Imágenes de páginas



The lists with painted plumes were Arthur, in anguish, tore away strown,

From head and beard his tresses grey, Upon the wind at random thrown, And she, proud Gyneth, felt dismay, But helm and breastplate bloodless And quaked with ruth and fear; shonc,

But still she deem'd her mother's shade It seem'd their feather'd crests alone Hung o'er the tumult, and forbade

Should this encounter rue. The sign that had the slaughter staid, And ever, as the combat grows,

And chid the rising tear. The trumpet's cheery voice arose, Then Brunor, Taulas, Mador, fell, Likelark'sshrillsongtheflourish flows, i Helias the White, and Lionel, Heard while the gale of April blows And many a champion more; The merry greenwood through. Rochemont and Dinadam are down,

And Ferrand of the Forest Brown

Lies gasping in his gore. • But soon to earnest grew their game, Vanoc, by mighty Morolt press d The spears drew blood, the swords Even to the confines of the list, struck flame,

Young Vanoc of the beardless face And, horse and man, to ground there (Fame spoke the youth of Merlin's

race) Knights, who shall rise no more! O'erpower'dat Gyneth's footstool bled, Gone was the pride the warthat graced, His heart's-blood dyed her sandals red. Gay shields were cleft, and crests But then the sky was overcast, defaced,

Then howl'd at once a whirlwind's And steel coats riven, and helms blast, unbraced,

And, rent by sudden throes, And pennons stream'd with gore. ; Yawn'd in mid lists the quaking carth, Gone, too, were fence and fair array, And from the gulf, tremendous birth! And desperate strength made deadly The form of Merlin rose. way

XXVI. At random through the bloody fray, And blows were dealt with headlong! Sternly the Wizard Prophet eyed sway,

The dreary lists with slaughter dyed, Unheeding where they fell;

And sternly raised his hand: And now the trumpet's clamours scem “Madmen," he said, "your strife Like the shrill sea-bird's wailing!

forbear; scream,

And thou, fair cause of mischief, hear Heard o'er the whirlpool's gulfing The doom thy fates demand ! stream,

Long shall close in stony sleep
The sinking seaman's knell:

Eyes for ruth that would not wcep;
Iron lethargy shall seal

Heart that pity scorn'd to feel. "Seem'd in this dismal hour, that Fate Yet, because thy mother's art Would Camlan's ruin antedate,

Warp'd thine unsuspicious heart, Ind spare dark Mordred's crimc; And for love of Arthur's race, Ilready gasping on the ground

Punishment is blent with grace, Lic twenty of the Table Round, Thou shalt bear thy penance lune Of chivalry the prime.

In the Valley of Saint John,


Of her weary lot to 'plain,
And crave his aid to burst her chain.
While her wondrous tale was new,
Warriors to her rescue drew,
East and west, and south and north,
From the Liffy, Thames, and Forth.
Most have sought in vain the glen,
Tower nor castle could they ken;
Not at every time or tide,
Nor by every eye, descried.
Fast and vigil must be borne,
Many a night in watching worn,
Ere an eye of mortal powers
Can discern those magic towers.
Of the persevering few,
Some from hopeless task withdrew,
When they read the dismal threat
Graved upon the gloomy gate.
Few have braved the yawning door,
And those few return'd no more.
In the lapse of time forgot,
Wellnigh lost is Gyneth's lot ;
Sound her sleep as in the tomb,
Till waken'd by the trump of doom.'



HERE pause my tale! for all too soon,
My Lucy, comes the hour of noon.
Already from thy lofty dome
Its courtly inmates 'gin to roam,
And each, to kill the goodly day
That God has granted them, his way
Of lazy sauntering has sought;

Lordlings and witlings not a few,
Incapable of doing aught,

Yet ill at case with nought to do.
Here is no longer place for me;
For, Lucy, thou wouldst blush to see

Some phantom, fashionably thin,
With limb oflath and kerchief'dchin,

And lounging gape, orsneering grin,
Steal sudden on our privacy.
And how should I, so humbly born,
Endure the graceful spectre's scorn?

And this weird' shall overtake thee; Sleep, until a knight shall wake thee, For feats of arms as far renown'd As warrior of the Table Round. Long endurance of thy slumber Well mayteach the world to number All their woes from Gyneth's pride, When the Red Cross champions



'As Merlin speaks, on Gyneth's eye
Slumber's load begins to lie;
Fear and anger vainly strive
Still to keep its light alive.
Twice, with effort and with pause,
O'er her brow her hand she draws;
Twice her strength in vain she tries,
From the fatal chair to rise;
Merlin's magic doom is spoken,
Vanoc's death must now be wroken.
Slow the dark-fringed eyelids fall,
Curtaining cach azure ball,
Slowly as on summer eves
Violets fold their dusky leaves.
The weighty baton of command
Now bears down her sinking hand,
On her shoulder droops her head;
Net of pearl and golden thread,
Bursting, gave her locks to flow
O’er her arm and breast of snow.
And so lovely seem'd she there,
Spell-bound in her ivory chair,
That her angry sire, repenting,
Craved stern Merlin for relenting,
And the champions, for her sake,
Would again the contest wake;
Till, in necromantic night,
Gyneth vanish'd from their sight.

Still she bears her weird alone,
In the Valley of Saint John;
And her semblance oft will seem,
Mingling in a champion's dream,

1 Doom,



Faith: ill, I fcar, while conjuring wand, And which is Lucy's? Can it be Of English oak is hard at hand. That puny fop, trimm'd cap-a-pie,

Who loves in the saloon to show

The arms that never knew a foe; Or grant the hour be all too soon For Hessian boot and pantaloon,

| Whose sabre trails along the ground,

Whose legs in shapeless boots are And grant the lounger seldom stray's Beyond the smooth and gravell’dmaze, A new Achilles, sure! the steel

drown'd; Laud we the gods, that Fashion's train

Fled from his breast to fence his heel; Holds hearts of more adventurous strain.

One, for the simple manly grace

That wont to deck our martial race, Artists are hers, who scorn to trace

Who comes in foreign trashery Their rules from Nature's boundless

Of tinkling chain and spur,

A walking haberdashery,
But their right paramount assert
To limit her by pedant art,

Of feathers, lace, and fur:

In Rowley's antiquated phrase,
Damning whate'er of vast and fair

Horse-milliner of modern days?
Exceeds a canvas three feet square.
This thicket, for their gumption fit,
May furnish such a happy bit.

Or is it he, the wordy youth,
Bards, too, are hers, wont to recite

So early train'd for statesman's Their own sweet lays by waxen light,

part, Half in the salver's tingle drown'd,

Who talks of honour, faith, and While the chasse-cafè glides around;

truth, And such may hither secret stray,

As themes that he has got by To labour an extempore:

heart; Or sportsman, with his boisterous !

Whose ethics Chesterfield can teach, hollo,

Whose logic is from Single-speech; May here his wiser spaniel follow;

Who scorns the meanest thought to Or stage-struck Juliet may presume

vent, To choose this bower for tiring-room ; Save in the phrase of Parliament; And we alike must shun regard,

Who, in a tale of cat and mouse, From painter, player, sportsman, bard.

Calls 'order,' and divides the house,' Insects that skim in Fashion's sky,

Who 'craves permission to reply',' Wasp, bluc-bottle, or butterfly,

Whose 'noble friend is in his eye;' Lucy, have all alarms for us,

Whose loving tender some have For all can hum and all can buzz.


A motion, you should gladly second ? But oh, my Lucy, say how long Westill must dread this trifling throng, And stoop to hide, with coward art, What: neither? Can there be a third, The genuine feelings of the heart ! To such resistless swains preferr'd ? No parents thine whose just command O why, my Lucy, turn aside, Should rule their child's obedient | With that quick glance of injured hand;

pride? Thy guardians, with contending voice Forgive me, love, I cannot bear I'ress cach his individual choice. That alter'd and resentful air.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Were all the wealth of Russell mine, 'Tis there this slender finger round
And all the rank of Howard's line, Must golden amulet be bound,
All would I give for leave to dry Which, bless'd with many a holy
That dewdrop trembling in thine eye. prayer,
Think not I fear such fops can wile Can change to rapture lovers' care,
From Lucy more than careless smile; And doubt and jealousy shall die,
But yet if wealth and high degree And fears give place to ecstasy.
Give gilded counters currency,

Must I not fear, when rank and birth
Stamp the pure ore of genuine worth? Now, trust me, Lucy, all too long
Nobles there are, whose martial fires Has been thy lover's tale and song.
Rival the fame that raised their sires, ¡ 0, why so silent, love, I pray ?
And patriots, skill'd through storms Have I not spoke the livelong day?
of fate

And will not Lucy deign to say
To guide and guard the reeling state. One word her friend to bless.
Such, such there are: if such should I ask but one, a simple sound,

Within three little letters bound,
Arthur must tremble and be dumb, o, let the word be Yes!
Self-exiled seek some distant shore,
And mourn till life and grief are o'er.



INTRODUCTION TO CANTO What sight, what signal of alarm, That Lucy clings to Arthur's arm?

THIRD. Or is it, that the rugged way Makes Beauty lean on lover's stay? Oh, no! for on the vale and brake Longloved, longwoo'd, and lately won, Nor sight nor sounds of danger wake, My life's best hope, and now mineown! And this trim sward of velvet green Doth not this rude and Alpine glen Were carpet for the Fairy Queen. Recall our favourite haunts agen? That pressure slight was but to tell A wild resemblance we can trace, That Lucy loves her Arthur well, Though reft of every softer grace, And fain would banish from his mind As the rough warrior's brow may bear Suspicious fear and doubt unkind. A likeness to a sister fair.

Full well advised our Highland host, vir.

That this wild pass on foot be cross'd, But wouldst thou bid the demons fly While round Ben-Cruach's mighty Like mist before the dawning sky,

base There is but one resistless spell Wheel the slow steeds and lingering Say, wilt thou guess, or must I tell ?

chaise. 'Twere hard to name, in minstrel The keen old carle, with Scottish pride, phrase,

He praised his glen and mountains A landaulet and four blood-bays,

wide; But bards agree this wizard band An eye he bears for Nature's face, Can but be bound in Northern land. Ay, and for woman's lovely grace. 'Tis there--nay, draw not back thy Even in such mean degree we find hand!

i The subtle Scot's observing mind;

[ocr errors]




For, nor the chariot nor the train Seems that the Highland Naiad Could gape of vulgar wonder gain,

grieves, But when old Allan would expound

Fantastic while her crown showeaves, Of Beal-na-paish ? the Celtic sound, Of rowan, birch, and alder leaves, His bonnet doff’d, and bow, applied So lovely, and so lone. His legend to my bonny bride; i There's no illusion there; these While Lucy blush'd beneath his eye,

flowers, Courteous and cautious, shrewd and | That wailing brook, these lovely sly.


Are, Lucy, all our own; Enough of him. Now, ere we lose, And since thine Arthur call'd theewite, Plunged in the vale, the distant views, | Such seems the prospect of his life, Turn thee, my love ! look back once A lovely path, on-winding still,

By gurgling brook and sloping hill. To the blue lake's retiring shore. 'Tis true, that mortals cannot tell On its smooth breast the shadows What waits them in the distant dell;

But be it hap, or be it harm, Like objects in a morning dream, We tread the pathway arm in arm. What time the slumberer is aware He sleeps, and all the vision 's air:

And now, my Lucy, wot'st thou why Even so, on yonder liquid lawn,

I could thy bidding twice deny,
In hues of bright reflection drawn,
Distinct the shaggy mountains lie,

When twice you pray'd I would again

Resume the legendary strain Distinct the rocks, distinct the sky:

Of the bold Knight of Triermain ? The summer-clouds so plain we note That we might count each dappled That you would sue to me no more,

At length yon peevish vow you swore, spot :

Until the minstrel fit drew near, We gaze and we admire, yet know

And made me prize a listening car. The scene is all delusive show. Such dreams of bliss would Arthur But, loveliest, when thou first didst

pray draw

Continuance of the knightly lay, When first his Lucy's form he saw;

Was it not on the happy day Yet sigh'd and sicken'd as he drew,

That made thy hand mine own? Despairing they could e'er prove true! When, dizzied with mine ccstasy, III.

Nought past, or present, or to be, But, Lucy, turn thee now, to view Could I or think on, hear, or see,

Up the fairglen, our destined way: Save, Lucy, thee alone! The fairy path that we pursue, A giddy draught my rapture was, Distinguish'd but by greener hue, As ever chemist's magic gas.

Winds round the purple brae, While Alpine flowers of varied dye

Again the summons I denied
For carpet serve, or tapestry.

In yon fair capital of Clyde :
See how the little runnels leap,
In threads of silver, down the steep,

My Harp-or let me rather choose

The good old classic form—my Muse, To swell the brooklet's moan!

(For Harp's an over-scutchèd phrase, 1 Beal-na-paish the Vale of the Bridal. Worn out by bards of modern days,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »