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a Still from the purpose wilt thou stray ! Good gentle friend, how went the day?”
Complete the woful tale, and say,
XIII. * Good am I deem'd 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 fling 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! Puilip 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 memory 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 li usually splendid
centious, can be confined within tolerable limits."
* Led Bertram Risingham the hearts,'
1 MS.-" The doubtful tides of battle reel'd."
2 MS.-" Chose death in preference to shame."
If Philip Mortham with them lie,
Lost was the war in inward strife,
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.
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 ?8 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.
Some ancient sculptor's art has shown
I watch'd him through the doubtful fray,
XX. Not then by Wycliffe might be shown, How his pride startled at the tone In which his complice, fierce and free, Asserted guilt's equality. In smoothest terms his speech he wove, Of endless friendship, faith, and love; Promised and vow'd in courteous sort, But Bertram broke professions short.
Wycliffe, be sure not here I stay, No, scarcely till the rising day; Warn’d by the legends of my youth, I trust not an associate's truth. Do not my native dales prolong Of Percy Rede the tragic song, Train’d forward to his bloody fall, By Girsonfield, that treacherous Hall?? Oft, by the Pringle's haunted side, The shepherd sees his spectre glide. And near the spot that gave me name, The moated mound of Risingham, Where Reed upon her margin sees Sweet Woodburne's cottages and trees,
XXI. « When last we reason'd of this deed, Nought, I bethink me, was agreed, Or by what rule, or when, or where, The wealth of Mortham we should share; Then list, while I the portion name, Our differing laws give each to claim. Thou, vassal sworn to England's throne, Her rules of heritage must own; They deal thee, as to nearest heir, Thy kinsman's lands and livings fair, And these I yield :-do thou revere The statutes of the Bucanier. 11 Friend to the sea, and foeman sworn To all that on her waves are borne, When falls a mate in battle broil, His comrade heirs his portion'd spoil ; When dies in fight a daring foe, He claims his wealth who struck the blow; And either rule to me assigns Those spoils of Indian seas and mines, Hoarded in Mortham's caverns dark; Ingot of gold and diamond spark, Chalice and plate from churches borne, And gems from shrieking beauty torn, Each string of pearl, each silver bar, And all the wealth of western war. I go to search, where, dark and deep, Those Trans-atlantic treasures sleep. Thou must along—for, lacking thee, The heir will scarce find entrance free; And then farewell. I haste to try Each varied pleasure wealth can buy; When cloyed each wish, these wars afford Fresh work for Bertram's restless sword.”
XXII. An undecided answer hung On Oswald's hesitating tongue.
1 MS.-" That changed as with a whirlwind's sway."
BYRON's Works, vol. x. p. 275. 3 MS.-“ Hot Rupert on the spur pursues;
Whole troops of fliers choked the Ouse." • See Appendix, Note P. • See Appendix, Note G.
6 MS.-" Taught by the legends of my youth
To trust to no associate's truth." ? See Appendix, Noto H. 8 MS.—" Still by the spot that gave me name,
The moated camp of Risingham,
Half hid by rifted rocks and tree." 9 See Appendix, Note I. 10 MS.—“ With bow in hand," &c. ! See Appendix, Note K.
Despite his craft, he heard with awe
Hour after hour he loved to poro
such over-strained, and even morbid sensibility, as are porA numerous race of hardier mood."
trayed in the character of Edwin, existing in so rude a state of 9" And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb,
society as that which Beattie has represented,—but these
qualities, even when found in the most advanced and polished When all in mist the world below was lost, What dreadful pleasure there to stand sublime,
stages of life, are rarely, very rarely, united with a robust and Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast."
healthy frame of body. In both these particulars, the cha
racter of Wilfrid is exempt from the objections to which we BEATTIE'S Ilinstrel.
think that of the Minstrel liable. At the period of the Civil a MS.—“Was love, but friendship in his phrase."
Wars, in the higher orders of Society, intellectual refinement 4 “The prototype of Wilfrid may perhaps be found in had advanced to a degree sufficient to give probability to its Beattie's Edwin ; but in some essential respects it is made existence. The remainder of our argument will be best ermore true to nature than that which probably served for its plained by the beautiful lines of the poet," (stanzas xv. and original. The possibility may perhaps be questioned, (its great xxvi. )--Critical Review. improbability is unquestionable, ) of such excessive refinement, 5 MS.-" And first must Wilfrid woo," &c.
To woo her was a harder task
XXVIII. So did the suit of Wilfrid stand, When war's houd summons waked the land. Three banners, floating o'er the Tees, The wo-forboding peasant sees; In concert oft they braved of old The bordering Scot's incursion bold; Frowning defiance in their pride, Their vassals now and lords divide. From his fair hall on Greta banks, The Knight of Rokeby led his ranks, To aid the valiant northern Earls, Who drew the sword for royal Charles. Mortham, by marriage near allied, His sister had been Rokeby's bride, Though long before the civil fray, In peaceful grave the lady lay,Philip of Mortham raised his band, And march'd at Fairfax's command; While Wycliffe, bound by many a train Of kindred art with wily Vane, Less prompt to brave the bloody field, Made Barnard's battlements his shield, Secured them with his Lunedale powers, And for the Commons held the towers.
But Wilfrid, son to Rokeby's fos,
XXX. Thus wore his life, though reason strove For mastery in vain with love, Forcing upon his thoughts the sum Of present woe and ills to come, While still he turn'd impatient ear From Truth’s intrusive voice severe. Gentle, indifferent, and subdued, In all but this, unmoved he view'd Each outward change of ill and good : But Wilfrid, docile, soft, and mild, Was Fancy's spoild and wayward child; In her bright' car she bade him ride, With one fair form to grace his side, Or, in some wild and lone retreat, Flung her high spells around his seat,
XXIX. The lovely heir of Rokeby's Knights Waits in his halls the event of fight; For England's war revered the claim Of every unprotected name, And spared, amid its fiercest rage, Childhood and womanhood and age.
1 MS.-" The fuel fond her favour threw." 2 MS.–“Now frowning dark on different side,
Their vassals and their lords divide." 3 MS.-“ Dame Alice and Matilda bright,
Daughter and wife of Rokeby's Knight,
Wait in his halls," &c.
And Rokeby and his son were foes,
Of kindred friendship and the muse." 3 MS." Aping, with fond hypocrisy,
The careless step," &c. & The MS. has not this couplet.
7 MS.-“ May Wilfrid haunt the
}thickets green." Wilfrid haunts Scargill's
“ watch the hour,
Flung her wild spells around his seat,