Northumberland Yesterday and To-day eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 205 pages of information about Northumberland Yesterday and To-day.
The secret ways of the hills are mine, I know where the wandering moor-fowl nest; And up where the wet grey glidders[10] shine I know where the roving foxes rest. [Footnote 10:  Glidders = Patches of loose stones on the hillside.]

  I know what the wind is wailing for
  As it searches hollow and hag and peak;
  And, riding restless on Newton Tor,
  I know what the questing shadows seek.

  I know the tale that the brown bees tell,
  And they tell it to me with a raider’s pride,
  As, drunk with the cups of Yeavering Bell,
  They stagger home from the English side.

  I know the secrets of haugh and hill;
  But sacred and safe they rest with me,
  Till I hide them deep in the heart of Till,
  To be taken to Tweed and the open sea.

    —­Will.  H. Ogilvie.

  BY PERMISSION OF MESSRS.  W. AND R. CHAMBERS

CHAPTER VII.

THE ROMAN WALL.

  “Take these flowers, which, purple waving,
  On the ruined rampart grew,
  Where, the sons of Freedom braving,
  Rome’s imperial standard flew. 
  Warriors from the breach of danger
  Pluck no longer laurels there;
  They but yield the passing stranger
  Wild-flower wreaths for Beauty’s hair.”
    —­Sir Walter Scott.
                (Lines written for a young lady’s album.)

Of all the abundance of treasure which Northumberland possesses, from a historical point of view—­of all its wealth of interesting relics of bygone days—­ancient abbey, grim fortress, menhir and monolith, camp and tumulus—­none grips the imagination as does the sight of that unswerving line which pursues its way over hill and hollow, from the eastern to the western shores of the north-land, visible emblem, after more than a thousand years, of the far-flung arm of Imperial Rome.

From Wallsend on the Tyne to Bowness on the Solway Firth it strode triumphantly across the land; even now in its decay it remains a splendid monument to that mighty nation’s genius for having and holding the uttermost parts of the earth that came within their ken.  As was inevitable, after the lapse of nearly eighteen centuries the great work is everywhere in a ruinous condition, and in many places, especially at its eastern end, has disappeared altogether; but not only can its course be traced by various evidences, but it was actually standing within comparatively recent years.  As lately as the year 1800—­lately, that is, compared with the date of its building—­its existence at Byker was referred to in a magazine of the period.  Now nothing is to be seen of it excepting a few stones here and there, for many miles from Wallsend; but the highroad westward from Newcastle, by Westgate Road, as is well known, follows the course of the Wall for nearly twenty miles.  But farther west we may walk along the uneven, broken surface of the

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Northumberland Yesterday and To-day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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