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SUMMARY OF THE REIGN OF
Crowned, A. D. 975. Reigned near four years. Died, (unmarried,) by the hands of a ruffian, employed by Elfrida, his mother-in-law, at Corfe Castle, in the isle of Purbeck, 978. Buried at Warham, afterwards removed to Shaftsbury.
PRINCIPAL Events. Commotions raised by the Clergy respecting the marriages of Priests. A Plague, and great mortality of cattle. In an assembly of the Peers and Commons the floor gave way, many were killed ; Dunstan escaped unhurt, it was supposed by miracle.
Eminent Persons. The Earl, or Duke of Mercia, who took part with Elfrida and the Clergy, against the King. Dunstan, Ethelgar, and Eltrick, Archbishops of Canterbury.
Pope. Benedict VII. 975.
Emperors. Of the East-Basilius II. 975. Of the West-Otho IL. 973.
Kennett 11. 20
EDWARD THE MARTYR.
“ Cut off even in the blossom of my sin,
From RADCLIFFE's ivy mantled towers,
Where “foul deeds rise" in midnight gloom, To haunt guilt's wakeful, ling’ring hours,
And warn the murd’rer of his doom;
Lewis! from where thy spectres glide,
And sable plumed assassins wait, Where malice, deck'd in monkish pride,
Allures some victim to her fate;
From, Fuseli ! thy touch of fire,
Enthusiastic, madly bold
ELFRIDA! had wild fiction's page
Thy fiend-like outline dar'd to shew, This all enlighten'd critic age
Had damn'd the lines that drew thee so!
Reader ! howe'er the hardy task
My feeble pen may ill beseem, Your patience I shall boldly ask,
While I attempt, to tell a DREAM.
WHERE mould’ring Corfe's antique remains
Attract the passing trav'ler's eye, Recal the scene of former reigns,
And tell of ages long gone by;
With toil and thought my nerves unstrung,
I woo'd repose; old Somnus smiled,
And fancy thus my sense beguild:
Methought the blast grew loud, and long, and keen,
The barren heath grew dark, and wide,and drear, For shelter scarce a trembling leaf was seen, And direst noises mock'd th' uncertain ear!
And now it seem'd as if the yell
Of Evil Spirits, high in air,
Or, as the ling'ring groan of sad despair,
man could tell.
Ne'er did such fearful torrents leave the sky,
Ne’er from such angry clouds did torrents pour, Ne'er did such light'ning paralize the eye, Nor ever thunder burst with such indignant
An hour so dread, a desert place so wild,
Might well the stoutest, firmest, heart subdue, Convert the soul of manhood to a child,
And with big drops the forehead pale bedew.
Amid the countless wonders of the night,
Beheld a female of majestic mien.
Dark were her tresses which a blood-stained veil
Confined, a diadem her temple bound, 'Twas more than terrible to hear her wail, Cold ran my heart's-blood at the mournful
« Guilty ELFRIDA !" was her ceaseless cry,
The breast she beat gave back a hollow groan ; “Guilty ELFRIDA !” echo made reply,
And nature shook with horrors not her own,
Of martyrd EDWARD's step-dame 'twas the shade,
(So fancy whisper'd to my fear-struck mind) Who, nightly thus compell’d, confession made,
Yet from confession no relief might find.
€ Ambition !” shriek'd the form, " thou hateful
name, “ Thou worst of evils, cause of all my woe, “ Not less corrosive thy detested flame
“ Than fires that scorch my guilty heart below!
" Sage Peers, of my aspiring bopes aware,
“Opposed me to protect my hapless son, “ 'That son who should have been a mother's care, “ Became her hate, and we were both undone.