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Vet 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 makes,
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.2 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, Like some shy maid in convent bred; While linnet, lark, and blackbird gay, Sing forth her nuptial roundelay.

XV. See, he emerges ! -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;


in • MS.–“ As bnrsts the levin-boll{i}

its 2 MS.-" To his fierce 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 copxe-clad rain-course now." 4 MS." See, he emerges !-desperate now

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

Yon upmost crag's bare peak to scale." 5 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 Slepe."--[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 Revicuc.

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