THE Scene of the Poem is laid at Bokeby, near Greta-bridge, in Yorkshire, and shifts to the adjacent fortress of Barnard Castle, and to other places in that vicinity.

, The time occupied by the Action is a space of Five l Days, Three of which are supposed to elapse between the end of the Fifth and beginning of the Sixth Canto.

The date of the supposed events is immediately subsequent to the great Battle of Marston-moor, 3d July, 1644. This period of public'confusion has been chosen, f without any purpose of combining the Fable with the i Military or Political Events of the Civil War, but only as ! affording a degree of probability to the Fictitious Nar-i rative now presented to the Public.

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Far townward sounds a distant tread,
And Oswald, starting from his bed,
Hath caught it, though no human ear,
Unsharpen'd by revenge and fear,
Could e’er distinguish horse's dank, (2)
Until it reach'd the castle-bank.

Now nigh and plain the sound appears,
The warder‘s challenge now he hears.
Then clanking chains and levers tell,
That o'er the moat the draw-bridge fell,
And, in the castle-court below,

Voices are heard, and torches glow,

As marshalling the stranger's way,
Straight for the room where Oswald lay;
The cry wa5,—u Tidings from the host,
Of weight-—a messenger comes post.n——
Stifling the tumult of his breast,

His answer Oswald thus express‘d

it Bring food and wine, and trim the fire; Admit the stranger, and retire.»—

, VI. The stranger came with heavy stride: The morion’s plumes his visage hide,

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But yet, though Ben'rnu's harden'd look, Unmoved, could blood and danger brook, Still worse than apathy had place

On his ewart brow and callous face;

For evil passions, cherish'd long,

Had plough’d them with impressions strong. All that gives gloss to sin, all gay

Light folly, pnss’d with youth away,

But rooted stood, in manhood's hour,
The weeds of vice without their flower.
And yet the mil in which they grew,

Had it been tamed when life was new,
Had depth and vigour to bring forth

The hardier fruits of virtuous worth.

Not that, e'on then, his heart had known,
The gentler feelings kindlier tone;

But lavish waste had been refined

To bounty in his chasten'd mind,

And lust of gold, that waste to feed,

Been lost in love of glory's meed,

And, frantic then no more, his pride

Had ta'en fair virtue for its guide.


Even now, by conscience unrestrain‘d,
Clogg'd by gross vice, by slaughter stain'd,
Still knew his daring soul to soar,

And mastery o'er the mind he bore;
For meaner guilt, or heart less hard,
QnaiI'd beneath Berti-arn’s bold regard.
And this felt Oswald, while in vain

lle strove, by many a winding train,

To lure his sullen guest to show,
Unask'd, the news he long'd to know,
While on far other subject hung

I-Iis heart,-than falter‘d from his tongue.
Yet nought for that his guest did deign
To note or spare his secret pain,

But still, in stern and stubborn sort,
I\eturn'd him answer dark and short, Or started from the theme, to range

In loose digression wild and strange, And forced the embat1'ass‘d host to buy, lly query close, direct reply.


Awhile he glozed upon the cause

Of commons, covenant, and laws,

And church reform'd—but felt rebuke
Beneath grim Bertram‘s snecring loolt.

Then stammer'd— u Has a field been fought!
Has Bertram news of battle brought‘!

For sure a soldier, famed so far

In foreign fields for feats of war,

On eve of fight ne'er left the host,

Until the field were won or lost.»

tx Here, in your towers by circling Tees, You, Oswald Wycliffe, rest at ease;

Why deem it strange that others come

To share such safe and easy home,

From fields where danger, death, and toil,
Are the reward of civil broil?»-

u Nay, mock not, friend! since well we know The near advances of the foe,

To mar our northern army's work,

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1: Wouldst hear the taleZ'—0n Marston heath Met, front to front, the ranks of death; (5) Flourish'd the trumpets fierce, and now Fired was each eye, and flush'd each brow; On either side loud clamonrs ring,

‘ God and the Cause .'—God and the King? Right English all, they rush'd to blows, With nought to win, and all to lose.

I could have langh'd—but lack'd the time—
To see, in phrenesy sublime,

How the fierce zealots fought and bled,
For king or state, as humour led ;

Some for a dream of public good,

Some for church-tippct, gown, and hood’,
Draining their veins, in death to claim

A patriot's or a martyr’s name.

Led Bertram Risingham the hearts,

That counter'd there on adverse parts,

No superstitious fool had I

Sought El Dorados in the sky!

Chili had heard me through her states,
And Lima oped her silver gates, I

Rich Megico I had march'd through,

And sack‘d the splendours of Peru,

Till sunk Pizarro‘s daring name,

And, Cortez, thine, in l3erlram's fame!»--tr Still from the purpose will thou stray! Good gentle friend, how went the day?»


--u Good am I deem'd at trumpet-sound,
And good where gohlets dance the round,
Though gentle ne'er was join'd, till now,
With rugged Bertram's breast and brow. _
But I resume. The hattle's rage

Was like the strife which currents wage,
Where Orinoco, in his pride,

Rolls to the main no tribute tide,

But ’gainst broad ocean urges far

A rival sea of roaring war;

While_ in ten thousand eddies driven,

The billows fling their foam to heaven,
And the pale pilot seeks in vain,

Where rolls the river, where the main.
Even that, upon _the bloody field,

The eddyiug tides of conflict wheel’d'
Ambiguous, till that heart of flame,

Hot Rupert, on our squadrons came,
Hurling against our spears a line

Of gallnnts, fiery as their wine;

Then ours, though stubborn in their teal,
In I-eal’s despite began to reel.

What wouldst thou more?—in tumult tost,
Our leaders fell, our ranks were lost.

A thousand men, who drew the sword
For both the Ilouses and the Word,
Preach'd forth from hamlet, grange, and down,
To curb the crosier and the crown,

Now, stark and stiff, lie streu:h'd in gore,
And ne'er shall rail at mitre more.-

Thus fared it, when I left the fight,

With the good cause and commons’ right.»

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<1 Hearts are not flint, and tlints are rent; Hearts are not steel, and steel is bent. When Mortham bade me, as of yore,

Be near him in the battle's roar,

I scarcely saw the spears laid low,~

I scarcely heard the trumpets blow;

Lost was the war in inward strife,
Debating Mortham's death or life.

'T was then I thought, how, lured to come
As partner of his wealth and home,

Years of piratic wandering o'er,

With him I sought our native shore.
But Mortham’s lord grew far estranged
From the hold hearts with whom he ranged;
Doubts, horrors, superstitious fears,
Sadden'd and dimm'd descending years;
The wily priests their victim sought,

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By Mortham urged, I came again

His vassals to the fight to train.

What guerdon waited on my care?

I could not cant of creed or prayer;
Sour fanatics each trust obtain'd,

And I, dishonour‘d and disdain'd,
Gain'd but the high and happy lot,

In these poor arms to front the shot!-—
All this thou kuow'st, thy gestures tell;
Yet hear it o'er, and mark it well.

‘T is honour bids me now relate

Each circumstance of Mortham‘s fate.


1: Thoughts, from the tongue that slowly part,
Glance quick as lightning through the heart.
As my spur press'd my courser’s side,
Philip of llllorthanfs cause was tried,

And, ere the charging squadrons mix'd,

His plea was cast, his doom was fix'd.

l watch'd him through the doubtful fray,
That changed as March’s moody day,

Till, like a stream that bursts its bank,
Fierce Rupert thunder'd on our flank.

‘T was then, ‘midst tumult, smoke, and strife,
Where each man fought for death or life,

‘T was then I fired my petronel,

And Mortham, steed and rider, fell.

One dying look he upward cast,

Of wrath and anguish—'t was his last.
Think not that there] stopp'd to view

What of the battle should ensue;

But ere I clear‘d that bloody press,

Our northern horse ran masterlcss;
Monckton and Mitton told the news,

How troops of roundheads choked the Ouse,
And many a bonny Scot, aghast,

Spurring his palfrey northward, past,
Cursing the day when zeal or meed

First lured their Lesley o'er the Tweed. (6)
Yet when I reaeh'd the banks of Swale,

Had rumour learn'd another tale;

With his barb'd horse, fresh tidings say
Stout Cromwell has redeem'd the day : (7)
But whether false the news, or true,
Oswald, I reek as light as you.»-

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And near the spot that gave me name, The moated mound of Ilisingham, Where Reed upon her margin sees Sweet Woodburn's cottages and trees, Some ancient sculptor's art has shown An outlavfs image on the stone; (9) Un match'd in strength, a giant he, With quiver'd back, and kirtled knee. Ask how he died, that hunter hold, The tameless monarch of the wold, And age and infancy can tell,

By brother's treachery he fell.

Thus warn'd by legends of my youth, I trust to no associates truth.


K When last we reason'd of this deed,
Nought, I bethink me, was agreed,

Or by what rule, or when, or where,

The wealth of Mortham we should share;
Then list, while I the portion name,

Our differing laws give each to claim.
Thou, vassal sworn to England's throne,
Her rules of heritage must own;

They deal thee, as to nearest heir,

Thy kinsman's lands and livings fair,
And these I yield :—do thou revere

The statutes of the buccaneer. (to)
Friend to the sea, and foeman sworn

To all that on her waves are borne,
When falls a mate in battle broil,

His comrade heirs his portion’d spoil;
When dies in fight a daring foe,

He claims his wealth who struck the blow;
And either rule to me assigns

Those spoils of Indian seas and mins,
lloarded in Mortham‘s caverns dark;
Ingot of gold and diamond spark,
Chalice and plate from churches borne,
And gems from shrieking beauty torn,
Each string of pearl, each silver bar,
And all the wealth of western war:

I go to search, where, dark and deep,
Those transatlantic treasures sleep.
Thou must along-for, lacking thee,
The heir will scarce find entrance free;
And then farewell. I-haste to try

Each varied pleasure wealth can buy;
When cloy’d each wish, these wars afford
Fresh work for Bertram’s restless sword.»


An undecided answer hung

On Oswald's hesitating tongue.

Despite his craft, he heard with awe
This ruffian stabber fix the law;
While his own troubled passions vee;
Through hatred, joy, regret, and fear.
Joy'd at the soul that Bertram flies,

He grudged the murder‘s mighty prize,
Hated his pride's presumptuous tone,
And fear'd to wend with him alone.
At length, that middle course to steer,
To cowardice and craft so clear,

It His charge,» he said, a would ill allow
His absence from the fortress now;

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