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XV.

XIV.

Thus, from their childhood, blending | From such examples hope he drew, still

And brighten'd as the trumpet blew. Their sport, their study, and their skill, A union of the soul they prove, But must not think that it was love. If brides were won by heart and blade, But though they dared not, envious | Redmond had both his cause to aid, Fame

And all beside of nurture rare Soon dared to give that union name; That might besecm a baron's heir. And when so often, side by side, Turlough O'Neale, in Erin's strife, From year to year the pair she eyed, On Rokeby's Lord bestow'd his life, She sometimes blamed the good old And well did Rokeby's generous Knight,

knight As dull of ear and dim of sight, Young Redmond for the deed requite. Sometimes his purpose would declare, i Nor was his liberal care and cost That young O'Neale should wed his Upon the gallant stripling lost : heir.

Seek the North-Riding broadandwide,
Like Redmond none could steed

bestride; The suit of Wilfrid rent disguise From Tynemouth search to CumberAnd bandage from the lovers' eyes;

land, 'Twas plain that Oswald, for his son, Like Redmond none could wield a Had Rokeby's favour wellnigh won.

brand; Now must they meet with change of And then, of humour kind and free, cheer,

And bearing him to each degree With mutual looks of shame and fear; ¡ With frank and fearless courtesy, Now must Matilda stray apart, There never youth was form'd to steal To school her disobedient heart: Upon the heart like brave O'Neale, And Redmond now alone must rue The love he never can subdue. But factions rose, and Rokeby sware, Sir Richard loved him as his son; No rebel's son should wed his heir; And when the days of peace were And Redmond, nurtured while a child done, In many a bard's traditions wild, And to the gales of war he gave Now sought the lonelywood or stream, The banner of his sires to wave, To cherish there a happier dream, Redmond, distinguish'd by his care, Of maiden won by sword or lance, He chose that honour'd flag to bear, As in the regions of romance; And named his page, the next degree, And count the heroes of his line, In that old time, to chivalry. Great Nial of the Pledges Nine, In five pitch'd fields he well maintain'd Shane-Dymas wild, and Geraldine, The honour'd place his worth obtain'd, And Connan-More, who vow'd his race And high was Redmond's youthful For ever to the fight and chase, And cursed him, of his lineage born, Blazed in the roll of martial fame. Should sheathe the sword to reap the Had fortune smiled on Marston fight, corn,

The eve had seen him dubb'd a knight; Or leave the mountain and the wold, | Twice, 'mid the battle's doubtful strife, To shroud himself in castled hold. 1 Of Rokeby's Lord he saved the lifc,

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name

XVIII.

But when he saw him prisoner made,
He kiss'd and then resign’d his blade, 'I need not to my friends recall,
And yielded him an easy prey

How Mortham shunn'd my father's To those who led the Knight away;

hall; Resolved Matilda's sire should prove | A man of silence and of woe, In prison, as in fight, his love. Yet ever anxious to bestow

On my poor self whate'er could XVII.

prove When lovers meet in adverse hour, A kinsman's confidence and love. 'Tis like a sun-glimpse through a My feeble aid could sometimes chase shower,

The clouds of sorrow for a space : A wat’ry ray an instant seen

But oftener, fix'd beyond my power, The darkly closing clouds between. I mark'd his deep despondence lower. As Redmond on the turf reclined, One dismal cause, by all unguess'd, The past and present fill'd his mind: His fearful confidence confess'd ;

It was not thus,' Affection said, And twice it was my hap to see "I dream'd of my return, dear maid! Examples of that agony, Not thus, when, from thy trembling Which for a season can o'erstrain hand,

And wreck the structure of the brain. I took the banner and the brand, He had the awful power to know When round me, as the bugles blew, The approaching mental overthrow, Their blades three hundred warriors And while his mind had courage yet drew,

To struggle with the dreadful fit, And, while the standard I unrolld, The victim writhed against its throes, Clash'd their bright arms, with clamour Like wretch beneath a murderer's bold.

blows. Where is that banner now?-its pride This malady, I well could mark, Lies 'whelm'd in Ouse's sullen tide! Sprung from some direful cause and Where now these warriors ?-in their

dark; gore,

But still he kept its source conceal'd, They cumber Marston's dismal moor! Till arming for the civil field; And what avails a useless brand, Then in my charge he bade me hold Held by a captive's shackled hand, A treasure huge of gems and gold, That only would his life retain, With this disjointed dismal scroll, To aid thy sire to bear his chain !' That tells the secret of his soul, Thus Redmond to himself apart;

In such wild words as oft betray Nor lighter was his rival's heart; A mind by anguish forced astray.'— For Wilfrid, while his generous soul Disdain'd to profit by control, By many a sign could mark too

MORTHAM'S HISTORY. plain,

* Matilda ! thou hast seen me start, Save with such aid, his hopes were As if a dagger thrill'd my heart, vain.

When it has hap'd some casual phrase But now Matilda's accents stole Waked memory of my former days. On the dark visions of their soul, Believe, that few can backward cast And bade their mournful musing fly, Their thoughts with pleasure on the Like mist before the zephyr's sigh.

past ;

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But I !-my youth was rash and vain, So kind, that, from its harmless glee, And blood and rage my manhood stain, The wretch misconstrued villany. And my grey hairs must now descend Repulsed in his presumptuous love, To my cold grave without a friend ! A Ävengeful snare the traitor wove. Even thou, Matilda, wilt disown Alone we sat-the flask had flow'd, Thy kinsman, when his guilt is known. My blood with heat unwonted glow'd, And must I lift the bloody veil When through the alley'd walk we That hides my dark and fatal tale ?

spied I must- I will-- Pale phantom, cease! With hurried step my Edith glide, Leave me one little hour in peace! Cowering bencath the verdant screen, Thus haunted, think'st thou I have skill As one unwilling to be seen. Thine own commission to fulfil ? Words cannot paint the fiendish smile Or, while thou point'st with gesture Thatcurl'd the traitor's cheekthe while! fierce,

Fiercely I question'd of the cause; Thy blighted cheek, thy bloody hearse, He made a cold and artful pause, How can I paint thee as thou wert, Then pray'd it might not chafe my So fair in face, so warm in heart?

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mood“There was a gallant in the wood !"

We had been shooting at the deer; “Yes, she was fair!—Matilda, thou My cross-bow 'evil chance!, was near: Hast a soft sadness on thy brow; That ready weapon of my wrath But hers was like the sunny glow I caught, and, hasting up the path, That laughs on earth and all below! In the yew grove my wife I found, We wedded secret—there was need A stranger's arms her neck had bound! Differing in country and in creed; I mark'd his heart-the bow I drewAnd, when to Mortham's tower she I loosed the shaft-'twas more than came,

true! We mention'd not her race and name, I found my Edith's dying charms Until thy sire, who fought afar, Lock'din her murder'd brother's arms! Should turn him home from foreign He came in secret to inquire war,

Her state, and reconcile her sire. On whose kind influence we relied To soothe her father's ire and pride.

XXII. Few months we lived retired, unknown, * All fled my rage—the villain first, To all but one dear friend alone, Whose craft my jealousy had nursed; One darling friend--I spare his shame, He sought in far and foreign clime I will not write the villain's name! To 'scape the vengeance of his crime. My trespasses I might forget,

The manner of the slaughter done And sue in vengeance for the debt Was known to few, my guilt to none; Due by a brother worm to me, Some tale my faithfulsteward framed-. Ungrateful to God's clemency, I know not what—of shaft mis-aim'd; That spared me penitential time, Andeven from those the act who knew, Nor cut me off amid my crime. He hid the hand from which it flow.

Untouch'd by human laws I stood, xxi.

But God had heard the cry of blood ! A kindly smile to all she lent, There is a blank upon my mind, But on her husband's friend 'twas bent. A fearful vision ill-defined,

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Of raving till my flesh was torn,
Of dungeon-bolts and fetters worn - I heard- obey'd-and homeward
And when I waked to woe more mild, drew;
And question d of my infant child The fiercest of our desperate crew
(Have I not written, that she bare I brought, at time of need to aid
A boy, like summer morning fair?) My purposed vengeance, long delay'd.
With looks confused my menials tell, But, humble be my thanks to Heaven,
That armed men in Mortham dell That better hopes and thoughts has
Beset the nurse's evening way,

given,
And bore her, with her charge, away. And by our Lord's dear prayer has
My faithless friend, and none but he, taught,
Could profit by this villany;

Mercy by mercy must be bought ! Him, then, I sought, with purpose dread Let me in misery rejoiceOf treble vengeance on his head! I've seen his face-I've heard his He'scaped me—but my bosom's wound

voiceSome faint relieffrom wandering found; ' I claim'd of him my only child; And over distant land and sea

As he disown'd the theft, he smiled! I bore my load of misery.

That very calm and callous look,
That fiendish sncer his visage took,

As when he said, in scornful mood,
''Twas then that fate my footsteps led “There is a gallant in the wood!"-
Among a daring crew and dread, I did not slay him as he stood -
With whom full oft my hated life All praise be to my Maker given !
I ventured in such desperate strife, | Long suffrance is one path to Heaven.'
That even my fierce associates saw

xxv. My frantic deeds with doubt and awe.

Thus far the woful tale was heard, Much then I learn'd, and much can When something in the thicket stirr d. show,

Up Redmond sprung; the villain Guy Of human guilt and human woe, (For he it was that lurk'd so nigh) Yet ne'er have, in my wanderings, Drew back—he durst not cross his steel known

A moment's space with brave O'Neale, A wretch, whose sorrows match'd my | For all the treasured gold that rests own !

In Mortham's iron-banded chests. It chanced, that after battle fray, Redmond resumed his seat; he said, Upon the bloody field we lay ; Some roe was rustling in the shade. The yellow moon her lustre shed Bertram laugh'd grimly when he saw Upon the wounded and the dead, His timorous comrade backward draw: While, sense in toil and wassail 'A trusty mate art thou, to fear drown'd,

A single arm, and aid so near! My ruffian comrades slept around, Yet have I seen thee mark a deer. There came a voice-its silver tone Give me thy carabine; I'll show Was soft, Matilda, as thine own--- An art that thou wilt gladly know, * Ah, wretch !' it said, "what makest How thou mayst safely quell a foe.' thou here,

!

XXVI. While unavenged my bloody bier, On hands and knees fierce Bertram While unprotected lives mine heir,

drew Without a father's name and care ?' Thespreading birch and hazels through,

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Till he had Redmond full in view; Uninterrupted thus they heard
The gun he levell'd-mark like this What Mortham's closing tale declared.
Was Bertram never known to miss, i He spoke of wealth as of a load,
When fair opposed to aim there sate By Fortune on a wretch bestow'd,
An object of his mortal hate.

In bitter mockery of hate,
That day young Redmond's death had His cureless woes to aggravate;
seen,

But yet he pray'd Matilda's care But twice Matilda came between Might save that treasure for his heirThe carabine and Redmond's breast, His Edith's son - for still he raved Just ere the spring his finger press’d. As confident his life was saved; A deadly oath the ruffian swore, In frequent vision, he averr'd, But yet his fell design forbore: He saw his face, his voice he heard; • It ne'er,' he mutter'd, 'shall be said, Then argued calm—had murder been, That thus I scath'd thee, haughty maid!' The blood, the corpses, had been seen; Then moved to seek more open aim, Some had pretended, too, to mark When to his side Guy Denzil came: On Windermere a stranger bark, * Bertrain, forbear! we are undone | Whose crew, with jealous care, yet For ever, if thou fire the gun.

mild, By all the fiends, an armed force Guarded a female and a child. Descends the dell, of foot and horse! While these faint proofs he told and We perish if they hear a shot

press'd, Madman! we have a safer plot Hope seem'd to kindle in his breast; Nay, friend, be ruled, and bear thee Though inconsistent, vague, and vain, back!

It warp'd his judgment and his brain. Behold, down yonder hollow track, The warlike leader of the band Comes, with his broadsword in his These solemn words his story close: hand.'

• Heaven witness for me, that I chose Bertram look'd up; he saw, he knew My part in this sad civil fight, That Denzil's fears had counsellid true, Moved by no cause but England's right. Then cursed his fortune and withdrew, My country's groans have bid me draw Threaded the woodlands undescried, My sword for gospel and for law;And gain'd the cave on Greta side. These righted, I fling arms aside,

And seek myson through Europe wide.

My wealth, on which a kinsman nigh They whom dark Bertram, in his wrath, Already casts a grasping eye, Doom'd to captivity or death,

With thee may unsuspected lie. Their thoughts to one sad subject lent, 'When of my death Matilda hears, Saw not nor heard the ambushment. Let her retain her trust three years; Heedless and unconcern'd they sate, If none, from me, the treasure claim, While on the very verge of fate; Perish'd is Mortham's race and name: Heedless and unconcern'd remain'd, Then let it leave her generous hand, When Heaven the murderer's arm And flow in bounty o'er the land; restrain'd;

Soften the wounded prisoner's lot, As ships drift darkling down the tide, Rebuild the peasant's ruin'd cot; Nor see the shelves o'er which they So spoils, acquired by fight afar, glide.

Shall mitigate domestic war.'

XXVIII.

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