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Thus fared it, when I left the fight,
With the good Cause and Commons' right.”-
“Disastrous news !” dark Wycliffe said;
Assumed despondence bent his head,
While troubled joy was in his eye,
The well-feigned sorrow to belie. -
“Disastrous news !-when needed most,
Told ye not that your chiefs were lost?
Complete the woeful tale, and say,
Who fell upon that fatal day;
What leaders of repute and name
Bought by their death a deathless fame.
If such my direst foeman's doom,
My tears shall dew his honoured tomb.
No answer Friend, of all our host,
Thou know'st whom I should hate the most;
Whom thou too, once, were wont to hate,
Yet leavest me doubtful of his fate."-
With look unmoved,-“ Of friend or foe,
Aught," answered Bertram, “wouldst thou
Demand in simple terms and plain,
A soldier's answer shalt thou gain ;
For question dark, or riddle high,
I have nor judgment nor reply."
The wrath his art and fear suppressed,
Now blazed at once in Wycliffe's breast;
And brave, from man so meanly born,
Roused his hereditary scorn.
-"Wretch ! bast thou paid thy bloody debt?
PHILIP of MORTHAM, lives he yet?
False to thy patron or thine oath,
Trait'rous or perjured, one or both,
Slave ! hast thou kept thy promise plight,
To slay thy leader in the fight ?"-
Then from his seat the soldier sprung,
And Wycliffe's hand he strongly wrung;
His grasp, as hard as glove of mail,
Forced the red blood-drop from the nail-
“ A health !” he cried ; and, ere he quaffed,
Flung from him Wycliffe's hand, and laughed :
-"Now, Oswald Wycliffe, speaks thy heart !
Now play'st thou well thy genuine part !
Worthy, but for thy craven fear,
Like me to roam a buccaneer.
What reck'st thou of the Cause divine,
If Morthain's wealth and lands be thine ?
What carest thou for beleaguered York,
If this good hand have done its work?
Or what, though Fairfax and his best
Are reddening Marston's swarthy breast,
If Philip Mortham with them lie,
Lending his life-blood to the dye &
Sit, then ! and as mid comrades free
Carousing after victory,
When tales are told of blood and fear,
That boys and women shrink to hear,
From point to point I frankly tell
The deed of death as it befell.
“When purposed vengeance I forego,
Term me a wretch, nor deem me foe;
And when an insult I forgive,
Then brand me as a slave, and live km
Philip of Mortham is with those
Whom Bertram Risingham calls foes ;
Or whom more sure revenge attends,
If numbered with ungrateful friends.
As was his wont, ere battle glowed,
Along the marshalled ranks he rode,
And wore his vizor up the while.
I saw his melancholy smile,
When, full opposed in front, he knew
Where ROKEBY's kindred banner flew.
“And thus,” he said, “will friends divide !"-
I heard, and thought how, side by side,
We two had turned the battle's tide,
In many a well-debated field,
Where Bertram's breast was Philip's shield.
I thought on Darien's deserts pale,
Where death bestrides the evening gale,
How o'er my friend iny cloak I threw,
And fenceless faced the deadly dew;
I thought on Quariana's cliff,
Where, rescued from our foundering skiff,
Through the white breakers' wrath I bore
Exhausted Mortham to the shore ;
And when his side an arrow found,
I sucked the Indian's venomed wound.
These thoughts like torrents rushed along,
To sweep away my purpose strong.
XVII. “ Hearts are not flint, and flints 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. 'Twas 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 bold heart with whom he ranged;
Doubts, horrors, superstitious fears,
Saddened and dimmed descending years ;
The wily priests their victim sought,
And damned each free-born deed and thought.
Then must I seek another home,
My licence shook his sober dome;-
If gold he gave, in one wild day
I revelled thrice the sum away.
An idle outcast then I strayed,
Unfit for tillage or for trade,
Deemed, like the steel of rusted lance,
Useless and dangerous at once.
The women feared my hardy look,
At my approach the peaceful shook ;
The merchant saw my glance of flame,
And locked his hoards when Bertram came;
Each child of coward peace kept far
From the neglected son of war.
“But civil discord gave the call,
And made my trade the trade of all.
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;
Bour fanatics each trust obtained,
And I, dishonoured and disdained,
Gained but the high and happy lot,
In these poor arms to front the shot I-
All this thou know'st, thy gestures tell;
Yet hear it o'er, and mark it well.
'Tis honour bids me now relate
Each circumstance of Mortham's fate.
“ Thoughts, from the tongue that slowly part,
Glance quick as lightning through the heart.
As my spur pressed my courser's side,
Philip of Mortham's cause was tried,
And, ere the charging squadrons mixed,
His plea was cast, his doom was fixed.
I watched him through the doubtful fray,
That changed as March's moody day,
Till, like a stream that bursts its bank,
Fierce Rupert thundered ou our flank.
'Twas then, midst tumult, smoke, and strife,
Where each man fought for death or life,
'Twas then I fired my petronel,
And Mortham, steed and rider, fell.
One dying look he upward cast,
Of wrath and anguish—'twas his last.
Think not that there I stopped to view
What of the battle should ensue;
But ere I cleared that bloody press,
Our northern horse ran masterless;
Monckton and Mitton told the news,
How troops of Roundheads choked the Vuse,
And many a bonny Scot, aghast,
Spurring his palfrey northward, passed,
Cursing the day when zeal or need
First lured their Lesley o'er the Twecd.
Yet when I reached the banks of Swale,
Had rumour learned another tale ;
With his barbed horse, fresh tidings say
Stout Cromwell has redeemed the day;
But whether false the news, or true,
Oswald, I reck as light as you."-
Not then bystartled at the tone
Not then by Wycliffe might be shown,
How his pride startl
In which his complice, fierce and free,
Asserted guilt's equality.
In smoothest terms his speech he wove,
Of endless friendship, faith, and love;
Promised and vowed in courteous sort,
But Bertram broke profe
“ Wycliffe, be sure not here I stay,
No, scarcely till the rising day;
Warned by the legends of my youth,
I trust not an associate's truth.
Do not my native dales prolong
Of Percy Rede the tragic song,
Trained forward to his bloody fall,
By Girsonfield, that treacherous Hali ?
Oft, by the Pringle's haunted side,
The shepherd sees his spectre glide.
And near the spot that gave me name,
The moated mound of Risingham,
Where Reed upon her margin sees
Sweet Woodburn's cottages and trees,
Some ancient sculptor's art has shown
An outlaw's image on the stone;
Unmatched in strength, a giant he,
With quivered back, and kirtled knee.
Ask how he died, that hunter bold,
That tameless monarch of the wold,
And age and infancy can tell,
By brother's treachery he fell.
Thus warned by legends of my youth,
I trust to no associate's truth.
XXI. “When last we reasoned 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.
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 portioned 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 mines,
Hoarded 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 cloyed 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 veer
Through hatred, joy, regret, and fear :-
Joyed at the soul that Bertram flies,
He grudged the murderer's mighty prize,
Hated his pride's presumptuous tone,
And feared to wend with him alone.
At length, that middle course to steer,
To cowardice and craft so dear,
“ His charge,” he said, “would ill allow
His absence from the fortress now;
WILFRID on Bertram should attend,
His son should journey with his friend."-
Contempt kept Bertram's anger down,
And wreathed to savage smile his frown,
“ Wilfrid, or thou-'tis one to me;
Whichever bears the golden key.