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Hears, upon turret-roof and wall,
By fits the plashing rain-drop fall,
Lists to the breeze’s boding sound,
And wraps his shaggy mantle round.

Relax'd that grasp, the heavy sigli,
The tear in the half-opening eye,
The pallid cheek and brow, confessid
That grief was busy in his breast;
Nor paused that mood-a sudden start
Impell’d the life-blood from the heart:
Features convulsed, and mutterings dread,
Show terror reigns in sorrow's stead.
That pang the painful slumber broke,
And Oswald with a start awoke.5

II. Those towers, which in the changeful gleam? Throw murky shadows on the stream, Those towers of Barnard hold a guest, The emotions of whose troubled breast, In wild and strange confusion driven, Rival the flitting rack of heaven. Ere sleep stern Oswald's senses tied, Oft had he changed his weary side, Composed his limbs, and vainly sought By effort strong to banish thought. Sleep came at length, but with a train Of feelings true and fancies vain, Mingling, in wild disorder cast, The expected future with the past. Conscience, anticipating time, Already rues the enacted crime, And calls her furies forth, to shake The sounding scourge and hissing snake; While her poor victim's outward throes Bear witness to his mental woes, And show what lesson may be read Beside a sinner's restless bed.

IV. He woke, and fear'd again to close His eyelids in such dire repose ; He woke,—to watch the lamp, and tell From hour to hour the castle-bell. Or listen to the owlet's cry, Or the sad breeze that whistles by, Or catch, by fits, the tuneless rhyme With which the warder cheats the time, And envying think, how, when the sun Bids the poor soldier's watch be dope, Couch'd on his straw, and fancy-free, He sleeps like careless infancy.

III. Thus Oswald's labouring feelings trace Strange changes in his sleeping face, Rapid and ominous as these With which the moonbeams tinge the Tees. There might be seen of shame the blush, There anger's dark and fiercer flush, While the perturbed sleeper's hand Seem'd grasping dagger-knife, or brand,

V. Far town-ward sounds a distant tread, And Oswald, starting from his bed, Hath caught it, though no human ear, Unsharpen’d by revenge and fear, Could e'er distinguish horse's clank, Until it reach'd the castle bank. Now nigh and plain the sound appears, The warder's challenge now he bears, Then clanking chains and levers tell, That o'er the moat the drawbridge fell, And, in the castle court below, Voices are heard, and torches glow,

} This couplet is not in the Original MS. 2 MS.

"shifting gleam." 3 MS.—“Of feelings rcal, and fancies vain." • MS.-“ Nor longer nature bears the shock,

That pang the slumberer awoke." 5 There appears some resemblance betwixt the visions of Oswald's sleep and the waking-dream of the Giaour

“ He stood.-Some dread was on his face.
Soon Hatred settled in its place :
It rose not with the reddening flush
Of transient Anger's hasty blush,
But pale as marble o'er the tomb,
Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed ;
He raised his arm, and fiercely raised,
And sternly shook his hand on high,
As doubting to return or fly;
Impatient of his flight delay'd,
Here loud his raven charger neigh’d-
Down glanced that hand, and grasp'd his blade;
That sound had burst his waking-dream,
As slumber starts at owlet's seream.

The spur hath lanced his courser's sides ;
Away, away, for life he rides.
'Twas but a moment that he stood,
Then sped as if by death pursued,
But in that instant o'er his soul,
Winters of memory seem'd to roll,
And gather in that drop of time,
A life of pain, an age of crime."

Byron's Works, vol. ix. p. 151. 6 MS.-" Till underneath the castle bank.

Nigh more nigh the sound appears,

The warder's challenge next he hears." 7 See Appendix, Note B.

“The natural superiority of the instrument over the employer, of bold, unhesitating, practised více, over timid, selfish, crafty iniquity, is very finely painted throughout the whole of this scene, and the dialogue that ensues. That the mind of Wycliffe, wrought to the utmost agony of suspense, has given such acuteness to his bodily organs, as to enable him to distinguish the approach of his hired bravo, while at a distance beyond the reach of common hearing, is grandly imagined, and admirably true to nature."-Critical fcricu.

As marshalling the stranger's way,
Straight for the room where Oswald lay;
The cry was,—“ Tidings from the host,
Of weight-a messenger comes post.”
Stifling the tumult of his breast,
His answer Oswald thus expressid-
“ Bring food and wine, and trim the fire;
Admit the stranger, and retire."

Cursing each moment that his guest
Protracted o'er his ruffian feast.
Yet, viewing with alarm, at last,
The end of that uncouth repast,
Almost he seem'd their haste to rue,
As, at his sign, his train withdrew,
And left him with the stranger, free
To question of his mystery.
Then did his silence long proclaim
A struggle between fear and shame.

VI. The stranger came with heavy stride, The morion's plumes his visage hide, And the buff-coat, an ample fold, Mantles his form's gigantic mould.3 Full slender answer deigned he To Oswald's anxious courtesy, But mark’d, by a disdainful smile, He saw and scorn'd the petty wile, When Oswald changed the torch's place, Anxious that on the soldier's face Its partial lustre might be thrown, To show his looks, yet hide his own. His guest, the while, laid low aside The ponderous cloak of tough bull's hide, And to the torch glanced broad and clear The corslet of a cuirassier; Then from his brows the casque he drew, And from the dank plume dash'd the dew, From gloves of mail relieved his hands,5 And spread them to the kindling brands, And, turning to the genial board, Without a health, or pledge, or word Of meet and social reverence said, Deeply he drank, and fiercely fed ;) As free from ceremony's sway, As famish'd wolf that tears his prey.

VIII. Much in the stranger's mien appears, To justify suspicious fears. On his dark face a scorching clime', And toil, had done the work of time, Roughen'd the brow, the temples bared, And sable hairs with silver shared, Yet left-what age alone could tamem The lip of pride, the eye of flame;: The full-drawn lip that upward curl'd, The eye, that seem'd to scorn the world. That lip had terror never blench’d; Ne'er in that eye had tear-drop quench'd The flash severe of swarthy glow, That mock'd at pain, and knew not woe. Inured to danger's direst form, Tornade and earthquake, flood and storm, Death had he seen by sudden blow, By wasting plague, by tortures slow,10 By mine or breach, by steel or ball, Knew all his shapes, and scorn'd them all.

VII. With deep impatience, tinged with fear, His host beheld him gorge his cheer, And quaff the full carouse, that lent His brow a fiercer hardiment. Now Oswald stood a space aside, Now paced the room with hasty stride In feverish agony to learn Tidings of deep and dread concern,

IX. But yet, though BERTRAM's harden'd look, Unmoved, could blood and danger brook, Still worse than apathy had place On his swart brow and callous face; For evil passions, cherish'd long, Had plough'd them with impressions strong. All that gives gloss to sin, all gay Light folly, past with youth away, But rooted stood, in manhood's hour, The weeds of vice without their flower. And yet the soil in which they grew, Had it been tamed when life was new,

1 M8.-“The cry was, --- Heringham comes post,

With tidings of a battle lost.'
As one that roused himself from rest,

His answer," &c.
MS.

-" with heavy pace,

The plumed morion hid his face." 3 See Appendix, Note C. 4 MS." That fell upon the stranger's face." 6 MS.-—"he freed his hands." 6 MS.-" Then turn'a to the replenish'd board."

7 “ The description of Bertram which follows, is highly picturesque; and the rude air of conscious superiority with which be treats his employer, prepares the reader to enter into the full spirit of his character. These, and many other little cir

cumstances, which none but a poetical mind could have conceived, give great relief to the stronger touches with which this excellent sketch is completed."-Critical Review. 8 MS.—“ Protracted o'er his savage feast.

Yet with alarm he saw at last." 9 “As Roderick rises above Marmion, so Bertram ascends above Roderick Dhu in awfulness of stature and strength of colouring. We have trembled at Roderick ; but we look with doubt and suspicion at the very shadow of Bertram-and, as we approach him, we shrink with terror and antipathy from * The lip of pride, the eye of flame.'

British Crilic. 10 See Appendix, Note D.

Had depth and vigour to bring forth?
The hardier fruits of virtuous worth.
Not that, e'en then, his heart had known
The gentler feelings' kindly tone;
But lavish waste had been refined
To bounty in his chasten'd mind,
And lust of gold, that waste to feed,
Been lost in love of glory's meed,
And, frantic then no more, his pride
Had ta'en fair virtue for its guide.

On eve of fight ne'er left the host,
Until the field were won and lost."
“ Here, in your towers by circling Tees,
You, Oswald Wycliffe, rest at ease ;*
Why deem it strange that others come
To share such safe and easy home,
From fields where danger, death, and toil,
Are the reward of civil broil ?”_5
“ Nay, mock not, friend ! since well we know
The near advances of the foe,
To mar our northern army's work,
Encamp'd before beleaguer'd York ;
Thy horse with valiant Fairfax lay,
And must have fought-how went the day?” --

6

X.
Even now, by conscience unrestrain’d,
Clogg’d by gross vice, by slaughter stain’d,
Still knew his daring soul to soar,
And mastery o'er the mind he bore ;
For meaner guilt, or heart less hard,
Quail'd beneath Bertram's bold regard.?
And this felt Oswald, while in vain
He strove, by many a winding train,
To lure his sullen guest to show,
Unask'd, the news he long'd to know,
While on far other subject hung
His heart, than falter'd from his tongue.
Yet nought for that his guest did deign
To note or spare his secret pain,
But still, in stern and stubborn sort,
Return'd him answer dark and short,
Or started from the theme, to range
In loose digression wild and strange,
And forced the embarrass'd host to buy,
By query close, direct reply.

XII.
“ Wouldst hear the tale ?-On Marston heath?
Met, front to front, the ranks of death;
Flourish'd the trumpets fierce, and now
Fired was each eye, and flush'd each brow;
On either side loud clamours ring,

God and the Cause !!–God and the King!'
Right English all, they rush'd to blows,
With nought to win, and all to lose.
I could have laugh'd-but lack'd the time
To see, in phrenesy sublime,
How the fierce zealots fought and bled,
For king or state, as humour led;
Some for a dream of public good,
Some for church-tippet, gown and hood,
Draining their veins, in death to claim
A patriot's or a martyr's name.--
Led Bertram Risingham the hearts,
That counter'd there on adverse parts,
No superstitious fool had I
Sought El Dorados in the sky!
Chili had heard me through her states,
And Lima oped her silver gates,
Rich Mexico I had march'd through,
And sack’d the splendours of Peru,
Till sunk Pizarro's daring name,
And, Cortez, thine, in Bertram's fame.”-

XI.
A while he glozed upon the cause
Of Commons, Covenant, and Laws,
And Church Reform'd-but felt rebuke
Beneath grim Bertram's sneering look,
Then stammer'd—“ Has a field been fought?
Has Bertram news of battle brought ?
For sure a soldier, famed so far
In foreign fields for feats of war,

& MS.

1 MS.-" Shew'd depth and vigour to bring forth

and Hubert may probably have been present to his mind when The noblest fruits of virtuous worth.

he composed the dialogue between Oswald and his terrible Then had the lust of gold accurst

agent; but it will be observed, that the situations of the reBeen lost in glory's nobler thirst,

spective personages are materially different; the mysterious And deep revenge for trivial cause,

caution in which Shakspeare's usurper is made to involve the Been zeal for freedom and for laws,

proposal of his crime, springs from motives undoubtedly more And, frantic then no more, his pride

obvious and immediate, but not more consistent with truth Had ta'en fair honour for its guide."

and probability, than that with which Wycliffe conceals the stern regard."

drift of his fearful interrogatories."-Critical Revicu. 3 “The 'mastery' obtained by such a being as Bertram 4 MS.—“Safe sit you, Oswald, and at ease." orer the timid wickedness of inferior villains, is well delineat 5 MS.-“ Award the meed of civil broil." ed in the conduct of Oswald, who, though he had not hesitated 6 MS.-" Thy horsemen on the outposts lay." to propose to him the murder of his kinsman, is described as 7 See Appendix, Note E. fearing to ask him the direct question, whether the crime has been 8 MS.-“ Led I but half of such bold hearts, accomplished. We must confess, for our own parts, that we

As counter'd there," &c. did not, till we came to the second reading of the canto, per 9 The quarterly Reviewer (No. xvi.) thus states the causen ceive the propriety, and even the moral beauty, of this cir- of the hesitation he had had in arriving at the ultimate opinion, cumstance. We are now quite convinced that, in introducing that Rokeby was worthy of the “high praise" already quoted it, the poet has been guided by an accurate perception of the from the commencement of his article :-“We confess, then, intricacies of human nature. The scene between King John that in the language and versification of this poem, we were, in

“ Still from the purpose wilt thou stray ! Good gentle friend, how went the day?”–

Complete the woful tale, and say,
Who fell upon that fatal day;
What leaders of repute and name
Bought by their death a deathless fame.”
If such my direst foeman's doom,
My tears shall dew his honour'd tomb.
No answer?-Friend, of all our host,
Thou know'st whom I should hate the most,
Whom thou too, once, wert wont to hate,
Yet leavest me doubtful of his fate."
With look unmoved,“ Of friend or foe,
Aught," answer'd Bertram,“ would'st thou know,
Demand in simple terms and plain,
A soldier's answer shalt thou gain ;-
For question dark, or riddle high,
I have nor judgment or reply.”

XIII. “ Good am I deemd at trumpet-sound, And good where goblets dance the round, Though gentle ne'er was join'd, till now, With rugged Bertram’s breast and brow.-But I resume. The battle's rage Was like the strife which currents wage, Where Orinoco, in his pride, Rolls to the main no tribute tide, But 'gainst broad ocean urges far A rival sea of roaring war; While, in ten thousand eddies driven, The billows fing their foam to heaven, And the pale pilot seeks in vain, Where rolls the river, where the main. Even thus upon the bloody field, The eddying tides of conflict wheeld! Ambiguous, till that heart of flame, Hot Rupert, on our squadrons came, Hurling against our spears a line Of gallants, fiery as their wine; Then ours, though stubborn in their zeal, In zeal's despite began to reel. What wouldst thou more ?-in tumult tost, Our leaders fell, our ranks were lost. A thousand men, who drew the sword For both the Houses and the Word, Preach'd forth from hamlet, grange, and down, To curb the crosier and the crown, Now, stark and stiff, lie stretch'd in gore, And ne'er shall rail at mitre more.Thus fared it, when I left the fight, With the good Cause and Commons' right."

XV. The wrath his art and fear suppressid, Now blazed at once in Wycliffe's breast; And brave, from man so meanly born, Roused his hereditary scorn. “ Wretch! hast thou paid thy bloody debt? Philip OF MORTHAM, lives he yet? False to thy patron or thine oath, Trait'rous or perjured, one or both. Slave! hast thou kept thy promise plight, To slay thy leader in the fight?”— Then from his seat the soldier sprung, And Wycliffe's hand he strongly wrung; His grasp, as hard as glove of mail, Forced the red blood-drop from the nail“ A health!” he cried; and, ere he quaff’d, Flung from him Wycliffe's hand, and laugh’d: -“ Now, Oswald Wycliffe, speaks thy heart ! Now play'st thou well thy genuine part ! Worthy, but for thy craven fear, Like me to roam a bucanier. What reck'st thou of the Cause divine, If Mortham's wealth and lands be thine! What carest thou for beleaguer'd York, If this good hand have done its work? Or what, though Fairfax and his best Are reddening Marston's swarthy breast,

XIV. “ Disastrous news !” dark Wycliffe said; Assumed despondence bent his head. While troubled joy was in his eye, The well-feign'd sorrow to belie.“ Disastrous news !—when needed most, Told ye not that your chiefs were lost?

the first instance, disappointed. We do not mean to say that

'And, Cortez, thine, in Bertram's fame.' either is in variably faulty; neither is it within the power of accident that the conceptions of a vigorous and highly culti “ The author, surely, cannot require to be told, that the vated mind, should uniformly invest themselves in trivial ex- feebleness of these jingling couplets is less offensive than their pressions, or in dissonant rhymes; but we do think that those obscurity. The first line is unintelligible, because the condigolden lines, which spontaneously fasten themselves on the tional word 'if,' on which the meaning depends, is neither Demory of the reader are more rare, and that instances of a expressed nor implied in it; and the third line is equally faulculpable and almost slovenly inattention to the usual rules ty, because the sentence, when restored to its natural order, of diction and of metre, are more frequent in this, than in any can only express the exact converse of the speaker's intention. preceding work of Mr. Scott. In support of this opinion, we We think it necessary to remonstrate against these barbarous adduce the following quotation, which occurs in stanza xii. : inversions, because we consider the rules of grammar as the and in the course of a description which is, in some parts, un.only shackles by which the Hudibrastic metre, already so liusually splendid,

centious, can be confined within tolerable limits."

* Led Bertram Risingham the hearts,'

1 MS.--" The doubtful tides of battle reel'd."

to

2 MS.--" Chose death in preference to shame."

If Philip Mortham with them lie,
Lending his life-blood to the dye
Sit, then! and as ’mid comrades free
Carousing after victory,
When tales are told of blood and fear,
That boys and women’ shrink to hear,
From point to point I frankly tell 3
The deed of death as it befell.

XVI. “ When purposed vengeance I forego, Term me a wretch, nor deem me foe; And when an insult I forgive, Then brand me as a slave, and live !Philip of Mortham is with those Whom Bertram Risingham calls foes ; Or whom more sure revenge attends, If number'd with ungrateful friends. As was his wont, ere battle glow'd, Along the marshall’d ranks he rode, And wore his vizor up the while. I saw his melancholy smile, When, full opposed in front, he knew Where ROKEBY's kindred banner flew. "And thus,' he said, ' will friends divide!'I heard, and thought how, side by side, We two had turn’d the battle's tide, In many a well-debated field, Where Bertram's breast was Philip's

shield. I thought on Darien's deserts pale, Where death bestrides the evening gale, How o'er my friend my cloak I threw, And fenceless faced the deadly dew; I thought on Quariana's cliff, Where, rescued from our foundering skiff, Through the white breakers' wrath I bore Exhausted Mortham to the shore; And when his side an arrow found, I suck'd the Indian's venom'd wound. These thoughts like torrents rush'd along, To sweep away my purpose strong.

Lost was the war in inward strife,
Debating Mortham’s death or life.
"Twas then I thought, how, lured to come,
As partner of his wealth and home,
Years of piratic wandering o’er,
With him I sought our native shore.
But Mortham's lord grew far estranged
From the bold heart with whom he ranged;
Doubts, horrors, superstitious fears,
Sadden'd and dimm's descending years ;
The wily priests their victim sought,
And damn'd each free-born7 deed and thought
Then must I seek another home,
My license shook his sober dome;
If gold he gave, in one wild day
I revell’d thrice the sum away.
An idle outcast then I stray'd,
Unfit for tillage or for trade.
Deem'd, like the steel of rusted lance,
Useless and dangerous at once.
The women fear'd my hardy look,
At my approach the peaceful shook ;
The merchant saw my glance of flame,
And lock'd his hoards when Bertram came;
Each child of coward peace kept far
From the neglected son of war.

XVIII. “ But civil discord gave the call, And made my trade the trade of all. By Mortham urged, I came again His vassals to the fight to train. What guerdon waited on my care? I could not cant of creed or prayer; Sour fanatics each trust obtain’d, And I, dishonour'd and disdain'd, Gain'd but the high and happy lot, In these poor arms to front the shot! All this thou know'st, thy gestures tell; Yet hear it o'er, and mark it well. 'Tis honour bids me now relate Each circumstance of Mortham's fate.

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