Rokeby, by Walter Scott

Canto Second.

I.

FAR in the chambers of the west.

The gale had sighed itself to rest;

The moon was cloudless now and clear,

But pale, and soon to disappear.

The thin grey clouds waxed dimly light

On Brusleton and Houghton height;

And the rich dale, that eastward lay,

Waited the wakening touch of day,

To give its woods and cvdtured plain,

And towers and spires, to light again.

But, westward, Stanmore’s shapeless swell,

And Lunedale wild, and Kelton-fell,

And roek-begirdled Gilmanscar,

And Arkingarth, lay dark afar;

While, as a livelier twilight falls.

Emerge proud Barnard’s bannered walls.

High crowned he sits, in dawning pale.

The sovereign of the lovely vale.

ii.

What prospects, from his watch-tower high,

Gleam gradual on the warder’s eye! —

Far sweeping to the east, he sees

Down his deep woods the course of Tees,

And tracks his wanderings by the steam

Of summer vapours from the stream;

And ere he pace his destined hour

By Brackenbury’s dungeon-tower,

These silver mists shall melt away,

And dew the woods with glittering spray.

Then in broad lustre shall be shewn

That mighty trench of living stone.

And each huge trunk that, from the side,

Reclines him o’er the darksome tide.

Where Tees, full many a fathom low,

Wears with his rage no common foe;

For pebbly bank, nor sand-bed here,

Nor clay-mound, checks his fierce career,

Condemned to mine a channelled way,

O’er solid sheets of marble grey.

iii.

Nor Tees alone, in dawning bright,

Shall rush upon the ravished sight;

But many a tributary stream

Each from its own dark dell shall gleam:

Staindrop, who, from her sylvan bowers,

Salutes proud Raby’s battled towers;

The rural brook of Eglistone,

And Balder, named from Odin’s son;

And Greta, to whose banks ere long

We lead the lovers of the song;

And silver Lune, from Stanemore wild,

And fairy Thorsgill’s murmuring child,

And last and least, but loveliest still,

Romantic Deepdale’s slender rill.

Who in that dim-wood glen hath strayed,

Yet longed for Roslin’s magic glade?

Who, wandering there, hath sought to change

Even for that vale so stern and strange,

Where Cartland’s crags, fantastic rent,

Through her green copse like spires are sent?

Yet, Albin, yet the praise be thine,

Thy scenes and story to combine I

Thou bid’st him, who by Roslin strays,

List to the deeds of other days;

‘Mid Cartland’s crags thou showest the cavCj

The refuge of thy champion brave;

Giving each rock its storied tale,

Pouring a lay for every dale,

Knitting, as with a moral band,

Thy native legends with thy land,

To lend each scene the interest high

Which genius beams from beauty’s eye.

iv.

Bertram awaited not the sight

Which sun-rise shews from Barnard’s height,

But from the towers, preventing day,

With Wilfrid took his early way,

While misty dawn, and moon-beam pale,

Still mingled in the silent dale.

By Barnard’s bridge of stately stone,

The southern bank of Tees they won;

Their winding path then eastward cast,

And Eglistone’s grey ruins past.

Each on his own deep visions bent,

Silent and sad they onward went;

Well may you think that Bertram’s mood

To Wilfrid savage seemed and rude;

Well may you think bold Risingham

Held Wilfrid trivial, poor, and tame;

And small the intercourse, I ween,

Such uncongenial souls between.

V.

Stern Bertram shunned the nearer way,

Through Rokeby’s park and chase that lay,

And, skirting high the valley’s ridge,

They crossed by Greta’s ancient bridge,

Descending where her waters wind

Free for a space and unconfined,

As, ‘scaped from Brignal’s dark wood glen,

She seeks wild Mortham’s deeper den.

There, as his eye glanced o’er the mound,

Raised by that Legion long renowned,

Whose votive shrine asserts their claim,

Of pious, faithful, conquering fame,

“Stern sons of war!” sad Wilfrid sighed,

“Behold the boast of Roman pride!

What now of all your toils are known?

A grassy trench, a broken stone!” —

This to himself; for moral strain

To Bertram were addressed in vain.

vi.

Of different mood, a deeper sigh

Awoke, when Rokeby’s turrets high

Were northward in the dawning seen

To rear them o’er the thicket green.

O then, though Spenser’s self had strayed

Beside him through the lovely glade,

Lending his rich luxuriant glow

Of fancy, all its charms to show,

Pointing the stream rejoicing free,

As captive set at liberty,

Flashing her sparkling waves abroad,

And clamouring joyful on her road;

Pointing where, up the sunny banks,

The trees retire in scattered ranks.

Save where, advanced before the rest,

On knoll or hillock rears his crest,

Lonely and huge, the giant Oak;

As champions, when their band is broke.

Stand forth to guard the rearward post,

The bulwark of the scattered host —

All this, and more, might Spenser say,

Yet waste in vain his magic lay.

While Wilfrid eyed the distant tower,

Whose lattice lights Matilda’s bower,

vii.

The open vale is soon past o’er,

Rokeby, though nigh, is seen no more;

Sinking mid Greta’s thickets deep,

A wild and darker course they keep,

A stern and lone, yet lovely road.

As e’er the foot of Minstrel trode I

Broad shadows o’er their passage fell,

Deeper and narrower grew the dell;

It seemed some mountain, rent and riven,

A channel for the stream had given,

So high the cliffs of limestone grey

Hung beetling o’er the torrent’s way,

Yielding, along their rugged base,

A flinty footpath’s niggard space,

Where he, who winds ‘twixt rock and wave,

May hear the headlong torrent rave,

And like a steed in frantic fit,

That flings the froth from curb and bit.

May view her chafe her waves to spray,

O’er every rock that bars her way,

Till foam-globes on her eddies ride,

Thick as the schemes of human pride,

That down life’s current drive amain,

As frail, as frothy, and as vain!

viii.

The cliffs, that rear the haughty head

High o’er the river’s darksome bed,

Were now all naked, wild, and grey.

Now waving all with greenwood spray;

Here trees to every crevice clung,

And o’er the dell their branches hung;

And there, all splintered and uneven.

The shivered rocks ascend to heaven;

Oft, too, the ivy swathed their breast,

And wreathed its garland round their crest.

Or from the spires bade loosely flare

Its tendrils in the middle air.

As pennons wont to wave of old

O’er the high feast of Baron bold,

When revelled loud the feudal rout.

And the arched halls returned their shout,

Such and more wild is Greta’s roar,

And such the echoes from her shore,

And so the ivied banners gleam.

Waved wildly o’er the brawling streanu

ix.

Now from the stream the rocks recede.

But leave between no sunny mead.

No, nor the spot of pebbly sand.

Oft found by such a mountain strand,

Forming such warm and dry retreat,

As fancy deems the lonely seat.

Where hermit, wandering from his cell,

His rosary might love to tell.

But here, ‘twixt rock and river grew

A dismal grove of sable yew,

With whose sad tints were mingled seen

The blighted fir’s sepulchral green.

Seemed that the trees their shadows cast

The earth that nourished them to blast.

For never knew that swarthy grove

The verdant hue that fairies love;

Nor wilding green, nor woodland flower.

Arose within its baleful bower;

The dank and sable earth receives

Its only carpet from the leaves.

That, from the withering branches cast,

Bestrewed the ground with every blast.

Though now the sun was o’er the hill,

In this dark spot ’twas twilight still,

Save that on Greta’s farther side

Some straggling beams through copse-wood glide.

And wild and savage contrast made

That dingle’s deep and funeral shade,

With the bright tints of early day.

Which, glimmering through the ivy spray,

On the opposing summit lay.

X.

The lated peasant shunned the dell,

For Superstition wont to tell

Of many a grisly sound and sight,

Scaring its path at dead of night.

When Christmas logs blaze high and wide.

Such wonders speed the festal tide.

While Curiosity and Fear,

Pleasure and Pain, sit crouching near.

Till childhood’s cheek no longer glows.

And village maidens lose the rose.

The thrilling interest rises higher.

The circle closes nigh and nigher.

And shuddering glance is cast behind,

As louder moans the wintry wind.

Believe, that fitting scene was laid

For such wild tales in Mortham glade;

For who had seen on Greta’s side,

By that dhn hght fierce Bertram stride,

In such a spot, at such an hour, —

If touched by Superstition’s power,

Might well have deemed that Hell had given

A murderer’s ghost to upper heaven,

While Wilfrid’s form had seemed to glide

Like his pale victim by his side.

xi.

Nor think to village swains alone

Are these unearthly terrors known;

For not to rank nor sex confined

Is this vain ague of the mind.

Hearts firm as steel, as marble hard,

‘Gainst faith, and love, and pity barred.

Have quaked like aspen leaves in May,

Beneath its universal sway.

Bertram had listed many a tale

Of wonder in his native dale,

That in his secret soul retained

The credence they in childhood gained:

Nor less his wild adventurous youth

Believed in every legend’s truth,

Learned when beneath the tropic gale

Full swelled the vessel’s steady sail.

And the broad Indian moon her light

Poured on the watch of middle night,

When seamen love to hear and tell

Of portent, prodigy, and spell;

What gales are sold on Lapland’s shore.

How whistle rash bids tempests roar,

Of witch, of mermaid, and of sprite.

Of Brick’s cap and Elmo’s light;

Or of that Phantom Ship, whose form

Shoots like a meteor througli the storm,

When the dark scud comes driving hard,

And lowered is every topsail yard,

And canvass, wove in earthly looms,

No more to brave the storm presumes!

Then, mid the war of sea and sky,

Top and top-gallant hoisted high.

Full-spread and crowded every sail.

The Daemon-frigate braves the gale;

And well the doomed spectators know

The harbinger of wreck and woe.

xii.

Then too were told, in stifled tone,

Marvels and omens all their own;

How, by some desart isle or key,

Where Spaniards wrought their cruelty.

Or where the savage pirate’s mood

Repaid it home in deeds of blood,

Strange nightly sounds of woe and fear

Appalled the listening buccaneer,

Whose light-armed shallop anchored lay

In ambush by the lonely bay.

The groan of grief, the shriek of pain,

Ring from the moon-light groves of cane;

The fierce adventurer’s heart they scare.

Who wearies memory for a prayer,

Curses the road-stead, and with gale

Of early morning lifts the sail.

To give, in thirst of blood and prey,

A legend for another bay.

xiii.

Thus, as a man, a youth, a child.

Trained in the mystic and the wild,

With this on Bertram’s soul at times

Rvished a dark feeling of his crimes;

Such to his troubled soul their form,

As the pale death-ship to the storm,

And such their omen dim and dread,

As shrieks and voices of the dead.

That pang, whose transitory force

Hovered ‘twixt horror and remorse;

That pang, perchance, his bosom pressed,

As Wilfrid sudden he addressed.

“Wilfrid, this glen is never trod

Until the sun rides high abroad,

Yet twice have I beheld today

A form that seemed to dog our way;

Twice from my glance it seemed to flee,

And shroud itself by cliff or tree.

How think’st thou? — is our path way-laid.

Or hath thy sire my trust betrayed?

If so” — Ere, starting from his dream.

That turned upon a gentler theme,

Wilfrid had roused him to reply,

Bertram sprung forward, shouting high,

“Whate’er thou art, thou now shalt stand!”

And forth he darted, sword in hand.

xiv.

As bursts the levin in its wrath,

He shot him down the sounding path

Rock, wood, and stream, rung wildly out.

To his loud step and savage shout.

Seems that the object of his race

Hath scaled the cliffs; his frantic chace

Sidelong he turns, and now ’tis bent

Right up the rock’s tall battlement;

Straining each sinew to ascend.

Foot, hand, and knee their aid must lend.

Wilfrid, all dizzy with dismay,

Views from beneath his dreadful way;

Now to the oak’s warped roots he dings.

Now trusts his weight to ivy strings;

Now, like the wild goat, must he dare

An unsvipported leap in air;

Hid in the shrubby rain-course now,

You mark him by the crashing bough,

And by his corslet’s sullen clank,

And by the stones spurned from the bank,

And by the hawk scared from her nest,

And ravens croaking o’er their guest,

Who deem his forfeit limbs shall pay

The tribute of his bold essay.

xv.

See, he emerges! — desperate now

All farther course — yon beetling brow,

In craggy nakedness sublime,

What heart or foot shall dare to climb?

It bears no tendril for his clasp,

Presents no angle to his grasp;

Sole stay his foot may rest upon,

Is yon earth-bedded jetting stone.

Balanced on such precarious prop,

He strains his grasp to reach the top.

Just as the dangerous stretch he makes,

By heaven, his faithless footstool shakes!

Beneath his tottering bulk it bends,

It sways, it loosens, it descends!

And downward holds its headlong way,

Crashing o’er rock and copse-wood spray.

Loud thunders shake the echoing dell! —

Fell it alone? — alone it fell.

Just on the very verge of fate,

The hardy Bertram’s falling weight

He trusted to his sinewy hands,

And on the top unharmed he stands!

xvi.

Wilfrid a safer path pursued,

At intervals where, roughly hewed,

Rude steps ascending from the dell

Rendered the cliffs accessible.

By circuit slow he thus attained

The height that Risingham had gained.

And when he issued from the wood,

‘ Before the gate of Mortham stood.

’Twas a fair scene! the sunbeam lay

On battled tower and portal grey.

And from the grassy slope he sees

The Greta flow to meet the Tees,

Where, issuing from her darksome bed,

She caught the morning s eastern red.

And through the softening vale below

Rolled her bright waves in rosy glow,

All blushing to her bridal bed,

Like some shy maid in convent bred,

While linnet, lark, and blackbird gay,

Sing forth her nuptial roundelay.

xvii.

’Twas sweetly sung that roundelay,

That summer morn shone blithe and gay;

But morning beam, and wild bird’s call,

Awaked not Mortham’s silent hall.

No porter, by the low-browed gate.

Took in the wonted niche his seat;

To the paved court no peasant drew,

Waked to their toil no menial crew;

The maiden’s carol was not heard,

As to her morning task she fared;

In the void offices around,

Rung not a hoof, nor bayed a hound.

Nor eager steed, with shrilling neigh,

Accused the lagging groom’s delay;

Untrimmed, undressed, neglected now.

Was alley’d walk and orchard bough;

All spoke the master’s absent care,

All spoke neglect and disrepair.

South of the gate an arrow-flight.

Two mighty elms their limbs unite,

As if a canopy to spread

O’er the lone dwelling of the dead;

For their huge boughs in arches bent

Above a massive monument.

Carved o’er in ancient Gothic wise.

With many a scutcheon and devise:

There, spent with toil and sunk in gloom,

Bertram stood pondering by the tomb.

xviii.

“It vanished, like a flitting ghost!

Behind this tomb,” he said, “’twas lost —

This tomb, where oft I deemed, lies stored

Of Mortham’s Indian wealth the hoard.

’Tis true, the aged servants said

Here his lamented wife is laid;

Bvit weightier reasons may be guessed

For their lord’s strict and stern behest,

That none should on his steps intrude.

Whene’er he sought this solitude. —

An ancient mariner I knew,

What time I sailed with Morgan’s crew,

Who oft, ‘mid our carousals, spake

Of Raleigh, Forbisher, and Drake;

Adventurous hearts! who bartered bold

Their English steel for Spanish gold.

Trust not, would his experience say,

Captain or comrade with your prey;

But seek some charnel, when, at full,

The moon gilds skeleton and skull.

There dig and tomb your precious heap,

And bid the dead your treasure keep;

Sure stewards they, if fitting spell

Their service to the task compel.

Lacks there such charnel? — kill a slave.

Or prisoner, on the treasure-grave;

And bid his discontented ghost

Stalk nightly on his lonely post. —

Such was his tale. Its truth, I ween,

Is in my morning vision seen.” —

xix.

Wilfrid, who scorned the legend wild.

In mingled mirth and pity smiled,

Much marvelling that a breast so bold

In such fond tale belief should hold;

But yet of Bertram sought to know

The apparition’s form and show. —

The power within the guilty breast,

Oft vanquished, never quite suppressed,

That unsubdued and lurking lies

To take the felon by siu’prise.

And force him, as by magic spell,:

In his despite his guilt to tell, —

That power in Bertram’s breast awoke;

Scarce conscious he was heard, he spoke:

“’Twas Mortham’s form, from foot to head!

His morion with the plume of red, .

His shape, his mien — ’twas Mortham right,

As when I slew him in the fight.” —

— “Thou slay him? — thou?” — With conscious start

He heard, then manned his haughty heart. —

— “I slew him? — I! — I had forgot,

Thou, stripling, knewest not of the plot.

But it is spoken — nor will I

Deed done, or spoken word, deny.

I slew him, I! for thankless pride;

’Twas by this hand that Mortham died.” —

xx.

Wilfrid, of gentle hand and heart,

Averse to every active part.

But most averse to martial broil,

From danger shrunk, and turned from toil;

Yet the meek lover of the lyre

Nursed one brave spark of noble fire;

Against injustice, fraud, or wrong.

His blood beat high, his hand waxed strong.

Not his the nerves that could sustain,

Unshaken, danger, toil, and pain;

But when that spark blazed forth to flame,

He rose superior to his frame.

And now it came, that generous mood;

And, in full current of his blood,

On Bertram he laid desperate hand,

Placed firm his foot, and drew his brand.

“Should every fiend to whom thou’rt sold,

Rise in thine aid, I keep my hold. —

Arouse there, ho! take spear and sword!

Attach the murderer of your Lord!” —

xxi.

A moment, fixed as by a spell,

Stood Bertram —— it seemed miracle,

That one so feeble, soft, and tame,

Set grasp on warlike Risingham.

But when he felt a feeble stroke,

The fiend within the ruffian woke 1

To wrench the sword from Wilfrid’s hand,

To dash him headlong on the sand,

Was but one moment’s work, — one more

Had drenched the blade in Wilfrid’s gore;

But, in the instant it arose,

To end his life, his love, his woes,

A warlike Form, that marked the scene,

Presents his rapier sheathed between,

Parries the fast-descending blow,

And, steps ‘twixt Wilfrid and his foe;

Nor then unscabbarded his brand,

But, sternly pointing with his hand,

With monarch’s voice forbade the fight.

And motioned Bertram from his sight.

“Go, and repent,” — he said, “while time

Is given thee; add not crime to crime.” —

xxii.

Mute and uncertain and amazed,

As on a vision Bertram gazed!

’Twas Mortham’s bearing bold and high,

His sinewy frame, his falcon eye,

His look and accent of command,

The martial gesture of his hand,

His stately form, spare-built and tall,

His war-bleached locks — ’twas Mortham all.

Through Bertram’s dizzy brain career

A thousand thoughts, and all of fear;

His wavering faith received not quite

The form he saw as Mortham’s sprite.

But more he feared it, if it stood

His lord, in living flesh and blood —

What spectre can the charnel send,

So dreadful as an injured friend?

Then, too, the habit of command.

Used by the leader of the band,

When Risingham, for many a day,

Had marched and fought beneath his sway,

Tamed him — and, with reverted face.

Backwards he bore his sullen pace.

Oft stopped, and oft on Mortham stared,

And dark as rated mastiff glared;

But when the tramp of steeds was heard.

Plunged in the glen, and disappeared.

Nor longer there the Warrior stood.

Retiring eastward through the wood;

But first to Wilfrid warning gives,

“Tell thou to none that Mortham lives.” —

xxiii.

Still rung these words in Wilfrid’s ear,

Hinting he knew not what of fear,

When nearer came the coursers’ tread,

And, with his father at their head,

Of horsemen armed a gallant power

Reined up their steeds before the tower.

“Whence these pale looks, my son?” he said:

“Where’s Bertram? why that naked blade?”-

Wilfrid ambiguously replied,

(For Mortham’s charge his honour tied)

“Bertram is gone — the villain’s word

Avouched him murderer of his lord!

Even now we fought — but, when your tread

Announced you nigh, the felon fled.” —

In Wycliffe’s conscious eye appear

A guilty hope, a guilty fear;

On his pale brow the dew-drop broke,

And his lip quivered as he spoke.

xxiv.

“A murderer! — Philip Mortham died

Amid the battle’s wildest tide.

Wilfrid, or Bertram raves, or you!

Yet grant such strange confession true,

Pursuit were vain — let him fly far —

Justice must sleep in civil war.”—

A gallant Youth rode near his side,

Brave Rokeby’s page, in battle tried;

That morn, an embassy of weight

He brought to Barnard’s castle gate.

And followed now in Wycliffe’s train,

An answer for his lord to gain.

His steed, whose arched and sable neck

An hundred wreaths of foam bedeck,

Chafed not against the curb more high

Than he at Oswald’s cold reply;

He bit his lip, implored his saint,

(His the old faith) — then burst restraint.

xxv.

“Yes! — I beheld his bloody fall.

By that base traitor s dastard ball,

Just when I thought to measure sword.

Presumptuous hope! with Mortham’s lord.

And shall the murderer ‘scape, who slew

His leader generous, brave, and true?

Escape! — while on the dew you trace

The marks of his gigantic pace?

No! — ere the sun that dew shall dry.

False Risingham shall yield or die. —

Ring out the Castle larum bell!

Arouse the peasants with the knell I

Meantime, disperse — ride, gallants, ride!

Beset the wood on every side.

But if among you one there be,

That honours Mortham’s memory,

Let him dismount and follow me!

Else on your crests sit fear and shame,

And foul suspicion dog your name!” —

xxvi.

Instant to earth young Redmond sprung;

Instant on earth the harness rung

Of twenty men of Wycliffe’s band,

Who waited not their lord’s command.

Redmond his spurs from buskins drew,

His mantle from his shoulders threw,

His pistols in his belt he placed.

The green wood gained, the footsteps traced.

Shouted like huntsman to his hounds,

“To cover, hark!” — and in he bounds.

Scarce heard was Oswald’s anxious cry,

“Suspicion! yes — pursue him — fly —

But venture not, in useless strife.

On ruffian desperate of his life.

Whoever finds him, shoot him dead!

Five hundred nobles for his head.” —

xxvii.

The horsemen galloped, to make good

Each pass that issued from the wood.

Loud from the thickets rung the shout

Of Redmond and his eager route;

With them was Wilfrid, stung with ire,

And envying Redmond’s martial fire.

And emulous of fame. — But where

Is Oswald, noble Mortham’s heir?

He, bound by honour, law, and faith,

Avenger of his kinsman’s death? —

Leaning against the elmin tree,

With drooping head and slackened knee,

And clenched teeth, and close-clasped hands.

In agony of soul he stands!

His downcast eye on earth is bent,

His soul to every sound is lent,

For in each shout that cleaves the air.

May ring discovery and despair.

xxviii.

What ‘vailed it him, that brightly played

The morning sun on Mortham’s glade?

All seems in giddy round to ride.

Like objects on a stormy tide,

Seen eddying by the moon-light dim,

Imperfectly to sink and swim.

What Vailed it, that the fair domain,

Its battled mansion, hill, and plain.

On which the sun so brightly shone,

Envied so long, was now his own?

The lowest dungeon, in that hour,

Of Brackenbury’s dismal tower.

Had been his choice, could such a doom

Have opened Mortham’s bloody tomb I

r orced, too, to turn unwilling ear

To each surmise of hope or fear,

Murmured among the rustics round,

Who gathered at the larum sound.

He dare not turn his head away,

Even 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 scattered chace;

Jaded and weary, horse and man,

Returned the troopers, one by one.

Wilfrid, the hist, arrived to say.

All trace was lost of Bertram’s way,

Though Redmond still, up Brignal wood,

The hopeless quest in vain pursued. —

O fatal doom of human race!

What tyrant passions passions chace!

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.

“Aye — 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 command —

Accept at least — thy friendly hand;

His she avoids, or, urged and prayed,

Unwilling takes his proffered 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

The counsels of thy sire and friend.

xxxi.

“Scarce wert thou gone, when peep of light

Brought genuine news of Marston’s fight.

Brave Cromwell turned the doubtful tide,

And conquest blessed 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 Bernard’s towers today.

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 tried —

Pride, 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.”

END OF CANTO SECOND.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/scott/walter/rokeby/canto2.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29