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The scene of this poem is laid at Rakeby, near Greta Bridge, in Yorkshire, and shifts to the adjacent fortress of Barnard Castle, and to other places in that Vicinity.
The date of the supposed events is immediately subsequent to the great Battle of Marston Moor, 3d July, 1644. This period of public confusion has been chosen, without any purpose of combining the Fable with the Military or Political events of the Civil War, but only as affording a degree of probability to the Fictitious Narrative now presented to the Public.
I. The Moon is in her summer glcw, But hoarse and high the breezes blow, And, racking o'er her face, the cloud Varies the tincture of her shroud : On Barnard's towers, and Tees's stream, She changes as a guilty dream, When Conscience, with remorse and fear, Goads sleeping Fancy's wild career. Her light seems now the blush of shame, Seems now fierce anger's darker flame, Shifting that shade, to come and go, Like apprehension's hurried glow; Then sorrow's livery dims the air, And dies in darkness, like despair, Such varied hues the warder sees Reflected from the woodland Tees, Then from old Baliol's tower looks forth, Sees the clouds mustering in the north, Hears, upon turret-roof and wall, By fits the plashing rain-drop fall,
[See Appendix, Note A.)
Lists to the breeze's boding sound,