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Young Romilly through Barden woods
Is ranging high and low;
And holds a Greyhound in a leash,
To let slip upon buck or doe.
The Pair have reached that fearful chasm,
How tempting to bestride!
For lordly Wharf is there pent in
With rocks on either side.
This Striding-place is called THE STRID,
A name which it took of
A thousand years hath it borne that name,
And shall a thousand more.
And hither is young Romilly come,
And what may now forbid
That he, perhaps for the hundredth time,
Shall bound across THE STRID ?
- for what cared he That the River was strong, and the rocks were steep? - But the Greyhound in the leash hung back, And checked him in his leap.
The Boy is in the arms of Wharf,
And strangled by a merciless force;
For never more was young Romilly seen
Till he rose a lifeless Corse.
Now there is stillness in the Vale,
And deep unspeaking sorrow :
Wharf shall be to pitying hearts
A name more sad than Yarrow.
If for a Lover the Lady wept,
A solace she might borrow
From death, and from the passion of death;
Old Wharf might heal her sorrow.
She weeps not for the wedding-day
Which was to be to-morrow:
Her hope was a farther-looking hope,
And hers is a Mother's sorrow.
He was a Tree that stood alone,
And proudly did its branches wave ;
And the Root of this delightful Tree
Was in her Husband's grave!
Long, long in darkness did she sit,
And her first words were, “ Let there be
In Bolton, on the Field of Wharf,
A stately Priory!"
The stately Priory was reared ;
And Wharf, as he moved along,
To Matins joined a mournful voice,
Nor failed at Even-song.
And the Lady prayed in heaviness
That looked not for relief!
But slowly did her succour come,
And a patience to her grief.
Oh! there is never sorrow, of heart
That shall lack a timely end,
If but to God we turn, and ask
Of Him to be our Friend!
A FACT, AND AN IMAGINATION;
The Danish Conqueror, on his royal chair,
Mustering a face of haughty sovereignty,
To aid a covert purpose, cried -
Approaching waters of the deep, that share
With this green isle my fortunes, come not where
Your Master's throne is set !” – Absurd decree!
A mandate uttered to the foaming sea,
Is to its motion less than wanton air.
Then Canute, rising from the invaded Throne,
Said to his servile Courtiers, “ Poor the reach,
The undisguised extent, of mortal sway!
He only is a king, and he alone
Deserves the name (this truth the billows preach)
Whose everlasting laws, sea, earth, and heaven obey."
This just reproof the prosperous Dane
Drew, from the influx of the Main,
For some whose rugged northern mouths would strain
At oriental flattery;
And Canute (truth more worthy to be known)
From that time forth did for his brows disown
The ostentatious symbol of a Crown;
Esteeming earthly royalty
Contemptible and vain.
Now hear what one of elder days, Rich theme of England's fondest praise, Her darling Alfred, might have spoken ; To cheer the remnant of his host When he was driven from coast to coast, Distressed and harassed, but with mind unbroken : “ My faithful Followers, lo! the tide is spent ; That rose, and steadily advanced to fill The shores and channels, working Nature's will Among the
streams that backward went, And in the sluggish pools where ships are pent: And now, its task performed, the Flood stands still At the
green base of many an inland hill, In placid beauty and sublime content !