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The circle closes nigh and nigher,
And shuddering glance is cast behind,
As louder moans the wintry wind.
Believe, that fitting scene was laid
For such wild tales in Mortham glade;
For who had seen, on Greta's side,
By that dim light fierce Bertram stride,
In such a spot, at such an hour,—
If touch'd by Superstition's power,
Might well have deem'd that Hell had given
A murderer's ghost to upper heaven,
While Wilfrid's form had seem'd to glide
Like his pale victim by his side,


Nor think to village swains alone
Are these unearthly terrors known;
For not to rank nor sex confined
Is this vain ague of the mind :
Hearts firm as steel, as marble hard,
'Gainst faith, and love, and pity barr'd,
Have quaked, like aspen leaves in May,
Beneath its universal sway.

Bertram had listed many a tale
Of wonder in his native dale,

That in his secret soul retain'd

The credence they in childhood gain'd:
Nor less his wild adventurous youth
Believed in every legend's truth;
Learn'd when, beneath the tropic gale,
Full swell'd the vessel's steady sail,
And the broad Indian moon her light
Pour'd on the watch of middle night,
When seamen love to hear and tell
Of portent, prodigy, and spell:

What gales are sold on Lapland's shore,'

[The MS. has not the two following couplets.]

2 "Also I shall shew very briefly what force conjurers and witches have in constraining the elements enchanted by them or others, that they may exceed or fall short of their natural order: premising this, that the extream land of North Finland and Lapland was so taught witchcraft formerly in heathenish times, as if they had learned this cursed art from Zoroastres the Persian; though other inhabitants by the sea-coasts are reported to be bewitched with the same madness; for they exercise this divelish art, of all the arts of the world, to admiration; and in this, or other such like mischief, they commonly agree. The Finlanders were wont formerly, amongst their other errors of gentilisme, to sell winds to merchants that were stopt on their coasts by contrary weather; and when they had their price, they knit three magical knots, not like to the laws of Cassius, bound up with a thong, and they gave them unto the merchants; observing that rule, that when they unloosed the first, they should have a good gale of wind; when the second, a stronger wind; but

How whistle rash bids tempests roar,'
Of witch, of mermaid, and of sprite,
Of Erick's cap and Elmo's light;"
Or of that Phantom Ship, whose form
Shoots like a meteor through the storm;
When the dark scud comes driving hard,
And lower'd is every topsail-yard,
And canvass, wove in earthly looms,
No more to brave the storm presumes!
Then, 'mid the war of sea and sky,
Top and top-gallant hoisted high,
Full spread and crowded every sail,
The Demon Frigate braves the gale; 3
And well the doom'd spectators know
The harbinger of wreck and woe.


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Then, too, were told, in stifled tone,
Marvels and omens all their own;
How, by some desert isle or key,
Where Spaniards wrought their cruelty,
Or where the savage pirate's mood
Repaid it home in deeds of blood,

Strange nightly sounds of woe and fear
Appall'd the listening Bucanier,

when they untied the third, they should have such cruel tempests, that they should not be able to look out of the forecastle to avoid the rocks, nor move a foot to pull down the sails, nor stand at the helm to govern the ship; and they made an unhappy trial of the truth of it who denied that there was any such power in those knots."-OLAUS MAGNUS'S History of the Goths, Swedes, and Vandals, Lond. 1658, fol. p. 47.-[See Note to The Pirate, "Sale of Winds," Waverley Novels, vol. xxiv. p. 436.]

[See Appendix, Note D.]

"This Ericus, King of Sweden, in his time was held second to none in the magical art; and he was so familiar with the evil spirits, which he exceedingly adored, that which way soever he turned his cap, the wind would presently blow that way. From this occasion he was called Windy Cap; and many men believed that Regnerus, King of Denmark, by the conduct of this Ericus, who was his nephew, did happily extend his piracy into the most remote parts of the earth, and conquered many countries and fenced cities by his cunning, and at last was his coadjutor; that by the consent of the nobles, he should be chosen King of Sweden, which continued a long time with him very happily, until he died of old age."-OLAUS, ut supra, p. 45.

3 [See Appendix, Note E.]

4 What contributed much to the security of the Bucaniers about the Windward Islands, was the great number of little islets, called in that country keys. These are small sandy patches, appearing just above the surface of the ocean, covered only with a few bushes and weeds, but sometimes affording springs of water, and, in general, much frequented by turtle. Such little uninhabited spots afforded the pirates good harbours, either for refitting or for the purpose of ambush; they were occasionally the hiding-place of their treasure, and often afforded a shelter to themselves. As many of the atrocities which they practised on their prisoners were committed in such spots, there are some of these keys which even now have an indifferent reputation among seamen, and where they are with difficulty prevailed on to remain ashore at night, on account of the visionary terrors incident to places which have been thus contaminated.

Whose light-armed shallop anchor'd lay
In ambush by the lonely bay.

The groan of grief, the shriek of pain,
Ring from the moonlight groves of cane;
The fierce adventurer's heart they scare,
Who wearies memory for a prayer,
Curses the road-stead, and with gale
Of early morning lifts the sail,
To give, in thirst of blood and prey,
A legend for another bay.


Thus, as a man, a youth, a child,
Train'd in the mystic and the wild,
With this on Bertram's soul at times
Rush'd a dark feeling of his crimes;
Such to his troubled soul their form,
As the pale Death-ship to the storm,
And such their omen dim and dread,
As shrieks and voices of the dead,-
That pang, whose transitory force'
Hover'd 'twixt horror and remorse;
That pang, perchance, his bosom press'd
As Wilfrid sudden he address'd :-
"Wilfrid, this glen is never trod
Until the sun rides high abroad;
Yet twice have I beheld to-day

A Form, that seem'd to dog our way ;
Twice from my glance it seem'd to flée,
And shroud itself by cliff or tree.

How think'st thou ?-Is our path waylaid?
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.

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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;'
Hid in the shrubby rain-course now,
You mark him by the crashing bow,
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.





See, he emerges !-desperate now 3
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 :
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,

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Had scal'd the cliffs; his desperate chase."]
[MS.-"A desperate leap through empty air;
Bid in the copse-clad rain-course now."]
[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."]

[MS.-"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."]

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Wilfrid a safer path pursued;

At intervals where, roughly hew'd,
Rude steps ascending from the dell
Render'd the cliffs accessible.
By circuit slow he thus attain'd
The height that Risingham had gain',
And when he issued from the wood,
Before the gate of Mortham stood. '
'Twas a fair scene! the sunbeam lay
On battled tower and portal gray:
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,

[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 Kittle Nine Steps."-See note to Redgauntlet.-Waverley Novels, vol. xxxv. p. 6.]

• The castle of Mörtham, which Leland terms "Mr. Rokesby's Place, in ripa citer, scant a quarter of a mile from Greta Bridge, and not a quarter of a mile beneath into Tees," is a picturesque tower, surrounded by buildings of different ages, now converted into a farmhouse and offices. The battlements of the tower itself are singularly elegant, the architect having broken then at regular intervals into different heights; while those at the corners of the tower project into octangular turrets. They are also from space to space covered with stones laid across them, as in modern embrasures, the whole forming an uncommon and beautiful effect. The surrounding buildings are of less happy form, being pointed into high and steep roofs. A wall, with embrasures, encloses the southern front, where a low portal arch affords an entry to what was the castle-court. At some distance is most happily placed, between the stems of two magnificent elins, the monument alluded to in the text. It is said to have been brought from the ruins of Eglistone Priory, and, from the armoury with which it is richly carved, appears to have been a tomb of the Fitz-Hughs. The situation of Mortham is eminently beautiful, occupying a high bank, at the bottom of which the Greta winds out of the dark, narrow, and romantic dell, which the text has attempted to describe, and flows onward through a more open valley to meet the Tees about a quarter of a mile from the castle. Mortham is surrounded by old trees, happily and widely grouped with Mr. Morritt's new plantations.

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