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While the perturbed sleeper's hand
* [There appears some resemblance betwixt the visions of Oswald's sleep and the waking-dream of the
Byron's Works, vol. ix. p. 157.1
IV. He woke, and fear'd again to close His eyelids in such dire repose ; He woke,- to watch the lamp, and tell From hour to hour the castle-bell. Or listen to the owlet's cry, Or the sad breeze that whistles by, Or catch, by fits, the tuneless rhyme With which the warder cheats the time, And envying think, how, when the sun Bids the poor soldier's watch be done, Couch'd on his straw, and fancy-free, He sleeps like careless infancy.
V. Far town-ward sounds a distant tread, And Oswald, starting from his bed, Hath caught it, though no human ear, Unsharpen'd by revenge and fear, Could e'er distinguish horse's clank, Until it reach'd the castle bank. Now nigh and plain the sound appears, The warder's challenge now he hears,"
*I have had occasion to remark, in real life, the effect of keen and fervent anxiety in giving acuteness to the organs of sense. My gifted friend, Miss Joanna Baillie, whose dramatic works display such intimate acquaintance with the operations of human passion, has not omitted this remarkable circumstance:“ De Montfort. (Off his guard.) 'Tis Rezenvelt: I heard bis well
known foot, From the first stair-case mounting step by step.
Freb. How quick an ear thou hast for distant sound ! heard him not.
[De Montfort looks embarrassed, and is silent."]
Then clanking chains and levers tell,
VI. The stranger came with heavy stride, The morion's plumes his visage hide, And the buff-coat, an ample fold, Mantles his form's gigantic mould.' Full slender answer deigned he To Oswald's anxious courtesy, But mark’d, by a disdainful smile, He saw and scorn’d the petty wile, When Oswald changed the torch's place, Anxious that on the soldier's face Its partial lustre might be thrown, To show his looks, yet hide his own. His guest, the while, laid low aside The ponderous cloak of tough bull's bide, And to the torch glanced broad and clear The corslet of a cuirassier; Then from his brows the casque he drew, And from the dank plume dash'd the dew,
'[See Appendix, Note B.]
From gloves of mail relieved his hands,
Roughen'd the brow, the temples bared,
? In this character, I have attempted to sketch one of those West-Indian adventurers, who, during the course of the seventeenth century, were popularly known by the name of Bucaniers. The successes of the English in the predatory incursions upon Spanish America, during the reign of Elizabeth, had never been forgotten; and, from that period downward, the exploits of Drake and Raleigh were imitated, upon a smaller scale indeed, but with equally desperate valour, by small bands of pirates, gathered from all nations, but chiefly French and English. The engrossing policy of the Spaniards tended greatly to increase the number of these freebooters, from whom their commerce and colonies suffered, in the issue, dreadful calamity. The Windward Islands, which the Spaniards did not deem worthy their own occupation, had been gradually settled by adventurers of the French and English nations. But Frederic of Toledo, who was despatched in 1630, with a powerful fleet against the Dutch, had orders from the Court of Madrid to destroy these colonies, whose vicinity at once offended the pride and excited the jealous suspicions of their Spanish neighbours. This order the Spanish Admiral executed with sufficient rigour; but the only consequence was, that the planters, being rendered desperate by persecution, began, under