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Yet twice have I beheld to-day
A Form, that seem'd to dog our way;
Twice from my glance it seem'd to flee,
And shroud itself by cliff or tree.
How think’st thou !—Is our path way-laid ?
Or hath thy sire my trust betray'd ?
If so'

- Ere, starting from his dream, That turn’d upon a gentler theme, Wilfrid had roused him to reply, Bertram sprung forward, shouting high, " Whate'er thou art, thou now shalt stand !"And forth he darted, sword in hand.

Sole stay his foot may rest upon,
Is yon earth-bedded jetting stone.
Balanced on such precarious prop,
He strains his grasp to reach the top.
Just as the dangerous stretch he maken,
By heaven, his faithless footstool shakes!
Beneath his tottering bulk it bends,
It sways, ... it loosens, ... it descends!
And downward holds its headlong way,
Crashing o'er rock and copsewood spray.
Loud thunders shake the echoing dell:
Fell it alone?-alone it fell.
Just on the very verge of fate,
The hardy Bertram's falling weight
He trusted to his sinewy hands,
And on the top unharm'd he stands l_o

XIV. As bursts the levin in its wrath,' He shot him down the sounding path; Rock, wood, and stream, rang wildly out, To his loud step and savage shout.? Seems that the object of his race Hath scaled the cliffs; his frantic chase Sidelong he turns, and now 'tis bent Right up the rock's tall battlement; Straining each sinew to ascend, Foot, hand, and knee, their aid must lend. Wilfrid, all dizzy with dismay, Views from beneath, his dreadful way: Now to the oak's warp'd roots he clings, Now trusts his weight to ivy strings; Now, like the wild-goat, must he dare An unsupported leap in air;3 Hid in the shrubby rain-course now, You mark him by the crashing bough, And by his corslet's sullen clank, And by the stones spurn'd from the bank, And by the hawk scared from her nest, And ravens croaking o'er their guest, Who deem his forfeit limbs shall pay The tribute of his bold essay.

XVI. Wilfrid a safer path pursued; At intervals where, roughly hew'd, Rude steps ascending from the dell Render'd the clitfs accessible. By circuit slow he thus attain'd The height that Risingham had gain'd, And when he issued from the wood, Before the gate of Mortham stood.7 'Twas a fair scene! the sunbeam lay On battled tower and portal grey: And from the grassy slope he sees The Greta flow to meet the Tees; Where, issuing from her darksome bed, She caught the morning's eastern red, And through the softening vale below Roll’d her bright waves, in rosy glow, All blushing to her bridal bed,8 Like some shy maid in convent bred; While linnet, lark, and blackbird gay, Sing forth her nuptial roundelay.

XV. See, he emergeg !-desperate now All farther course-Yon beetling brow, In craggy nakedness sublime, What heart or foot shall dare to climb ? It bears no tendril for his clasp, Presents no angle to his grasp:

XVII, 'Twas sweetly sung that roundelay; That summer morn shone blithe and gay; But morning beam, and wild-bird's call, Awaked not Mortham's silent hall." No porter, by the low-brow'd gate, Took in the wonted niche his seat;

1 M18.—“ As bnrsts the levin-bolt {ing}

wrath.” 2 MS.--" To his flerce step and savage shout, Seems that the object of his race

chase Had scaled the cliffs; his desperate chasc." MS.-“ A desperate leap through empty air ;

Hid in the copse-clad rain-course now." * MS." See, he emerges !-desperate now

Toward the naked beetling brow,
His progresg-heart and foot must fail

Yon upmost crag's bare peak to scale." 6 M8.-" Perch'd like an eagle on its top,

Balanced on its uncertain prop.

Just as the perilous stretch he makes,

By heaven, his tottering footstool shakes." 6 Opposite to this line, the MS, has this note, meant to amuse Mr. Ballantyne :-“If my readers will not allow that I have climbed Parnassus, they must grant that I have turned the Killle Nine Steps."--[See note to Redgauntlet.-Waverley Novels, vol. xxxv. p. 6.]

7 See Appendix, Note U,
8 MS.-"As some fair maid in cloister bred,

Is blushing to her bridal led." 9 “ The beautiful prospect commanded by that eminence seen under the cheerful light of a summer's morning, is finely contrasted with the silence and solitude of the place."-Critical Revieuc.

To the paved court no peasant drew;

Such was his tale. Its truth, I wees,
Waked to their toil no menial crew;

Is in my morning vision seen.”-
The maiden's carol was not heard,
As to her morning task she fared:

In the void offices around,

Wilfrid, who scorn'd the legend wild, Rung not a hoof, nor bay'd a hound;

In mingled mirth and pity smiled, Nor eager steed, with shrilling neigh,

Much marvelling that a breast so bold Accused the lagging groom's delay;

In such fond tale belief should hold;' Untrimm'd, undress’d, neglected now,

But yet of Bertram sought to know Was alley'd walk and orchard bough;

The apparition’s form and show.All spoke the master's absent care,

The power within the guilty breast, All spoke neglect and disrepair.

Oft vanquish’d, never quite suppress'd, South of the gate, an arrow flight,

That unsubdued and lurking lies Two mighty elms their limbs unite,

To take the felon by surprise, As if a canopy to spread

And force him, as by magic spell, O'er the lone dwelling of the dead;

In his despite his guilt to tell,— 6 For their huge boughs in arches bent

That power in Bertram’s breast awoke; Above a massive monument,

Scarce conscious he was heard, he spoke; Carved o'er in ancient Gothic wise,

“ 'Twas Mortham's form, from foot to head! With many a scutcheon and device:

His morion, with the plume of red, There, spent with toil and sunk in gloom,

His shape, his mien—'twas Mortham, right Bertram stood pondering by the tomb.

As when I slew him in the fight.”

“ Thou slay him?—thou?”—With conscious start XVIII.

He heard, then mann'd his haughty heart “ It vanish'd, like a flitting ghost!

“ I slew him?--I!-I had forgot Behind this tomb,” he said, “'twas lost

Thou, stripling, knew’st not of the plot. This tomb, where oft I deem'd lies stored

But it is spoken—nor will I Of Mortham's Indian wealth the hoard.

Deed done, or spoken word, deny. 'Tis true, the aged servants said

I slew him; I! for thankless pride; Here his lamented wife is laid ;?

'Twas by this hand that Mortham died!” But weightier reasons may be guess'd For their lord's strict and stern behest,

XX. That none should on his steps intrude,

Wilfrid, of gentle hand and heart, Whene'er he sought this solitude.

Averse to every active part, An ancient mariner I knew,

But most averse to martial broil, What time I sail'd with Morgan's crew,

From danger shrunk, and turn'd from toil ; Who oft, ʼmid our carousals, spake

Yet the meek lover of the lyre Of Raleigh, Forbisher, and Drake;

Nursed one brave spark of noble fire, Adventurous hearts! who barter'd, bold,

Against injustice, fraud, or wrong, Their English steel for Spanish gold.

His blood beat high, his hand wax'd strong. Trust not, would his experience say,

Not his the nerves that could sustain, Captain or comrade with your prey;

Unshaken, danger, toil, and pain; But seek some charnel, when, at full,

But, when that spark blazed forth to flame,? The moon gilds skeleton and skull:

He rose superior to his frame. There dig, and tomb your precious heap;

And now it came,


generous mood: And bid the dead your treasure keep;3

And, in full current of his blood, Sure stewards they, if fitting spell

On Bertram he laid desperate hand, Their service to the task compel.

Placed firm his foot, and drew his brand. Lacks there such charnel ?-kill a slave,

“ Should every fiend, to whom thour't sold, Or prisoner, on the treasure-grave;

Rise in thine aid, I keep my hold.And bid his discontented ghost

Arouse there, ho! take spear and sword! Stalk nightly on his lonely post.-

Attach the murderer of your Lord !”

1 MS.-—“All spoke the master absent far,

All spoke {neglect and } civil war.
Close by the gate, an arch combined,

Two baughty elms their branches twined." 2 M3.-" Here lies the partner of his bed;

But weightier reasons should appear
For all his moonlight wanderings here,

And for the sharp rebuke they got,

That pried around his favourite spot." 3 See Appendix, Note V. 4 MS.--" Lacks there such charnel-vault?---a slare,

Or prisoner, slaughter on the grare." 6 MS." Should faith in such a fable hold." 6 See Appendix, Note W. 7 MS."But, when blazed forth that noble flame.'

Oft stopp’d, and oft on Mortham stared,
And dark as rated mastiff glared;
But when the tramp of steeds was heard,
Plunged in the glen, and disappear'd ;-
Nor longer there the Warrior stood,
Retiring eastward through the wood;
But first to Wilfrid warning gives,
“ Tell thou to none that Mortham lives."

XXI. A moment, fix'd as by a spell, Stood Bertram-It seem'd miracle, That one so feeble, soft, and tame Set grasp on warlike Risingham.' But when he felt a feeble stroke, The fiend within the ruffian woke! To wrench the sword from Wilfrid's hand, To dash him headlong on the sand, Was but one moment's work,-one more Had drench'd the blade in Wilfrid's gore; But, in the instant it arose, To end his life, his love, his woes, A warlike form, that mark'd the scene, Presents his rapier sheathed between, Parries the fast-descending blow, And steps 'twixt Wilfrid and his foe; Nor then unscabbarded his brand, But, sternly pointing with his hand, With monarch's voice forbade the fight, And motion'd Bertram from his sight. “ Go, and repent,”—he said, “ while time Is given thee; add not crime to crime.”

XXIII. Still rung these words in Wilfrid's ear, Hinting he knew not what of fear; When nearer came the coursers' tread, And, with his father at their head, Of horsemen arm’d a gallant power Rein'd up their steeds before the tower.7 “ Whence there pale looks, my son ?” he said: “ Where's Bertram ?-Why that naked blade?”, Wilfrid ambiguously replied, (For Mortham's charge his honour tied,) “ Bertram is gone, the villain's word Avouch'd him murderer of his lord ! Even now we fought-but, when your tread Announced you nigh, the felon fied.” In Wycliffe's conscious eye appear A guilty hope, a guilty fear; On his pale brow the dewdrop broke, And his lip quiver'd as he spoke:

XXII. Mute, and uncertain, and amazed, As on a vision Bertram gazed ! 'Twas Mortham's bearing, bold and high, His sinewy frame, his falcon eye, His look and accent of command, The martial gesture of his hand, His stately form, spare-built and tall, His war-bleach'd locks'twas Mortham

all. Through Bertram's dizzy brain career A thousand thoughts, and all of fear; His wavering faith received not quite The form he saw as Mortham's sprite, But more he fear'd it, if it stood His lord, in living flesh and blood. --What spectre can the charnel send, So dreadful as an injured friend? Then, too, the habit of command, Used by the leader of the band, When Risingham, for many a day, Had march'd and fought beneath his sway, Tamed him-and, with reverted face, Backwards he bore his sullen pace;5

XXIV. “ A murderer !- Philip Mortham died Amid the battle's wildest tide. Wilfrid, or Bertram raves, or you ! Yet, grant such strange confession true, Pursuit were vain-let him fiy farJustice must sleep in civil war." A gallant Youth rode near his side, Brave Rokeby's page, in battle tried; That morn, an embassy of weight He brought to Barnard's castle gate, And follow'd now in Wycliffe's train, An answer for his lord to gain. His steed, whose arch'd and sable neck An hundred wreaths of foam bedeck, Chafed not against the curb more high Than he at Oswald's cold reply; He bit his lip, implored his saint, (His the old faith)—then burst restraint.

1 “ The sudden impression made on the mind of Wilfrid by “his arowal, is one of the happiest touches of moral poetry. The effect which the unexpected burst of indignation and valour produces on Bertram, is as finely imagined."-Critical Bericu.--"This most animating scene is a worthy companion to the rencounter of Fitz-James and Roderick Dhu, in the Lady of the Lake." - Monthly Review.

3 MS._"'Twas Mortham's spare and sinewy frame,

His falcon eye, his glance of flame."
4 MS.-"A thousand thoughts, and all of fear,

Dizzied his brain in wild career ;
Doubting, and not receiving quite,
The form he saw as Mortham's sprite,
Still more he fear'd it, if it stood

His living lord, in flesh and blood." 5 MS." Slow he retreats with sullen pace." 6 MS.-“Retiring through the thickest wood." 7 MS.-" Rein'd up their steeds by Mortham tower."

• MS._"At length, at slight and feeble stroke,

( fiend That razed the skin, his } awoke."


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