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Hath chosen ill his ghostly haunt;
For why his guard on Mortham hold,
When Rokeby castle hath the gold
Thy patron won on Indian soil,'
By stealth, by piracy, and spoil?"-


At this he paused for angry shame
Lower'd on the brow of Risingham.
He blush'd to think, that he should seem
Assertor of an airy dream,

And gave his wrath another theme.
"Denzil," he says, "though lowly laid,
Wrong not the memory of the dead;
For, while he lived, at Mortham's look
Thy very soul, Guy Denzil, shook!
And when he tax'd thy breach of word
To yon fair Rose of Allenford,

I saw thee crouch like chasten'd hound,

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Whose back the huntsman's lash hath found.
Nor dare to call his foreign wealth

The spoil of piracy or stealth;
He won it bravely with his brand,

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,
For I believe, but tremble not.-

Enough of this.-Say, why this hoard
Thou deem'st at Rokeby castle stored;
Or think'st that Mortham would bestow
His treasure with his faction's foe?"


Soon quench'd was Denzil's ill-timed mirth ;4

Rather he would have seen the earth

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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.]

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Give to ten thousand spectres birth,
Than venture to awake to flame

The deadly wrath of Risingham.

Submiss he answer'd," Mortham's mind,
Thou know'st, to joy was ill inclined.

In youth, 'tis said, a gallant free,
A lusty reveller was he;

But since return'd from over sea,

A sullen and a silent mood

Hath numb'd the current of his blood.
Hence he refused each kindly call
To Rokeby's hospitable hall,

And our stout knight, at dawn of morn

Who loved to hear the bugle-horn,

Nor less, when eve his oaks embrown'd,
To see the ruddy cup go round,
Took umbrage that a friend so near
Refused to share his chase and cheer;
Thus did the kindred barons jar,
Ere they divided in the war.
Yet, trust me, friend, Matilda fair

Of Mortham's wealth is destined heir."


"Destined to her! to yon slight maid!
The prize my life had wellnigh paid,
When 'gainst Laroche, by Cayo's wave,'
I fought my patron's wealth to save!—
Denzil, I knew him long, yet ne'er
Knew him that joyous cavalier,
Whom youthful friends and early fame
Call'd soul of gallantry and game.
A moody man, he sought our crew,
Desperate and dark, whom no one knew;
And rose, as men with us must rise,
By scorning life and all its ties.
On each adventure rash he roved,

As danger for itself he loved;

On his sad brow nor mirth nor wine
Could e'er one wrinkled knot untwine;

Ill was the omen if he smiled,

For 'twas in peril stern and wild;
But when he laugh'd, each luckless mate

[The MS, has not this couplet.]

Might hold our fortune desperate.
Foremost he fought in every broil,
Then scornful turn'd him from the spoil;
Nay, often strove to bar the way
Between his comrades and their prey;
Preaching, even then, to such as we,
Hot with our dear-bought victory,
Of mercy and humanity.



"I loved him well-His fearless part,
His gallant leading, won my heart.
And after each victorious fight,
'Twas I that wrangled for his right, '
Redeem'd his portion of the prey
That greedier mates had torn away :
In field and storm thrice saved his life,
And once amid our comrades' strife.-3
Yes, I have loved thee! Well hath proved
My toil, my danger, how I loved!
Yet will I mourn no more thy fate,
Ingrate in life, in death ingrate.

Rise if thou canst!" he look'd around,

["There was a laughing devil in his sneer,
That raised emotions both of rage and fear;
And where his frown of hatred darkly fell,
Hope withering fled-and Mercy sigh'd farewell."
BYRON's Works, vol. ix. p. 272.]
bloody fight was done,

[MS." And when

the his

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.

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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
"Rise, with thy bearing proud and high,
Even as this morn it met mine eye,
And give me, if thou darest, the lie!"
He paused-then, calm and passion-freed,
Bade Denzil with his tale proceed.




“Bertram, to thee I need not tell,
What thou hast cause to wot so well,
How Superstition's nets were twined-
Around the Lord of Mortham's mind;
But since he drove thee from his tower,
A maid he found in Greta's bower,
Whose speech, like David's harp, had sway,
To charm his evil fiend away.

I know not if her features moved
Remembrance of the wife he loved;
But he would gaze upon her eye,
Till his mood soften'd to a sigh.
He, whom no living mortal sought
To question of his secret thought,
Now every thought and care confess'd
To his fair niece's faithful breast;
Nor was there aught of rich and rare,
In earth, in ocean, or in air,

But it must deck Matilda's hair.
Her love still bound him unto life; 3,
But then awoke the civil strife,
And menials bore, by his commands,
Three coffers, with their iron bands,
From Mortham's vault, at midnight deep,
To her lone bower in Rokeby-Keep,
Ponderous with gold and plate of pride 4.
His gift, if he in battle died."-


"Then Denzil, as I guess, lays train, These iron-banded chests to gain ;

[MS." To thee, my friend, I need not tell,
What thou hast cause to know so well."]
[MS.-"Around thy captain's moody mind."],
[MS." But it must be Matilda's share.

This, too, still bound him unto life."]
[MS.-"From a strong vault in Mortham tower,
In secret to Matilda's bower,

Ponderous with ore and gems of pride." }

Else, wherefore should he hover here, '
Where many a peril waits him near,
For all his feats of war and peace,


For plunder'd boors, and harts of greese?
Since through the hamlets as he fared,
What hearth' has Guy's marauding spared,
Or where the chase that hath not rung
With Denzil's bow, at midnight strung?”-
"I hold my wont-my rangers go,
Even now to track a milk-white doe. *
By Rokeby-hall she takes her láir,
'In Greta wood she harbours fair,

And when my huntsman marks her way,
What think'st thou, Bertram, of the prey?
Were Rokeby's daughter in our power,
We rate her ransom at her dower."-


"Tis well!-there's vengeance in the thought;
Matilda is by Wilfrid sought;

And hot-brain'd Redmond, too, 'tis said,

Pays lover's homage to the maid.

Bertram she scorn'd-If met by chance,
She turn'd from me her shuddering glance,
Like a nice dame, that will not brook

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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.

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