MARGARET OF ANJOD.
AND PCTK SALE BY WE1.LS A^'D
MARGARET OF ANJOU.
PUBLISHED BY M. CAREY, NO. 121, CHESNUT-STREET,
AND FOR SALE BY WELLS AND LILLY, BOSTON.
MARGARET OF ANJOU.
CANTO THE FIRST.
OH, I do feel thee now ! oh, once again
Warm gleams of rapture burst upon my brain !
Quick heaves my lab'ring breast, and to my
Lo ! what strange forms in long succession rise!
Oh, Muse belov'd, I know thee now !
I feel thee glowing in my soul,
I feel thy beam upon my brow,
I feel thee thro* each artery roll
Tumultuous, fierce and bright impatient of con-
Lead on, my Muse ! For many a day,
With rapid pulse and uprais'd eye,
How have I chidden thy delay
And woo'd thee from thy sky !
Oh, thou art she who led me forth
Mid the cold mountains of the north,
Where freezing whirlwinds blow ;
She, whose benign and generous glow
Pour'd warmth into my heart even in those realm*
Lo ! where old Walden's hallowed wood
Bends its grey arms o'er Tyne's fair flood,
Tliere, in ttie'dark and distant years
Deep swallowed by oblivious time,
Long pour'd a saint* his holy tears
For human care and human crime ;
And, as they say, no elvish sprite,
Nor imp, nor goblin's wayward powers,
Even in the darkness of the night,
May blight old Walden's bowers,
Because the holy man forbade
That aught accurs'd should tread that venerable
But time rolls on ; the once green spray,
Moss-mantled now, is turnM to grey,
And, tears and painful penance paid,
The saint, long since, in dust is laid.
Well may he rest 1 for harder fare
Did never mortal pilgrim share.
In bitter drops he steep'd his bread,
Earth's flinty bosom was his bed ;
He thought it meet thro' life to go
Frowning in voluntary woe ;
And still his spirit did not bend,
He bore, unmurmuring, to the end ;
For well he ween'd, man's little lot
Is but a speck, a point, a spot,
A moment's conflict bravely borne,
The prize, eternal day ! an ever golden morn I
Well ! rest his spirit ! In the dell
Where once this holy man did dwell,
And where, amid this later age,
Still peeps the ivied hermitage,
Where close the social branches twin'd
* St. John of Beverlcy.
OANTO i. OF ANJOU. 7
O'erarch the pensive wanderer's head,
Where, seldom scar'd by human tread.
Meek, musing Silence sits enshrin'd
Oh, now, from whence arise the echoes rude
That wake the slumbering scene, and break its
The dawn just risen o'er Walden's shade
Had rouz'd the warblers from their nests,
When, mid the centre of the glade,
Its ruddy light the forms betray'd
Of fearful, strange, unwonted guests !
Now, who is she, whose awful mien,
Whose dauntless step's firm dignity,
Whose high-arch'd brow, sedate, serene.
Whose eye, unbending, strong and keen,
The solemn presence hint of conscious majesty ?
And, lo ! she speaks 1 Her lips severe
Some wondrous secret sure disclose,
For that mail'd form, who listens near,
Bends mute, and fix'd, the attentive ear ;
And now he frowns with aspect drear,
And now his cheek with ardour glows ;
A burning glance around he throws,
As kindling into rage he shakes his glittering
But she is calm: a peace profound
On the unruffled surface rests ;
Yet is that breast in iron bound,
And fill'd with rude and sullen guests.
No female weakness harbour'd there,
Relentings soft, nor shrinking fear,
Within its centre deep abide :
$ MARGARET CANTOI.
The stern resolve, the purpose dire,
And grim revenge's quenchless fire,
The intrepid thought, cold, thawless pride,
And fortitude, in torture tried,
These are its gentlest inmates now,
Tho' lawless love, they say, once heard its secret
Mark well that port sublime, that peerless
Then duteous, bend to earth the vassal knee,
For she it is, meek Henry's warrior Queen !
Unqueli'd by frowning Fortune'* hard decree,
She steins with royal spirit, unsubdued,
Of many a stormy day the conflict rude,
And meets, with scornful brow, the wrongs of
Margaret, her solemn counsel o'er,
On the arm'd warrior bends her eye,
As she would fain the thoughts explore
Which treasur'd in his bosom lie ;
Clifford, with honest, ready zeal,
Thus boldly meets the mute appeal,
" Doubt not, my Queen, thy soldier's word,
While, looking on thy princely bud,
He swears to plant it with his sword,
And feed it with his blood."
If aught by gentler spirits felt
In that stern baron's bosom dwelt,
It wak'd as he beheld with joy
The promise of the royal boy,
As something like a father's sigh
Commingled with his loyalty 1
CANTO i. OFANJOIL 9
Nature, when, with creative toil,
By unmark'tl crowds, thou mouldest man,
The trampled earth, the common soil
Supplies the general plan ;
But when a godlike soul demands
Fit clothing from thy skilful hands,
Thy care explores the secret mine
Where gold is form'd, where diamonds shine :
Earth's finest atoms never yet
To mould a fairer fabric met,
Than shrin'd the spirit bright of young Plantage-
Alas, sweet rose ! thou dost but blow,
The wonder of a ruthless season 1
Gay bloom thy petals, while below
Preys at thy root the canker treason I
And thou shalt fall ! But shall the Muse
In sullen silence see thee perish,
And shall her rigid eye refuse
The bright, benign, embalming dews
Which fall the hero's name to cherish ?
" Brave Clifford !" cried the gallant youth,
With glowing cheek and kindling eye,
" Long since thy 'deeds have seal'd thy truth,
Bright pledges of thy fealty !
Then swear not ! Should mistrust pervade,
Wavering and base, thy prince's heart,
Go, leave him meet to be betrayed I
And conquer on some nobler part !
" Yet, Baron, in thy manly breast
Some shrinkings cold may well
To see our princely House's pride
On' such a feeble column rest!
And, trust me, I forgive the sigh
With wnich e'en now I mark'd thee trace,
Heedful, intent, with pensive eye,
The untried stripling's beardless face ;
Yet ere this young and smiling day
Shall change his crimson robe for grey,
And faint and falter on his way,
Or I will win thy generous trust
Or shroud my feebleness in dust!"
Now to the Cumbrian Baron's ear
I wot that modest boast was dear.
" Oh, by St. George !" he cried, " to-day
This boy shall shew our veterans play !
Spirit of Monmouth ! even now
I hear thee speak ! I see thee glow !
Beneath our banners walks there one
On whom the breath of fear has blown,
Who, marching coldly to the fray
Thinks sadly on the close of day,
Now let him cheerly lift his head,
5 Tis Monmouth's spirit leads, which never droop'd
or fled !"
Some Gallic drops there lurk'cl, I ween,
Jn the proud veins of England's Queen ;
No marvel then fifth Harry's fame
On Margaret's ear unkindly grates,
How can she love that dreadful name
Which every Frenchman hates ?
" What, Clifford ! wouldstthou teach thy tongue,
Thy rude and rugged tongue, to praise ?
ANTO i. OF ANJOU. 1 1
Trust me, it ill abides the wrong,
And awkwardly its task obeys,
It hates to mould the courtier's phrase !
Oh, I have heard it in the field
In thunder bid a foeman yield ;
And I nave heard its thrilling shout
Recal the base, dispersing rout ;
And I have heard it rend the sky
With the bless'd peal of victory ;
But never, Clifford, wilt thou teach
That organ, tun'd to war, the flatterer's silver
" Now hear me, Edward ! In thy heart,
Thy arm and sword, put /my trust !
Margaret invokes not, on thy part,
A grandsire from the dust !
Go, win me back thy father's throne ;
And, even as the wrong, be the success thine own 1
" Know, Prince, I send thee not to war
As son by low-born mother sent :
Serene and fix'd, 1 watch thy star
Now rising in the firmament,
And wait unshrinking the event I
To its high course if Fate unkind
Has but a short career assign'd,
Yet, falling, it may leave a brilliant track behind !
" Oh, heaven ! what evil days of gloom
Have left their furrows in my breast !
Yet distant, distant be the doom
Which stays my troubles in the tomb
And yields ignoble rest !
2 MARGARET CANTO
Where is the pang, the woe, the care,
This dauntless spirit shall not dare ?
What path too rugged, wild and strange,
For Margaret's fearless foot to range ?
Ordain but heaven that, at the last,
Guerdon of wrongs and sorrows past>
She feeds, she feasts her eager eye
Upon her foeman's misery I"
Bright was the beam of Edward's eye,
And rich the bloom on Edward's cheek,
Yet from his gallant breast a sigh,
A human sigh, did break ;
He sigh'd to think so dire a guest
Might harbour in a woman's breast!
" Mother, from yonder concave sky,
Far rais'd above our earthly ken,
An awful, just, eternal eye
Looks on the deeds of men !
Whether in open, manly wise,
With glowing blood, in combat bold
I seize the hard-contested prize,
Or loosen honour's noble ties
With hand deliberate and cold,
Shall that unerring eye behold!
" Oh, rather fail this ardent breath,
And palsied sink this hand in death,
Ere with keen taunt, and lingering blow*
I hover o'er a fallen foe !
No ! when the battle rages dire,
Apd the rouz'd soul is all on fire,
Think'st thou a noble heart can stay
Hate's rancorous impulse to obey r"
ANTO i. OF ANJOU. 13
" Then, Madam," said the Cumbrian lord,
" Bid him obey thy just behest
Who still delights with lance or sword,
Or sharper edge of bitter word,
To goad thy foeman's breast I
The lance unbiunted still remains
Which open'd Rutland's infant veins;
Proud York, the voice which on thine ear
Pour'd sounds thy soul abhorr'd to hear,
Still frames, to vex thy rebel race,
Like words of insult and disgrace !"
" Enough, good Clifford. Yonder throng
Of lawless rebels know thee well ;
Nor holds yon hostile camp a tongue
Which, rnix'd with curses, cannot tell
That Clifford's name is dire and fell
As ban-dog's howl, or witch's spell.
Warriors, begone ! the advancing day
To glory summons ye away !
Begone ! a breathless nation waits
And Victory the lingerer hates !
Begone, begone ! his steps are slow
Who hears a woman bid him go !
Away ! Towards yonder royal height,
My eaglet, imp thy wing for flight !
Be rapid and be bold ! and God defend thy
" Yet, mother, yet how long soe'er
The coming conflict may appear,
Oh, let no ili-endur'd suspense,
No keen impatience tempt thee hence !
14 MARGARET CANTO i.
Success sometimes a traitor proves ;
But, Lady, while thou shelterest here
Amid these dark and hallow'd groves',
Nor wrong, nor insult shalt thou fear !
If, which the powers of heaven forefend I
Our blushing Rose her stalk must bend,
Yet, thou art safe some loyal hand,
Spar'd mid the ruin of our band,
Unknown, shall lead thee hence to Scotia's friendly
" Get thee to horse 1 if longer here
Thou waste in idle talk the day,
By heaven ! ourself will seize the spear ?
And rush before thee to the fray 1"
But while she spake the taunting word,
Audacious, ardent, and elate
Young Edward on the saddle sate,
And ne'er did lovelier, braver lord
Ride forth to challenge Fate !
As Clifford vaulted on his steed,
New sounds along the woodland rang,
For of the veteran's ponderous weed
Echo repeats the bruyant clang;
The gallant steed obey'd the check,
Used to his master's strong command,
As bending o'er his arching neck
Courteous he kiss'd his iron hand.
They are gone ! The half embracing boughs
Before their rapid course recede,
But soon again the branches clgse
Concealing man and steed :
CANTO i. OFANJOU. 15
Awhile the Queen a listener stood
And eager caught the lessening sound,
Which faint and fainter smote the ground,
Of war-horse fleet and good ;
Then Margaret turn'd, and turning smil'd,
Yet ghastly was the smile, and wild,
As inwardly she breath'd a farewell to her child,
She was alone : nor sound, nor sight,
Or near or distant, met her sense ;
'Twas like the stillness of the night,
Or fearful pausing of suspense.
That breathless, noiseless calm oppress'd
The warrior Queen's unquiet breast ;
She fear'd, tho' all unus'd to fear,
And, trembling, felt that God was near !
Yet Margaret pray'd not, tho' her child,
Her only child, mid havoc stood,
And hardly staid the effort wild
Of foeman burning for his blood,
She rais'd not for her gallant son
The mother's tender orison !
The yielding turf as Margaret press'd
She listen'd eager for a sound,
She felt the discord in her breast
Insulted by the peace profound,
And darkly on the scene she frown'd ;
Yet still the woodland smil'd serene,
Unconscious of the frowning Queen !
Now from the distant battle field
A mingled sound of tumult came ;
16 MARGARET CANTO i.
The lady starts for all her frame
With strange delight is thrill'd !
" The stern defiance then is past !
Our trumpets have provok'd the foe.
And at the loud triumphant blast
Rebellion vails his caitiff brow ;
Lo, they encounter ! horse to horse
In gallant onset wildly dashing !
Methinks I mark their headlong course,-
I hear, I hear the menace hoarse !
I see their falchions fiery flashing !
I hear the ponderous shock of arms together
" 111 didst thou, Nature, to combine
With woman's form a soul like mine !
What heart in either grim array
Throbs to the charge with wilder beat!
What ear so loves the trumpet's bray
That bids contending thousands meet !
Whose thirst like mine, when blood of foes
Warm from the gasping fountain flows !
Whose nerves more firmly brac'd to dare I
Who loves like me to crush ! who hates like me
to spare !"
When Winter in his wrath unbinds
With ruthless hand his ruffian winds,
And sends them forth in fierce career
The shuddering leafless groves to tear,
Strange voices seem to fill the sky.
And now the rude and boisterous North,
Like threatning thousands, clamours forth,
And now one deep convulsive sigh
CANTO i. OF ANJOU. IT
Upon the ear sobs sullenly !
Next comes a ghastly pause and now
Again with rallying force the gather'd whirlwinds
Thus sometimes to the royal dame,
With sudden burst, the rumour came
As 'twould the welkin fill,
And then at once upon the gale
The victor-shout, the dying wail,
And all the mingling sounds would fail
As if the bloody work stood still !
Now, flashing thro* the leafy screen,-
Revealed now and now unseen
In lustrous panoply array'd,
A knight came glancing thro' the glade ;
Right on he rode : his urgent speed
Nor check nor barrier might impede,
For swift the opposing branches fell,
Like foes beneath his trenchant steel ;
Swift rode he as the winged blast,
Sharply he spurr'd his willing steed,
And, in his overweening haste,
Even she he sought he would have past,
So headlong was his speed !
The Queen beheld with angry eye
The hot-brained knight's career,
And now her voice she sent on high
With accent shrill and clear,
" Stay thee, Sir Knight 1 if cowardly
From yonder field thou dost not fly ;
For never sure such speed had other goad than
18 MARGARET CANTO i
Nor heard nor felt the impatient spleen,
The youthful knight salutes his Queen,
While still impatient in his speed,
He flung him from his half-curb'd steed ;
And Margaret sees, with brightening glance,
The kneeling captain bears young Beaufort's
Breathless, he cries, " Hail, Royal Dame !
I bring thee news shall make thee smile !
'Twas therefore Beaufort hither came
And left the work of death awhile,
To fill thy dauntless heart with mirth.
And tell thee that thy subject earth
Insatiate drinks, in thirsty mood,
Libations large of rebel blood !
The day is ours ! and day more bright
Ne'er mid the welkin rose to gild auspicious
" Before the onset, while we stood
In sullen, silent, grim delay,
Fronting the foe in vengeful mood.
Each bosom panting for the fray>
Even then, before a foot was stirr'd,
Before a^ trumpet-breath was heard.
Swift pass'cl before my prophet sight
The glorious issue of the fight;
For, Lady, as with eager eye
The rebels' level lines I scann'd*
The gale, averse and drowsily,
The hostile streamers fann'd;
Close to its staff the banner citing
CANTO i. OF ANJOU. 19
Forlorn each chieftain's plumage hung,
And ne'er, methought, with colder cheer
Did warlike band to foe draw near !
For us, upon the buoyant gale
Banners and plumes were proudly floating,
While from our gaily glancing mail
Long streams of radiance pour'd, heaven's fav'-
ring smile denoting."
Now when the knight, o'erblown and panting,
Paus'd because breath and speech were
And lean'd in silence on his sword,
The Queen, with penetrating word,
Half doubting, half in hope, bespake the youthful
" Oh, say, Lord Edmund, art thou sure,
Sure art thou that the day is ours ?
Is veering victory quite secure,
Quite broken are yon rebel powers ?
And didst thou see the victory won,
And see the hot pursuit begun ?
Did Montague forsake the fight ?
Did Warwick fly the adverse field ?
Oh, conquest proud ! triumphant sight,
To see the stubborn Warwick yield i
Half England's treasure would I give
To him who takes that lord alive 1
One groan, one heart-wrung groan, from thee,
Warwick, were more than victory 1
But say, Lord Edmund, sooth ly say,
Does Fate confirm the victory ours,
Or merely, in capricious play,
20 MARGARET CANTO i,
A moment shine upon our day,
In darkness once again to plunge its endless
Meanwhile the Knight had loos'd the brace
Which close the stifling beaver tied,
And with embroider'd kerchief dried,
By Margaret's royal hand supplied,
The dew which bath'd his glowing face :
Reflection now reprov'd the wrong
Done rashly by his sanguine tongue,
For now the generous youth was forc'd
To chili the joy his ardour nurs'd.
When princely Edward bade rne speed
To thee with goodly tidings fraught,
As swift I flew as winged thought,
So eagerly I prick'd my steed ;
And now, I fear, the race intense
Confus'd and whirl'd my giddy sense,
And taught my foolish tongue to speak
At random, heedless, rash, and weak,
Of things as done which were beginning,
And of that prize as won, which we were only
Scarce eighteen rapid years had sped,
With trackless course, o'er Beaufort's head,
And they who mark'd his beardless chin,
And ruddy lip, could ill have guess'd
The steady hate that lurk'd within
That youthful captain's breast !
There, unappeasable and dire,
Stern Vengeance blew the ruthless fire,
CANTO I. OANJOU. 21
And told him of his murder'd sire !
Train'd to the work of danger early,
Young Beaufort, joyous and content,
His latest life-drop would have spent
To nourish and maintain a cause he lov'd so
Seldom Lord Edmund had beheld,
Save mid the strife of hostile field,
Of bended brow the menace keen ;
And sure the wight whose visage grim
Had glanc'd an angry look on him
Were ill advised, I ween ;
What was there then in woman's frown
That brought this mounting spirit down ?
For now, what man nor dar'd, nor could,
Queen Margaret's look of scorn effected ;
Abash'd, rebuk'd, young Beaufort stood,
Drooping his lofty crest, dishearten'd and de-
" Beshrew thee, rash presumptuous boy I
What! must the royal ear be fill'd
With every empty, idle toy,
At pleasure of a heedless child 1
Go, teach thy crude unripen'd sense
The act of subject reverence ;
And tell the Prince, when next he sends
His Mother and his Queen to greet,
'Twere well he sought, among his friends,
Embassador more meet !
Scarce had the haughty Margaret's word.
Like burning arrow, lanc'd his breast,
22 MARGARET CANTO i.
Than, feeling all his strength restor'd,
Aloft young Beaufort flung his crest,
While o'er the cheek that shame had dy'd
Mantled the deeper glow of pride ;
The flash which shot from either eye
The kindling of his soul betray'd,
Yet still his tongue confessed the tie
Impos'd by deep-sworn fealty,
Which all indignant phrase, or rough retort for-
He pans'd while to the earth he cast
His eyes, which burn'd with angry flame :
" By princely Edward's mandate grac'd,
To seek thy presence, royal Dame,
Unworthy of the charge, I came 1
4 Go, Beaufort, seek the Queen, and say
The heavens fight for us to-day !
Go, tell her, that the sunshine hour
Smiles gaily on our blushing flow'r ;
Already, say, a thousand foes
Have shed their blood to feed our Rose ;
And tell her, that her son has vaunted
In heart of England's Isle to see it firmly
" Then, mid the centre of the fight,
Audacious plung'd the royal Knight !
Till then so please you we had stood
Together striving with the flood ;
As brother by the side of brother,
Our friendly shields still fenc'd each other :
Reluctant, I obey'd his word,
And stay'd, half-quench'd, my thirsty sword :
CANTO i. OF ANJOU. 23
Even as I left the glorious scene,
An humble herald to my Queen,
Mine ear was greeted by the cry,
The thunder-peal of Victory !
Scarce from the host had Beaufort parted,
Than, sweeping down upon the left,
Young Edward, like a falcon, darted,
And Hastings' well-knit line with force resistless
u Now pardon, Lady ! ere I fly
To fight again for thee and thine,
Even as my father died, to die,
Perchance, for thy illustrious line,
One moment's pleading, Lady, hear,
One word for youthful Lancaster !
I know not but his princely eye
Sought vainly mid the armed throng,
One, whose hoar head, and pausing tongue,
And colder spirit, might supply
A missive meet for majesty :
Alas, alas ! the ripen'd ear
Has perish'd from your golden field 1
The crops which now your meadows bear
A crude and unsunn'd harvest yield !
Each warrior sage, maturely brave,
Who to the blushing Red Rose clave,
Too early summoned, yielded place
To us, a wild uncounsePd race !
Our sires are past away we combat on their
The mild rebuke was all unfelt ;
IdJy it fell on Margaret's ear.
24 MARGARET CANTO i.
Because her mind intensely dwelt
Upon a vision proud and dear,
The fame of youthful Lancaster !
Not with a mother's tender joy
She thought upon her gallant boy,
'Twas joy, concenter'd, and austere,
Unwater'd by maternal tear,
Unmingled with maternal fear !
Even such her joy as might possess
The breast of mountain lioness,
When first her flashing eyes behold
Her young ones raging wild amid the slaugh-
A smile so fraught with sovereign grace
Illum'd the Royal Lady's face,
That well, I ween, the Knight forgot
The ireful glance those eyes had shot ;
The smile just reach'd the galled heart,
And heal'd at once the wounded part.
And now Lord Edmund, bending low,
Besought the Queen with courteous pray'r,
That she some guerdon might bestow,
Some relic, gaud, or riband fair :
" Trust me, my Queen, this heedless boy,
Like relic bless'd, shall guard the toy;
And he will wear it in despite
Of yon Pale Rose's sharpest thorn !
Oh I should her fiercest, proudest knight
Uplift his hand to do it scorn,
Malignant was the siar that shone when he wa?
CANTO i. OF ANJOU. 25
Then round his armed wrist she bound
Her kerchief, stiff with beaten gold,
Where, blushing fair on glittering ground,
The crimson rose you might behold ;
Quick to his lips and to his breast
Th^ royal hand young Beaufort press'd,
Then swift upspringing rose the Knight,
And with impetuous hand he freed
The noose which held his barded steed,
And, wreckless of his cumbrous weed,
Leapt in his lofty seat, impatient for the fight 1
END OF CANTO THE FIRST.
NOTES TO CANTO THE FIRST.
Lo ! where old Walderfs hallow* d wood. Stanza III. 1. 1.
AT a little distance from the Tyne lies Nether Wai.
den ; it is hallowed to churchmen as having 1 been the
retirement of Saint John of Beverley : Pennant says,
Saint John of Beverley made the adjacent woods his re-
treat from the world.
Clifford, with honest, ready zeal. St. X. 1. 5.
The Author has here ventured somewhat to extend
the wonted limits of poetical privilege, by the introduc-
tion in this place of the warlike per- on age in question,
who was, according to fact, slain two years earlier in a
conflict at Ferrybridge, the Lord Falconbridge com-