Imatges de pàgina
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And shall their triumph soar o'er ali
The schemes deep-laid to work their fall?
Nodeeds, which prudence might not dare,
Appal not vengeance and despair.
The murd’ress weeps upon his bier-
I'll change to real that feigned tear!
They all shall share destruction's shock;-
Ho! lead the captives to the block !”
But ill his Provost could divine

His feelings, and forbore the sign.
“ Slave! to the block !-or I, or they,
Shall face the judgment-seat this day!”

XXXII.
The outmost crowd have heard a sound,
Like horse's hoof on harden'd ground;
Nearer it came, and yet more near, -
The very death’s-men paused to hear.
'Tis in the churchyard now—the tread
Hath waked the dwelling of the dead !
Fresh sod, and old sepulchral stone,
Return the tramp in varied tone.
All eyes upon the gateway hung,
When through the Gothic arch there sprur.g
A horseman arm’d, at headlong speed-
Sable his cloak, his plume, his steed.
Fire from the flinty floor was spurn'd,
The vaults unwonted clang return'd !
One instant's glance around he threw,
From saddlebow his pistol drew.
Grimly determined was his look!
His charger with the spurs he strook-
All scatter'd backward as he came,
For all knew Bertram Risingham!
Three bounds that noble courser gave;
The first has reach'd the central nave,
The second clear'd the chancel wide,
The third-he was at Wycliffe's side.
Full levelld at the Baron's head,
Rung the report the bullet sped-
And to his long account, and last,
Without a groan dark Oswald past!
All was so quick, that it might seem
A flash of lightning, or a dream

XXXIII.
While yet the smoke the deed conceals,
Bertram his ready charger wheels;
But flounder'd on the pavement-floor
The steed, and down the rider bore,
And, bursting in the headlong sway,
The faithless saddle-girths gave way.
'Twas while he toild him to be freed,
And with the rein to raise the steed,

That from amazement's iron trance
All Wycliffe's soldiers waked at once.
Sword, halberd, musket-but, their blows
Haild upon Bertram as he rose;
A score of pikes, with each a wound,
Bore down and pinn'd him to the ground;
But still his struggling force he rears,
'Gainst hacking brands and stabbing spears;
Thrice from assailants shook him free,
Once gain'd his feet, and twice his knee.
By tenfold odds oppress'd at length,
Despite his struggles and his strength,
He took a hundred mortal wounds,
As mute as fox 'mongst mangling hounds ;
And when he died, his parting groan
Had more of laughter than of moan!
- They gazed, as when a lion dies,
And hunters scarcely trust their eyes,
But bend their weapons on the slain,
Lest the grim king should rouse again!
Then blow and insult some renew'd,
And from the trunk, the head had hew'd,
But Basil's voice the deed forbade;
A mantle o'er the corpse he laid:
“ Fell as he was in act and mind,

He left no bolder heart behind:
Then gave him, for a soldier meet,
A soldier's cloak for winding sheet."

XXXIV.
No more of death and dying pang,
No more of trump and bugle clang,
Though through the sounding woods there come
Banner and bugle, trump and drum.
Arm'd with such powers as well had freed
Young Redmond at his utmost need,
And back'd with such a band of horse,
As might less ample powers enforce;
Possess'd of every proof and sign
That gave an heir to Mortham's line,
And yielded to a father's arms
An image of his Edith's charms,
Mortham is come, to hear and see
Of this strange morn the history,
What saw he?-not the church's floor,
Cumber'd with dead and stain'd with gore;
What heard he?—not the clamorous crowd,
That shout their gratulations loud:
Redmond he saw and heard alone,
Clasp'd him, and sobb’d-My son 1 my son!"-

XXXV.
This chanced upon a summer morn,
When yellow waved the heavy corn:

But when brown August o'er the land
Callid forth the reaper's busy band,
A gladsome sight the silvan road
From Eglistone to Mortham show'd.
A while the hardy rustic leaves
The task to bind and pile the sheaves;
And maids their sickles fling aside,
To gaze on bridegroom and on bride;
And childhood's wondering group draws near,
And from the gleaner's hands the ear
Drops, while she folds them for a prayer
And blessing on the lovely pair.
'Twas then the Maid of Rokeby gave
Her plighted troth to Redmond brave;
And Teesdale can remember yet
How Fate to Virtue paid her debt,
And, for their troubles, bade them prove
A lengthen'd life of peace and love.

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THE

LORD OF THE ISLES:

IN SIX CANTOS.

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