The Prose Marmion
Danger, travel, want, and woe soon change the form. Deadly fear can outstrip time; toil quenches the fire of youth; and despair traces wrinkles deeper than old age.
"Happy whom none of these befall; But this poor Palmer knew them all."
Lord Marmion made known his request, and the Palmer took upon himself the task of guide, on condition that they set out without delay, saying:
"'But I have solemn vows to pay And may not linger by the way; Saint Mary grant that cave or spring May back to peace my bosom bring, Or bid it throb no more!'"
Then the page, on bended knee, presented to each guest in turn the massive silver bowl of wassail, "the midnight draught of sleep," rich with wine and spices. Lord Marmion drank, "Sound sleep to all"; th