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A constant warfare was his reign on earth,
BECKET, another curse of Henry's life,
A NEW LEGEND OF ST. THOMAS A BECKET. King Henry and the realm to spite,
St. Dunstan being dead and gone, Some evil genius sent his sprite,
In BECKET's form, to curb the throne.
Archbishop, Chancellor, and more
Than I can say in these brief rhymes, He gain'd all Dunstan gain'd before,
All WOLSEY got in after times.
And what return to HENRY made
This upstart, whọ deserv'd a rope ? Of dignity he form’d a trade,
And sold his master to the Pope !
Rebellion into exile sent
The meddling Monk, who yet return'd More honour'd, tho' much less content,
While treason in his heart still burn'd.
Repeated insult Henry drove
Some hint to drop in angry mood,*
Unhappily, in Becket's blood.
* "Is there not one of the crew of lazy, cowardly knights, “ whom I maintain, that will rid me of this turbulent priest, “ who came to court but t'other day on a lame horse, with no" thing but his wallet behind him?" These words unfortunately animated to action Reginal Fitz-urse, William de Tracey, Hugh de Morvil, and Richard Brito.
Berington's Life of St. Thomas a Becket. The vulgar of Glocestershire have proverbially assigned a whimsical punishment for one of the families concerned in the assassination, thus :
“The Tracies, “ Have always the wind in their faces.” James Petit Andrews sportively adds, “ No very severe judg. ment on a summer's day.”
The The King to penance keen and sore,
And public ignominious pain, Submitted! ne'er was Prince before
So humble, nor is like to be again.
Had but the justice of the land,
Struck Becket. with a legal hand,
Instead of shame the King had gain'd applause.*
Ireland and Wales and Scotland pay
* His ill-bred haughtiness was such, that when the English prelates, in one body, represented to him the consequences which must inevitably attend his turbulent obstinacy, he answered only, "I hear you." Nothing could exceed his pride, or the splendor of his household. Before his advancement to the primacy he had been used to travel attended by two hundred knights and other gay domestics: eight waggons were in his suite, two of those bore his ale, three the furniture of his chapel, of his bed-chamber, and of his kitchen, and the other three carried provisions and necessaries. Twelve pack-horses bore his money, plate, &c. to each waggon was chained a fierce mastiff, and on each pack-horse there sat a baboon.
The following Epitaph, among others, was made on Becket:
Imitated ly J. P. Andrews.
Shortend by civil jars,
And most unnatural wars,
Henry, his son, was by his father crown’d,
A story told of Woodstock bow'r, I wis,
* At this coronation, young Henry, on his father's humility being pointed out, arrogantly repliel, “ A great honour truly, “ for the son of a King to be waited on by the son of an Earl !" At other times too, he requited his father's tenderness with most unfilial ingratitude, a sense of which, is said, at length to have broken his own heart. His body was carried towards Roan, but the clergy and citizens of Mans took it by force and interred it in their cathedral, near the Old Geoffry Plantagenet, whence it was ultimately taken and re-interred at Roan. King IIenry, in allusion to the ingratitude of his sons, had an allegorical picture painted for his palace at Windsor, representing an old eagle, his young ones fighting with him, and one scarcely fledged striving to peck out his eyes; the last he used to say was John, whom he loved best of all.
THE ARGUMENT. “ Henry the Second keepeth (with much care,) “ Lord Clifford's daughter, Rosamond the faire; “ And whilst his sonnes do Normandy invade “ He, forced to France, with wond'rous cost hath made “ A labyrinthe in Woodstocke, where unseene “ His love might lodge safe from his iealous queene."
EmBow'r'd sat a lover and lady so gay,
Where jas’mine with lilies were curld, They gaz’d on each other with tender delight; The warrior was HARRY PLANTAGENET hight,
And the lady the RosE OF THE WORLD.
Said the fair, “ when you follow the drum and
the fife, “ I shall wish by my side you had tarried, “For as soon as you leave me your termagant
wife, “ Will be certain to frighten me out of my life,” For, I'm sorry to say, he was married.