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The boy who could thus write at sixteen, might soon have proved a Swift or a Dryden. Yet in satire, Chatterton evinced but a small part of his power. His Rowleian poems have a compass of invention, and a luxuriance of fancy, that promised a great chivalrous or allegorical poet of the stamp of Spenser.

Bristow Tragedy, or the Death of Sir Charles Bawdin.*

The feathered songster chanticleer
Had wound his bugle-horn,

And told the early villager

The coming of the morn:

King Edward saw the ruddy streaks
Of light eclipse the gray,

And heard the raven's croaking throat,
Proclaim the fated day.

"Thou'rt right,' quoth he, 'for by the God
That sits enthroned on high!
Charles Bawdin, and his fellows twain,
To-day shall surely die.'

Then with a jug of nappy ale

His knights did on him wait;
'Go tell the traitor, that to-day
He leaves this mortal state."
Sir Canterlone then bended low,
With heart brimful of wo;
He journied to the castle-gate,
And to Sir Charles did go.

But when he came, his children twain,
And eke his loving wife,

With briny tears did wet the floor,
For good Sir Charles's life.

'Oh good Sir Charles!' said Canterlone,
'Bad tidings I do bring.'

'Speak boldly, man,' said brave Sir Charles;
"What says the traitor king?'

'I grieve to tell: before yon sun
Does from the welkin fly,
He hath upon his honour sworn,
That thou shalt surely die.'

'We all must die,' said brave Sir Charles;

'Of that I'm not afraid;

What boots to live a little space?
Thank Jesus, I'm prepared.

But tell thy king, for mine he's not,
I'd sooner die to-day,

Than live his slave, as many are,
Though I should live for aye.'

Then Canterlone he did go out,
To tell the mayor straight
To get all things in readiness
For good Sir Charles's fate.

Then Mr Canynge sought the king,

And fell down on his knee;


'I'm come,' quoth he, unto your grace,

To move your clemency.'

"Then,' quoth the king, 'your tale speak out, You have been much our friend; Whatever your request may be,

We will to it attend.'

*The antiquated orthography affected by Chatterton being evidently no advantage to his poems, but rather an impediment to their being generally read, we dismiss it in this and other specimens. The diction is, in reality, almost purely modern, and Chatterton's spelling in a great measure arbitrary, so that there seems no longer any reason for retaining what was only designed at first as a means of supporting a deception.

'My noble liege! all my request Is for a noble knight,

Who, though mayhap he has done wrong,
He thought it still was right.

He has a spouse and children twain;
All ruined are for aye,
If that you are resolved to let
Charles Bawdin die to-day.'

'Speak not of such a traitor vile,'
The king in fury said;
'Before the evening star doth shine,
Bawdin shall lose his head:

Justice does loudly for him call,
And he shall have his meed:
Speak, Mr Canynge! what thing else
At present do you need?'

'My noble liege!' good Canynge said,
Leave justice to our God,

And lay the iron rule aside;
Be thine the olive rod.

Was God to search our hearts and reins,
The best were sinners great;
Christ's vicar only knows no sin,
In all this mortal state.

Let mercy rule thine infant reign,
"Twill fix thy crown full sure;
From race to race thy family
All sovereigns shall endure:

But if with blood and slaughter thou
Begin thy infant reign,

Thy crown upon thy children's brows
Will never long remain.'

'Canynge, away! this traitor vile

Has scorned my power and me;
How canst thou then for such a man
Intreat my clemency?'

'My noble liege! the truly brave
Will valorous actions prize;
Respect a brave and noble mind,
Although in enemies.'

'Canynge, away! By God in heaven
That did me being give,

I will not taste a bit of bread

Whilst this Sir Charles doth live!

By Mary, and all saints in heaven,
This sun shall be his last!'
Then Canynge dropped a briny tear,
And from the presence passed.

With heart brimful of gnawing grief,

He to Sir Charles did go,

And sat him down upon a stool,

And tears began to flow.

'We all must die,' said brave Sir Charles;

'What boots it how or when?

Death is the sure, the certain fate,

Of all we mortal men.

Say why, my friend, thy honest soul
Runs over at thine eye;

Is it for my most welcome doom
That thou dost child-like cry?
Saith godly Canynge, 'I do weep,
That thou so soon must die,
And leave thy sons and helpless wife;
'Tis this that wets mine eye.'

'Then dry the tears that out thine cye
From godly fountains spring;
Death I despise, and all the power
Of Edward, traitor king.

When through the tyrant's welcome means

I shall resign my life,

The God I serve will soon provide

For both my sons and wife.

Before I saw the lightsome sun,
This was appointed me;

Shall mortal man repine or grudge
What God ordains to be?

How oft in battle have I stood,

When thousands died around;
When smoking streams of crimson blood
Imbrued the fattened ground:
How did I know that every dart
That cut the airy way,
Might not find passage to my heart,
And close mine eyes for aye?
And shall I now, for fear of death,
Look wan and be dismayed?
No! from my heart fly childish fear;
Be all the man displayed.

Ah, godlike Henry! God forefend,
And guard thee and thy son,
If 'tis his will; but if 'tis not,
Why, then his will be done.

My honest friend, my fault has been
To serve God and my prince;
And that I no time-server am,
My death will soon convince.

In London city was I born,
Of parents of great note;
My father did a noble arms
Emblazon on his coat:

I make no doubt but he is gone
Where soon I hope to go,
Where we for ever shall be blest,
From out the reach of wo.

He taught me justice and the laws
With pity to unite ;

And eke he taught me how to know
The wrong cause from the right:
He taught me with a prudent hand
To feed the hungry poor,
Nor let my servants drive away
The hungry from my door:
And none can say but all my life
I have his wordis kept;

And summed the actions of the day
Each night before I slept.

I have a spouse, go ask of her
If I defiled her bed?

I have a king, and none can lay
Black treason on my head.
In Lent, and on the holy eve,
From flesh I did refrain;

Why should I then appear dismayed
To leave this world of pain?
No, hapless Henry! I rejoice
I shall not see thy death;
Most willingly in thy just cause
Do I resign my breath.
Oh, fickle people! ruined land!
Thou wilt ken peace no moe;
While Richard's sons exalt themselves,
Thy brooks with blood will flow.
Say, were ye tired of godly peace,
And godly Henry's reign,
That you did chop your easy days
For those of blood and pain?

1 Exchange.

What though I on a sledge be drawn,

And mangled by a hind,

I do defy the traitor's power,

He cannot harm my mind:

What though, uphoisted on a pole,
My limbs shall rot in air,
And no rich monument of brass
Charles Bawdin's name shall bear;

Yet in the holy book above,
Which time can't eat away,
There with the servants of the Lord
My name shall live for aye.

Then welcome death! for life eterne
I leave this mortal life:
Farewell vain world, and all that's dear,
My sons and loving wife!

Now death as welcome to me comes
As e'er the month of May;
Nor would I even wish to live,
With my dear wife to stay.'
Saith Canynge, ""Tis a goodly thing
To be prepared to die;

And from this world of pain and grief
To God in Heaven to fly.'

And now the bell began to toll,
And clarions to sound;

Sir Charles he heard the horses' feet
A-prancing on the ground.

And just before the officers

His loving wife came in, Weeping unfeigned tears of wo With loud and dismal din.

'Sweet Florence! now I pray forbear,
In quiet let me die;

Pray God that every Christian soul
May look on death as I.

Sweet Florence! why these briny tears?
They wash my soul away,

And almost make me wish for life,
With thee, sweet dame, to stay.

"Tis but a journey I shall go
Unto the land of bliss;
Now, as a proof of husband's love
Receive this holy kiss.'

Then Florence, faltering in her say,
Trembling these wordis spoke:
'Ah, cruel Edward! bloody king!
My heart is well nigh broke.

Ah, sweet Sir Charles! why wilt thou go
Without thy loving wife?

The cruel axe that cuts thy neck,

It eke shall end my life.' And now the officers came in

To bring Sir Charles away,
Who turned to his loving wife,
And thus to her did say:

'I go to life, and not to death,
Trust thou in God above,
And teach thy sons to fear the Lord,
And in their hearts him love.

Teach them to run the noble race
That I their father run,

Florence! should death thee take-adieu!
Ye officers lead on.'

Then Florence raved as any mad,

And did her tresses tear;

'Oh stay, my husband, lord, and life!'Sir Charles then dropped a tear.

'Till tired out with raving loud,
She fell upon the floor;
Sir Charles exerted all his might,
And marched from out the door.
Upon a sledge he mounted then,

With looks full brave and sweet;
Looks that enshone no more concern
Than any in the street.
Before him went the council-men,
In scarlet robes and gold,
And tassels spangling in the sun,
Much glorious to behold:

The friars of Saint Augustine next
Appeared to the sight,
All clad in homely russet weeds,
Of godly monkish plight:
In different parts a godly psalm
Most sweetly they did chant;
Behind their back six minstrels came,
Who tuned the strange bataunt.
Then five-and-twenty archers came;
Each one the bow did bend,
From rescue of King Henry's friends
Sir Charles for to defend.

Bold as a lion came Sir Charles,

Drawn on a cloth-laid sledde,

By two black steeds in trappings white,
With plumes upon their head.
Behind him five-and-twenty more
Of archers strong and stout,
With bended bow each one in hand,
Marched in goodly rout.

Saint James's friars marched next,
Each one his part did chant;
Behind their backs six minstrels came,
Who tuned the strange bataunt.
Then came the mayor and aldermen,
In cloth of scarlet decked;
And their attending men each one,
Like eastern princes tricked.
And after them a multitude

Of citizens did throng;
The windows were all full of heads,
As he did pass along.

And when he came to the high cross,
Sir Charles did turn and say,
'O thou that savest man from sin,
Wash my soul clean this day.'
At the great minster window sat
The king in mickle state,
To see Charles Bawdin go along
To his most welcome fate.

Soon as the sledde drew nigh enough,
That Edward he might hear,
The brave Sir Charles he did stand up,
And thus his words declare:
'Thou seest me, Edward! traitor vile!
Exposed to infamy;
But be assured, disloyal man,
I'm greater now than thee.

By foul proceedings, murder, blood,
Thou wearest now a crown;
And hast appointed me to die
By power not thine own.

Thou thinkest I shall die to-day;
I have been dead till now,

And soon shall live to wear a crown
For aye upon my brow;

Whilst thou, perhaps, for some few years,

Shalt rule this fickle land,

To let them know how wide the rule
"Twixt king and tyrant hand.

Thy power unjust, thou traitor slave!
Shall fall on thy own head'—
From out of hearing of the king
Departed then the sledde.

King Edward's soul rushed to his face,
He turned his head away,

And to his brother Gloucester
He thus did speak and say:
'To him that so-much-dreaded death
No ghastly terrors bring;
Behold the man! he spake the truth;
He's greater than a king!'

'So let him die!' Duke Richard said;
'And may each one our foes
Bend down their necks to bloody axe,
And feed the carrion crows.'

And now the horses gently drew
Sir Charles up the high hill;
The axe did glister in the sun,

His precious blood to spill.
Sir Charles did up the scaffold go,
As up a gilded car
Of victory, by valorous chiefs
Gained in the bloody war.
And to the people he did say:
'Behold you see me die,
For serving loyally my king,
My king most rightfully.

As long as Edward rules this land,
No quiet you will know;
Your sons and husbands shall be slain,
And brooks with blood shall flow.

You leave your good and lawful king,
When in adversity;

Like me, unto the true cause stick,

And for the true cause die.'
Then he, with priests, upon his knees,
A prayer to God did make,
Beseeching him unto himself

His parting soul to take.

Then, kneeling down, he laid his head
Most seemly on the block;
Which from his body fair at once

The able headsman stroke:
And out the blood began to flow,
And round the scaffold twine;
And tears, enough to wash't away,
Did flow from each man's eyne.
The bloody axe his body fair
Into four partis cut;
And every part, and eke his head,
Upon a pole was put.

One part did rot on Kinwulph-hill,
One on the minster-tower,
And one from off the castle-gate
The crowen did devour.

The other on Saint Paul's good gate,
A dreary spectacle;

His head was placed on the high cross,
In high street most noble.

Thus was the end of Bawdin's fate:

God prosper long our king,

And grant he may, with Bawdin's soul,
In heaven God's mercy sing!

[The Minstrel's Song in Ella.] O! sing unto my roundelay;

O drop the briny tear with me;
Dance no more at holiday,
Like a running river be ;
My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,
All under the willow tree.

Black his hair as the winter night,

White his neck as summer snow, Ruddy his face as the morning light, Cold he lies in the grave below: My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,

All under the willow tree.

Sweet his tongue as throstle's note,
Quick in dance as thought was he;
Deft his tabor, cudgel stout;

Oh! he lies by the willow tree.
My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,

All under the willow tree.

Hark! the raven flaps his wing,

In the briered dell below;

Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing,
To the nightmares as they go.
My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,

All under the willow tree.

See! the white moon shines on high;

Whiter is my true-love's shroud; Whiter than the morning sky, Whiter than the evening cloud. My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,

All under the willow tree.

Here, upon my true-love's grave,
Shall the garish flowers be laid,
Nor one holy saint to save

All the sorrows of a maid.
My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,

All under the willow tree.

With my hands I'll bind the briers,
Round his holy corse to gre ;1
Elfin-fairy, light your fires,
Here my body still shall be.
My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,
All under the willow tree.

Come with acorn cup and thorn,
Drain my heart's blood all away;
Life and all its good I scorn,
Dance by night, or feast by day.
My love is dead,

Gone to his death-bed,

All under the willow tree. Water-witches, crowned with reytes,2 Bear me to your deadly tide. I die I come-my true-love waits. Thus the damsel spake, and died.

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The mystic mazes of thy will,

The shadows of celestial light, Are past the power of human skillBut what the Eternal acts is right. O teach me in the trying hour, When anguish swells the dewy tear, To still my sorrows, own thy power, Thy goodness love, thy justice fear. If in this bosom aught but Thee Encroaching sought a boundless sway, Omniscience could the danger see,

And Mercy look the cause away.

Then why, my soul, dost thou complain? Why drooping seek the dark recess? Shake off the melancholy chain,

For God created all to bless.

But ah! my breast is human still-
The rising sigh, the falling tear,
My languid vitals' feeble rill,
The sickness of my soul declare.
But yet, with fortitude resigned,

I'll thank the inflicter of the blow;
Forbid the sigh, compose my mind,
Nor let the gush of misery flow.

The gloomy mantle of the night,
Which on my sinking spirits steals,
Will vanish at the morning light,

Which God, my East, my Sun, reveals.


The terrors and circumstances of a Shipwreck had been often described by poets, ancient and modern, but never with any attempt at professional accuracy or minuteness of detail, before the poem of that name by Falconer. It was reserved for a genuine sailor to disclose, in correct and harmonious verse, the secrets of the deep,' and to enlist the sympathies of the general reader in favour of the daily life and occupations of his brother seamen, and in all the movements, the equipage, and tracery of those magnificent vessels which have carried the British name and enterprise to the remotest corners of the world. Poetical associations-a feeling of boundlessness and sublimity-obviously belonged to the scene of the poem-the ocean; but its interest soon wanders from this source, and centres in the stately ship and its crew the gallant resistance which the men made to the fury of the storm-their calm and deliberate courage the various resources of their skill and ingenuity-their consultations and resolutions as the ship labours in distress-and the brave unselfish piety and generosity with which they meet their fate, when at last

The crashing ribs divide-She loosens, parts, and spreads in ruin o'er the tide. Such a subject Falconer justly considered as 'new to epic lore,' but it possessed strong recommendations to the British public, whose national pride and honour are so closely identified with the sea, and so many of whom have some friend, some brother there.'

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WILLIAM FALCONER was born in Edinburgh in 1730, and was the son of a poor barber, who had two other children, both of whom were deaf and dumb. He went early to sea, on board a Leith merchant ship, and was afterwards in the royal navy. Before he was eighteen years of age, he was second mate in the Britannia, a vessel in the Levant trade, which was shipwrecked off Cape Colonna, as described in his poem. In 1751 he was living in Edinburgh, where he published his first poetical attempt,

a monody on the death of Frederick, Prince of Wales. The choice of such a subject by a young friendless Scottish sailor, was as singular as the depth of grief he describes in his poem; for Falconer, on this occasion, wished, with a zeal worthy of ancient Pistol,

To assist the pouring rains with brimful eyes, And aid hoarse howling Boreas with his sighs! In 1757 he was promoted to the quarter-deck of the Ramilies, and being now in a superior situation for cultivating his taste for learning, he was an assiduous student. Three years afterwards, Falconer suffered a second shipwreck; the Ramilies struck on the shore in the Channel while making for Plymouth, and of 734 of a crew, the poet and 25 others only escaped. In 1762 appeared his poem of The Shipwreck (which he afterwards greatly enlarged and improved), preceded by a dedication to the Duke of York. The work was eminently successful, and his royal highness procured him the appointment of midshipman on board the Royal George, whence he was subsequently transferred to the Glory, a frigate of 32 guns, on board which he held the situation of purser. After the peace, he resided in London, wrote a poor satire on Wilkes, Churchill, &c., and compiled a useful marine dictionary. In September 1769, the poet again took to the sea, and sailed from England as purser of the Aurora frigate, bound for India. The vessel reached the Cape of Good Hope in December, but afterwards perished at sea, having foundered, as is supposed, in the Mosambique Channel. No tuneful Arion' was left to commemorate this calamity, the poet having died under the circumstances he had formerly described in the case of his youthful associates of the Britannia.

racters of his naval officers are finely discriminated:
Albert, the commander, is brave, liberal, and just,
softened and refined by domestic ties and superior
information; Rodmond, the next in rank, is coarse
and boisterous, a hardy weather-beaten son of
Northumberland, yet of a kind compassionate na-
ture, as is evinced by one striking incident:-
And now, while winged with ruin from on high,
Through the rent cloud the ragged lightnings fly,
A flash quick glancing on the nerves of light,
Struck the pale helmsman with eternal night:
Rodmond, who heard a piteous groan behind,
Touched with compassion, gazed upon the blind;
And while around his sad companions crowd,
He guides the unhappy victim to a shroud.
Hie thee aloft, my gallant friend,' he cries,
Thy only succour on the mast relies.'
Palemon, 'charged with the commerce,' is perhaps
too effeminate for the rough sea: he is the lover of
the poem, and his passion for Albert's daughter is
drawn with truth and delicacy-

'Twas genuine passion, Nature's eldest born.
The truth of the whole poem is indeed one of its
greatest attractions. We feel that it is a passage of
real life; and even where the poet seems to violate
the canons of taste and criticism, allowance is libe-
rally made for the peculiar situation of the author,
while he rivets our attention to the scenes of trial
and distress which he so fortunately survived to

[From the Shipwreck.]

'The Shipwreck' has the rare merit of being The sun's bright orb, declining all serene, a pleasing and interesting poem, and a safe guide Now glanced obliquely o'er the woodland scene. to practical seamen. Its nautical rules and direc- Creation smiles around; on every spray tions are approved of by all experienced naval The warbling birds exalt their evening lay. officers. At first, the poet does not seem to have Blithe skipping o'er yon hill, the fleecy train done more than describe in nautical phrase and Join the deep chorus of the lowing plain; simple narrative the melancholy disaster he had The golden lime and orange there were seen, witnessed. The characters of Albert, Rodmond, On fragrant branches of perpetual green. Palemon, and Anna, were added in the second edi-The crystal streams, that velvet meadows lave, tion of the work. By choosing the shipwreck of To the green ocean roll with chiding wave. the Britannia, Falconer imparted a train of inte. The glassy ocean hushed forgets to roar, resting recollections and images to his poem. The But trembling murmurs on the sandy shore: wreck occurred off Cape Colonna-one of the fairest And lo! his surface, lovely to behold! portions of the beautiful shores of Greece. In all Glows in the west, a sea of living gold! itself and Marathon, there is no scene more inte- Arabian sweets perfume the happy plains: Attica,' says Lord Byron, if we except Athens While, all above, a thousand liveries gay The skies with pomp ineffable array. resting than Cape Colonna. To the antiquary and Above, beneath, around enchantment reigns! artist, sixteen columns are an inexhaustible source of observation and design; to the philosopher, the with long vibration deepen o'er the vale ; While yet the shades, on time's eternal scale, supposed scene of some of Plato's conversations will While yet the songsters of the vocal grove not be unwelcome; and the traveller will be struck With dying numbers tune the soul to love, with the beauty of the prospect over "isles that with joyful eyes the attentive master sees crown the gean deep;" but for an Englishman, The auspicious omens of an eastern breeze. Colonna has yet an additional interest, as the actual Now radiant Vesper leads the starry train, spot of Falconer's Shipwreck. Pallas and Plato are And night slow draws her veil o'er land and main; forgotten in the recollection of Falconer and Camp- Round the charged bowl the sailors form a ring; By turns recount the wondrous tale, or sing; As love or battle, hardships of the main, Or genial wine, awake their homely strain: Then some the watch of night alternate keep, The rest lie buried in oblivious sleep.


Here in the dead of night by Lonna's steep, The seaman's cry was heard along the deep.'* Falconer was not insensible to the charms of these historical and classic associations, and he was still more alive to the impressions of romantic scenery and a genial climate. Some of the descriptive and episodical parts of the poem are, however, drawn out to too great a length, as they interrupt the narrative where its interest is most engrossing, besides being occasionally feeble and affected. The cha

* Pleasures of Hope.

Deep midnight now involves the livid skies,
While infant breezes from the shore arise.
The waning moon, behind a watery shroud,
Pale-glimmered o'er the long-protracted cloud.
A mighty ring around her silver throne,
With parting meteors crossed, portentous shone.
This in the troubled sky full oft prevails;
Oft deemed a signal of tempestuous gales.

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