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But soon tumultous thoughts began gave way,
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; O! in his blameless life how well he prov'd The house of goodness is the house of peace!
Here I again enjoy'd my sweet repose,
And taught my heart, with pious wisdom fill'd, 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 controul'd, My visionary hopes too swiftly past,
And left my prospects, dreary, dark, and cold.
When rugged March o'er-rules the growing year, Have we not seen the sun, with treach'rous ray, Shine out awhile, then instant disappear,
And leave to damp and gloom the future day?
So dawn'd my fate, and so deceiv'd my heart,
My guide once more arriv'd, tho', as of late,
"Rise, youth," he said, " and mount this rapid steed;”
We commun'd not-such heat was in our speed,
Who hath not heard of Bosworth's fatal plain,
Where base advent'rers did in compact join 'Gainst chiefs of prowess high, and noble strain, And low'r'd the crest of YORK's imperial line?
Now verging on that memorable ground,
Our course we stay'd-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' utmost stretch of sight could I behold, And banners flutt'ring 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 fire.
Promiscuous voices fill'd the floating gale,
The welkin echo'd with the steed's proud neigh: The bands oft turn'd and ey'd 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 centinels 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
And fires, that cast a trembling gleam around.
With hasty foot we press'd the dewy sod,
Fit answer making to each station'd guard;
He seem'd as tho' he there did list'ning stand,
His face deep-muffled in his folded cloak; Now threw it wide, snatch'd quick my dubious hand, And to a neighb'ring tent his speed betook.
With glowing crimson the pavilion shone,
The crown imperial glitter'd in mine eye,
With various gems magnificently grac'd,
The chief unbonnetted, and drew me nigh,
Wrapt in a deepen'd gloom his face appear'd Like the dark low'rings of the clouded sky,
Ere the big-bursting tempest's voice is heard.
Revenge, impatience, all that mads the soul,
All that despair and frenzy's flame inspires, Shewn by the tapers, in his eyes did roll,
Hot meteors they amid the lesser fires.
Tho' each dark line I could not truly scan,
Yet thro' the veil of his distemper'd mien, Broke forth a likeness of that lofty man,
Whom, whilom, at the palace I had seen.
To quell his feelings huge he sternly try'd,
Holding strong combat with his fighting soul, Cresting himself with more than earthly pride, As tho' from pow'r supreme he scorn'd controul.
At length (in part subdu'd his troubled breast)
"Wonder no more why thou art hither brought,
Thy father I, who fold thee in my arms,
Soon as my pow'r hath quell'd these loud alarms,
"Rise from the ground, and dry thy flowing tears, To nature's dues be other hours assign'd! Beset with foes, solicitude, and cares,
Far other thoughts must now possess the mind.
"To-morrow, boy, I combat for my crown,
* The battle of Bosworth field was fought August 22nd, 1485.