Imágenes de páginas



Their oaths are said,

Had given him to the headsman's Their prayers are pray'd,

stroke, Their lances in the rest are laid, Although my heart that instant broke. They meet in mortal shock; Now, men of death, work forth your And, hark! the throng, with thun

will, dering cry,

For I can suffer, and be still; Shout“Marmion, Marmion! to the sky, And come he slow, or come he fast, De Wilton to the block!”

It is but Death who comes at last. Say ye, who preach Heaven shall

decide When in the lists two champions ride, 'Yet dread me, from my living tomh),

Say, was Heaven's justice here ? Ye vassal slaves of bloody Rome! When, loyal in his love and faith, If Marmion's late remorse should Wilton found overthrow or death

wake, Beneath a traitor's spear?

Full soon such vengeance will he take, How false the charge, how true he fell, That you should wish the fiery Dane This guilty packet best can tell.' Had rather been your guest again. Then drew a packet from her breast, Behind, a darker hour ascends! Paus'd, gather'd voice, and spoke the The altars quake, the crosier bends, rest.

The ire of a despotic King

Rides forth upon destruction's wing; ‘Still was false Marmion's bridal staid; Then shall these vaults, so strong and To Whitby's convent fled the maid,

deep The hated match to shun.

Burst open to the sea-winds' sweep; “ Ho! shifts she thus ?" King Henry Some traveller then shall find my cried;

bones “Sir Marmion, she shall be thy bride Whitening amid disjointed stones, If she were sworn a nun."

And, ignorant of priests' cruelty, One way remain’d—the King's com

Marvel such relics here should be,' mand Sent Marmion to the Scottish land: I linger'd here, and rescue plann'd

Fix'd was her look, and stern her air: For Clara and for me:

Back from her shoulders stream'd her This caitiff Monk, for gold, did swear

hair ; He would to Whitby's shrine repair,

The locks, that wont her brow to And, by his drugs, my rival fair

shade, A saint in heaven should be.

Star'd up erectly from her head; But ill the dastard kept his oath, Her figure seem'd to rise more highı ; Whose cowardice has undone us both. Her voice, despair's wild energy

Had given a tone of prophecy.

Appall’d the astonish'd conclave sate; And now my tongue the secret tells With stupid eyes, the men of fate Not that remorse my bosom swells, Gaz'd on the light inspired form, But to assure my soul that none And listen'd for the avenging storm; Shall ever wed with Marmion.

The judges felt the victim's dread; Had fortune my last hope betray'd, No hand was mov'd, no word was This packet, to the King convey'd,





Till thus the Abbot's doom was given,
Raising his sightless ballsto heaven:-

INTRODUCTION TO CANTO *Sister, let thy sorrows cease ; Sinful brother, part in peace!'

THIRD. From that dire dungeon, place of

Of execution too, and tomb,

Pac'd forth the judges three;
Sorrow it were, and shame, to tell
The butcher-work that there befell,

Ashestiel, Ettrick Forest. When they had glided from the cell | LIKE April morning clouds, that pass, Of sin and misery.

With varying shadow, o'er the grass,

And imitate, on field and furrow,

Life's chequer'd scene of joy and An hundred winding steps convey

sorrow; That conclave to the upper day;

Like streamlet of the mountain north, But, ere they breath'd the fresher air, Now in a torrent racing forth, They heard the shriekings of despair, Now winding slow its silver train, And many a stifled groan :

And almost slumbering on the plain; With speed their upward way they Like breezes of the autumn day, take,

Whose voice inconstant dies away, (Such speed as age and fear can make,) And ever swells again as fast, And cross'd themselves for terror's

When the ear deems its murmur past; sake,

Thus various, my romantic theme As hurrying, tottering on:

Flits, winds, or sinks, a morning dream. Even in the vesper's heavenly tone,

Yet pleas’d, our eye pursues the trace They seem'd to hear a dying groan, Of Light and Shade's inconstant race; And bade the passing knell to toll

Pleas'd, views the rivulet afar, For welfare of a parting soul.

Weaving its maze irregular; Slow o'er the midnight wave it swung, And pleas'd, we listen as the breeze Northumbrian rocks in answer rung; Heaves its wild sigh through Autumn To Warkworth cell the echoes roll'd,

trees: His beads the wakeful hermit told,

Then, wild as cloud, or stream, or gale, The Bamborough peasant rais'd his Flow on, flow unconfin'd, my Tale !

head, But slept ere half a prayer he said; Need I to thee, dear Erskine, tell So far was heard the mighty knell, I love the license all too well, The stag sprung up on Cheviot Fell,

In sounds now lowly, and now strong, Spread his broad nostril to the wind,

To raise the desultory song ? Listed before, aside, behind,

Oft, when 'mid such capricious chime, Then couch'd him down beside the

Some transient fit of lofty rhyme hind,

To thy kind judgment seem'd excuse And quak'd among the mountain fern,

For many an error of the muse,
To hear that sound so dull and stern. Oft hast thou said, 'If, still misspent,

Thine hours to poetry are lent,
Go, and to tame thy wandering course,
Quaff from the fountain at the source;

Approach those masters, o'er whose į Thy land's, thy children's wrongs to tomb

feel, Immortal laurels ever bloom :

And witness woes thou couldst not Instructive of the feebler bard,

heal! Still from the grave their voice is i On thee relenting Heaven bestows heard ;

For honour'd life an honour'd close; From them, and from the paths they | And when revolves, in time's sure show'd,

change, Choose honour'd guide and practis'd The hour of Germany's revenge, road;

When, breathing fury for her sake, Nor ramble on through brake and Some new Arminius shall awake, maze,

Herchampion, ere he strike, shall come With harpers rude of barbarous days. ' To whet his sword on BRUNSWICK'S

tomb. 'Or deem'st thou not our later time Yields topic meet for classic rhyme ? Or of the Red-Cross hero teach, Hast thou no elegiac verse

Dauntless in dungeon as on breach : For Brunswick's venerable hearse ?

Alike to him the sea, the shore, What! not a line, a tear, a sigh, The brand, the bridle, or the oar. When valour bleeds for liberty ? Alike to him the war that calls Oh, hero of that glorious time, Its votaries to the shatter'd walls, When, with unrivall’d light sublime,- Which the grim Turk, besmear'd Though martial Austria, and though with blood, all

Against the Invincible made good; The might of Russia, and the Gaul, Or that, whose thundering voice could Though banded Europe stood her wake foes-

The silence of the polar lake, The star of Brandenburgh arose ! When stubborn Russ, and metall Thou couldst not live to see her beam

Swede, For ever quench'd in Jena's stream. On the warp'd wave their death-game Lamented Chief! it was not given

play'd; To thee to change the doom of Or that, where Vengeanceand Affright Heaven,

Howl'd round the father of the fight, And crush that dragon in its birth, Who snatch'd, on Alexandria's sand, Predestin'd scourge of guilty earth. The conqueror's wreath with dying Lamented Chief!-notthine the power,

hand. To save in that presumptuous hour, When Prussia hurried to the field, 'Or, if to touch such chord be thine, And snatch'd the spear, but left the Restore the ancient tragic line, shield !

And emulate the notes that wrung Valour and skill 'twas thine to try, From the wild harp, which silent hung And, tried in vain, 'twas thine to die. By silver Avon's holy shore, Ill had it seem'd thy silver hair Till twice an hundred years rollid The last, the bitterest pang to share, o'er; For princedoms reft, and scutcheons When she, the bold Enchantress, came riven,

With fearless hand and heart on And birthrights to usurpers given;


From the pale willow snatch'd the Ask, if it would content him well, treasure,

At ease in those gay plains to dwell, And swept it with a kindred measure, Where hedge-rows spread a verdant Till Avon's swans, while rung the screen, grove

And spires and forests intervene, With Montfort's hate and Basil's love, And the neat cottage peeps between ? Awakening at the inspired strain, No! not for these will he exchange Deem'd their own Shakspeare liv'd | His dark Lochaber's boundless range; again.'

Not for fair Devon's meads forsake

Ben Nevis grey, and Garry's lake. The friendship thus thy judgment wronging

Thus while I ape the measure wild With praises not to me belonging, Of tales that charm'd me yet a child, In task more meet for mightiest Rude though they be, still with the powers

chime Wouldst thou engage my thriftless Return the thoughts of early time; hours.

And feelings, rous'd in life's first day, But say, my Erskine, hast thou weigh'd Glow in the line, and prompt the lay. That secret power by all obey'd, Then rise those crags, that mountain Which warps not less the passive mind, tower Its source conceald or undefin'd; Which charm'd my fancy's wakening Whether an impulse, that has birth

hour. Soon as the infant wakes on earth, Though no broad river swept along, One with our feelings and our powers, To claim, perchance, heroic song ; And rather part of us than ours ; Though sigh'd no groves in summer Or whether fitlier term’d the sway

gale, Of habit, form’d in early day? To prompt of love a softer tale ; Howe'er deriv'd, its force confest Though scarce a puny streamlet's speed Rules with despotic sway the breast, Claim'd homage from a shepherd's And drags us on by viewless chain,

reed; While taste and reason plead in vain. Yet was poetic impulse given, Look east, and ask the Belgian why, Bythegreen hilland clear blue heaven. Beneath Batavia's sultry sky,

It was a barren scene, and wild, He seeks not eager to inhale Where naked cliffs were rudely pild; The freshness of the mountain gale, But ever and anon between Content to rear his whiten'd wall Lay velvet tufts of loveliest green ; Beside the dank and dull canal ? And well the lonely infant knew He'll say, from youth he loved to see Recesses where the wall-flowergrew, The white sail gliding by the tree, And honey-suckle lov'd to crawl Or see yon weatherbeaten hind, Up the low crag and ruin'd wall. Whose sluggish herds before him wind, Ideem’dsuch nooks thesweetest shade Whose tatter'd plaid and ruggedcheek The sun in all its round survey'd ; His northern clime and kindred speak; And still I thought thatshatter'dtower Through England's laughing meads he The mightiest work of human power; goes

And marvell’d as the aged hind And England's wealth around him with some strange tale bewitch'd my flows;


Of forayers, who, with headlong force, · Whose doom discording neighbours Down from that strength had spurr'd sought, their horse,

Content with equity unbought; Their southern rapine to renew, To him the venerable Priest, Far in the distant Cheviots blue, Our frequent and familiar guest, And, home returning, fill’d the hall Whose life and manners well could With revel, wassel-rout, and brawl.

paint Methought that still with trump and Alike the student and the saint; clang

Alas! whose speech too oft I broke The gateway's broken arches rang; With gambol rude and timeless joke: Methought grim features, seam'd with For I was wayward, bold, and wild, scars,

A self-will'd imp, a grandame's child;

i Glar'd through the window's rusty But half a plague, and half a jest, bars,

Was still endur'd, belov’d, caress d. And ever, by the winter hearth, Old tales I heard of woe or inirth,

For me, thus nurtur'd, dost thou ask,

The classic poet's well-conn'd task ? Of lovers' slights, of ladies' charms, Of witches' spells, of warriors' arms; Let the wild heath-bell flourish still;

Nay, Erskine, nay; on the wild hill Of patriot battles, won of old By Wallace wight and Bruce thc bold; ! But freely let the woodbine twine.

Cherish the tulip, prune the vine, Of later fields of feud and fight, When, pouring from their Highland Nay, my friend, nay; since oft thy

And leave untrimm'd the cglantine: height, The Scottish clans, in headlong sway,


Hath given fresh vigour to my lays ; llad swept the scarlet ranks away. While stretch'd at length upon the

Since oft thy judgment could refine

My flatten'd thought, or cumbrous line; floor,

Still kind, as is thy wont, attend, Again I fought each combat o'er,

And in the minstrel spare the friend. Pebbles and shells, in order laid,

! Though wild as cloud, asstream, asgale, The mimic ranks of war display'd ;

Flow forth, flow unrestrain'd, my Tale! And onward still the Scottish Lion bore, And still the scatter'd Southron fled


[ocr errors]

Still, with vain fondness, could I

Canto Third.
Ancw, cach kind familiar face,
That brighten'd at our evening fire!

The Hostel, or Jnn.
From the thatch'd mansion's grey.

hair'd Sire, Wise without learning, plain and good, | The livelong day Lord Marmion rode: And sprung of Scotland's gentler | The mountain path the Palmershow'd, blood;

By glen and streamlet winded still, Whose eye, in age, quick, clear, and Where stunted birches hid the rill. keen,

They might not choose the lowland Show'd what in youth its glance had

road, been;

For the Merse forayers were abroad,

« AnteriorContinuar »