Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

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Sir Leonards Cross

A Poem by James Ross


photo from original book courtesy of Helen Palmer






















The  observation  on the left is a prelude to the poem Sir Leonard's Cross, and is from the book Wild Warblings by James Ross the Thrybergh Bard published in 1817 . The drawing above right is of Sir Leonard's Cross is  by James Ross or his wife Anna Shaw which is also from the book.

The Poem


Where dawn first harbinger of day,
Sheds her pale light of sober gray,
And sol's resplendent majesty,
Shines forth o'er mountain tow'r, and tree;
Then up the lark with ardour springs,
And shakes the dewdrop from his wings,
And all the woodland choirs unite,
In grateful songs to hail the light,
Till rocks, and woods, and hills around,
Re-echo with the rural sound,
But stop my music to whither run?
Tis time the story was begun.
This admonitation did prevail,
So what next follows is the tale.

On rising eminence there stands,
A stone long plae'd by unknown hands,
Of rude design and form antique,
Sculptured o'er with hieroglyphie,
Which cannot now with ease be traced,
Being by some rude Goths defaced.
Tradition says there was a knight,
Sir Leonard call'd of valorous might,
That would in foreign climes go roam,
And leave his rib to sigh at home,
Full many a weary step had he,
Full many a sleepless night had she,
He many a cross adventure met,
She nothing did but sob and fret,
This irksome life for years she led,
Til she believed her lord was dead,
But he was groaning all the while,
[ Poor hapless wretch] in durance vile.

The sorrowing Dame now dries her tears,
For lo! a suitor gay appears,
With winning aspect graceful air,
Quite degagee,  and debonair,
Who laid close siege to her in form,
To win her heart though not by storm,
But sap'd the mine by craving pity,
And sighing forth his love-lorn ditty,
Which soon the fortress strong subdued,
And full surrender quick ensued.
The ring was bought, the day was set,
And friends and priest at alter met,
To solomnize the nuptial rite,
And tie this loving couple tight.
When Priest was joining both their hands,
In hymens soft and silky bands,
Sir Leonards voice smote every ear,
With thund'ring sound:" Oh priest forbear,
"The sacred rite!- to end all strife,
"The lady is MY LAWFUL WIFE.

Aghast all stood, and sore amazed,
And on each other gaped and gazed,
In wild dismay, until the knight,
March'd off with madam from their sight.
The wondering party were perplexed,
And greatly puzzled and much vexed,
At being dup'd, as none could tell,
Whether from Heaven or dreadful hell,
He sprang to light;-to them he seemed,
Not mortal, being dead long deemed.
To end the story now in hand,
He came into his native land,
By fairy's spell or wizard's wand,
Tradition says; and does declare,
Like witch on broomstick through the air,
And safe upon the spot he alighted,
Where stands the stone before recited.

James Ross 1817



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This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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