Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle upon the Restoration o

, High in the breathless Hall the Minstrel sate,
  And Emont's murmur mingled with the Song.--
  The words of ancient time I thus translate,
  A festal strain that hath been silent long:--
  "From town to town, from tower to tower,
  The red rose is a gladsome flower.
  Her thirty years of winter past,
  The red rose is revived at last;
  She lifts her head for endless spring,
  For everlasting blossoming:
  Both roses flourish, red and white:
  In love and sisterly delight
  The two that were at strife are blended,
  And all old troubles now are ended.--
  Joy! joy to both! but most to her
  Who is the flower of Lancaster!
  Behold her how She smiles to-day
  On this great throng, this bright array!
  Fair greeting doth she send to all
  From every corner of the hall;
  But chiefly from above the board
  Where sits in state our rightful Lord,
  A Clifford to his own restored!

  "They came with banner, spear, and shield;
  And it was proved in Bosworth-field.
  Not long the Avenger was withstood--
  Earth helped him with the cry of blood:
  St. George was for us, and the might
  Of blessed Angels crowned the right.
  Loud voice the Land has uttered forth,
  We loudest in the faithful north:
  Our fields rejoice, our mountains ring,
  Our streams proclaim a welcoming;
  Our strong-abodes and castles see
  The glory of their loyalty.

  "How glad is Skipton at this hour--
  Though lonely, a deserted Tower;
  Knight, squire, and yeoman, page and groom,
  We have them at the feast of Brough'm.
  How glad Pendragon--though the sleep
  Of years be on her!--She shall reap
  A taste of this great pleasure, viewing
  As in a dream her own renewing.
  Rejoiced is Brough, right glad, I deem,
  Beside her little humble stream;
  And she that keepeth watch and ward
  Her statelier Eden's course to guard;
  They both are happy at this hour,
  Though each is but a lonely Tower:--
  But here is perfect joy and pride
  For one fair House by Emont's side,
  This day, distinguished without peer,
  To see her Master and to cheer--
  Him, and his Lady-mother dear!

  "Oh! it was a time forlorn
  When the fatherless was born--
  Give her wings that she may fly,
  Or she sees her infant die!
  Swords that are with slaughter wild
  Hunt the Mother and the Child.
  Who will take them from the light?
  --Yonder is a man in sight--
  Yonder is a house--but where?
  No, they must not enter there.
  To the caves, and to the brooks,
  To the clouds of heaven she looks;
  She is speechless, but her eyes
  Pray in ghostly agonies.
  Blissful Mary, Mother mild,
  Maid and Mother undefiled,
  Save a Mother and her Child!

  "Now who is he that bounds with joy
  On Carrock's side, a Shepherd-boy?
  No thoughts hath he but thoughts that pass
  Light as the wind along the grass.
  Can this be He who hither came
  In secret, like a smothered flame?
  O'er whom such thankful tears were shed
  For shelter, and a poor man's bread!
  God loves the Child; and God hath willed
  That those dear words should be fulfilled,
  The Lady's words, when forced away
  The last she to her Babe did say:
  "My own, my own, thy fellow-guest
  I may not be; but rest thee, rest,
  For lowly shepherd's life is best!"

  "Alas! when evil men are strong
  No life is good, no pleasure long.
  The Boy must part from Mosedale's groves,
  And leave Blencathara's rugged coves,
  And quit the flowers that summer brings
  To Glenderamakin's lofty springs;
  Must vanish, and his careless cheer
  Be turned to heaviness and fear.
  --Give Sir Lancelot Threlkeld praise!
  Hear it, good man, old in days!
  Thou tree of covert and of rest
  For this young Bird that is distrest;
  Among thy branches safe he lay,
  And he was free to sport and play,
  When falcons were abroad for prey.

  "A recreant harp, that sings of fear
  And heaviness in Clifford's ear!
  I said, when evil men are strong,
  No life is good, no pleasure long,
  A weak and cowardly untruth!
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William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was the husband of Eva Bartok. more…

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