Page images

no more.


Come,John, I said,suppressing fear and doubt, ( But while it raged her peace its ruin met, Walk on before, and let a lady out!- And now the sun is on her prospects set; Lady! the wretch replied, with kavage grin, Leave her, and let us her distress explore, Apply to him that let the lady in:

She heeds it not-she has been left before. What! you would go, I take it, to the Dean, And tell him what your ladyship has seen. When thus the fool exposed the knave, I saw The means of holding such a mind in awe, There were two lads callid Shelley hither And gain my safety by his dread of law.

brought, Alas! I cried, I fear the Dean like you, But whence we know not - it was never For I transgress, and am in trouble too:

sought; Is it be known that we are here, as sure Their wandering mother left them, left her As here we are we must the law endure:

name, Each other's counsel therefore let us keep, And the boys throve and valiant men became: And each steal homeward to our beds and Handsome, of more than common size, and sleep.

tall, Steal! said the ruffian's conscience— Well, And, no one's kindred, seem'd beloved of all;


All seem'd alliance by their deeds to prove, Steal on, and let us to the door proceed :- And loved the youths who could not claim Yet, ere he moved, he stood awhile, and took

their love. Of my poor form a most alarming look; One was callid James, the more sedate and But, hark! I cried, and he to move began,

grave, Escape alone engaged the dreadful man : The other Robert-names their neighbours With eager hand I oped the ponderous door

gave; The wretch rush'd by me, and was heard They both were brave, but Robert loved to So l escaped, - and when my dreams came on, And meet his danger-James would rather I check'd the madness by the thoughts of

shun John:

The dangerous trial, but whenever tried
Yet say I not what can or cannot be, He all his spirit to the act applied.
But give the story of my ghost and me. Robert would aid on any man bestow,

James would his man and the occasion know;
For that was quick and prompt--this tem-

perate and slow. Robert would all things he desired pursue,

James would consider what was best to do; BO O K XXI.

All spoke of Robert as a man they loved,

And most of James as valued and approved. SMUGGLERS AND POACHERS. Both had some learning: Robert his acquired

By quicker parts, and was by praise inspired ; There was a widow in the village known James, as he was in his acquirements slow, To our good Squire, and he had favour shown Would learn the worth of what he tried to By frequent bounty-She as usual came,

know. And Richard saw the worn and weary frame, In fact, this youth was generous—that was Pale cheek, and eye subdued, of her whose

just; mind

The one you loved, the other you would trust: Was grateful still, and glad a friend to find, Yet him you loved you would for truth apThough to the world long since and all its

prove, hopes resign'd: And him you trusted you would likewise love. Her easy form, in rustic neatness clad, Was pleasing still! but she for ever sad. Deep is her grief? said Richard-Truly deep, Such were the brothers James had found And very still, and therefore seems to sleep; To borrow simile, to paint her woes,

To Nether-Hall, and there inclined to stay; Theirs, like the river's motion, seems repose, He could himself command, and therefore Making no petty murmuring,-settled, slow,

could obey : They never waste, they never overflow. He with the keeper took his daily round, Rachel is one of those--for there are some A rival grew, and some unkindness found; Who look for nothing in their days to come, But his superior farm’d! the place was void, No good nor evil, neither hope nor fear, And James guns, dogs, and dignity enjoy'd. Nothing remains or cheerful or severe; Robert had scorn of service; he would be One day is like the past, the year's sweet A slave to no man-happy were the free,

And only they ;-by such opinions led, Like the sad fall,—for Rachel heeds not time: Robert to sundry kinds of trade was bred; Nothing remains to agitate her breast, Nor let 118 wonder if he sometimes made Spent is the tempest, and the sky at rest; An active partner in a lawless trade;


his way

Fond of adventure, wanton as the wave, With art insidious rival damsels strove
He loved the danger and the law to brave; To show how false his speech, how feign'd
But these were chance-adventures, hnown

his love;
to few,

And though her heart another story told, Not that the hero cared what people knew. Her speech grew cautious, and her manner



The brothers met not often-When they met Rachel had village fame, was fair and tall, James talk'd of honest gains and scorn of And gain’d a place of credit at the Hall;


Where James beheld her scated in that place, Of virtuous labour, of a sober life, With a child's meekness, and an angel's face; And what with credit would support a wife. Her temper soft, her spirit firm, her words But Robert answer'd-How can men advise Simple and few as simple truth affords. Who to a master let their tongue and eyes? Whose words are not their own? whose foot

and hand

James could but love her, - he at church Run at a nod, or act upon command ?

had seen Who cannot eat or drink, discourse or play, The tall, fair maid, had met her on the green, Without requesting others that they may. Admiring always, nor surprised to find Debt you would shun; but what advice

Her figure often present to his mind; give

But now he saw her daily, and the sight Who owe your service every hour you live! Gave him new pleasure and increased delight. Let a bell sound, and from your friends you Although the darling of your heart were one; But James, still prudent and reserved, though But if the bondage fits you, I resign

sure You to your lot – I am content with mine! The love he felt was love that would endure,

Would wait awhile, observing what was fit,

And meet, and right, nor would himself Thus would the lads their sentiments express,

commit: And part in earnest, part in playfulness; Then was he flatter'd, -James in time became Till Love, controller of all hearts and eyes, Rich, both as slayer of the Baron's game, Breaker of bonds, of friendship's holy ties, And as protector, -not a female dwelt Awakener of new wills and slumbering sym- In that demesne who had not feign'd or felt


Regard for James; and he from all had praise Began his reign, - till Rachel, meek-eyed Enough a young man's vanity to raise;


With all these pleasures he of course must That form, those cheeks, that faultless face

part display'd,

When Rachel reign'd sole empress of his That child of gracious nature, ever neat

heart. And never fine; a flowret simply sweet, Seeming at least unconscious she was fair; Robert was now deprived of that delight Meek in her spirit, timid in her air,

He once experienced in his mistress' sight; And shrinking from his glance if one pre- For, though he now his frequent visits paid,

sumed To come too near the beauty as it bloom’d. The simple common pleasures that he tool

He saw but little of the cautious maid; Robert beheld her in her father's cot

Grew dull, and he the wonted haunts forsook ; Day after day, and bless'd his happy lot;

His flute and song he left, his book and pen. He look'd indeed, but he could not offend

And sought the meetings of adventurous By gentle looks— he was her father's friend :

men; She was accustom'd to that tender look, And frankly gave the hand he fondly took; That wanted stimulus to bring on rest ;

There was a love-born sadness in his breast, She loved his stories, pleased she heard him These simple pleasures were no more of use,

play, Pensive herself, she loved to see him gay, He joind th' associates in their lawless

And danger only could repose produce ; And if they loved not yet, they were in Love's

trade, highway

And was at length of their profession made

But Rachel now to womanhood was grown,
And would no more her faith and fondness He saw connected with th' adventurous crew


Those whom he judged were sober men and She callid her latent prudence to her aid,

true ; And grew observant, cautious, and afraid; He found that some, who should the trade She heard relations of her lover's guile,

prevent, And could believe the danger of his smile: Gave it by purchase their encouragement, He found that contracts could be made with But still she found, though not without rethose

spect Who had their pay these dealers to oppose; For one so good, she must the man reject; And the good ladies whom at church he saw For, simple though she was , full weli she With looks devout, of reverence and awe,

knew Could change their feelings as they change What this strong friendship led him to pursue:

their place, And, let the man be honest as the light, And, whispering, deal for spicery and lace: Love warps the mind a little from the right; And thus the craft and avarice of these And she proposed, against the trying day, Urged on the youth, and gave his conscience What in the trial she should think and say.



Him loved the maiden Rachel, fondly loved, And now, their love avow'd, in both arose
As many a sigh and tear in absence proved, Fear and disdain--the orphan-pair were foes.
And many a fear for dangers that she knew, Robert, more generous of the two, avow'd
And many a doubt what one so gay might do : His scorn, defiance, and contempt aloud.
Of guilt she thought not, – she had often James talk'd of pity in a softer tone,


To Rachel speaking, and with her alone: They bought and sold, and nothing wrong His wretched brother, what would be his

He knew full well, he said, to what must come appear'd ;

doom: Her father's maxim this: she understood There was some ill,—but he, she knew, was Thus he her bosom fenced with dread about;

But love he could not with his skill drive out.

good : It was a traffic—but was done by night

Still he cffected something,—and that skill But Robert's conscience, she believed, was Made the love wretched, though it could not

pureAnd that he read his Bible she was sure.

And Robert fail'd, though much he tried,

to prove

He had no guilt-She granted he had love. James, better taught, in confidence declared His grief for what his guilty brother dared: Thus they proceeded, till a winter came, He sigh'd to think how near he was akin

When the stern keeper told of stolen game: To one reduced by godless men to sin;

Throughout the woods the poaching dogs Who, being always of the law in dread,

had been, To other crimes were by the danger led

And from him nothing should the robbers And crimes with like excuse- The smuggler

screen, cries,

From him and law,- he would all hazards What guilt is his who pays for what he

run, buys?

Nor spare a poacher, were his brother one-The poacher questions, with perverted mind, Love, favour, interest, tie of blood should fail, Were not the gifts of heaven for all design’d? Till vengeance bore him bleeding to the jail. This cries, I sin not-take not till I pay ;- Poor Rachel shudder’d, — smuggling she That, My own hand brought down my proper

could name prey :

Without confusion, for she felt not shame; And while to such fond argumerts they But poachers were her terror, and a wood


Which they frequented had been mark'd by How fear they God? how honour they the

blood; king?

And though she thought her Robert was Such men associate, and each other aid, Till all are guilty, rash, and desperate made; In better thonghts, yet could she not be sure. Till to some lawless deed the wretches fly, And in the act, or for the acting, die.

James now was urgent,-it would break his

heart The maid was frighten'd, - but, if this was With hope, with her, and with such views true,

to part, Robert for certain no such danger knew, When one so wicked would her hand possess, He always pray'd ere he a trip began, And he a brother!--that was his distress, And was too happy for a wicked man: And must be hers--She heard him, and she How could a creature, who was always gay,

sigh'd, So kind to all men, so disposed to pray, Looking in doubt,--but nothing she replied. How could he give his heart to such an evil There was a generous feeling in her mind,


That told her this was neither good nor kind: Yet she had fears,- for she could not believe James caused her terror, but he did no moreThat James could lic, or purpose to deceive; Her love was now as it had been before.


Their traffic fail'd, and the adventurous crew | Brave, kind, and generous, tender, constant, No more their profitless attempts renew:

true, Dig they will not, and beg they might in And he must die-then will I perish too!


A thousand acts in every age will prove Had they not pride,and what can then remain? Women are valiant in a cause they love; Now was the game destroy'd, and not an hare If fate the favour'd swain in danger place, Escaped at least the danger of the snare; They heed not danger-perils they embrace; Woods of their feather'd beauty were bereft, They dare the world's contempt, they brave The beauteous victims of the silent theft;

their name's disgrace; The well-known shops received a large They on the ocean meet its wild alarms,


They search the dungeon with extended arms; That they who could not kill at least might The utmost trial of their faith they prove,


And yield the lover to assert their love. James was enraged, enraged his lord, and

both Confirm’d their threatening with a vengeful James knew his power – his feelings were oath :

not niceFresh aid was sought--and nightly on the Mercy he sold, and she must pay the price:


If his good lord forbore to urge their fate, Walk'd on their watch the strong, deter- And he the utmost of their guilt to state,

mined bands : The felons might their forfeit lives redeem, Pardon was offer'd, and a promised pay And in their country's cause regain esteem ; To him who would the desperate gang betray. But never more that man, whom he had shame Nor fail'd the measure, on a certain night To call his brother, must she see or name. A few were seized — the rest escaped by

flight; Yet they resisted boldly ere they fled, Rachel was meek, but she had firmness too, And blows were dealt around, and blood was And reason'd much on what she ought to do:


In Robert's place, she knew what she should Two groaning helpers on the earth were laid,

chooseWhen more arrived the lawful cause to aid : But life was not the thing she fear'd to lose: Then four determined men were seized and She knew that she could not their contract bound,

break, And Robert in this desperate number found : Nor for her life a new engagement make; In prison fetter'd, he deplored his fate, But he was man, and guilty,-death so near And cursed the folly he perceived too late. Might not to his as to her mind appear; James was a favourite with his lord, – the And he might wish, to spare that forfeit life,


The maid he loved might be his brother's He show'd was such as masters ever feel:

wife, If he for vengeance on a culprit cried, Although that brother was his bitter foe, Or if for mercy, still his lord complied: And he must all the sweets of life forego. And now, 'twas said, he will for mercy plead, For his own brother's was the guilty deed: True, the hurt man is in a mending way, This would she try--intent on this alone, But must be crippled to his dying day. She could assume a calın and settled tone:

She spake with firmness—I will Robert see,

Know what he wishes, and what I must be ; Now James had vow'd the law should take For James had now discover'd to the maid

its course,

His inmost heart, and how he must be paid, He would not stay it, if he did not force; If he his lord would soften, and would hide He could his witness, if he pleased, withdraw, The facts that must the culprit's fate decide. Or he could arm with certain death the law: Go not, he said,- for she her full intent This he attested to the maid, and true, Proclaim'd—To go she purposed, and she If this he could not, yet he much could do.

went: How suffer'd then that maid, - nó thought She took a guide,and went with purpose stern

she had,

The secret wishes of her friend to learn. No view of days to come, that was not sad; As sad as life with all its hopes resign'd, As sad as ought but guilt can make mankind. She saw him fetter'd, full of grief, alone, With bitter grief the pleasures she review'd Still as the dead, and he suppressd a groan of early hope, with innocence pursued, At her appearance – Now she pray'd for When she began to love, and he was fond

strength; and good :

And the sad couple could converse at length. He now must die, she heard from every It was a scene that shook her to repeat.

Life fought with love, both powerful, and Die,and so thoughtless! perish, and so young !


both sweet.

Wilt thou die, Robert, or preserve thy life? Robert, when death no longer was in view, Shall I be thine own maid, or James's wife? Scorn'd what was done, but could not this His wife!-No!-Never will I thee resign

undo : No, Rachel, no!—Then am I ever thine; The day appointed for the trial near I know thee rash and guilty, - but to thee He view'd with shame, and not unmix'd I pledged my vow, and thine will ever be :

with fear, Yet think again,—the life that God has lent James might deceive him; and, if not, the Is thine, but not to cast away,-Consent,

scheines If 'tis thy wish; for this I made my way Of men may fail-Can I depend on James? To thy distress — Command, and I obey.- He might; for now the grievous price was Perhaps my brother may have gain’d thy

paid heart!

James to the altar led the victim maid, Then why this visit, if I wish'd to part? And gave the trembling girl his faithful word Was it, ah, man ungrateful! wise to make For Robert's safety, and so gave my lord. Effort like this, to hazard for thy sako But this, and all the promise hope could give, A spotless reputation, and to be

Gilded not life,-- it was not joy to live; A suppliant to that stern man for thee? There was no smile in Rachel, nothing gay, But I forgive,-thy spirit has been tried, The hours pass’d off, but never danced away. And thou art weak, but still thou must decide. When drew the gloomy day for trial near 1 ask'd thy brother, James, wouldst thou There came a note to Robert-Banish fear!

command, Without the loving heart, the obedient

hand ?

He knew whence safety came,-his terror fled, I ask'd thee, Robert, lover, canst thou part But rage and vengeance fill'd his soul instead. With this poor hand, when master of the A stronger fear in his companions rose

heart? He answer'd Yes !—I tarry thy reply,

The day of trial on their hopes might close :

They had no brothers, none to intercede Resign'd with him to live, content with thce For them, their friends suspected, and in need ;

to die.
Scatter'd, they judged, and could unite no

more, Assured of this, with spirits low and ta

Not 80,—they then were at the prison-door. Here life so purchased

there a death of For some had met who sought the haunts shame;

they loved Death once his merriment, but now his dread, And were to pity and to vengeance moved: And he with terror thought upon the dead: Their fellows perish! and they see their 0! sure 'tis better to endure the care

fall, And pain of life, than go we know not where!- Why not attempt the steep but guardless And is there not the dreaded hell for sin,

wall ? Or is it only this I feel within? That, if it lasted, no man would sustain, Attempt was made, his part assign'd cach man, Bat would by any change relieve the pain: And they succeeded in the desperate plan; Forgive me, love! it is a lothsome thing In truth, a purposed mercy smooth’d their To live not thine; but still this dreaded sting

way, Of death torments me-I to nature cling- But that they knew not—all triumphant they. Go, and be his—but love him not, be sure- Safe in their well-known haunts, they all Go, love him not, - and I will life endure:

prepared He, too, is mortal!Rachel deeply sigh’d, To plan anew and show how much they dared. But would no more converse: she had com

plied, And was no longer free she was his

With joy the troubled heart of Robert beat,

brother's bride. Farewell!she said, with kindness, but not fond, He look'd around in freedom-in delight?

For life was his, and liberty was sweet ; Feeling the pressure of the recent bond, And put her tenderness apart to give

0! no—his Rachel was another's right! Advice to one who so desired to live:

Right!— has he then preserved me in the day She then departed, join'd the attending guide, But i no freedom at the slave's request,

Of my distress ?-He has the lovely pay! Reflected-wept—was sad—was satisfied.

The price I paid shall then be repossess'd!
Alas! her virtue and the law prevent,

Force cannot be, and she will not consent ; James on her worth and virtue could de- But were that brother gone! — A brother? pend,

No! Ile listen'd gladly to her story's end : A circumventor!—and the wretch shall go! Again he promised Robert's life to save,

Yet not this hand - How shifts about my And claim'd the hand that she in payment

mind, gave.

Ungovern’d, guideless, drifting in the wind,

« PreviousContinue »