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LX.

LXVI.

LXI.

LXVII.

LXII.

LXVIII.

But sickness stopped me in an early stage Their breakfast done, the pair, though loth, must part; Of my sad journey; and within the wain Wanderers whose course no longer now agrees.

They placed me - there to end life's pilgrimage, She rose and bade farewell! and, while her heart

Unless beneath your roof I may

reinain: Struggled with tears nor could its sorrow ease,

For I shall never see my father's door again.
She left him there ; for, clustering round his knees,
With his oak staff the cottage children played;
And soon she reached a spot o'erhung with trees

“My life, Heaven knows, hath long been burthensctar

But, if I have not meekly suffered, meek And banks of ragged earth; beneath the shade

May my end be! Soon will this voice be dumb: Across the pebbly road a little runnel strayed.

Should child of mine e'er wander hither, speak

Of me, say that the worm is on my cheek.A cart and horse beside the rivulet stood;

Torn from our hut, that stood beside the sea Chequering the canvas roof the sunbeams shone.

Near Portland lighthouse in a lonesome creek, She saw the carmar bend to scoop the flood

My husband served in sad captivity As the wain fronted her,- wherein lay one,

On shipboard, bound till peace or death should set kun

free.
A pale-faced woman, in disease far gone.
The carman wet her lips as well behoved ;
Bed under her lean body there was none,

“A sailor's wife I knew a widow's cares, Though even to die near one she most had loved Yet two sweet little ones partook my bed ; She could not of herself those wasted limbs have moved. Hope cheered my dreams, and to my daily prayers

Our heavenly Father granted each day's bread;

Till one was found by stroke of violence dead, The soldier's widow learned with honest pain

Whose body near our cottage chanced to lie; And homefelt force of sympathy sincere,

A dire suspicion drove us from our shed; Why thus that worn-out wretch must there sustain

In vain to find a friendly face we try, The jolting road and morning air severe.

Nor could we live together those poor boys and I; The wain pursued its way; and following near In pure compassion she her steps retraced Far as the cottage. “A sad sight is here,”

“For evil tongues made oath how on that day She cried aloud; and forth ran out in haste

My husband lurked about the neighbourhood; The friends whom she had left but a few minutes past. Now he had fled, and whither none could say,

And he had done the deed in the dark wood

Near his own home!— but he was mild and good; While to the door with eager speed they ran, Never on earth was gentler creature seen; From her bare straw the woman half upraised

He'd not have robbed the raven of its food. Her bony visage - gaunt and deadly wan;

My husband's loving kindness stood between No pity asking, on the group she gazed

Me and all worldly harms and wrongs however kero." With a dim eye, distracted and amazed; Then sank upon her straw with feeble moan. Fervently cried the housewife — "God be praised, Alas! the thing she told with labouring breath I have a house that I can call my own;

The sailor knew too well. That wickedness Nor shall she perish there, untended and alone !" His hand had wrought; and when, in the hour of death

He saw his wife's lips move his name to bless

With her last words, unable to suppress So in they bear her to the chimney seat,

His anguish, with his heart he ceased to strive; And busily, though yet with fear, untie

And, weeping loud in this extreme distress, Her garments, and, to warm her icy feet

He cried — “Do pity me! That thou shouldst live And chafe her temples, careful hands apply.

I neither ask nor wish — forgive me, but forgive!" Nature reviving, with a deep-drawn sigh She strove, and not in vain, her head to rear; Then said "I thank you all; if I must die,

To tell the change that voice within her wrought The God in heaven my prayers for you will hear;

Nature by sign or sound made no essay;
Till now I did not think my end had been so near.

A sudden joy surprised expiring thought,
And every mortal pang dissolved away.

Borne gently to a bed, in death she lay; “Barred every comfort labour could procure,

Yet still while over her the husband bent, Suffering what no endurance could assuage,

A look was in her face which seemed to say, I was compelled to seek my father's door,

“Be blest; by sight of thee from heaven was sent Though loth to be a burthen on his age.

Peace to my parting soul, the fulness of content."

LXIII.

LXLX.

LXIV.

LXX.

LXV.

LXXI.

1

Readers already acquainted with my Poems will recognise, in the

following composition, some eight or ten lines, which I have not She slept in peace, — his pulses throbbed and stopped,

scrupled to retain in the places where they originally stood. It is Breathless he gazed upon her face, – then took proper however to add, that they would not have been used else.

where, if I had foreseen the time when I might be induced to publish Her hand in bis, and raised it, but both dropped,

this Tragedy. When on his own he cast a rueful look.

February 28, 1842.
Mis ears were never silent; sleep forsook
His burning eyelids stretched and stiff as lead;

LXXII.

ti

LXXIII.

ACT I.
All night from time to time under him shook

SCENE, road in a Wood.
The filvor as he lay shuddering on his bed;
And oft he groaned aloud, “ O God, that I were dead!"

WALLACE and Lacy.

Lacy. The troop will be impatient; let us hie The soldier's widow lingered in the cot;

Back to our post, and strip the Scottish foray

Of their rich spoil, ere they recross the border.
And, when he rose, he thanked her pious care
Through which his wife, to that kind shelter brought,

- Pity that our young chief will have no part Died in his arms; and with those thanks a prayer

In this good service.
Wal.

Rather let us grieve
He breathed for her, and for that merciful pair.
The corse interred, not one hour he remained

That, in the undertaking which has caused
Beneath their roof, but to the open air

His absence, he hath sought, whate'er his aim, A burtben, now with fortitude sustained,

Companionship with one of crooked ways,
He bore within a breast where dreadful quiet reigned.

From whose perverted soul can come no good
To our confiding, open-hearted, leader.

Lacy. True; and, remembering how the band havi Confirmed of purpose, fearlessly prepared

proved Por act and suffering, to the city straight

That Oswald finds small favour in our sight, He journeyed, and forth with his crime declared : Well may we wonder he has gained such power " And from your doom,” he added, “now I wait, Over our much-loved captain. Nor let it linger long, the murderer's fate."

Wal.

I have heard
Not ineffectual was that piteous claim:

Of some dark deed to which in early life
"0) welcome sentence which will end though late," His passion drove him — then a voyager
He said, " the pangs that to my conscience came Upon the midland Sea. You knew his bearing
Out of that deed. My trust, Saviour! is in thy name!" In Palestine ?

Lacy. Where he despised alike
His fate was pitied. Him in iron case

Mohammedan and Christian. But enough; (Reader, forgive the intolerable thought)

Let us begone — the band may else be foiled. They hung not :— no one on his form or face

[E.ceune Could gaze, as on a show by idlers sought;

Enter MARMADUKE and WILFRED.
No kindred sufferer, to his death-place brought

Wil. Be cautious, my dear master!
Mar.

I perceive
That fear is like a cloak which old men huddle
About their love, as if to keep it warm.
Wil. Nay, but I grieve that we should part. This

stranger,

For such he is -
THE BORDERERS.

Mar.

Your busy fancies, Wilfred,
Might tempt me to a smile; but what of him?

Wil. You know that you have saved his life.
Mar.

I know it
Wil. And that he hates you ! - Pardon me, perhaps

That word was hasty.
Forester.

Mar.

Fy! no more of it.
ELDRED, a Peasant.
Peasant, Pilgrims, &c.

Wil. Dear master! gratitude 's a heavy burden
To a proud soul. — Nobody loves this Oswald.
Yourself, you do not love him.
Mar.

I do more,
I honour him. Strong feelings to his heart
Are natural; and from no one can be learnt
More of man's thoughts and ways than his experience
Has given him power to teach: and then for courage
And enterprise - what perils hath he shunned!

LXXIV.

By lawless curiosity or chance,
When into storm the evening sky is wrought,
Upon his swinging corse an eye can glance,
And drop, as he once dropped, in miserable trance.

a Tragedy.
(COMPOSED 1795–6.)*

DRAMATIS PERSONA.

MARLADORE

Of the band of

Borderers.

Mesut

IDONEA.
Wund Servanito MAMADUKE. Female Beggar.

ELEANOR, Wife to ELDRED.
Boeke, Borders of England and Scotland.

TINE, the Reign of Henry III.

* See Note 3

What obstacles hath he failed to overcome?

To make the proud and vain his tributaries,
Answer these questions, from our common knowledge, And stir the pulse of lazy charity.
And be at rest.

The seignories of Herbert are in Devon;
Wil.
Oh, Sir!

We, neighbours of the Esk and Tweed : 't is much
Mar.
Peace, my good Wilfred;

The Arch-impostorRepair to Liddesdale, and tell the band

Mar.

Treat him gently, Ofwald; I shall be with them in two days, at farthest.

Though I have never seen his face, methinks, Wil. May He whose eye is over all protect you ! There cannot come a day when I shall cease

[Exit. To love him. I remember, when a boy

Of scarcely seven years' growth, beneath the Elm Enter Oswald, (a bunch of plants in his hand.)

That casts its shade over our village school, Osw. This wood is rich in plants and curious simples. 'T was my delight to sit and hear Idonea Mar. (looking at them.) The wild rose, and the Repeat her father's terrible adventures, poppy, and the nightshade:

Till all the band of play-mates wept together; Which is your favourite, Oswald ?

And that was the beginning of my love. Osw.

That which, while it is And, through all converse of our later years, Strong to destroy, is also strong to heal —

An image of this old man still was present,

(Looking forward. When I had been most happy. Pardon me Not yet in sight! - We'll saunter here awhile; If this be idly spoken. They cannot mount the hill, by us unseen.

Osw.

See, they come, Mar. (a letter in his hand.) It is no common thing Two travellers ! when one like you

Mar. (points.) The woman is Idonea. Performs these delicate services, and therefore

Osw. And leading Herbert. I feel myself much bounden to you, Oswald;

Mar.

We must let them a *T is a strange letter this ! - You saw her write it? This thicket will conceal us. [They slep usn

Osw. And saw the tears with which she blotted it.
Mar. And nothing less would satisfy him?
Osw.

No less;

Enter IDONEA, leading HERBERT blind. For that another in his child's affection

Idon. Dear father, you sigh deeply; ever since Should hold a place, as if 't were robbery,

We left the willow shade by the brook-side, He seemed to quarrel with the very thought.

Your natural breathing has been troubled. Besides, I know not what strange prejudice

Her.

Nay, Is rooted in his mind; this band of ours,

You are too fearful; yet must I confess, Which you've collected for the noblest ends,

Our march of yesterday had better suited Along the confines of the Esk and Tweed

A firmer step than mine. To guard the innocent - he calls us “ Outlaws;"

Idon.

That dismal MoorAnd, for yourself, in plain terms he asserts

In spite of all the larks that cheered our path, This garb was taken up that indolence

I never can forgive it: but how steadily Might want no cover, and rapacity

You paced along, when the bewildering moonlight Be better fed.

Mocked me with many a strange fantastic stia pe !. Mar. Ne'er may I own the heart

I thought the convent never would appear; That cannot feel for one, helpless as he is.

It seemed to move away from us : and yet, Osw. Thou know'st me for a man not easily moved, That you are thus the fault is mine; for the air Yet was I grievously provoked to think

Was soft and warm, no dew lay on the grass,
Of what I witnessed.

And midway on the waste ere night had fallen
Mar.
This day will suffice

I spied a covert walled and roofed with sods-
To end her wrongs.

A miniature; belike some shepherd-boy, Osw.

But if the blind man's tale Who might have found a nothing-doing hour
Should yet be true?

Heavier than work, raised it: within that hut
Mar.
Would it were possible!

We might have made a kindly bed of heath,
Did not the soldier tell thee that himself,

And thankfully there rested side by side And others who survived the wreck, beheld

Wrapped in our cloaks, and, with recruited strength The Baron Herbert perish in the waves

Have hailed the morning sun. But cheerily, father Upon the coast of Cyprus ?

That staff of yours, I could almost have heart
Osw.
Yes, even so,

To fling't away from you: you make no use
And I had heard the like before: in sooth,

Of me, or of my strength; - come, let me feel The tale of this his quondam Barony

That you do press upon me. There - indeed Is cunningly devised; and, on the back

You are quite exhausted. Let us rest awhile Of his forlorn appearance, could not fail

| On this green bank.

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Her. Thy mother too!-scarce had I gained the door,
Her. (ofter some time.) Idonea, you are silent,

I caught her voice; she threw herself upon me,
And I divine the cause.
Idon.
Do not reproach me: I felt thy infant brother in her arms;

She saw my blasted face -a tide of soldiers
I pondered patiently your wish and will

That instant rushed between us, and I heard
When I gave way to your request; and now,
NY

Her last death-shriek, distinct among a thousand. When I behold the ruins of that face,

Idon. Nay, father, stop not; let me hear it all. Those eyeballs dark- dark beyond hope of light,

Her. Dear daughter! precious relic of that time And think that they were blasted for my sake,

age, it doth remain with thee The name of Marmaduke is blown away :

1

Clasping your infant daughter to your heart.

To make it what thou wilt. Thou hast been told, Father, I would not change that sacred feeling

That when, on our return from Palestine,
For all this world can give.
Her,
Nay, be composed :

I found how my domains had been usurped,

I took thee in my arms, and we began
Few minutes gone a faintness overspread
My frame, and I bethought me of two things

Our wanderings together. Providence
I ne'er had heart to separate - my grave,

At length conducted us to Rossland, — there,

Our melancholy story moved a stranger And thee, my child!

To take thee to her home and for myself, Idon.

Believe me, honoured sire ! "Tis weariness that breeds these gloomy fancies,

Soon after, the good Abbot of St. Cuthbert's

Supplied my helplessness with food and raiment, And you mistake the cause: you hear the woods Resound with music, could you see the sun,

And, as thou know'st, gave me that humble cot

Where now we dwell. — For many years I bore And took upon the pleasant face Nature Her. I comprehend thee - I should be as cheerful

Thy absence, till old age and fresh infirmities

Exacted thy return, and our reunion. As if we two were twins; two songsters bred

I did not think that, during that long absence, In the same nest, my spring-time one with thine.

My child, forgetful of the name of Herbert, My fancies, fancies if they be, are such

Had given her love to a wild freebooter, As corne, dear child! from a far deeper source

Who here, upon the borders of the Tweed, Than bodily weariness. While here we sit

Doth prey alike on two distracted coumtries, I feel my strength returning. The bequest

Traitor to both.
Of thy kind patroness, which to receive

Idon. Oh, could you hear his voice!
We have thus far adventured, will suffice
To save thee from the extreme of penury ;

I will not call on Heaven to vouch for me,
But when thy father must lie down and die,

But let this kiss speak what is in my heart.
How wilt thou stand alone?

Enter a Peasant.
Idon.
Is he not strong ?

Pea. Good morrow, strangers! If you want a guide, Is be not valiant?

Let me have leave to serve you !
Her.
Am I then so soon

Idon.

My companion
Forgotten? have my warnings passed so quickly Hath need of rest; the sight of hut or hostel
Out of thy mind? My dear, my only child;

Would be most welcome.
Thou wouldst be leaning on a broken reed

Pea.

Yon white hawthorn gained, This Marmaduke

You will look down into a dell, and there Idon.

O could you hear his voice: Will see an ash from which a sign-board hangs; Alas! you do not know him. He is one

The house is hidden by the shade. Old man, ( I wat tot what ill tongue has wronged him with you) You seem worn out with travel — shall I support you ? All gentleness and love. His face bespeaks

| Her. I thank you; but, a resting-place so near, A deep and simple meekness: and that soul,

’T were wrong to trouble you. Which with the motion of a virtuous act

Pea.

God speed you both. Flashes a look of terror upon guilt,

[Exit Peasant. Is , after conflict, quiet as the ocean,

Her. Idonea, we must part. Be not alarmed – By a miraculous finger, stilled at once.

'Tis but for a few days — a thought has struck me. Her. Cubappy woman!

Idon. That I should leave you at this house, and thence Nay, it was my duty

Proceed alone. It shall be so; for strength T'hus much to speak; but think not I forget —

Would fail you ere our journey's end be reached. Dear father! how could I forget and live

[Exit HERBERT, supported by IDONEA. You and the story of that doleful night When , Antioch blazing to her topmost towers,

Re-enter MARMADUKE and Oswald. You rushed into the murderous flames, returned

Mar. This instant will we stop him Mind as the grave, but, as you oft have told me,

Osw.

Be not hasty, For, sometimes, in despite of my conviction,

Idon.

Ile tempted me to think the story true;

Hovering round Herbert's door, a man whose figure 'T is plain he loves the maid, and what he said

Resembled much that cold voluptuary, That savoured of aversion to thy name

The villain, Clifford. He hates you, and he knows

Where he can stab you deepest. Appeared the genuine colour of his soul —

Mar.

Clifford never Anxiety lest mischief should befal her After his death.

Would stoop to skulk about a cottage door Mar. I have been much deceived.

It could not be. Osw. But sure he loves the maiden, and never love

Osw. And yet I now remember, Could find delight to nurse itself so strangely,

That, when your praise was warm upon my tongue, Thus to torment her with inventions ! -death And the blind man was told how you had rescued

A maiden from the ruffian violence
There must be truth in this.
Mar.
Truth in his story!

Of this same Clifford, he became impatient
He must have felt it then, known what it was,

And would not hear me.
Mar.

No- it cannot be
And in such wise to rack her gentle heart
Had been a tenfold cruelty.

I dare not trust myself with such a thought -
Osw.
Strange pleasures

Yet whence this strange aversion? You are a man

Not used rash conjectures Do we poor mortals cater for ourselves!

Osw.

If To see him thus provoke her tenderness

you

deem it With tales of weakness and infirmity!

no-no-no

A thing worth further notice, we must act I'd wager on his life for twenty years.

With caution, sift the matter artfully. Mar. We will not waste an hour in such a cause.

[Exeunt MARMADUKE and OSWALD. Osw. Why, this is noble! shake her off at once.

Mar. Her virtues are his instruments. - A man Who has so practised on the world's cold sense,

SCENE, the door of the Hostel. May well deceive his child — what! leave her thus,

HERBERT, IDONEA, and Host. A prey to a deceiver ? 'Tis but a word and then

Her. (seated.) As I am dear to you, remember, child! Osw. Something is here

This last request. More than we see, or whence this strong aversion ?

Idon.

You know me, sire; farewell! Marmaduke! I suspect unworthy tales

Her. And are you going then? Come, come, Idonea, Have reached his ear - you have had enemies. We must not part, - I have measured many a league Mar. Enemies ! - of his own coinage.

When these old limbs had need of rest, - and now Osw.

That

I will not play the sluggard. But wherefore slight protection such as you

Idon.

Nay, sit down.
Have power to yield ? perhaps he looks elsewhere. –
I am perplexed.

Good host, such tendance as you would expect
Mar.
What hast thou heard or seen?

From your own children, if yourself were sick, Osw. No- no - the thing stands clear of mystery; Let this old man find at your hands; poor Leader, (As you have said) he coins himself the slander

(Looking at the dog. With which he taints her ear; for a plain reason;

We soon shall meet again. If thou neglect He dreads the presence of a virtuous man

This charge of thine, then ill befal thee!-Look, Like you; he knows your eye would search his heart,

The little fool is loth to stay behind. Your justice stamp upon his evil deeds

Sir Host! by all the love you bear to courtesy, The punishment they merit. All is plain:

Take care of him, and feed the truant well. It cannot be

Host. Fear not, I will obey you; — but one so young Mar. What cannot be ?

And one so fair, it goes against my heart Osw.

Yet that a father

That you should travel unattended, lady! Should in his love admit no rivalship,

I have a palfrey and a groom : the lad And torture thus the heart of his own child

Shall squire you, (would it not be better, sir ?)

And for less fee than I would let him run Mar. Nay, you abuse my friendship!

For any lady I have seen this twelvemonth. Osw.

Heaven forbid !

Idon. You know, sir, I have been too long your guarů There was a circumstance, trifling indeed

Not to have learnt to laugh at little fears.
It struck me at the time — yet I believe

Why, if a wolf should leap from out a thicket,
I never should have thought of it again
But for the scene which we by chance have witnessed. Unless I differ from the thing I am

A look of mine would send him scouring back,
Mar. What is your meaning ?

When you are by my side.
Osu.

Two days gone I saw,
Her.

Idonea, wolves l'hough at a distance and he was disguised,

Are not the enemies that move my fears.

may be,

[Turning to Hiet.

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