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While by the lake below appears
While, in the monarch's name, afar An herald's voice forbade the war, For Bothwell's lord, and Roderick bold, Were both, he said, in captive hold.”But here the lay made sudden stand, The harp escaped the minstrel's hand! Oft had he stolen a glance, to spy How Roderick brook'd his minstrelsy: At first, the chieftain, to the chime, With lifted hand, kept feeble time ; That motion ceased-yet feeling strong Varied his look as changed the song; At length no more his deafen'd ear The minstrel melody can hear: His face grows sharp, his hands are clenca As if some pang his heartstrings wrench'd; Set are his teeth, his fading eye Is sternly fix'd on vacancy ; Thus, motionless, and moanless, drew His parting breath, stout Roderick Dhu! Old Allan-bane look'd on aghast, While grim and still his spirit pass'd; But when he saw that life was fled, He pour'd his wailing o'er the dead.
And cried Behold yon isle -
Their booty wont to pile;
He plunged him in the wave :-
A mingled echo gave:
“ And art thou cold and lowly laid,
XXI. Revenge ! revenge!' the Saxons cried, The Gael's exulting shout replied. Despite the elemental rage, Again they hurried to engage ; But, ere they closed in desperate fight, Bloody with spurring came a knight, Sprung from his horse, and, from a crag, Waved 'twixt the hosts a milk-white flag. Clarion and trumpet by his side Rung forth a truce-note high and wide;
Or, if she look'd, 'twas but to say,
No tyrant he, though ire and pride
ler faltering steps half led, half stay'd,
LAY OF THE IMPRISONED HUNTSMAN. “My hawk is tired of perch and hood, My idle greyhound loathes his food, My horse is weary of his stall, And I am sick of captive thrall. I wish I were as I have been, Hunting the hart in forest green, With bended bow and bloodhound free, For that's the life is meet for me. “I hate to learn the ebb of time From yon dull steeple’s drowsy chime, Or mark it as the sunbeams crawl, Inch after inch, along the wall. The lark was wont my matins ring, The sable rook my vespers sing; These towers, although a king's they be, Have not a hall of joy for me. “No more at dawning morn I rise, And sun myself in Ellen's eyes, Drive the feet deer the forest through, And homeward wend with evening dew; A blithesome welcome blithely meet, And lay my trophies at her feet, While fled the eve on wing of glee.-That life is lost to love and me!"
XXVI. Within 'twas brilliant all and light, A thronging scene of figures bright; It glow'd on Ellen's dazzled sight, As when the setting sun has given Ten thousand hues to summer even, And, from their tissue, fancy frames Aerial knights and fairy dames. Still by Fitz-James her footing stay'd, A few faint steps she forward made, Then slow her drooping head she raised, And fearful round the presence gazed; For him she sought who own'd this state, The dreadful prince whose will was fate! She gazed on many a princely port, Might well have ruled a royal court; On many a splendid garb she gazed Then turn'd bewilder'd and amazed, For all stood bare: and, in the room, Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume. To him each lady's look was lent; On him each courtier's eye was bent; Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen, He stood, in simple Lincoln green, The centre of the glittering ring; And Snowdoun's knight is Scotland's king.
XXV. The heart-sick lay was hardly said, The listener had not turn'd her head, It trickled still, the starting tear, When light a footstep struck her ear, And Snowdoun's graceful knight was near. She turn'd the hastier, lest again The prisoner should renew his strain. “O welcome, brave Fitz-James !” she said ; “How may an almost orphan maid Pay the deep debt"_“O say not so ! To me no gratitude you owe. Not mine, alas! the boon to give, And bid thy noble father live; I can but be thy guide, sweet maid, With Scotland's king thy suit to aid.
XXVII. As wreath of snow, on mountain breast, Slides from the rock that gave it rest, Poor Ellen glided from her stay, And at the monarch's feet she lay; No word her choking voice commandsShe show'd the ring-she clasp'd her hands. 0! not a moment could he brook, The generous prince, that suppliant look! Gently he raised her-and, the while, Check'd with a glance the circle's smile; Graceful, but grave, her brow he kiss'd, And bade her terrors be dismiss'd ;“ Yes, fair, the wandering poor Fitz-James The fealty of Scotland claims. To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; He will redeem his signet ring. Ask naught for Douglas :-yestereven His prince and he have much forgiven: Wrong hath he had from slanderous tongue ! I, from his rebel kinsman, wrong. We would not to the vulgar crowd Yield what they craved with clamour loud; Calmly we heard and judged his cause ; Our council aided, and our laws.
I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern,
My fairest earldom would I give
XXVIII. Then forth the noble Douglas sprung, And on his neck his daughter hung. The monarch drank, that happy hour, The sweetest, holiest draught of powerWhen it can say, with godlike voice, Arise, sad virtue, and rejoice! Yet would not James the general eye On nature's raptures long should pry; He stepp'd between—"Nay, Douglas, nay, Steal not my proselyte away! The riddle 'tis my right to read, That brought this happy chance to speed. Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray In life's more low but happier way, 'Tis under name which veils my power, Nor falsely veils—for Stirling's tower of yore the name of Snowdoun claims, And Normans call me James Fitz-James. Thus watch I o'er insulted laws, Thus learn to right the injured cause." Then in a tone apart and low, _" Ah, little trait'ress! none must know What idle dream, what lighter thought, What vanity full deariy bought, Join'd to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew My spell-bound steps to Ben-venue, In dangerous hour, and all but gave Thy monarch’s life to mountain glaive !" Aloud he spoke" Thou still dost hold That little talisman of gold, Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ringWhat seeks fair Ellen of the king ?”
Harp of the north, farewell! the hills grow dark,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending; In twilight copse the glowworm lights her spark ;
The deer, half seen, are to the covert wending, Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy; Thy numbers sweet with nature's vespers blending,
With distant echo from the fold and lea, And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing
bee. Yet once again, farewell, thou minstrel harp!
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway, And little reck I of the censure sharp,
May idly cavil at an idle lay. Much have I owed thy strains on iife's long way,
Thro' secret woes the world has never known, When on the weary night dawn'd wearier day,
And bitter was the grief devour'd alone. That I o’erlive such woes, enchantress! is thine
XXIX. Full well the conscious maiden guess'd He probed the weakness of her breast; But, with that consciousness there came A lightening of her fears for Græme, And more she deem'd the monarch's ire Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire, Rebellious broadsword boldly drew; And, to her generous feeling true, She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu. “ Forbear thy suit;-the King of kings Alone can stay life's parting wings: I knew his heart, I krew his hand, Have shared his cheer and proved his brand.
Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire
Some spirit of the air has waked thy string! 'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire,
'Tis now the brush of fairy's frolic wing; Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell, And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spell-And now, 'tis silent all! Enchantress, fare thee
And she has ta'en shipping for Palestine's land,
To ransom Count Albert from Soldanrie's hand. THE FIRE KING.
Small thought had Count Albert on fair Rosalie, " The blessings of the evil genii, which are curses, were
Small thought on his faith, or his knighthood had he; upon him.'
A heathenish damsel his light heart had won,
The Soldan's fair daughter of Mount Lebanon. This ballad was written at the request of Mr. “O Christian, brave Christian, my love wouldst Lewis, to be inserted in his Tales of Wonder. It
thou be, is the third in a series of four ballads, on the sub- Three things must thou do ere I hearken to thee; ject of Elementary Spirits. The story is, however, Our laws and our worship on thee shalt thou take; partly historical; for it is recorded, that, during the And this thou shalt first do for Zulema's sake. struggles of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, a knight templar, called Saint Alban, deserted to the “ And, next, in the cavern, where burns evermore Saracens, and defeated the Christians in many
The mystical flame which the Kurdmans adore, combats, till he was finally routed and slain, in a Alone, and in silence, three nights shalt thou wake; conflict with King Baldwin, under the walls of Je- | And this thou shalt next do for Zulema's sake. rusalem.
And, last, thou shalt aid us with counsel and
hand, Bold knights and fair dames, to my harp give an ear, To drive the Frank robber from Palestine's land ; Of love, and of war, and of wonder to hear;
For my lord and my love then Count Albert I'll take, And you haply may sigh, in the midst of your glee, When all this is accomplish'd for Zulema's sake," At the tale of Count Albert, and fair Rosalie.
He has thrown by his helmet and cross-handled O see you that castle, so strong and so bigh?
sword, And see you that lady, the tear in her eye?
Renouncing his knighthood, denying his Lord; And see you that palmer from Palestine's land,
He has ta’en the green castan, and turban put on, The shell on his hat, and the staff in his hand ?
For the love of the maiden of fair Lebanon. « Now, palmer, gray palmer, 0 tell unto me, And in the dread cavern, deep, deep under ground, What news bring you home from the Holy Countrie? Which fifty steel gates and steel portals surround, And how goes the warfare by Galilee's strand ?
He has watch'd until daybreak, but sight saw he And how fare our nobles, the flower of the land ?"
none, “(well goes the warfare by Galilee's wave,
Save the flame burning bright on its altar of stone. Por Gilead, and Nablous, and Ramab we have;
Amazed was the princess, the Soldan amazed, And well fare our nobles by Mount Lebanon,
Sore murmur'd the priests as on Albert they For the heathen have lost, and the Christians have
gazed ; won.”
They search'd all his garments, and, under his A fair chain of gold mid her ringlets there hung:
weeds, O’er the palmer's gray locks the fair chain has she They found, and took from hiin, his rosary beads. flung;
Again in the cavern, deep, deep under ground, * O palmer, gray palmer, this chai be thy fee,
He watch'd the lone night, while the winds whisFor the news thou hast brought from the Holy
tled round; Countrie.
Far off was their murmur, came not more nigh; “ And, palmer, good palmer, by Galilee's wave,
The flame burn'd unmoved, and naught else did he O saw ye Count Albert, the gentle and brave?
spy. When the crescent went back, and the red-cross Loud murmur'd the priests, and amazed was the rush'd on,
king, O saw ye him foremost on Mount Lebanon ?”
While many dark spells of their witchcraft they “O lady, fair lady, the tree green it grows;
sing; O lady, fair lady, the stream pure it flows:
They search'd Albert's body, and, lo! on his breast Your castle stands strong, and your hopes soar on Was the sign of the cross, by his father impress'd. high ;
The priests they erase it with care and with pain, But lady, fair lady, all blossoms to die.
And the recreant return'd to the cavern again; “ The green boughs they wither, the thunderbolt But, as he descended, a whisper there fell falls,
It was his good angel, who bade him farewell ! It leaves of your castle but levin-scorch'd walls; The pure stream runs muddy ; the gay hope is gone;
High bristled his hair, his heart flutter'd and beat,
And he turn's him five steps, half resolved to reCount Albert is prisoner on Mount Lebanon.”
treat ; O she's ta'en a horse, should be fleet at her speed ; But his heart it was harden'd, his purpose was And she's ta'en a sword, should be sharp at her
When he thought of the maid of fair Lebanon.
Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce But true men have said, that the lightning's red trod,
wing When the winds from the four points of heaven Did waft back the brand to the dread Fire-King. were abroad;
He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntletted hand; They made each steel portal to rattle and ring,
He stretch'd, with one buffet, that page on the And, borne on the blast, came the dread Fire-King.
strand; Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew nigh; As back from the stripling the broken casque The fire on the altar blazed bickering and high ;
rollid, In volcanic explosions the mountains proclaim
You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of The dreadful approach of the monarch of flame.
Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare Unmeasured in height, undistinguish'd in form,
On those death-swimming eye-balls, and bloodHis breath it was lightning, his voice it was storm; clotted hair; I ween the stout heart of Count Albert was tame, For down came the Templars, like Cedron in food, When he saw in his terrors the monarch of fame.
And died their long lances in Saracen blood. In his hand a broad falchion blue glimmer'd through The Saracens, Kurdmans, and Ishmaelites yield smoke,
To the scallop, the saltier, and crosletted shield; And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch he And the eagles were gorged with the infidel dead, spoke:
From Bethsaida's fountains to Napthali's head. “ With this brand shalt thou conquer, thus long, the battle is over on Bethsaida’s plain. and no more,
0! who is yon Paynim lies stretched 'mid the Till thou bend to the cross, and the virgin adore."
slain ? The cloud-shrouded arm gives the weapon ; and, And who is yon page lying cold at his knee? see!
0! who but Count Albert and fair Rosalie. The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his The lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound, knee:
The count he was left to the vulture and hound: The thunders grow distant, and faint gleam the Her soul to high mercy our lady did bring; fires,
His went on the blast to the dread Fire-King. As, borne on his whirlwind, the phantom retires.
Yet many a minstrel, in harping, can tell, Count Albert has arm’d him the Paynim among; How the red-cross it conquer'd, the crescent it fell; Though his heart it was false, yet his arm it was And lords and gay ladies have sigh’d, 'mid their strong;
THE WILD HUNTSMEN.
This is a translation, or rather an imitation, of With Salem's king Baldwin, against him came on.
the Wilde Jager of the German poet Bürger. The The war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied,
tradition upon which it is founded bears, that forThe lances were couch'd, and they closed on each merly a wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest, side ;
named Falkenburg, was so much addicted to the And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrew, pleasures of the chase, and otherwise so extremely Till he pierced the thick tumult King Baldwin profligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unto.
unhallowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other
days consecrated to religious duty, but accompaAgainst the charm'd blade which Count Albert did nied it with the most unheard-of oppression upoul
wield, The fence had been vain of the king's red-cross when this second Nimrod died, the people adopt
the poor peasants who were under his vassalage. shield;
ed a superstition, founded probably on the many But a page thrust him forward the monarch be- various uncouth sounds heard in the depth of a sore,
German forest, during the silence of the night. And cleft the proud turban the renegade wore.
They conceived they still heard the cry of the So fell was the dint, that Count Albert stoop'd low wildgrave's hounds; and the well-known cheer of Before the crossd shield, to his steel saddle-bow;
the deceased hunter, the sound of his horse's feet, And scarce had he bent to the red-cross his head,
and the rustling of the branches before the game, “ Bonne grace, notre dame," he unwittingly said.
the pack, and the sportsmen, are also distinctly
discriminated; but the phantoms are rarely, if Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was ever, visible. Once, as a benighted chasseur beard o'er;
this infernal chase pass by him, at the sound of the It sprung from his grasp, and was never seen more: halloo, with which the spectre huntsman cheered