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By Rhinefield and by Osmondsleigh,
Through glade and furze-brake fast drove he,
Quod he, 'Those gay waves they call me.'
On Christchurch bar did lie afloat;
58. fell to sanctuarie. Took refuge at the altar of the Church, from which his enemies might not remove him, except under penalty of excommunication.
THE WHITE SHIP
Henry I had taken his only son William over to Normandy to be recognized as his successor to the Dukedom. During the return voyage to England the ship in which William was sailing struck on a rock at the mouth of the harbour and sank. The story that follows is supposed to be told by the only survivor.
BY none but me can the tale be told,
(Lands are swayed by a King on a throne.) 'Twas a royal train put forth to sea,
Yet the tale can be told by none but me. (The sea hath no King but God alone.)
54. seely] timely.
King Henry held it as life's whole gain
And next with his son he sailed to France
'Twas sworn and sealed, and the day had come When the King and the Prince might journey home.
The King set sail with the eve's south wind,
The Prince and all his, a princely show,
With noble knights and with ladies fair,
And I Berold was the meanest hind
And now he cried: 'Bring wine from below;
'Our speed shall o'ertake my father's flight Though we sail from the harbour at midnight.' 25
The rowers made good cheer without check;
The night was light, and they danced on the deck.
Swifter and swifter the White Ship sped
As white as a lily glimmered she
Like a ship's fair ghost upon the sea.
And the Prince cried, 'Friends, 'tis the hour to sing! Is a songbird's course so swift on the wing?'
And under the winter stars' still throng,
From brown throats, white throats, merry and strong,
A song,-nay, a shriek that rent the sky,
An instant shriek that sprang to the shock
'Tis said that afar-a shrill strange sigh--
Pale Fitz-Stephen stood by the helm
'Mid all those folk that the waves must whelm.
A great King's heir for the waves to whelm,
The ship was eager and sucked athirst,
A moment the pilot's senses spin,-
A few friends leaped with him, standing near,
'What! none to be saved but these and I?'
Out of the churn of the choking ship,
'Twas then o'er the splitting bulwarks' brim
He gazed aloft, still rowing apace,
And through the whirled surf he knew her face.
To the toppling decks clave one and all
I Berold was clinging anear;
I prayed for myself and quaked with fear,
He knew her face and he heard her cry,
And back with the current's force they reel
'Neath the ship's travail they scarce might float,
Low the poor ship leaned on the tide:
He reached an oar to her from below,
But now from the ship some spied the boat,
And down to the boat they leaped and fell:
And nothing was there but the surge and swell. 85
The Prince that was and the King to come,
Despite of all England's bended knee
89. maugre] despite.
He was a Prince of lust and pride;
When he should be King, he oft would vow,
God only knows where his soul did wake,
By none but me can the tale be told,
(Lands are swayed by a King on a throne.)
D. G. ROSSETTI.
THE NORMAN BARON
For an account at first hand of the evil doings of the Norman barons during Stephen's reign see Gardiner's Student's History of England, p. 134 ('Anarchy ').
IN his chamber, weak and dying,
In this fight was Death the gainer,
And the lands his sires had plundered,