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Sleep canie at length, but with a train
III. Thus Oswald's labouring feelings trace Strange changes in his sleeping face, Rapid and ominous as these With which the moon-beams tinge the Tees, There might be seen of shame the blush, There anger's dark and fiercer flush, While the perturbed sleeper's hand Seemed grasping dagger-knife, or brand, Relaxed that grasp, the heavy sigh, The tear in the half-opening eye, The pallid cheek and brow, confessed That grief was busy in his breast; Nor paused that mood-a sudden start Impelled the life-blood from the heart; Features convulsed, and mutterings dread, Show terror reigns in sorrow's stead. That pang the painful slumber broke, And Oswald, with a start, awoke.
He woke, and feared again to close
Par townward sounds a distant tread, And Oswald, starting from his bed, Hath caught it, though no human car, Unsharpened by revenge and fear, Could e'er distinguish horse's clank, Until it reached the castle-bank.
Now nigh and plain the sound appears,'
vi. The stranger came with heavy stride, The morion's plumes his visage hide, And the buff-coat, in ample fold, Mantles his form's gigantic mould. Full slender answer deigned he To Oswald's anxious courtesy, But marked, by a disdainful smile, He saw and scorned the petty wile, When Oswald changed the torch's place, Anxious that on the soldier's face Its partial lustre might be thrown, To show his looks, yet hide his own. His guest, the while, laid low aside The ponderous cloak of tough bull's hide, And to the torch glanced broad and clear The corslet of a cuirassier; Then from his brows the casque he drew, And from the dank plume dashed the dew, From gloves of mail relieved his hands, And spread them to the kindling brands, And, turning to the genial board, Without a health, or pledge, or word Of meet and social reverence said, Deeply he drank, and fiercely fed'; As free from ceremony's sway, As famished wolf that tears his prey.
VII. With deep impatience, tinged with fear, His host beheld him gorge his cheer, And quaff the full carouse, that lent His brow a fiercer hardiment. Now Oswald stood a space aside, Now paced the rooin with hasty stride, In feverish agony to learn Tidings of deep and dread concern, Cursing each moment that his guest Protracted o'er his ruffian feast.
Yet, viewing with alarm, at last,
VIII. Much in the stranger's mien appears, To justify suspicious fears. On his dark face a scorching clime, And toil, had done the work of time, Roughened the brow, the temples bared, And sable hairs with silver shared, Yet left-wbat age alone could tamem The lip of pride, the eye of flame, The full-drawn lip that upward curled, The eye, that seemed to scorn the world. That lip had terror never blenched ; Ne'er in that eye had tear-drop quenched The flash severe of swarthy glow, That mocked at pain, and knew not woe; Inured to danger's direst form, Tornade and earthquake, flood and storm, Death had he seen by sudden blow, By wasting plague, by tortures slow, By mine or breach, by steel or ball, Knew all his shapes, and scorned them all.
IX. But yet, though BERTRAM's hardened look, Unmoved, could blood and danger brook, Still worse than apathy had place On his swart brow and callous face; For evil passions, cherished long, Had ploughed them with impressions strong. All that gives gloss to sin, all gay Light folly, past with youth away, But rooted stood, in manhood's hour, The weeds of vice without their flower. And yet the soil 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'en then, his heart had known The gentler feelings' kindly tone; But lavish waste had been refined To bounty in his chastened 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.
XII. “ Would'st hear the tale ?-On Marston heath Met, front to front, the ranks of death ; Flourished the trumpets fierce, and now Fired was each eye, and flushed each brow; On either side lond clamours ring, 'God and the Cause !-God and the King !'
Right English all, they rushed to blows,
XIII. “Good am I deemed at trumpet-sound, And good where goblets dance the round, Though gentle ne'er was joined, till now, With rugged Bertram's breast and brow. But I resume. The battle's rage Was like the strife which currerts 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 thus, upon the bloody field, The eddying tides of conflict wheeled Ambiguous, till that heart of flame, Hot Rupert, on our squadrons came, Hurling against our spears a line Of gallants, fiery as their wine ; Then ours, though stubborn in their zeal, In zeal's despite began to reel. What wouldst thou more kin tumult tost, Our leaders fell, our ranks were lost. A thousand men, who drew the sword For both the Houses and the Word, Preached forth from hamlet, grange, and down, To curb the crosier and the crown, Now, stark and stiff, lie stretched in gore, And ne'er shall rail at mitre more.