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The cushat dart across the dell.
Upon the gloomy walls were hung,
III. Gliding by crag and copsewood green, A solitary form was seen To trace with stealthy pace the wold, Like fox that seeks the midnight fold, And pauses oft, and cowers dismay'd, At every breath that stirs the shade. He passes now the ivy bush,The owl has seen him, and is hush; He passes now the dodder'd oak,He heard the startled raven croak; Lower and lower he descends, Rustle the leaves, the brushwood bends; The otter hears him tread the shore, And dives, and is beheld no more: And by the cliff of pale gray stone The midnight wanderer stands alone. Methinks, that by the moon we trace A well-remember'd form and face ! That stripling shape, that cheek so pale, Combine to tell a rueful tale, Of powers misused, of passion's force, Of guilt, of grief, and of remorse! 'Tis Edmund's eye, at every sound That flings that guilty glance around; 'Tis Edmund's trembling haste divides The brushwood that the cavern hides; And, when its narrow porch lies bare, 'Tis Edmund's form that enters there.
Still on the cavern floor remain'd.
IV. His flint and steel have sparkled bright, A lamp hath lent the cavern light. Fearful and quick his eye surveys Each angle of the gloomy maze. Since last he left that stern abode, It seem'd as none its floor had trode; Untouch'd appear'd the various spoil, The purchase of his comrades' toil; Masks and disguises grim'd with mud, Arms broken and defiled with blood, And all the nameless tools that aid Night-felons in their lawless trade, 1 MS.
-"* sally-port lies bare." 2 MS.--"Or on the floors disorder'd flung." 3 MS.-"Seats overthrown and flagons drain'd,
With low and confidential tone ;-
His search a small steel casket found.
VIII. • The ready Fiend, who never yet Hath fail'd to sharpen Denzil's wit, Prompted his lie—His only child Should rest his pledge.'— The Baron smiled, And turn'd to me-Thou art his son ?' I bow'd-our fetters were undone, And we were led to hear apart A dreadful lesson of his art. Wilfrid, he said, his heir and son, Had fair Matilda's favor won; And long since had their union been, But for her father's bigot spleen, Whose brute and blindfold party rage Would, force per force, her hand engage To a base kern of Irish earth, Unknown his lineage and his birth, Save that a dying ruffian bore The infant brat to Rokeby door. Gentle restraint, he said, would lead Old Rokeby to enlarge his creed; But fair occasion he must find For such restraint well-meant and kind, The Knight being render'd to his charge But as a prisoner at large.
VII. " Denzil and I two nights passid o'er In fetters on the dungeon floor. A guest the third sad morrow brought; Our hold dark Oswald Wycliffe sought, And eyed my comrade long askance, With fix'd and penetrating glance. "Guy Denzil art thou call’d ??— The same.:* At Court who served wild Buckinghame; Thence banish'd, won a keeper's place, So Villiers will'd, in Marwood-chase ; That lost-I need not tell thee whyThou madest thy wit thy wants supply, Then fought for Rokeby :-Have I guess’d My prisoner right ? —At thy behest.–5 He paused a while, and then went on
IX. “He school'd us in a well-forged tale, Of scheme the Castle walls to scale, To which was leagued each Cavalier That dwells upon the Tyne and Wear; That Rokeby, his parole forgot, Had dealt with us to aid the plot. Such was the charge, which Denzil's zeal Of hate to Rokeby and O'Neale Proffer'd, as witness, to make good, Even though the forfeit were their blood. I scrupled, until o'er and o'er His prisoners' safety Wycliffe swore; And then-alas! what needs there more? I knew I should not live to say
4 MS. With the third morn that baron old,
Dark Oswald Wycliffe, sought the hold.” 6 MS.—"And last didst ride in Rokeby's band.
Art thou the man ??— At thy command.'" MS." He school'd us then to tell a tale
Of plot the Castle walls to scale,
carcanet of gold.”
9 The MS. adds:
* No surer shelter from the foe
Than what this cavern can bestow."
" perched in sun and shower."
His hand like summer sapling shook,
The proffer I refused that day;
“ As in the pageants of the stage,
X. “Of Egliston !—Even now I pass’d,” Said Bertram, “as the night closed fast; Torches and cressets gleam'd around, I heard the saw and hammer sound, And I could mark they toild to raise A scaffold, hung with sable baize, Which the grim headsman's scene display'd, Block, axe, and sawdust ready laid. Some evil deed will there be done, Unless Matilda wed his son ; She loves him not—'tis shrewdly guess'd That Redmond rules the damsel's breast. This is a turn of Oswald's skill; But I may meet, and foil him still ! How camest thou to thy freedom !"_" There Lies mystery more dark and rare. In midst of Wycliffe's well-feign'd rage, A scroll was offer'd by a page, Who told, a muffled horseman late Had left it at the Castle-gate. He broke the seal-his cheek show'd change, Sudden, portentous, wild, and strange ; The mimic passion of his eye Was turn'd to actual agony;
The Letter. *Ruler of Mortham's destiny ! Though dead, thy victim lives to thee. Once had he all that binds to life, A lovely child, a lovelier wife; Wealth, fame, and friendship, were his ownThou gavest the word, and they are flown." Mark how he pays thee :-To thy hand He yields his honors and his land, One boon premised ;-Restore his child! And, from his native land exiled, Mortham no more returns to claim His lands, his honors, or his name; Refuse him this, and from the slain Thou shalt see Mortham rise again.'—
XII. “ This billet while the baron read, His faltering accents show'd his dread; He press’d his forehead with his palm,
sore bestád! Wavering alike in good and bad.” % MS.
-** 0, when at large Was scroll'd and sign'd our fatal charge, You never yet, on tragic stage,
Beheld so well a painted rage." • After this line the MS. reads :--
“ Although his soldiers snatch'd away,
When in my very grasp, my prey.--
Lies mystery," &c.
Mortham--whom righteous heaven decreed
$ " Mortham escaped--the coward shot
The horsebut harm'd the rider not.' is truly laughable. How like the dénouement of the Covent Garden Tragedy ! in which the hero is supposed to have been killed, but thus accounts for his escape, 'I through the coat was, not the body, run!'”
Monthly Review. 6 MS.-" Though dead to all, he lives to thee." 7 MS.---- Wealth, fame, and happiness, his own
Thou gavest the word, and all is flown." 8 The MS. adds :
* Nay more, ere one day's course had run,
He rescued twice from death thy son. Mark his demand :-Restore his child !"
An interloper's prying toil.
XIV. “ • Three days since, was that clew reveald, In Thorsgill as I lay conceal'd,' And heard at full when Rokeby's Maid Her uncle's history display'd; And now I can interpret well Each syllable the tablets tell. Mark, then: Fair Edith was the joy Of old O'Neale of Clandeboy ; But from her sire and country fled, In secr Mortham's Lord to wed. O'Neale, his first resentment o'er, Despatch'd his son to Greta's shore, Enjoining he should make him known (Until his farther will were shown) To Edith, but to her alone. What of their ill-starr'd meeting fell, Lord Wycliffe knows, and none so well.
Then took a scornful tone and calm ;
XIII. "Up starting with a phrensied look, His clenched hand the Baron shook :
Is Hell at work? or dost thou rave, Or darest thou palter with me, slave! Perchance thou wot'st not, Barnard's towers Hare racks, of strange and ghastly powers.' Denzil, who well his safety knew, Firmly rejoin'd, “I tell thee true. Thy racks could give thee but to know The proofs, which I, untortured; show.It chanced upon a winter night, When early snow made Stanmore white, That very night, when first of all Redmond O'Neale saw Rokeby-hall, It was my goodly lot to gain A reliquary and a chain, Twisted and chased of massive gold. -Demand not how the prize I hold ! It was not given, nor lent, nor sold.Gilt tablets to the chain were hung, With letters in the Irish tongue. I hid my spoil, for there was need That I should leave the land with speed; Nor then I deem'd it safe to bear On mine own person gems so rare. Small heed I of the tablets took, But since have spelld them by the book, When some sojourn in Erin's land Of their wild speech had given command. But darkling was the sense; the phrase And language those of other days, Involved of purpose, as to foil
XV. “ «O'Neale it was, who, in despair, Robb’d Mortham his infant heir; He bred him in their nurture wild, And call'd him murder'd Connel's child. Soon died the nurse; the Clan believed What from their Chieftain they received. His purpose was, that ne'er again? The boy should cross the Irish main ; But, like his mountain-sires, enjoy The woods and wastes of Clandeboy. Then on the land wild troubles came, And stronger Chieftains urged a claim, And wrested from the old man's hands His native towers, his father's lands. Unable then, amid the strife, To guard young Redmond's rights or life, Late and reluctant he restores The infant to his native shores, With goodly gifts and letters stored, With many a deep conjuring word, To Mortham and to Rokeby's Lord. Naught knew the clod of Irish earth, Who was the guide, of Redmond's birth; But deem'd his Chief's commands were laid On both, by both to be obey'd." How he was wounded by the way, I need not, and I list not say.'-
XVI. “* A wondrous tale! and, grant it true, What,' Wycliffe answer'd, 'might I do?
MS." It chanced, three days since, I was laid
Conceal'd in 'Thorsgill's bosky shade."
"never more The boy should visit Albion's shore." 3 The MS, has not this couplet.
His noble kinsman's generous mind,
Heaven knows, as willingly as now
XVIII. " It needs not. I renounce," he said, “My tutor in this deadly trade. Fix'd was my purpose to declare To Mortham, Redmond is his heir ; To tell him in what risk he stands, And yield these tokens to his hands. Fix'd was my purpose to atone, Far as I may, the evil done; And fix'd it rests—if I survive This night, and leave this cave alive." — “And Denzil ?”—“Let them ply the rack, Even till his joints and sinews crack ! If Oswald tear him limb from limb, What ruth can Denzil claim from him, Whose thoughtless youth he led astray, And damn'd to this unhallow'd way! He school'd me faith and vows were vain; Now let my master reap his gain.”— " True," answer'd Bertram, “'tis his meed; There's retribution in the deed. But thou—thou art not for our course, Hast fear, hast pity, hast remorse : And he, with us the gale who braves, Must heave such cargo to the waves, Or lag with overloaded prore, While barks unburden'd reach the shore."
XVII. “Mesh'd in the net himself had twined, What subterfuge could Denzil find ! He told me, with reluctant sigh, That hidden bere the tokens lie;' Conjured my swift return and aid, By all he scoff’d and disobey'd ;' And look'd as if the noose were tied, And I the priest who left his side. This scroll for Mortham Wycliffe gave, . Whom I must seek by Greta's wave; Or in the hut where chief he hides, Where Thorsgill's forester resides. (Then chanced it, wandering in the glade, That he descried our ambuscade.) I was dismiss'd as evening fell, And reach'd but now this rocky cell."“Give Oswald's letter."-Bertram read, And tore it fiercely shred by shred :“All lies and villany! to blind
XIX. He paused, and, stretching him at length, Seem'd to repose his bulky strength. Communing with his secret mind, As half he sat, and half reclined, One ample hand his forehead press’d, And one was dropp'd across his breast. The shaggy eyebrows deeper came Above his eyes of swarthy flame; His lip of pride a while forbore The haughty curve till then it wore; The unalter'd fierceness of his look A shade of darken'd sadness took,-For dark and sad a presage press'd Resistlessly on Bertram’s breast,And when he spoke, his wonted tone, So fierce, abrupt, and brief, was gone.
1 MS.—“Would I my kinsman's lands resign
To Mortham's self and Mortham's line :
2 MS.-" In secret where the tokens lie."
The unalter'd fierceness of his look."