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IN MY BOWER SO BRIGHT
In my bower so bright
The moon through the fresh leaves streaming,
Nor if I were waking or dreaming
That sunk when I thought it was swelling;
Of the being whose woes it was telling.
Who the lee-long night is mourning ;
Sighs for her Zephyr's returning.
They should not be tones of gladness;
They should only belong to sadness.
Like the bell when a cherub is dying :
For the sounds were all lost in the sigbing.
And the sun through the dews was peeping:
bower, Every leaf, every flower,
Every bud, every blossom-was weeping !
BRADGATE IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. There is scarcely any period in hering with frantic eagerness to the the annals of England more replete cause he had espoused, totally heedwith trying or interesting events, than less of the confusion and misery such the latter part of the reign of the ill- strife must entail upon
their fafated Charles; when the hand of the milies. child was lifted against the father ! During this era of public calamity, brother against brother!-each ad no part of England partook more
largely or entered more actively and the flocks to herd together in
ing grandeur over it. Close by the Numerous are the incidents hand- mud-built cottage of the dame, but ed down to us, from these eventful rather above it, issued a small stream, times ; but the following tale, de- which, springing from amongst the scriptive of circumstances connected rocks, and falling with considerable with the then noble mansion at Brad- velocity over them, served by its gate, and affording some account of monotonous sound to impress the it, in its pristine splendour, has in- mind with a still more powerful feelterested us, since we confess a strong ing of solitariness! One ragged half attachment to the place, even in its decayed oak bent its withered trunk present dilapidated lonely state! and across it, serving the double purpose we are anxious to impress others with of sheltering the habitation with its the same favourable feelings. * few remaining branches, and of af
It was near the hour of noon, on fording a passage over the stream a fair summer's day, that a party of when swollen by the rain that occayoung maidens were observed taking sionally poured into it from the sumtheir course along the ralley which mit of the acclivity: and which, with separates some of the highest emi- the exception of a few evergreens nences of Charnwode.
cultivated by the miserable tenant They were gaily dressed, in what of the cottage, was the only foliage might be considered their best holi- worthy of commemoration on that day attire; and as the bright rays of side of the eminence. the sun fell full upon them, they ex By the side of this little brook, hibited a pleasing and interesting which from Dame Priestly's habitaspectacle. Most of these damsels tion descended in a winding course bore a small, basket upon their arm, along the valley, paced the already containing some little trifle, such as mentioned maidens, in close and kerchiefs, ribbons, or fruit, accord- eager converse, each countenance ing to the means they severally exhibiting a faithful picture of what possessed.
was at that instant passing in her The truth is, these young maidens heart. In outward appearance the were pursuing a journey, in their group seemed composed chiefly of imagination of no small import, be- the lower order of females; but the ing no other than a visit to a certain Dame's habitation was the resort of wise woman, called Deborah Priestly, rich as well as poor, male as well as a person well known in that neigh- female !-Persons of all rank, of all bourhood, who had the reputation of ages, were at times observed stealpossessing more craft than was usual ing along the road that led to her in the art of foretelling events. The abode, seeking for advice in the tryweather was hot and sultry, not a ing difficulties of the times; and, to cloud was visible to disturb the deep do her justice, the old woman had azure of the heavens, or break the penetration and adroitness sufficient long unvaried line of blue vapour to make herself useful to such as had that spread itself over the sides and faith enough to seek her. summits of the hills, making the very In this party, however, there flowers to droop through weariness, were two, who differed greatly from
* Bradgate is still a fine ruin on the verge of Charnwode in Leicestershire ; but as it has been already so amply and pathetically described by a very pleasing and popular writer, in the London NIAGAZINE, we shall not at present noticc it farther.
gether i Search s
the rest, and these lingered apart, as were exposed, the younger of these
she must solve all my perplexities, the beldame bitterly, withdrawing for I am not going to waste my time her sharp grey eye from the object and my money for nothing.'
it had hitherto rested upon, and fixShe spoke in so determined a tone, ing it upon the maiden with an exand tossed her head first on one side, pression of contempt and anger. and then on the other, so pertly, “What, is it you, Ally Spenser, who that Ally's companions looked at her cannot let a body rest?
–And why with astonishment; they however are you here again, troubling decent answered not, but drawing mecha- orderly people with such silly crotnically around her, by their actions chets as float through your brain?showed as if they voluntarily placed Have I not warned you to desist themselves beneath her banner. from such fooleries?
Deborah Priestly was picking a “ You have, mother, butfew pot-herbs in her little garden,
“ Well then, I say again, get you for the purpose of rendering her scanty gone, silly wench; aye, and all of meal more toothsome, when the you, for Deborah Priestly hath higher voices of the party reached her work to perform than what can apear. She looked hastily over the low pertain to such love's geer, as you hedge, and perceiving their approach, desired to be informed of.” gathered her herbs together, at the She waved her hand authoritativesame time exclaiming,
ly as she finished, but the maidens, “ So, so, an my old eyes deceive either appalled by her manner, or me not, there is more profitable work unwilling to return without the intelin store than gathering of pot-herbs. ligence they sought, stood motionless, Well, “It's an ill wind that blows gazing on her with an expression nobody good,' as the proverb sayeth, quite the reverse of what their counand Where no counsel is, the peo- tenances had before exhibited. A ple fall !'-Aye, aye, it's all right.” pause of some moments ensued; at
The Dame had leisure, not only to length Alice ventured somewhat more gain her dwelling, but to place her- diffidently: self in her high narrow backed cane “ Will you really send us back chair, with all the usual solemnities through all this broiling sun with, and formalities customary on high out one word?” occasions, ere the youthful party en “ Aye, marry will I,” ans
swered tered her habitation. When they the Dame spitefully, “ and all the did, she was sitting with her back like of you, ye silly butterflies.towards the door, one leg crossed And so, you would be scorching your over the other, and a hand, whose wings, forsooth, and expect that lank sinewy fingers seemed to have old Deb should lend a hand towards long disclaimed kindred with any hastening your destruction?-Nay, thing like mortality, resting careless- nay, the country might well cry out ly upon a blue linsey-woolsey apron upon me then, and say I did them that covered her knee. She neither wrong.-But it must not be.-So get moved nor spoke, as Ally and her you gone, I say again ; and see you companions with light step advanced come no more hitherward, till the into the interior of the dwelling, but tide of war shall have ebbed, for şat with eyes uplifted and lips that there will be bloody work of it." moved without sound, apparently Despairing of success, and accusaltogether unconscious of her present tomed to her intimidating manner intruders. But Ally was not easily (for Dame Priestly ruled the neighintimidated; she placed her basket bourhood with a rod of iron), the upon the hewn block, and advancing mortified damsels moved in gloomy towards her, peeped into the old silence from the hovel, watched by woman's face, with a look in which the old woman till several had disanxiety and impertinence were almost appeared; then, as if suddenly reequally blended, at the same time ex- collecting herself, she added, in the claiming :
same stern accents : “ Be the weirds abroad, or at “ Yet stay,-I see two among you home, good Dame ?-Ah,-1 see it who even now may tarry:- I mean is the latter."
yonder tall fair one whose lip speak“ The weird of destruction will eth disdain, whose brow teemeth hover over you, ye silly fool," said with pride !--Let this damsel remaiu,
and with her the one whose robe of shall bury him silently, for there fairest white seems to vie with the shall be no tear shed over his rem lilies that bedeck her bosom!—These mains, save what shall flow from the two I have tidings for.”
eyes of her who now asks his desPleased that they at least should tiny! Aye, and the bold Baron not have come on a vain errand, the whose gilded rowels are now sheathtwo females stepped nimbly aside; ed in the sides of his courser,-he but the Dame noticed them no far- shall flee for safety over the great ther till the receding footsteps of waters! and the lady of his love their companions were no longer to shall behold him no more! be heard in the valley, and then, “Such is your fortune, fair dame; moving her eyes slowly from the accuse me not, if I have dealt honestdoor of her cottage to its present in- ly by you." mates, she thus addressed them : She gave the usual token for de
“ And you, Hamoise of Raven- parture as she ceased, and reseated stone, and Marian of Bradgate, herself in the chair she had risen what are you come hither to learn?" from at the commencement of the
She regarded them doubtfully, as Lady Hamoise's address. Her manner she uttered the question ; indeed so seemed to indicate a determination peculiarly forbidding was the expres- not to be troubled with farther quession of her countenance at the mo- tions; but her auditor did not apment, that the younger one involun- pear inclined to put any; for haughtarily shuddered; the Lady Hamoise tily gathering up her robe once more, replied:
with a look in which terror, malice, “Had the fame of Deborah Priestly and disdain were strongly blended, been less abroad, good Mother, per- she moved from the cottage. haps neither my present companion “ Aye-aye, get thee gone, proud nor myself had now visited you. As daughter,” said Deborah, relaxing it is, I at least would know (since somewhat of the severity before so doubtless you profess not what you conspicuous in her features ; “ for cannot vouch for), whether Ralph the day is not far distant when that of Ravenstone and the bold Baron heart must grieve, that eye change who so recently rode away beside its present lofty glance for one of him, may prosper in their under
sorrow and affliction !” She turned takings? Whether those they ho- towards the other damsel. nour with their affections may ex “ Well, my pretty lapwing, and pect them to return triumphantly, what wouldst thou crave with old laying laurels at their feet?"
Deborah ?" The voice of the maiden was “ Alas, need you ask that quesslightly agitated as she spoke, but tion,” said the young girl tremuher manner savoured so much of lously, “ you who are so fully aware pride and sarcasm, as she touched of all that hath befallen me ?" upon the peculiar calling of the old “ Say rather, those who are dear woman, that Deborah felt highly of- to thee,” returned the old woman. fended.
“ Well, well, I see I have touched “ We are not ignorant of the lofty a chord that vibrates, but I seek not character of the Lady Hamoise, to pry into young maidens' hearts. she replied disdainfully, nor the Thou art worthy brave Leonard's condescension she has stooped to, in love, and 'tis pity the knot was seeking our humble dwelling; and not tied ere these bloody feuds bewe shall answer faithfully.”
gan. But what wouldst thou now She fixed her eyes keenly upon with me?". her, as if she would have read what - When I think on the evils that was passing in her mind, remained a this unhappy contest has heaped few moments silent, and then in à upon the dear Countess and her famislow and solemn accent began : ly !-when I think upon her son
“ Brief be the tidings that have ill estranged as he now is from friends on them !--Shall the house of Raven- and home—and when I heard you, stone go free?-No. Ralph of Ra- my good Dame, heap misery upon the venstone must return to the walls of daughter of Ravenstone his forefathers, shorter by the head “ Soft ye, soft ye, fair damsel, than when he quitted them! They couple not the proud Hamoise with