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Nor in her fostering fancy perish'd
She would not e'en their folly chide,
But like the sun and showers of heaven,
But soon, from fear of future change,
The northern farmers, spoil'd and bare,
No more could rent or produce spare
To the soil's lords. All were distress'a, The door, the windows, every thing
And on our noble dame this evil sorely pressid Which to her back-cast thoughts could bring Her household numerous, her means withheld The scenes of other days.—Then she applied Shall she her helpless servants now dismiss To knocker bright her thrilling hand,
To rob or starve, in such a time as this, And begg'd, as strangers in the land,
Or wrong to others do ? but nothing quell'd Admittance from the household dame,
Her calm and upright mind.—“Go, summon here And thus preferred her gentle claim :
Those who have served me many a year.” “ This house was once my happy home,
The summons went; each lowly name Its rooms, its stair, I fain would see ;
Full swiftly to her presence came, Its meanest nook is dear to me,
And thus she spoke: “ Ye've served me long, Let me and mine within its threshold come.” Pure, as I think, from fraud or wrong, But no ; this might not be !
And now, my friendly neighbours, true Their feet right soil her polish'd floor,
And simply I will deal with you. The dame held fast the hostile door,
The times are shrewd, my treasures spent, A Belgian housewife she.
My farms have ceased to yield me rent; “ Fear not such harm! we'll doff our shoes : And it may chance that rent or grain Do not our earnest suit refuse !
I never shall receive again. We'll give thee thanks, we'll give thee gold;
The dainties which my table fed, Do not kind courtesy withhold !”
Will now be changed for daily bread, But still it might not be ;
Dealt sparely, and for this I must The dull, unpliant dame refused her gentle plea.
Be debtor to your patient trust,
If ye consent."-Swist through the hall,
With eager haste, spoke one and all.
“No, noble dame! this must not be ! Sweet union held of mated will,
With heart as warm and hand as free,
Still thee and thine we'll serve with pride,
Shall daily smoke upop thy board;
And, shouldst thou never clear the score, And tender, round their noble mother stood. Heaven for thy sake will bless our store." And she the while, cheer'd with their pious love,
She bent her head with courtesy, Waited her welcome summons from above.
The big tear swelling in her eye,
And thank'd them all. Yet plain and spare, LIII.
She order'd still her household fare, But whatsoe'er the weal or wo
Till fortune's better die was cast,
And adverse times were past.
And weight of mortal cares to free, For Stuart's dynasty to fight,
It was a blessed sight to see, Distress to many a family came,
The parting saint ber state of honour keeping Who dreaded more the approaching shame
In gifted, dauntless faith, whilst round her, weeping, of penury's ill-favour'd mien,
Her children's children mourn’d on bended knee. Than e'en the pang of hunger keen. How softly then her pity flow'd !
LVI. How freely then her hand bestow'd!
In London's fair imperial town She did not question their opinion
She laid her earthly burden down. of party, kingship, or dominion :
In Mellerstain, ber northern home,
Was raised for her a graven tomb
LORD JOHN OF THE EAST.
The fire blazed bright till deep midnight, And now, ye polish'd fair of modern times,
And the guests sat in the hall, If such indeed will listen to my rhymes,
And the lord of the feast, Lord John of the East, What think ye of her simple, modest worth,
Was the merriest of them all.
Beneath his helm to scowl,
Flash'd keenly bright, like a new-waked sprite Who with superb signoras proudly vies,
As pass'd the circling bowl. Trilling before the dear admiring crowd
In laughter light, or jocund lay, With outstretch'd, straining throat, bravuras loud,
That voice was heard, whose sound, Her high-heaved breast press'd hard, as if to boast
Stern, loud, and deep, in battle-fray
Did foemen fierce astound;
To every jester near,
Oft thrust the ruthless spear.
The gallants sang, and the goblets rang, Will she, forsooth! or any belle of spirit,
And they revell’d in careless state, Regard such old, forgotten, homely merit?
Till a thundering sound, that shook the ground, Or she, whose cultured, high-strain'd talents soar
Was heard at the castle gate.
“Who knocks without, so loud and stout?
Who from afar, like a guiding star,
“ If a stranger it be of high degree, Soll scorns with vulgar thimble to be clipt;
(No churl durst make such din,) Who doth with proud pretence her claims advance
Step forth amain, my pages twain,
And soothly ask him in.
The pages twain return'd again,
And a wild, scared look had they ; Leaves her in purfle, furbelow, or frill,
Why look ye so?-is it friend or foe?”
Did the angry baron say.
“By my mother's shroud, he is full proud!
What earthly man is he?” And yet there be of British fair, I know,
“I know not, in truth," quoth the trembling youth, Who to this legend will some favour show
“If earthly man it be. From kindred sympathy; whose life proceeds In one up wearied course of gentle deeds,
“ In Raveller's plight, he is bedight, And
pass untainted through the earthly throng, With a vest of the crim'sy meet; Like souls that to some better world belong. But his mantle behind, that streams on the wind, Nor will I think, as sullen cynics do,
Is a corse's bloody sheet." Still libelling present times, their number few.
“Out, paltry child! thy wits are wild, Yea, leagued for good they act, a virtuous band,
Thy comrade will tell me true: The young, the rich, the loveliest of the land,
Say plainly, then, what hast thou seen?
Or dearly shalt thou rue.”
Then dark, dark lower'd the baron's eye,
And bis red cheek changed to wan; For again at the gate more furiously,
The thundering din began.
Of high or low degree,
Will go for the love of me?"
(A fearless man was he,)
Lord John, for the love of thee."
But his loosen'd limbs shook fast, and pour'd
The big drops from his brow,
The thundering gate below.
Let good or ill befall,
And ask him to your hall.”
“ What boots it shrinking so?
In God's name thou must go.
A gift from the great Glendower,
O'er which naught ill hath power ?”
As he turn'd him to the door,
Sound seebly on the foor.
With heart full stout, he hied him out,
Whilst silent all remain ;
Till Donald return'd again.
What stranger must we hail ?”
Made his faltering words to fail.
His like did I never behold;
Made my very life-blood cold.
Then back to the hall and his merry mates all,
He cast his parting eye,
He heaved a heavy sigh.
“ I did him greet in fashion meet,
And bade him your feast partake,
Made the earth beneath me quake.
Then listen'd they, on the lengtben'd way,
To his faint and lessening tread,
That wail'd as for the dead.
such a tone did tongue ne'er own That dwelt in mortal head ;It is like a sound from the hollow ground,
Like the voice of the coffin'd dead.
But wilder it grew, and stronger it blew,
And it rose with an elrich sound,
Fell hurling to the ground.
“ I bade him to your social board.
Each fearful eye then glanced on high, But in he will not hie,
To the lofty-window'd wall, Until at the gate this castle's lord
When a fiery trace of the baron's face Shall entreat him courteously.
Through the casements shone on all. “ And he stretch'd him the while with a ghastly But the vision'd glare pass'd through the air, smile,
And the raging tetnpest ceased, And sternly bade me say,
And never more on sea or shore, 'Twas no depute's task your guest to ask
Was seen Lord John of the East. To the feast of the woody bay.”
The sandals, blest by a holy priest, Pale grew the baron, and faintly said,
Lay unscath'd on the swarded green, As he heaved his breath with pain,
But never again on land or main, “ From such a feast as there was spread,
Lord John of the East was seen. Do any return again?
“I bade my guest to a bloody feast,
Where the death's wound was his fare,
She tore her raven hair.
“The seafowl screams, and the watch-tower gleams, O Go not by Duntorloch's walls And the deafening billows roar,
When the moon is in the wane, Where he unblest was put to rest,
And cross not o'er Duntorloch's bridge, On a wild and distant shore.
The farther bank to gain. “Do the hollow grave and the whelming wave For there the Lady of the Stream Give up their dead again?
In dripping robes you'll spy, Doth the surgy waste waft o'er its breast
A-singing to her pale, wan babe, The spirits of the slain !”
An elrich lullaby.
And stop not at the house of Merne,
On the eve of good Saint John,
With many a heavy moan.
And a wound is in his breast,
Where they say his corse doth rest.
Though the sun shine e'er so bright;
Than these in the noon of night.
And snakes coil in the wall,
And owls in the murky hall.
But the deep-red ing sun
When day's fair course is run. And searfully in night's pale beams,
When the moon peers o'er the wood,
Lies blackening many a rood.
No herd-boy's horn doth blow;
And loud croaks the carrion crow.
Was done the deed unblest,
Of a father's murderer rest.
With deep and solemn wo,
Would not be mocked so.
By lord and by carle forgot ;
Rest hath it none, I wot!
As he turn'd him fiercely round, And closely clench'd his ireful hand,
And stamp'd upon the ground: * Another night within your walls
I will not lay my head, Though the clouds of heaven my roof should be,
And the cold, dank earth my bed. “ Your younger son has now your love, And
my step-dame false your ear; And his are your hawks, and his are your hounds,
And his your dark-brown deer.
As fleet as the passing wind;
Like the son of a base-born hind.”
Dim was his tearful eye,
Thy spirit is all too high.
“ Yet rest this night beneath my roof,
The wind blows cold and shrill,
E'en follow thy wayward will."
And never a word did he say,
And sternly strode away.
As twilight gather'd round,
Ran Swain, his faithful hound.
With furious speed rode he,
Had closed o'er tower and tree.
Keen Nash'd the ing red,
O'er his unshelter'd head.
A flash of sheeted light,
Glared on his dazzled sight.
Up look'd his wistful Swain,
He lighted down amain.
His listening ear he bow'd,
The paved hall echoed loud.
From arches far and grand;
He took his fearful stand.
And the fitful blast sung shrill; But ere the midwatch of the night,
Were all things hush'd and still. But in the midwatch of the night,
When hush'd was every sound, Faint, doleful music struck his ear,
As if waked from the hollow ground.
And upward still it wore,
To enter the eastern door.
Such dismal sounds contain;
A wild, unearthly strain.
And the short, shrill shriek of fear,
Confusedly struck his ear.
And the famish'd vulture's cry,
Up brizzled the locks of Malcom's heir,
And his heart it quickly beat, And his trembling steed shook under his hand,
And Swain cower'd close to his feet.
Still strong and stronger grew,
Its wan and dismal hue.
And slowly entering then appear’d,
Approaching with soundless tread, A funeral band in dark array,
As in honour of the dead.
Back from the bier with strong recoil,
Still onward as they go,
And writhing body throw.
Full fiercely with him deal,
With their fangs of red-hot steel.
In the midst of the trembling hall,
Sunk to a dying fall.
No mortal tongue can tell,
In a death-like trance he fell.
On the country far and near,
Could they find Sir Malcom's heir.
O’er hill and vale they ran,
A crazed and wretched man.
But the priest of St. Cuthbert's cell, And aye, when the midnight warning sounde
He hastens bis beads to tell.
THE ELDEN TREE.
The first that walk'd were torchmen ten
To lighten their gloomy road, And each wore the face of an angry fiend,
And on cloven goats' feet trod. And the next that walk'd as mourners meet,
Were murderers twain and twain,
Befoul’d with many a stain.
And red-strain’d, starting eyen,
His earthly end had been.
There came an open bier,
That did but half appear.
As corse could never lie,
In nature's struggles die.
In strong distortion lay,
Is fix'd the lifeless clay.
With the black blood bolter'd round;
With the filleted locks unbound.
And the glaze of its half-closed eye
Of wo and agony.
That follow'd it close behind,
What words shall minstrel find ?
A broken knife he press'd,
Was that in the corse's breast.
Full strongly mark'd, I ween, The features of the aged corse
In life's full prime were seen. ... gnash thy teeth and tear thy hair,
And roll thine eyeballs wild, Tuou horrible, accursed son,
With a father's blood defiled!
A FEAST was spread in the baron's hall
And loud was the merry sound, As minstrels play'd at lady's call,
And the cup went sparkling round. For gentle dames sat there, I trow,
By men of mickle might,
And many a burly ynight.
And some on the surgy sea,
For the cause of Christentie.
Or Moorish or Faynim foe? Their eyes beain bright with social life,
And their hearts with kindness glow. “Gramercie, chieftain, on thy tale!
It smacks of thy merry mood.”“Ay, monks are sly, and women frail,
Since .ock and mountain stood." “ Fy, fy'sir knight, thy tongue is keen
'Tis charper than thy steel.”“ So, gentle lady, are thine eyen,
As we poor lovers feel. « Come, pledge me well, my lady gay,
Come, pledge me, noble frere ; Each cheerful mate on such a day,
Is friend or mistress dear."