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WILFRID on Bertram should attend, But loved the quiet joys that wake
In Deepdale's solitude to lie,
Where all is cliff and copse and sky;
The enthusiast could no more sustain, What, Oswald Wycliffe, shields thee And sad he sunk to earth again.
Preserved in Stanmore's lonely dell;
He loved-his soul did nature frame But, if it were, weak fence were thine ; For love, and fancy nursed the flame; And, trust me, that, in time of need, Vainly he loved-for seldom swain This hand hath done more desperate Of such soft mould is loved again ; deed.
Silent he loved-in every gaze
His brethren all, their father's pride.
Wilfrid is now the only heir
And destined, darkling, to pursue
Ambition's maze by Oswald's clue.
The secret empress of his breast; No touch of childhood's frolic mood To woo her was a harder task Show'd the elastic spring of blood ; To one that durst not hope or ask. Hour after hour he loved to pore
Yet all Matilda could, she gave On Shakspeare's rich and varied lore, In pity to her gentle slave; But turn’d from martial scenes and light, Friendship, esteem, and fair regard, From Falstaff's feast and Percy's fight, And praise, the poet's best reward ! To ponder Jacques' moral strain, She read the tales his taste approved, And muse with Hamlet, wise in vain ; And sung the lays he framed or loved ; And weep himself to soft repose Yet, loath to nurse the fatal flame O'er gentle Desdemona's woes.
Of hopeless love in friendship's name,
In kind caprice she oft withdrew xxv.
The favouring glance to friendship due, In youth he sought not pleasures found Then grieved to see her victim's pain, By youth in horse, and hawk, and hound, And gave the dangerous smiles again.
XXVIII. So did the suit of Wilfrid stand, When war's loud summons waked the
land. Three banners, floating o'er the Tees, The wo-foreboding peasant sees; In concert oft they braved of old The bordering Scot's incursion bold : Frowning defiance in their pride, Their vassals now and lords divide. From his fair hall on Greta banks, The Knight of Rokeby led his ranks, To aid the valiant northern Earls, Who drew the sword for royal Charles. Mortham, by marriage near allied, His sister had been Rokeby's bride, Though long before the civil fray, In peaceful grave the lady lay, — Philip of Mortham raised his band, And march'd at Fairfax's command; While Wycliffe, bound by many a train Of kindred art with wily Vane, Less prompt to brave the bloody field, Made Barnard's battlements his shield, Secured them with his Lunedale powers, And for the Commons held the towers.
XXIX. The lovely heir of Rokeby's Knight Waits in his halls the event of fight; For England's war rever'd the claim Of every unprotected name, And spared, amid its fiercest rage, Childhood and womanhood and age. But Wilfrid, son to Rokeby's foe, Must the dear privilege forego, By Greta's side, in evening grey, To steal upon Matilda's way, Striving, with fond hypocrisy, For careless step and vacant eye ; Calming each anxious look and glance, To give the meeting all to chance, Or framing as a fair excuse, The book, the pencil, or the muse ; Something to give, to sing, to say, Some modern tale, some ancient lay. Then, while the long'd-for minutes last Ah ! minutes quickly over-past ! Recording each expression free, Of kind or careless courtesy, Each friendly look, each softer tone, As food for fancy when alone.
All this is o'er-but still, unseen,
XXXI. Woe to the youth whom Fancy gains, Winning from Reason's hand the reins, Pity and woe! for such a mind Is soft, contemplative, and kind; And woe to those who train such youth, And spare to press the rights of truth, The mind to strengthen and anneal, While on the stithy glows the steel ! O teach him, while your lessons last, To judge the present by the past; Remind him of each wish pursued, How rich it glow'd with promised good; Remind him of each wish enjoy'd, How soon his hopes possession cloy'd !
The manly oak, the pensive yew,
cheer“No, noble Wilfrid ! ere the day When mourns the land thy silent lay, Shall many a wreath be freely wove By hand of friendship and of love. I would not wish that rigid Fate Had doom'd thee to a captive's state, Whose hands are bound by honour's law, Who wears a sword he must not draw; But were it so, in minstrel pride The land together would we ride, On prancing steeds, like harpers old, Bound for the halls of barons bold, Each lover of the lyre we'd seek, From Michael's Mount to Skiddaw's
Survey wild Albin's mountain strand,
xv. “But,” said Matilda, "ere thy name, Good Redmond, gain its destined fame, Say, wilt thou kindly deign to call Thy brother-minstrel to the hall ? Bid all the household, too, attend, Each in his rank a humble friend; I know their faithful hearts will grieve, When their poor Mistress takes her leave; So let the horn and beaker flow To mitigate their parting woe.” The harper came ;--in youth's first prime Himself; in mode of olden time His garb was fashion'd, to express The ancient English minstrel's dress, A seemly gown of Kendal green, With gorget closed of silver sheen ; His harp in silken scarf was slung, And by his side an anlace hung. It seem'd some masquer's quaint array, For revel or for holiday.
XVI. He made obeisance with a free Yet studied air of courtesy. Each look and accent, framed to please, Seem'd to affect a playful ease ; His face was of thât doubtful kind, That wins the eye, but not the mind; Yet harsh it seem'd to deem amiss Of brow so young and smooth as this. His was the subtle look and sly, That, spying all, seems nought to spy; Round all the group his glances stole, Unmark'd themselves, to mark the whole.
* Drummond of Hawthornden was in the zenith of his reputation as a poet during the Civil Wars. He died in 1649.
What prospects, from his watch-tower
high, Gleam gradual on the warder's eye !Far sweeping to the east, he sees Down his deep woods the course of Tees, And tracks his wanderings by the steam Of summer vapours from the stream; And ere he paced his destined hour By Brackenbury's dungeon-tower, These silver mists shall melt away, And dew the woods with glittering spray. Then in broad lustre shall be shown That mighty trench of living stone, And each huge trunk that, from the side, Reclines him o'er the darksome tide, Where Tees, full many a fathom low, Wears with his rage no common foe; For pebbly bank, nor sand-bed here, Nor clay-mound, checks his fierce career, Condemn'd to mine a channell's way, O'er solid sheets of marble grey.
III. Nor Tees alone, in dawning bright, Shall rush upon the ravish'd sight; But many a tributary stream Each from its own dark dell shall gleam : Staindrop, who, from her silvan bowers, Salutes proud Raby's battled towers ; The rural brook of Egliston, And Balder, named from Odin's son ; And Greta, to whose banks ere long We lead the lovers of the song ; And silver Lune, from Stanmore wild, And fairy Thorsgill's murmuring child, And last and least, but loveliest still, Romantic Deepdale's slender rill. Who in that dim-wood glen hath stray'd, Yet long'd for Roslin's magic glade ?
Who, wandering there, hath sought to
change Even for that vale so stern and strange, Where Cartland's Crags, fantastic rent, Through her green copse like spires are
sent? Yet, Albin, yet the praise be thine, Thy scenes and story to combine ! Thou bid'st him, who by Roslin strays, List to the deeds of other days; 'Mid Cartland's Crays thou show'st the
cave, The refuge of thy champion brave ;* Giving each rock its storied tale, Pouring a lay for every dale, Knitting, as with a moral band, Thy native legends with thy land, To lend each scene the interest high Which genius beams from Beauty's eye.
IV. Bertram awaited not the sight Which sun-rise shows from Barnard's
height, But from the towers, preventing day, With Wilfrid took his early way, While misty dawn, and moonbeam pale, Still mingled in the silent dale. By Barnard's bridge of stately stone, The southern bank of Tees they won; Their winding path then eastward cast, And Egliston's gray ruins pass'd; Each on his own deep visions bent, Silent and sad they onward went. Well may you think that Bertram's mood, To Wilfrid savage seem'd and rude; Well may you think bold Risingham Held Wilfrid trivial, poor, and tame; And small the intercourse, I ween, Such uncongenial souls between.
v. Stern Bertram shunn'd the nearer way, Through Rokeby's park and chase that
lay, And, skirting high the valley's ridge, They cross'd by Greta's ancient bridge. Descending where her waters wind Free for a space and unconfined,
* Sir William Wallace is traditionally believed to have frequently taken shelter amid the secluded recesses of Cartland Crags, near Lanark.
Then paused amid the martial sound,
And, with your honour'd leave, would fain
Even when the crisis of its fate * Alas !" Matilda said, “that strain,
To human eye seems desperate. Good Harper, now is heard in vain !
While Rokeby's Heir such power retains, The time has been, at such a sound,
Let this slight guerdon pay thy pains :When Rokeby's vassals gather'd round,
And, lend thy harp; I fain would try An hundred manly hearts would bound;
If my poor skill can aught supply, But now, the stirring verse we hear,
Ere yet I leave my fathers' hall, Like trump in dying soldier's ear!
To mourn the cause in which we fall." Listless and sad the notes we own,
XXII. The power to answer them is flown. Yet not without his meet applause The harper, with a downcast look, Be he that sings the rightful cause, And trembling hand, her bounty took.