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VAN RYK.

The moon has not yet risen, It cannot yet be nine.

ARTEVELDE.

Not nine ? well, well ; * Be the day never so long,

At length cometh even-song.' So saith the ancient rhyme. At eight o'clock Or thereabouts, we cross'd the bridge of Rosebecque.

VAN RYK.

'Twas thereabouts, my lord.

ARTEVELDE.

Tell me, Van Ryk,
Was anything of moment in your thoughts
As we were crossing.

VAN RYK.

In my thoughts, my lord ?

Nothing to speak of.

ARTEVELDE.

Well now it is strange!
I never knew myself to sleep o' horseback,
And yet I must have slept. The evening's heat
Had much oppress'd me; then the tedious tract
Of naked moorland, and the long flat road
And slow straight stream, for ever side by side,
Like poverty and crime—I'm sure I slept.

VAN RYK.

I saw not that you did, my lord.

ARTEVELDE.

I did; 'Twas an unwholesome dream,

Ay, and dream'd too.

On my

If dream it was—à nightmare rather: first
A stifling pressure compass'd in my heart;

dull ears, with thick and muffled peal,
Came many a sound of battle and of flight,
Of tumult and distracted cries; my own,
That would have been the loudest, was unheard,
And seem'd to swell the chambers of my

brain
With volume vast of sound I could not utter.
The screams of wounded horses, and the crash
Of broken planks, and then the heavy plunge
Of bodies in the water—they were loud,
But yet the sound that was confined in me,
Had it got utterance, would have drown'd them all !
But still it grew and swell’d, and therewithal
The burthen thicken'd on my heart; my blood,
That had been flowing freshly from my wounds,
Trickled, then clotted, and then flow'd no more :
My horse upon the barrier of the bridge
Stumbled; I started; and was wide awake.
'Twas an unpleasant dream.

VAN RYK.

It was, my

lord. I wonder how I mark'd not that you slept.

ARTEVELDE.

I must be wakeful now. Who waits ? who's there?

[To an Attendant, who enters. The man I sent to Ypres with a letterHas he return'd?

ATTENDANT.

But now, my lord, arrived ; And with him Father John.

ARTEVELDE.

He come already!
With more alacrity he meets my wish
Than I deserve. Prithee, conduct him hither.

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Then leave us—No, Van Ryk, Not you; or if you will, lie down within, And rest you till I call.

[Exeunt Van Ryk and the Attendant.

Enter FATHER JOHN.
My honour'd master, if a thousand welcomes
Could carry more than one, I'd say the word
More oft than you your Ave and your creed.
But welcome is enough.

FATHER JOHN.

God's love, my son,
Be with you alway. We have lately been
In outward act more strangers than we were,
But inwardly, I fain would hope, unalter'd.

ARTEVELDE.

Unalter'd, on my soul! The storms of state
From time to time heave up some monstrous ridge,
Which each from other hides two friendly barks ;
Nought else divides us, and we steer, I trust,
One course, are guided by one steadfast star,
That so one anchorage we may reach at last.
The cares and mighty troubles of the times
Have kept me company, and shut

yours out.

FATHER JOBN.

It is your place, my son ; private respects

Should be far from you— tis no blame of yours.
But whence the present call ?

ARTEVELDE.

To that at once.
France is in arms; the earl that was of Flanders
From Hedin went by Arras to Bapaume
On Wednesday se'nnight, if my scouts say true,
And there my lord of Burgundy he met,
And with him made a covenant; from thence
They came to Senlis, where the young king lies,
And there the dukes of Burgundy and Bourbon
Had gather'd from all parts a mighty force,
Some eighty or a hundred thousand men.
May that not startle me?

FATHER JOHN.

'Tis a large levy;

But yet you muster more.

ARTEVELDE.

Of men at arms Not half the tale; and those for Senlis bound Would double—so says fame—these now arrived. It were a vain and profitless attempt To disbelieve my danger, howsoe’er I show a careless countenance to the crowd. If Nicholas le Flamand call not back The French king's force, as much I fear he will not, There's one sufficiency of aid can reach The measure of my need; one and no more; And that is aid from England. This not sent, Or else belated,—coming in the dusk And sunset of my fortunes,—where am I?

FATHER JOHN.

At England's council-board in Edward's days
Sloth and delay had never seats; no paper
Lay gathering dust and losing its fresh looks,
No business lodged: would that it were so now!
Yet surely if King Richard deem it meet
And useful to his realm to send you aid,
'Twill come with speed.

ARTEVELDE.

He knows not that despatch Is now so all-important. Nor from those I sent him, will he learn it. I myself Thought not King Charles had crept so close upon me, Else had I put your kindness then to proofs Which I intend it now,—else had I ask'd Your presence then in England.

FATHER JOHN.

Nay, my son,
Six have you sent already—on their way
Our humble hospitality they shared
At Ypres.

ARTEVELDE.

Then their quality you saw.
They were the best, methought, that I could spare
For foreign service, while thus press'd at home.
The first for state and dignity was named;
He whom Pope Urbayne, after Ghent rebell’d,
Appointed bishop to receive the dues
Which else had fallen to the see of Tournay,
Where Clement is acknowledged; for this end
Was he a bishop made, and to say truth

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