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The lowest dungeon, in that hour, Of Brackenbury's dismal tower, Had been his choice, could such a doom Have open'd Mortham's bloody tomb ! Forced, too, to turn unwilling ear To each surmise of hope or fear, Murmur'd among the rustics round, Who gather'd at the 'larum sound; He dared not turn his head away, E'en to look up to heaven to pray, Or call on hell, in bitter mood, For one sharp death-shot from the wood !
XXIX. At length o'erpast that dreadful space, Back straggling came the scatter'd chase; Jaded and weary, horse and man, Return'd the troopers, one by one. Wilfrid, the last, arrived to say, All trace was lost of Bertram's way, Though Redmond still, up Brignall wood, The hopeless quest in vain pursued. – O, fatal doom of human race ! What tyrant passions passions chase ! Remorse from Oswald's brow is gone, Avarice and pride resume their throne ; The pang of instant terror by, They dictate thus their slave's reply :
XXX. “Ay-let him range like hasty hound ! And if the grim wolf's lair be found, Small is my care how goes the game With Redmond, or with Risingham. -Nay, answer not, thou simple boy! Thy fair Matilda, all so coy To thee, is of another mood To that bold youth of Erin's blood. Thy ditties will she freely praise, And pay thy pains with courtly phrase ; In a rough path will oft commandAccept at least-thy friendly hand; His she avoids, or, urged and pray'd, Unwilling takes his proffer'd aid, While conscious passion plainly speaks In downcast look and blushing cheeks. Whene'er he sings, will she glide nigh, And all her soul is in her eye ; Yet doubts she still to tender free The wonted words of courtesy. These are strong signs !-yet wherefore
sigh, And wipe, effeminate, thine eye ?
Thine shall she be, if thou attend
XXXI. “ Scarce wert thou gone, when peep of
light Brought genuine news of Marston's fight. Brave Cromwell turn'd the doubtful tide, And conquest bless'd the rightful side ; Three thousand cavaliers lie dead, Rupert and that bold Marquis fled ; Nobles and knights, so proud of late, Must fine for freedom and estate. Of these, committed to my charge, Is Rokeby, prisoner at large; Redmond, his page, arrived to say He reaches Barnard's towers to-day. Right heavy shall his ransom be, Unless that maid compound with thee! Go to her now-be bold of cheer, While her soul floats'twixt hope and fear; It is the very change of tide, When best the female heart is triedPride, prejudice, and modesty, Are in the current swept to sea ; And the bold swain, who plies his oar, May lightly row his bark to shore." CANTO THIRD.
I. The hunting tribes of air and earth Respect the brethren of their birth; Nature, who loves the claim of kind, Less cruel chase to each assign'd. The falcon, poised on soaring wing, Watches the wild-duck by the spring ; The slow-hound wakes the fox's lair; The greyhound presses on the hare; The eagle pounces on the lamb; The wolf devours the fleecy dam : Even tiger fell, and sullen bear, Their likeness and their lineage spare ; Man, only, mars kind Nature's plan, And turns the fierce pursuit on man ; Plying war's desultory trade, Incursion, flight, and ambuscade, Since Nimrod, Cush's mighty son, At first the bloody game begun.
The Indian, prowling for his prey, Who hears the settlers track his way,
And knows in distant forest far
III. Oft had he shown, in climes afar, Each attribute of roving war; The sharpen'd ear, the piercing eye, The quick resolve in danger nigh; The speed, that in the flight or chase, Outstripp'd the Charib's rapid race; The steady brain, the sinewy limb, To leap, to climb, to dive, to swim ; The iron frame, inured to bear Each dire inclemency of air, Nor less confirm'd to undergo Fatigue's faint chill, and famine's throe. These arts he proved, his life to save, In peril oft by land and wave, On Arawaca's desert shore, Or where La Plata's billows roar, When oft the sons of vengeful Spain Track'd the marauder's steps in vain. These arts, in Indian warfare tried, Must save him now by Greta's side.
IV. 'Twas then, in hour of utmost need, He proved his courage, art, and speed. Now slow he stalk'd with stealthy pace, Now started forth in rapid race, Oft doubling back in mazy train, To blind the trace the dews retain ; Now clombe the rocks projecting high, To baffle the pursuer's eye ;
Now sought the stream, whose brawling
sound The echo of his footsteps drown'd. But if the forest verge he nears, There trample steeds, and glimmer
spears ; If deeper down the copse he drew, He heard the rangers' loud halloo, Beating each cover while they came, As if to start the silvan game. 'Twas then-like tiger close beset At every pass with toil and net, 'Counter'd, where'er he turns his glare, By clashing arms and torches' flare, Who meditates, with furious bound, To burst on hunter, horse, and hound, 'Twas then that Bertram's soul arose, Prompting to rush upon his foes : But as that crouching tiger, cow'd By brandish'd steel and shouting crowd, Retreats beneath the jungle's shroud, Bertram suspends his purpose stern, And crouches in the brake and fern, Hiding his face, lest foemen spy The sparkle of his swarthy eye.
v. Then Bertram might the bearing trace Of the bold youth who led the chase; Who paused to list for every sound, Climb' every height to look around, Then rushing on with naked sword, Each dingle's bosky depths explored. 'Twas Redmond-by the azure eye ; 'Twas Redmond-by the locks that fly Disorder'd from his glowing cheek ; Mien, face, and form, young Redmond
speak. A form more active, light, and strong, Ne'er shot the ranks of war along; The modest, yet the manly mien, Might grace the court of maiden queen; A face more fair you well might find, For Redmond's knew the sun and wind, Nor boasted, from their tinge when free, The charm of regularity; But every feature had the power To aid the expression of the hour : Whether gay wit, and humour sly, Danced laughing in his light blue eye ; Or bended brow, and glance of fire, And kindling cheek, spoke Erin's ire ;
Or soft and sadden'd glances show
prove Even when they dare not call it love ; With every change his features play'd, As aspens show the light and shade.
Well Risingham young Redmond knew :
“Redmond O'Neale ! were thou and I
VIII. He listen'd long with anxious heart, Ear bent to hear, and foot to start, And, while his stretch'd attention glows, Refused his weary frame repose. 'Twas silence all -- he laid him down, Where purple heath profusely strown, And throatwort with its azure bell, And moss and thyme his cushion swell. There, spent with toil, he listless eyed The course of Greta's playful tide ; Beneath, her banks now eddying dun, Now brightly gleaming to the sun, As, dancing over rock and stone, In yellow light her currents shone, Matching in hue the favourite gem Of Albin's mountain-diadem. Then, tired to watch the currents play, He turned his weary eyes away, To where the bank opposing show'd Its huge, square cliffs through shaggy
wood. One, prominent above the rest, Rear'a to the sun its pale grey breast ; Around its broken summit grew The hazel rude, and sable yew ; A thousand varied lichens dyed Its waste and weather-beaten side, And round its rugged basis lay, By time or thunder rent away, Fragments, that, from its frontlet torn, Were mantled now by verdant thorn. Such was the scene's wild majesty, That fill'd stern Bertram's gazing eye.
Then plunged him from his gloomy train In sullen mood he lay reclined,
Of ill-connected thoughts again, Revolving, in his stormy mind,
Until a voice behind him cried, The felon deed, the fruitless guilt,
“Bertram ! well met on Greta side." His patron's blood by treason spilt; A crime, it seem'd, so dire and dread,
Yet, dubious still, opposed he stood
Whether thou comest as friend or foe. Revenge on Wilfrid on his sire
Report hath said, that Denzil's name Redoubled vengeance, swift and dire !
From Rokeby's band was razed with If, in such mood, (as legends say,
shame." And well believed that simple day,) “A shame I owe that hot O'Neale, The Enemy of Man has power
Who told his knight, in peevish zeal, To profit by the evil hour,
Of my marauding on the clowns Here stood a wretch, prepared to change Of Calverley and Bradford downs. His soul's redemption for revenge ! I reck not. In a war to strive, But though his vows, with such a fire Where, save the leaders, none can thrive, Of earnest and intense desire
Suits ill my mood; and better game For vengeance dark and fell, were made, Awaits us both, if thou'rt the same As well might reach hell's lowest shade, Unscrupulous, bold Risingham, No deeper clouds the grove embrown'd, Who watch'd with me in midnight dark, No nether thunders shook the ground; To snatch a deer from Rokeby-park. The demon knew his vassal's heart, How think'st thou ?"-"Speak thy purAnd spared temptation's needless art.
pose out ;
I love not mystery or doubt.”-
“Then list.-Not far there lurk a crew That very Mortham whom he slew ? Of trusty comrades, stanch and true, Or had in living flesh appear'd
Glean'd from both factions—RoundThe only man on earth he fear'd ?
heads, freed To try the mystic cause intent,
From cant of sermon and of creed ; His eyes, that on the cliff were bent, And Cavaliers, whose souls, like mine, 'Counter'd at once a dazzling glance, Spurn at the bonds of discipline. Like sunbeam flash'd from sword or lance. Wiser, we judge, by dale and wold, At once he started as for fight,
A warfare of our own to hold, But not a foeman was in sight;
Than breathe our last on battle-down, He heard the cushat's murmur hoarse, For cloak or surplice, mace or crown. He heard the river's sounding course ; Our schemes, are laid, our purpose set, The solitary woodlands lay,
A chief and leader lack we yet.-As slumbering in the summer ray. Thou art a wanderer, it is said; He gazed, like lion roused, around, For Mortham's death, thy steps way. Then sunk again upon the ground.
laid, 'Twas but, he thought, some fitful beam, Thy head at price--so say our spies, Glanced sudden from the sparkling stream; Who range the valley in disguise.
And now I can interpret well
Malignant to our rightful cause,
strong : "My proofs ! I never will,' he said, ‘Show mortal man where they are laid. Nor hope discovery to foreclose, By giving me to feed the crows; For
I have mates at large, who know Where I am wont such toys to stow. Free me from peril and from band, These tablets are at thy command ; Nor were it hard to form some train, To wile old Mortham o'er the main. Then, lunatic's nor papist's hand Should wrest from thine the goodly
glade, That he descried our ambuscade.) I was dismissed 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 His noble kinsman's generous mind,