« AnteriorContinuar »
“My word? True, I was urged to mince my speech,
Some pledge demanded; but I never gave it. He lies, the tadpole spawn of a horse-leech!
Young John ö'the Scales, forsooth, presumes to brave it!
Of injured honour!-Well, if he will have it-
"What ho, Dame Alice! I must start betimes;
My cloak-bags go for Bristol port by Bath:
'Tis seven o'clock. A proper man of Gath!-But the fool shares not in his father's crimes.
The horses- I shall walk the footway path-
Was Isolde in his thoughts just now, I wonder ?
No: his wrath proved a godsend, a relief,
To the charged welkin; it absorb'd his grief,
And when mine hostess clear'd away the beef
“He was half-starved- lost his young appetite
All yesterday—'twas never much to boast of-
Them unkit things as he reads such a host of!"-
That crown for thy brave boys to make the most of
Mine hostess wip'd the first tear from her cheek
That her young guest had shed for many a year. How came is there? Sir Critic, I must speak
My utter, sheer contempt of that half sneer:
In childhood's visions the remembrance dear
Fell gallantly ; two manly buxom boys,
Had won his heart, and oft would leave their toys,
Add that he gave no trouble, had no choice
"Where'er thou goest !- but where now can that be ?
What could be in that letter ?-mercy me!
And he that looks so quiet commonly,
" Lord send us quiet times when I am gone,
For his boys' sakes. Ah me, that awsul fray! No news to irust how things were going on;
Peal after peal of guns the Newbury wayAnd then-no youth but his own father's son
Would have thought on 't-1 loved him from that day The letter that my eyes so oft have wetted, To say how his brave comrade was regretted.
“But sorrow does no good. I'll take a turn
At doing out his room ; 'twill ease my heart.Why, there's that paper, crumpled up to burn;
Depend on't, 'twill explain this sudden start."
When I have leisure, in some future part.
Though his first towering rage was half subdued
By what he then conceived a final parting With an old loving friend, the threaten'd feud
Still kept some well-born indignation smarting, Which forming with the strength of solid food
A substitute for sleep, he strode at parting Like Ajax, the Achaian fleet's protector, Sallying well-victuall'd forth to battle Hector.
He paased upon the Castle Hill; a view
Spacious and rich spread round on every side. Thames to the north ward, boldly breaking through
The wooded cliffs that bar him from his bride, Fair, silver-eddying Kennet,-then anew
Rolling far east his deep majestic tide To lay the homage of her added dower Low at the feet of Windsor's regal tower.
"There goest thou,” cried he," like a baron brave,
Cleaving thy way for love and loyalty; Thus-but my liege is in his bloody grave,
And Isolde's nought, and can be nought to me. Thames ! I could gaze for ever on thy wave ;
But farewell once for all-it may not be. May better times return thy shores to bless, When I lie mouldering in ihe wilderness!"
Smothering a sigh, he took his onward road,
The remnant of his ire abated quite.
In morning's bright repose regaled his sight;
More wooingly fair park and dwelling white, And in the distance, far as eye could trace, Swell'd into heathery moor and forest-chase.
" How doth that view recall old times and scenes!
Basing's well-timed relief, --my plighted wife, Dear young Elizabeth. By what strange means
Thrives this same puppy-love in times of strife!
Yet the child took in earnest, on my life,
Gage carried it that day with a high hand.
O’er yonder western ridge we spurr'd all night
Pounced on scared Norton with the morning light.
But ne'er shall I forget the two hours' fight
“How proudly then we enter'd Basing Park,
Reining tired steeds that scarce could keep their feet!
How, after a brave onslaught, such men greet
Oft Winchester had drubb'd the lesson meet
"Then the poor womankind! Their guard of honour
Bolted the foremost, in no seamly plight;
Though not much hurt, she was quite ill with fright;
Quarters were fix'd in Basing House that night.
"Such temper, thought, and care I witness'd never.
The old one in the tantrums, raging mad
Captive to vile malignants !'~'twas too bad
And took a charge we'd rather not have had.
"Here you, my gentle squire of dames,' said Gage,
To count up all the trouble and the pother.
How the sweet niece's eyes would plead with me!
With the cross-patch : drew out her fund of glee
Laugh'd soundly at the old trot's absurdity ;
Were orphans, with not much to love beside :
To tell their surnames; and, from proper pride,
" She doubtless has forgot me--yet her eye
Had a deep earnestness :- I love but once,'
Some fancied likeness? Visionary dunce !
No matter what, she starts up for the nonce.
Please Heaven, I shail revisit Roundway Down,
Lest I should run to rust when I lura clown.
Who shared that signal conquest for the Crown.
Yon pestilent proud ass will cross my path.
Turas malapert !-apes gentlemanly wrath !
And would ask pardon of this man of lath,
Of Goring's madcaps, what I've said I'll do;
Holds it hilt-deep, and Poyntz shall hear on't too.
To those who wrong their conscience can accrue !
Of the rich woodland ground embosoming deep
Old lion-hearted Bess was wont to keep
The bloodhound's bay, the bugle-echoes sleer,
“My Queen! I fain would seat thee in yon hall,
Mann'd by a thousand men of Berkshire mould,
Thrice our own force in siege or sally bold,
Brave Lisle thy castellan--But he is cold,
Of old Shaw House ; and in our leisure then
Enact the princely pasiimes of Ardenne, * In one sense so. Colonels Lisle, Page, and Theiwall, and their favourite officers, while defending the post of Shaw House at the second battle of Newbury, threw oft their buff coats and charged in their shirt-sleeves,to give the men confi. Cheer'd by the smiles of lovely high-born maids,
Like Rosalind-'I hat fatal thought again !
* To set my fancies in this hopeless key.'"
To break his reverie-perhaps his shin,
" Here am I, some adventure to begin,
As poor Orlando ; but a lion's skin
Who knows but some vile ambush for the loon
Halt, then,---locks, priming, bullets,--all in tune ;
Of Lützen ; and, as I may need thee soon,
To mute material things; the hardy tar
To his bright sword that shared the tug of war--
Forged by rude hands from a mere iron bar.
He said. The forward stripling felt as vain
By a king's hand on stricken battle-plain.
Lived not to tell the tale of Newbury field.
Ay, by St. George! a true man's sword and shield
The might of this their battle-word, which steel'd
"I've read it by the watch-fire faint and tired,
At close of many a hard disastrous fight;
My metile, oft, ere study grew delight,
dence. The first charge was " for the King,” the next “ for the Queen,” the third for “ Prince Charles ;” and Lisle is reported to have said that he would have gone through the whole Royal Family, if necessary. The defence was as determined as it was successful. The royal cavalry in the rear were surprised and outflanked by the enemy's horse, who crossed the Lamborne at Bagnor, and were roughly handled before Cleveland in some degree retrieved the mishap