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XIII. Scotland the while convulsive lay
Pleased had you been to have beheld, Beneath a hateful tyrant's sway ;
Like fire-sparks from the stricken stone,
The kindling eye of sweet Griseld,
Was his retreat to her alone.
The dangerous secret might confide.
Betide me good or ill:
Nor witch-fires, dancing in the dark,
For I will think, the while, I do God's blessed will.
To bring him needsul food, and share his lonely And there our former thrall, the good,
night.” The firma, the gentle Jerviswood
And she, ere stroke of midnight bell,
Did bound her for that dismal cell; The scaffold of its prey to cheat.
And took that haunted, fearful way
Which, till that hour, in twilight gray
She never by herself had past,
Or e'en athwart its copse-wood cast Our maiden's sire, must to the tempest bend.
A hasty glance, for dread of seeing He too must quit his social hearth,
The form of some unearthly being, The place where cheerful friends resort,
But now, far other foims of fear And travellers rest and children sport,
To her sacred sight appear, To lay him on the mouldering earth ;
And, like a sudden fit of ague, move her ; Through days of lonely gloom to rest his head
The stump of some old, blasted tree, With them, who, in those times unblest,
Or upright stone, or colt broke free Alone had sure and fearless rest,
To range at will the dewy lea,
Seem lurking spy or justic lover,
e'en through the dark, her secret drift Sad was his hiding place, I ween,
discover. A fearful place, where sights had been,
She pauses oft.-—“What whispers near?
The babbling burn sounds in my ear. Pass by, nor shadow onward cast,
Some hasty form the pathway crosses :Like any earthly wight;
'Tis but a branch the light wind tosses. A place, where midnight lights had shone
What thing is that by churchyard gate, Through charnel windows, and the glancing
That seems like spearman tall to wait ? Of wandering flame, on church-path lone,
'Tis but the martyr's slender stone Betray'd the hour when fiends and hags were dancing,
Which stards so stately and alone :
The vault's black door is near."
And she with icy fingers knock'd,
And heard with joy the door unlock’d, What time the moon is riding high
And felt the yawning fence give way, The very hounds went cowering by,
As deep and harsh the sounding hinges bray. Or watch'd afar with howling moan ;
XVI. For brutes, 'tis said, will see what meets no human
But to describe their tender meeting, eye.
Tears shed unseen, affection utter'd
In broken words, and blessings mutter'd,
With many a kiss and kindly greeting, A heart of heavy cheer had then,
I know not; would my feeble skill Listening her household's hum of life,
Were meeter yokemate to my will ! And thinking of his silent den. "0! who will to that vault of death,
XVII. At night's still watch repair,
Then from the struck flint flew the spark, The dark and chilly sky beneath,
And lighted taper, faint and small, And needful succour bear?
Gave out its dun rays through the dark, Many his wants, who bideth lonely there !" On vaulted roof and crusted wall:
On stones reversed in crumbling mould,
And could there be in lovers meeting And blacken'd poles of bier decay'd
More powerful chords to move the mind, That lumbering on the ground were laid ; Fond heart to heart responsive beating, On sculptured wrecks, defaced and old,
Than in that tender hour, pure, pious love entwined. And shreds of painted 'scutcheons torn Which once, in pointed lozenge spread,
XXII. The pillard church aloft had worn;
Thus, night succeeding night, her love While new-swept nook and lowly bed,
Did its unwearied nature prove, Strange sight in such a place!
Tender and fearless; till, obscured by crimes, Betray'd a piteous case,
Again so darkly lower'd the changeful times, Man from man's converse torn, the living with the That her good sire, though shut from light of dw, dead.
Might in that lowly den no longer stay.
From Edinbrough town a courier came, Produced with looks of kind inviting,
And round him Aock'd the castle's dame, Her hands with busy kindness spread ;
Children and servants, young and old. And he her kindly care requiting,
“ What news? what news ? thy visage sad Fell to with thanks and relish keen,
Betrays too plainly tidings bad." Nodded and quaff’d her health between,
And so it did; alas! sad was the tale he told. While she his glee return’d, her smiles with tears “ From the oppressor's deadly hate uniting
Good Jerviswood has met his fate No lordling at his banquet rare
Upon the lofty scaffold, where E’er tasted such delicious fare;
He bore himself with dauntless air; No beauty on her silken seat,
Albeit, with mortal sickness spent, With lover kneeling at her feet,
Upon a woman's arm he leant. E’er wept and smiled by turns with smiles so fondly From earth to heaven at yestere’en bo WARE sweet.
In silence deep the listeners stood,
An instant horror chilld their blood. Spreads joy unmix'd o'er every feature,
The lady groand, and turn'd aside As she her tale is archly telling
Her fears and troubled thoughts to hide. Of feuds within their busy dwelling,
The children wept, then went to play ; While, round the savoury table sitting,
The servants cried “Awaladay !" She gleans his meal, the rest unwitting,
But 0! what inward sights, which borrow How she, their open eyes deceiving,
The forms that are not, changing still, So dexterous has become in thieving.
Like shadows on a broken rill, She tells, how of some trifle prating,
Were blended with our damsel's sorrow! She stirs them all to keen debating,
Those lips, those eyes so sweetly mild, While into napkin'd lap she's sliding
That bless'd her as a humble child; Her portion, oft renew'd, and hiding,
The block in sable, deadly trim, Beneath the board, her store ; amazing
The kneeling form, the headsman grim, Her jealous Frere, oft on her gazing.
The sever'd head with life-blood streaming, Then with his voice and eager eye,
Were ever 'thwart her fancy gleaming. She speaks in harmless mimickry.
Her father, too, in perilous state, “ Mother! was e'er the like beheld?
He may be seized, and like his friend Some wolf possesses our Griseld;
Upon the fatal scaffold bend. She clears her dish, as I'm a sinner!
May Heaven preserve him still from such a dread. Like ploughman at his new-year's dinner.”
And then she thought, if this must be,
Who, honour'd sire, will wait on thee,
And serve thy wants with decent pride, Had best in sport or lesson done,
Like Baillie's kinswoman, subduing fear She fail'd not to repeat;
With fearless love, thy last sad scene to cheer, Though sorry tales they might appear
E’en on the scaffold standing by thy side ? To a fastidious critic's ear,
A friend like his, dear father, thou shalt have, They were to him most sweet.
To serve thee to the last, and linger round thy grave,
To join her hapless lord, the dame
XXXI. With all her numerous family came;
And well, with ready hand and heart, And found asylum, where th' opprest
Each task of toilsome duty taking, Of Scotland's patriot sons had rest,
Did one dear inmate play her part, Like sea fowl clustering in the rock
The last asleep, the earliest waking.
Her hands each nightly couch prepared,
And frugal meal on which they fared :
Unfolding spread the servet white, Word incorrect! it was not so:
And deck'd the board with tankard bright. For one, the youngest child, confined
Through fretted hose and garment rent, With fell disease, was left behind;
Her tiny needle deftly went, While certain things, as thus by stealth
Till hateful penury, so graced, They fled, regarding worldly wealth
Was scarcely in their dwelling traced. of much import, were left undone;
With reverence to the old she clung, And who will now that peril run,
With sweet affection to the young. Again to visit Scotland's shore,
To her was crabbed lesson said, From whence they did in fear depart,
To her the sly petition made, And to each parent's yearning heart
To her was told each petty care ; The darling child restore ?
By her was lisp'd the tardy prayer,
What time the urchin, half undrest
And half asleep, was put to rest.
XXXII. This task of peril undertake ? 0! who but she, whose bosom swell'd
There is a sight all hearts beguiling.With feelings high, whose self-devotion
A youthful mother to her infant smiling, Follow'd each generous, strong emotion,
Who, with spread arms and dancing feet,
Who does not love to see the grandame mild,
Lesson with yearning looks the listening child ? Yes; she again cross'd o'er the main,
But 'tis a thing of saintlier nature, And things of moment left undone,
Amidst her friends of pigmy stature, Though o'er her head had scarcely run
To see the maid in youth's fair bloom, Her nineteenth year, no whit deluded
A guardian sister's charge assume, By wily fraud, she there concluded,
And, like a touch of angel's bliss, And bore the youngling to its home again. Receive from each its grateful kiss. XXIX.
To see them, when their hour of love is past,
Aside their grave demeanour cast. But when she reach'd the Belgian strand,
With her in mimic war they wrestle ; Hard was her lot. Fast fell the rain,
Beneath her twisted robe they nestle; And there lay many miles of land,
Upon her glowing cheek they revel, A stranger's land, ere she might gain
Low bended to their tiny level; The nearest town. With hardship crost,
While oft, her lovely neck bestriding The wayward child its shoes had lost;
Crows some arch imp, like huntsman riding. Their coin was spent, their garments light,
This is a sight the coldest heart may feel ;And dark and dreary was the night.
To make down rugged cheeks the kindly tear to steal Then like some gipsy girl on desert moor, Her helpless charge upon her back she bore.
XXXIII. Who then had guess'd that figure slight,
But when the toilsome sun was set, So bending in such humble plight,
And evening groups together met, Was one of proud and gentle race,
(For other strangers shelter'd there Possessing all that well became
Would seek with them to lighten care,) Th' accomplish'd maid or high-born dame,
Her feet still in the dance moved lightest, Befitting princely hall or monarch's court to grace ? Her eye with merry glance beam'd brightest,
Her braided locks were coil'd the neatest,
Her carol song was thrill’d the sweetest;
And round the fire, in winter cold,
No archer tale than hers was told.
0! spirits gay, and kindly heart ! Was shed upon their generous maid :
Precious the blessings ye impart ! And though the inmates of a humble home, Though all unwittingly the while, To which they had as wretched outlaws come, Ye make the pining exile smile, Though hard their alter'd lot might be,
And transient gladness charm bis pain, In crowded city pent,
Who ne'er shall see his home again. They lived with mind and body free
Ye make the stern misanthrope's brow In grateful, quiet content.
With tint of passing kindness glow,
And age spring from his elbow-chair
And with those worthies, 'twas a happy doom The sport of lightsome glee to share.
Right fairly earnd, embark'd, Sir Patrick Hume. Thus did our joyous maid bestow
Their fleet, though long at sea, and tempest-tost, Her beamy soul on want and wo;
In happy hour at last arrived on England's coast. While proud, poor men, in threadbare suit,
Meantime his dame and our fair maid
Still on the coast of Holland stay'd,
With anxious and misgiving minds,
Listening the sound of warring winds :
The ocean rose with deafening roar, If I record her harmless pride,
And beat upon the trembling shore, Who sacrificed the hours of sleep,
Whilst breakers dash'd their whitening spray Some show of better times to keep ;
O’er mound and dyke with angry bray,
As if it would ingulf again
Oft on the beach our damsel stood
Midst groups of many a fearful wight, Was found, who late had cross'd the sea,
Who view'd, like her, the billowy flood, The son of virtuous Jerviswood,
Silent and sad, with visage shrunk and white, Who did as common sentry wait
While bloated corse and splinter'd mast, Before a foreign prince's gate.
And bale and cask on shore were cast, And if his eye, oft on the watch,
A sad and rueful sight! One look of sweet Griseld might catch,
But when, at the Almighty will, It was to him no dull nor irksome state.
The tempest ceased, and sea was still,
From Britain's isle glad tidings came,
Received with loud and long acclaim.
But joy appears with shrouded head
To those who sorrow o'er the dead; By Heaven's bigh will to make the light
For, struck with sore disease, while there Of future skies appear more bright.
They tarried pent in noisome air, And thus, at lowest ebb, man's thoughts are oft The sister of her heart, whom she elated.
Had watch'd and tended lovingly, He deems not that the very struggle
Like blighted branch whose blossoms fade, Of active virtue, and the war
That day was in her coffin laid. She bravely holds with present ill,
She heard the chimed bells loudly ringing, Sustain'd by hope, does by the skill
She heard the carollid triumph singing,
And clamorous throng, and shouting boys,
Howbeit, her grief at length gives way A recollection, fondly bent,
To happier thoughts, as dawns the day
In royal Mary's gentle train,
To join, ere long, the dearest to her heart,
They soon their own fair island haild,
As on the rippling sea they sail'd.
Ye well may guess their joyful cry,
With upraised hands and glistening eye,
When, rising from the ocean blue, For he, the prince of glorious memory,
Her chalky cliffs first met their view, The prince, who shall, as passing ages fly,
Whose white verge on th' horizon rear'd,
Like wall of noonday clouds appear'd.
And outward signs of joy we know.
Are fancy's fairest, brightest treasure,
Gildang the scupe of duller days
And from afar, her wistful eye With oft-recurring retrospect,
Would first his graceful form descry. With which right happily she plays.
E’en when he hied him forth to meet E'en as a moving mirror will reflect
The open air in lawn or street, Ita glancing rays on shady side
She to her casement went, Of home or glen, when school-boys guide
And after him, with smile so sweet, With skilful hands their mimic sun
Her look of blessing sent. To heaven's bright sun opposed; we see
The heart's affection,-secret thing! Its borrow'd sheen on fallow dun,
Is like the cleft rock's ceaseless spring, On meadow green, on rock and tree,
Which free and independent flows On broomy steep, on rippling spring,
Of summer rains or winter snows. On cottage thatch, and every thing.
The foxglove from its side may fall
The heathbloom fade or moss-flower white,
But still its runlet, bright though small,
Will issue sweetly to the light.
How long an honour'd and a happy pair,
They held their seemly state in mansion fair, Or tendril to the fostering stock,
I will not here in chiming verses say, Or seaweed on the briny rock,
To tire my reader with a lengthen'd lay ; Or mistletoe to sacred tree,
For tranquil bliss is as a summer day Or daisy to the swarded lea,
O’er broad Savana shining; fair it lies,
And rich the trackless scene, but soon our eyes,
But no new ties of wedded life,
That bind the mother and the wife, When woo'd by one of wealth and worth,
Her tender, filial heart could change, The neighbour of her happy home,
Or from its earliest friends estrange. Though by her gentle parents press'd
The child, by strong afl'ection led, And flattered, courted and caress'd,
Who braved her terror of the dead A splendid bride become.
To save an outlaw'd parent, still "I may not,” said her gentle heart,
In age was subject to his will. * The very thought endure,
She then was seen with matron air,
A dame of years, with countenance fair,
Though faded, sitting by his easy chair.
A sight that might the heart's best feelings movo! But yet, though poor, why should I smother
Behold her seated at her task of love! This dear regard? he'll be my brother,
Books, papers, pencil, pen, and slate, And thus through life we'll love each other.
And column'd scrolls of ancient date, What though, as changing years flit by,
Before her lie, on which she looks Gray grow my head, and dim his eye!
With searching glance, and gladly brooks We'll meekly bear our wayward fate,
An irksome task, that else might vex And scorn their petty spite who rate,
His temper, or his brain perplex ; With senseless gibes, the single state,
While, haply, on the matted floor, Till we are join'd, at last, in heavenly bliss on
Close nestling at her kirtled feet, high.”
Its lap enrich'd with childish store,
Sits, hushid and still, a grandchild sweet,
Who looks at times with eye intent, The father of the virtuous youth,
Full on its grandame's parent bent, Who died devoted för the truth,
Viewing his deeply-furrow'd brow, Was not, when better times return'd, forgot:
And sunken lip and locks of snow, To the right heir was given his father's land,
In serious wonderment. Ar i with his lady's love, he won her hand.
Well said that graceful sire, I ween!
Still through life's many a varied scene,
Griseld our dear and helpful child hath been.
In its full zest the present blessing,
Of all to former happiness allied,