« AnteriorContinuar »
TRANSLATED OR IMITATED
from the Berman.
WILLIAM AND HELEN. Nor joy nor smile for Helen sad; From heavy dreams fair Helen rose,
She sought the host in vain; And eyed the dawning red:
For none could tell her William's 'Alas, my love, thou tarriest long!
fate, O art thou false or dead ?'
If faithless, or if slain. With gallant Fredrick's princely The martial band is past and gone; power
She rends her raven hair,
O rise, my child,' her mother said, With Paynim and with Saracen "Nor sorrow thus in vain ;
At length a truce was made, A perjured lover's fleeting heart
The tears his love had shed.
O mother, what is gone, is gone,
What's lost for ever lorn:
Death, death alone can comfort me;
O had I ne'er been born!
O break, my heart— break at once! To meet them crowd the way,
Drink my life-blood, Despair! With shouts, and mirth, and melody, No joy remains on earth for me, The debt of love to pay.
For me in heaven no share.' Full many a maid her true-love met, O enter not in judgment, Lord!' And sobb'd in his embrace,
The pious mother prays; And flutt'ring joy in tears and smiles *Impute not guilt to thy frail child ! Array'd full many a face.
She knows not what she says.
"O say thy pater noster, child ! Wild she arraigns the eternal doom, O turn to God and grace!
Upbraids each sacred power, IIis will, that turn’d thy bliss to bale, Till, spent, she sought her silent room, Can change thy bale to bliss.'
All in the lonely tower. O mother, mother, what is bliss ? Shc beat her breast, she wrung her O mother, what is bale?
hands, MyWilliam'slovewas heaven on carth, Till sun and day were o'er, Without it carth is hell.
| And through the glimmering lattice
shonc Why should I pray to ruthless
The twinkling of the star. Heaven, Since my loved William 's slain ? Then,crash ! the heavy drawbridge fell I only pray'd for William's sake, That o'er the moat was hung; And all my prayers were vain.' And, clatter! clatter! on its boards
The hoof of courser rung. O take the sacrament, my child,
And check these tears that flow; The clank of echoing steel was heard By resignation's humble prayer,
As off the rider bounded; O hallow'd be thy woe!'
And slowly on the winding stair
A heavy footstep sounded. * No sacrament can quench this fire, Or slake this scorching pain ;
And hark! and hark! a knock-tap! No sacrament can bid the dead
tap: Arise and live again.
A rustling stifled noise;
Door-latch and tinkling staples ring; () break, my heart-break at once !
At length a whispering voice : Be thou my god, Despair!
Awake, awake, arise, my love! licaven's heaviest blow has fallen on
How, Helen, dost thou fare? me,
Wak'st thou, or sleep'st ? laugh st And vain each fruitless prayer.'
thou, or wecp'st ?
Ilast thought on me, my fair ?'
• My love! my love !-so late by night! She knows not what her tongue has
I waked, I wept for thee: spoke;
Much have I borne since dawn of morn; Impute it not, I pray!
Where, William, couldst thou be?'
I rode since darkness fell;
Before the matin-bell.'
And warm thee in their fold! Without my William what were Chill howls through hawthorn bush heaven,
the wind : Or with him what were hell?' My love is deadly cold.'
• Let the wind howl through hawthorn 'Sit fast-dost fear? The moon shines bush!
clear; This night we must away ;
Fleet goes my barb-keep hold ! The steed is wight, the spur is bright; Fear'st thou ?''Ono !' she faintly said; I cannot stay till day.
But why so stern and cold ? ‘Busk, busk, and boune ! thou mount'st What yonder rings? what yonder behind
sings ? Upon my black barb steed:
Why shrieks the owlet grey ?' O'er stock and stile, a hundred miles, 'Tis death-bells' clang, 'tis funeral We haste to bridal bed.'
The body to the clay. * To-night-to-night a hundred miles ? O dearest William, stay!
‘With song and clang, at morrow's The bell strikes twelve-dark, dismal dawn, hour!
Ye may inter the dead : O wait, my love, till day!'
To-night I ride, with my young bride,
To deck our bridal bed. Look here, look here-the moon shines clear
Come with thy choir, thou coffin'd Full fast I ween we ride;
guest, Mount and away! for ere the day
To swell our nuptial song ! We reach our bridal bed.
Come, priest, to bless our marriage
feast ! • The black barbsnorts, thebridlerings;
Come all, come all along!' Haste, busk, and boune, and seat Ceased clang and song; down sunk thee!
the bier; The feast is made, the chamber spread,
The shrouded corpse arose : The bridal guests await thee.'
And, hurry! hurry! all the train Strong love prevail'd. She busks, she
The thundering steed pursues. bounes,
And, forward! forward ! on they go; She mounts the barb behind, And round her darling William's waist Thick pants the rider's labouring
High snorts the straining steed; Her lily arms she twined.
As headlong on they speed.
O William, why this savage haste ? Spurn'd from the courser's thundering And where thy bridal bed?' heels
''Tis distant far, low, damp, and chill, The flashing pebbles flee.
And narrow, trustless maid.' And on the right, and on the left, "No room for me?' 'Enough for both;
Ere they could snatch a view, Speed, speed, my barb, thy course!' Fast, fast each mountain, mead, and O'er thundering bridge, through boilplain,
ing surge And cot, and castle flew.
He drove the furious horse.
Tramp! tramp! along the land they | Dost fear? dost fear? The moon rode,
shines clear, Splash! splash! along the sea; And well the dead can ride; The scourge is wight, the spur is Does faithful Helen fear for them ?' bright,
'O leave in peace the dead!' The flashing pebbles flee.
* Barb! barb! methinks I hearthecock; Fled past on right and left how fast The sand will soon be run :
Each forest, grove, and bower! Barb! barb! I smell the morning air; On right and left fled past how fast The race is wellnigh done.' Each city, town, and tower!
Tramp! tramp! along the land they Dost fear ? dost fear? The moon
rode, shines clear,
Splash! splash ! along the sea; Dost fear to ride with me?
The scourge is red, the spur drops Hurrah! hurrah ! the dead can ride!!! blood, O William, let them be!
The flashing pebbles flee. "See there, see there! What yonder. Hurrah! hurrah! well ride the dead; swings,
The bride, the bride is come; And creaks ’mid whistling rain ?'
And soon we reach the bridal bed, "Gibbet and steel, th' accursed whcel;
For, Helen, here's my home.' A murderer in his chain.
Reluctant on its rusty hinge
Revolved an iron door, * Hollo! thou felon, follow here : To bridal bed we ride;
And by the pale moon's setting beam
Were seen a church and tower. And thou shalt prance a fetter dance Before me and my bride.'
With many a shriek and cry, whiz
round And, hurry! hurry! clash: clash!
The birds of midnight, scared; clash!
And rustling like autumnal leaves The wasted form descends;
L'nhallow'd ghosts were heard. And fleet as wind through hazel bush The wild career attends.
O'er many a tomb and tombstone pale
He spurr’d the fiery horse, Tramp! tramp! along the land they Till sudden at an open grave rode,
He check'd the wondrous course. Splash ! splash! along the sea; The scourge is red, the spur drops : The falling gauntlet quits the rein, blood,
Down drops the casque of steel, The flashing pebbles flee.
The cuirass leaves his shrinking side,
The spur his gory heel. How fled what moonshinc faintly show'd!
The eyes desert the naked skull, How fled what darkness hid !
The mould'ring flesh the bone, How fled the carth beneath their feet, Till Helen's lily arms entwine The heaven above their head!
A ghastly skeleton.
The furious barb snorts fire and foam, The right-hand Horseman, young and And, with a fearful bound,
fair, Dissolves at once in empty air,
His smile was like the morn of May; And leaves her on the ground. The left, from eye of tawny glare,
Shot midnight lightning's lurid ray. Half seen by fits, by fits half heard, Pale spectres flit along,
He waved his huntsman's cap on high, Wheel round the maid in dismal dance, Cried, “Welcome, welcome, noble And howl the funeral song;
What sport can earth, or sea, or sky, • E'en when the heart's with anguish
To match the princely chase, afford?' cleft, Revere the doom of Heaven! "Cease thyloud bugle's clanging knell,' Her soul is from her body reft;
Cried the fair youth, with silver Her spirit be forgiven!'
Exchange therudeunhallow'd noise.
* To-day, the ill-omen'd chase forbear, THE WILD HUNTSMAN.
Yon bell yet summons to the fane;
To-day the Warning Spirit hear, Tue Wildgrave winds his bugle-horn, To-morrow thou mayst mourn in
To horse, to horse! halloo, halloo ! vain.' His fiery courser snuffs the morn, And thronging serfs their lord Away, and sweep the glades along!'
The Sable Hunter hoarse replies ; pursue.
"Tomuttering monks leavematin-song, The cager pack, from couples freed, And bells, and books, and mysteries.' Dash through the bush, the brier, the brake ;
The Wildgrave spurr'd his ardent While, answering hound, and horn,
steed, and steed,
And, launching forward with a The mountain echoes startling wake.
Who, for thy drowsy priestlike rede, The beams of God's own hallow'd day | Would leave the jovial horn and
Had painted yonder spire with gold, hound? And, calling sinful man to pray, Loud, long, and deep the bell had . Hence, if our manly sport offend: toll'd.
With pious fools go chant and pray:
Well hast thou spoke, my dark-brow'd But still the Wildgrave onward rides ; friend :
Halloo, halloo! and, hark again! Halloo, halloo! and hark away!' When, spurring from opposing sides, Two Stranger Horsemen join the
The Wildgrave spurr'd his courser train.
O'er moss and moor, o'er holt and Who was each Stranger, left and right,
Well may I guess, but dare not tell; And on the left and on the right, The right-hand steed was silver white, Each Stranger Horseman follow'd The left, the swarthy hue of hell.