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parts ; here was carried on the little foreign trade which the island then possessed.

The Irish militia was of two kinds ; ore called Keons, which were foot, slightly armed with a long knife or dagger, and almost naked ; the other Galloglasses, who were horse ; poorly mounted, and generally armed only with a battle-axe. Neither horse nor foot made much use of the spear, the sword, or the bow. With indifferent arms, they had still worse discipline. In these circumstances their natural bravery, which, though considerable, was not superior to that of their invaders, stood them in little stead.

Such was the situation of things in Ireland, when Dermot, king of Leinster, having violently carried away the wife of one of the neighbouring petty sovereigns, Roderic, king of Connaught, and Monarch of Ireland, joined with the injured husband to punish so flagrant an outrage ; and with their united forces spoiled Dermot of his territories, and obliged him to abandon the kingdom. The fugitive prince, not unapprised of Henry's designs upon his country, threw himself at his feet, implored his protection, and promised to hold of him, as his feudatory, the sovereignty he should recover by his assistance. Henry was at this time at Guienne ; nothing could be more agreeable to him than such an incident; but as his French dominions actually lay under an interdict on account of his quarrel with Becket, and all his affairs, both at home and abroad, were in a troubled and dubious situation, it was not prudent to remove his person, nor venture any considerable body of his forces, on a distant enterprise. Yet not willing to lose su favourable an opportunity, he warmly recommended the cause of Dermot to his regency in England, permitting and encouraging all persons to arm in his favour : a permission, in this age of enterprise, greedily accepted by many ; but the person who brought the most assistance to it, and indeed gave a form and spirit to the whole design, was Richard, Earl of Striaul, commonly known by the name of Strongbow. Dermot, to confirm in his interest this potent and warlike peer, promised him his daughter in marriage with the reversion of his crown. The beginnings of so great an enterprise were formed with a very slender force. Not four hundred met landed near Werford; they took the town by storm. When reinforced they did not exceed twelve hundred; but, being joined with three thousand men by Dermot, with an incredible rapidity of success they reduced Waterford, Dublin, Limerick, the only considerable cities in Ireland. By the novelty of their arms they had obtained some striking advantages in their first engagements; and by these advantages they attained a superiority of opinion over the Irish, which every success increased. Before the effect of this first impression had time to wear off, Henry, having settled his affairs abroad, entered the harbour of Cork with a fleet of four hundred sail, at once to secure the conquest, and the allegiance of the conquerors. The fare of so great a force arriving under a prince, dreaded by all Europe, very soon disposed all the petty princes, with their King Roderic, to submit and do homage to Henry. They had not been able to resist the arms of his vassals, and they hoped better treatment from submitting to the ambition of a great king, who left them every thing but the honour of their independency, than from the avarice of adventurers, from which nothing was secure. The bishops and the body of the clergy greatly contributed to this submission, from respect to the Pope, and the horror of their late defeats, which they began to regard as judgments. A national council was held at Cashel for bringing the church of Ireland to a perfect conformity, in rites and discipline, to that of England. It is not to be thought, that in this council the temporal interests of England were entirely forgotten. Many of the English were established in their particular conquests under the tenure of knights-service, now first introduced into Ireland; a tenure, which, if it has not proved the best calculated to secure the obedience of the vassal to the sovereign, has never failed in any instance of preserving a vanquished people in obedience to the conquerors. The English lords built strong castles on their demesnes ; they put themselves at the head of the tribes, whose chiefs they had slain ; they assumed the Irish garb and manners; and thus partly by force, partly by policy, the first English families took a firm root in Ireland. It was indeed long before they were able entirely to subdue the island to the laws of England ; but the continual efforts of the Irish, for more than four hundred years, proved insufficient to dislodge them.

70.- THE DEATH OF ROSAMOND.

[From "Henry II. by Thomas May.) [The following poem, by one of our early poets, is founded upon the most commonly received tradition. The real history of Rosamond de Clifford is very obscure: we extract the following brief account from the Pictorial History of England :

“ The history of the 'Fair Rosamond,' has been enveloped in romantic traditions which have scarcely any foundation in truth, but which have taken so firm a hold on the popular mind, and have been identified with so much poetry, that it is neither an easy nor a pleasant task to dissipate the fanciful illusion, and unpeople the bower' in the sylvan shades of Woodstock. Rosamond de Clifford was the daughter of a baron of Herefordshire, the beautiful site of whose antique castle, in the valley of the Wye, is pointed out to the traveller between the town of the Welsh Hay and the city of Hereford, at a point where the most romantic of rivers, after foaming through its rocky, narrow bed in Wales, sweeps freely and tranquilly through an open English valley of surpassing loveliness. Henry became enamoured of her in his youth, before he was a king, and the connexion continued for many years ; but long before his death, and even long before his quarrel with his wife and legitimate sons (with which it appears she had nothing to do), Rosamond retired to lead a religious and penitent life, into the little nunnery' of Godestow, in the ‘rich meadows of Evenlod, near unto Oxford.'”

“ As Henry still preserved gentle and generous feelings towards the object of his youthful and ardent passion, he made many donations to the little nunnery,' on her account; and when she died (some time at least, before the first rebellion) the nuns, in gratitude to one who had been both directly and indirectly their benefactress, buried her in their choir, hung á silken pall over her tomb, and kept tapers constantly burning around it. These few lines, we believe, comprise all that is really known of the fair Rosamond. The legeud, so familiar to the childhood of all of us, was of later and gradual growth, not being the product of one imagination. The chronicler Brompton, who wrote in the time of Edward III., or more than a century and a half after the event, gave the first description we possess of the secret bower of Rosamond. He says, that in order that she might not be easily taken unawares by the queen' (ne forsán a regina facile deprehenderetur) Henry constructed, near Wodestocke,' a bower for this most sightly maiden, (puellæ spectatissimæ), of wonderful contrivance, and not unlike the Dædalean labyrinth ; but he speaks only of a device against surprise, and intimates in clear terms, that Rosamond died a natural death. The clue of silk, and the poison-bowl forced on her fair and gentle rival, by the jealous and revengeful Eleanor, were additions of a still more modern date."

Fair Rosamond within her bower of late,
(While these sad storms had shaken Henry's state

And he from England last had absent been)
Retir'd herself: nor had that star been seen
To shine abroad, or with her lustre grace
The woods, or walks adjoining to the place.

About those places, while the times were free,
Oft with a train of her attendants, she
For pleasure walk'd; and like the Huntress Queen,
With her light nymphs, was by the people seen.
Thither the country lads and swains, that near
To Woodstock dwelt, would come to gaze on her.
Their jolly May-games there would they present,
Their harmless sports and rustic merriment,
To give this beauteous paragon delight.
Nor that officious service would she slight !
But their rude pastimes gently entertain,
When oft some forward and ambitious swain,
That durst presume (unhappy lad !) to look
Too near that sparkling beauty, planet-struck
Return'd from thence, and his hard hap did wail.
What now [Alas !) can wake or fair avail
His love-sick mind ? no whitsun-ale can please,
No jingling morris-dancers give him ease ;
The pipe and tabor have no sound at all,
Nor to the may-pole can his measures call !
Although invited by the merriest lasses,
How little for those former joys he passes ?
But sits at home with folded arms ; or goes
To carve on beeches' barks his piercing woes
And too ambitious love. Cupid, they say,
Had stoln from Venus then : and lurking lay
About the fields and villages, that nigh
To Woodstock were, as once in Arcady
He did before, and taught the rural swains
Love's oratory, and persuasive strains.
But now fair Rosamond had from the sight
Of all withdrawn ; as in a cloud, her light
Enveloped long, and she immured close
Within her bower, since these sad stirs arose,
For fear of cruel foes ; relying on
The strength and safeguard of the place alone :
If any place of strength enough could be
Against a queen's enraged jealousy.

Now came that fatal day, ordain'd to see
Th' cclipse of beauty, and for ever be
Accurst by woful lovers, all alone
Into her chamber, Rosamond was gone;
Where (as if fates into her soul had sent
A secret notice of their dire intent)
Afflicting thoughts possessed her as she sate,
She sadly weigh'd her own unhappy state,
Her feared dangers, and how far (alas)
From her relief engaged Henry was.

But most of all, while pearly drops distain'd
Her rosy cheeks, she secretly complain'd,
And wail'd her honour's loss, wishing in vain
She could recal her virgin state again ;
When that unblemish'd form, so much admir'd,
Was by a thousand noble youths desir'd,
And might have mov'd a monarch's lawful flame.
Sometimes she thought how some more happy dame
By such a beauty, as was hers, had won,
From meanest birth, the honour of a throne;
And what to some could highest glories gain,
To her had purchas'd nothing but a stain.
There, when she found her crime, she check'd again
That high aspiring thought, and 'gan complain,
How much (alas) the too too dazzling light
Of royal lustre had misled her sight;
O! then she wish'd her beauties ne'er had been
Renown'd! that she had ne'er at court been seen :
Nor too much pleas'd enamour'd Henry's eye.
While thus she sadly mus'd, a ruthful cry
Had pierc'd her tender ear, and in the sound
Was pam'd (she thought) unhappy Rosamond.
(The cry was utter'd by her grieved maid,
From whom that clue was taken, that betray'd
Her lady's life), and while she doubting feard,
Too soon the fatal certainty appear'd ;
For with her train the wrathful queen was there ;
Oh! who can tell what cold and killing fear
Through every part of Rosamond was shook ?
The rosy tincture her sweet cheeks forsook,
And like an ivory statue did she show
Of life and motion reft; had she been so
Transform'd indeed, how kind the fates had been,
How pitiful to her! nay, to the queen !
Even she herself did seem to entertain
Some ruth, but straight revenge return'd again,
And fill'd her furious breast. “Strumpet (quoth she)
I need not speak at all; my sight may be
Enough expression of my wrongs, and what
The consequence must prove of such a hate.
Here, take this poison'd cup (for in her hand
A poison'd cup she had), and do not stand
To parley now: but drink it presently,
Or else by tortures be resolv'd to die.
Thy doom is sot.” Pale trembling Rosamond
Receives the cup, and kneeling on the ground,
When dull amazement somewhat had forsook
Her breast, thus humbly to the queen she spoke.

“I dare not hope you should so far relent,
Great queen, as to forgive the punishment
That to my foul offence is justly due.
Nor will I vainly plead excuse, to shew

By what strong arts I was at first betray'd,
Or tell how many subtle snares were laid
To catch mine honour. These, though ne'er so true,
Can bring no recompense at all to you,
Nor just excuse to my abhorred crime.
Instead of sudden death, I crave but time,
Which shall be styld no time of life but death,
In which I may with my condemned breath,
While grief and penance make me hourly die,
Pour out my prayers for your prosperity ;
Or take revenge on this offending face,
That did procure you wrorg, and my disgrace,
Make poisonous leprosies o'erspread my skin ;
And punish that, that made your Henry sin,
Better content will such a vengeance give
To you ; that he should loathe me whilst I live,
Than that he should extend (if thus I die)
His lasting pity to my memory,
And

you be forc'd to see, when I am dead,
Those tears, perchance, which he for me will shed:
For though my worthless self deserve from him
No tears in death; yet when he weighs my crime,
Of which he knows how great a part was his,
And what I suffer as a sacrifice
For that offence, 't will grieve his soul to be
The cause of such a double tragedy."

“No more (reply'd the furious queen) ; have done ;
Delay no longer, lest thy chance be gone,
And that a sterner death for thce remain."
No more did Rosamond entreat in vain ;
But forc'd by hard nccessity to yield,
Drank of the fatal potion that she held.
And with it enter'd the grim tyrant death :
Yet gave such respite, that her dying breath
Might beg forgiveness from the heavenly throne,
And pardon those that her destruction
Had doubly wrought. “Forgive, oh Lord,” said she,
“ Him that dishonour'd, her that murder'd me.
Yet let me speak, for truth's sake, angry queen :
If you had spar'd my life, I might have been
In time to come th' example of your glory;
Not of your shame, as now ; for when the story
Of hapless Rosamond is read, the best
And holiest people, as they will detest
My crime, and call it foul, they will abhor,
And call unjust, the rage of Elianor,
And in this act of yours it will be thought
King Henry's sorrow, not his love you sought."
And now so far the venom's force assail'd
Her vital parts, that life with language fail'd.
That well-built palace where the Graces made
Their chief abode, where thousand Cupids play'd

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