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While by the lake below appears
The darkening cloud of Saxon spears.
At weary bay each shatter'd band,
Eyeing their foemen, sternly stand;
Their banners stream like tatter'd sail,
That flings its fragments to the gale;
And broken arms and disarray
Mark'd the fell havoc of the day.
"Viewing the mountain's ridge askance,
The Saxons stood in sullen trance,
Till Moray pointed with his lance,
And cried- Behold yon isle !-
See! none are left to guard its strand,
But women weak, that wring the hand:
'Tis there of yore the robber band
Their booty wont to pile;
My purse, with bonnet-pieces store,
To him will swim a bowshot o'er,
And loose a shallop from the shore.
Lightly we'll tame the war wolf then,
Lords of his mate, and brood, and den.'—
Forth from the ranks a spearman sprung,
On earth his casque and corslet rung,
He plunged him in the wave:-
All saw the deed-the purpose knew,
And to their clamours Ben-venue
A mingled echo gave:
The Saxons shout, their mate to cheer,
The helpless females scream for fear,
And yells for rage the mountaineer.
'Twas then, as by the outcry riven,
Pour'd down at once the louring heaven;
A whirlwind swept Loch-Katrine's breast,
Her billows rear'd their snowy crest.
Well for the swimmer swell'd they high,
To mar the highland marksman's eye;
For round him shower'd, 'mid rain and hail,
The vengeful arrows of the Gael.
In vain. He nears the isle-and lo!
His hand is on a shallop's bow.
-Just then a flash of lightning came,
It tinged the waves and strand with flame;
I mark'd Duncraggan's widow'd dame-
Behind an oak I saw her stand,
A naked dirk gleam'd in her hand:
It darken'd-but amid the moan
Of waves I heard a dying groan ;-
Another flash!-the spearman floats
A weltering corse beside the boats,
And the stern matron o'er him stood,
Her hand and dagger streaming blood.
"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;
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 clench'd,
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 art thou cold and lowly laid,
Thy foeman's dread, thy people's aid,
Breadalbane's boast, Clan-Alpine's shade!
For thee shall none a requiem say?
-For thee-who loved the minstrel's lay
For thee, of Bothwell's house the stay,
The shelter of her exiled line-
E'en in this prison-house of thine,
I'll wail for Alpine's honour'd pine!
"What groans shall yonder valleys fill!
What shrieks of grief shall rend yon hill!
What tears of burning rage shall thrill,
When mourns thy tribe thy battles done,
Thy fall before the race was won,
Thy sword ungirt ere set of sun!
There breathes not clansman of thy line,
But would have given his life for thine.
O wo for Alpine's honour'd pine!
"Sad was thy lot on mortal stage!
The captive thrush may brook the cage,
The prison'd eagle dies for rage.
Brave spirit, do not scorn my strain!
And when its notes awake again,
E'en she, so long beloved in vain,
Shall with my harp her voice combine,
And mix her wo and tears with mine,
To wail Clan-Alpine's honour'd pine."
Ellen, the while, with bursting heart,
Remain'd in lordly bower apart,
Where play'd, with many-colour'd gleams,
Through storied pane, the rising beams.
In vain on gilded roof they fall,
And lighten'd up a tapestried wall,
And for her use a menial train
A rich collation spread in vain.
The banquet proud, the chamber gay,
Scarce drew one curious glance astray;
Or, if she look'd, 'twas but to say,
With better omen dawn'd the day
In that lone isle, where waved on high
The dun deer's hide for canopy;
Where oft her noble father shared
The simple meal her care prepared,
While Lufra, crouching by her side,
Her station claim'd with jealous pride,
And Douglas, bent on woodland game,
Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Græme,
Whose answer, oft at random made,
The wandering of his thoughts betray'd.
Those who such simple joys have known
Are taught to prize them when they're gone,
But sudden, see, she lifts her head!
The window seeks with cautious tread.
What distant music has the power
To win her in this woful hour!
'Twas from a turret that o'erhung
Her latticed bower, the strain was sung.
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 fleet 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!"
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.
No tyrant he, though ire and pride
May lead his better mood aside.
Come, Ellen, come !-'tis more than time;
He holds his court at morning prime."
With beating heart and bosom wrung,
As to a brother's arm she clung;
Gently he dried the falling tear,
And gently whisper'd hope and cheer;
Her faltering steps half led, half stay'd,
Through gallery fair and high arcade,
Till, at his touch, its wings of pride
A portal arch unfolded wide.
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 gazedThen 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; Ard Snowdoun's knight is Scotland's king.
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 commands-
She show'd the ring-she clasp'd her hands.
O! 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,
With stout De Vaux and gray Glencairn;
And Bothwell's lord henceforth we own
The friend and bulwark of our throne.-
But, lovely infidel, how now?
What clouds thy misbelieving brow?
Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid-
Thou must confirm this doubting maid."
Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,
And on his neck his daughter hung.
The monarch drank, that happy hour,
The sweetest, holiest draught of power-
When 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 dearly 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 ring-
What seeks fair Ellen of the king?"
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 knew his hand,
Have shared his cheer and proved his brand.
My fairest earldom would I give
To bid Clan-Alpine's chieftain live!—
Hast thou no other boon to crave?
No other captive friend to save ?"—
Blushing she turn'd her from the king,
And to the Douglas gave the ring,
As if she wished her sire to speak
The suit that stain'd her glowing cheek.—
"Nay, then my pledge has lost its force,
And stubborn justice holds her course.
Malcolm, come forth!"-And, at the word,
Down kneel'd the Græme to Scotland's lord.
"For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
From thee may vengeance claim her dues,
Who, nurtured underneath our smile,
Has paid our care by treacherous wile,
And sought, amid thy faithful clan,
A refuge for an outlaw'd man,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.-
Fetters and warder for the Græme !"
His chain of gold the king unstrung,
The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung,
Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.
Harp of the north, farewell! the hills grow dark,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
In twilight copse the glow worm 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
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 life'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
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 well.
And she has ta'en shipping for Palestine's land, To ransom Count Albert from Soldanrie's hand.
"The blessings of the evil genii, which are curses, were Eastern Tale. upon him.'
This ballad was written at the request of Mr. Lewis, to be inserted in his Tales of Wonder. It is the third in a series of four ballads, on the subject of Elementary Spirits. The story is, however, partly historical; for it is recorded, that, during the struggles of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, a knight templar, called Saint Alban, deserted to the Saracens, and defeated the Christians in many combats, till he was finally routed and slain, in a conflict with King Baldwin, under the walls of Je
BOLD knights and fair dames, to my harp give an ear,
Of love, and of war, and of wonder to hear;
And you haply may sigh, in the midst of your glee,
At the tale of Count Albert, and fair Rosalie.
O see you that castle, so strong and so high?
And see you that lady, the tear in her eye?
And see you that palmer from Palestine's land,
The shell on his hat, and the staff in his hand?
"Now, palmer, gray palmer, O tell unto me,
What news bring you home from the Holy Countrie?
And how goes the warfare by Galilee's strand?
And how fare our nobles, the flower of the land?"
"O well goes the warfare by Galilee's wave,
For Gilead, and Nablous, and Ramah we have;
And well fare our nobles by Mount Lebanon,
For the heathen have lost, and the Christians have
Small thought had Count Albert on fair Rosalie,
Small thought on his faith, or his knighthood had l
A heathenish damsel his light heart had won,
The Soldan's fair daughter of Mount Lebanon.
"O Christian, brave Christian, my love wouldst
Three things must thou do ere I hearken to thee;
Our laws and our worship on thee shalt thou take;
And this thou shalt first do for Zulema's sake.
"And, next, in the cavern, where burns evermore
The mystical flame which the Kurdmans adore,
Alone, and in silence, three nights shalt thou wake;
And this thou shalt next do for Zulema's sake.
"And, last, thou shalt aid us with counsel and hand,
To drive the Frank robber from Palestine's land; For my lord and my love then Count Albert I'll take, When all this is accomplish'd for Zulema's sake."
He has thrown by his helmet and cross-handled sword,
Renouncing his knighthood, denying his Lord;
He has ta'en the green caftan, and turban put on,
For the love of the maiden of fair Lebanon.
And in the dread cavern, deep, deep under ground, Which fifty steel gates and steel portals surround, He has watch'd until day break, but sight saw he
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,
When the winds from the four points of heaven Did waft back the brand to the dread Fire-King. He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntletted hand; He stretch'd, with one buffet, that page on the strand;
They made each steel portal to rattle and ring,
And, borne on the blast, came the dread Fire-King.
Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew nigh;
The fire on the altar blazed bickering and high;
In volcanic explosions the mountains proclaim
The dreadful approach of the monarch of flame.
Unmeasured in height, undistinguish'd in form,
His breath it was lightning, his voice it was storm;
I ween the stout heart of Count Albert was tame,
When he saw in his terrors the monarch of flame.
As back from the stripling the broken casque
You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of
Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare
On those death-swimming eye-balls, and blood-
For down came the Templars, like Cedron in flood,
And died their long lances in Saracen blood.
In his hand a broad falchion blue glimmer'd throug' The Saracens, Kurdmans, and Ishmaelites yield
To the scallop, the santier, and crosletted shield;
And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch he And the eagles were gorged with the infidel dead,
The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his The lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound,
The thunders grow distant, and faint gleam the
As, borne on his whirlwind, the phantom retires.
Count Albert has arm'd him the Paynim among;
Though his heart it was false, yet his arm it was
The count he was left to the vulture and hound:
Her soul to high mercy our lady did bring;
His went on the blast to the dread Fire-King.
Yet many a minstrel, in harping, can tell,
How the red-cross it conquer'd, the crescent it fell;
And lords and gay ladies have sigh'd, 'mid their
And the red-cross wax'd faint, and the crescent At the tale of Count Albert and fair Rosalie.
From the day he commanded on Mount Lebanon.
From Lebanon's forest to Galilee's wave,
The sands of Samaar drank the blood of the brave;
Till the knights of the temple and knights of St.
With Salem's king Baldwin, against him came on.
The war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied,
The lances were couch'd, and they closed on each
And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrew,
Till he pierced the thick tumult King Baldwin
Against the charm❜d blade which Count Albert did wield,
The fence had been vain of the king's red-cross shield;
THIS is a translation, or rather an imitation, of the Wilde Jager of the German poet Bürger. The tradition upon which it is founded bears, that formerly a wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest, named Falkenburg, was so much addicted to the pleasures of the chase, and otherwise so extremely profligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unhallowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other days consecrated to religious duty, but accompanied it with the most unheard-of oppression upon the poor peasants who were under his vassalage. When this second Nimrod died, the people adopted 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
And cleft the proud turban the renegade wore.
So fell was the dint, that Count Albert stoop'd low
Before the cross'd shield, to his steel saddle-bow;
And scarce had he bent to the red-cross his head,
"Bonne grace, notre dame," he unwittingly said.
Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was
German forest, during the silence of the night. They conceived they still heard the cry of the wildgrave's hounds; and the well-known cheer of the deceased hunter, the sound of his horse's feet, and the rustling of the branches before the game, the pack, and the sportsmen, are also distinctly discriminated; but the phantoms are rarely, if ever, visible. Once, as a benighted chasseur heard 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