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Throngh a long range of spacious gilded rooms
Dubious I pass'd, admiring, as I went, On the rich woven labours of the looms,
The sculptur'd arch, or painted roof intent.
My guide, at length, withdrew; wrapp'd in suspense
And fear I stood, yet knew not what I fear'd; When straight to my appall'd, astounded sense
A man of noble port and mien appear'd.
His form commanded, and his visage aw'd,
My spirit sunk as he advanced nigh, With stately step along the floor he trod,
Fix'd on my face his penetrating eye.
The dancing plumage o'er his front wav'd high,
Thick-studded ribs of gold adorn'd his vest, In splendid folds his purple robe did fly,
And royal emblems glittered on his breast.
I sought to bend me, bnt my limbs refus’d
Their wonted office, motionless and chill; Yet somewhat, as the figure I perus’d,
A dubious joy did in my mind instil.
While thus I cower'd beneath his piercing eye,
He saw and strove to mitigate my fear, Soft'ning the frown of harsh austerity
Iu his bold brow, which nature grafted there.
With speeches kind he cheer'd my sinking heart,
Question’d me much, and strok'd my drooping Yet his whole mind he seem'd not to impart, [head;
His looks implied more than his speeches said.
A’broider'd pnrse, which weighty seem'd with gold,
He gave me then, and kindly press'd my hand; And thus awhile did stay me in his hold,
And on my face did meditating stand.
His soul work'd hugely, and his bosom swelld,
As though some mighty thing he yearn’d to say; Bat (with indignant pride the thonght repellid)
He started, frown'd, and snatch'd himself away. My guide return'd, and reconducted me
Tow'rd the abode of my preceptor kind; A man he seem'd of carriage mild and free,
To whom I thought I might unload my mind.
Without reserve I told him all that pass’d,
Striving, by mine, his confidence to gain; Then my inquiries frank before him cast,
Hoping some knowledge of myself t'attain. I ask'd what wondrous cause, yet undescried,
Urg'd him his time and zeal for me t'employ, And why that man of dignity and pride
Had deign’d bis notice to a stranger-boy?
Confus'd, yet undispleas'd my guide appear’d, Nought he divulg'd (though much he seem'd to
know) Save this, which he with earnest look averr’d,
“No obligation, youth, to me you owe;
'I do but what my place and duty bid,
With me no kindred drops of blood you share, Yet (hard to tell!) your birth must still hid;
Inquire no further-Honour bids, forbear.'
Thus he reprov'd, yet did it with a look,
As though he pitied my sensations keen; Patient I bow'd me to his mild rehuke,
And pledg’d obedience, with submissive mien.
He left me at my tutor's soft abode,
And parting bless'd me by the holy cross ; My heart wax'd sad, as be retrạc'd the road,
And seem'd to have sustain'd some mighty loss.
But soon tumultuous thoughts began give way,
Lull'd by the voice of my preceptor sage; Unquiet bosoms he could well allay,
His looks could soften, and his words assuage.
Unruly care from him was far remov'd,
Grief's wildest murmurs at his breath would cease; 0! in his blameless life how well he prov'd
The house of goodness is the house of peace!
Here I again enjoyed my sweet repose,
And taught my heart, with pious wisdom fillid, No more with anxious throb to seek disclose
What stubborn fate had doom'd to lie conceal'd.
But long these fond delusions did not last,
Some sterner pow'r my rising life controllid, My visionary hopes too swiftly pass’d,
And left my prospects dreary, dark, and cold.
When rugged March o'er-rules the growing year,
Have we not seen the morn with treacherous ray Shive out awbile, then instant disappear,
And leave to damp and gloom the future day!
So dawn'd my fate, and so deceiv'd my heart,
Nor wean'd me from my hopes, but cruel tore; In one unlook'd-for moment, bade me part
From all my comforts, to return no more.
My guide once more arriv'd, though, as of late,
Of soft deportment he appear'd not now, But wild impatience fluttered in his gait,
And care and thought seem'd busy on his brow.
'Rise, youth, he said, and mount this rapidsteed
I argued not; his bidding straight was done ; Proud-crested was the beast, of warlike breed,
Arm’d, at all points, with rich caparison.
We commun'd not-such heat was in our speed,
Scantly would it allow me pow'r of thought, Till eve, deep-painted with a burning red,
To Bosworth Field our panting coursers brought.
Who hath not heard of Bosworth’s fatal plain,
Where base adventurers did in compact join 'Gainst chiefs of prowess high, and noble strain,
And lower'd the crest of York's imperial live?
Now verging on that memorable ground,
Our course we stay'dm-yet we alighted not; Fill'd with astonishment I'gaz'd around,
While in my glowing breast my heart grew hot.
Thick-station'd tents, extended wide and far,
To th'atmost stretch of sight could I behold, And banners fluttering in the whistling air,
And archers trimly dight, and prancers bold.
The sinking sun with richly-burnish'd glow,
Now to his western chamber made retire, While pointed spears, quick-shifting to and fro,
Seem'd all as spiral flames of hottest tire.
Promiscuous voices fill'd the floating gale,
The welkin echoed with the steed's proud neigh: The bands oft turn’d and eyed the western vale,
Watching the closure of departing day.
Light vanish'd now apace, and twilight grey
With speed unusual mantled all the ground, The chieftains to their tents had ta'en their way,
And sentinels thick-posted watch'd around.
As sable night advanced more and more,
The mingled voices lessen'd by degrees, Sounding at length, as, round some craggy shore,
Decreasing murmurs of the ebbing seas.
Now tow'rd the tents awhile we journey'd on
With wary pace, then lighted on the ground, Befriended by the stars, that shimm’ring shone,
And fires, that cast a trembling gleam around.
With hasty foot we pressid the dewy sod,
Fit answer making to each station'd guard; When full before us, as we onward trod,
A martial form our further progress barrd.
He seem'd as though he there did list'ping stand,
His face deep-muffled in his folded cloak; Now threw it wide,snatch'd quick my dubious hand,
And to a neighbouring tent his speed betook.