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While curiosity and fear,
Whose light-arm'd shallop anchor'd lay
Wilfrid, this glen is never trod
XI. Nor think to village swains alone Are these unearthly terrors known; For not to rank nor sex confined Is this vain ague of the mind. Hearts firm as steel, as marble hard, 'Gainst faith, and love, and pity barr'd, Have quaked like aspen-leaves in May, Beneath its universal sway. Bertram had listed many a tale, Of wonder in his native dale, That in his secret soul retain'd The credence they in childhood gaind; Nor less his wild and venturous youth Believed in every legend's truth, Learn'd when beneath the tropie gale Full swelld the vessel's steady sail, And the broad Indian moon her light Pour'd on the watch of middle night, When seamen love to hear and tell Of portent, prodigy, and spell; What gales are sold on Lapland's shore, (6) How whistle rash bids tempests roar; (7) Of witch, of mermaid, and of sprite, Of Erick's cap and Elmo's light; (8) Or of that Phantorn Ship, whose form Shoots like a meteor through the storm, When the dark scud comes driving hard, And lower'd is every topsail-yard, And canvas, wove in earthly looms, No more to brave the storm presumes! Then, 'mid the war of sea and sky, Top and top-gallant hoisted high, Full-spread and crowded every sail, The demon-frigate (9) braves the gale; And well the doom'd spectators know, The harbinger of wreck and woe.
XIV. As bursts the levin in its wrath, He shot him down the sounding path : Rock, wood, and stream, rung wildly out, To his loud step and savage shout. Seems that the object of his race Hath scaled the cliffs; his frantic chase Sidelong he turns, and now 't is bent Right up the rock's tall battlement; Straining each sinew to ascend, Foot, hand, and knee their aid must lend. Wilfrid, all dizzy with dismay, Views from beneath his dreadful way; Now to the oak's warp'd roots he clings, Now trusts his weight to ivy-strings; Now, like the wild goat, must he dare An unsupported leap in air Hid in the shrubby rain-course now, You mark him by the crashing bough, And by his corslet's sullen clank, And by the stones spurn'd from the bank, And by the hawk scared from her nest, And ravens croaking o'er their guest, Who deem his forfeit limbs shall pay The tribute of bis bold essay.
XII. Then too were told, in stifled tone, Marvels and omens all their own; How, by some desert isle or key, (10) Where Spaniards wrought their cruelty, Or where the savage pirate's mood Repaid it home in deeds of blood, Strange pightly sounds of woe and fear Appallid the listening buccaneer,
South of the gate an arrow-flight,
See, he emerges ! -desperate now
sways, it loosens, it descends!
XVI. Wilfrid a safer path pursued, At intervals where, roughly hew'd, Rude steps ascending from the dell Render'd the cliffs accessible. By circuit slow he thus attain'd The height that Risingham had gain'd, And when he issued from the wood, Before the gate of Mortham stood.(11) 'T was a fair scene! the sun-bcam lay On battled tower and portal gray, And from the grassy slope he sees The Greta flow to meet the Tees, Where, issuing from her darksome bed, She caught the morning's eastern red, And through the softening vale below Rolld her bright waves in rosy glow, All blushing to her bridal bed, Like some shy maid in convent bred, While linnet, Jark, and blackbird gay, Sing forth her nuptial roundelay.
XVIII. « It vanish'd, like a flitting ghost! Bebind this tomb,» he said, «'t was lostThis tomb, where oft I deem'd, lies stored Of Mortham's Indian wealth the hoard. *T is true, the aged servants said Here his lamented wife is laid; But weightier reasons may be guess'd For their lord's strict and stern behest, That none should on his steps intrude, Whene'er le sought this solitude.An ancient mariver I knew, What time I saild with Morgan's crew, Who oft, 'mid our carousals, spake Of Raleigh, Forbisher, and Drake; Adventurous hearts! who barter d bold Their English steel for Spanish gold. Trust not, would his experience say, Captain or comrade with your prey; But seek some charnel, when, at full, The moon gilds skeleton and skull; There dig and tomb your precious heap, And bid the dead your treasure keep; (12) Sure stewards they, if fitting spell Their service to the task compel. Lacks there such charnel !-kill a slave, Or prisoner, on the treasure-grave; And bid his discontented glost Stalk nightly on his lonely post. Such was his tale.
Its truth, I ween, Is in my morning vision seen.»
XVII. 'T was sweetly sung that roundelay, That summer morn shone blithe and gay, But morning beam, and wild bird's call, Awaked not Mortham's silent hall. No porter, by the low-brow'd gate, Took in the wonted niche his seat; To the paved court no peasant drew, Waked to their toil no menjal crew; The maiden's carol was not heard, As to her morning task she fared; In the void offices around, Rung not a hoof, nor bay'd a hound, Nor cager steed, with shrilling neigh, Accused the lagging groom's delay; Untrimın'd, undress'd, neglected now, Was alley'd walk and orchard bough; All spoke the master's absent care, All spoke neglect and disrepair.
yet of Bertram sought to know
But it is spoken—nor will I
What spectre can the charnel send, So dreadful as an injured friend? Then, too, the habit of command, Used by the leader of the band, When Risingham, for many a day, Had march'd and fought beneath his sway, Tamed bim-and, with reverted face, Backwards he bore his sullen pace, Oft stopp'd, and oft on Mortham stared, And dark as rated mastiff glared ; But when the tramp of steeds was heard, Plunged in the glen, and disappear d. Nor longer there the warrior stood, Retiring eastward through the wood; But first to Wilfrid warning gives, « Tell thou to none that Mortham lives.»
XXIII. Still rung these words in Wilfrid's ear, Hinting he knew not what of fear, When nearer came the coursers' tread, And, with his father at their head, Of horsemen arm'd a gallant power Rein'd up their steeds before the tower. « Whence these pale looks, my son ?» he said : « Where's Bertram ? why that naked blade ?» Wilfrid ambiguously replied (For Mortham's charge his honour tied), « Bertram is gone--the villain's word Avouch'd him murderer of his lord ! Even now we fought—but, when your tread Announced you nigh; the felon fled.»-In Wycliffe's conscious eye appear A guilty hope, a guilty fear; On his pale brow the dew-drop broke, And his lip quiver'd as he spoke.
grasp on warlike Risingham.
XXIV. « A murderer!-Philip Mortham died Amid the battle's wildest tide. Wilfrid, or Bertram raves, or you! Yet grant such strange confession true, Pursuit were vain-let him fly farJustice must sleep in civil war.»A gallant youth rode near his side, Brave Rokeby's page, in battle tried; That morn, an embassy of weight He brought to Barnard's castle gate, And follow'd now in Wycliffe's train, An answer for his lord to gain. His steed, whose arch'd and sable neck An hundred wreaths of foam bedeck, Chafed not against the curb more high Than he at Oswald's cold reply; Ile bit his lip, implored his saint, (His the old faith)- then burst restraint.
No! ere the sun that dew shall dry,
Forced, too, to turn unwilling ear
XXVI. Instant to earth young REDMOND sprung ; Instant on earth the harness rung Of twenty men of Wycliffe's baud, Wha waited not their lord's command. Redmond his spurs from buskins drew, His mantle from his shoulder threw, His pistols in his belt he placed, The green-wood gain'd, the footsteps traced, Shouted like buntsman to his hounds, « To cover,
hark !»-and in he bounds. Scarce beard was Oswald's anxious cry,
Suspicion! yes-pursue him-fly-
XXIX. At length o'erpast that dreadful space, Back straggling came the scatter'd chase ; Jaded and weary, horse and man, Return d the troopers, one by one. Wilfrid, the last, arrived to say, All trace was lost of Bertram's way, Though Redmond still, up Brignal wood, The hopeless quest in vain pursued.O fatal doom of human race! What tyrant passions passions chase! Remorse from Oswald's brow is cope, Avarice and pride resume their throne; The pang
of instant terror by, They dictale thus their slave's reply.
XXVII. The horsemen gallopp'd, to make good Each pass that issued from the wood, Loud from the thickets rung the shout Of Redmond and his eager route ; With them was Wilfrid, slung with ire, And envying Redmond's marcial fire, And emulous of fame.—But where Is Oswald, noble Mortham's heir? He, bound by honour, law, and faith, Avenger of his kinsman's death 1Leaning against the elmine-tree, With drooping head and slacken'd knee, And clenched teeth, and close-clasp'd hands, In agony of soul he stands ! His downcast eye on earth is bent, His soul to every sound is lent, For in each shout that cleaves the air, May ring discovery and despair.
game With Redmond or with Risingham.Nay, answer not, thou simple boy ! Thy fair Matilda, all so coy To thee, is of another mood To that bold youth of Erin's blood. Thy ditties will she freely praise, And pay thy pains with courtly phrase ; In a rough path will oft commandAccept at least-thy friendly hand; His she avoids, or, urged and pray'd, Unwilling takes his proffer'd aid, While conscious passion plainly speaks In downcast look and blushing cheeks. Whene'er he sings will she glide nigh, And all her soul is in her eye, Yet doubts she still to tender free The wonted words of courtesy. These are strong signs !-yet wherefore sigh, And wipe, effeminate, thine eye ? Thine shall she be, if thon attend The counsels of thy sire and friend.
XXVIII. What 'vail'd it him, that brightly play'd The morning sun on Mortham's glade? All seems in giddy round to ride, Like objects on a stormy tide, Seen eddying by the moon-light dím, Imperfectly to sink and swim. What 'vaild it, that the fair domain, Its battled mansion, hill, and plaio, On which the sun so brightly shone, Envied so long, was now his own ? The lowest dungeon, in that hour, Of Brackenbury's dismal tower, (14) Had been his choice, could such a doom Have open's Mortham's bloody tomb!
XXXI. « Scarce wert thou gone, when peep of light Brought genuine news of Marston's fight. Brave Cromwell turn'd the doubtful tide, And conquest bless'd the rightful side ; Three thousand cavaliers lie dead, Rupert and that bold marquis fled; Nobles and knights, so proud of late, Must fine for freedom and estate. Of these committed to my charge, Is Rokeby, prisoner at large; Redmond, his page, arrived to say He reaches Barnard's towers to-day. Right heavy shall his ransom be, Unless that maid compound with thee! (15)
Go to her now--be bold of cheer,
The steady brain, the sinewy limb,
T. The hunting tribes of air and earth Respect the brethren of their birth; Nature, who loves the claim of kind, Less cruel chase to each assign d. The falcon, poised on soaring wing, Watches the wild-duck by the spring; The slow-hound wakes the fox's lair, The greyhound presses on the hare; The eagle pounces on the lamb, The wolf devours the fleecy dam; Even tiger fell, and sullen bear, Their likeness and their lineage spare. Man, only, mars kind Nature's plan, And turns the fierce pursuit on man; Plying war's desultory trade, Incursion, flight, and ambuscade, Since Nimrod, Cush's mighty sop, At first the bloody game begun.
IV. 'T was then, in hour of utmost need, He proved his courage, art, and speed. Now slow be stalk'd with stealthy pace, Now started forth in rapid race, Oft doubling back in mazy train, To blind the trace the dews retain; Now clombe the rocks projecting high, To baffle the pursuer's eye, Now sought the stream, whose brawling sound * The echo of his footsteps drown'd. But if the forest verge he nears, There trample steeds and glimmer spears; If deeper down the copse he drew, He heard the rangers' loud halloor Beating each cover while they came, As if to start the sylvan garie. 'T was then-like tiger close beset At every pass with toil and net, Counter'd, where'er he turns his glare, By clashing arms and torches' flare, Who meditates, with furious bound, To burst on hunter, horse, and hound, 'T was then that Bertram's soul arose, Prompting to rush upon his foes: But as that crouching tiger, cow'd By brandish'd steel and shouting crowd, Retreats beneath the jungle's shroud, Bertram suspends his purpose stern, And couches in the brake and fern, Iliding his face, lest foemen spy The sparkle of his swarthy eye.(3)
II. The Indian; prowling for his prey, Who hears the settlers track his way, (1) And knows in distant forest far Camp his red brethren of the war; He, when each double and disguise To baftle the pursuit he tries, Low crouching now his head to hide, Where swampy streams through rusbes glide, Now covering with the wither'd leaves The foot-prints which the dew receives; He, skill'd in every sylvan guile, Knows not, nor trics, such various wile, As Risingham, when on the wind Arose the loud pursuit behind. In Redesdale his youth had heard Each art her wily dalesman dared, (2) When Rooken-edge, and Redswair high, To bugle rung and blood-hound's cry, Announcing Jedwood-axe and spear, And Lid'sdale riders in the rear ; And well his venturous life had proved The lessons that his childhood loved.
V. Then Bertram might the bearing trace Of the bold youth who led the chase, Who paused to list for every sound, Climb'd every height to look around, Then rushing on with naked sword, Each dingle's bosky depthis explored. 'T was Redmond-by the ažure eye; "T was Redmond-by the locks that tly Disorder'd from bis glowing cheek; Mien, face, and form, young Redmond speak. A form more active, light, and strong, Nc'er shot the ranks of war along; The modest, yet the manly mien, Might grace the court of maiden queen; A face more fair you well might find, For Redmond's knew the sun and wind,
II. Oft had he shown, in climes afar, Each attribute of roving war; The sharpen'd ear, the piercing eye, The quick resolve in danger nigh; The speed that, in the flight or chase, Outstripp'd the Carib's rapid race;