Hosted websites will become read-only beginning in early 2024. At that time, all logins will be disabled, but hosted sites will remain on RootsWeb as static content. Website owners wishing to maintain their sites must migrate to a different hosting provider before 2024 (More info)
Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion : Foldout

Frederick Charles Spencer : The Boy of Egremont

A poem by Frederick Charles Spencer

The Boy of Egrement

IN Egremont's bosom his heart blithely dancing,
 As the beams of the moon on the woods of his chase
proud was a mother's fond eye on him glancing,
 The lustre of youth and of beauty to trace :
The eye bright with joy gazing on him that morning,
Alas! shall not sparkle to see him returning, – 
But shall view, consolation distractedly scorning,
 For ever extinguished her hopes and her race.

How fondly she saw, in Hope's bright region soaring;
 As he gallantly sprung to the warrior's game,
In him to her lone widowed side Heaven restoring
 Once more her lost mate, – to its lustre his name.
False Hope, believe her not! ever deceiving,
And still the most faithless with hearts most believing,
She whispers of joy but to deepen our grieving,
 She kindles the heart, – 'tis consumed in the flame.

But, hark! his gay horn in that wild valley sounding,
 With his leash-hound the echoing woodland he tries
Startled from his green haunt, lo the fleet deer is hounding,
 And in speed with that menacing echo he vies.
As swiftly his steps his brave hunter pursuing,
Now lost for a moment, – now anxiously viewing.
As he strains for the Strid, his last refuge from ruin,
 His victim he nears, and ah! surely he dies.

Not so was he fated. Where savagely moaning
 The Wharfe through the rifted rock fierce bursts her way,
(The black rock itself with the struggle is groaning,)
 And below wildly foaming in eddies doth play;
The near sounding step of his foe trembling, heaving,
The gleam of his burnished blade, ready-bared, fearing,
At one gallant effort the deadly space clearing.
 The chase, from impending death saved, bounds away.

Now Romillé did he stay on the brink pausing?
 Undaunted he ventures the perilous wave,
But his cowardly comrade the hazard refusing – 
 He springs, – but 'tis into a turbulent grave
For his shroud, and the requiem that should be sung o'er him,
He has but the torrent's white foam and loud roaring, – 
The forester, powerless, and deeply deploring,
 Hangs o'er the dire gulph of the young and the brave.

But who to a mother shall bear the sad message?
 His pale looks betray, ere his tongue can relate;
In her fast-heaving bosom she feels a dark presage,
 Ere breaks from his lips hapless Romillé's fate.
Yet doom not thyself to a ne'er ending sorrow,
On the night-gloom of life dawns a bright-shining morrow
Let hope from religion thy future peace borrow,
 And the woe that will die not, shall yet mitigate.

Where, free and vouchsafing the wave softly gliding,
 Through the green vale it mirrors, flows calmly as wont,
Yon hoar walls she reared, where secluded residing,
 Consolation she sought at the ne'er failing fount.
And say, for devotion what peaceful scene meeter?
For pensive seclusion what, hermit-spot sweeter?
Than the Wharfe's plaintive voice, as repentant, what fitter,
 To join her sad wail for her lost Egremont

search tips advanced search
search engine by freefind

© Malcolm Bull 2017 / [email protected]
Revised 18:49 on 4th February 2017 / x2045 / 6