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Hath chosen ill his ghostly haunt;
At this he paused for angry shame
And gave his wrath another theme.
I saw thee crouch like chasten'd hound,
Whose back the huntsman's lash hath found.
The spoil of piracy or stealth;
When Spain waged warfare with our land. 3.
Mark, too—I brook no idle jeer,
Nor couple Bertram's name with fear;
Mine is but half the demon's lot,
Enough of this.-Say, why this hoard
Soon quench'd was Denzil's ill-timed mirth ;4
Rather he would have seen the earth
3 There was a short war with Spain in 1625-6, which will be found to agree pretty well with the chronology of the poem. But probably Bertram held an opinion very common among the maritime heroes of the age, that "there was no peace beyond the Line." The Spanish guarda-costas were constantly employed in aggressions upon the trade and settlements of the English and French; and, by their own severities, gave room for the system of bucaniering, at first adopted in self-defence and retaliation, and afterwards, persevered in from habit and thirst of plunder.
"Denzil's mood of mirth;
He would have rather seen the earth," etc.]
Give to ten thousand spectres birth,
The deadly wrath of Risingham.
Submiss he answer'd," Mortham's mind,
In youth, 'tis said, a gallant free,
But since return'd from over sea,
A sullen and a silent mood
Hath numb'd the current of his blood.
And our stout knight, at dawn of morn
Who loved to hear the bugle-horn,
Nor less, when eve his oaks embrown'd,
Of Mortham's wealth is destined heir."
"Destined to her! to yon slight maid!
As danger for itself he loved;
On his sad brow nor mirth nor wine
Ill was the omen if he smiled,
For 'twas in peril stern and wild;
[The MS, has not this couplet.]
Might hold our fortune desperate.
"I loved him well-His fearless part,
Rise if thou canst!" he look'd around,
["There was a laughing devil in his sneer,
[MS." And when
I wrangled for the share he won."],
3 The laws of the Bucaniers, and their successors the Pirates, however severe and equitable, were, like other laws, often set aside by the stronger party. Their quarrels about the division of the spoil fill their history, and they as frequently arose out of mere frolic, or the tyrannical humour of their chiefs. An anecdote of Teach, (called Blackbeard,) shows that their habitual indifference for human life extended to their companions, as well as their enemies and captives.
"One night, drinking in his cabin with Hands, the pilot, and another man, Blackbeard, without any provocation, privately draws out a small pair of pistols, and cocks them under the table, which, being perceived by the man, he withdrew upon deck, leaving Hands, the pilot, and the captain together. When the pistols were ready, he blew out the candles, and, crossing his hands, discharged them at his company. Hands, the master, was shot through the knee, and lamed for life; the other pistol did no execution."-JOHNSON'S History of Pirates. Lond, 1724, 8vo, vol. i. p. 38.
Another anecdote of this worthy may be also mentioned. "The hero of whom we are writing was thoroughly accomplished this way, and some of his frolics of wickedness were so extravagant, as if he aimed at making his men believe he was a devil incarnate; for, being one day at sea, and a little flushed with drink, Come,' says he, let us make a hell of our own, and try how long we can bear it. Accordingly, he, with two or three others, went down into the hold, and, closing up all the hatches, filled several pots full of brimstone and other combustible matter, and set it on fire, and so continued till they were almost suffocated, when some of the men cried out for air. At length he opened the hatches, not a little pleased that he held out the longest."-1bid. p. 90.
And sternly stamp'd upon the ground
“Bertram, to thee I need not tell,
I know not if her features moved
But it must deck Matilda's hair.
"Then Denzil, as I guess, lays train, These iron-banded chests to gain ;
[MS." To thee, my friend, I need not tell,
This, too, still bound him unto life."]
Ponderous with ore and gems of pride." }
Else, wherefore should he hover here, '
For plunder'd boors, and harts of greese?
And when my huntsman marks her way,
"Tis well!-there's vengeance in the thought;
And hot-brain'd Redmond, too, 'tis said,
Pays lover's homage to the maid.
Bertram she scorn'd-If met by chance,
4 "Immediately after supper, the huntsman should go to his master's chainber, and if he serve a king, then let him go to the master of the game's chamber, to know in what quarter he determineth to hunt the day following, that he may know his own quarter; that done, he may go to bed, to the end that he may rise the earlier in the morning, according to the time and season, and according to the place where he must hunt: then when he is up and ready, let him drinke a good draught, and fetch his hound, to make him breake his fast a little and let him not forget to fill his bottel with good wine that done, let him take a little vinegar into the palme of his hand, and put it in the nostrils of his hound, for to make him snuffe, to the end his scent may be the perfecter, then let him go to the wood, --- When the huntsman perceiveth that it is time to begin to beat, let him put his hound before him, and beat the outsides of springs or thickets; and if he find an hart or deer that likes him, let him mark well whether it be fresh or not, which he may know as well by the manner of his hound's drawing, as also by the eye. When he hath well considered what manner of hart it may be, and hath marked every thing to judge by, then let him draw till he come to the couert where he is gone to; and let him harbour him if he can, still marking all his tokens, as well by the slot as by the entries, foyles, or suchlike. ` That done, let him plash or bruse down small twigges, some aloft and some below, as the art requireth, and therewithall, whilest his hound is hote, let him beat the outsides, and make his ring-walkes twices or thrice about the wood."-The Noble Art of Venerie, or Hunting. Lond. 1611, 4to, p. 76, 77.