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His voice was steady, low, and deep, Like distant waves when breezes sleep; And sorrow mix'd with Edmund's fear, Its low unbroken depth to hear.


"Edmund, in thy sad tale I find

The woe that warp'd my patron's mind:
Twould wake the fountains of the eye
In other men, but mine are dry.
Mortham must never see the fool,
That sold himself base Wycliffe's tool;
Yet less from thirst of sordid gain,
Than to avenge supposed disdain.
Say, Bertram rues his fault;-a word,
Till now from Bertram never heard:
Say, too, that Mortham's Lord he prays
To think but on their former days;
On Quariana's beach and rock,
On Cayo's bursting battle shock,
On Darien's sands and deadly dew,
And on the dart Tlatzeca threw
Perchance my patron yet may hear
More that may grace his comrade's bier.1
My soul hath felt a secret weight,
A warning of approaching fate:
A priest had said, 'Return, repent!'
As well to bid that rock be rent.
Firm as that flint I face mine end;
My heart may burst, but cannot bend."


"The dawning of my youth, with awe
And prophecy, the Dalesmen saw;
For over Redesdale it came,
As bodeful as their beacon-flame.
Edmund, thy years were scarcely mine,
When, challenging the Clans of Tyne,
To bring their best my brand to prove,
O'er Hexham's altar hung my glove;"
But Tynedale, nor in tower nor town,
Held champion meet to take it down.
My noontide, India may declare;
Like her fierce sun, I fired the air!
Like him, to wood and cave bade fly
Her natives, from mine angry eye.
Panama's maids shall long look pale
When Risingham inspires the tale;
Chili's dark matrons long shall tame
The froward child with Bertram's name.
And now, my race of terror run,
Mine be the eve of tropic sun!
No pale gradations quench his ray,

1 MS.-"Perchance, that Mortham yet may hear Something to grace his comrade's bier."

2 MS." ne'er shall bend."

See Appendix, Note 3 I.

No twilight dews his wrath allay;
With disk like battle-target red,
He rushes to his burning bed,
Dyes the wide wave with bloody light,
Then sinks at once-and all is night.-


"Now to thy mission, Edmund. Fly,
Seek Mortham out, and bid him hie
To Richmond, where his troops are laid,
And lead his force to Redmond's aid.
Say, till he reaches Egliston,

A friend will watch to guard his son.*
Now, fare-thee-well; for night draws on,
And I would rest me here alone."
Despite his ill-dissembled fear,
There swam in Edmund's eye a tear;
A tribute to the courage high,
Which stoop'd not in extremity,
But strove, irregularly great,
To triumph o'er approaching fate!
Bertram beheld the dewdrop start,
It almost touch'd his iron heart:-
"I did not think there lived," he said,
"One, who would tear for Bertram shed."
He loosen'd then his baldric's hold,
A buckle broad of massive gold;-
"Of all the spoil that paid his pains,
But this with Risingham remains;
And this, dear Edmund, thou shalt take,
And wear it long for Bertram's sake.
Once more-to Mortham speed amain;
Farewell! and turn thee not again."


The night has yielded to the morn,
And far the hours of prime are worn.
Oswald, who, since the dawn of day,
Had cursed his messenger's delay,
Impatient question'd now his train,
"Was Denzil's son return'd again?"
It chanced there answer'd of the crew
A menial, who young Edmund knew:
"No son of Denzil this," he said;
"A peasant boy from Winston glade,
For song and minstrelsy renown'd,
And knavish pranks, the hamlets round."-
"Not Denzil's son-From Winston vale!-
Then it was false, that specious tale;
Or, worse-he hath despatched the youth
To show to Mortham's Lord its truth.
Fool that I was !-but 'tis too late;-
This is the very turn of fate!--

4 MS.-"With him and Fairfax for his friend, No risk that Wycliffe dares contend. Tell him the while, at Egliston There will be one to guard his son."

5 MS.-"This is the crisis of my fate."

The tale, or true or false, relies
On Denzil's evidence!-He dies!-
Ho! Provost Marshal! instantly
Lead Denzil to the gallows-tree!
Allow him not a parting word;
Short be the shrift, and sure the cord!
Then let his gory head appal
Marauders from the Castle-wall.
Lead forth thy guard, that duty done,
With best despatch to Egliston.-——
-Basil, tell Wilfrid he must straight
Attend me at the Castle-gate."-


"Alas!" the old domestic said,

And shook his venerable head,

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Alas, my Lord! full ill to-day

May my young master brook the way!
The leech has spoke with grave alarm,
Of unseen hurt, of secret harm,
Of sorrow lurking at the heart,
That mars and lets his healing art."—
"Tush, tell not me!-Romantic boys
Pine themselves sick for airy toys.
I will find cure for Wilfrid soon;
Bid him for Egliston be boune,
And quick!-I hear the dull death-drum
Tell Denzil's hour of fate is come."
He paused with scornful smile, and then
Resumed his train of thought agen.
"Now comes my fortune's crisis near!
Entreaty boots not-instant fear,
Naught else, can bend Matilda's pride,
Or win her to be Wilfrid's bride.
But when she sees the scaffold placed,
With axe and block and headsman graced,
And when she deems, that to deny
Dooms Redmond and her sire to die,
She must give way.-Then, were the line
Of Rokeby once combined with mine,
I gain the weather-gage of fate!
If Mortham come, he comes too late,
While I, allied thus and prepared,
Bid him defiance to his beard.-
-If she prove stubborn, shall I dare
To drop the axe-Soft! pause we there.
Mortham still lives-yon youth may tell
His tale--and Fairfax loves him well;—

1 MS." Marks the dark cloud sweep down the Tees." 2 This subordinate villain thus meets the reward which he deserves. He is altogether one of the minor sketches of the poem, but still adds a variety and a life to the group. He is besides absolutely necessary for the development of the plot; and indeed a peculiar propriety in this respect is observable throughout the story. No character, and, comparatively speaking, but little description, is introduced that is unessential to the narrative; it proceeds clearly, if not rapidly, throughout; and although the plot becomes additionally involved to appearance as it advances, all is satisfactorily explained at the last, or

Else, wherefore should I now delay
To sweep this Redmond from my way
But she to piety perforce

Must yield. Without there! Sound to horse."

"Twas bustle in the court below,-
"Mount, and march forward!"-Forth they go;
Steeds neigh and trample all around,

Steel rings, spears glimmer, trumpets sound.—
Just then was sung his parting hymn;
And Denzil turn'd his eyeballs dim,
And, scarcely conscious what he sees,
Follows the horsemen down the Tees;1
And, scarcely conscious what he hears,
The trumpets tingle in his ears.
O'er the long bridge they're sweeping now,
The van is hid by greenwood bough ;

But ere the rearward had pass'd o'er,
Guy Denzil heard and saw no more !2
One stroke, upon the Castle bell,
To Oswald rung his dying knell.


O, for that pencil, erst profuse
Of chivalry's emblazon'd hues,
That traced of old, in Woodstock bower,
The pageant of the Leaf and Flower,
And bodied forth the tourney high,
Held for the hand of Emily!
Then might I paint the tumult broad,
That to the crowded abbey flow'd,
And pour'd, as with an ocean's sound,
Into the church's ample bound!
Then might I show each varying mien,
Exulting, woeful, or serene;
Indifference, with his idiot stare,
And Sympathy, with anxious air,
Paint the dejected Cavalier,
Doubtful, disarm'd, and sad of cheer;
And his proud foe, whose formal eye
Claim'd conquest now and mastery;
And the brute crowd, whose envious zeal
Huzzas each turn of Fortune's wheel,
And loudest shouts when lowest lie
Exalted worth and station high.
Yet what may such a wish avail?
"Tis mine to tell an onward tale,3

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Hurrying, as best I can, along,
The hearers and the hasty song;—
Like traveller when approaching home,
Who sees the shades of evening come,
And must not now his course delay,
Or choose the fair, but winding way;
Nay, scarcely may his pace suspend,
Where o'er his head the wildings bend,
To bless the breeze that cools his brow,
Or snatch a blossom from the bough.


The reverend pile lay wild and waste,
Profaned, dishonor'd, and defaced.
Through storied lattices no more
In soften'd light the sunbeams pour,
Gilding the Gothic sculpture rich
Of shrine, and monument, and niche.
The Civil fury of the time
Made sport of sacrilegious crime;1
For dark Fanaticism rent

Altar, and screen, and ornament,

And peasant hands the tombs o'erthrew
Of Bowes, of Rokeby, and Fitz-Hugh.2
And now was seen, unwonted sight,
In holy walls a scaffold dight!
Where once the priest, of grace divine
Dealt to his flock the mystic sign;
There stood the block display'd, and there
The headsman grim his hatchet bare;
And for the word of Hope and Faith,
Resounded loud a doom of death.

Thrice the fierce trumpet's breath was heard,

And echo'd thrice the herald's word,
Dooming, for breach of martial laws,
And treason to the Commons' cause,
The Knight of Rokeby and O'Neale
To stoop their heads to block and steel.
The trumpets flourish'd high and shrill,
Then was a silence dead and still;
And silent prayers to heaven were cast,
And stifled sobs were bursting fast,
Till from the crowd began to rise
Murmurs of sorrow or surprise,

And from the distant aisles there came Deep-mutter'd threats, with Wycliffe's name.3

to remain; that many of the poetical ornaments, though justly conceived, are faintly and indistinctly drawn; and that those finishing touches, which Mr. Scott has the talent of placing with peculiar taste and propriety, are too sparingly scattered; we readily admit that he has told his' onward tale' with great vigor and animation; and that he has generally redeemed his faults by the richness and variety of his fancy, or by the interest of his narrative."

The MS. has not this nor the preceding couplet. * MS.—" And peasants' base-born hands o'erthrew The tombs of Lacy and Fitz-Hugh."


But Oswald, guarded by his band,
Powerful in evil, waved his hand,
And bade Sedition's voice be dead,
On peril of the murmurer's head.
Then first his glance sought Rokeby's Knight;*
Who gazed on the tremendous sight,
As calm as if he came a guest
To kindred Baron's feudal feast,"
As calm as if that trumpet-call
Were summons to the banner'd hall;
Firm in his loyalty he stood,


And prompt to seal it with his blood.
With downcast look drew Oswald nigh,-
He durst not cope with Rokeby's eye!—
And said, with low and faltering breath,
"Thou know'st the terms of life and death."
The Knight then turn'd, and sternly smiled;
"The maiden is mine only child,

Yet shall my blessing leave her head,
If with a traitor's son she wed."
Then Redmond spoke: "The life of one
Might thy malignity atone,"

On me be flung a double guilt!
Spare Rokeby's blood, let mine be spilt !"
Wycliffe had listen'd to his suit,
But dread prevail'd, and he was mute.

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Let Wilfrid's doom my fate decide.
He once was generous !"-As she spoke,
Dark Wycliffe's joy in triumph broke :-
"Wilfrid, where loiter'd ye so late?
Why upon Basil rest thy weight?
Art spell-bound by enchanter's wand?-
Kneel, kneel, and take her yielded hand;'
Thank her with raptures, simple boy!
Should tears and trembling speak thy

"O hush, my sire! To prayer and tear
Of mine thou hast refused thine ear;
But now the awful hour draws on,
When truth must speak in loftier tone."


He took Matilda's hand :-"Dear maid,
Couldst thou so injure me," he said,
"Of thy poor friend so basely deem,
As blend with him this barbarous scheme?
Alas! my efforts made in vain,

Might well have saved this added pain.3
But now, bear witness earth and heaven,
That ne'er was hope to mortal given,
So twisted' with the strings of life,
As this to call Matilda wife!

I bid it now for ever part,

And with the effort bursts my heart!"
His feeble frame was worn so low,
With wounds, with watching, and with woe,
That nature could no more sustain
The agony of mental pain.

He kneel'd-his lip her hand had press'd,-"
Just then he felt the stern arrest.
Lower and lower sunk his head,-
They raised him,-but the life was fled!
Then, first alarm'd, his sire and train
Tried every ajd, but tried in vain.
The soul, too soft its ills to bear,
Had left our mortal hemisphere,

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5 MS.

His lips upon her hands were press'd,

Just as he felt the stern arrest."

6The character of Wilfrid is as extensively drawn, and even more so, perhaps, than that of Bertram. And amidst the fine and beautiful moral reflections accompanying it, a deep insight into the human heart is discernible :-we had almost said an intuition more penetrating than even his, to whom were given these golden keys' that unlock the gates of joy.'

Of horror that and thrilling fears,

Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears." " British Critic. "In delineating the actors of this dramatic tale, we have little hesitation in saying, that Mr. Scott has been more suc

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And sought in better world the meed, To blameless life by Heaven decreed.


The wretched sire beheld, aghast,
With Wilfrid all his projects past,
All turn'd and centred on his son,
On Wilfrid all-and he was gone.
"And I am childless now," he said;
"Childless through that relentless maid!
A lifetime's arts in vain essay'd,
Are bursting on their artist's head!-
Here lies my Wilfrid dead-and there
Comes hated Mortham for his heir,
Eager to knit in happy band
With Rokeby's heiress Redmond's hand.
And shall their triumph soar o'er all

The schemes deep-laid to work their fall?
No! deeds which prudence might not dare,
Appal not vengeance and despair.
The murd'ress weeps upon his bier-
I'll change to real that feigned tear!
They all shall share destruction's shock;-
Ho! lead the captives to the block !"
But ill his Provost could divine
His feelings, and forebore the sign.
"Slave! to the block!-or I, or they,
Shall face the judgment-seat this day!"


The outmost crowd have heard a sound,
Like horse's hoof on harden'd ground;
Nearer it came, and yet more near,
The very death's-men paused to hear.
'Tis in the churchyard now-the tread
Hath waked the dwelling of the dead!
Fresh sod, and old sepulchral stone,
Return the tramp in varied tone.
All eyes upon the gateway hung,

When through the Gothic arch there sprung

cessful than on any former occasion. Wilfrid, a person of the first importance in the whole management of the plot, exhibits an assemblage of qualities not unfrequently combined in real life, but, so far as we can recollect, never before represented in poetry. It is, indeed, a character which required to be touched with great art and delicacy. The reader generally expects to find beauty of form, strength, grace, and agility, united with powerful passions, in the prominent figures of romance; because these visible qualities are the most frequent themes of panegyric, and usually the best passports to admiration. The absence of them is supposed to throw an air of ridicule on the pretensions of a candidate for love or glory. An ordinary poet, therefore, would have despaired of awakening our sympathy in favor of that lofty and generous spirit, and keen sensibility, which at once animate and consume the frail and sickly frame of Wilfrid; yet Wilfrid is, in fact, extremely interesting; and his death, though obviously necessary to the condign punishment of Oswald, to the future repose of Matilda, and consequently to the consummation of the poem, leaves strong emotions of pity and regret ia the mind of the reader." -Quarterly Review.

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A horseman arm'd, at headlong speed-
Sable his cloak, his plume, his steed.'
Fire from the flinty floor was spurn'd,
The vaults unwonted clang return'd!-
One instant's glance around he threw,
From saddlebow his pistol drew.
Grimly determined was his look!
His charger with the spurs he strook-
All scatter'd backward as he came,
For all knew Bertram Risingham!
Three bounds that noble courser gave;
The first has reach'd the central nave,
The second clear'd the chancel wide,
The third he was at Wycliffe's side.
Full levell'd at the Baron's head,
Rung the report-the bullet sped-
And to his long account, and last,
Without a groan, dark Oswald past
All was so quick, that it might seem
A flash of lightning, or a dream.


While yet the smoke the deed conceals,
Bertram his ready charger wheels;
But flounder'd on the pavement-floor
The steed, and down the rider bore,
And, bursting in the headlong sway,
The faithless saddle-girths gave way.
'Twas while he toil'd him to be freed,
And with the rein to raise the steed,
That from amazement's iron trance
All Wycliffe's soldiers waked at once.
Sword, halberd, musket-but, their blows
Hail'd upon Bertram as he rose ;

A score of pikes, with each a wound,
Bore down and pinn'd him to the ground;
But still his struggling force he rears,
'Gainst hacking brands and stabbing spears;
Thrice from assailants shook him free,
Once gain'd his feet, and twice his knee.

1 See Appendix, Note 3 K.

Three bounds he made, that noble steed;
Lacies' tomb
The first the
has freed."
chancel's bound

MS.-"Oppress'd and pinn'd him to the ground."
MS." And when, by odds borne down at length."

$ MS.-" He bore."

MS.-" Had more of laugh in it than moan." 7 MS." But held their weapons ready set,

Lest the grim king should rouse him yet."
SMS.-"But Basil check'd them with disdain,
And flung a mantle o'er the slain."

"Whether we see him scaling the cliffs in desperate course, and scaring the hawks and the ravens from their nests; or, while the Castle is on fire, breaking from the central mass of smoke; or, amidst the terrific circumstances of his death, when his

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By tenfold odds oppress'd at length,'
Despite his struggles and his strength,
He took a hundred mortal wounds,
As mute as fox 'mongst mangling hounds;
And when he died, his parting groan
Had more of laughter than of moan!
-They gazed, as when a lion dies,
And hunters scarcely trust their eyes,
But bend their weapons on the slain,
Lest the grim king should rouse again!"
Then blow and insult some renew'd,
And from the trunk, the head had hew'd,
But Basil's voice the deed forbade ;
A mantle o'er the corse he laid :-
"Fell as he was in act and mind,
He left no bolder heart behind:
Then give him, for a soldier meet,
A soldier's cloak for winding-sheet."


No more of death and dying pang,
No more of trump and bugle clang,
Though through the sounding woods there come
Banner and bugle, trump and drum.
Arm'd with such powers as well had freed
Young Redmond at his utmost need,

And back'd with such a band of horse,

As might less ample powers enforce;
Possess'd of every proof and sign
That gave an heir to Mortham's line,
And yielded to a father's arms
An image of his Edith's charms,-
Mortham is come, to hear and see
Of this strange morn the history.
What saw he?-not the church's floor,
Cumber'd with dead and stain'd with gore;
What heard he?-not the clamorous crowd,
That shout their gratulations loud:
Redmond he saw and heard alone,

Clasp'd him, and sobb'd, "My son! my son!"-10

we mark his race of terror, with the poet, like the 'eve of tropic sun!'

'No pale gradations quench his ray,

No twilight dews his wrath allay;
With disk like battle-target red,

He rushes to his burning bed;

Dyes the wide wave with bloody light,
Then sinks at once-and all is night.'"'
British Critic.

"I hope you will like Bertram to the end; he is a Caravaggio sketch, which, I may acknowledge to you-but tell it not in Gath-I rather pique myself upon; and he is within the keeping of Nature, though critics will say to the contrary. It may be difficult to fancy that any one should take a sort of pleasure in bringing out such a character, but I suppose it is partly owing to bad reading, and ill-directed reading, when I was young."-SCOTT to Miss Baillie.-Life, vol. iv. p. 49. 10 MS.-Here the author of Rokeby wrote,

"End of Canto VI."

Stanza xxxv., added at the request of the printer and another

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