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XXIX.

I have beneath mine own command, The generous youths, who well had So wills my sire, a gallant band, known

And well could send some horseman Of Mortham's mind the powerful tone, wight To that high mind, by sorrow swerved, | To bear the treasure forth by night, Gave sympathy his woes deserved ; And so bestow it as you deem But Wilfrid chief, who saw reveal'd In these ill days may safest seem.'Why Mortham wish'd his life conceald, “Thanks, gentle Wilfrid, thanks,” she In secret, doubtless, to pursue

said : The schemes his wilder'd fancy drew. i 'O, be it not one day delay'd ! Thoughtful he heard Matilda tell, And, more, thy sister-friend to aid, That she would share her father's cell, i Be thou thyself content to hold, His partner of captivity,

In thine own keeping, Mortham's gold, Where'er his prison-house should be; Safest with thee.'-While thus she Yet grieved to think that Rokeby-hall, spoke, Dismantled, and forsook by all, Arm’dsoldiers on theirconverse broke, Open to rapine and to stealth,

The same of whose approach afraid, Had now no safeguard for the wealth. The ruffians left their ambuscade. Entrusted by her kinsman kind, Their chief to Wilfrid bended low, And for such noble use design'd. Then look'd around as for a foe. "Was Barnard Castle then her choice,'

"What mean'st thou, friend,' young Wilfrid inquired with hasty voice,

Wycliffe said, "Since there the victor's laws ordain, Why thus in arms beset the glade ?' Her father must a space remain ?'

• That would I gladly learn from you; A flutter'd hope his accents shook, For up my squadron as I drew, A flutter'd joy was in his look.

To exercise our martial game Matilda hasten'd to reply,

Upon the moor of Barninghame, For anger flash'd in Redmond's eye: A stranger told you were waylaid, • Duty,' she said, with gentle grace,

:

Surrounded, and to death betray'd. Kind Wilfrid, has no choice of place; . He had a leader's voice, I ween, Else had I for my sire assign'd A falcon glance, a warrior's mien. Prison less galling to his mind, He bade me bring you instant aid; Than that his wild-wood haunts which ! I doubted not, and I obey'd.' And hears the murmur of the Tees,

Wilfrid changed colour, and, amazed, Recalling thus, with every glance,

Turn'dshort, and on the speaker gazed;
What captive's sorrow can enhance; While Redmond every thicket round
But where those woes are highest, there Track'd earnest as a questing hound,
Needs Rokeby most his daughter's And Denzil's carabine he found;
care.'

Sure evidence, by which they knew
The warning was as kind as true.

Wisest it seem'd, with cautious speed He felt the kindly check she gave, To leave the dell. It was agreed And stood abash'd—then answer'd That Redmond, with Matilda fair, grave:

And fitting guard, should home repair; 'I sought thy purpose, noble maid, At nightfall Wilfrid should attend, Thy doubts to clear, thy schemes to aid. With a strong band, his sister-friend,

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XXXI.

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Tobear with her from Rokeby's bowers For louder clamour'd Greta's tide, To Barnard Castle's lofty towers, And Tees in deeper voice replied, Secret and safe, the banded chests And fitful waked the evening wind, In which the wealth of Mortham rests. Fitful in sighs its breath resign'd. This hasty purpose fix'd, they part, Wilfrid, whose fancy-nurtured soul Each with a grieved and anxious heart. Felt in the scene a soft control,

With lighter footstep press'd the

ground,

And often paused to look around; Canto Fifth.

And, though his path was to his love,

Could not but linger in the grove 1.

To drink the thrilling interest dear, Tue sultry summer day is done, Of awful pleasure check'd by fear. The western hills have hid the sun, Such inconsistent moods have we, But mountain peak and village spire Even when our passions strike the key. Retain reflection of his fire. Old Barnard's towers are purple still To those that gaze from Toller-hill; Now, through the wood's dark mazes Distant and high, the tower of Bowes past, Like steel upon the anvil glows; The opening lawn he reach'd at last, And Stanmore's ridge, behind that lay, Where, silver'd by the moonlight ray, Rich with the spoils of parting day, The ancient Hall before him lay. In crimson and in gold array'd,

Those martial terrors long were fled Streaks yet a while the closing shade, That frown'd of old around its head: Then slow resigns to darkening heaven The battlements, the turrets grey, The tints which brighter hours had Seem'd half abandon'd to decay; given.

On barbican and keep of stone Thus aged men, full loth and slow, Stern Time the foeman's work had The vanities of life forego,

done. And count their youthful follies o'er, Where banners the invader braved, Till Memory lends her light no more. The harebell now and wallflower

waved;

In thc rude guard-room, where of yore The eve, that slow on upland fades, Their weary hours the warders wore, Has darker closed on Rokeby's glades, Now, while the cheerful fagots blaze, Where, sunk within their banks pro- | On the paved floor the spindle plays; found,

| The flanking guns dismounted lic, Her guardian streams to meeting The moat is ruinous and dry, wound.

| The grim portcullis gonc,and all The stately oaks, whose sombre frown The fortress turn'd to peaceful Hall, Of noontide made a twilight brown, Impervious now to fainter light, Of twilight make an early night. But yet precautions, lately ta’en, Hoarse into middle air arose

Show'd danger's day revived again; The vespers of the roosting crows, The court-yard wall show'd marks of And with congenial murmurs seem

care, To wake the Genii of the stream; | The fall'n defences to repair,

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Lending such strength as miglit with He judged it best the castle gate stand

To enter when the night wore late ; The insult of marauding band. And therefore he had left command The beams once more were taught to With those he trusted of his band, bear

That they should be at Rokeby met, The trembling drawbridge into air, What time the midnight-watch was And not, till question d o'er and o'er, For Wilfrid oped the jealous door; Now Redmond came, whosc anxious And when he enter’d, bolt and bar Resumed their place with sullen jar; Till then was busied to prepare Then, as he cross'd the vaulted porch, All needful, mcetly to arrange The old grey porter raised his torch, The mansion for its mournful change. And view'd him o'er, from foot to head, With Wilfrid's care and kindness Ere to the hall his steps he led.

pleased, That huge old hall, of knightly state, His cold unready hand he seized, Dismantled seem'd and desolate. And press'd it, till his kindly strain The moon through transom-shafts of The gentle youth return'd again. stone,

Seem'd as between them this was said, Which cross'd the latticed oriels, Awhile let jealousy be dead; shone,

And let our contest be, whose care And, by the mournful light she gave, Shall best assist this helpless fair.' The Gothic vault seem'd funeral cave. Pennon and banner waved no more O'er beams of stag and tusks of boar, There was no speech the trucc to bind, Nor glimmering arms were marshall'd It was a compact of the mind,--scen

A generous thought at once impress'd To glance those silvan spoils between. On cither rival's generous breast. Those arms, those cnsigns, borne Matilda well the secret took, away,

From sudden change of mien and look ; Accomplish'd Rokeby's brave array, And--for not small had been her fear But all were lost on Marston's day! Of jealous ire and danger ncarYet here and there the moonbeams fall Felt, even in her dejected state, Where armour yet adorns the wall, A joy beyond the reach of fate. Cumbrous of size, uncouth to sight, They closed beside the chimney's blaze, And useless in the modern fight; And talk’d, and hoped for happier days, Like veteran relic of the wars, And lent their spirits' rising glow Known only by neglected scars. Awhile to gild impending woe;

High privilege of youthful time,

Worth all the pleasures of our prime! Matilda soon to greet him came, The bickering fagot sparkled bright, And bade them light the evening flame; And gave the scene of love to sight, Said, all for parting was prepared, Bade Wilfrid's cheek more lively glow, And larried but for Wilfrid's guard. Play'd on Matilda's neck of snow, But then, reluctant to unfold

Hernut-browncurls and forehead high, IIis father's avarice of gold,

And laugh'd in Redmond's azure cye. Ile liinted, that lest jealous eye Two lovers by the maiden sate, . Should on their precious burden pry, 'Without a glance of jealous hate;

V.

VII.

The maid her lovers sat between, Hard were his task to seek a home With open brow and cqual mien; More distant, since the night is come; It is a sight but rarely spied,

| And for his faith I dare engageThanks to man's wrath and woman's Your Harpool's blood is sour'd by age; pride.

Ilis gate, once readily display'd

To greet the friend, the poor to aid, While thus in peaceful guise they sate

Now even to me, though known of old, A knock alarm'd the outer gate,

Did but reluctantly unfold.'And ere the tardy porter stirr'd

O blame not, as poor llarpool's crime,

An evil of this evil time.
The tinkling of a harp was heard.
A manly voice, of mellow swell,

He deems dependent on his care
Bore burden to the music well.

The safety of his patron's heir,

Nor judges meet to ope the tower SONG.

To guest unknown at parting hour, "Summer eve is gone and past,

Urging his duty to excess Summer dew is falling fast ;

Of rough and stubborn faithfulness. I have wander'd all the day,

For this poor harper, I would fain
Do not bid me farther stray! He may relax :--Hark to his strain!'-
Gentle hearts, of gentle kin,

Take the wandering harper in!'
But the stern porter answer gave,
With 'Get thec hence, thou strolling I have song of war for knight,
knave!

Lay of love for lady bright,
The king wants soldiers; war, I trow, Fairy tale to lull the heir,
Were meeter trade for such as thou.'

Goblin grim the maids to scare; At this unkind reproof, again

Dark the night, and long till day, Answer'd the ready minstrel's strain. Do not bid me farther stray!

IX.

SONG RESUMED.

SONG RESUMED.

Rokeby's lords of martial fame, Bid not me, in battle-field,

I can count them name by name; Buckler lift, or broadsword wield! Legends of their line there be, All my strength and all my art Known to few, but known to me; Is to touch the gentle heart

If you honour Rokeby's kin With the wizard notes that ring Take the wandering harper in: From the peaceful ininstrel-string.'

Rokeby's lords had fair regard The porter, all unmoved, replied,

For the harp and for the bard ; Depart in peace, with Heaven to

Baron's race throve never well guide;

Where the curse of minstrel fell; If longer by thc gate thou dwell,

If you love that noblc kin Trust me, thou shalt not part so well.' Take the weary harper in!'

· Hark! Harpool parley's—there is With somewhat of appealing look,

hope,' The harper's part young Wilfrid took: i Said Redmond,“that the gate will ope.' *These notcs so wild and ready thrill, -For all thy brag and boast, I trow', They show no vulgar minstrel's skill; Nought know'st thou ofthe Felon Sow,'

VIII.

X.

Quoth Harpool, ó nor how Greta-side And now the stranger's sons enjoy She roam'd, and Rokeby forest wide; | The lovely woods of Clandeboy!' Nor how Ralph Rokeby gave the He spoke, and proudly turn'd aside, beast

The starting tear to dry and hide. To Richmond's friars to make a feast. Of Gilbert Griffinson the tale

XI. Goes, and of gallant Peter Dale, Matilda's dark and soften'd eye That well could strike with sword Was glistening ere O'Neale's was dry. amain,

Her hand upon his arm she laid, And of the valiant son of Spain, It is the will of Heaven,' she said. Friar Middleton, and blithe Sir Ralph; “And think'st thou, Redmond, I can part There were a jest to make us laugh! From this loved home with lightsome If thou canst tell it, in yon shed

heart, Thou 'st won thy supper and thy bed.' Leaving to wild neglect whate'er

Even from my infancy was dear?

For in this calm domestic bound Matilda smiled; ‘Cold hope,' said she, Were all Matilda's pleasures found. • From Harpool's love of minstrelsy! That hearth, my sire was wont to grace, But, for this harper, may we dare, Full soon may be a stranger's place; Redmond, to mend his couch and fare?' This hall, in which a child I play'd, "O, ask me not! At minstrel-string Like thine, dear Redmond, lowly laid, My heart from infancy would spring; The bramble and the thorn may braid; Nor can I hear its simplest strain Or, pass'd for aye from me and mine, But it brings Erin's dream again, It ne'er may shelter Rokeby's line. When placed by Owen Lysagh's knee, Yet is this consolation given, (The Filea of O'Neale was he, My Redmond—'tis the will of Heaven.' A blind and bearded man, whose eld Her word, her action, and her phrase, Was sacred as a prophet's held,) Were kindly as in early days; I've seen a ring of rugged kerne, For cold reserve had lost its power With aspects shaggy, wild, and stern, In sorrow's sympathetic hour. Enchanted by the master's lay, Young Redmond dared not trust his Linger around the livelong day,

voice; Shift from wild rage to wilder glee, But rather had it been his choice To love, to grief, to ecstasy,

To share that melancholy hour, And feel each varied change of soul Than, arm'd with alla chieftain's power, Obedient to the bard's control. In full possession to enjoy Ah, Clandeboy! thy friendly floor Slieve-Donard wide, and Clandeboy. Slieve-Donard's oak shall light no

XII. more; Nor Owen's harp, beside the blaze, The blood left Wilfrid's ashen cheek; Tell maiden's love, or hero's praise ! Matilda sees, and hastes to speakThe mantling brambles hide thyhearth, ‘Happy in friendship's ready aid, Centre of hospitable mirth;

Let all my murmurs here be stay’d! All undistinguish'd in the glade And Rokeby's maiden will not part My sires' glad home is prostrate laid, From Rokeby's hall with moody heart. Their vassals wander wide and far, This night at least, for Rokeby's fame, Şerve foreign lords in distant war, The hospitable hearth shall flame,

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