Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

"More know I not, I wish I did,

As all the country know,
And it should all be told to you ;

She shudders, and you hear her cry,
For what became of this poor child Oh, misery! oh, misery !
No mortal ever knew ;
Nay-if a child to her was born

• But what's the thorn? and what the No earthly tongue could ever tell ;

pond? And if 'twas born alive or dead,

And what the hill of moss to her?
Far less could this with proof be said ; And what the creeping breeze that comes
But some remember well,

The little pond to stir ?"
That Martha Ray about this time

“I cannot tell ; but some will say Would up the mountain often climb. She hanged her baby on the tree;

Some say she drowned it in the pond, “And all that winter, when at night

Which is a little step beyond : The wind blew from the mountain-peak,

But all and each agree,
'Twas worth your while, though in the The little babe was buried there,
dark,

Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
The church-yard path to seek :
For many a time and oft were heard

“I've heard the moss is spotted red Cries coming from the niountain-head :

With drops of that poor infant's blood :

But kill a new-born infant thus,
Some plainly living voices were ;
And others, I've heard many swear,

I do not think she could!
Were voices of the dead :

Some say, if to the pond you go, I cannot think, whate'er they say,

And fix on it a steady view,
They had to do with Martha Ray.

The shadow of a babe you trace,
A baby and a baby's face,

And that it looks at you;
“ But that she goes to this old thorn,
The thorn which I described to you,

Whene'er you look on it, 'tis plain And there sits in a scarlet cloak,

The baby looks at you again. I will be sworn is true.

And some had sworn an oath that she For one day with my telescope,

Should be to public justice brought;
To view the ocean wide and bright,

And for the little infant's bones
When to this country first I came,
Ere I had heard of Martha's name,

With spades they would have sought.
I climbed the mountain's height :

It might not be the hill of moss

Before their eyes began to stir! A storm came on, and I could see

And for full fifty yards around, No object higher than my knee.

The grass—it shook upon the ground!

Yet all do still aver
“ 'Twas mist and rain, and storm and rain; | The little babe is buried there,
No screen, no fence could I discover ; Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
And then the wind ! in faith it was
A wind full ten times over.

“ I cannot tell how this may be ; I looked around, I thought I saw

But plain it is, the thorn is bound
A jutting crag, -and off I ran,

With heavy tufts of moss, that strive
Head-foremost, through the driving rain, To drag it to the ground;
The shelter of the crag to gain ;

And this I know, full onany a time,
And as I am a man,

When she was on the mountain high, Instead of jutting crag, I found

By day and in the silent night, A woman seated on the ground.

When all the stars shone clear and bright,

That I have heard her cry, "I did not speak— I saw her face ;

'Oh, misery! oh, misery! Her face !-it was enough for me ;

Oh, woe is me! oh, misery!""
I turned about and heard her cry,

Oh, misery! oh, misery!'
And there she sits, until the moon
Through half the clear blue sky will go ;

HART-LEAP WELL.
And, when the little breezes make

Hart-Leap Well is a small spring of water, about
The waters of the pond to shake,

five miles from Richmond in Yorkshire, and
near the side of the road that leads from Rich-

mond to Askrigg. Its name is derived from a Dismounting then, he leaned against a remarkable chase, the memory of which is thorn; preserved by the monuments spoken of in the He had no follower, dog, nor man, nor boy: monuments do now exist as I have there de- He neither cracked his whip, nor blew his scribed them.

horn,

Put gazed upon the spoil with silent joy. THE knight had ridden down from Wensley moor

Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter With the slow motion of a summer's cloud; leaned,

(feat: He turned aside towards a vassal's door, Stood his dumb partner in this glorious And “Bring another horse!" he cried Weak as a lamb the hour that it is yeaned ; aloud.

And white with foam as if with cleaving

sleet. "Another horse!"—That shout the vassal heard,

Upon his side the hart was lying stretched; And saddled his best steed, a comely gray: His nostril touched a spring beneath a hill, Sir Walter mounted him; he was the third And with the last deep groan his breath had Which he had mounted on that glorious fetched

(still. day.

The waters of the spring were trembling Joy sparkled in the prancing courser s eyes; And now, too happy for repose or rest, The horse and horseman are a happy pair; | (Never had living man such joyful lot !) But though Sir Walter like a falcon flies, Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, There is a doleful silence in the air.

and west,

(spot.

And gazed and gazed upon that darling A rout this morning left Sir Walter's hall, That as they galloped made theechoes roar; And climbing up the hill—(it was at least But horse and man are vanished one and Nine roods of sheer ascent) Sir Walter all;

found

(hunted beast Such race, I think, was never seen before. Three several hoof - marks which the

Had left imprinted on the grassy ground. Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind, Calls to the few tired dogs that yet remain : Sir Walter wiped his face, and cried, “Till Blanch, Swift, and Music, noblest of their kind,

Such sight was never seen by living eyes : Follow, and up the weary mountain strain. Three leaps have borne him from this lofty

brow The knight hallooed, he cheered, and chid Down to the very fountain where he lies. them on

(stern; With suppliant gestures and upbraidings - I'll build a pleasure-house upon this spot, But breath and eyesight fail: and, one by And a small arbour, made for rural joy ; one,

(fern. "Twill be the traveller's shed, the pilgrim's The dogs are stretched among the mountain cot,

A place of love for damsels that are coy. Where is the throng, the tumult of the race?

"A cunning artist will I have to frame The bugles that so joyfully were blown? A basin for that fountain in the dell! This chase it looks not like an earthly And they who do make mention of the same, chase;

From this day forth shall call it HART Sir Walter and the bart are left alone.

LEAP WELL. The poor hart toils along the mountain " And, gallant stag! to make thy praises side;

known, I will not stop to tell how far he fled ; Another monument shall here be raised ; Nor will I mention by what death he died; | Three several pillars, each a rough-hewn But now the knight beholds him lying stone,

(grazed. dead.

And planted where thy hoofs the turf have

now

“And, in the summer-time when days are What this imported I could ill divine: long,

And pulling now the rein my horse to stop, I will come hither with my paramour; I saw three pillars standing in a line, And with the dancers and the minstrel's The last stone pillar on a dark hill-top.

song We will make merry in that pleasant bower. The trees were gray, with neither arms nor

head:

[green; " Till the foundations of the mountains Half-wasted the square mound of tawny fail

(dure ;- So that you just might say, as then I said. My mansion with its arbour shall en- · Here in old time the hand of man hath The joy of them who till the fields of been." Swale,

(Ure!" And them who dwell among the woods of I looked upon the hill both far and near,

More doleful place did never eye survey; Then home he went, and left the hart, It seemed as if the spring-time came not stone-dead,

[spring. here, With breathless nostrils stretched above the And nature here were willing to decay. Soon did the knight perform what he had said,

I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost, And far and wide the fame thereof did ring. When one, who was in shepherd's garb at

tired, Ere thrice the moon into her port had came up the hollow :-him did I accost, steered,

And what this place might be I then inA cup of stone received the living well ; quired. Three pillars of rude stone Sir Walter reared,

The shepherd stopped, and that same story And built a house of pleasure in the dell.

told

[hearsed.

Which in my former rhyme I have reAnd near the fountain, flowers of stature A jolly place," said he, “in times of old ! tall

[twined, - But something ails it now; the spot is With trailing plants and trees were inter- cursed. Which soon composed a little sylvan hall, A leafy shelter from the sun and wind. " You see these lifeless stumps of aspen

wcod

[elmsAnd thither, when the summer days were Some say that they are beeches, others long,

These were the bower: and here a mansion Sir Walter led his wondering paramour; stood, And with the dancers and the minstrel's The finest palace of a hundred realms ! song

[bower. Made merriment within that pleasant " The arbour does its own condition tell;

You see the stones, the fountain, and the The knight, Sir Walter, died in course of stream,

(well time,

But as to the great lodge! you might as And his bones lie in his paternal vale.- Hunt half a day for a forgotten dream. But there is matter for a second rhyme, And I to this would add another tale. " There's neither dog nor heifer, horse nor

sheep. Part II.

Will wet his lips within that cup of stone;

And oftentimes, when all are fast asleep, The moving accident is not my trade, This water doth send forth a dolorous To freeze the blood I have no ready arts: groan. Tis my delight, alone in summer shade, To pipe a simple song for thinking hearts. "Some say that here a murder has been

done

(part, As I from Hawes to Richmond did repair, And blood cries out for blood: but, for my It chanced that I saw standing in a dell I've guessed, when I've been sitting in the Three aspens at three corners of a square: sun, And one not four yards distant, near a well. / That it was all for that unhappy hart.

"What thoughts must through the crea- But, at the coming of the milder day,

ture's brain have past ! (steep. These m numents shall all be overgrown. Even from the topmost stone, upon the Are but three bounds—and look, sir, at this One lesson, shepherd, let us two divide, last

Taught both by what she shows, and what O master! it has been a cruel leap.

conceals,

Never to blend our pleasure or our pride “For thirteen hours he ran a desperate with sorrow of the meanest thing that race ;

feels." And in my simple mind we cannot tell What cause the hart might have 10 love this place,

(the well.

SONG AT THE FEAST OF And come and make his death-bed near

BROUGHAM CASTLE, " Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank, UPON THE RESTORATION OF LORD CLIF. Lulled by this fountain in the summer-tide;

FORD, THE SHEPHERD, TO THE ESThis water was perhaps the first he drank

TATES AND HONOURS OF HIS ANCESWhen he had wandered from his mother's

TORS. side.

High in the breathless hall the minstrel "In April here beneath the scented thorn sate,

(song. He heard the birds their morning carols And Emont's murmur mingled with the sing;

(born The words of ancient time I thus translate, And he, perhaps, for aught we know, was A festal strain that hath been silent long :Not half a furlong from that self-same spring

* Henry Lord Clifford, etc., etc., who is the

subject of this poem, was the son of John Lord “Now, here is neither grass nor pleasant Clifford, who was slain at Towton Field, which shade;

John Lord Clifford, as is known to the reader The sun on drearier hollow never shone; of English history, was the person who after So will it be, as I have often said,

the battle of Wakefield slew, in the pursuit, the Till trees, and stones, and fountain, all are York, who had fallen in the battle, "in part of

young Earl of Rutland, son of the Duke of gone."

revenge" (say the authors of the History of

Cumberland and Westmoreland) : "for the "Gray-headed shepherd, thou hast spoken carl's father had slain his." A deed which well;

(mine: worthily blemished the author (says Speed) ; but Small difference lies between thy creed and who, as he

adds, dare promise anything tem. This beast not unobserved by nature fell ;

perate of himself in the heat of martial fury?

chiefly when it was resolved not to leave any His death was mourned by sympathy branch of the York line standing; for so one divine.

maketh this lord to speak." This, no doubt, 1 would observe by the by, was an action suffi

. "The being that is in the clouds and air, ciently in the vindictive spirit of the times, and That is in the green leaves among the yet not altogether so bad as represented;""

for the earl was no child, as some writers would groves,

have him, but able to bear arms, being sixteen Maintains a deep and reverential care

or seventeen years of age, as is evident from For the unoffending creatures whom He this (say the Memoirs of the Countess of Pemloves.

broke, who was laudably anxious to wipe away,

as far as could be, this stigma from the illustri“The pleasure-house is dust :-behind, ous name to which she was born), that he was before,

the next child to King Edward the Fourth,

[gloom; which his mother had by Richard Duke of This is no common waste, no common York, and that king was then eighteen years of But nature, in due course of time, once age; and for the small distance betwixt her

children, see Austin Vincent in his book of No. Shall here put on her beauty and her bloom. bility, page 622, where he writes of them all.

It may further be observed, that Lord Clifford, “She leaves these objects to a slow decay, age, had been a leading man and commander,

who was then himself only twenty-ti e years of That what we are, and have been, may be two or three years together in the army of Lan. known;

caster, before this time ; and, therefore, would

more

“From town to town, from tower to Loud voice the land has uttered forth, The red rose is a gladsome flower. [tower, We loudest in the faithful north: Her thirty years of winter past,

Our fields rejoice, our mountains ring, The red rose is revived at last;

Our streams proclaim a welcoming ;
She lifts her head for endless spring, Our strong abodes and castles see
For everlasting blossoming :

The glory of their loyalty.
Both roses flourish, red and white.
In love and sisterly delight

How glad is Skipton at this hour-
The two that were at strife are blended, Though she is but a lonely tower !
And all old troubles now are ended.- To vacancy and silence left ;
Joy! joy to both! but most to her

Of all her guardian sons bereftWho is the flower of Lancaster !

Knight, squire, or yeoman, page or groom, Behold her how she smiles to-day

We have them at the feast of Brough'm. On this great throng, this bright array ! How glad Pendragon-though the sleep Fair greeting doth she send to all

Of years be on her !

-She shall reap From every corner of the hall ;

A taste of this great pleasure, viewing But chiefly from above the board

As in a dream her own renewing. Wnere sits in state our rightful lord, Rejoiced is Brough, right glad I deem A Clifford to his own restored !

Beside her little humble stream ;

And she that keepeth watch and ward “ They came with banner, spear, and Her statelier Eden's course to guard ; shield;

They both are happy at this hour, And it was proved in Bosworth-field. Though each is but a lonely tower :Not long the avenger was withstood- But here is perfect joy and pride Earth helped him with the cry of blood :* For one fair house by Emont's side, St. George was for us, and the might This day distinguished without peer Of blessed angels crowned the right. To see her master and to cheer

Him, and his lady mother dear! be less likely to think that the Earl of Rutland might be entitled to mercy from his youth. --But the wars of York and Lancaster they were reindependent of this act, at the best a cruel and built ; in the civil wars of Charles the First they savage one, the family of Clifford had done were again laid waste, and again restored enough to draw upon them the vehement hatred almost to their former magnificence by the celeof the House of York ; so that after the battle brated Lady Anne Clifford, Countess of Pemof Towton there was no hope for them but in broke, etc., etc. Not more than twenty-five flight and concealment. Henry, the subject of years after this was done, when the estates of the poem, was deprived of his estate and honours Clifford had passed into the Family of Tufton, during the space of twenty-four years ; all which three of these castles, namely, Brough, Broug. time he lived as a shepherd in Yorkshire, or in ham, and Pendragon, were demolished, and the Cumberland, where the estate of his father-in- timber and other materials sold by Thomas law (Sir Lancelot Threlkeld) lay. He was re- Earl of Thanet. We will hope that when this stored to his estate and honours in the first year order was issued, the Earl had not consulted the ür Henry the Seventh. It is recorded that, text of Isaiah, 58th Chapter, 12th Verse, to when called to parliament, he behaved nobly which the inscription placed over the gate of and wisely; but otherwise came seldom to Lon- Pendragon Castle, by the Countess of Pemdon or the court; and rather delighted to live broke (I believe his grandmother) at the in the country, where he repaired several of his time she repaired that structure, refers castles, which had gone to decay during the late the reader. "And they that shall be of troubles.” Thus far is chiefly collected from thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt Nicholson and Burn; and I can add, from my raise up the foundations of many generations ; own knowledge, that there is a tradition current and thou shalt be called the repairer of the in the village of Threlkeld and its neighbour- breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.' The hoop, his principal retreat, that, in the course of Earl of Thanet, the present possessor of the eshis shepherd-life he had acquired great astro- tates, with a due respect for the memory of his nomical knowledge. I cannot conclude this ancestors, and a proper sense of the value and note without adding a word upon the subject of beauty of these remains of antiquity, has (I am those numerous and noble feudal edifices, spo- told) given orders that they shall be preserved ken of in the poem, the ruins of some of which from all depredations. are, at this day, so great an ornament to that • This line is from the Battle of Bosworth Interesting country. The Cliffords had always' Field, by Sir John Beaumont (brother to the been distinguished for an honourable pride in dramatist), whose poems are written with much these castles; and we have seen that after spirit, elegance, and harmony.

« AnteriorContinuar »