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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.
“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
“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;
A sudden joy surprised expiring thought,
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."
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.
SCENE, road in a Wood.
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.
- Pity that our young chief will have no part Died in his arms; and with those thanks a prayer
In this good service.
Rather let us grieve
That, in the undertaking which has caused
His absence, he hath sought, whate'er his aim, A burtben, now with fortitude sustained,
Companionship with one of crooked ways,
From whose perverted soul can come no good
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."
I have heard
Of some dark deed to which in early life
Lacy. Where he despised alike
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.
Wil. Be cautious, my dear master!
For such he is -
Your busy fancies, Wilfred,
Wil. You know that you have saved his life.
I know it
That word was hasty.
Fy! no more of it.
Wil. Dear master! gratitude 's a heavy burden
I do more,
By lawless curiosity or chance,
Of the band of
ELEANOR, Wife to ELDRED.
TINE, the Reign of Henry III.
* See Note 3
What obstacles hath he failed to overcome?
To make the proud and vain his tributaries,
The seignories of Herbert are in Devon;
We, neighbours of the Esk and Tweed : 't is much
The Arch-impostorRepair to Liddesdale, and tell the band
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.
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;
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.
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
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;"
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,
And midway on the waste ere night had fallen
I spied a covert walled and roofed with sods-
A miniature; belike some shepherd-boy, Osw.
But if the blind man's tale Who might have found a nothing-doing hour
Heavier than work, raised it: within that hut
We might have made a kindly bed of heath,
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
To fling't away from you: you make no use
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.
(Ile siis do
Her. Thy mother too!-scarce had I gained the door,
I caught her voice; she threw herself upon me,
She saw my blasted face -a tide of soldiers
That instant rushed between us, and I heard
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 :
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,
I found how my domains had been usurped,
I took thee in my arms, and we began
Our wanderings together. Providence
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.
Idon. Oh, could you hear his voice!
I will not call on Heaven to vouch for me,
But let this kiss speak what is in my heart.
Enter a Peasant.
Pea. Good morrow, strangers! If you want a guide, Is be not valiant?
Let me have leave to serve you !
Would be most welcome.
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
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,
Be not hasty, For, sometimes, in despite of my conviction,
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 —
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
Of this same Clifford, he became impatient
And would not hear me.
No- it cannot be
I dare not trust myself with such a thought -
Yet whence this strange aversion? You are a man
Not used rash conjectures Do we poor mortals cater for ourselves!
If To see him thus provoke her tenderness
deem it With tales of weakness and infirmity!
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 ?
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.
I will not play the sluggard. But wherefore slight protection such as you
Nay, sit down.
Good host, such tendance as you would expect
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.
Why, if a wolf should leap from out a thicket,
A look of mine would send him scouring back,
When you are by my side.
Two days gone I saw,
Idonea, wolves l'hough at a distance and he was disguised,
Are not the enemies that move my fears.
[Turning to Hiet.