harp, and good yew bow
Are so many memories now,
While the loom, the press, the gun,
Have another age begun.

Yet that old chivalric hour
Hath upon the present power
Changed—and soften'd and refined
It has left its best behind.

What may its bequeathings be?
Honour, song, and courtesy.
Like the spirit of its clay,
Yesterday redeems to-day.