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Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face
Giles then, the soul of honour-there he stands
What honest man should dare (he said) he durst. Good-but the scene shifts-faugh! what hangman
Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands
Better this present than a past like that;
A sudden little river crossed my path
As unexpected as a serpent comes.
No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms; This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath For the fiend's glowing hoof-to see the wrath Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes.
So petty yet so spiteful! All along,
Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it;
The river which had done them all the wrong,
Which, while I forded,-good saints, how I feared
Glad was I when I reached the other bank.
The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque. What penned them there, with all the plain to choose? No foot-print leading to that horrid mews,
None out of it. Mad brewage set to work
Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk
And more than that—a furlong on- —why, there!
Or brake, not wheel-that harrow fit to reel
Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel.
Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood, Next a marsh, it would seem, and now mere earth Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth, Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood Changes and off he goes!) within a rood
Bog, clay and rubble, sand and stark black dearth.
Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim,
And just as far as ever from the end!
Nought in the distance but the evening, nought
That brushed my cap-perchance the guide I sought,
For, looking up, aware I somehow grew,
'Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place All round to mountains-with such name to grace Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view. How thus they had surprised me,-solve it, you! How to get from them was no clearer case.
Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick
Of mischief happened to me, God knows whenIn a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then, Progress this way. When, in the very nick Of giving up, one time more, came a click As when a trap shuts-you're inside the den!
Burningly it came on me all at once,
This was the place! those two hills on the right, Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight; While to the left, a tall scalped mountain . . . Dunce, Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce,
After a life spent training for the sight!
What in the midst lay but the Tower itself?
Not see? because of night perhaps?-why, day
Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled
How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.
There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all.
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.”
END OF VOL. III.