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An early image fills his mind:
And if thou canst that riddle read,
As read full well you may,
And Greta woods are green;
And by your palfrey good,
To keep the king's greenwood.”—
And 'tis at peep of light;
And Greta woods are gay;
To reign his Queen of May!
And Greta woods are green,
Would grace a summer queen.
Beneath the turrets high, A Maiden on the castle wall Was singing merrily,
And Greta woods are green;
Than reign our English queen.” —
“ With burnish'd brand and musketoon,
So gallantly you come,
That lists the tuck of drum.”—
No more the trumpet hear;
And Greta woods be gay,
Would reign my Queen of May!
* If, Maiden, thou wouldst wend with me,
To leave both tower and town,
That dwell by dale and down?
A nameless death I'll die;
Were better mate than I!
1 MS.- And soon the loudest wassailer he,
round and on the side of a bold crag near his intended cave of And life of all their revelry."
Guy Denzil; and could not help saying, that as he was not to * Scott revisited Rokeby in 1812, for the purpose of refresh- be upon oath in his work, daisies, violets, and primroses would ing his memory; and Mr. Morritt says, “I had, of course, be as poetical as any of the humble plants be was examining. had many previous opportunities of testing the almost con I laughed, in short, at his scrupulousness; but I understood scientious fidelity of his local descriptions; but I could not him when he replied, that in nature herself no two scenes help being singularly struck with the lights which this visit were exactly alike, and that whoever copied truly what was threw on that characteristic of his compositions The morn- | before his eyes, would possess the same variety in his descriping after he arrived he said, "You have often given me mate tions, and exhibit apparently an imagination as boundless as rials for romance-now I want a good robber's cave and an old the range of nature in the scenes he recorded ; whereas-whochurch of the right sort.' We rode out, and he found what he ever trusted to imagination, would soon find his own mind wanted in the ancient slate quarries of Brignall and the ruined circumscribed, and contracted to a few favorite images."Abbey of Egliston. I observed him noting down even the Life of Scott, vol. iv. p. 19. peculiar little wild-flowers and lierbs that accidentally grew SMS.--"The goblin-light on fen or mead."
And when I'm with my comrades met,'
Beneath the greenwood bough, What once we were we all forget, Nor think what we are now.
CHORUS. “Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
Would grace a summer queen."
When Edmund ceased his simple song,
He blush'd to think, that he should seem
XIX. At length his wondrous tale he told: When, scornful, smiled his comrade bold; For, train'd in license of a court, Religion's self was Denzil's sport; Then judge in what contempt he held The visionary tales of eld! His awe for Bertram scarce repress'd The unbeliever's sneering jest. “ 'Twere hard,” he said, “ for sage or seer, To spell the subject of your fear; Nor do I boast the art renown'd, Vision and omen to expound. Yet, faith if I must needs afford To spectre watching treasured hoard, As bandog keeps his master's roof, Bidding the plunderer stand aloof, This doubt remains—thy goblin gaunt 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 ?”
XXI. Soon quench'd was Denzil's ill-timed mirth;" Rather he would have seen the earth 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." —
And give me, if thou darest, the lie !"
XXII. * 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 12 Denzil, I knew him long, yet ne'er Knew him that joyous cavalier, Whom youthful friends and early fame Callid 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; Il was the omen if he smiled, For 'twas in peril stern and wild; But when he laugh’d, each luckless mate 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.
XXIV. “ 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;? 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, His gift, if he in battle died."
XXIII. “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.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, And sternly stamp'd upon the ground "Rise, with thy bearing proud and high, Even as this morn it met mine eye,
XXV. “Then Denzil, as I guess, lays train, These iron-banded chests to gain; 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 ! 10 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.12
1 The MS. has not this couplet.
That raised emotions both of rage and fear;
Byron's Works, vol. ix. p. 272. • MS.--"* And when the bloody fight was done
I wrangled for the share be won.” + See Appendix, Note 2 G. 4 MS.-" To thee, my friend, I need not tell,
What thou hast cause to know so well." 6 MS.—" Around thy captain's moody mind."
7 MS." But it must be Matilda's share.
This, too, still bound him unto life." 8 MS." From a strong vault in Mortham tower,
In secret to Matilda's bower,
Ponderous with ore and gems of pride." . MS." Then may I guess thou hast some train,
These iron-banded chests to gain ;
Else, why should Denzil hover here." 10 Deer in season. 11 MS.
_" that doth not know The midnight clang of Denzil's bow
-I hold my sport,” &c. 12 See Appendix, Note 2 H.
By Rokeby-hall she takes her lair,
That issues at a secret spot,'
A weary lot is thine !
And press the rue for wine!
A feather of the blue,
“ This morn is merry June, I trow,
The rose is budding fain ;'
Ere we two meet again."
Upon the river shore,
MS.--" The menials of the castle few,
ate as a sudden interruption to Bertram's conversation, how. But stubborn to their charge, and true."
ever naturally it might be introduced among the feasters, who 2 MS.--"What prize of vantage shall we seize?"'
were at some distance. 3 MS.--"That issues level with the moat."
" Fain, in old English and Scotch, expresses, I think, a pro4 MS.-"I care not if a fox I wind."
pensity to give and receive pleasurable emotions, a sort of foud
ness which may, without harshness, I think, be applied to a 6 MS.-"our merry-men again
rose in the act of blooming. You remember Jockey fow and Are frolicking in blithesome strain."
Jenny fain.'--W. S." OMS.--"A laughing eye, a dauntless mien."
• MS.--"Upon the Greta 7 MS." To the Printer: The abruptness as to the song is
Seottish unavoidable. The music of the drinking party could only oper- ! See Appendix, Note 21.
And she fled to the forest to hear a love-tale,
Shows oft a tincture of remorse.
The Baron of Ravensworth' prances in pride,
Allen-a-Dale was ne'er belted a knight, [bright;
Allen-a-Dale to his wooing is come;
[Dale. And with all its bright spangles !” said Allen-a
WHEN Denmark's raven soard on high,
The father was steel, and the mother was stone;
4 MS.-“But a score of good fellows," &c.
6 See Appendix, Note 2 K. Ibid. Note 2 L. 2 MS.--** Oft help the weary night away."
7 See Appendix, Note 2 M. 3 The ruins of Ravensworth Castle stand in the North Ri 8 The Tees rises about the skirts of Crossfell, and falls over ding of Yorkshire, about three miles from the town of Rich the cataracts named in the text before it leaves the mountains mond, and adjoining to the waste called the Forest of Arkin- which divide the North Riding from Cumberland. High-Force garth. It belonged originally to the powerful family of Fitz is seventy-five feet in height. Hagh, from whom it passed to the Lords Dacre of the South. | See Appendix, Note 2 M.