Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

along with Skipton and Brougham, by Lady Anne Clifford, in 1660, who put up an inscription “... Repaired in 1660, so as she came to lye in it herself for a little while in October 1661, after it had lain ruinous without timber or any other covering since 1541. Isaiah, cap. lviii, ver. 12.” It was again demolished in 1685.

Rejoiced is Brough, right glad I deem

Beside her little humble stream. Brough-the Verterae of the Romans—is called, for distinction sake, Brough-under-Stuinmore (or Stanemore). The “ little humble stream" is Hillbeck, formerly Hellebeck-(it was said to derive its name from the waters rushing or helleing down the channel)—which descends from Warcop Fell, runs through Market Brough, and joins the Eden below it. The date of the building of the castle of Brough is uncertain, but it is probably older than the Conquest. It was sacked by the Scottish King William in 1174. It was one of the chief residences” of Idonea de Veteripont (referred to in the previous note); for “then it was in its prime” (Pemb. Mem., Vol. I. p. 22). Probably she rebuilt it, and changed it from a tower—like Pendragon-into a castle. In the Pembroke Memoirs (I. p. 108), we read of its subsequent destruction by fire. “A great misfortune befell Henry Lord Clifford, some two years before his death, which happened in 1521 ; his ancient and great castle of Brough-underStanemore was set on fire by a casual mischance, a little after he had kept a great Christmas there, so as all the timber and lead were utterly consumed, and nothing left but the bare walls, which since are more and more consumed, and quite ruinated." This same Countess Anne Pembroke began to repair it in April 1660, “at her exceeding great charge and cost.” She put up an inscription over the gate similar to the one which she inscribed at Pendragon.

And she that keepeth watch and ward

Her statelier Eden's course to guard. Doubtless Appleby Castle. Its origin is equally uncertain. Before 1422, John, Lord Clifford, “ builded that strong and fine artificial gatehouse, all arched with stone, and decorated with the arms of the Veteriponts, Cliffords, and Percys, which with several parts of the castle walls was defaced and broken down in the civil war of 1648.” His successor, Thomas, Lord Clifford,“ built the chiefest part of the castle towards the east, as the hall, the chapel, and the great chamber." This was in 1454. The Countess Anne Pembroke wrote of Appleby Castle thus (Pemb. MSS., Vol. I., p. 187): “In 1651 I continued to live in Appleby Castle a whole year, and spent much time in repairing it and Brougham Castle, to make them as habitable as I could, though Brougham was very ruinous, and much out of repair. And in this year, the 21st of April, I helped to lay the foundation stone of the middle wall of the great tower of Appleby Castle, called Cæsar's Tower,

to the end it might be repaired again, and made habitable, if it pleased God (Is. lvi. 12), after it had stood without a roof or covering, or one chamber habitable in it, since about 1567,” &c., &c.

One fair House by Emont's side, Brougham Castle.

Him, and his Lady-mother dear, Lady Margaret, daughter and heiress of Lord Vesci, who married John, Lord Clifford—the Clifford of Shakespeare's Henry VI. He was killed at Ferrybridge near Knottingley in 1461. Their son was Henry, "the Shepherd Lord.” His mother is buried in Londesborough Church, near Market Weighton.

Now who is he that bounds with joy

On Carrock's side, a Shepherd-boy? Carrock-fell, is three miles south-west from Castle Sowerby, in Cumberland.

The boy must part from Mosedale's groves,

And leave Blencathara's rugged coves. There are many Mosedales in the English Lake District. The one referred to here is to the north of Blencathara or Saddleback.

And quit the flowers that summer brings

To Glenderumakin's lofty springs. The river Glenderamakin rises in the lofty ground to the north of Blencathara.

Give Sir Lancelot Threlkeld praise !

66

Thou tree of covert and of rest

For this young Bird that is distressed. It was on Sir Lancelot Thelkeld's estates in Cumberland that the young Lord was concealed, disguised as a Shepherd-boy. He was the tree of covert” for the young “ Bird” Henry Clifford. Compare The Waggoner (Vol. III. p. 100).

And see, beyond that hamlet small,
The ruined towers of Thelkeld Hall,
Lurking in a double shade,
By trees and lingering twilight made !
There, at Blencathara's rugged feet,
Sir Lancelot gave a safe retreat
To noble Clifford ; from annoy
Concealed the persecuted boy,
Well pleased in rustic garb to feed
His flock, and pipe on shepherd's reed
Among this multitude of hills,
Crags, woodlands, waterfalls, and rills.

The old hall of Thelkeld has long been a ruin. Its only habitable part has been a farmhouse for many years.

And both the undying fish that suim

Through Bowscale-Tarn did wait on him. Bowscale-Tarn is to the north of Blencathara. Its stream joins the Caldew river.

And into caves where fairies sing

He hath entered.
Compare the previous reference to Blencathara's “rugged coves.”
There are many such on this mountain.

Alas ! the impassioned minstrel did not know
How, by Heaven's grace this Clifford's heart was framed:
How he, long forced in humble walks to go,

Was softened into feeling, soothed, and tamed. After restoration to his ancestral estates, the Shepherd Lord preferred to live in comparative retirement. He spent most of his time at Barden Tower (see notes to The White Doe of Rylstone), which he enlarged, and where he lived with a small retinue. He was much at Bolton (which was close at hand), and there he studied astronomy and alchemy, aided by the monks. It is to the time when he lived at Threlkeld, however, wandering as a shepherd-boy, over the ridges and around the coves of Blencathara, amongst the groves of Mosedale, and by the lofty. springs of Glenderamakin—that Wordsworth refers in the lines,

Love had he found in huts where poor men lie ;
His daily teachers had been woods and rills,
The silence that is in the starry sky,

The sleep that is among the lonely hills. He was at Flodden in 1513, when nearly sixty years of age, leading there the “flower of Craven.”

From Penigent to Pendle Hill,

From Linton to long Addingham,
And all that Craven's coasts did till,

They with the lusty Clifford came.
Compare the first canto of The White Doe of Rylstone-

When he, with spear and shield,

Rode, full of years, to Flodden field.
He died in 1523, and was buried in the choir of Bolton Priory.

The following is Sarah Coleridge's criticism of the Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle, in the editorial note to her father's Biographia Literaria (Vol. II., ch. ix., p. 152, ed. 1847) :

“ The transitions and vicissitudes in this noble lyric 1 have always thought rendered it one of the finest specimens of modern subjective poetry which our age has seen. The ode commences in a tone of high

gratulation and festivity-a tone not only glad, but comparatively even jocund and light-hearted. The Clifford is restored to the home, the honours and estates of his ancestors. Then it sinks and falls away to the remembrance of tribulation-times of war and bloodshed, flight and terror, and hiding away from the enemy-times of poverty and distress, when the Clifford was brought, a little child, to the shelter of a northern valley. After a while it emerges from those depths of sorrow-gradually rises into a strain of elevated tranquillity and contemplative rapture ; through the power of imagination, the beautiful and impressive aspects of nature are brought into relationship with the spirit of him, whose fortunes and character form the subject of the piece, and are represented as gladdening and exalting it, whilst they keep it pure and unspotted from the world. Suddenly the Poet is carried on with greater animation and passion : he has returned to the point whence he started-flung himself back into the tide of stirring life and moving events. All is to come over again, struggle and conflict, chances and changes of war, victory and triumph, overthrow and desolation. I know nothing, in lyric poetry, more beautiful or affecting than the final transition from this part of the ode, with its rapid metre, to the slow elegiac stanzas at the end, when, from the warlike fervour and eagerness, the jubilant strain which has just been described, the Poet passes back into the sublime silence of Nature, gathering amid her deep and quiet bosom a more subdued and solemn tenderness than he had manifested before ; it is as if from the heights of the imaginative intellect, his spirit had retreated into the recesses of a profoundly thoughtful Christian heart."

The Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle was placed by Wordsworth amongst the “Poems of the Imagination."-ED.

1808.

As the Coleorton poems are all transferred to the year 1807, and The Force of Prayer was also written in that year, those actually composed in 1808 were few in number. With the exception of The White Doe, which was added to, they include only the two sonnets“ composed while the author was engaged in writing a tract, occasioned by the Convention of Cintra," and the fragment on George and Sarah Green. The latter poem Wordsworth gave to De Quincey, who published it in his " Recollections of Grasmere," which appeared in Tait's Edinburgh Magazine, September 1839; but it never found a place in any edition

of the poems.

The reasons which have led me to assign The White Doe to the year 1808, are stated in a note to the poem (see p. 191). I infer that it was

practically finished in April 1808, because Dorothy Wordsworth, in a letter to Lady Beaumont, dated April 20, 1808, says, “ The poem is to be published. Longman has consented-in spite of the odium under which my brother labours as a poet-to give him 100 guineas for 1000 copies, according to his demand.” She gives no indication of the name of the poem referred to.

As it must, however, have been one which was to be published separately, she can only refer to The White Doe or to The Excursion ; but the latter poem was not finished in 1808.

It is probable, from the remark made in a subsequent letter to Lady Beaumont, February 1810 (see p. 190), that Wordsworth intended either to add to what he had written in 1808, or to alter some passages before publication ; or by “completing" the poem, he may mean simply adding the Dedication, which was not written till 1815.

All things considered, it seems the best arrangement that the poems of 1808 should begin with The White Doe, and end with the lines on George and Sarah Green.-Ed.

THE WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE;

OR, THE FATE OF THE NORTONS.
Comp. 1807-10.

Pub. 1815. [The earlier half of this poem was composed at Stockton-upon-Tees, when Mrs Wordsworth and I were on a visit to her eldest brother, Mr Hutchinson, at the close of the year 1807. The country is flat, and the weather was rough. I was accustomed every day to walk to and fro under the shelter of a row of stacks, in a field at a small distance from the town, and there poured forth my verses aloud as freely as they would come. Mrs Wordsworth reminds me that her brother stood upon the punctilio of not sitting down to dinner till I joined the party; and it frequently bappened that I did not make my appearance till too late, so that she was made uncomfortable. I here beg her pardon for this and similar transgressions during the whole course of our wedded life. To my beloved sister the same apology is due.

When, from the visit just mentioned, we returned to Town-end, Grasmere, I proceeded with the poem; and it may be worth while to note, as a caution to others who may cast their eye on these memoranda, that the skin having been rubbed off my heel by my wearing too tight a shoe, though I desisted from walking, I found that the irritation of

wounded part was kept up, by the act of composition, to a degree that made it necessary to give my constitution a holiday. A rapid cure was the consequence. Poetic excitement, when accompanied by protracted labour in composition, has throughout my life brought on

« ПредишнаНапред »