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Who in a softer, gentler way,
He lived in the north countrie,
Or the glance of a lady's eye.
A stanch and burly band,
Bound for the Holy Land.
Are figured ensigns flying;
Are harness'd chargers neighing.
And looks the two between, On many a warlike face appear,
Where tears have lately been.
Hope beckons them before:
Blown from their native shore.
Six goodly knights and tall ;
Was goodliest of them all.
O'er all the warlike train ;
Heaven send us o'er the main ! “ But see I right? an armed band
From Moorham's lordless hall;
Its ancient seneschal!
Defend your lady's bower,
That lone and lovely flower.”— “God will defend our lady dear,
And we will cross the sea,
Our noble lord to free.”“ Nay, nay! some wandering minstrel's tongue,
Hath framed a story vain ;
Near Acre's wall was slain.”
“ Nay, good my lord ! for had his life
Been lost on battle-ground,
His body had been found.
His mortal term is past.”— « Not so ! not so! he is alive,
And will be found at last!” These latter words right eagerly
From a slender stripling broke,
And trembled as he spoke.
And all from top to toe
His blushing face bent low. “ Is this thy kinsman, seneschal ?
Thine own or thy sister's son ? A gentler page, in tent or hall,
Mine eyes ne'er look'd upon.“ To thine own home return, fair youth,
To thine own home return; Give ear to likely, sober truth,
Nor prudent counsel spurn. “War suits thee not, if boy thou art ;
And if a sweeter name
With maiden's honour'd fame."
Who round their chieftain press'd ;
His troubled mind express'd.
He paced to and fro,
In air, now drooping low.
Short words of sound he utter'd, And sometimes, stopping short, he stood,
As to himself he mutter'd.
And may they not agree?
A truer friend than she ?
Betrays not wanton will,
That fear might haunt me still.”
Return'd and look around,
Were nowhere to be found.
In warlike fair array,
And shoreward bent his way.
The warriors to receive ; And there, with blessings kind, but short,
Did friends of friends take leave.
" And thou hast wedded an English dame !"
Sir Maurice said no more,
He sigh'd and wept full sore.
With the Moslem chief stay'd he,
One glimpse of the fair lady.
As he paced the court below,
If word or accent low
Traversed the garden green,
Might on the turf be seen.
His listening ear, who told,
Within that Syrian hold ;
Upon the battle field,
He was obliged to yield:
So boldly cross the sea
To set her father free:
And soon they saw the crowded strand
Wear dimly from their view; And soon they saw the distant land,
A line of hazy blue.
In all her gallant pride,
That rippled far and wide.
O'er wave and surge careering;
Her wings the sea-foam sheering. Sometimes, with poles and rigging bare,
She scudded before the blast;
Her anchor dropt at last.
Join'd with the brave and great,
I may not here relate.
With champion on the plain, l'th' breach with clustering foes he fought,
Choked up with grisly slain. Most valiant by the valiant styled,
Their praise his deeds proclaim'd,
To hear their leader named.
And dim the loftiest brow;
Was in the dust laid low.
As sunk life's flickering flame,
That o'er his senses came.
Did on his vision fall,
The ancient seneschal.
His misty senses fled ;
Was bending o'er his bed.
And then, his eyelids raising,
Intently on him gazing.
His battles I've fought and won ; Christians I scorn, their creeds deny,
But honour Mary's Son.
And set her parent free ;
Shall e'er be thrall'd by me.
All wrong, all hatred smother ; Whate'er I feel, thou art secure,
As though thou wert my brother.”
And how into the foeman's hands
She and her people fell;
She sought him in his cell;
Till grief her sex betray'd,
Spoke gently to the maid :
And solemn promise gave,
With every Christian slave;
Felt the stern rule of vice ;)
Then paid the fearful price.-
His faded eyes to weep;
And saw it in his sleep.
Again to battle calls;
Are near those Moslem walls.
untoward fate! Sad to be thought upon : But the castle's lord unlock'd its gate,
And bade his guest be gone.
By thee so well maintain'd!
Sir Maurice took him by the hand,
“ God bless thee, too,”—he cried; Then to the nearest Christian band
With mingled feelings hied.
'Gainst foemen, foemen stood; And soon the fatal field was dyed
With many a brave man's blood.
Their valiant chief was slain;
And bore it from the plain.
A dull and dismal sound :
And safe protection found.
Look'd calm and cheerfully;
And bent him on his knee.
He utter'd, pass we by ;
Then gave this firm reply:
(A thought that rose and vanish'd So fleetingly) I will not chide ;)
'Tis from remembrance banish'a.
Still spotless shall it be:
And will never be bride to thee."
Hope i' the instant fled:
And from her presence sped.
God serving day and night; And he of blest Jerusalem
A brave and zealous knight.
Wot ye, because of this
In sooth ye judge amiss.
For alms her wealth is stored ;
Man's grateful blessings pour’d.
In arms his prowess prove; And ost of siege or battle talk,
And sometimes of his love.
The gentlest of the kind;
Her like ye shall not find.
Too good for a monarch's bride; I would not give her in her nun's coif dress'd
For all her sex beside.
ADDRESS TO A STEAM-VESSEL. FREIGHTED with passengers of every sort, A motley throng, thou leavest the busy port. Thy long and ample deck, where scatter'd lie Baskets, and cloaks, and shawls of scarlet dye; Where dogs and children through the crowd are
straying, And, on his bench apart, the fiddler playing, While matron dames to tressell’d seats repair,Seems, on the gleamy waves a floating fair. Its dark form on the sky's pale azure cast, Towers from this clustering group thy pillar'd mast, The dense smoke issuing from its narrow vent Is to the air in curly volumes sent, Which, coiling and uncoiling on the wind, Trails like a writhing serpent far behind. Beneath, as each merged wheel its motion plies, On either side the white-churn'd waters rise, And, newly parted from the noisy fray, Track with light ridgy foam thy recent way, Then far diverged, in many a welted line Of lustre, on the distant surface shine.
Thou hold'st thy course in independent pride;
With the soft fragrance of an infant's breath:
Thou hast to those “ in populous city pent," Glimpses of wild and beauteous nature lent; A bright remembrance ne'er to be destroy'd, Which proves to them a treasure, long enjoy'd, And for this scope to beings erst confined, I fain would hail thee with a grateful mind. They who had naught of verdant freshness seen But suburb orchards choked with colworts green Now, seated at their ease may glide along, Lochlomond's fair and fairy isles among; Where bushy promontories fondly peep At their own beauty in the nether deep, O’er drooping birch and berried row'n that lave Their vagrant branches in the glassy wave; They, who on higher objects scarce have counted Than church's spire with gilded vane surmountad, May view, within their near, distinctive ken, The rocky summits of the lofty Ben ;
Or see his purpled shoulders darkly lower
To whose free robes the graceful right is given Through the din drapery of a summer shower. To play and dally with the winds of heaven. Where, spread in broad and fair expanse, the Beholding thee, the great of other days Clyde
And modern men with all their alter'd ways, Mingles his waters with the briny tide,
Across my mind with hasty transit gleam, Along the lesser Cumra's rocky shore,
Like fleeting shadows of a feverish dream:
TO MRS. SIDDONS.
GIFTED of Heaven ! who hast, in days gone by, Than chimney'd walls with slated roofs between,
Moved every heart, delighted every eye, Which hard and harshly edge the smoky sky,
While age and youth, of high and low degree, May Aron's softly-vision'd peaks descry,
In sympathy were join'd, beholding thee, Cooping with graceful state her steepy sides,
As in the drama's ever changing scene O’er which the cloud's broad shadow swiftly glides, Thou heldst thy splendid state, our tragic queen! And interlacing slopes that gently merge
No barriers there thy fair domain confined, Irto the pearly mist of ocean's verge.
Thy sovereign sway was o'er the human mind; Eyes which admired that work of sordid skill, And, in the triumph of that witching hour, The storied structure of a cotton mill,
Thy lofty bearing well became thy power. May, wondering, now behold the unnumber'd host Th’impassion'd changes of thy beauteous face, Of marshall'd pillars on fair Ireland's coast,
Thy stately form and high imperial grace ; Phalanx on phalanx ranged with sidelong bend,
Thine arms impetuous tost, thy robe's wide flow, Or broken ranks that to the main descend,
And the dark tempest gather'd on thy brow, Like Pharaoh's army, on the Red Sea shore,
What time thy fashing eye and lip of scorn Which deep and deeper went to risc no more.
Down to the dust thy mimic foes have borne ; Yet ne'ertheless, whate'er wc owe to thee,
Remorseful musings, sunk to deep dejection, Rover at will on river, lake, and sea,
The fix'd and yearning looks of strong affection ; As profit's bait or pleasure's lure engage,
The action'd turmoil of a bosom rending, Thou offspring of that philosophic sage,
When pity, love, and honour are contending ;Watt, who in heraldry of science ranks,
Who have beheld all this, right well I ween! With those to whom men owe high meed of thanks, A lovely, grand, and wondrous sight have seen. And shall not be forgotten, e'en when fame
Thy varied accents, rapid, fitful, slow, Graves on her annals Davy's splendid name!
Loud rage, and fear's snatch'd whisper, quick and Dearer to fancy, to the eye more fair,
low, Are the light skiffs, that to the breezy air
The burst of stifled love, the wail of grief, Unfurl their swelling sails of snowy hue
And tones of high command, full, solemn, brief; Upon the moving lap of ocean blue:
The change of voice and emphasis that threw As the proud swan on summer lake displays,
Light on obscurity, and brought to view With plumage brightening in the morning rays,
Distinctions nice, when grave or cornic mood, Her fair pavilion of erected wings,
Or mingled humours, terse and new, elude They change, and veer, and turn like living things. Common perception, as earth's smallest things So fairly rigg'd, with shrouding, sails and mast,
To size and form the vesting hoarfrost brings, To brave with manly skill the winter blast
Which seem'd as if some secret voice, to clear
The ravell’d meaning, whisper'd in thine ear,
And thou had'st even with him communion kept, And to the stinted thoughts of man reveal'd
Who hath so long in Stratford's chancel slept, What yet the course of ages had conceal'd. Whose lines, where Nature's brightest traces shine In such as these, on high adventure bent
Alone were worthy deem'd of powers like thine; Round the vast world Magellan's comrades went.
They, who have heard all this, have proved ful?
well To such as these are hardy seamen found As with the ties of kindred feeling bound,
Of soul-exciting sound the mightiest spell. Boasting, as cans of cheering grog they sip,
But though time's lengthen'd shadows o'er thee The varied fortunes of “our gallant ship.”
glide, The offspring these of bold sagacious man
And pomp of regal state is cast aside, Ere yet the reign of letter'd lore began.
Think not the glory of thy course is spent ; In very truth, compared to these thou art There's moonlight radiance to thy evening lent,
Which from the mental world can never fade, A daily labourer, a mechanic swart, In working weeds array'd of homely gray, Till all who've seen thee in the grave are laid. Opposed to gentle nymph or lady gay,
Thy graceful form still moves in nightly dreams,
And what thou wert to the wrapt sleeper seems : * The common or vulgar name of a water-bird frequent. While feverish fancy oft doth fondly trace ing that coast.
Within her curtain'd couch thy wondrous face
Yea; and to many a wight, bereft and lone, Yet, ne'ertheless, in strong array,
And now in crowded room or rich saloon, And the fierce onset raise its mingled roas
Freemen, children of the free,
Are brave alike on land or sea ;* Pleased to behold thee with becoming grace
And every rood of British ground, Take, as befits thee well, an honour'd place
On which a hostile glave is found, (Where, blest by many a heart, long mayst thou Proves under their firm tread and vige o stroke, stand)
A deck of royal oak. Amongst the virtuous matrons of the land.
A VOLUNTEER SONG. YE, who Britain's soldiers be, Freemen, children of the free, Who freely come at danger's call From shop and palace, cot and hall, And brace ye bravely up in warlike geer For all that ye hold dear! Blest in your hands be sword and spear! There is no banded Briton here On whom some fond mate hath not smiled, Or hung in love some lisping child; Or aged parent, grasping his last stay With locks of honour'd gray. Such men behold with steady pride The threaten'd tempest gathering wide, And list, with onward forms inclined, To sound of foemen on the wind, And bravely act, mid the wild battle's roar, In scenes untried before. Let veterans boast, as well they may, Nerves steel'd in many a bloody day; The generous heart, who takes his stand Upon his free and native land, Doth with the first sound of the hostile drum A fearless man become. Come then, ye hosts that madly pour From wave-toss'd floats upon our shore ! If fell or gentle, false or true, Let those inquire who wish to sue : Nor fiend nor hero from a foreign strand Shall lord it in our land. Come then, ye hosts that madly pour From wave-toss'd floats upon our shore ! An adverse wind or breezeless main, Lock'd in their ports our tars detain, To waste their wistful spirits, vainly keen, Else here ye had not been.
TO A CHILD.
And curly pate and merry eye,
And soft and fair ? thou urchin sly!
First call'd thee his, or squire or hind ?-
Dost now a friendly playmate find.
As fringed eyelids rise and fall,
'Tis infantine coquetry all!
With mocks and threats half lisp'd, half spoken, I feel thee pulling at my gown,
Of right goodwill thy simple token. And thou must laugh and wrestle too,
A mimic warfare with me waging, To make, as wily lovers do,
Thy after kindness more engaging. The wilding rose, sweet as thyself,
And new-cropt daisies are thy treasure : I'd gladly part with worldly pelf,
To taste again thy youthful pleasure. But yet for all thy merry look,
Thy frisks and wiles, the time is coming, When thou shalt sit in cheerless nook,
The weary spell or horn-book thumbing. Well; let it be! through weal and wo,
Thou know'st not now thy future range; Life is a motley, shifting show,
And thou a thing of hope and change.
* It was then frequently said, that our seamen excelled our soldiers.