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Leaving a place lonely and dangerous,
Where whom the robber spares, a deadlier foe f
Strikes at unseen — and at a time when joy

* Athenaeus, xiv. f The Malaria.

M



90

Opens the heart, when summer-skies are blue,
And the clear air is soft and delicate ;
For then the demon works — then with that air
The thoughtless wretch drinks in a subtle poison
Lulling to sleep; and, when he sleeps, he dies.

But what are These still standing in the midst?
The Earth has rocked beneath ; the Thunder-stone
Passed through and through, and left its traces there ;
Yet still they stand as by some Unknown Charter !
Oh, they are Nature's own ! and, as allied
To the vast Mountains and the eternal Sea,
They want no written history; theirs a voice
For ever speaking to the heart of man !



THE BOY OF EGREMOND.



In the twelfth century William Fitz-Duncan laid waste the vallies
of Craven with fire and sword ; and was afterwards established
there by his uncle, David King of Scotland.

He was the last of the race ; his son, commonly called the Boy
of Egremond, dying before him in the manner here related ;
when a Priory was removed from Embsay to Bolton, that it
might be as near as possible to the place where the accident
happened. That place is still known by the name of the St rid;
and the mother's answer, as given in the first stanza, is to this
day often repeated in Wharf e-dale.

See Whitaker's Hist, of Craven.



93



THE BOY OF EGREMOND.



" Say what remains when Hope is tied."
She answered, " Endless weeping'"
For in the herds-man's eye she read
Who in his shroud lay sleeping.

At Embsay rung the matin-bell,
The stag was roused on Barden-fell ;
The mingled sounds were swelling, dying,
And down the Wharfe a hern was rlying ;



94

When near the cabin in the wood,

In tartan clad and forest-green,

With hound in leash and hawk in hood,

The Boy of Egremond was seen.

Blithe was his song, a song of yore,

But where the rock is rent in two,

And the river rushes through,

His voice was heard no more !

'Twas but a step ! the gulph he passed.

But that step — it was his last!

As through the mist he winged his way,

A cloud that hovers night and day,

The hound hung back, and back he drew

The Master and his merlin too.



9.5

That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of Life!

There now the matin-bell is rung ;
The " Miserere \" duly sung;
And holy men in cowl and hood
Are wandering up and down the wood.
But what avail they? Ruthless Lord,
Thou didst not shudder when the sword
Here on the young its fury spent,
The helpless and the innocent.
Sit now and answer groan for groan.
The child before thee is thy own, *



96

And she who wildly wanders there,

The mother in her long despair,

Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping,

Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping ;

Of those who would not be consoled

When red with blood the river rolled.



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Online LibrarySamuel RogersHuman life, a poem → online text (page 3 of 3)