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Were northward in the dawning seen
the forces of the countrie to resist the Earle and his power; coming to Grimbautbrigs, beside Knaresborough, there to stop them the passage; but they returning aside, got to Weatherbie, and so to Tadcaster, and finally came forward unto Bramham moor, near to Haizlewood, where they chose their ground meet to fight upon. The Shirifle was as readie to giue battell as the Erle to receiue it; and so with a standard of S. George spread, set fiercelie vpon the Earle, who, vnder a standard of his owne armes, encountered his aduersaries with great manhood. There was a sore incounter and cruell conflict betwixt the parties, but in the end the victorie fell to the Shirifle. The Lord Bardolfe was taken, but sore wounded, so that he shortlie after died of the hurts. As for the Earle of Northumberland, he was slain outright; so that now the prophecy was fulfilled, which gaue an inkling of this his heauy hap long before, namelie, ‘Stirps Persitina periet confusa ruina.” For this Earle was the stocke and maine root of all that were left aliue, called by the name of Persie; and of manie more by diuers slaughters dispatched. For whose misfortune the people were not a little sorrie, making report of the gentleman's valiantnesse, renowne, and honour, and applieing vnto him certeine lamentable verses out of Lucaine, saieng, * Sed nos nec sanguis, mec tantum vulnera nostri Affecere senis: quantum gestata per urbem Ora ducis, quae transfixo sublimia pilo Vidimus.’ Sib. ix., v. 136. For his head, full of siluer horic haires, being put upon a stake, was openlie carried through London, and set vpon the bridge of the same citie; in like manner was the Lord Bardolfes.”—Holissfied's Chronicles. Lond. 1808, 4to. iii. 45. The Rokeby, or Rokesby family, continued to be distinguished until the great Civil War, when, having embraced the cause of Charles I., they suffered severely by fines and confiscations.
O then, though Spenser's self had stray'd
The estate then passed from its ancient possessors to the samily of the Robinsons, from whom it was purchased by the father of my valued friend, the present proprietor. 1 [MS.—“Flashing to heaven her sparkling spray, And clamouring joyful on her way.”] 2 [MS.—“And Rokeby’s tower is seen no more; Sinking mid Greta's thickets green, The journeyers seek another scene.”]
Sinking mid Greta's thickets deep,
1 What follows is an attempt to describe the romantic glen, or rather ravine, through which the Greta finds a passage between Rokeby and Mortham; the former situated upon the left bank of Greta, the latter on the right bank, about half a mile nearer to its junction with the Tees. The river runs with very great rapidity over a bed of solid rock, broken by many shelving descents, down which the stream dashes with great noise and impetuosity, vindicating its etymology, which has been derived from the Gothic, Gridan, to clamour. The banks partake of the same wild and romantic character, being chiefly lofty cliffs of limestone rock, whose gray colour contrasts admirably with the various trees and shrubs which find root among their crevices, as well as with the hue of the ivy, which clings around them in profusion, and hangs down from their projections in long sweeping tendrils. At other points the rocks give place to precipitous banks of earth, bearing large trees intermixed with copsewood. In one spot the dell, which is elsewhere very narrow, widens for a space to leave room for a dark grove of yew-trees, intermixed here and there with aged pines of uncommon size. Directly opposite to this sombre thicket, the cliffs on the other side of the Greta are tall, white, and fringed with all kinds of deciduous shrubs. The whole scenery of this spot is so much adapted to the ideas of superstition, that it has acquired the name of Blockula, from the place where the Swedish witches were supposed to hold their Sabbath. The dell, however, has superstitions of its own growth, for it is supposed to be haunted by a female spectre, called the Dobie of Mortham. The cause assigned for her appearance is a lady's having been whilom murdered in the wood, in evidence of which, her blood is shown upon the stairs of the old tower at Mortham,
Broad shadows o'er their passage fell,
But whether she was slain by a jealous husband, or by sav.
1 [MS.—“The frequent try swathed their breast, And wreathed its tendrils round their crest, Or from their summit bade them fall, And tremble o'er the Greta's brawl.”] 2 [MS.—“And so the ivy's banners | o, Waved wildly trembling o'er the scene, Waved wild above the clumorous stream.”]