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And sidelong glanced, as to explore,
In meditated flight, the door.
“Sit,” Bertram said, “from danger free:
Thou canst not, and thou shalt not, flee.
Chance brings me hither; hill and plain
I’ve sought for refuge-place in vain.”
And tell me now, thou aguish boy,
What makest thou here? what means this toy:
Denzil and thou, I mark'd, were ta'en ;
What lucky chance unbound your chain P
I deem’d, long since on Baliol's tower,
Your heads were warp'd with sun and shower.”
Tell me the whole—and, mark nought e'er
Chafes me like falsehood, or like fear.”
Gathering his courage to his aid,
But trembling still, the youth obey'd.

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Wilfrid, he said, his heir and son,
Had fair Matilda's favour won;
And long since had their union been,
But for her father's bigot spleen,
Whose brute and blindfold party-rage
Would, force per force, her hand engage
To a base kern of Irish earth,
Unknown his lineage and his birth,
Save that a dying russian bore
The infant brat to Rokeby door.
Gentle restraint, he said, would lead
Old Rokeby to enlarge his creed;
But fair occasion he must find
For such restraint well-meant and kind,
The Knight being render'd to his charge
But as a prisoner at large.

IX. “He school'd us in a well-forged tale, Of scheme the Castle walls to scale,” To which was leagued each Cavalier That dwells upon the Tyne and Wear; That Rokeby, his parole forgot, Had dealt with us to aid the plot. Such was the charge, which Denzil’s zeal Of hate to Rokeby and O'Neale

! [MS.—“He school'd us then to tell a tale,
Of plot the Castle walls to scale,
To which had sworn each Cavalier.”]

Proffer'd, as witness, to make good,
Even though the forfeit were their blood.
I scrupled, until o'er and o'er
His prisoners' safety Wycliffe swore ;
And then—alas! what needs there more ?
I knew I should not live to say
The proffer I refused that day;
Ashamed to live, yet loath to die,
I soil'd me with their infamy!”—
“Poor youth,” said Bertram, “wavering still,
Unfit alike for good or ill
But what fell next?”—“Soon as at large *
Was scroll'd and sign'd our fatal charge,
There never yet, on tragic stage,
Was seen so well a painted rage
As Oswald's show’d With loud alarm
He call'd his garrison to arm ;
From tower to tower, from post to post,
He hurried as if all were lost;
Consign'd to dungeon and to chain
The good old Knight and all his train;
Warn'd each suspected Cavalier,
Within his limits, to appear

1 [MS.—“sore bestád Wavering alike in good and bad.”] “0, when at large Was scroll'd and sign'd our fatal charge, You never yet, on tragic stage, Deheld so well a painted rage.”] WOL. IV. 17

2 [MS.

To-morrow, at the hour of noon,
In the high church of Eglistone.”—

X. “Of Eglistone —Even now I pass'd,” Said Bertram, “as the night closed fast; Torches and cressets gleam'd around, I heard the saw and hammer sound, And I could mark they toil'd to raise A scaffold, hung with sable baize, Which the grim headsman's scene display'd, Block, axe, and sawdust ready laid. Some evil deed will there be done, Unless Matilda wed his son :She loves him not— tis shrewdly guess'd That Redmond rules the damsel’s breast. This is a turn of Oswald’s skill; But I may meet, and foil him still —” How camest thou to thy freedom ?”—“There Lies mystery more dark and rare. In midst of Wycliffe's well-feign'd rage, A scroll was offer'd by a page, Who told, a musiled horseman late Had left it at the Castle-gate. He broke the seal—his cheek show’d change,

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