Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Priest, abbot, iayman, all were there,
And presbyter with look severe.
There rode the lords of France and Spain,
Of England, Flanders, and Lorraine,
While serried thousands round them stood,
From shore of Leith to Holyrood.

VI.
Though Mary's heart was light as air
To find a home so wild and fair,
To see a gathered nation by,
And
rays

of joy from every eye,
Though frequent shouts the welkin broke,
Though courtiers bowed, and ladies spoke,
An absent look they oft could trace
Deep settled on her comely face.
Was it the thought that all alone
She must support a rocking throne ?
That Caledonia’s rugged land
Might scorn a lady's weak command,
And the Red Lion's haughty eye
Scowl at a maiden's feet to lie ?

VII.
No: 'twas the notes of Scottish song,
Soft pealing from the countless throng.
So mellowed came the distant swell,
That on her rayished ear it fell
Like dew of heaven, at evening close,
On forest flower or woodland rose;
For Mary's heart, to nature true,
The powers of

song

and music knew • But all the choral measures bland Of anthems rung in southern land, Appeared a useless pile of art, Unfit to sway or melt the heart, Compared with that which floated by, Her simple, native melody.

VIII.

As she drew nigh the Abbey stile,
She halted, reined, and bent the while:
She heard the Caledonian lyre
Pour forth its notes of Runic fire :
But scarcely caught the ravished Queen
The minstrel's song that flowed between :
Entranced upon

the strain she hung;
'Twas thus the gray-haired minstrel sung :-

IX.

THE SONG.

“O! Lady dear, fair is thy noon,
But man is like the inconstant moon :
Last night she smiled o'er lawn and lea;
That moon will change, and so will he.

Thy time, dear Lady, 's a passing shower;
Thy beauty is but a fading flower:
Watch thy young bosom and maiden eye;
For the shower will fall, and the floweret die.”

X.

What ails my Queen ? said good Argyle;
Why fades upon her cheek the smile?
Say, rears your steed too fierce and high?
Or sits your golden seat awry?-

XI.

Ah! no, my Lord ! this noble steed,
Of Rouen's calm and generous breed,
Has borne me over hill and plain,
Swift as the dun-deer of the Seine.
But such a wild and simple lay,
Puured from the harp of minstrel gray,
My every sense away it stole,
And swayed awhile my raptured soul.

0! say, my Lord, (for you must know
What strains along your valleys flow,
And all the hoards of Highland lore,)
Was ever song so sweet before ?

XII.

Replied the Earl as round he fung,
Feeble the strain that minstrel sung !
My royal Dame, if once you heard,
The Scottish lay from Highland bard,
TŁen might you say in raptures meet,
No song was ever half so sweet!
Ah! yes, my Queen ! if once you heard
The Scottish lay from Highland bard,
Then might you say in raptures meet
No song was ever half so sweet.

XIII.
Queen Mary lighted in the court;
Queen Mary joined the evening's sport;
Yet, though at table all were seen
To wonder at her air and mien,
Though courtiers fawned and ladies sung,
Still in her ear the accents rung, -

Watch thy young bosom and maiden eye ;
For the shower must fall and the floweret die !**

EXERCISE XII.

John LINGARD was born in Winchester, England, in the year 1771. He diod in July, 1851. He is the author of an elaborate History of England, from which the following affecting narrative is taken. It may be interesting to know that Dr. Lingard was a clergyman of the same faith with Queen Mary.

* The reference is to her melancholy death, for an account of which, see Exercise XII.

DEATH OF MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS.

JOHN LNGARD.

1. In the midst of the great hall of the castle had been raised a scaffold, covered with black serge, and surrounded with a low railing. About seven, the doors were thrown open; the gentlemen of the county entered with their attendants; and Paulet's* guard augmented the number to between one hundred and fifty and two hundred spectators. Before eight, a message was sent to the queen, who replied that she would be ready in halt an hour.

2. At that time, Andrews, the sheriff, entered the oratory, and Mary arose, taking the crucifix from the altar in her right, and carrying her prayer-book in her left hand. Her servants were forbidden to follow; they insisted; but the queen bade them to be content, and turning gave them her blessing. They received it on their knees, some kissing her hands, others her mantle. The door closed; and the burst of lamentation from those within resounded through the hall.

3. Mary was now joined by the earl and her keepers, and descending the staircase, found at the foot Melville, the steward of her household, who, for several weeks, had been excluded from her presence. This old and faithful servant threw himself on his knees, and wringing his hands exclaimed, -"Ah, madam, unhappy me! was ever a man on earth the bearer of such sorrow as I shall be, when I report that my good and gracious queen and mistress was beheaded in England !"

4. Here his grief impeded his utterance; and Mary replied : “Good Melville, cease to lament; thou hast rather cause to joy than

mourn; for thou shalt see the end of Mary Stuart's troubles. Know that this world is but vanity, subject to more sorrow than an ocean of tears can bewail. But I pray thee, report that I die a true woman to my religion, to Scotland, and to France,

* This was Sir Amias Paulet, the appointed custodian of the unfor. tunate queen. How unflinchingly he performed his office may be inferred from a letter of Queen Elizabeth to him, in which she says :“ Amias, my most faithful and careful servant, God Almighty reward thee treblefold for thy most troublesome charge so well discharged.”

May God forgive them that have long thirsted for my blood, as the hart doth for the brooks of water. O God, thou art the author of truth, and truth itself. Thou knowest the inward chambers of my thoughts, and that I always wished the union of England and Scotland. Commend me to my son, and tell him that I have done nothing prejudicial to the dignity or independence of his crown, or favorable to the pretended superiority of our enemies.” Then bursting into tears, she said, "Good Melville, farewell ;” and kissing him, “ once again, good Mel. ville, farewell, and pray for thy mistress and thy queen.” It was remarked as something extraordinary, that this was the first time in her life that she had ever been known to address a person with the pronoun “thou.”

5. Drying up her tears, she turned from Melville and made her last request, that her servants might be present at her death. But the Earl of Kent objected that they would be troublesome by their grief and lamentations, might practice some superstitious trumpery, perhaps, might dip their handkerchiefs in her grace's blood. “My lords,” said Mary, “I will give my word for them. They shall deserve no blame. Certainly your mistress, being a maiden queen, will vouchsafe, in regard of womanhood, that I have some of my own women about me at my death.”

6. Receiving no answer, she continued,—“You might, I think, grant me a far greater courtesy, were I a woman of lesser calling than the Queen of Scots." Still they were silent; when she asked with vehemence,

“ Am I not the cousin to your queen, a descendant of the blood royal of Henry VII., and the anointej Queen of Scotland ?” At these words the fanaticism of the Earl of Kent began to yield; and it was resolved to admit four of her men and two of her women servants. She selected her steward, physician, apothecary, and surgeon, with her maids Kennedy and Curle.

7. The procession now set forward. It was headed by the sheriff and his officers ; next followed Paulet and Drury, and the Earls of Shrewsbury and Kent; and lastly came the Scottish queen, with Melville bearing her train. She wore the richest

« AnteriorContinuar »