« 前へ次へ »
Yet think not but I mark, and smile
To mark, thy poor and selfish wile !
If injury from me you fear,
What, Oswald Wycliffe, shields thee here?
I've sprung from walls more high than these,
I've swain through deeper streams than Teese
Might I not stab thee, ere one yell
Could rouse the distant sentinel ?
Start not-it is not my design,
But, if it were, weak fence were thine ;
And, trust me, that, in time of need,
This hand hath done more desperate deed.
Go, haste and rouse thy slumbering son;
Time calls, and I must needs be gone."
Nought of his sire's ungenerous part
Polluted Wilfrid's gentle heart;
A heart too soft from early life
To hold with fortune needful strife.
His sire, while yet a hardier race
Of numerous sons were Wycliffe's grace,
On Wilfrid set contemptuous brand,
For feeble heart and forceless hand;
But a fond mother's care and joy
Were centred in her sickly boy.
No touch of childhood's frolic mood
Showed the elastic spring of blood ;
Hour after hour he loved to pore
On Shakspeare's rich and varied lore,
But turned from martial scenes and light,
From Falstaff's feast and Percy's fight,
To ponder Jaques' moral strain,
And muse with Hamlet, wise in vain ;
And weep himself to soft repose
O'er gentle Desdemona's woes.
In youth he sought not pleasures found
By youth in borse, and hawk, and hound,
But loved the quiet joys that wake
By lonely stream and silent lake;
In Deepdale's solitude to lie,
Where all is cliff, and copse, and sky;
To climb Catcastle's dizzy peak,
Or lone Pendragon's mound to seek.
Such was his wont; and there his dream
Soared on some wild fantastic theme,
Of faithful love, or ceaseless Spring,
Till Contemplation's wearied wing
The enthusiast could no more sustain,
And sad he sunk to earth again.
He loved--as many a lay can tell,
Preserved in Stanmore's lonely dell;
For his was minstrel's skill, he caught
The art unteachable, untaught;
He loved his soul did nature frame
For love, and fancy nursed the flame;
Vainly he loved for seldom swain
Of such soft mould is loved again ;
Silent he loved-in every gaze
Was passion, friendship in his phrase.
So mused his life away-till died
His brethren all, their father's pride.
Wilfrid is now the only heir
Of all his stratagems and care,
And destined, darkling, to pursue
Ambition's maze by Oswald's clue.
Wilfrid must love and woo the bright
Matilda, heir of Rokeby's knight.
To love her was an easy hest,
The secret empress of his breast;
To woo her was a harder task
To one that durst not hope or ask ;
Yet all Matilda could, she gave
In pity to her gentle slave;
Friendship, esteein, and fair regard,
And praise, the poet's best reward i
She read the tales his taste approved,
And sung the lays he framed or loved ;
Yet, loth to nurse the fatal flame
Of hopeless love in friendship's name,
In kind caprice she oft withdrew
The favouring glance to friendship due,
Then grieved to see her victim's pain,
And gave the dangerous smiles again.
So did the suit of Wilfrid stand,
When war's loud summons waked the land.
Three banners, floating o'er the Tees,
The woe-foreboding peasant sees;
In concert oft they braved of old
The bordering Scot's incursion bold;
Frowning defiance in their pride,
Their vassals now and lords divide.
From his fair hall on Greta banks,
The Knight of Rokeby led his ranks,
To aid the valiant northern Earls,
Who drew the sword for royal Charles ;
Mortham, by marriage near allied, -
His sister had been Rokeby's bridé,
Though long before the civil fray,
In peaceful grave the lady lay,-
Philip of Mörtham raised his band,
And marched at Fairfax's command;
While Wycliffe, bound by many a train
Of kindred art with wily Vane,
Less prompt to brave the bloody field, Made Barnard's battlements his shield, Secured them with his Lunedale powers, And for the Commons held the towers.
xxix. The lovely heir of Rokeby's Knight Waits in his halls the event of fight; For England's war revered the claim Of every unprotected name, And spared, amid its fiercest rage, Childhood and womanhood and age. But Wilfrid, son to Rokeby's foe, Must the dear privilege forego, By Greta's side, in evening grey, To steal upon Matilda's way, Striving, with fond hypocrisy, For careless step and vacant eye; Calming each anxious look and glance, To give the meeting all to chance, Or framing as a fair excuse, The book, the pencil, or the muse; Something to give, to sing, to say, Some modern tale, sone ancient lay. Then, while the longed-for minutes last,Ah ! 'minutes quickly over-past!Recording each expression free, Of kind or careless courtesy Each friendly look, each softer tone, As food for fancy when alone. All this is o'er-but still, unseen, Wilfrid may lurk in Eastwood green, To watch Matilda's wonted round, While springs his heart at every sound. She comes ! 'tis but a passing sight, Yet serves to cheat his weary night; She comes not-He will wait the hour, When her lamp lightens in the tower; 'Tis something yet, if, as she passed, Her shade is o'er the lattice cast. “What is my life, my hope ?” he said; “ Alas! a transitory shade."
XXX. Thus wore his life, though reason strove For mastery in vain with love, Forcing upon his thoughts the sum Of present woe and ills to come, While still he turned impatient ear From Truth's intrusive voice severe. Gentle, indifferent, and subdued, In all but this, unmoved he viewed Each outward change of ill and good: But Wilfrid, docile, soft, and mild, Was Fancy's spoiled and wayward child;
In her bright car she bade him ride, With one fair form to grace his side, Or, in some wild and lone retreat, Flung her high spells around his seat, Bathed in her dews his languid head, Her fairy mantle o'er him spread, For him her opiates gave to flow, Which he who tastes can ne'er forego, And placed him in her circle, free From every stern reality, Till, to the Visionary, seem Her day-dreams truth, and truth a dream.
Woe to the youth whom Fancy gains,
Winning from Ronson's hand the reins,
Pity and woe! for such a mind
Is soft, contemplative, and kind;
And woe to those who train such youth,
And spare to press the rights of truth,
The mind to strengthen and anneal,
While on the stithy glows the steel?
O teach him, while your lessons last,
To judge the present by the past;
Remind him of each wish pursued,
How rich it glowed with promised good:
Remind him of each wish enjoyed,
How soon his hopes possession cloyed !
Tell him, we play unequal game,
Whene'er we shoot by Fancy's aim;
And, ere he stript him for her race,
Show the conditions of the chase.
Two Sisters by the goal are set,
Cold Disappointment and Regret;
One disenchants the winner's eyes,
And strips of all its worth the prize,
While one augments its gaudy show,
More to enhance the loser's woe:
The victor sees his fairy gold,
Transformed, when won, to drossy mold,
But still the vanquished mourns his loss,
And rues, as gold, that glittering dross.
XXXII. More would'st thou know-yon tower survey, Yon couch unpressed since parting day, Yon untrimined lamp, whose yellow gleam Is mingling with the cold moon-beam, and yon thin form !-the hectic red On bis pale cheek unequal spread; The head reclined, the loosened hair, The limbs relaxed, the mournful air. -See, he looks up;—woeful smile Lightens bis woe-worn cheek a while,
'Tis fancy wakes some idle thought,
To gild the ruin she has wrought;
Por, like the bat of Indian brakes,
Her pinions fan the wound she makes,
And soothing thus the dreamer's pain.
She drinks his life-blood from the vein.
Now to the lattice turn his eyes,
Vain hope! to see the sun arise.
The moon with clouds is still o'ercast,
Still howls by fits the stormy blast;
Another hour must wear away,
Bre the East kindle into day,
And hark! to waste that weary hour,
He tries the minstrel's magic power.
TO THE MOON.
Hail to thy cold and clouded beam,
Pale pilgrim of the troubled sky?
Hail, though the mists that o'er thee stream
Lend to thy brow their sullen dye! How should thy pure and peaceful eye
Untroubled view our scenes below,
Or how a tearless beam supply
To light a world of war and woe!
Fair Queen! I will not blame thee now,
As once by Greta's fairy side;
Each little cloud that dimped thy brow
Did then an angel's beauty hide.
And of the shades I then could chide,
Still are the thoughts to memory dear, For, while a softer strain I tried,
They hid my blush, and calmed my fear,
Then did I swear thy ray serene
Was formed to light some lonely dell, By two fond lovers only seen,
'Reflected from the crystal well, Or sleeping on their mossy cell,
Or quivering on the lattice bright, Or glancing on their couch, to tell How swiftly wanes the summer night!
XXXIV. He starts—a step at this lone hour ! A voice !-his father seeks the tower, With haggard look and troubled sense, Fresh from his dreadful conference. " Wilfrid !-what, not to sleep addressed ? Thou hast no cares to chase thy rest. Mortham has fallen on Marston-moor; Bertram brings warrant to secure