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TALES OF WONDER;
WRITTEN AND COLLECTED
M. G. LEWIS, Esq. M. P.
AUTHOR OF THE MONK, CASTLE SPECTRE,
LOVE OF GAIN, &.C.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
Black spirits and white,
Blue spirits and grey,
Mingle, mingle, mingle,
Ye that mingle may ! macbeth.
PRINTED BY W. BULMER AND CO. CLEVELAND-ROW,
FOR THE AUTHOR ;
AND SOLD BY J. BELL, NO. 148, OXFORD-STREET,
OPPOSITE NEW BOND-STREET.
CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
I. Bothwell's Bonny Jane -
II. Osric the Lion _____
III. Sir Hengist - - -
IV. Alonzo the Brave, and Fair Imogene
V. Giles Jollup the Grave, and Brown Sally Green
VI. Elver's Hoh
VII. The Sword of Angantyr
VIII. King Hacho's Death-song
IX. The Erl-King -
X. The Erl-King's Daughter - -
XL The Water-King - - _ _
XII. The Fire-King -
XIII. The Cloud-King
XIV. The Fisherman _
XV. The Sailor's Tale
XVI. The Princess and the Slave
XVII. The Gay Gold Ring
XVIII. The Grim White Woman
XIX. The Little Grey Man - _ _
XX. Glenfinlas, or Lord Ronald's Coronach
XXI. The Eve of Saint John -
XXII. Frederick and Alice - ■ -
XXIII. The Wild Huntsmen
XXIV. The Old Woman of Berkeley
XXV. Bishop Bruno -
XXVI. Lord William - - - 179
XXVII. The Painter of Florence - - - 187
XXVIII. Donica .... 194
XXIX. Cornelius Agrippa's Bloody Book - - 201
XXX. Rudiger - - - - 204
XXXI. The Elfin-King - - - 214
XXXII. The Sorceress, or Wolfwold and Ulla. - 226
Page 11, line 12, for dead, read dread.
— 34, — 2, for slumber's, read slumbers
— 41, — 17, omit both commas.
— 64, — 2, for size, read rise.
— 71, — 19, omit the comma after Saviour.
— 73, — 3, omit the comma after tissue.
— 74, — 6, for hears, read heard.
— 77) — 4, after perform, put ! instead of?
— 121, — 13, for arms, read arras.
— 133, — 4, for brow, read vow.
— 144, — 7, foi black friars sing, read white monks they
— 235, — 7) for tumbling, read trembling.
BOTHWELL'S BONNY JANE.
ORIGINAL. M. G. LEWIS.
BotkmeU Castle is beautifully situated upon the Clyde, and fronts the
ruins of Blantyre Priory. The estate of Bothwell has long been,
and continues to be, in the possession of the Douglas family.
Loud roars the north round Bothwell' s hall,
And fast descends the pattering rain :
But streams of tears still faster fall
From thy blue eyes, oh ! bonny Jane !
Hark ! hark ! — I hear, with mournful yell,
. The wraiths * of angry Clyde complain ;
But sorrow bursts with louder swell
From thy fair breast, oh ! bonny Jane !
" Tap! — tap !" — who knocks? — the door unfolds ;
The mourner lifts her melting eye,
And soon with joy and hope beholds
A reverend monk approaching nigh :
His air is mild, his step is slow,
His hands across his breast are laid,
And soft he sighs, while bending low,
— " St. Bothan* guard thee, gentle maid!" —
To meet the friar the damsel ran ;
She kiss'd his hand, she clasp'd his knee.
— * Now free me, free me, holy man,
' Who com'stfrom Blantyre Prio-rie!' —
— '* What mean these piteous cries, daughter?
" St. Bothan be thy speed !
11 Why swim in tears thine eyes, daughter?
" From whom would'st thou be freed?"
— ' Oh ! father, father ! know, my sire,
• Though long I knelt, and wept, and sigh'd,
• Hath sworn, ere twice ten days expire,
' His Jane shall be Lord Malcolm's bride!' —
* The patron saint of Bothwell.
" Lord Malcolm is rich and great, daughter,-^
" And comes of an high degree ;
" He's fit to be thy mate, daughter,
" So, Benedicite!" —
— * Oh ! father, father ! say not so !
' Though rich his halls, though fair his bowers, -
' There stands an hut, where Tweed doth flow,
• I prize beyond Lord Malcolm's towers :
*■ There dwells a youth where Tweed doth glide,
' On whom nor rank, nor fortune smiles ;
' I'd rather be that peasant's bride,
' Than reign o'er all Lord Malcolm's isles.'—
— " But should you flee away, daughter,
•' And wed with a village clown,
" What would your father say, daughter?
" How would he fume and frown?" —
•. — * Oh ! he might frown and he might fume,
• And Malcolm's heart might grieve and pine,
* So Edgar's hut for me had room,
• And Edgar's lips were press'd to mine !' —
— " If at the castle gate, daughter,
" At night, thy love so true
" Should with a courser wait, daughter, . .
" What, daughter, would' st thou do?"-
— ' With noiseless step the stairs I'd press,
' Unclose the gate, and mount with glee,
' And ever, as on I sped, would bless
4 The abbot of Blantyre Prio-rie I '
— " Then, daughter, dry those eyes so bright;
" I'll haste where flows Tweed's silver stream ;
" And when thou see'st, at dead of night,
" A lamp in Blantyre's chapel gleam,
" With noiseless step the staircase press,
" For know, thy lover there will be ;
•' Then mount his steed, haste on, — and bless
- " The abbot of Blantyre Prio-rie !'.'
Then forth the friar he bent his way,
While lightly danc'd the damsel's heart j
Oh! how she chid the length of day,
How sigh'd to see the sun depart 1
How joyd she when eve's shadows came,
How swiftly gain'd her tower so high !-
' Does there in Blantyre shine a flame ?-
' Ah no ! — the moon deceiv'd mine eye I' —
Again the shades of evening lour ;
Again she hails the approach of night.
— ' Shines there a flame in Blantyre tower ?-
' Ah no! — 'tis but the northern-light \'r-r-
But when arriv'd All-hallow-E'en,*
What time the night and morn divide,
The signal-lamp by Jane was seen
To glimmer on the waves of Clyde.
She, cares not for her fathers tears,
She feels not for her father's sighs ;
No voice but headstrong Love's she hears,
And down the staircase swift she hies.
* On this night witches, devils, <§'C- are thought, by the Scotch, to
be abroad on their baneful errands. See Burns's Poem, under the title of
Though thrice the Brownie* shriek'd — " Beware!'
Though thrice was heard a dying groan,
She op'd the castle gate. — Lol there
She found the friendly monk alone.
— ' Oh ! where is Edgar, father, say ?' —
— " On ! on !" the friendly monk replied ;
" He fear'd his berry-brown steed should neigh,
" And waits us on the banks of Clyde.''
Then on they hurried, and on they hied,
Down Bothwell's slope so steep and green,
And soon they reach'd the river's side
Alas 1 no Edgar yet was seen !
Then, bonny Jane, thy spirits sunk ;
Fill'd was thy heart with strange alarms !
— " Now thou art mine!" exclaim'd the monk,
And clasp'd her in his ruffian arms.
* The Brownie is a domestic spirit, whose voice is always heard lamenting,
when any accident is about to befall the family to which she has attached
" Know, yonder bark must bear thee straight,
" Where Blantyre owns my gay controul :
1 ' There Love and Joy to greet thee wait,
" There Pleasure crowns for thee her bowl.
" Long have I loved thee, bonny Jane,
" Long breathed to thee my secret vow !
" Come then, sweet maid ! — nay, strife is vain;
" Not heaven itself can save thee now !"
The damsel shriek'd, and would have fled,
When lo ! his poniard press'd her throat !
— " One cry, and 'tis your last!" — he said,
And bore her fainting tow'rds the boat.
The moon shone bright ; the winds were chain'd ;
The boatman swiftly plied his oar;
But ere the river's midst was gain'd,
The tempest-fiend was heard to roar.
Rain fell in sheets ; high swell' d the Clyde ;
Blue flam'd the lightning's blasting brand !
— " Oh ! lighten the bark !" the boatman cried,
" Or hope no more to reach the strand.
" E'en now we stand on danger's brink !
*• E'en now the boat half fill'd I see !
" Oh ! lighten it soon, or else we sink !
" Oh ! lighten it of . . . . your gay la-die !" —
With shrieks the maid his counsel hears ;
But vain are now her prayers and cries,
Who cared not for her father's tears,
Who felt not for her father s sighs !
Fear conquer'd love ! — In wild despair
The abbot view'd the watery grave,
Then seized his victim's golden hair,
And plunged her in the foaming wave !
She screams ! — she sinks ! — " Row, boatman, row!
" The bark is light !" the abbot cries ;
*' Row, boatman, row to land 1" — When lo !
Gigantic grew the boatman's size !
With burning steel his temples bound
Throbb'd quick and high with fiery pangs ;
He roll'd his blood-shot eyeballs round,
And furious gnash'd his iron fangs :
His hands two gore-fed scorpions grasp'd ;
His eyes fell joy and spite express'd.
— " Thy cup is full !" — he said, and clasp'd
The abbot to his burning breast.
With hideous yell down sinks the boat,
And straight the warring winds subside ;
Moon-silverd clouds through aether float,
And gently murmuring flows the Clyde.
Since then full many a winter's powers
In chains of ice the earth have bound;
And many a spring, with blushing flowers
And herbage gay, has robed the ground :
Yet legends say, at Hallow-E'en,
When Silence holds her deepest reign,
That still the ferryman-fiend is seen
To waft the monk and bonny Jane :
And still does Blantyre's wreck display
The signal-lamp at midnight hour ;
And still to watch its fatal ray,
The phantom-fair haunts Bothwell Tower ;
Still tunes her lute to Edgar's name,
Still chides the hours which stay her flight;
Still sings, — " In Blantyre shines the flame?
"Ah ! no ! — 'tis but the northern-light !"—
OSRIC THE LION.
ORIGINAL. M. G. LEWIS.
Since "writing this Ballad, I have seen a French one, entitled " La
Veillee de la Bonne Mere," which has some resemblance with it.
Swift roll the Rhine's billows, and water the plains,
Where FaLkenstein Castle's majestic remains
Their moss-cover'd turrets still rear :
Oft loves the gaunt wolf midst the ruins to prowl,
What time from the battlements pours the lone owl
Her plaints in the passenger's ear.
No longer resound through the vaults of yon hall
The song of the minstrel, and mirth of the ball ;
Those pleasures for ever are fled :
There now dwells the bat with her light-shunning brood,
There ravens and vultures now clamour for food,
And all is dark, silent, and dead !
Ha ! dost thou not see, by the moon's trembling light
Directing his steps, where advances a knight,
His eye big with vengeance and fate ?
'Tis Osric the Lion his nephew who leads,
And swift up the crackling old staircase proceeds,
Gains the hall, and quick closes the gate.
Now round him young Carloman casting his eyes,
Surveys the sad scene with dismay and surprise,
And fear steals the rose from his cheeks.
His spirits forsake him, his courage is flown ;
The hand of Sir Osric he clasps in his own,
And while his voice faulters he speaks.
— " Dear uncle," he murmurs, " why linger we here?
" Tis late, and these chambers are damp and are drear,
' ' Keen blows through the ruins the blast !
" Oh let us away and our journey pursue :
" Fair Blumenberg's Castle will rise on our view,
Soon as Falkenstein forest is pass'd,
" Why roll thus your eyeballs ? why glare they so wild?
" Oh ! chide not my weakness, nor frown, that a child
** Should view these apartments with dread;
" For know, that full oft have I heard from my nurse,
41 There still on this castle has rested a curse,
'* Since innocent blood here was shed.
" She said, too, bad spirits, and ghosts all in white,
" Here use to resort at the dead time of night,
" Nor vanish till breaking of day ;
" And still at their coming is heard the deep tone
" Of a bell loud and awful hark! hark! 'twas a groan I
" Good uncle, oh !, let us away!"
« — " Peace, serpent!" thus Osric the Lion replies,
While rage and malignity gloom in his eyes ;
" Thy journey and life here must close :
" Thy castle's proud turrets no more shalt thou see ;
" No more betwixt Blumenberg's lordship and me
" Shalt thou stand, and my greatness oppose.
" My brother lies breathless on Palestine's plains,
" And thou once remov'd, to his noble domains
' ' My right can no rival deny :
" Then, stripling, prepare on my dagger to bleed;
•' No succour is near, and thy fate is decreed,
"Commend thee to Jesus, and die !"
Thus saying, he seizes the boy by the arm,
Whose grief rends the vaulted hall's roof, while alarm
His heart of all fortitude robs;
His limbs sink beneath him ; distracted with fears,
He falls at his uncle's feet, bathes them with tears,
And — " spare me ! oh spare me !" — he sobs.
But vainly the miscreant he strives to appease ;
And vainly he clings in despair round his knees,
And sues in soft accents for life ;
Unmov'd by his sorrow, unmov'd by his prayer,
Fierce Osric has twisted his hand in his hair,
And aims at his bosom a knife.
But ere the steel blushes with blood, strange to tell !
Self-struck, does the tongue of the hollow-toned bell
The presence of midnight declare:
And while with amazement his hair bristles high,
Hears Osric a voice, loud and terrible cry,
In sounds heart-appaling — " Forbear!" —
Straight curses and shrieks through the chambers resound,
Shrieks mingled with laughter : the walls shake around ;
The groaning roof threatens to fall;
Loud bellows the thunder, blue lightnings still flash ;
The casements they clatter ; chains rattle ; doors clash,
And flames spread their waves through the hall.
The clamour increases, the portals expand ! —
O'er the pavements black marble now rushes a band
Of daemons all dropping with gore,
In visage so grim, and so monstrous in height,
That Carloman screams, as they burst on his sight,
And sinks without sense on the floor.
Not so his fell uncle : — he sees, that the throng
Impels, wildly shrieking, a female along,
And well the sad spectre he knows !
The daemons with curses her steps onwards urge ;
Her shoulders, with whips form'd of serpents, they scourge,
And fast from her wounds the blood flows.
" Oh ! welcome !" she cried, and her voice spoke despair;
" Oh ! welcome, Sir Osric, the torments to share,
" Of which thou hast made me the prey.
" Twelve years have I languish'd thy coming to see ;
" Ulrilda, who perish'd dishonour 'd by thee,
" Now calls thee to anguish away !
" Thy passion once sated, thy love became hate;
" Thy hand gave the draught which consign'd me to fate,
" Nor thought I death lurk'd in the bowl :
" Unfit for the grave, stain'd with lust, swell'd with pride,
" Unbless'd, unabsolv'd, unrepenting, I died,
" And daemons straight seiz'd on my soul.
" Thou com'st, and with transport I feel my breast swell :
" Full long have I sufFer'd the torments of hell,
" And now shall its pleasures be mine !
" See, see how the fiends are athirst for thy blood !
" Twelve years has my panting heart furnish'd their food,
" Come, wretch, let them feast upon thine !" •
She said, and the daemons their prey flock'd around ;
They dash'd him, with horrible yell, on the ground,
And blood down his limbs trickled fast ;
His eyes from their sockets with fury they tore ;
They fed on his entrails, all reeking with gore,
And his heart was Ulrilda's repast.
But now the grey cock told the coming of day !
The fiends with their victim straight vanish' d away,
And Carloman's heart throbb'd again ;
With terror recalling the deeds of the night,
He rose, and from Falkenstein speeding his flight,
Soon reach'd his paternal domain.
Since then, all with horror the ruins behold ;
No shepherd, though stray'd be a lamb from his fold,
No mother, though lost be her child,
The fugitive dares in these chambers to seek,
Where fiends nightly revel, and guilty ghosts shriek
In accents most fearful and wild !
Oh ! shun them, ye pilgrims ! though late be the hour,
Though loud howl the tempest, and fast fall the shower;
From Falkenstein Castle begone !
There still dieir sad banquet hell's denizens share ;
There Osric the Lion still raves in despair :
Breathe a prayer for his soul, and pass on !
GERMAN. M. G. LEWIS.
Herman, or Arminius, is the favourite hero of Germany, whose liberty
he defended against the oppression of Rome : Flavus, his brother,
sided with the Roynans, and in consequence his memory is as much
detested by his countrymen, as that of Arminius is beloved. — I forget
where I met with the original of this Ballad.
Where rolls the Weser's golden sand,
Did erst Sir Hengists castle stand,
A warrior brave and good ;
His lands extended far and wide,
Where stream'd full many a plenteous tide,
Where frown'd full many a wood,
It chanced, that homewards from the chace
Sir Hengist urged his courser's pace,
The shadowy dales among,
While all was still, and late the hour,
And far off, in the castle tower,
The bell of midnight rung.
Sudden, a piercing shriek resounds
Throughout the forest's ample bounds ;
A wildly dreadful yell ;
The dogs, by trembling, own their fear,
As if they scent some bad thing near,
Some soul enlarged from hell !
" See, father !" cried young Egbert ; " see
" Beneath the shade of yonder tree
1 • What fearful form is spread 1
" How fire around his temples glows"!
*' How from his lance and fingers flows
" The stream of bloody red 1" —
" Stay here !" said Hengist, then with speed
Towards the stranger spurr'd his steed ;
" What brings thee here, Sir Knight,
" Who dar'st in my domains to bear
" A lance, and by thy haughty air
" Seem'st to demand the fight?" — ■
— " Long has my arm forgot to wield
" The sword, and raise the massy shield,"
Replied the stranger drear :
" Peace to this brown oak's hallow'd shade f
" Peace to the bones which here are laid,
" And which we both revere !
*• Know'st thou not Siegmar, Herman's sire,
" That arm of steel, that soul of fire?
" Here is his grave. — My name
" Is Flavus — at that sound the woods
" With curses rincr, and Weser's floods
" My infamy proclaim !
** For such is vengeful Odin's will
" And doom, that traitor-curses still
'•' Thick on my head shall be,
" Till from the blood of brethren slain,
" My gory hands and lance again
■ ' I pure and spotless see.
" Still then, when midnight hours permit
" Pale spectres Hela's realm to quit,
" I seek this hallow'd place ;
" With tears bedew these crimson blots,
" And strive to wash away the spots
" No pains can now efface !" —
He ceased ; when Odin's eagle came*
By Odin arm'd with blasting flame,
And seized the phantom knight :
Loud shrieks the spectre's pangs reveal'd,
And soon a cloud his form conceald
From awe-struck Hengist's sight.
— " Son !" said the chief, with horror chill'd,
While down his brows cold dews distill'd,
" Now take your sword in hand,
" And swear with me, each drop of gore,
" That swells your veins, well pleased to pour
" To guard your native land !" —
ALONZO THE BRAVE AND FAIR 1MOGINE.
ORIGINAL. Mi G. LEWIS.
This was Jirst published in the Third Volume of Ambrosio, or the Monk.
A warrior so bold and a virgin so bright
Conversed, as they sat on the green ;
They gazed on each other with tender delight :
Alonzo the Brave was the name of the knight,
The maid's was the Fair Imogine.
-" And, oh!" said the youth, " since to-morrow I go
" To fight in a far-distant land,
" Your tears for my absence soon leaving to flow,
" Some other will court you, and you will bestow
" On a wealthier suitor your hand."
-" Oh ! hush these suspicions/' Fair Imogine said,
' ' Offensive to love and to me !
" For, if you be living, or if you be dead,
" I swear by the Virgin, that none in your stead
• ' Shall husband of Imogine be.
" And if e'er for another my heart should decide,
" Forgetting Alonzo the Brave,
" God grant, that, to punish my falsehood and pride,
<c Your ghost at the marriage may sit by my side,
" May tax me with perjury, claim me as bride,
" And bear me away to the grave !"
To Palestine hasten'd the hero so bold ;
His love she lamented him sore :
But scarce had a twelvemonth elapsed, when behold,
A Baron all cover'd with jewels and gold
Arrived at Fair Imogine's door.
His treasure, his presents, his spacious domain,
Soon made her untrue to her vows :
He dazzled her eyes ; Le bewilder'd her brain;
He caught her affections so light and so vain,
And carried her home as his spouse.
And now had the marriage been bless'd by the priest ;
The revelry now was begun :
The tables they groan'd with the weight of the feast;
Nor yet had the laughter and merriment ceased,
When the bell of the castle toll'd — " one !"
Then first with amazement Fair Imogine found
That a stranger was placed by her side :
His air was terrific ; he utter'd no sound ;
He spoke not, he moved not, he look'd not around,
But earnestly gazed on the bride*
His vizor was closed, and gigantic his height ;
His armour was sable to view :
All pleasure and laughter were hush'd at his sight;
The dogs, as they eyed him, drew back in affright ;
The lights in the chamber burnt blue !
His presence all bosoms appear'd to dismay ;
The guests sat in silence and fear :
At length spoke the bride, while she trembled : — " I pray,
" Sir Knight, that your helmet aside you would lav,
" And deign to partake of our cheer."
The lady is silent: the stranger complies,
His vizor he slowly unclosed :
Oh ! then what a sight met Fair Imogine's eyes!
What words can express her dismay and surprise,
When a skeleton's head was exposed!
All present then utter'd a terrified shout ;
All turn'd with disgust from the scene.
The worms they crept in, and the worms they crept out,
And sported his eyes and his temples about,
While the spectre address'd Imogine :
" Behold me, thou false one ! behold me !" he cried;
' ' Remember Alonzo the Brave !
" God grants, that, to punish thy falsehood and pride,
" My ghost at thy marriage should sit by thy side,
" Should tax thee with perjury, claim thee as bride,
" And bear thee away to the grave!"
Thus saying, his arms round the lady he wound,
While loudly she shriekd in dismay ;
Then sank with his prey through the wide-yawning ground
Nor ever again was Fair Imogine found,
Or the spectre who bore her away.
Not long lived the Baron : and none since that time
To inhabit the castle presume ;
For chronicles tell, that, by order sublime,
There Imogine suffers the pain of her crime,
And mourns her deplorable doom.
At midnight four times in each year does her sprite,
When mortals in slumber are bound,
Array'd in her bridal apparel of white,
Appear in the hall with the skeleton-knight,
And shriek as he whirls her around.
While they drink out of skulls newly torn from the grave,
Dancing round them pale spectres are seen :
Their liquor is blood, and this horrible stave
They howl : — " To the health of Alonzo the Brave,
" And his consort, the False Imogine 1"
GILES JOLLUP THE GRAVE,
BROWN SALLY GREEN.
ORIGINAL. M. G. LEWIS.
This is a Parody upon the foregoing Ballad. I must acknowledge,
however, that the lines printed in italics, and the idea of making an
apothecary of the knight, and a brewer of the baron, are taken from
a parody which appeared in one of the news-papers, under the title
of " Pil-Garlic the Brave and Brown Celestine."
A Doctor so prim and a sempstress so tight
Hob-a-nobb'd in some right marasquin ;
They suck'd up the cordial with truest delight:
Giles Jollup the Grave was just jive feet in height,
And Jour feet the brown Sally Green*
•" And as," said Giles Jollup, " to-morrow 1 go
" 'To physic a feverish land,
" At some sixpenny hop, or perhaps the Mayor's show,
" You'll tumble in love with some smart city beau,
" And with him share your shop in the Strand. "-
— " Lord ! how can you think so?" brown Sally Green said ;
" You must know mighty little of me ;
" For if you be living, or if you be dead,
" I swear, 'pon my honour, that none in your stead
" Shall husband of Sally Green be.
" And if e'er for another my heart should decide,
" False to you and the faith which I gave,
" God grant that, at dinner too amply supplied,
" Over-eating may give me a pain in my side;
" May your ghost then bring rhubarb to physic the bride,
" And send her well-dosed to the grave !"
Away went poor Giles, to what place is not told ;
Sally wept, till she blew her nose sore !
But scarce had a twelvemonth elapsed, when behold!
A brewer, quite stylish, his gig that way roll'd,
And stopp'd it at Sally Green's door.
His wealth, his pot-belly, and whisky of cane,
Soon made her untrue to her vows ;
1 he steam of strong beer noxu bewildering her brain,
He caught her while tipsy ! denials were vain,
So he carried her home as his spouse.
And now the roast beef had been bless'd by the priest,
To cram now tbe guests had begun :
Tooth and nail like a wolf fell the bride on the feast ;
Nor yet had the clash of her knife and fork ceased,
When a bell — ('twas a dustman s) — toltd — " one 1 ."
Then first with amazement Brown Sally Green found
That a stranger was stuck by her side :
His cravat and his ruffles with snuff were embrown'd;
He ate not, he drank not, but, turning him round,
Sent some pudding away to be fried ! ! !
His wig was lurrid forwards, and short was his height ;
His apron was dirty to view :
The women (oh ! wondrous) were hush'd at his sight :
"The cats, as they eyed him, drew back [well they might),
For his body was pea-green and blue !
Now, as all wish'd to speak, but none knew what to say,
They look'd mighty foolish and queer :
At length spoke the bride, while she trembled — " I pray,
" Dear sir, your peruke that aside you would lay,
' ' And partake of some strong or small beer .'" ■
The sempstress is silent ; the stranger complies,
And his wig from his phiz deigns to pull.
Adzooks ! what a squall Sally gave through surprize !
Like a pig that is stuck how she open'd her eyes,
When she recognized Jollup's bare skull !
Each miss then exclaira'd, while she turn'd up her snout,
" Sir, your head isn't fit to be seen !" —
The pot-boys ran in, and the pot-boys ran out,
And couldn't conceive what the noise was about,
While the Doctor address'd Sally Green :
-" Behold me, thou jilt-flirt ! behold me !" he cried ;
" You've broken the faith which you gave !
" God grants, that, to punish your falsehood and pride,
" Over-eating should give you a pain in your side :
" Come, swallow this rhubarb ! I'll physic the bride,
" And send her well-dosed to the grave !"
Thus saying, the physic her throat he forced down,
In spite of whatever she could say;
Then bore to his chariot the damsel so brown ;
Nor ever again was she seen in that town,
Or the Doctor who whisk'd her away.
Not long liv'd the Brewer : and none since that time
To make use of the brewhouse presume ;
For 'tis firmly believed, that, by order sublime,
There Sally Green suffers the pain of her crime,
And bawls to get out of the room.
At midnight four times in each year does her sprite
With shrieks make the chamber resound :
— " I won't take the rhubarb !" she squalls in affright,
While, a cup in his left hand, a draught in his right,
Giles Jollup pursues her around 1
With wigs so well powder'd, their fees while they crave,
Dancing round them twelve doctors are seen :
They drink chicken-broth, while this horrible stave
Is twang'd through each nose — " To Giles Jollup the Grave»
" And his patient, the sick Sally Green !" •
DANISH. M. C. LEWIS.
The original is to be found in the " Kiampe-Viiser," Copenhagen,
1739. My version of this Ballad (as also of most of the Danish
Ballads in this collection J was made from a German translation to
be found in Herder's " Volkslieder."
The knight laid his head upon Elver's Hoh,
Soft slumbers his senses beguiling ;
Fatigue press'd its seal on his eyelids, when lo !
Two maidens drew near to him, smiling ;
The one she kiss'd softly Sir Algamore's eyes ;
The other she whisper 'd him sweetly,
" Arise ! thou gallant young warrior, arise,
" For the dance it goes gaily and featly !
" Arise, thou gallant young warrior, arise,
" And dance with us now and for ever !
" My damsels with music thine ear shall surprise,
" And sweeter a mortal heard never — "
Then straight of young maidens appear'd a fair throng,
Who their voices in harmony raising,
The winds they were still as the sounds flew along,
By silence their melody praising.
The winds they were still as the sounds flew along,
The wolf howl'd no more from the mountains ;
The rivers were mute upon hearing the song,
And calm'd the loud rush of their fountains :
The fish, as they swam in the waters so clear,
To the soft sounds delighted attended,
And nightingales, charm'd the sweet accents to hear,
Their notes with the melody blended.
•'* Now hear me, thou gallant young warrior, now hear !
1 ' If thou wilt partake of our pleasure,
" We'll teach thee to draw the pale moon from her sphere,
" We'll show thee the sorcerer's treasure !
" We'll teach thee the Runic rhyme, teach thee to hold
" The wild bear in magical fetters,
" To charm the red dragon, who broods over gold,
" And tame him by mystical letters."
Now hither, now thither, then danced the gay band ,
By witchcraft the hero surprising,
Who ever sat silent, his sword in his hand,
Their sports and their pleasures despising.
— " Now hear me, thou gallant young warrior, now hear I
" If still thou disdain'st what we proffer,
" With dagger and knife from thy breast will we tear
" Thine heart, which refuses our offer!" —
Oh ! glad was the knight when he heard the cock crow !
His enemies trembled, and left him :
Else must he have stayed upon Elver's Hoh,
And the witches of life had bereft him.
Beware then, ye warriors, returning by night
From court, dress'd in gold and in silver ;
Beware how you slumber on Elver's rough height,
Beware of the witches of Elver !
THE SWORD OF ANGANTYR.
RUNIC. M. G. LEWIS.
The original is to be found in Hick's Thesau. Ling. Septen. I have
taken great liberties with it, and the catastrophe is my own invent
tion. Several versions of this Poem have already appeared, parti-
cularly one by Miss Seward.
An g an ty r , awake ! awake !
Hervor bids thy slumber s fly !
Magic thunders round thee break,
Augantyr, reply ! reply !
Reach me, warrior, from thy grave
Schwafurlama's magic blade ;
Fatal weapon, dreaded glaive,
By the dwarfs at midnight made.
Hervardur, obey my charms,
Hanri too, and Angantyr :
Hither, clad in bloody arms,
Haste with helmet, sword, and spear !
Hasten, heroes, hasten all ;
Sadly pace the spell-bound sod ;
Dread my anger, hear nfy call,
Tremble at the charmer's rod !
Are the sons of Angrym's race,
They whose breasts with glory burn'd,
All deprived of manhood's grace,
All to dust and ashes turn'd ?
Where the blasted yew-tree grows,
Where the bones of heroes lie,
What, will none his grave unclose,
None to Hervor's voice reply ?
Shades of warriors cold and dead,
Fear my wrath, nor longer stay !
Mighty souls to Hela fled,
Come ! my powerful spells obey.
Either instant to my hand
Give the sword of mystic power,
Which the dwarf and spectre-band
Bathed in blood at midnight hour ;
Or, in Odin's hall of cheer,
Never shall ye more repose,
Never more drink mead and beer
From the skulls of slaughter'd foes !
Hervor ! Hervor ! cease thy cries,
Nor oblige, by impious spell,
Ghosts of slaughter'd chiefs to rise;
Sport not with the laws of hell !
Know, nor friend's, nor parent's hand
Laid in earth's embrace my bones :
Natives of a distant land
Raised yon monumental stones :
I the Tyrfing gave to these ;
'Twas but justice ; 'twas their due.
Hervor ! Hervor ! rest in peace,
Angantyr has told thee true.
Dar'st thou still my anger brave ?
Thus deceitful dar'st thou speak ?
Sure as Odin dug thy grave,
Lies by thee the sword I seek.
I alone may call thee sire,
I alone thine heir can be ;
Give me then the sword of fire,
Angantyr, oh ! give it me !
Hervor ! Hervor ! cease, and know,
It endures no female hand ;
Flames around her feet shall glow,
Who presumes to touch the brand
But from thee a son shall spring,
(So the Valkyries declare)
Who shall reign a mighty king ;
He the magic blade shall wear.
Hela! Hela! thrice around
This enchanted spot I pace :
Hela ! Hela ! thrice the ground
Thus with mystic signs I trace .
While I swear by Odin's might,
Balder's locks, and Sculda's wing,
By the god renown'd in fight,
By the rhymes the sisters sing,
Still the dead unrest shall know,
Still shall wave my magic rod,
Still the shivering ghosts shall go
Round and round this spell-bound sod,
Till the sword, the death of shields,
Shall my sire to me resign,
Till my hand the Tyrfing wields,
As in his grasp, fear'd in mine !
Bold enchantress, since no prayers
Can this impious zeal abate,
Since thy haughty bosom dare
To dispute the will of Fate,
I no more retard thy doom :
Arm'd with magic helm and spear
Seek the Tyrfing, seek my tomb,
When the midnight hour is near.
Stormy clouds around me lour !
All is silent, mortals sleep !
'Tis the solemn midnight hour !
Angantyr, thy promise keep.
'Tis the time, and here the grave :
Lo ! the grate with pain I lift :
Father, reach me forth the glaive,
Reach the dwarf's enchanted gift.
Know, beneath my head it lies,
Deep embrown'd with hostile gore.
Hervor, daughter, cease thy cries,
Hervor, daughter, ask no more.
Flames curl round in many a spire,
Flames from Hilda's mystic hand ;
Ne'er may woman touch the fire,
Ne'er may woman wield the brand !
Wherefore, father, this delay,
Wherefore break the word you gave ?
Coldly burn the flames which play
In a breathless warrior's grave.
Give me straight the spell-fraught sword,
Then my potent charms shall cease :
Be the dead to sleep restored,
Rest, sad spirit, rest in peace !
Oh! what daemon's direful power
Hapless Hervor, fires thy brain ?
Fain would I retard the hour,
Destined for my daughter's pain !
Yet be wise, the sword forego :
It endures no female hand ;
Flames around her feet shall glow,
Who presumes to touch the brand.
Wilt thou still the brand conceal?
I must haste my friends to join,
Where Hidalvar, clad in steel,
Leads his troops, and waits for mine :
Father, now the sword bestow ;
Soon 'twill hew my path to fame ;
Soon 'twill make each trembling foe
Shrink with fear at Hervor's name !
Hark ! what horrid voices ring
Through the mansions of the dead !
'Tis the Valkyries who sing,
While they spin thy vital thread.
— " Angantyr !" I hear them say,
Sitting by their magic loom,
— " Yield the sword, no more delay,
" Let the sorceress meet her doom !
" Soon the proud one shall perceive,
" Anguish ends what crimes begin:
' • Lo ! her web of life we weave,
" Lo ! the final thread we spin !" —
I obey the voice of hell,
It ensures repose to me :
Hervor, now unbind the spell,
And the Tyrfing thine shall be.
Since thy dread commands , my sire
Force the Tyrfing to forego,
On thine altars, sisters dire,
Thrice twelve heroes' blood shall flow.
With respect the mandate hear ;
Angantyr, the sword resign :
Valued gift, to me more dear,
Than were Norway's sceptre mine.
I obey ! the magic glaive
Thirty warriors' blood hath spilt;
Lo I 1 reach it from my grave,
Death is in the sheath and hilt !
Now 'tis thine : that daring arm
Wields at length the flaming sword ;
Hervor, now unbind the charm,
Be my ghost to sleep restored.
Rest in peace, lamented shade !
Be thy slumbers soft and sweet,
While obtain'd the wondrous blade,
Home I bend my gladsome feet.
But from out the gory steel
Streams of fire their radiance dart!
Mercy ! mercy ! oh 1 I feel
Burning pangs invade my heart !
Flames amid my ringlets play,
Blazing torrents dim my sight!
Fatal weapon, hence away !
Woe be to thy blasting might !
Woe be to the night and time,
When the magic sword was given I
Woe be to the Runic rhyme,
Which reversed the laws of Heaven !
Curst be cruel Hilda's fire,
Which around the weapon curl'd !
Curst the Tyrfing's vengeful ire,
Curst myself, and curst the world !
What ! can nothing cool my brain?
Nothing calm my anguish wild?
Angantyr, oh, speak again !
Father ! father ! aid your child !
"lis in vain your shrieks resound,
Hapless prey of strange despair !
'Tis in vain you beat the ground,
While you rend your raven hair !
They, who dare the dead to wake,
Still too late the crime deplore :
None shall now my silence break,
Now I sleep to wake no more !
Curses ! curses ! oh ! what pain !
How my melting eye-balls glow !
Curses ! curses ! through each vein
How do boiling torrents flow !
Scorching flames my heart devour !
Nought can cool them but the grave !
Hela ! I obey thy power,
Hela ! take thy willing slave !
KING HACHO'S DEATH SONG.
RUNIC. M. G. LEWIS.
The Original, but in a mutilated state, is inserted in Bartholin. Cans.
Contemt. Mort. Here again, as also for the translations of " the
Water-King," and of the " Erl-King's Daughter," I must express
my obligations to Mr. Herder's Collection,
Gaundul and Skogul came from Thor,
To choose a kino- from out the war,
Who to Valhalla's joys should speed,
And drink with Odin beer and mead.
Of Ingwa's race the king renown'd,
Biarner's brother, soon they found,
As arm'd with helmet, sword and shield,
With eager step he sought the field,
Where clashing glaives and dying cries
Already told the combat's size.
With mighty voice he bids appear
Haleyger brave, and Halmygeer,
Then forth to urge the fight he goes,
The hope of friends, the fear of foes.
The Norman host soon round him swarms,
And Jutland's monarch stands in arms.
Firmly is giasp'd by Hacbo bold,
The millstone-splitters hilt of gold,
Whose blows give death on every side,
And, as 'twere water, brass divide ;
A cloud of javelins veils tbe sky ;
The crashing shields in splinters fly ;
And on the casques of warriors brave
Resounds the stroke of many a glaive.
Now Tyr's and Bauga's weapons brown
Break on the Norman monarch's crown ;
Now hotter, fiercer grows the fight,
Low sinks the pride of many a knight ;
And, dyed in slaughter's crimson hue,
Torrents of gore their shields bedew ;
From meeting weapons lightning gleams;
From gaping wounds the life-blood streams :
With falling corses groans the land,
And purple waves lash Storda's sand.
The warring heroes now confound
Buckler with buckler, wound with wound :
As eager as were battle sport,
Renown they seek, and death they court ;
Till, never more to rise, they fall
In myriads ; while, to Odin's hall,
The daemon of the tempest brings
A blood stream on his sable wings.
Apart the hostile chiefs were placed,
Broken their swords, their helms unlaced ;
Yet neither thought his fate would be,
The hall of Odin soon to see.
— " Great is the feast of gods to-day,"
Propp'd on her sword, did Gaundul say,
" Since to their table they invite
" Hacho, and all his chiefs from flight!" —
The fated monarch hears too plain,
How speaks the chooser of the slain ;
Too plain beholds his startled eye,
On their black coursers mounted high
The immortal maids, who near him stand,
Each propp'd on her resistless brand.
— " Goddess of Combat!" Hacho cries,
' ' Thus dost thou give the battle's prize ?
" And do then victory's gods deny
" To view my arms with friendly eye?" — •
— " Chide not !" fierce Skogul thus replied,
" For conquest still shall grace thy side;
" Thou shalt prevail, the foe shall yield,
" And thine remain the bloody field." —
She said, and urged her coal-black steed
Swift to the hall of gods to speed ;
And there to Odin's heroes tell
A king drew near with them to dwell.
— " Hither," thus Odin spoke, " the king
" Let Hermoder and Braga bring ;
" A monarch comes, an hero guest,
'• Who well deserves with me to rest." —
Said Hacho, while his streaming blood
Pour'd down his limbs its crimson flood,
— " God Odin's eyes, my brethren bold,
" Our arms with hostile glance behold '." —
Then Braga spoke. — " Brave monarch, know,
•' Thou to Valhalla's joys shalt go,
" There to drink mead in skulls of foes,
" And at the feast of gods repose :
" To greet thee at the magic gate,
" E'en now eight hero-brothers wait,
" With joyful eyes thy coming see,
" And wish, thou foe of kings, for thee." —
— " Yet be my sword," the king replied,
" Once more in Norman slaughter dyed;
" Let me, as heroes should, expire,
" And fall in fight, as fell my sire :
"So shall my glory live, and fame
" Shall long remember Hacho's name." —
He ceases, and to combat flies:
He fights, he conquers, and he dies ;
But soon he finds what joys attend,
Who dare in fight their days to end :
Soon as he gains Valhalla's gate,
Eight heroes there to greet him wait ;
The gods a friend the monarch call,
And welcome him to Odin's hall.
Who in Valhalla thus shall be
Loved and revered, oh ! bless'd is he ;
His conquest and his fame shall long
Remember'd be, and live in song.
Wolf Fenris first his chain shall break,
And on mankind his fury wreak,
Ere walks a king in Hacho's trace,
Or fills so well his vacant place.
Since to the gods the king hath fled,
Heroes and valiant hosts have bled :
The bones of friends have strow'd the sand ;
Usurping tyrants sway the land ;
And many a tear for Hacho brave
Still falls upon his honour'd grave.
GERMAN. M. G. LEWIS.
Though founded on a Banish tradition, this Ballad was originally
■written in German, and is the production of the celebrated Goethe,
author of Werter, fyc.
Who is it that rides through the forest so fast,
While night frowns around him, while shrill roars the blast?
The father, who holds his young son in his arm,
And close in his mantle has wrapp'd him up warm.
— ' ' Why trembles my darling ? why shrinks he with fear ?" —
— " Oh, father ! my father! the Erl-King is near!
" The Erl-King, with his crown and his beard long and white!"
— " Oh! your eyes are deceived by the vapours of night." —
— " Come, baby, sweet baby, with me go away!
" Fine clothes you shall wear, we will play a fine play;
" Fine flowers are growing, white, scarlet, and blue,
" On the banks of yon river, and all are for you." —
-*— " Oh ! father! my father ! and dost thou not hear,
" What words the Erl-King whispers low in mine ear?" —
— " Now hush thee, my darling, thy terrors appease;
" Thou hear'st, 'mid the branches, where murmurs the breeze."
— " Oh! baby, sweet baby, with me go away !
' ' My daughter shall nurse you, so fair and so gay ;
•• My daughter, in purple and gold who is dress'd,
•* Shall tend you, and kiss you, and sing you to rest!"
— "Oh! father! my father ! and dost thou not see
" The Erl-King and his daughter are waiting for me?" —
— " Oh! shame thee, my darling, 'tis fear makes thee blind :
*' Thou see'st the dark willows which wave in the wind." —
— ' ' I love thee ! I doat on thy face so divine I
" I must and will have thee, and force makes thee mine !" —
— • ' My father 1 my father ! oh ! hold me now fast !
" He pulls me ! he hurts, and will have me at last !" —
The father he trembled, he doubled his speed;
O'er hills and through forests he spurr'd his black steed ;
But when he arrived at his own castle door,
Life throbb'd in the sweet baby's bosom no more.
THE ERL-KINGS DAUGHTER.
DANISH. M. G. LEWIS.
The Original is in t/ie Kiampe-Viiser.
O'er mountains, through vallies, Sir Oluf he wends
To bid to his wedding relations and friends ;
'Tis night, and arriving where sports the elf band,
The Erl-King's proud daughter presents him her hand.
— " Now welcome, Sir Oluf! oh ! welcome to me !
" Come, enter our circle my partner to be." —
— " Fair lady, nor can I dance with you, nor may;
" To-morrow I marry, to-night must away."-*-
— " Now listen, Sir Oluf! oh ! listen to me !
" Two spurs of fine silver thy guerdon shall be;
" A shirt too of silk will I give as a boon,
fl Which my queen-mother bleach'din the beams of the moon.
" Then yield thee, Sir Oluf ! oh! yield thee to me !
" And enter our circle ray partner to be!" —
— " Fair lady, nor can I dance with you, nor may ;
" To-morrow I marry, to-night must away." —
• — " Now listen, Sir Oluf; oh ! listen to me !
" An helmet of gold will I give unto thee !" —
— " An helmet of gold would I willingly take,
" But I will not dance with you, for Urgela's sake." —
■ — •' And deigns not Sir Oluf my partner to be?
*' Then curses and sickness I give unto thee;
" Then curses and sickness thy steps shall pursue :
" Now ride to thy lady, thou lover so true." —
Thus said she, and laid her charm'd hand on his heart; —
Sir Oluf, he never had felt such a smart ;
Swift spurr'd he his steed till he reach'd his own door,
And there stood his mother his castle before.
i — *' Now riddle me, Oluf, and riddle me right :
" Why look'st thou, my dearest, so wan and so white?" —
— ' ' How should I not, mother, look wan and look white ?
" I have seen the Erl-King's cruel daughter to-night.
" She cursed me! her hand to my bosom she press'd;
" Death follow'd the touch, and now freezes my breast !
" She cursed me, and said, " To your lady now ride ;"
" Oh! ne'er shall my lips press the lips of my bride." —
— " Now riddle me, Oluf, and what shall I say,
" When here comes the lady, so fair and so gay?" —
— " Oh ! say, I am gone for awhile to the wood,
" To prove if my hounds and my coursers are good." —
Scarce dead was Sir Oluf, and scarce shone the day,
When in came the lady, so fair and so gay ;
And in came her father, and in came each guest,
Whom the hapless Sir Oluf had bade to the feast.
They drank the red wine, and they ate the good cheer;
— "Oh! where is Sir Oluf ! oh, where is my dear?" —
— " Sir Oluf is gone for awhile to the wood,
" To prove if his hounds and his coursers are good." —
Sore trembled the lady, so fair and so gay;
She eyed the red curtain ; she drew it away;
But soon from her bosom for ever life fled,
For there lay Sir Oluf, cold, breathless, and dead.
DANISH. M. G. LEWIS.
The original is in the Kiampe Viiser.
With gentle murmur flow'd the tide,
While by its fragrant flowery side
The lovely maid, with carols gay,
To Mary's church pursued her way.
The Water-Fiend's malignant eye
Along the banks beheld her hie ;
Straight to his mother-witch he sped,
And thus in suppliant accents said ;
— "Oh! mother! mother! now advise,
" How I may yonder maid surprise :
"Oh! mother I mother! now explain,
li How I may yonder maid obtain." — •
The witch she gave him armour white ;
She form'd him like a gallant knight :
Of water clear next made her hand
A steed, whose housings were of sand.
The Water-King then swift he went ;
To Marys church his steps he bent :
He bound his courser to the door,
And paced the churchyard three times four.
His courser to the door bound he,
And paced the churchyard four times three ;
Then hasten'd up the aisle, where all
The people flock'd, both great and small.
The priest said, as the knight drew near,
— *' And wherefore comes the white chief here ?"-
The lovely maid she smiled aside ;
— " Oh ! would I were the white chief's bride !"-
He stepp'd o'er benches one and two ;
— " Oh! lovely maid, I die for you !" —
He stepp'd o'er benches two and three ;
— •'« Oh ! lovely maiden, go with me !" —
Then sweetly smiled the lovely maid ;
And while she gave her hand, she said,
— " Betide me joy, betide me woe,
" O'er hill, o'er dale, with thee I go." —
The priest their hands together joins ;
They dance, while clear the moon-beam shines
And little thinks the maiden bright,
Her partner is the Water-Spright.
Oh ! had some spirit deign'd to sing,
— " Your bridegroom is the Water-King!" —
The maid had fear and hate confess'd,
And cursed the hand which then she press'd.
But nothing giving cause to think
How near she stray'd to danger's brink,
Still on she went, and hand in hand
The lovers reach'd the yellow sand.
— " Ascend this steed with me, my dear!
" We needs must cross the streamlet here:
" Ride boldly in ; it is not deep;
•' The winds are hush'd, the billows sleep." —
Thus spoke the Water-King. The maid
Her traitor-bridegroom's wish obey'd :
And soon she saw the courser lave
Delighted in his parent wave.
— "Stop! stop! my love ! The waters blue
" E'en now my shrinking foot bedew." —
— " Oh ! lay aside your fears, sweet heart !
" We now have reach'd the deepest part." —
— " Stop ! stop! my love ! For now I see
" The waters rise above my knee." —
— " Oh ! lay aside your fears, sweet heart!
" We now have reach'd the deepest part." —
— " Stop ! stop ! for God's sake, stop ! for oh !
" The waters o'er my bosom flow !" —
Scarce was the word pronounced, when knight
And courser vanish'd from her sight.
She shrieks, but shrieks in vain ; for high
The wild winds rising, dull the cry ;
The fiend exults ; the billows dash,
And o'er their hapless victim wash.
Three times, while struggling with the stream,
The lovely maid was heard to scream ;
But when the tempest's rage was o'er,
The lovely maid was seen no more.
Warn'd by this tale, ye damsels fair,
To whom you give your love beware !
Believe not every handsome knight,
And dance not with the Water-Spright
* As I have taken great liberties with this Ballad, and have been much
questioned as to my share in it, I shall here subjoin a literal translation :
— " Oh ! mother, give me good counsel ;
" How shall I obtain the lovely maid ?" —
She form'd for him a horse of clear water,
With a bridle and saddle of sand.
She arm'd him like a gallant knight,
Then rode he into Mary's churchyard.
He bound his horse to the church door,
And paced round the church three times and four.
The Waterman enter'd the church ;
The people throng'd about him both great and small.
The priest was then standing at the altar.
— " Who can yonder white chieftain be ?" —
The lovely maiden laugh'd aside —
— " Oh ! would the white chieftain were for me !" —
He stepp'd over one stool, and over two ;
— " Oh ! maiden, give me thy faith and troth !" —
He stepp'd over stools three and four.
■ — "Oh ! lovely maiden go with me!" —
The lovely maid gave him her hand.
— " There hast thou my troth ; I follow thee readily.'
They went out with the wedding guests :
They danced gaily, and without thought of danger.
They danced on till they reached the strand :
And now they were alone hand in hand.
— " Lovely maiden, hold my horse :
" The prettiest little vessel will I bring for you." —
And when they came to the white sand,
All the ships made to land.
And when they came to deep water.
The lovely maiden sank to the ground.
Long heard they who stood on the shore,
How the lovely maiden shriek'd among the waves.
I advise you, damsels, as earnestly as I can,
Dance not with the Water-man.
" THE BLESSINGS OF THE EVIL GENII, WHICH ARE CURSES,
" were upon him." Eastern Tale.
ORIGINAL. WALTER SCOTT.
(By the translator of Goethe's " Goetz of Berlichingen."J For
more of this gentle/nan's Ballads, both original and translated, see
" Glenfinlas," and the Poems following it.
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, grey palmer, O tell unto me
'• What news bring you home from the Holy Countrie ;
" And how goes the warfare by Gallilee's strand,
" And how fare our nobles, the flower of the land?" —
— " O well goes the warfare by Gallilee's wave,
" For Gilead, and Nablous, and Ramah we have,
" And well fare our nobles by Mount Libanon,
" For the Heathen have lost, and the Christians have won." —
A rich chain of gold mid her ringlets there hung;
That chain o'er the palmer's grey locks has she flung;
" — Oh ! palmer, grey palmer, this chain be thy fee,
" For the news thou hast brought from the East Countrie.
•' And palmer, good palmer, by Gallilee's wave,
" O saw ye Count Albert, the gentle and brave?
" When the Crescent went back, and the Red-cross rush'd on,
*' O saw ye him foremost on Mount Libanon ?" —
— " O lady, fair lady, the tree green it grows,
" O lady, fair lady, the stream pure it flows,
" Your castle stands strong, and your hopes soar on high,
" But lady, fair lady, all blossoms to die.
" The green boughs theywither, the thunderbolt falls,
"It leaves of your castle but levin-scorch'd walls,
" The pure stream runs muddy, the gay hope is gone,
" Count Albert is taken on Mount Libanon." —
O she's ta'en a horse should be fleet at her speed,
And she's ta'en a sword should be sharp at her need,
And she has ta'en shipping for Palestine's land,
To ransom Count Albert from Soldanrie's hand.
Small thought had Count Albert on fair Rosalie,
Small thought on his faith, or his knighthood had he ;
A heathenish damsel his light heart had won,
The Soldan's fair daughter of Mount Libanon.
— " Oh! Christian, brave Christian, mylovewould'st thou be?
" 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 Curdmans adore,
%i 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 council and hand,
" To drive the Frank robbers 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 Libanon.
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 none,
Save the flame burning bright on its altar of stone.
Amazed was the princess, the Soldan amazed,
Sore murmur'd the priests as on Albert they gazed;
They search'd all his garments, and under his weeds,
They found, and took from him, his rosary beads. *
Again in the cavern, deep deep under ground,
He watch'd the lone night, .while the winds whistled round ;
Far off" was their murmur, it came not more nigh,
The flame burn'd unmoved, and nought else did he spy.
Loud murmur'd the priests, and amazed was the king,
While many dark spells of their witchcraft they sing;
They search'd Albert's body, and lo 1 on his breast
Was the sign of the Cross, by his father impress'd.
The priests they eraze it with care and with pain,
And the recreant return'd to the cavern again ;
But as he descended a whisper there fell ! —
— It was his good angel, who bade him farewell ! —
High bristled his hair, his heart fluttered and beat,
And he turn'd him five steps, half resolved to retreat;
But his heart it was harden'd, his purpose was gone,
When he thought of the maiden of fair Libanon.
Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce trod,
When the winds from the four points of heaven were abroad;.
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.
In his hand a broad faulchion blue-glimmer'd through smoke,
And Mount Libanon shook as the monarch he spoke ; —
— " With this brand shalt thou conquer, thus long, and no
" Till thou bend to the Cross, and the Virgin adore." —
The cloud -shrouded arm gives the weapon — and see 1
The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his knee.
The thunders growl distant, and faint gleam the fires
As, born 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 strong ;
And the Red-cross wax'd faint, and the Crescent came on,
From the day he commanded on Mount Libanon.
From Libanon's forests to Gallilee's wave,
The sands of Samaar drank the blood of the brave,
Till the Knights of the Temple, and Knights of Saint John,
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 side;
And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrew,
Till he pierced the thick tumult King Baldwin unto.
Against the charm'd blade which Count Albert did wield,
The fence had been vain of the King's Red-cross shield ;
But a page thrust him forward the monarch before,
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, noire Dame" — he unwittingly said.
Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was o'er,
It sprung from his grasp, and was never seen more ;
But true men have said, that the lightning's red wing
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 ;
As back from the strippling the broken casque rolld,
You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of gold!
Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare
On those death-swimming eye-balls and blood-clotted hair,
For down came the Templars, like Cedron in flood,
And dyed their long lances in Saracen blood.
The Saracens, Curdmans, and Ishmaelites yield
To the scallop, the saltier, and crosletted shield,
And the eagles were gorged with the infidel dead
From Bethsaida's fountains to Naphthali's head.
The battle is over on Bethsaida's plain —
Oh ! who is yon Paynim lies stretch'd mid the slain ?
And who is yon page lying cold at his knee?
Oh ! who but Count Albert and fair Rosalie.
The lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound,
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 glee,
At the Tale of Count Albert and fair Rosalie.
ADJECTIVES HAVE BUT THREE DEGREES OF COMPARISON,
THE POSITIVE, COMPARATIVE, AND SUPERLATIVE."
ORIGINAL. 'M.G. LEWIS.
Why how now, Sir Pilgrim ? why shake you with dread?
Why brave you the winds of night, cutting and cold?
Full warm was your chamber, full soft was your bed,
And scarce by the castle-bell twelve has been toll'd.
— " Oh ! hear you not, Warder, with anxious dismay,
" How rages the tempest, how patters the rain?
" While loud howls the whirlwind, and threatens, ere day,
" To strow these old turrets in heaps on the plain !" —
Now calm thee, Sir Pilgrim ! thy fears to remove,
Know, yearly, this morning is destin'd to bring
Such storms, which declare that resentment and love
Still gnaw the proud heart of the cruel Cloud-King.
One morning, as borne on the wings of the blast,
The fiend over Denmark directed his flight,
A glance upon Rosenhall's turrets he cast,
And gazed on its lady with wanton delight:
Yet proud was her eye, and her cheek flush'd with rage,
Her lips with disdain and reproaches were fraught ;
And lo! at her feet knelt a lovely young page,
And thus in soft accents compassion besought.
— " Oh drive not, dear beauty, a wretch to despair,
" Whose fault is so venial, a fault if it be;
" For who could have eyes, and not see thou art fair?
" Or who have an heart, and not give it to thee?
" I own I adore you! I own you have been
" Long the dream of my night, long the thought of my day;
*• But no hope had my heart that its idolized queen
" Would ever with passion my passion repay.
" When insects delight in the blaze of the sun,
" They harbour no wish in his glory to share :
" When kneels at the cross of her Saviour, the nun,
" He scorns not the praises she breathes in her prayer.
" When the pilgrim repairs to St. Herrnegild's shrine,
" And claims of her relics a kiss as his fee,
" His passion is humble, is pure, is divine,
" And such is the passion I cherish for theel" —
. — " Rash youth ! how presumest thou with insolent love,"
Thus answered the lady, ' ' her ears to profane,
" Whom the monarchs of Norway and Jutland, to move
" Their passion to pity attempted in vain?
" Fly, fly from my sight, to some far distant land!
" That wretch must not breathe, where Romilda resides,
" Whose lips, while she slept, stole a kiss from that hand,
• ' No mortal is worthy to press as a bride's.
'• Nor e'er will I wed till some prince of the air,
" His heart at the throne of my beauty shall lay,
" And the two first commands which I give him, shall swear,
" (Though hard should the task be enjoin'd) to obey."—
She said. — Straight the castle of Rosenhall rocks
With an earthquake, and thunders announce the Cloud-King.
A crown of red lightnings confined his fair locks,
And high o'er each arm waved an huge sable wing.
His sandals were meteors ; his blue eye reveal'd
The firmament's lustre, and light scatter'd round ;
While his robe, a bright tissue, of rain-drops congeal'd,
Reflected the lightnings his temples that bound.
— '* Romilda!" he thundered, " thy charms and thy pride
" Have drawn down a spirit; thy fears now dismiss,
*.' For no mortal shall call thee, proud beauty, his bride ;
" The Cloud-Monarch comes to demand thee for his.
*.' My eyes furnish lightnings, my wings cloud the air,
" My hand guides the thunder, my breath wakes the storm;
" And the two first commands which you give me, I swear,
" (Though hard should the task be enjoin'd) to perform." —
He said, and he seized her; then urging his flight,
Swift bore her away, while she struggled in vain ;
Yet long in her ears rang the shrieks of affright,
Which pour'd for her danger the page Amorayn.
At the Palace of Clouds soon Romilda arrived,
When the Fiend, with a smile which her terrors increased,
Exclaim'd — " I must warn my three brothers I'm wived,
" And bid them prepare for my wedding the feast." —
Than lightning then swifter thrice round did he turn,
Thrice bitterly cursed he the parent of good,
And next in a chafing-dish hasten'd to burn
Three locks of his hair, and three drops of his blood:
And quickly Romilda, with anxious affright,
Hears the tramp of a steed, and beheld at the gate
A youth in white arms — 'twas the false Water-Spright,
And behind him his mother, the sorceress, sate.
The youth he was comely, and fair to behold,
The hag was the foulest eye ever survey'd ;
Each placed on the table a goblet of gold,
While thus to Romilda the Water-King said. —
— " Hail, Queen of the Clouds ! lo ! we bring thee for drink
" The blood of a damsel, both lovely and rich,
" Whom I tempted, and left 'midst the billows to sink,
" Where she died by the hands of my mother, the witch.
" But see'st thou yon chariot, which speeds from afar?
" The Erl-King with his daughter it brings, while a throng
" Of wood-fiends and succubi sports round the car,
" And goads on the night-mares that whirl it along." —
The maid, while her eyes tears of agony pour'd,
Beheld the Erl-King and his daughter draw near:
A charger of silver each placed on the board,
While the fiend of the forests thus greeted her ear.
— " With the heart of a warrior, Cloud Queen, for thy food,
' ' The head of a child on thy table we place :
" She spell-struck the knight as he stray 'd through the wood;
" I strangled the child in his father's embrace." —
The roof now divided. — By fogs half conceal'd,
Suck'd from marshes, infecting the air as he came,
And blasting the verdure of forest and field,
On a dragon descended the Giant of Flame.
Fire seem'd from his eyes and his nostrils to pour ;
His breath was a volume of sulphurous smoke ;
He brandish'd a sabre still dropping with gore,
And his voice shook the palace when silence he broke.
— ',' Feast, Queen of the Clouds ! the repast do not scorn;
" Feast, Queen of the Clouds ! I perceive thou hast food !
" To-morrow I feast in my turn, for at morn
" Shall I feed on thy flesh, shall I drink of thy blood !
" Lo ! I bring for a present this magical brand,
" The bowels of Christians have dyed it with red ;
" This once flamed in Albert the renegade's hand,
" And is destined to-morrow to strike off thy head."—
Then paler than marble Romilda she grew,
While tears of regret blamed her folly and pride.
— " Oh ! tell me, Cloud-King, if the giant said true,
" And wilt thou not save from his sabre thy bride?" —
— " 'Tis in vain, my fair lady, those hands that you wring,
" The bond is completed, the dye it is cast;
' ' For she who at night weds an element-king,
" Next morning must serve for his brother's repast." —
— " Yet save me, Cloud-King ! by that love you profess'd
" Bear me back to the place whence you tore me away."—
— " Fair lady ! yon fiends, should I grant your request,
" Instead of to-morrow, would eat you to day." — -
— " Yet mark me, Cloud-King ! spread in vain is your snare,
" For my bond must be void, and escap'd is your prey,
M The two first commands which I give you, howe'er
•• The task should be wondrous, unless you obey."—*-
■ — " Well say'st thou, Romilda ; thy will, then, impart,
" But hope not to vanquish the King of the Storm,
" Or bafHe his skill by invention or art ;
" Thou can' st not command what /cannot perform ?"—
Then clasping her hands, to the Virgin she pray'd,
While in curses the wicked ones vented their rage.
— " Now show me the truest of lovers !" — she said,
And lo ! bv her side stood the lovely young Page.
His mind was all wonder, her heart all alarms ;
She sank on his breast as he sank at her knee.
— " The truest of lovers I fold in my arms,
" Than the truest, now show me a truer!." — said she.
Then loud yell'd the daemons ! the cloud-fashion'd halls
Dissolved, thunder bellow'd, and heavy rains beat;
Again stood the Fair midst her own castle walls,
And still knelt the lovely young page at her feet.
And soon for her own, and for Rosenhall's lord,
Did Romilda the truest oj lovers declare,
Nor e'er on his bosom one sigh could afford,
That for him she had quitted the Monarch of Air.
Full long yonder chapel has shelter'd their urns,
Lone ceased has the tear on their ashes to fall :
Yet still, when October the twentieth returns,
Roars the fiend round these turrets, and shakes Rosenhall.
Oh ! Pilgrim, thy fears let these annals remove,
For day to the skies will tranquillity bring ;
This storm but declares that resentment and love
Still gnaw the proud heart of the cruel Cloud-King. *
* Lest my readers should mistake the drift of the foregoing tale, and sup-
pose its moral to rest upon the danger in which Romilda was involved by her
insolence and presumption, I think it necessary to explain, that my object in
writing this story, was to shew young ladies that it might possibly, now and
then, be of use to understand a little grammar ; and it must be clear to every
one, that my heroine would infallibly have been devoured by the daemons, if
she had not luckily understood the difference between the comparative ,and
GERMAN. M. G. LEWIS.
From the German of Goethe.
The water rush'd, the water swell'd,
A fisherman sat nigh ;
Calm was his heart, and he beheld
His line with watchful eye :
While thus he sits with tranquil look,
In twain the water flows ;
Then, crown'd with reeds, from out the brook,
A lovely woman rose.
To him she sung, to him she said,
— " Why tempt' st thou from the flood,
" By cruel arts of man betray 'd,
" Fair youth, my scaly brood?
11 Ah! knew'st thou how we find it sweet
" Beneath the waves to go,
" Thyself would leave the hook's deceit,
" And live with us below.
" Love not their splendour in the main
" The sun and moon to lave ?
'* Look not their beams as bright again,
" Reflected on the wave?
" Tempts not this river's glassy blue,
" So crystal, clear and bright?
" Tempts not thy shade, which bathes in dew,
" And shares our cool delight?" —
The water rush'd, the water swell'd,
The fisherman sat nigh ;
With wishful glance the flood beheld,
And long'd the wave to try.
To him she said, to him she sung,
The river's guileful queen :
Half in he fell, half in he sprung,
And never more was seen.
THE SAILOR'S TALE.
ORIGINAL. M. G. LEWIS.
Landlord, another bowl of punch, and comrades fill your
First in another bumper toast our pretty absent lasses,
Then hear how sad and strange a sight my chance it was to see,
While lately, in the ' Lovely Nan,' returning from Goree !
As all alone at dead of night along the deck I wander'd,
And now I whistled, now on home and Polly Parsons ponder'd,
Sudden a ghastly form appear'd, in dripping trowsers rigg'd,
And soon, with strange surprise and fear, Jack Tackle's ghost
— " Dear Tom," quoth he, " I hither come a doleful tale to
tell ye !
*'■ A monstrous fish has safely stow'd your comrade in his
" Groggy last night, my luck was such, that overboard I slid,
" When a shark snapp'd andchew'd me, just as now you chew
" Old Nick, who seem'd confounded glad to catch my soul a
" Straight tax'd me with that buxom dame, the tailor's wife at
" In vain 1 begg'd, and swore, and jaw'd; Nick no excuse
would hear ;
" Quoth he, — ' You lubber, make your will, and dam' me,
downwards steer.' —
" Tom, to the 'foresaid tailor's wife I leave my worldly riches,
" But keep yourself, my faithful friend, my bran-new linen
•' Then, when you wear them, sometimes give one thought to
Jack that's dead,
" Nor leave those galligaskins ofF while there remains one
At hearing Jack's sad tale, my heart, you well may think, was
The spirit well perceived my grief, and seem'd to be proceeding,
But here, it so fell out, he sneezed : — Says I — " God bless you,
And poor Jack Tackle's grimly ghost was vanish'd in a crack !
Now comrades, timely warning take, and landlord fill the
Jack Tackle, for the tailor's wife, has damn'd his precious soul ;
Old Nick's a devilish dab, it seems, at snapping up a sailor's,
So if you kiss your neighbour's wife, be sure she's not a tailor's.
THE PRINCESS AND THE SLAVE.
ORIGINAL^ M. G. LEWIS.
Where fragrant breezes sigh'd through orange bowers,
And springing fountains cool'd the air with showers,
From pomp retired, and noon-tide's burning ray,
The fair, the royal Nouronihar lay.
The cups of roses, newly-cropp'd, were spread
Her lovely limbs beneath, and o'er her head
Imprison'd nightingales attuned their throats,
And lull'd the princess with melodious notes.
Here roll'd a lucid stream its gentle wave
With scarce heard murmur ; while a Georgian slave
Placed near the couch with feathers in her hand,
The lady's panting breast in silence fann'd,
And chased the insects, who presumed to seek
Their banquet on the beauty's glowing cheek.
This slave, a mild and simple maid was she,
Of common form, and born of low degree,
Whose only charms were smiles, devoid of art,
Whose only wealth, a gentle feeling heart.
While thus within her secret loved retreat,
Half sleeping, half awake, oppress'd with heat,
The princess slumber'd ; near her, shrill, yet faint,
Rose the sad tones of suppliant sorrow's plaint.
She starts, and angry gazes round : when lo !
A wretched female, bent with age and woe,
Drags her unsteady feet the arbour nigh,
While every step is number'd by a sigh.
Meagre and wan her form, her cheek is pale;
Her tatter 'd garments scarce her limbs can veil;
Yet still, through want and grief, her air betrays
Grandeur's remains, and gleams of better days.
Soon as to Nouronihar's couch she came,
Low on the ground her weak and trembling frame
Exhausted sank ; and then, with gasping breast,
She thus in plaintive tones the fair address'd,
— " If e'er compassion's tear your cheek could stain,
" If e'er you languish'd in disease and pain,
" If e'er you sympathized with age's groan,
M Hear, noble lady, hear a suppliant's moan !
•' Broken by days of want, and nights of tears,
" By sickness wasted, and oppress'd by years,
" Beneath our sacred Mithra's scorching fire
" I sink enfeebled, and with thirst expire.
" Yon stream is near : oh ! list a sufferer's cry,
" And reach one draught of water, lest I die !" —
• — " What means this bold intrusion ?" cried the fair,
With peevish tone, and discontented air;
" What daring voice, with wearying plaint, infests
" The sacred grove where Persia's princess rests ?
" Beggar begone, and let these clamours cease !
" This buys at once your absence, and my peace." —
Thus said the princess, and indignant frown'd,
Then cast her precious bracelet on the ground,
And turn'd again to sleep. With joyless eye
The fainting stranger saw the jewel lie :
When lo ! kind Selima (the Georgian's name),
Softly with water from the fountain came;
And while, with gentle grace, she gave the bowl,
Thus sweetly sad her feeling accents stole.
— " Humble and poor, I nothing can bestow,
" Except these tears of pity for your woe :
" 'Tis all I have ; but yet that all receive
" From one who fain your sorrows would relieve,
" From one who weeps to view such mournful scenes,
' * And would give more, but that her hand lacks means.
" Drink, mother ! drink ! the wave is cool and clear,
" But drink in silence, lest the princess hear!" —
Scarce are these words pronounced, when, bless'd surprise !
The stranger's age-bowed figure swells its size !
No more the stamp of years deforms her face ;
Her tatter'd shreds to sparkling robes give place ;
Her breath perfumes the air with odours sweet ;
Fresh roses spring wherever tread her feet,
And from her eyes, where reign delight and love,
Unusual splendour glitters through the grove !
Her silver wand, her form of heavenly mould,
Her white and shining robes, her wings of gold,
Her port majestic, and superior height,
Announce a daughter of the world of light !
The princess, whom her slave's delighted cries
Compell'd once more to ope her sleep-bound eyes,
With wonder mix'd with awe the scene survey'd,
While thus the Peri cheer' d the captive maid.
" Look up, sweet girl, and cast all fears aside !
" I seek my darling son's predestined bride,
" And here I find her : here are found alone,
*' Feelings as kind, as gracious as his own.
" For you, fair princess, in whose eyes of blue,
" The strife of envy, shame, and grief, I view,
" Observe, and profit by this scene ! you gave,
1 ' But oh ! how far less nobly than your slave !
" Your bitter speech, proud glance, and peevish tone,
" Too plain declared, your gift was meant alone
" Your own repose and silence to secure,
" And hush the beggar, not relieve the poor !
" Oh ! royal lady, let this lesson prove,
" Smiles, more than presents, win a suppliant's love;
" And when your mandates rule some distant land,
" Where all expect their blessings from your hand,
" Remember, with ill-will and frowns bestow'd,
" Favours offend, and gifts become a load L" — p
She ceased, and touching with her silver wand
Her destined daughter, straight two wings expand
Their purple plumes, and wave o'er either arm ;
Next to her person spreads the powerful charm ;
And soon the enraptured wondering maid combined
A faultless person with a faultless mind.
Then, while with joy divine their hearts beat high,
Swift as the lightning of a jealous eye
The Peries spread their wings, and soar'd away
To the bless'd regions of eternal day.
Stung with regret, the princess saw too plain,
Lost by her fault what tears could ne'er regain !
Long on the tablets of her humbled breast
The Peri's parting words remain'd impress'd.
E'en when her hand Golconda's sceptre sway'd,
And subject realms her mild behests obey'd,
The just reproof her conscious ear still heard;
Still she remember'd, with ill grace conferr'd,
Crowns, to a feeling mind, less joy impart,
Than trifles, offer'd with a willing heart.
THE GAY GOLD RING.
ORIGINAL. M. G. LEWIS.
— " There is a thing, there is a thing,
' * Which I fain would have from thee !
' ' I fain would have thy gay gold ring ;
" O ! warrior, give it me?" —
He lifts his head ;
Lo ! near his bed
Stands a maid as fair as day;
Cold is the night,
Yet her garment is light,
For her shift is her only array.
— " Come you from east,
" Or come you from west,
" Or dost from the Saracens flee?
" Cold is the night,
" And your garment is light,
" Come, sweetheart, and warm you by me !" —
— " My garment is light,
•« And cold is the night,
' ' And I would that my limbs were as cold :
" Groan must I ever,
" Sleep can I never,
" Knight, till you give me your gay ring of gold !
«* For that is a thing, a thing, a thing,
'■• Which I fain would have from thee !
* ' I fain would have thy gay gold ring ;
" O ! warrior, give it me?" —
— " That ring Lord Brooke
" From his daughter took;
*' He gave it to me, and he swore,
•' That fair la-dye
" My bride should be,
" When this crusade were o'er.
" Ne'er did mine eyes that lady view,
" Bright Emmeline by name :
>' But if fame say true,
" Search Britain through,
" You'll find no fairer darae.
" But though she be fair,
" She cannot compare,
" I wot, sweet lass, with thee;
" Then pass by my side
" Three nights as my bride,
" And thy guerdon the ring shall be!" — ■
In silence the maid
The knight obey'd ;
Low on his pillow her head she laid :
But soon as by hers his hand was press'd,
Changed to ice was the heart in his breast ;
And his limbs were fetter'd in frozen chains,
And turn'd to snow was the blood in his veins.
The cock now crows !
The damsel (joes
Forth from the tent ; and the blood which she froze,
Again through the veins of Lord Elmerick flows,
And again his heart with passion glows.
Donned the knight
His armour bright ;
Full wroth was he, I trow !
— " Beshrewme!" he said,
" If thus, fair maid,
" From my tent to-morrow you go !" —
Gone was light !
Come was night !
The sand-glass told, 'twas three ;
And again stood there
The stranger fair,
And murmur again did she.
— " There is a thing, there is a thing,
" Which I fain would have from thee !
" I fain would have thy gay gold ring ;
" O ! warrior, give it me!" —
— " One night by my side
" Hast thou pass'd as my bride;
' ' Two yet remain behind :
" Three must be pass'd,
" Ere thy finger fast
" The gay gold ring shall bind." —
Again the maid
The knight obey'd ;
Again on his pillow her head she laid ;
And again, when by hers his hand was press'd,
Changed to ice was the heart in his breast:
And his limbs were fetter'd in frozen chains,
And turn'd to snow was the blood in his veins !
Three days were gone, two nights were spent;
Still came the maid, when the glass told " three ;"
How she came, or whither she went,
None could say, and none could see ;
But the warrior heard,
"When night the third
Was gone, thus claimd his plighted word.
— " Once! — twice! — thrice by your side
" Have I lain as your bride ;
" Sir Knight! Sir Knight, beware you!
" Your ring I crave !
" Your ring I'll have,
" Or limb from limb I'll tear you!" —
She drew from his hand the ring so gay ;
No limb could he move, and no word could he say.
— " See, Arthur, I bring
" To my grave, thy ring," —
Murmur'd the maiden, and hied her away.
Then sprang so light
From his couch the knight ;
With shame his cheek was red :
And, filled with rage,
His little foot page
He call'd from beneath the bed.
— " Come hither, come hither,
"My lad so lither;
" While under my bed you lay,
" What did you see,
" And what maiden was she,
" Who left me at breaking of day ?" —
— "Oh! master, I
• ' No maid could spy,
" As I've a soul to save ;
" But when the cock crew,
" The lamp burn'd blue,
" And the tent smell'd like a grave !
" And I heard a voice in anguish moan,
" And a bell seem'd four to tell ;
" And the voice was like a dying groan,
" And the bell like a passing bell !" —
Lord Brooke Iook'd up, Lord Brooke look'd down,
Lord Brooke Jook'd over the plain ;
He saw come riding tow'rds the town,
Of knights a jolly train :
— " Is it the king of Scottish land,
" Or the prince of some far coun-trye,
" That hither leads yon goodly band
" To feast awhile with me?" —
— ' ' Oh ! it's not the prince of some far coun-trye,
" Nor the king of Scottish land:
" It's Elmerick come from beyond the sea,
" To claim Lady Emmeline's hand." —
Then down Lord Brooke's grey beard was seen
A stream of tears to pour ;
— ** Oh ! death my daughter's spouse has been
' ' These seven long years and more !
' ' Remorseful guilt and self-despite
" Destroy 'd that beauteous flower,
" For that her falsehood kill'd a knight ;
" 'Twas Arthur of the Bower.
" Sir Arthur gave her his heart to have,
" And he gave her his troth to hold ;
" And he gave her his ring, so fair and brave,
" Was all of the good red gold :
" And she gave him her word, that only he
" Should kiss her as a bride;
" And she gave him her oath, that ring should be
" On her hand the day she died.
" But when she heard of Lord Elmerick's fame,
" His wealth, and princely state;
" And when she heard, that Lord Elmerick's name
" Was praised by low and great,
" Did vanity full lightly bring
" Mv child to break her oath,
" And to you she sent Sir Arthur's ring,
" And to him sent back his troth.
" Oh ! when he heard,
" That her plighted word
" His false love meant to break,
" The youth grew sad,
" And the youth grew mad,
" And his sword he sprang to take :
" He set the point against his side,
«' The hilt against the floor ;
" I wot, he made a wound so wide,
" He never a word spake more.
" And now, too late, my child began
" Remorseful tears to shed;
" Her heart grew faint, her cheek grew wan,
" And she sicken'd, and took to her bed.
" The Leech then said,
" And shook his head,
" She ne'er could health recover ;
" Yet long in pain
" Did the wretch remain,
" Sorrowing for her lover.
' ' And sure 'twas a piteous sight to see,
" How she prayed to die, but it might not be;
'• And when the morning bell told three,
" Still in hollow voice cried she,
— " There is a thing, there is a thing,
'* Which I fain would have from thee !
" I fain would have thy gay gold ring;
" Oh ! warrior, give it me !" —
Now who than ice was colder then,
And who more pale than snow?
And who was the saddest of all sad men?
Lord Elmerick, I trow !
— " Oh ! lead me, lead me to the place
" Where Emmeline's tomb doth stand,
" For I must look on that lady's face,
" And touch that lady's hand !" —
Then all who heard him, stood aghast,
But not a word was said,
While through the chapel's yard they pass'd,
And up the chancel sped.
They burst the tomb, so fair and sheen,
Where Emmeline's corse inclosed had been ;
And lo ! on the skeleton's finger so lean,
Lord Elmerick's gay gold ring was seen !
Damsels ! damsels ! mark aright
The doleful tale I sing !
Keep your vows, and heed your plight,
And go to no warrior's tent by night,
To ask for a gay gold ring."
* I once read in some Grecian author, whose name I have forgotten, the
story which suggested to me the outline of the foregoing ballad. It Was, aS
follows : a young man arriving at the house of a friend, to whose daughter he was
betrothed, was informed, that some weeks had passed since death had deprived
him of his intended bride. Never having seen her, he soon reconciled himself
to her loss, especially as, during his stay at his friend's house, a young lady was
kind enough to visit him every night in his chamber, whence she retired at day-
break, always carrying with her some valuable present from her lover. This
intercourse continued till accident shewed the young man the picture of his
deceased bride, and he recognized, with horror, the features of his nocturnal
visitor. The young lady's tomb being opened, he found in it the various pre-
sents which his liberality had bestowed on his unknown inamorata.
THE GRIM WHITE WOMAN.
ORIGINAL. M. G. LEWIS.
Lord Ronald was handsome, Lord Ronald was young;
The green wood he traversed, and gaily he sung;
His bosom was light, and he spurr'd on amain,
When lo ! a fair lass caught his steed by the rein.
She caught by the rein, and she sank on her knee ;
■ — " Now stay thee, Lord Ronald, and listen to me !" —
She sank on her knee, and her tears 'gan to flow,
— *' Now stay thee, Lord Ronald, and pity my woe !"—
— " Nay, Janet, fair Janet, I needs must away ;
" I speed to my mother, who chides my delay." —
— " Oh! heed not her chiding; though bitter it be,
" Thy falsehood and scorn are more bitter to me." —
— " Nay, Janet, fair Janet, I needs must depart;
" My brother stays for me to hunt the wild hart."—
. — " Oh ! let the hart live, and thy purpose forego,
•* To sooth with compassion and kindness my woe." —
— " Nay, Janet, fair Janet, delay me no more;
" You please me no longer, my passion is o'er:
" A leman more lovely waits down in yon dell,
" So, Janet, fair Janet, for ever farewell !" —
No longer the damsel's entreaties he heard ;
His dapple-grey horse through the forest he spurr'd ;
And ever, as onwards the foaming steed flew,
Did Janet with curses the false one pursue.
— " Oh ! cursed be the day," in distraction she cries,
" When first did thy features look fair in my eyes !
** And cursed the false lips, which beguiled me of fame ;
" And cursed the hard heart, which resigns me to shame!
«' The wanton, whom now you forsake me to please —
" May her kisses be poison, her touch be disease!
•' When you wed, may your couch be a stranger to joy,
" And the Fiend of the Forest your offspring destroy !
"May the Grim White Woman, who haunts this wood,
" The Grim White Woman, who feasts on blood,
" As soon as they number twelve months and a day,
" Tear the hearts of your babes from their bosoms away."-
Then frantic with love and remorse home she sped,
Lock'd the door of her chamber, and sank on her bed;
Nor yet with complaints and with tears had she done,
When the clockin St. Christopher's churchstruck — "one !'
Her blood, why she knew not, ran cold at the sound;
She lifted her head ; she gazed fearfully round !
When, lo ! near the hearth, by a cauldron's blue light,
She saw the tall form of a female in white.
Her eye, fix'd and glassy, no passions express'd ;
No blood fill'd her veins, and no heart warm'd her breast !
She seem'd like a corse newly torn from the tomb,
And her breath spread the dullness of death through the room.
Her arms, and her feet, and her bosom were bare ;
A shroud wrapp'd her limbs, and a snake bound her hair.
This spectre, the Grim White Woman was she,
And the Grim White Woman was fearful to see !
And ever, the cauldron as over she bent,
She mutter'd strange words of mysterious intent :
A toad, still alive, in the liquor she threw,
And loud shriek'd the toad, as in pieces it flew!
To heighten the charm, in the flames next she flung
A viper, a rat, and a mad tiger's tongue;
The heart of a wretch, on the rack newly dead,
And an eye, she had torn from a parricide's head.
The flames now divided ; the charm was complete;
Her spells the White Spectre forbore to repeat ;
To Janet their produce she hasten' d to bring,
And placed on her finger a little jet ring !
— " From the Grim White Woman," she murmur'd, " receive
" A gift, which your treasure, now lost, will retrieve.
" Remember, 'twas she who relieved your despair,
" And when you next see her, remember your prayer!" —
This said, the Fiend vanish'd ! no longer around
Poind the cauldron its beams; all was darkness profound ;
Till the gay beams of morning illumined the skies,
And gay as the morning did Ronald arise.
With hawks and with hounds to the forest rode he :
— " Trallira ! trallara ! from Janet I'm free !
"Trallira! trallara! my old love, adieu!
" Trallira ! trallara ! I'll get me a new !" —
But while he thus caroll'd in bachelor's pride,
A damsel appear'd by the rivulet's side :
He rein'd in his courser, and soon was aware,
That never was damsel more comely and fair.
He felt at her sight, what no words can impart ;
She gave him a look, and he proffer'd his heart :
Her air, while she listen'd, was modest and bland :
She gave him a smile, and he proffer'd his hand.
Lord Ronald was handsome, Lord Ronald was young,
And soon on his bosom sweet Ellinor hung ;
And soon to St. Christopher's chapel they ride,
And soon does Lord Ronald call Ellen his bride.
Days, weeks, and months fly. — "Ding-a-ding! ding-a-ding!"-
Hark! hark! in the air how the castle-bells ring!
— " And why do the castle-bells ring in die air?'' —
Sweet Ellen hath borne to Lord Ronald an heir.
Days, weeks, and months fly — "Ding-a-ding! ding-a-ding !"-
Again, hark ! how gaily the castle-bells ring?
— " Why again do the castle bells carol so gay?" —
A daughter is born to Lord Ronald to-day.
But see'st thou yon herald so swift hither bend?
Lord Ronald is summon'd his king to defend :
And see'st thou the tears of sweet Ellinor flow?
Ix)rd Ronald has left her to combat the foe.
Where slumber her babies, her steps are address'd;
She presses in anguish her son to her breast ;
Nor ceases she Annabells cradle to rock,
Till — " one!'' — is proclaim'd by the loud castle-clock.
Her blood, why she knows not, runs cold at the sound !
She raises her head ; she looks fearfully round ;
And lo ! near the hearth, by a cauldron's blue light,
She sees the tall form of a female in white !
The female with horror sweet Ellen beholds :
Still closer her son to her bosom she folds ;
And cold tears of terror bedew her pale cheeks,
While, nearer approaching, the Spectre thus speaks. —
— " The Grim White Woman, who haunts yon wood,
" The Grim White Woman, who feasts on blood,
" Since now he has number'd twelve months and a day,
" Claims the heart of your son, and is come for her prey." —
— " Oh! Grim White Woman, my baby now spare !
" I'll give you these diamonds, so precious and fair!" —
— " Though fair be those diamonds, though precious they be,
" The blood of thy babe is more precious to me !" —
— " Oh ! Grim White Woman, now let my child live !
" This cross of red rubies in guerdon I'll give!" —
— ' ■ Though red be the flames from those rubies which dart,
" More red is the blood of thy little child's heart." —
To soften the dasmon no pleading prevails ;
The baby she wounds with her long crooked nails :
She tears from his bosom the heart as her prey !
— " 'Tis mine!" — shriek'd the Spectre, and vanish'd away.
The foe is defeated, and ended the strife,
And Ronald speeds home to his children and wife.
Alas ! on his castle a black banner flies,
And tears trickle fast from his fair lady's eyes.
— " Say, why on my castle a black banner flies,
" And why trickle tears from my fair lady's eyes ?" —
— ' • In your absence the Grim White Woman was here,
" And dead is your son, whom you valued so dear." —
Deep sorrow'd Lord Ronald : but soon for his grief,
He found in the arms of sweet Ellen relief:
Her kisses could peace to his bosom restore,
And the more he beheld her, he loved her the more ;
Till it chanced, that one night, when the tempest was loud,
And strong gusts of wind rock'd the turrets so proud,
As Ronald lay sleeping he heard a voice cry,
— " Dear father, arise, or your daughter must die!"' —
He woke, gazed around, look'd below, look'd above ;
— " Why trembles my Ronald? what ails thee, my love?"—
— " I dreamt, through the skies that I saw a hawk dart,
" Pounce a little white pigeon, and tear out its heart.'' —
— " Oh hush thee, my husband; thy vision was vain." —
Lord Ronald resign'd him to slumber again :
But soon the same voice, which had rouzed him before,
Cried — " Father, arise, or your daughter's no morel" —
He woke, gazed around, look'd below, look'd above ;
— " What fears now, my Ronald? what ails thee, my love?" —
■ — " I dreamt that a tigress, with jaws open'd wide,
" Had fasten'd her fangs in a little lamb's side !" —
— " Oh! hush thee, my husband; no tigress is here." —
Again Ronald slept, and again in his ear
Soft murmur'd the voice, — " Oh! be warn'd by your son;
" Dear father, arise, for it soon will strike — " one !" —
•• Your wife, for a spell your affections to hold,
" To the Grim White Woman her children hath sold ;
" E'en now is the Fiend at your babe's chamber door ;
" Then father, arise, or your daughter's no more !" —
From his couch starts Lord Ronald, in doubt and dismay,
He seeks for his wife — but his wife is away !
He gazes around, looks below, looks above ;
Lo ! there sits on his pillow a little white dove !
A mild lambent flame in its eyes seem'd to glow ;
More pure was its plumage than still-falling snow,
Except where a scar could be seen on its side,
And three small drops of blood the white feathers had dyed.
— ** Explain, pretty pigeon, what art thou, explain?"—
— *« The soul of thy son, by the White Dasmon slain;
" E'en now is the Fiend at your babe's chamber door,
" And thrice having warn'd you, I warn you no more!"- —
The pigeon then vanish 'd ; and seizing his sword,
The way to his daughter Lord Ronald explored ;
Distracted he sped to her chamber full fast,
And the clock it struck — " one !" — as the threshold he past.
And straight near the hearth, by a cauldron's blue light,
He saw the tall form of a female in white;
Ellen wept, to her heart while her baby she press'd,
Whom the spectre approaching, thus fiercely address'd.
— " The Grim White Woman, who haunts yon wood,
" The Grim White Woman, who feasts on blood,
" Since now she has number'd twelve months and a day,
• ' Claims the heart of your daughter, and comes for her prey ! "—
This said, she her nails in the child would have fix'd ;
Sore struggled the mother; when, rushing betwixt,
Ronald struck at the Fiend with his ready-drawn brand,
And, glancing aside, his blow lopp'd his wife's hand!
Wild laughing, the Fiend caught the hand from the floor,
Releasing the babe, kiss'd the wound, drank the gore ;
A little jet ring from the finger then drew,
Thnce shriek'd a loud shriek, and was borne from their view !
Lord Ronald, while horror still bristled his hair,
To Ellen now turn'd ; — but no Ellen was there !
And lo ! in her place, his surprise to complete,
Lay Janet, all cover'd with blood, at his feet !
— " Yes, traitor, 'tis Janet!" — she cried ; — " at my sight
" No more will your heart swell with love and delight ;
" That little jet ring was the cause of your flame,
" And that little jet ring from the Forest-Fiend came.
" It endow'd me with beauty, your heart to regain ;
" It fix'd your affections, so wavering and vain ;
" But the spell is dissolved, and your eyes speak my fate,
" My falsehood is clear, and as clear is your hate.
" But what caused my falsehood? — your falsehood alone ;
1 ' What voice said — ' be guilty ?' — seducer, your own !
" You vow'd truth for ever, the oath I believed,
" And hadyou not deceived me, /had not deceived.
' ' Remember my joy, when affection you swore !
" Remember my pangs, when your passion was o'er !
" A curse, in my rage, on your children was thrown,
" And alas ! wretched mother, that curse struck my own !"-
And here her strength fail'd her ! — the sad one to save
In vain the Leech labour'd ; three days did she rave ;
Death came on the fourth, and restored her to peace,
Nor long did Lord Ronald survive her decease.
Despair fills his heart ! he no longer can bear
His castle, for Ellen no longer is there :
From Scotland he hastens, all comfort disdains,
And soon his bones whiten on Palestine's plains.
If you bid me, fair damsels, my moral rehearse,
It is, that young ladies ought never to curse ;
For no one will think her well-bred, or polite,
Who devotes little babes to Grim Women in White.
THE LITTLE GREY MAN.
ORIGINAL. H. BUNBUEY.
Mary-Ann was the darling of Aix-la-Chapelle;
She bore through its province, unenvied, the belle ;
The joy of her fellows, her parents' delight;
So kind was her soul, and her beauty so bright :
No maiden surpass'd, or perhaps ever, can,
Of Aix-la-Chapelle the beloved Mary-Ann.
Her form it was faultless, unaided by art ;
And frank her demeanour, as guileless her heart ;
Her soft melting eyes a sweet langour bedeck'd,
And youth's gawcly bloom was by love lightly check'd ;
On her mien had pure nature bestow'd her best grace, ,
And her mind stood confess'd in the charms of her face.
Though with suitors beset, yet her Leopold knew,
As her beauty was matchless, her heart it was true,
So fearless he went to the wars ; while the maid,
Her fears for brave Leopold often betray'd :
Full oft, in the gloom of the churchyard reclined,
Would she pour forth her sorrows and vows to the wind*
— " Ah me !" — would she sigh, in a tone that would melt
The heart that one spark of true love ever felt ;
— " Ah me!" — would she sigh — " past and gone is the day,
** When my father was plighted to give me away !
" My fancy, what sad gloomy presage appalls ?
" Ah ! sure on the Danube my Leopold falls !" —
One evening so gloomy, when only the owl
(A tempest impending) would venture to prowl ;
Mary -Ann, whose delight was in sadness and gloom,
By a newly-made grave sat her down on a tomb ;
But ere she to number her sorrows began,
Lo ! out of the grave jump'd a Little Grey Man !
His hue it was deadly, his eyes they were ghast ;
Long and pale were his fingers, that held her arm fast; —
She shriek'd a loud shriek, so affrighted was she;
And grimly he scowl'd, as he jump'd on her knee.
With a voice that dismayed her — " The Danube !" — he cried ;
" There Leopold bleeds ! Mary -Ann is my bride I" — *
She shrunk, all appall'd, and she gazed all around;
She closed her sad eyes, and she sunk on the ground :
The Little Grey Man he resumed his discourse —
— " Tomorrow 1 take thee, for better, for worse : —
" At midnight my arms shall thy body entwine,
" Or this newly-made grave, Mary Ann, shall be thine I" —
With fear and with fright did the maid look around,
When she first dared to raise her sad eyes from the ground ;
With fear and with fright gazed the poor Mary-Ann,
Though lost to her sight was the Little Grey Man :
With fear and with fright from the churchyard she fled ;
Reach'd her home, now so welcome, and sunk on her bed.
— " Woe is me !" — did she cry — " that 1 ever was born !
' ' Was ever poor maiden so lost and forlorn !
'• Must that Little Grey Man, then, my body entwine,
" Or the grave newly dug for another be mine ?
" Shall I wait for to-morrow's dread midnight? — ah no !
" To my Leopold's arms — to the Danube I go !" —
Then up rose the maiden, so sore woe -begone,
And her Sunday's apparel in haste she put on ;
Her close studded boddice of velvet so new ;
Her coat of fine scarlet, and kirtle of blue ;
Her ear-rings of jet, all so costly ; and last,
Her long cloak of linsey, to guard from the blast.
A cross of pure gold, her fond mother's bequest.
By a still dearer riband she hung at her breast ;
Round a bodkin of silver she bound her long hair,
In plaits and in tresses so comely and fair,
'Twould have gladdend your heart, ere her journey began,
To have gazed on the tidy and trim Mary-Ann.
But, oh ! her sad bosom such sorrows oppress'd,
Such fears and forebodings, as robb'd her of rest ;
Forlorn as she felt, so forlorn must she go,
And brave the rough tempest, the hail, and the snow !
Yet still she set forth, all so pale and so wan —
Let a tear drop of pity for poor Mary- Ann !
Dark, dark was the night, and the way it was rude ;
While the Little Grey Man on her thoughts would obtrude ;
She wept as she thought on her long gloomy way ;
She turn'd, and she yet saw the lights all so gay :
She kiss'd now her cross, as she heard the last bell ;
And a long, long adieu bade to Aix-la-Chapelle.
Through the brown wood of Limbourg with caution she paced ;
Ere the noon of the morrow she traversed the waste ;
She mounted the hills of St. Bertrand so high ;
And the day it declined, as the heath she drew nigh;
And she rested a wide-waving alder beneath,
And paused on the horrors of Sombermond's heath :
For there, in black groups (by the law 'tis imposed),
Are the bodies of fell malefactors exposed,
On wheels and on gibbets, on crosses and poles,
With a charge to the passing, to pray for their souls :
But a spot of such terror no robbers infest,
And there the faint pilgrim securely may rest.
Sore fatigued, the sad maid knelt, and said a short prayer ;
She bound up her tresses, that flow'd in the air :
Again she set forth, and sped slowly along ;
And her steps tried to cheer, but in vain, with a song :
In her thoughts all so gloomy, sad presages ran,
Of Leopold now, now the Little Grey Man.
The moon dimly gleam'd as she enter'd the plain ;
The winds swept the clouds rolling on to the main;
For a hut e'er so wretched in vain she look'd round ;
No tree promised shelter, no bed the cold ground :
Her limbs they now faulter'd, her courage all fled,
As a faint beam display'd the black gioups of the dead.
Shrill whistled the wind through the skulls, and the blast
Scared the yet greedy bird from its glutting repast;
From the new-rack'd assassin the raven withdrew,
But croak'd round the wheel still, and heavily flew;
While vultures, more daring, intent on dieir prey,
Tore the flesh from the sinews, yet reeking away.
But the dread of banditti, some strength it restored ;
And again she the aid of the Virgin implored ;
She dragg'd her slow steps to where corses, yet warm,
Threw their tatters and fresh mangled limbs to the storm
She reach'd the fell spot, and, aghast, looking round,
At a black gibbet's foot senseless sunk on the ground.
Now the battle was over, and o'er his proud foes
The Austrian eagle triumphantly rose ;
Midst the groans of the dying, and blood of the slain,
Sorely wounded lay Leopold, stretch'd on the plain.
When reviving, he first to look round him began,
Lo! close by his side sat a Little Grey Man !
The Little Grey Man he sat munching a heart,
And he growl'd in a tone all dismaying — -'• Depart !
" Don't disturb me at meals ! pr'ythee rise, and pass on !
" To Mary-Ann hie ! — bind your wounds, and begone !-
"In a score and three days shall you meet Mary -Ann;
" And perhaps, uninvited, the Little Grey Man." —
With fear and dismay rose the youth from the ground,
His wounds he with balms and with bandages bound ;
To quit his grim guest he made little delay,
And, faint though he was, he sped willing away :
For a score and three days did he journey amain,
Then sunk, all exhausted, on Sombermond's plain.
By the screams of the night-bird, though dark, he could tell
'Twas the gibbets amongst, and the wheels, where he fell. — >
Now still her sad station did Mary-Ann keep,
Where Leopold, fainting, had sunk into sleep;
Ah ! little thought he that his dear one was by !
Ah! little the maid that her love was so nigh !
Perch'd grim on a wheel sat the Little Grey Man,
Whilst his fierce little eyes o'er the sad lovers ran;
The Little Grey Man down to Leopold crept,
And open'd his wounds, all so deep, as he slept ;
With a scream he the slumbers of Mary -Ann broke.
And the poor forlorn maid to new horrors awoke.
To her sight, sorely shock'd, did a moon -beam display
Her lover, all bleeding and pale as he lay :
She shriek 'd a loud shriek ; and she tore her fine hair,
And she sunk her soft cheek on his bosom so fair ;
With her long flowing tresses she strove to restrain,
And stop the dear blood that now issued amain.
To his wounds her fair hands she unceasingly press'd ;
Her tears fast they fell on her Leopold's breast :
Entranced, and in slumber still silent he lay,
Till the Little Grey Man drove his slumbers away ;
With a vision all horrid his senses betray'd,
And fatal to him and his much-beloved maid.
He dreamt, from his wheel an assassin had stepp'd,
And silent and slowly had close to him crept ;
That the wretch, mangled piece-meal, and ghastly with gore,
From his wounds both the balms and the bandages tore ;
And to search for his dagger as now he began,
— " Strike ! strike !" cried the voice of the Little Grey Man.
"Strike! strike!" cried thefiend,"oryour wounds bleed anew!"
He struck — it was Mary-Ann's life-blood he drew —
With a shriek he awoke, nor his woes were they o'er ;
He beheld his pale love, to behold her no more ! —
Her eyes the poor maiden on Leopold cast,
Gave him one look of love, 'twas her fondest, her last !
The Little Grey Man now he set up a yell,
Which was heard in the halls of fair Aix-la-Chapelle,
He raised up his head, and he raised up his chin;
And he grinn'd, as he shouted a horrible grin ;
And he laugh'd a loud laugh, and his cap up he cast,
Exulting, as breathed the fond lovers their last.
As in each other's arms dead the fond lovers fell,
O'er the black lonely heath toll'd a low, distant bell ;
From the gibbets and crosses shrieks issued, and groans,
And wild to the blast flew the sculls and the bones ;
Whilst the Little Grey Man, midst a shower of blood,
In a whirlwind was hurl'd into Sombermond's wood.
Of Mary-Ann's sorrows, and Leopold's woes,
Long shall Maise's dark stream tell the tale as it flows :
Long, long shall the gossips of Aix-la-Chapelle,
Of the heath and its horrors, the traveller tell ;
Who shall prick on his steed with what swiftness he can,
Lest he meet in the twilight the Little Grey Man.
On the Feast of St. Austin, to Sombermond's fair
Flock the youth of both sexes, its revels to share;
And in dainty apparel, all gallant and gay,
With dance, and with carols, and mirth, cheer the day;
While the proud castle's portal expanded, invites
To the hall's ample board, and its festive delights :
And there, on the richly-wrought arms, they view
Depicted, the woes of these lovers so true;
The troubles their sorrowful days that befel,
And the fate of the darling of Aix-la-Chapelle ;
Behold, as she bloom'd, the beloved Mary-Ann,
And the heart-freezing scowl of the Little Grey Man.
LORD RONALD'S CORONACH.*
" For them the viewless forms of air obey,
" Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair :
" They know what spirit brews the stormful day,
" And heartless oft, like moody madness, stare
" To see the phantom train their secret work prepare.'
ORIGINAL. WALTER SCOTT.
Glenfinlas is a tract of forest ground lying in the Higldands of Perthshire,
not far from Callender, in Menteith. To the west of the forest of Glen-
jiidas lies Loch Katrine, and its romantic avenue, called the Troshachs.
Benledi, Benmore, and Benvoirlich, are mountains in the same district,
and at no great distance from Glenfinlas. The river Teith passes Cal-
lender and the castle of Doune, and joins the Forth near Stirling. The
Pass of Lenny is immediately above Callender, and is the principal access
to the Jlighlands, from that town. Glenartney is a forest near Ben-
voirlich. The whole forms a sublime tract of Alpine scenery.
O hone a rie ! O hone a rie !
The pride of Albin's line is o'er,
And fallen Glenartney's stateliest tree, —
We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more !
* Coronach is the lamentation for a deceased warrior, sung by the aged of
the clan. hone a rie signifies — " Alas for the prince or chief."
0, sprung from great Macgilliannore,
The chief that never fear'd a foe,
How matchless was thy broad claymore,
How deadly thine unerring bow.
Well can the Saxon * widows tell
How, on the Teith's resounding shore,
The boldest Lowland warriors fell,
As down from Lenny's pass you bore.
But in his halls, on festal day,
How blazed Lord Ronald's beltane + tree ;
While youths and maids the light strathspey
So nimbly danced with Highland glee.
Cheer'd by the strength of Ronald's shell,
E'en age forgot his tresses hoar ; —
But now the loud lament we swell,
O ne'er to see Lord Ronald more !
* The term Sassenach, or Saxon, is applied by the Highlanders to their
f Beltane-tree ; the fires lighted by the Highlanders on the first of May,
in compliance with a custom derived from the Pagan times, are so called. It is
a festival celebrated with various superstitious rites, both in the north of Scot-
land and in Wales.
From distant isles a chieftain came,
The joys of Ronald's halls to find,
And chase with him the dark-brown game
That bounds o'er Albin's hills of wind.
'Twas Moy ; whom in Columba's isle
The Seer's prophetic spirit* found,
As with a minstrel's fire the while
He waked his harp's harmonious sound.
Full many a spell to him was known,
Which wandering spirits shrink to hear,
And many a lay of potent tone
Was never meant for mortal ear.
For there, 'tis said, in mystic mood
High converse with the dead they hold,
And oft espy the fated shroud
That shall the future corpse infold.
* Seer's spirit. I can only describe the second sight, by adopting Dr. John-
son's definition, who calls it " An impression either by the mind upon the eye,
or by the eye upon the mind, by which things distant and future are perceived
and seen as if they were present." To which I would only add, that the spec-
tral appearances thus presented usually presage misfortune; that the faculty
is painful to those who suppose they possess it ; and that they usually acquire
it while themselves under the pressure of melancholy.
O so it fell, that on a day,
To rouse the red deer from their den,
The chiefs have ta'en their distant way,
And scour'd the deep GlenEnlas glen.
No vassals wait their sports to aid,
To watch their safety, deck their board,
Their simple dress, the Highland plaid ;
Their trusty guard, the Highland sword.
Three summer days, through brake and dell,
Their whistling shafts successful flew,
And still, when dewy evening fell,
The quarry to their hut they drew.
In grey Glenfinlas' deepest nook
The solitary cabin stood,
Fast by Moneira's sullen brook,
Which murmurs through that lonely wood.
Soft fell the night, the sky was calm,
When three successive days had flown,
And summer mist, in dewy balm,
Steep'd heathy bank and mossy stone.
The moon, half hid in silvery flakes,
Afar her dubious radiance shed,
Quivering on Katrine's distant lakes,
And resting on Benledi's head.
Now in their hut, in social guise,
Their sylvan fare the chiefs enjoy,
And pleasure laughs in Ronald's eyes,
As many a pledge he quaffs to Moy.
— •* What lack we here to crown our bliss,
" While thus the pulse of joy beats high,
" What but fair woman's yielding kiss,
" Her panting breath, and melting eye ?
" To chase the deer of yonder shades,
" This morning left their father's pile
" The fairest of our mountain maids,
* ' The daughters of the proud Glengyle.
" Long have I sought sweet Mary's heart,
" And dropp'd the tear, and heaved the sigh ;
" But vain the lover's wily art,
" Beneath a sister's watchful eye.
«• But thou may'st teach that guardian fair
** While far with Mary I am flown,
" Of other hearts to cease her care,
" And find it hard to guard her own.
•' Touch but thy harp, thou soon shalt see
" The lovely Flora of Glengyle,
'•• Unmindful of her charge, and me,
" Hang on thy notes 'twixt tear and smile.
•* Or if she choose a melting tale,
" All underneath the greenwood bough,
*' Will good St. Oran's * rule prevail,
" Stern huntsman of the rigid brow ?"
" Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's death,
" No more on me shall rapture rise,
" Responsive to the panting breath,
" Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes.
" E'en then when o'er the heath of woe,
'* Where sunk my hopes of love and fame,
" I bade my harp's wild wailings flow,
" On me the Seer's sad spirit came.
* St. Oran was a friend and follower of St. Columbus, and was buried in
•' The last dread curse of angry heaven,
" With ghastly sights, and sounds of woe,
' ' To dash each glimpse of joy was given,
" The gift, the future ill to know.
11 The bark thou saw'st yon summer morn
" So gaily part from Lulan's bay,
f My eye beheld her dash'd and torn
" Far on the rocky Colensay.
" The Fergus too — thy sister's son,
" Thou saw'st with pride the gallant's power,
" As, marching 'gainst the Laird of Downe,
" He left the skirts of huge Benmore.
*' Thou only saw'st his banners wave,
'• As down Benvoirlich's side they wound,
" Heard'st but the pibroch * answering brave
" To many a target clanking round.
" I heard the groans, I mark'd the tears,
" I saw the wound his bosom bore,
" When on the serried Saxon spears
" He pour'd his clan's resistless roar.
* A piece of martial music adapted to the Highland bagpipes.
" And thou who bidst me think of bliss,
" And bidst my heart awake to glee,
" And court, like thee, the wanton kiss,
" That heart, Ronald, bleeds for thee!
" I see the death damps chill thy brow,
" I hear the warning spirit cry ;
" The corpse-lights dance — they're gone, and now .
" No more is given to gifted eye !"
-" Alone enjoy thy dreary dreams,
" Sad prophet of the evil hour ;
" Say, should we scorn joy's transient beams,
" Because to-morrow's storm may lour?
" Or sooth, or false thy words of woe,
" Clangillian's chieftain ne'er shall fear;
" His blood shall bound at rapture's glow,
" Though doom'd to stain the Saxon spear.
" E'en now, to meet me in yon dell,
" My Mary's buskins brush the dew;" —
He spoke, nor bade the chief farewell,
But call'd his dogs, and gay withdrew.
Within an hour return'd each hound,
In rush'd the rouzers of the deer ;
They howld in melancholy sound,
Then closely couch'd beside the Seer.
No Ronald yet — though midnight came,
And sad were Moy's prophetic dreams,
As bending o'er the dying flame
He fed the watch-fire's quivering gleams.
Sudden the hounds erect their ears,
And sudden cease their moaning howl ;
Close press'd to Moy, they mark their fears
By shivering limbs, and stifled growl.
Untouch'd the harp began to ring,
As softly, slowly, oped the door,
And shook responsive every string,
As light a footstep press'd the floor.
And by the watch-fire's glimmering light,
Close by the Minstrel's side was seen
An huntress maid, in beauty bright,
All dropping wet her robes of green.
All dropping wet her garments seem,
Chill'd was her cheek, her bosom bare,
As bending o'er the dying gleam,
She wrung the moisture from her hair.
With maiden blush she softly said,
— " O gentle huntsman, hast thou seen,
" In deep Glenfinlas' moon-light glade,
" A lovely maid in vest of green :
" With her a chief in Highland pride,
'• His shoulders bear the hunter's bow ;
" The mountain dirk adorns his side,
" Far on the wind his tartans flow?" —
— " And who art thou ; and who are they ?"
All ghastly gazing, Moy replied ;
'• And why, beneath the moon's pale ray,
" Dare ye thus roam Glenfinlas' side?" —
— " Where wild Loch Katrine pours her tide
" Blue, dark, and deep, round many an isle,
•' Our father's towers o'erhang her side,
" The castle of the bold Glengyle.
He mutter'd thrice St. Oran's rhyme,
And thrice St. Fillan's * powerful prayer,
Then turn'd him to the Eastern clime,
And sternly shook his coal-black hair :
And bending o'er his harp, he flung
His wildest witch-notes on the wind,
And loud, and high, and strange, they rung,
As many a magic change they find.
Tall wax'd the Spirit's altering form,
Till to the roof her stature grew,
Then mingling with the rising storm,
With one wild yell away she flew.
Rain beats, hail rattles, whirlwinds tear,
The slender hut in fragments flew,
But not a lock of Moy's loose hair
Was waved by wind, or wet by dew.
Wild mingling with the howling gale,
Loud bursts of ghastly laughter rise,
High o'er the Minstrel's head they sail,
And die amid the northern skies.
* I know nothing of St. Fillan, but that he has given his name to many
chapels, holy fountains, &c. in Scotland.
The voice of thunder shook the wood,
As ceased the more than mortal yell,
And spattering foul a shower of blood,
Upon the hissing firebrands fell.
Next dropp'd from high a mangled arm,
The fingers strain'd an half-drawn blade :
And last, the life-blood streaming warm,
Torn from the trunk, a gasping head.
Oft o'er that head, in battling field,
Stream'd the proud crest of high Benmore ;
That arm the broad claymore could wield,
Which dyed the Teith with Saxon gore.
Woe to Mofleira's sullen rills !
Woe to Glenfinlas' dreary glen !
There never son of Albin's hills
Shall draw the hunter's shaft agen 1
E'en the tired pilgrim's burning feet
At noon shall shun that sheltering den,
Lest, journeying in their rage, he meet
The wayward Ladies of the Glen.
And we — behind the chieftain's shield
No more shall we in safety dwell ;
None leads the people to the field —
And we the loud lament must swell.
O hone a rie ! O hone a rie !
The pride of Albin's line is o'er;
And fallen Glenartney's stateliest tree,
We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more !
* The simple tradition upon which the preceding stanzas are founded,
runs as follows. While two Highland hunters were passing the night in a
solitary bathy (a hut built for the purpose of hunting), and making merry
over their venison and whisky, one of them expressed a wish that they had
pretty lasses to complete their party. The words were scarcely uttered, when
two beautiful young women, habited in green, entered the hut, dancing and
singing. One of the hunters was seduced by the syren who attached herself
particularly to him, to leave the hut : the other remained, and, suspicious of
the fair seducers, continued to play upon a trump, or Jew's harp, some strain
consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Day at length came, and the temptress
vanished. Searching in the forest, he found the bones of his unfortunate
friend, who had been torn to pieces and devoured by the Fiend into whose
toils he had fallen. The place was, from thence, called the Glen of the Green
THE EVE OF SAINT JOHN.
ORIGINAL. WALTER SCOTT.
Smaylho'me, or Smallholm Tower, the scene of the following Ballad, is
situated on the northern boundary of Roxburghshire, among a
cluster of ■wild rocks, called Sandiknow-Crags, the property of
Hugh Scott, Esq. of Harden. The tower is a high square building,
surrounded by an outer wall, now ruinous. The circuit of the
outer court being defended, on three sides, by a precipice and morass,
is only accessible from the west, by a steep and rocky path. The
apartments, as usual, in a Border Keep, or fortress, are placed one
above anotlier, and communicate by a narrow stair ; on the roof
are two bartizans, or platforms, for defence or pleasure. The inner
door of the tower is wood, the outer an iron grate ; the distance
between them being nine feet, the thickness, namely, of the wall.
From the elevated situation of Smaylho'me Tower, it is seen many
miles in every direction. Among the crags by which it is surrounded,
one more eminent is called the Watchfold, and is said to have been
the station of a beacon in the times of war with England. Without
the tower-court is a ruined Chapel.
The Baron of Smaylho'me rose with day,
He spurr'd his courser on,
Without stop or stay, down the rocky way
That leads to Brotherstone.
He went not with the bold Buccleuch,
His banner broad to rear ;
He went not 'gainst the English yew
To lift the Scottish spear.
Yet his plate-jack* was braced, and his helmet was laced,
And his vaunt-brace of proof he wore;
At his saddle-gerthe was a good steel sperthe,
Full ten pound weight and more.
The Baron return'd in three day's space,
And his looks were sad and sour,
And weary was his courser's pace
As he reached his rocky tower.
He came not from where Ancram Moor+
Ran red with English blood,
Where the Douglas true, and the bold Buccleuch,
'Gainst keen Lord Ivers stood ;
* The plate-jack is coat armour ; the vaunt-brace (avant-bras), armour for
the shoulders and arms ; the sperthe, a battle-axe.
f A. D. 1555, was fought the battle of Ancram Moor, in which Archibald
Douglas Earl of Angus, and Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, routed a superior
English army, under Lord Ralph Ivers, and Sir Brian Latoun.
Yet was his helmet hack'd and hew'd,
His acton pierced and tore ;
His axe and his dagger with blood embrued,
But it was not English gore.
He lighted at the Chapellage,
He held him close and still,
And he whistled twice for his little foot page,
His name was English Will.
— " Come thou hither, my little foot page,
" Come hither to my knee,
" Though thou art young, and tender of age,
** I think thou art true to me.
" Come, tell me all that thou hast seen,
* ' And look thou tell me true ;
" Since I from Smaylho'me Tower have been,
" What did thy Lady do?" —
— " My Lady each night, sought the lonely light,
' ' That burns on the wild Watch/old ;
'" For from height to height, the beacons bright,
" Of the English foemen told.
" The bittern clamour'd from the moss,
•' The wind blew loud and shrill,
" Yet the craggy pathway she did cross
" To the eiry* beacon hill.
" I watch'd her steps, and silent came
" Where she sate her on a stone;
" No watchman stood by the dreary flame,
" It burned all alone.
" The second night I kept her in sight,
" Till to the fire she came ;
" And by Mary's might, an armed knight
" Stood by the lonely flame.
" And many a word that warlike lord
" Did speak to my Lady there,
" But the rain fell fast, and loud blew the blast,
" And I heard not what they were.
" The third night there the sky was fair,
" And the mountain blast was still,
' • As again I watch'd the secret pair,
" Gn the lonesome beacon hill ;
* Eiry is a Scotch expression, signifying the feeling inspired by the dread
" And I heard her name the midnight hour,
" And name this holy eve ;
" And say, come that night to thy Lady's bower ;
" Ask no bold Baron's leave.
" He lifts his spear with the bold Biiccleuch,
" His Lady is alone ;
" The door she'll undo, to her lenight so true,
" On the eve of good St. John." —
— " I cannot come, I must not come,
" 1 dare not come to thee;
" On the eve of St. John I must wander alone,
" In thy bower I may not be." —
— " Now out on thee, faint-hearted knight !
" Thou should'st not say me nay,
" For the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet,
"Is worth the whole summer's day.
"And I'll chain the blood-hound, and the warder shall not sound,
" And rushes shall be strew'd on the stair,
" So by the rood-stone,* and by holy St. John,
" I conjure thee, my love, to be there." —
* The Black-rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, and of superior
— " Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush beneath
" And the warder his bugle should not blow,
'• Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the east,
" And my footstep he would know." —
— " O fear not the priest who sleepeth to the east,
" For to Dryburgh* the way he has ta'en ;
" And there to say mass, till three days do pass,
" For the soul of a knight that is slayne." —
*' He turn'd him around, and grimly he frown'd,
" Then he laugh'd right scornfully —
— " Fie who says the mass rite, for the soul of that knight,
" May as well say mass for me.
" At the lone midnight hour, when bad Spirits have power,
"In thy chamber will I be." —
" With that he was gone, and my Lady left alone,
'.' And no more did I see." —
Then changed I trow, was that bold Baron's brow,
From dark to blood-red high.
* Dryburgh Abbey is beautifully situated on the banks of the Tweed. After
its dissolution it became the property of the Haliburtons of Newmains, and is
now the seat of the Right Honourable the Earl of Buchan.
— " Now tell me the mien of the knight thou hast seen,
" For by Mary he shall die !" —
— " His arms shone full bright, in the beacon's red light,
" His plume it was scarlet and blue ;
" On his shield was a hound in a silver leash bound,
" And his crest was a branch of the yew." —
— " Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot page,
" Loud dost thou lie to me ;
" For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould,
" All under the Eildon* tree." —
— " Yet hear but my word, my noble lord,
" For I heard her name his name ;
" And that Lady bright she called the knight
" Sir Richard of Coldinghame." —
The bold Baron's brow then changed, I trow,
From high blood-red to pale.
" The grave is deep and dark, and the corpse is stiff and stark ;
" So I may not trust thy tale.
* Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conical summits, immediately
above the town of Melrose, where are the admired ruins of a magnificient
monastery. Eildon tree was said to be the spot where Thomas the Rhymer
uttered his prophecies.
" Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,
*' And Eildon slopes to the plain,
" Full three nights ago, by some secret foe,
" That gallant knight was slain.
" The varying light deceiv'd thy sight,
" And the wild winds drown'd the name,
" For the Dryburgh bells ring, and the black Friars sing,
" For Sir Richard of Coldinghame." —
He pass'd the court-gate, and he oped the tower grate,
And he mounted the narrow stair,
To the bartizan-seat, where, with maids that on her wait,
He found his Lady fair.
That Lady sat in mournful mood,
Look'd over hill and vale,
Over Tweed's fair flood, and Mertoun's wood,
And all down Tiviotdale.
— " Now hail ! now hail ! thou Lady bright!" —
— " Now hail ! thou Baron true !
" What news what news, from Ancram fight?
" What news from the bold Buccleuch ?" —
— " The Ancram Moor is red with gore,
" For many a Southern fell ;
" And Buccleuch has charged us evermore,
" To watch our beacons well." —
The Lady blush'd red, but nothing she said,
Nor added the Baron a word ;
Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber fair,
And so did her moody Lord.
In sleep the Lady mourn'd, and the Baron toss'd and turned,
And oft to himself he said,
— " The worms around him creep, and his bloody grave is
" It cannot give up the dead.'' —
It was near the ringing of matin bell,
The night was well nigh done,
When a heavy sleep on that Baron fell,
On the eve of good St. John.
The Lady look'd through the chamber fair,
By the light of a dying flame, .
And she was aware of a knight stood there,
Sir Richard of Coldinghame.
— "Alas! away! away!" — she cried,
" For the holy Virgin's sake." —
— " Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side;
" But, Lady, he will not awake.
" By Eildon-tree, for long nights three,
" In bloody grave have I lain ;
'■ The mass and the death-prayer are said for me,
" But, Lady, they're said in vain.
" By the Baron's brand, near Tweed's fair strand,
" Most foully slain I fell,
" And my restless sprite on the beacon height
" For a space is doomed to dwell.
" At our try sting-place,* for a certain space,
" I must wander to and fro ;
" But I had not had power to come to thy bower
" Had'st thou not conjured me so." — -
Love master'd fear — her brow she cross'd ;
— " How, Richard, hast thou sped?
" And art thou saved, or art thou lost?" —
• The vision shook his head!
* Trysting-pla.ce, Scottish for place of rendezvous.
— " Who spilleth life, shall forfeit life;
*' So bid thy Lord believe :
" And lawless love is guilt above ;
" This awful sign receive." —
He laid his left hand on an oaken stand,
His right hand on her arm :
The Lady shrunk, and fainting sunk,
For the touch was fiery warm.
The sable score of fingers four
Remain on that board impress'd,
And for evermore that Lady wore
A covering on her wrist.
There is a nun in Melrose bower
Ne'er looks upon the sun ;
There is a monk in Dryburgh tower,
He speaketh word to none.
That nun who ne'er beholds the day,
That monk who speaks to none,
That nun was Smaylho'me's Lady gay,
That monk the bold Baron.
FREDERICK AND ALICE.
GERMAN. WALTER SCOTT.
This Ballad is translated (but -with suck alterations and additions,
that it may almost be called original) from, the fragment of a
Romance, sung in Goethe's Opera of" Claudina von Villa Bella."
Frederick leaves the land of France,
Homewards hastes his steps to measure;
Careless casts the parting glance
On the scene of former pleasure ;
Joying in his prancing steed,
Keen to prove his untried blade,
Hope's gay dreams the soldier lead
Over mountain, moor, and glade.
Helpless, ruin'd, left forlorn,
Lovely Alice wept alone ;
Mourn'd o'er love's fond contract torn,
Hope, and peace, and honour flown.
Mark her breast's convulsive throbs !
See, the tear of anguish flows !
Mingling soon with bursting sobs,
Loud the laugh of frenzy rose.
Wild she cursed, and wild she pray'd ;
Seven long days and nights are o'er ;
Death in pity brought his aid,
As the village bell struck four.
Far from her, and far from France,
Faithless Frederick onward rides,
Marking blythe the morning's glance
Mantling o'er the mountain's sides.
Heard ye not the boding sound,
As the tongue of yonder tower,
Slowly, to the hills around,
Told the fourth, the fated hour?
Starts the steed, and snuffs the air,
Yet no cause of dread appears;
Bristles high the rider's hair,
Struck with strange mysterious fears.
Desperate, as his terrors rise,
In the steed the spur he hides ;
From himself in vain he flies ;
Anxious, restless, on he rides.
Seven long days, and seven long nights,
Wild he wander'd, woe the while!
Ceaseless care, and causeless fright,
Urge his footsteps many a mile.
Dark the seventh sad night descends ;
Rivers swell, and rain-streams pour ;
"While the deafening Thunder lends
All the terrors of his roar.
Weary, wet, and spent with toil,
Where his head shall Frederick hide ?
Where, but in yon ruin'd aisle,
By the lightning's flash descried.
To the portal dank and low,
Fast his steed the wanderer bound ;
Down a ruin'd staircase, slow
Next his darkling way he wound.
Long drear vaults before him lie !
Glimmering lights are seen to glide !
— " Blessed Mary hear my cry !
Deign a sinner's steps to guide!" —
Often lost their quivering beam,
Still the lights move slow before,
Till they rest their ghastly gleam,
Right against an iron door.
Thundering voices from within,
Mix'd with peals of laughter, rose ;
As they fell, a solemn strain
Lent its wild and wondrous close !
Midst the din, he seem'd to hear
Voice of friends, by death removed ;-
— Well he knew that solemn air,
'Twas the lay that Alice loved. —
Hark ! for now a solemn knell
Four times on the still night broke ;
Four times, at its deaden'd swell,
Echoes from the ruins spoke.
As the lengthen'd clangours die,
Slowly opes the iron door !
Straight a hanquet met his eye,
But a funeral's form it wore !
Coffins for the seats extend ;
All with black the board was spread,
Girt by parent, brother, friend,
Long since number'd with the dead !
Alice, in her grave clothes bound,
Ghastly smiling, points a seat;
All arose with thundering sound ;
All the expected stranger greet.
High their meagre arms they wave,
Wild their notes of welcome swell;
— " Welcome, traitor, to the grave!
" Perjured, bid the light farewell!" —
THE WILD HUNTSMEN.
CERMAN. WALTER SCOTT.
The tradition of the " Wild Huntsmen" (Die Wilde Jager) is a
popular superstition, very generally believed by the peasants of
Germany. Whoever wishes for more information respecting these
imaginary Sportsmen, will find his curiosity fully satisfied, by
perusing the first Volume of the German Romance of " the
Necromancer ;" (Der Geister-banner.) The original of this
Ballad is by Burger, Author of the well-known " Leonora."
The Wildgrave* winds his bugle horn;
To horse, to horse, halloo, halloo!
His fiery courser snuffs the morn,
And thronging serfs their Lord pursue.
The eager pack, from couples freed,
Dash through the bush, the brier, the brake;
While answering hound, and horn, and steed,
The mountain echoes startling wake.
* The Wildgrave is a German title, corresponding to the Earl Warden of
a royal forest.
The beams of God's own hallow'd day-
Had painted yonder spire with gold,
And, calling sinful man to pray,
Loud, long, and deep the bell had toll'd.
But still the Wildgrave onward rides ;
Halloo, halloo, and hark again !
When, spurring from opposing sides,
Two stranger horsemen join the train.
Who was each stranger, left and right,
Well may I guess, but dare not tell:
The right-hand steed was silver white,
The left, the swarthy hue of hell.
The right-hand horseman, young and fair,
His smile was like the morn of May ;
The left, from eye of tawny glare,
Shot midnight lightning's lurid ray.
He wav'd his huntsman's cap on high,
Cry'd, " Welcome, welcome, noble Lord !
11 What sport can earth, or sea, or sky,
" To match the princely chase, afford?" —
— ,e Cease thy loud bugle's clanging knell," —
Cry'd the fair youth, with silver voice ;
— " And for devotion's choral swell,
" Exchange the rude unhallow'd noise.
" To-day th' ill-omen'd chase forbear;
" Yon bell yet summons to the fane :
• ' To-day the warning spirit hear,
" To-morrow thou may'st mourn in vain." —
— " Away, and sweep the glades along I" —
The sable hunter hoarse replies;
— '.' To muttering monks leave matin song,
" And bells, and books, and mysteries." —
The Wildgrave spurred his ardent steed,
And, launching forward with a bound,
— ' • Who for thy drowsy priestlike rede
" Would leave the jovial horn and hound ?
" Hence, if our manly sport offend :
" With pious fools go chaunt and pray;
" Well hast thou spoke, my dark-brow'd friend,-
" Halloo ! halloo ! and hark away 1" —
The Wildgrave spurr'd his courser light,
O'er moss and moor, o'er holt and hill,
And on the left, and on the right,
Each stranger horseman follow'd still.
Up springs, from yonder tangled thorn,
A stag more white than mountain snow ;
And louder rung the Wilclgrave's horn,
-. — '* Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!" — -
A heedless wretch has cross'd the way, —
He gasps the thundering hoofs helow ;
But, Jive who can, or die who may,
Still forward, forward ! On they go.
See where yon simple fences meet,
A field with autumn's blessings crown'd ;
See, prostrate at the Wildgrave's feet,
A husbandman with toil embrown'd.
— ' ' O mercy ! mercy ! noble Lord ;
•' Spare the poor's pittance," was his cry,
" Earn'd by the sweat these brows have pour'd
" In scorching hour of fierce July." —
Earnest the right-hand stranger pleads,
The left still cheering to the prey :
The impetuous Earl no warning heeds,
But furious holds the onward way.
— " Away, thou hound, so basely born,
" Or dread the scourge's echoing blow !" —
Then loudly rung his bugle-horn,
— " Hark forward, forward, holla ho !" —
So said, so done — a single bound
Clears the poor labourer's humble pale :
Wild follows man, and horse, and hound,
Like dark December's stormy gale.
And man, and horse, and hound, and horn,
Destructive sweep the field along,
While joying o'er the wasted corn
Fell Famine marks the madd'ning throng.
Again up roused, the timorous prey
Scours moss and moor, and holt and hill ;
Hard run, he feels his strength decay,
And trusts for life his simple skill.
Too dangerous solitude appear'd ;
He seeks the shelter of the crowd ;
Amid the flock's domestic herd
His harmless head he hopes to shroud.
O'er moss and moor, and holt and hill,
His track the steady blood-hounds trace ;
O'er moss and moor, unwearied still,
The furious Earl pursues the chase.
Full lowly did the herdsman fall ;
— " O spare, thou noble Baron, spare
" These herds, a widow's little all ;
" These flocks, an orphan's fleecy care." —
Earnest the right-hand stranger pleads,
The left still cheering to the prey ;
The Earl nor prayer nor pity heeds,
But furious keeps the onward way.
— " Unmanner'd dog ! To stop my sport
" Vain were thy cant and beggar whine,
' ' Though human spirits of thy sort
" Were tenants of these carrion kine !" —
Again he winds his bugle horn,
— " Hark forward, forward, holla, ho !" —
And through the herd, in ruthless scorn,
He cheers his furious hounds to go.
In heaps the throttled victims fall ;
Down sinks their mangled herdsman near ;
The murd'rous cries the stag appal,
Again he starts, new-nerv'd by fear.
With blood besmear'd, and white with foam,
While big the tears of anguish pour,
He seeks, amid the forest's gloom,
The humble hermit's hallow'd bonr.
But man and horse, and horn and hound,
Fast rattling on his traces go ;
The sacred chapel rung around
With hark away, and holla, ho !
All mild, amid the route profane,
The holy hermit pour'd his prayer :
— " Forbear with blood God's house to stain ;
" Revere his altar, and forbear !
" The meanest brute has rights to plead,
" Which, wrong'd by cruelty, or pride,
*• Draw vengeance on the ruthless head ; —
" Be warn'd at length, and turn aside." —
Still the fair horseman anxious pleads,
The black, wild whooping, points the prey ;
Alas! the Earl no warning heeds,
But frantic keeps the forward way.
— " Holy or not, or right or wrong,
" Thy altar and its rights I spurn;
" Not sainted martyrs' sacred song,
" Not God himself, shall make me turn." —
He spur^his horse, he winds his horn,
— " Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!"-— ■
But off, on whirlwind's pinions borne,
The stag, the hut, the hermit, go.
And horse and man, and horn and hound,
And clamour of the chase was gone :
For hoofs and howls, and bugle sound,
A deadly silence reign'd alone.
Wild gazed the affrighted Earl around ; —
He strove in vain to wake his horn,
In vain to call ; for not a sound
Could from his anxious lips be borne.
He listens for his trusty hounds ; .
No distant baying reach'd his ears ;
His courser, rooted to the ground,
The quickening spur unmindful bears.
Still dark and darker frown the shades,
Dark as the darkness of the grave;
And not a sound the still invades,
Save what a distant torrent gave.
High o'er the sinner's humbled head
At length the solemn silence broke ;
And from a cloud of swarthy red,
The awful voice of thunder spoke.
— " Oppressor of creation fair !
" Apostate spirit's harden'd tool !
* « Scorner of God ! scourge of the poor !
" The measure of thy cup is full.
" Be chased for ever through the wood,
' ' For ever roam the affrighted wild ;
" And let thy fate instruct the proud,
" God's meanest creature is his child."—
'Twas hush'd : one flash of sombre glare
With yellow tinged the forests brown ;
Up rose the Wildgrave's bristling hair,
And horror chill'd each nerve and bone.
Cold pour'd the sweat in freezing rill ;
A rising wind began to sing ;
And louder, louder, louder still,
Brought storm and tempest on its wing.
Earth heard the call — her entrails rend ;
From yawning lifts, with many a yell,
Mix'd with sulphureous flames, ascend
The misbegotten dogs of hell.
What ghastly huntsman next arose,
Well may I guess, but dare not tell :
His eye like midnight lightning glows,
His steed the swarthy hue of hell.
The Wildgrave flies o'er bush and thorn,
With many a shriek of helpless woe ;
Behind him hound, and horse, and horn,
And hark away, and holla, ho!
With wild despair's reverted eye,
Close, close behind, he marks the throng;
With bloody fangs, and eager cry,
In frantic fear he scours along.
Still, still shall last the dreadful chase,
Till time itself shall have an end;
By day, they scour earth's cavern'd space,
At midnight's witching hour, ascend.
This is the horn, and hound, and horse,
That oft the lated peasant hears :
Appall'd, he signs the frequent cross,
When the wild din invades his ears.
The wakeful priest oft drops a tear
For human pride, for human woe,
When, at his midnight mass, he hears
The infernal cry of holla, ho !
THE OLD WOxMAN OF BERKELEY.
A. D. 852. Circa dies istos, mulier quxdam malefica, in villa qua; Berkeleia
dkitur degens, gulce amatrix ac petulantim,fiagitiis modum usque in senium
et auguriis nonponens, mque ad mortem impudica permansit. Hoec die quadam
cum sederet ad prandium, cornicula quam pro delitiis pascebat, nescio quid
garrire cxpit ; quo audito, mulieris cultellus de manu excidit, simul el fades
pallescere ca-pit, et emisso rugitu, kodie, inquit, accipiam grande incommodum,
hodieque ad sulcum ultimum meum pervenit aratrum. Quo dicto, nuncius doloris
intravit ; muliere vero percunctatd ad quid teniret, affero, inquit, tibi jilii tui
obitum et totius families ejus ex subitd rv.ina interitum. Hoc quoque dolore
mulier permota, lecto protinus decubuit graviter infirmata ; sentiensque morbum
subrepere ad vitalia, liberos quos habuit superstites, monachum, videlicet, et mo-
nacham, per epistolam invitavit ; advenientes autem voce singultiente alloquitur.
Ego, inquit, o pueri, meo miserabili fato dcemoniacis semper artibus inservivi;
ego omnium vitiorum sentina, ego illecebrarum omnium fui magistra. Erat
tamen mihi inter haze mala, spes vestrce religionis, qua meam solidaret animam
desperatam; vos expectabam propugnatores contra dcemones, Mores contra
satvissijnos hostes. Nunc igitur quoniam adfinem vita; perveni, rogo vos per ma-
ierna ubera, ut mea tentatis alleviare tormenta. Inserite me defunctam in corio
cervino, ac deinde in sarcophago lapideo supponite, operculumque ferro et plumbo
constringite, ac demum lapidem tribus cathenis ferreis et fortissimis cirevn-
dantes, clericos quinquaginta psalmorum cantores, et tot per tres dies presby-
tens missarum celebratores applicate, qui fences lenigent adversariorum
incursus. Ita si tribus noctibus securajacuero, quarta die me infodite humo.
Factumque est vt prxceperat illis. Sed, proh dolor ! nil preces, nil lacrymm, nil
demum xaluere catena. Primis enim duabus noctibus, cum chori psallentium
corpori assistabant, udvenientes dcemones ostium ecclesice confregerunt ingenti
obice clausum, extremasque cathenas negotio lexi dirumpunt: media autem, quet
fortior erat, illibata manebat. Tertid autem node, circa gallicinium, strepitu
hostium adxentantium, omne monasterium visum est afundamento moxeri. Unus
ergo damonum, et vultu azteris terribilior, et staturd emincntior,januas eccle-
sice impetu viohnto concussas in fragmenta dejecit. Dixexerunt clerici cum
laicis, metu steterunt omnium capilli, et psalmorum concentus defeat, Damon
ergo gestu ut xidebatur arroganti ad sepulchrum accedens, et nomen mulieris
modicum ingeminans, surgere imperaxit. Qua rcspondente, quod nequiret pro
vinculis,jam mulo tuo, inquit, solveris ; et protinus cathenam qua caterorum
ferociam damonium deluserat, xelut stuppeum vinculum rumpebat. Operculum
etiam sepukhri pede depellens, mulierem palam omnibus ab ecclesid extraxit, ubi
prce foribus niger equus superbe hinniens xidebatur, uncis ferreis et claxis
undique conHxvs, super quern misera mulier projecta, ab oculis assistentium
exanuit. Audiebantur tamen clamores, per quatuor fere miliaria, horribiles,
Ista itaque qua retuli incredibilia non erunt, si legatur bead Gregorii dialogus, in
quo refert, hominem in ecclesid sepultum, a damonibus foras ejectvm. Et apud
Francos, Carolus Martellus insignis xir fprtudinis, qui Saracenos Galliam in-
gressos, Hispaniam redire compulit, exactis vita suae dkbus, in Ecclesid beati
IHonysii legitur fuisse sepultus. Sed quia patrimonia, cum decimis omnium fere
ecclesiarum Gallia, pro stipendio commilitonum suorum mutilaverat, miserabiliter
a malignis spiritibus de sepulchro corporaliter axulsus, usque in hodiernum diem
nusquam comparuit. Matthew of Westminster.
This story is also related by Olaus Magnus ; and in the Nuremberg Chronicle.
The raven croak'd as she sate at her meal,
And the Old Woman knew what he said,
And she grew pale at the raven's tale,
And sicken'd, and went to her bed.
— " Now fetch me my children, and fetch them with
The Old Woman of Berkeley said,
— '* The monk my son, and my daughter the nun ;
'■' Bid them hasten, or I shall be dead." —
The monk her son, and her daughter the nun,
Their way to Berkeley went,
And they have brought, with pious thought,
The holy sacrament.
The Old Woman shriek'd as they enter'd her door,
'Twas fearful her shrieks to hear;
— " Now take the sacrament away,
" For mercy, my children dear!" —
Her lip it trembled with agony,
The sweat ran down her brow,
• * I have tortures in store for evermore,
" Oh ! spare me, my children, now!"—
Away they sent the sacrament ;
The fit it left her weak,
She look'd at her children with ghastly eyes,
And faintly struggled to speak.
— " All kind of sin I have rioted in,
" And the judgment now must be;
' ' But 1 secured my childrens' souls,
" Oh! pray, my children, for me!
" I have suck'd the breath of sleeping babes,
1 ' The fiends have been my slaves :
" I have nointed myself with infants' fat,
" And feasted on rifled graves.
" And the Fiend will fetch me now in fire,
* ' My witchcrafts to atone ;
" And I, who have rifled the dead man's grave,
" Shall never have rest in my own.
" Bless, I intreat, my winding sheet,
••My children, I beg of you !
" And with holy water sprinkle my shroud,
" And sprinkle my coffin too.
" And let me be chain'd in my coffin of stone,
•' And fasten it strong, I implore,
" With iron bars ; and let it be chain'd
" With three chains to the church floor.
" And bless the chains, and sprinkle them;
" And let fifty priests stand round,
" Who night and day the mass may say
" Where I lie on the ground.
*' And let fifty choristers be there,
" The funeral dirge to sing,
" Who day and night, by the tapers' light,
" Their aid to me may bring.
" Let the church bells all, both great and small,
" Be toll'd by night and day,
" To drive from thence the fiends who come
4 ' To bear my corpse away.
" And ever have the church door, barr'd
' ' After the even song ;
*' And I beseech you, children dear,
" Let the bars and bolts be strong.
" And let this be three days and nights,
*' My wretched corpse to save ;
" Preserve me so long from the fiendish throng,
" And then I may rest in my grave." —
The Old Woman of Berkeley laid her down,
And her eyes grew deadly dim,
Short came her breath, and the struggle of death
Did loosen every limb.
They bless'd the Old Woman's winding sheet
With rites and prayers as due ;
With holy water they sprinkled her shroud,
And they sprinkled her coffin too.
And they chain'd her in a coffin of stone,
And with iron barr'd it down ;
And in the church, with three strong chains,
They chain'd it to the ground.
And they bless'd the chains, and sprinkled them,
And fifty priests stood round,
By night and day the mass to say
Where she lay on the ground.
And fifty choristers were there
To sing the funeral song,
And a hallow'd taper blazed in the hand
Of all the sacred throng.
To see the priests and choristers
It was a goodly sight,
Each holding, as it were a staff,
A taper burning bright.
And the church bells all, both great and small,
Did toll so loud and long,
And they have barr'd the church door hard,
After the even song:
And the first night the tapers' light
Burnt steadily and clear ;
But they without a hideous rout
Of angry fiends could hear ;
A hideous roar at the church door,
Like a long thunder peal,
And the priests they pray'd, and the choristers sung,
Louder in fearful zeal.
Loud toll'd the bell, the priests pray'd well,
The tapers they burnt bright ;
The monk her son, and her daughter the nun,
They told their beads all night.
The cock he crew, away then flew
The fiends from the herald of day,
And undisturbd the choristers sing,
And the fifty priests they pray.
The second night the taper's light
Burnt dismally and blue,
And every one saw his neighbour's face
Like a dead man's face to view.
And yells and cries without arise,
That the stoutest heart might shock ;
And a deafening roaring, like a cataract pouring
Over a mountain rock.
The monk and nun they told their beads
As fast as they could tell ;
And aye, as louder grew the noise,
The faster went the bell.
Louder and louder the choristers sung,
As they trembled more and more ;
And the fifty priests pray'd to heaven for aid ;
They never had pray'd so before.
The cock he crew, away then flew
The fiends from the herald of day ;
And undisturb d the choristers sing,
And the fifty priests they pray.
The third night came, and the tapers' flame
A hideous stench did make ;
And they burnt as though they had been dipp'd
In the burning brimstone lake.
And the loud commotion, like the rushing of ocean,
Grew momently more and more,
And strokes, as of a battering ram,
Did shake the strong church door.
The bellmen they, for very fear,
Could toll the bell no loncer :
And still, as louder grew the strokes,
Their fear it grew the stronger.
The monk and nun forgot their beads,
They fell on the ground dismay'd ;
There was not a single saint in heaven
Whom they did not call to aid.
And the choristers' song, that late was so strong,
Grew a quaver of consternation,
For the church did rock, as an earthquake shock
Uplifted its foundation.
And a sound was heard like the trumpet's blast,
That shall one day wake the dead ;
The strong church door could bear no more,
And the bolts and the bars they fled.
And the tapers' light was extinguish* d quite,
And the choristers faintly sung,
And the priests, dismay'd, panted and pray'd,
Till fear froze every tongue.
And in he came, with eyes of flame,
The Fiend to fetch the dead,
And all the church with his presence glow'd
Like a fiery furnace red.
He laid his hand on the iron chains,
And like flax they moulder'd asunder;
And the coffin lid, that was barr'd so firm,
He burst with his voice of thunder.
And he bade the Old Woman of Berkeley rise,
And come with her master away ;
And the cold sweat stood on the cold cold corpse,
At the voice she was forced to obey.
She rose on her feet in her winding sheet,
Her dead flesh quiver'd with fear,
And a groan like that which the Old Woman gave
Never did mortal hear.
She followed the Fiend to the church door,
There stood a black horse there,
His breath was red like furnace smoke,
His eyes like a meteor's glare.
The fiendish force flung her on the horse,
And he leap'd up before,
And away like the lightning's speed they went,
And she was seen no more.
They saw her no more, but her cries and shrieks
For four miles round they could hear,
And children at rest at their mothers' breast,
Started and scream'd with fear.
Bishop Bruno awoke in the dead midnight,
And he heard his heart beat loud with affright,
He dreamt he had rung the palace bell,
And the sound it gave was his passing knell.
Bishop Bruno smiled at his fears so vain,
He turn'd to sleep, and he dreamt again ;
He rung at the palace gate once more,
And Death was the porter that open'd the door.
He started up at the fearful dream,
And he heard at his window the screech-owl scream ;
Bishop Bruno slept no more that night,
O glad was he when he saw the day-light.
Now forth he goes in proud array,
For he with the Emperor dines to-day ;
There was not a baron in Germany,
That went with a nobler train than he.
Before and behind his soldiers ride,
The people throng'd to see the pride ;
They bow'd the head, and the knee they bent,
But nobody bless'd him as he went.
He went so stately and so proud,
When he heard a voice that cried aloud —
— ' ' Ho ! ho ! Bishop Bruno ! you travel with glee,
" But know, Bishop Bruno, you travel to me." —
Behind, and before, and on either side,
He look'd, but nobody he espied ;
And the Bishop he grew cold with fear,
For he heard the words distinct and clear.
And when he rung at the palace bell,
He almost expected to hear his knell ;
And when the porter turn'd the key,
He almost expected Death to see.
But soon the Bishop recover'd his glee,
For the Emperor welcom'd him royally ;
And now the tables were spread, and there
Were choicest wines, and dainty fare.
And now the Bishop had bless'd the meat,
When a voice was heard, as he sat in his seat;
— " With the Emperor now you are dining in glee,
" But know, Bishop Bruno, you sup with me." —
The Bishop then grew pale with affright,
And instantly lost his appetite;
And all the wine and dainty cheer
Could not comfort his heart so sick with fear.
But by little and little recover'd he,
For the wine went flowing merrily,
And he forgot his former dread,
And his cheeks again grew rosy red.
When he sat down to the royal fare,
Bishop Bruno was the saddest man there ;
But when the maskers enter d the hall,
He was the merriest man of all.
Then from amid the maskers' crowd
There went a voice hollow and loud ;
— " You have pass'd the day, Bishop Bruno, with glee,
" But you must pass the night with me!" —
His cheek grows pale, and his eye-balls glare,
And stiff round his tonsure rises his hair:
With that there came one from the maskers' band,
And he took the Bishop by the hand.
The bony hand suspended his breath,
His marrow grew cold at the touch of Death ;
On saints in vain he attempted to call —
Bishop Bruno fell dead in the palace hall.
No eye beheld when William plunged
Young Edmund in die stream ;
No human ear but William's heard
Young Edmund's drowning scream.
Submissive all the vassals own'd
The murderer for their Lord,
And he, the rightful heir, possess'd
The house of Erlincdbrd.
The ancient house of Erlinjford
Stood midst a fair domain,
And Severn's ample waters near
Roll'd through the fertile plain.
And often the way-faring man
Would love to linger there,
Forgetful of his onward road,
To craze on scenes so fair.
But never could Lord William dare
To gaze on Severn's stream ;
In every wind that swept its waves
He heard young Edmund scream.
In vain at midnight's silent hour
Sleep closed the murderer's eyes ;
In every dream the murderer saw
Young Edmund's form arise.
In vain, by restless conscience driven,
Lord William left his home,
Far from the scenes that saw his guilt,
In pilgrimage to roam.
To other climes the pilgrim fled,
But could not fly despair ;
He sought his home again, but peace
Was still a stranger there.
Each hour was tedious long, yet swift
The months appear'd to roll ;
And now the day return'd that shook
With terror William's soul.
A day that William never felt
Return without dismay,
For well had conscience kalender'd
Young Edmund's dying day.
A fearful day was that ! the rains
Fell fast, with tempest roar,
And the swoln tide of Severn spread
Far on the level shore.
In vain Lord William souo-ht the feast,
In vain he quafFd the bowl,
And strove with noisy mirth to drown
The anguish of his soul.
The tempest as its sudden swell
In gusty howlings came,
With cold and death-like feelings seem'd
To thrill his shuddering frame.
Reluctant now, as night came on,
His lonely couch he press'd ;
And, wearied out, he sunk to sleep,
To sleep, but not to rest.
Beside that couch his brother's form,
Lord Edmund, seem'd to stand,
Such and so pale as when in death
He graspd his brother's hand :
Such and so pale his face as when,
With faint and faltering tongue,
To William's care, a dying charge,
He left his orphan son.
— " I bade thee, with a father's love,
" My orphan Edmund guard;
" Well, William, hast thou kept thy charge !
" Now take thy due reward." —
He started up, each limb convulsed
With agonizing fear ;
He only heard the storm of night —
'Twas music to his ear.
When lo ! the voice of loud alarm
His inmost soul appals,
— " What ho ! Lord William, rise in haste!
" The water saps thy walls!" —
He rose in haste : beneath the walls
He saw the flood appear ;
It hemm'd him round, 'twas midnight now,
No human aid was near.
He heard the shout of joy, for now
A boat approachd the wall,
And, eager to the welcome aid,
They crowd for safety all.
— " My boat is small," the boatman cried,
" This dangerous haste forbear!
" Wait other aid ; this little bark
" But one from hence can bear." —
Lord William leap'd into the boat,
— " Haste — haste to yonder shore !
" And ample wealth shall well reward,
" Ply swift and strong the oar." —
The boatman plied the oar, the boat
Went light along the stream ;
Sudden Lord William heard a cry
Like Edmund's drowning scream.
The boatman paus'd, — " methought I heard
"A child's distressful cry!" —
< — " 'Twas but the howling wind of night,"
Lord William made reply.
" Haste, haste — ply swift and strong the oar !
" Haste — haste across the stream !"—
Again Lord William heard a cry
Like Edmund's drowning scream.
— " I heard a child's distressful scream," —
The boatman cried again.
. — " Nay, hasten on — the night is dark —
'• And we should search in vain." —
— " Oh God ! Lord William, dost thou know
" How dreadful 'tis to die?
" And canst thou without pity hear
' « A child's expiring cry ?
" How horrible it is to sink
" Beneath the chilly stream,
" To stretch the powerless arms in vain,
" In vain for help to scream ?" —
The shriek again was heard. It came
More deep, more piercing loud ;
That instant o'er the flood the moon
Shone through a broken cloud.
And near them they beheld a child,
Upon a crag he stood,
A little crag, and all around
Was spread the rising flood.
The boatman plied the oar, the boat
Approach'd his resting place,
The moon-beam shone upon the child
And show'd how pale his face.
— " Now reach thine hand !" the boatman cried,
" Lord William reach and save !" —
The child stretch'd forth his little hands,
To grasp the hand he gave.
Then William shriek'd ; the hand he touch 'd
Was cold, and damp, and dead!
He felt young Edmund in his arms,
A heavier weight than lead.
The boat sunk down, the murderer sunk
Beneath the avenging stream ;
He rose, he scream'd ! — no human ear
Heard William's drowning scream.
THE PAINTER OF FLORENCE.
There once was a Painter in Catholic days,
Like Job, who eschewed all evil ;
Still on his Madonnas the curious may gaze
With applause and amazement, but chiefly his praise
And delight was in painting the Devil.
They were angels, compared to the devils he drew,
Who besieged poor St. Anthony's cell ;
Such burning hot eyes, such a damnable hue,
You could even smell brimstone, their breath was so blue,
He painted his devils so well.
And now had the Artist a picture begun,
'Twas over the Virgin's church door ;
She stood on the dragon embracing her son :
Many devils already the Artist had done,
But this must outdo all before.
The old Dragon's imps, as they fled through the air,
At seeing it, paused on the wing,
For he had the likeness so just to a hair,
That they came as Apollyon himself had been there,
To pay their respects to their king.
Every child, at beholding it, shiver'd with dread,
And scream'd, as he turned away quick ;
Not an old woman saw it, but, raising her head,
Dropp'd a bead, made a cross on her wrinkles, and said,
— " God help me from ugly Old Nick !"' — <■
What the Painter so earnestly thought on by day,
He sometimes would dream of by night;
But once he was startled, as sleeping he lay,
'Twas no fancy, no dream — he could plainly survey
That the Devil himself was in sight.
— " You rascally dauber," old Beelzebub cries,
" Take heed how you wrong me again !
V Though your caricatures for myself 1 despise,
" Make me handsomer now in the multitude's eyes,
" Or see if I threaten in vain ! —
Now the painter was bold, and religious beside,
And on faith he had certain reliance ;
So earnestly he all his countenance eyed,
And thank'd him for sitting, with Catholic pride,
And sturdily bade him defiance.
Betimes in the morning the Painter arose,
He is ready as soon as 'tis light ;
Every look, every line, every feature he knows,
'Tis fresh in his eye, to his labour he goes,
And he has the old wicked one quite.
Happy man, he is sure the resemblance can't fail,
The tip of the nose is red hot,
There's his grin and his fangs, his skin cover'd with scale,
And that — the identical curl of his tail,
Not a mark, not a claw is forgot.
He looks, and retouches again with delight ;
'Tis a portrait complete to his mind!
He touches again, and again feeds his sight,
He looks round for applause, and he sees, with affright,
The original standing behind.
— "Fool! idiot!" old Beelzebub grinn'd as he spoke,
And stamp'd on the scaffold in ire ;
The Painter grew pale, for he knew it no joke,
'Twas a terrible height, and the scaffolding broke;
The Devil could wish it no higher.
■ — " Help I help me ! O Mary!" he cried in alarm,
As the scaffold sunk under his feet.
From the canvas the Virgin extended her arm,
She caught the good Painter, she saved him from harm,
There were thousands who saw in the street.
The old Dragon fled when the wonder he 'spied,
And cursed his own fruitless endeavour ;
While the Painter calld after, his rage to deride,
Shook his pallet and brushes in triumph, and cried,
— " Now I'll paint thee more ugly than ever!" —
The Painter so pious all praise had acquired,
For defying the malice of hell :
The Monks the unerring resemblance admired,
Not a lady lived near but her portrait desired
From one who succeeded so well.
One there was to be painted, the number among,
Of features most fair to behold,
The country around of fair Marguerite rung;
Marguerite she was lovely, and lively, and young,
Her husband was ugly and old.
Oh ! Painter, avoid her ! Oh ! Painter, take care !
For Satan is watchful for you !
Take heed, lest you fall in the wicked one's snare,
The net is made ready — Oh ! Painter, beware
Of Satan and Marguerite too !
She seats herself now, now she lifts up her head,
On the Artist she fixes her eyes ;
The colours are ready, the canvas is spread,
He lays on the white, and he lays on the red,
And the features of beauty arise.
He is come to her eyes, eyes so bright and so blue,
There's a look that he cannot express,
His colours are dull to their quick-sparkling hue,
More and more on the lady he fixes his view,
On the canvas he looks less and less.
In vain he retouches, her eye sparkles more,
And that look that fair Marguerite gave :
Many devils the Artist had painted of yore,
But he never attempted an Angel before,
St. Anthony help him, and save !
He yielded, alas ! for the truth must be told,
To the woman, the tempter, and fate ;
It was settled, the Lady so fair to behold,
Should elope from her husband, so ugly and old,
With the Painter so pious of late.
Now Satan exults in his vengeance complete,
To the husband he makes the scheme known ;
Night comes, and the lovers impatiently meet,
Together they fly, they are seized in the street,
And in prison the Painter is thrown.
With Repentance, his only companion, he lies,
And a dismal companion is she.
On a sudden he saw the old Serpent arise ;
— " You villainous dauber," old Beelzebub cries,
•' You are paid for your insults to me.
" But my too tender heart it is easy to move,
" If to what I propose you agree.
" That picture — be fair ! the resemblance improve,
" Make a handsomer picture — your chains I'll remove,
" And you shall this instant be free." —
Overjoy'd, the condition so easy he hears,
— ". I'll make you more handsome," — he said.
He sees that his chain on the Devil appears,
Released from his prison, released From his fears,
The Painter lies snug in his bed.
At morn he arises, composes his look,
And proceeds to his work as before :
The people beheld him, the culprit they took,
They thought that the Painter his prison had broke,
And to prison they led him once more.
They open the dungeon — behold in his place,
In the corner, old Beelzebub lay :
He smirks, and he smiles, and he leers with a grace,
That the Painter might catch all the charms of his face,
Then vanish'd in lightning away.
Quoth the Painter — " I trust you'll suspect me no more,
" Since you find my denial was true ;
" But 111 alter the picture above the church-door,
" For I never saw Satan so closely before —
" And I must give the Devil his due." —
In Finland there is a Castle which is called the New Rock, moated about with
a river of unsounded depth, the water black, and the Jish therein very
distasteful to the palate. In this are spectres often seen, which foreshew
either the death of the Governor, or some prime officer belonging to the
place ; and most commonly it appeareth in the shape of an harper, sweetly
singing, and dallying and playing under the water.
It is reported of one Donica, that after she was dead, the Devil walked in
her body for the space of two years, so that none suspected but she was
still alive ; for she did both speak and eat, though very sparingly ; only
she had a deep paleness on her countenance, which was the only sign of
death. At length a Magician coming by where she was then in the com-
pany of many other virgins, as soon as he beheld her he said, "fair Maids
why keep you company with this dead virgin whom you suppose to be
alive?" when taking away the magic charm which was tied under her
arm, the body fell down lifeless and without motion.
The following Ballad is founded on these stories. They are to be found in
the Notes to The Hierarchies of the blessed Angels ; a poem by Thomas
Heywood, printed in folio by Adam Islip, 1635.
High on a rock, whose castled shade
Darken'd the lake below,
In ancient strength majestic stood
The towers of Arlinkow.
The fisher in the lake below
Durst never cast his net,
Nor ever Swallow in its waves
Her passing wings would wet.
The cattle from its ominous banks
In wild alarm would run,
Though parch'd with thirst, and faint beneath
The summer's scorching sun.
For sometimes, when no passing breeze
The long lank sedges waved,
All white with foam, and heaving high,
Its deafening billows raved.
And when the tempest from its base
The rooted pine would shake,
The powerless storm unruffling swept
Across the calm dead lake.
And ever then when death drew near
The house of Arlinkow,
Its dark unfathom'd depths did send
Strange music from below.
The Lord of Arlinkow was old,
One only child had he;
Donica was the maiden's name,
As fair as fair might be.
A bloom as bright as opening morn,
Flush'd o'er her clear white cheek ;
The music of her voice was mild,
Her full dark eyes were meek.
Far was her beauty known, for none
So fair could Finland boast;
Her parents loved the maiden much,
Young Ebeehard loved her most.
Together did they hope to tread
The pleasant path of life ;
For now the day drew near to make
Donica Eberhard's wife.
The eve was fair, and mild the air,
Along the lake they stray :
The eastern hill reflected bright
The fading tints of day.
And brightly o'er the water stream'd
1 he liquid radiance wide ;
Donica's little dog ran on,
And gambol'd at her side.
Youth, health, and love, bloom'd on her cheek;
Her full dark eyes express
In many a glance to Eberhard,
Her soul's meek tenderness.
Nor sound was heard, nor passing gale
Sigh'd through the long lank sedge ;
The air was hush'd ; no little wave
Dimpled the water's edge.
Sudden the unfathom'd lake sent forth
Strange music from beneath,
And slowly o'er the waters sail'd
The solemn sounds of death.
As the deep sounds of death arose,
Donica's cheek grew pale ;
And in the arms of Eberhard
The senseless maiden fell.
Loudly the youth in terror shriek'd,
And loud he call'd for aid ;
And with a wild and eager look
Gazed on the death-pale maid.
But soon again did better thoughts
In Eberhard arise,
And he with trembling hope beheld
The maiden raise her eyes.
And on his arm reclined, she moved,
With feeble pace and slow,
And soon with strength recover'd, reach'd
The towers of Arlinkow.
Yet never to Donica's cheek
Return'd the lively hue ;
Her cheeks were deathy white, and wan,
Her lips a livid blue.
Her eyes so bright and black of yore,
Were now more black and bright :
And beam'd strange lustre in her face,
So deadly wan and white.
The dog that gambol'd by her side,
And loved with her to stray ;
Now at his alter'd mistress howTd,
And fled in fear away.
Yet did the faithful Eberhard
Not love the maid the less ;
He gazed with sorrow, but he gazed
With deeper tenderness,
And when he found her health unharm'd,
He would not brook delay,
But press'd the not unwilling maid
To fix the bridal day.
And when at length it came, with joy
They hail'd the bridal day,
And onward to the house of God
They went their willing way.
And as they at the altar stood,
And heard the sacred rite,
The hallowed tapers dimly stream'd
A pale sulphureous light.
And as the youth, with holy warmth,
Her hand in his did hold,
Sudden he felt Donica's hand
Grow deadly damp and cold.
And loudly did he shriek, for lo !
A Spirit met his view ;
And Eherhard in the angel form
His own Donica knew.
That instant from her earthly frame
Howling the daemon fled,
And at the side of Eherhard
The livid lorm fell dead.
CORNELIUS AGRIPPA'S BLOODY BOOK.
Cornelius Agrippa went out one day,
His study he lock'd ere he went away ;
And he gave the key of the door to his wife,
And charged her to keep it lock'd on her life.
— " And if any one ask my study to see,
" I charge you trust them not with the key ;
" Whoever may beg, and intreat, and implore,
" For your life let nobody enter that door." —
There lived a young man in the house, who in vain
Access to that study had strove to obtain,
And he begg'd and pray'd the books to see,
'Till the foolish woman gave him the key.
On the study table a book there lay,
Which Agrippa himself had been reading that day;
The letters were written with blood within,
And the leaves were made of dead men's skin.
And these horrible leaves of magic between
Were the ugliest pictures that ever were seen ;
The likeness of things so foul to behold,
That what they were is not fit to be told.
The young man he began to read
He knew not what, but he would proceed ;
When there was heard a sound at the door,
Which, as he read on, grew more and more.
And more and more the knocking grew,
The young man knew not what to do;
But trembling in fear he sat within,
'Till the door was broke, and the Devil came in.
Two hideous horns on his head he had got,
Like iron heated nine times red-hot ;
The breath of his nostrils was brimstone blue,
And his tail like a fiery serpent grew.
— " What vvould'st thou with me?" — the wicked one cried}
But not a word the youth replied ;
Every hair on his head was standing upright,
And his limbs, like a palsy, shook with affright.
— "What vvould'st thou with me?" — cried the author of ill,
But the wretched young man was silent still;
Not a word had his lips the power to say,
And his marrow seem'd to be melting away.
— " What would'st thou with me?" — the third time, he
And a flash of lightning came from his eyes ;
And he lifted his griffin-claw in the air,
And the young man had not strength for a prayer.
His eyes with a furious joy were possess'd,
As he tore the young man's heart from his breast :
He grinn'd a horrible grin at his prey,
And with claps of thunder vanish'd away.
Henceforth let all young men take heed
How in a Conjurer's books they read.
RU D I GER.
Divers Princes and Noblemen being assembled in a beautiful and fair palace,
which was situate upon the river Rhine, they beheld a boat, or small barge,
make toward the shore, drawn by a Swan in a silver chain, the one end
fastened about her neck, the other to the vessel ; and in it an unknown
Soldier, a man of a comely personage and graceful presence, who stepped
upon the shore ; which done, the boat, guided by the swan, left him, and
floated down the river. This man fell afterward in league with a fair
gentlewoman, married her, and by her had many children. Afterysome
years the same swan came with the same barge, unto the same place ; the
soldier entering into it, was carried thence the way he came, left wife,
children, and family, and was never seen amongst them after.
Now who can judge this to be other than one of those spirits that are named
Incubi ? says Thomas Heywood. I have adopted his story, but not his
solution, making the unknown soldier not an evil spirit, but one who had
purchased happiness of a malevolent being, by the promised sacrifice of
his first-born child.
Bright on the mountain's heathy slope
The day's last splendours shine,
And rich with many a radiant hue,
Gleam gaily on the Rhine.
And many a one from Waldhurst's walls
Aloncr the river stroll'd,
As ruffling o'er the pleasant stream
The evening gales came cold.
So as they stray'd, a swan they saw
Sail stately up and strong,
And by a silver chain she drew
A little boat along,
Whose streamer to the gentle breeze
' Long floating flutter'd light,
Beneath whose crimson canopy
There lay reclined a knight.
With arching crest, and swelling breast,
On saild the stately swan,
And lightly up the parting tide
The little boat came on.
And onward to the shore they drew,
And leapt to land the knight,
And down the stream the little boat
Fell soon beyond the sight.
Was never a knicrht in Waldhurst's walls
Could with this stranger vie;
Was never youth at aught esteem'd
When Rudiger was by.
Was never a maid in Waldhurst's walls
Might match with Margaret,
Her cheek was fair, her eyes were dark,
Her silken locks like jet.
And many a rich and noble youth
Had strove to win the fair ;
But never a rich and noble youth
Could rival Rudiger.
At every tilt and tourney he
Still bore away the prize,
For knightly feats superior still,
And knightly courtesies.
His gallant feats, his looks, his love,
Soon won the willing fair,
And soon did Margaret become
The wife of Rudiger.
Like morning dreams of happiness
Fast roll'd die months away;
For he was kind, and she was kind,
And who so blest as they ?
Yet Rudiger would sometimes sit
Absoib'd in silent thought,
And his dark downward eye would seem
With anxious meaning fraught;
But soon he raised his looks again,
And smiled his cares away,
And mid the hall of gaiety
Was none like him so gay.
And onward roll'd the waning months,
The hour appointed came,
And Margaret her Rudiger
Hail'd with a father's name.
But silently did Rudiger
The little infant see,
And darkly on the babe he gazed,
And very sad was he.
And when to bless the little babe
The holy father came,
To cleanse the stains of sin away
In Christ's redeeming name;
Then did the cheek of Rudiger
Assume a death-pale hue,
And on his clammy forehead stood
The cold convulsive dew ;
And, faltering in his speech, he bade
The priest the rites delay,
Till he could, to right health restored,
Enjoy the festive day.
When o'er the many-tinted sky
He saw the day decline,
He called upon his Margaret
To walk beside the Rhine.
— " And we will take the little babe,
" For soft the breeze that blows,
•' And the mild murmurs of the stream
" Will lull him to repose."— -
And so together forth they went,
The evening breeze was mild,
And Rudiger, upon his arm,
Pillow'd the little child.
And many a one from Waldhurst's walls
Along the banks did roam ;
But soon the evening wind came cold,
And all betook them home.
Yet Rudiger, in silent mood,
Along the banks would roam,
Nor aught could Margaret prevail
To turn his footsteps home.
— " Oh, turn thee — turn thee, Rudiger,
" The rising mists behold ;
" The evening wind is damp and chill,
" The little babe is cold !" —
— " Now, hush thee — hush thee, Margaret,
•' The mists will do no harm;
" And from the wind, the little babe
" Lies shelter'd on my arm."—
— " Oh, turn thee — turn thee, Rudiger,
" Why onward wilt thou roam?
" The moon is up, the night is cold,
" And we are far from home." —
He answered not, for now he saw
A swan come sailing strong,
And by a silver chain she drew
A little boat along.
To shore they came, and to the boat
Fast leap'd he with the child ;
And in leap'd Margaret — breathless now,
And pale with fear, and wild.
With arching crest and swelling breast
On sail'd the stately swan,
And lightly down the rapid tide
The little boat went on.
The full-orb'd moon, that beam'd around
Pale splendour thro' the night,
Cast through the crimson canopy
A dim discolour'd light :
And swiftly down the hurrying stream
In silence still they sail,
And the long streamer, fluttering fast,
Flapp'd to the heavy gale.
And he was mute in sullen thought,
And she was mute with fear,
Nor sound but of the parting tide
Broke on the listening ear-
The little babe began to cry,
Then Margaret raised her head,
And with a quick and hollow voice,
— " Give me the child," — she said.
— '« Now, hush thee — hush thee, Margaret!
" Nor my poor heart distress;
" I do but pay, perforce, the price
" Of former happiness.
" And hush thee too, my little babe !
" Thy cries so feeble, cease :
" Lie still, lie still : — a little while,
" And thou shalt be at peace !" —
So as he spake to land they drew,
And swift he stepp'd on shore ;
And him behind did Margaret
Close follow evermore.
It was a place all desolate,
Nor house nor tree was there,
And there a rocky mountain rose,
Barren, and bleak, and bare.
And at its base a cavern yawn'd,
No eye its depth may view,
For in the moon-beam shining round,
That darkness darker grew.
Cold Horror crept through Margaret's blood,
Her heart it paused with fear,
When Rudiger approach'd the cave,
And cried, — *■• Lo, I am here!" —
A deep sepulchral sound the cave
Return'd — " Lo, I am here!" —
And black from out the cavern gloom
Two giant arms appear.
And Rudiger approach'd, and held
The little infant nigh ;
Then Margaret shriek'd, and gather'd then
New powers from agony.
And round the baby fast and close
Her trembling arms she folds,
And with a strong convulsive grasp
The little infant holds.
— " Now, help me, Jesus!" — loud she cries,
And loud on God she calls ;
Then from the grasp of Rudiger
The little infant falls :
And loud he shriek'd, for now his frame
The huge black arms clasp'd round,
And dragg'd the wretched Rudiger
Adown the dark profound.
— *' O swift, and swifter far he speeds
" Than earthly steed can run;
'* But 1 hear not the feet of his courser fleet,
" As he glides o'er the moorland dun."-—
Lone was the strath where he crossed their path,
And wide did the heath extend,
The Knight in Green on that moor is seen
At every seven years' end.
And swift is the speed of his coal-black steed,
As the leaf before the gale,
But never yet have that courser's feet
Been heard on hill or dale.
But woe to the wight who meets the Green Knight,
Except on his faulchion arm
Spell-proof he bear, like the brave St. Clair,
The holy Trefoil's charm ;
For then shall fly his gifted eye,
Delusions false and dim ;
And each unbless'd shade shall stand pourtray'd
In ghostly form and limb.
O swift, and swifter far he speeds
Than earthly steed can run ;
— " He skims the blue air," said the brave St. Clair,
" Instead of the heath so dun.
" His locks are bright as the streamer's light,
" His cheeks like the rose's hue ;
" The Elfin-King, like the merlin's wing
" Are his pinions of glossy blue." —
— " No Elfin-King, with azure wing,
" On the dark brown moor I see ;
" But a courser keen, and a Knight in Green,
"And full lair I ween is he.
" Nor Elfin- King, nor azure wing,
" Nor ringlets sparkling bright;" — ?
Sir Geoffry cried, and forward hied
To join the stranger Knight.
He knew not the path of the lonely strath,
Where the Elfin-King went his round ;
Or he never had gone with the Green Knight on,
Nor trode the charmed ground.
How swift they flew ! no eye could view
Their track on heath or hill ;
Yet swift across both moor and moss
St. Clair did follow still,
And soon was seen a circle green,
Where a shadowy wassel crew
Amid the ring did dance and sing,
In weeds of watchet blue.
And the windlestrae,* so limber and gray,
Did shiver beneath the tread
Of the coursers' feet, as they rushed to meet
The mortice of the dead.
— " Come here, come here, with thy green feere,
" Before the bread be stale;
" To roundel dance with speed advance,
'« And taste our wassel ale." —
Then up to the Knight came a grizzly wight,
And sounded in his ear,
— '•« Sir Knight, eschew this goblin crew,
" Nor taste their ghostly cheer." —
The tabors rung, the lilts were sung,
And the Knight the dance did lead ;
But the maidens fair seem'd round him to stare,
With eyes like the glassy bead.
The glance of their eye, so cold and so dry,
Did almost his heart appal ;
Their motion is swift, but their limbs they lift
Like stony statues all.
Again to the Knight came the grizzly wight,
When the roundel dance was o'er ;
— ,4 Sir Knight, eschew this goblin crew,
" Or rue for evermore."—
But forward press'd the dauntless guest
To the tables of ezlar red,
And there was seen the Knight in Green,
To grace the fair board head.
And before that Knight was a goblet bright
Of emerald smooth and green,
The fretted brim was studded full trim
With mountain rubies sheen.
Sir Geoffry the Bold of the cup laid hold,
With heath-ale mantling o'er;
And he saw as he drank that die ale never shrank,
But mantled as before.
Then Sir Geoffry grew pale as he quaffed the ale,
And cold as the corpse of clay;
And with horny beak the ravens did shriek,
And flutter d o'er their prey.
But soon throughout the revel rout
A strange commotion ran,
For beyond the round, they heard the sound
Of the steps of an uncharm'd man.
And soon to St. Clair the grim wight did repair,
From the midst of the wassel crew ;
— " Sir Knight, beware of the revellers there,
" Nor do as they bid thee do." —
— " What woeful wight art thou," said the Knight,
" To haunt this wassel fray?" —
— " I was once," quoth he, " a mortal, like thee,
" Though now I'm an Elfin gray.
" And the Knight so Bold as the corpse lies cold,
• ' Who trode the green sward ring ;
" He must wander along with that restless throng,
" For aye, with the Elfin-King.
" With the restless crew, in weeds so blue,
" The hapless Knight must wend ;
" Nor ever be seen on haunted green
" Till the weary seven years end.
*' Fair is the mien of the Knight in Green,
" And bright his sparkling hair;
•' 'Tis hard to believe how malice can live
" In the breast of aught so fair.
" And light and fair are the fields of air,
' ' Where he wanders to and fro ;
" Still doom'd to fleet from the regions of heat,
" To the realms of endless snow.
' ' When high over head fall the streamers * red,
' ' He views the blessed afar ;
" And in stern despair darts through the air
" To earth, like a falling star.
* ' With his shadowy crew, in weeds so blue,
" That Knight for aye must run ;
" Except thou succeed in a perilous deed,
" Unseen by the holy sun.
" Who ventures the deed, and fails to succeed,
" Perforce must join the crew:" —
— " Then brief, declare," said the brave St. Clair,
" A deed that a Knight may do." —
•• Mid the sleet and the rain thou must here remain,
" By the haunted green sward ring,
" Till the dance wax slow, and the song faint and low,
" Which the crew unearthly sing.
* Northern lights.
" Then right at the time of the matin chime,
" Thou must tread the unhallow'd ground,
** And with mystic pace the circles trace
" That enclose it nine times round.
" And next must thou pass the rank green grass
" To the tables of ezlar red ;
" And the goblet clear away must thou bear,
" Nor behind thee turn thy head.
" And ever anon as thou tread'st upon
" The sward of the green charm'd ring,
" Be no word express'd in that space unbless'd
" That 'longeth of holy thing.
*' For the charm'd ground is all unsound,
" And the lake spreads wide below,
" And the Water-Fiend there, with the Fiend of Air,
" Is leagued for mortals' woe." —
Mid the sleet and the rain did St. Clair remain
Till the evening star did rise ;
And the rout so gay did dwindle away
To the elritch dwarfy size.
When the moon beams pale fell through the white
With a wan and a watery ray,
Sad notes of woe seem'd round him to grow,
The dirge of the Elfins gray.
And right at the time of the matin chime
His mystic pace began,
And murmurs deep around him did creep,
Like the moans of a murder' d man.
The matin bell was tolling farewell,
When he reach'd the central ring,
And there he beheld, to ice congeal'd,
That crew, with the Elfin-King.
For ay, at the knell of the matin bell.
When the black monks wend to pray,
The spirits unbless'd have a glimpse of rest
Before the dawn of day.
The sigh of the trees, and the rush of the breeze,
Then pause on the lonely hill ;
And the frost of the dead clings round their
And they slumber cold and still.
The Knight took up the emerald cup,
And the ravens hoarse did scream,
And the shuddering Elfins half rose up,
And murmur'd in their dream :
They inwardly mourn'd, and the thin blood
To every icy limb ;
And each frozen eye, so cold and so dry,
'Gan roll with lustre dim.
Then brave St. Clair did turn him there,
To retrace the mystic track,
He heard the sigh of his lady fair,
Who sobbed behind his back.
He started quick, and his heart beat thick,
And he listen'd in wild amaze ;
But the parting bell on his ear it fell,
And he did not turn to gaze.
With panting breast, as he forward press'd,
He trode on a mangled head ;
And the skull did scream, and the voice did seem
The voice of his mother dead.
He shuddering trode : — On the great name of God
He thought, — but he nought did say;
And the green sward did shrink, as about to sink,
And loud laugh'd the Elfins gray.
And loud did resound, o'er the unbless'd ground,
The wings of the blue Elf-King ;
And the ghostly crew to reach him flew,
But he cross'd the charmed ring,
The morning was gray, and dying away
Was the sound of the matin bell;
And far to the west the Fays that ne'er rest,
Fled where the moon-beams fell.
And Sir Geoffry the Bold, on the unhallow'd mold,
Arose from the green witch-grass ;
And he felt his limbs like a dead man's cold,
And he wist not where he was.
And that cup so rare, which the brave St. Clair
Did bear from the ghostly crew,
Was suddenly changed, from the emerald fair,
To the ragged whinstone blue;
And instead of the ale that mantled there,
Was the murky midnight dew.
WOLFWOLD AND ULLA.
-PRISCA FIDES. VIRG.
— " Oh, low he lies ; his cold pale cheek
" Lies lifeless on the clay;
" Yet struggling hope — O day spring break,
" And lead me on my way.
" On Denmark's cruel bands, O heaven !
" Thy red-wing'd vengeance pour ;
" Before my Wolfwold's spear be driven —
" O rise bright morning hour
Thus Ulla wail'd, the fairest maid
Of all the Saxon race ;
Thus Ulla wail'd, in nightly shade,
While tears bedew'd her face.
When sudden o'er the fir-cfown'd hill,
The full orb'd moon arose;
And o'er the winding dale so still,
Her silver radiance flows.
No more could Ulla's fearful breast,
Her anxious care delay ;
But deep with hope and fear impress'd,
She holds the moonshine way.
She left the bower, and all alone
She traced the dale so still ;
And sought the cave, with rue o'ergrown,
Beneath the fir-crown'd hill,
Black lcnares of blasted oak, embound
With hemlock, fenced the cell :
The dreary mouth, half under ground,
Yawn'd like the gate of hell.
Soon as the gloomy den she spied,
Cold Horror shook her knee ;
— " And hear, O Prophetess," she cried,
*• A Princess sue to thee." —
Aghast she stood ! athwart the air,
The dismal screech-owl flew;
The fillet round her auburn hair
Asunder burst in two.
Her robe of softest yellow, glow'd
Beneath the moon's pale beam ;
And o'er the ground, with yew-boughs strew'd.
Effused a golden gleam.
The golden gleam the Sorceress spied,
As in her deepest cell,
At midnight's magic hour she tried
A tomb o'erpowering spell.
When from the cavern's dreary womb
Her groaning voice arose,
— " O come, my daughter, fearless come,
" And fearless tell thy woes." —
As shakes the bough of trembling leaf,
When whirlwinds sudden rise ;
As stands aghast the warrior chief,
When his base army flies ;
So shook, so stood, the beauteous maid,
When from the dreary den
A wrinkled hag came forth, array'd
In matted rags obscene.
Around her brows, with hemlock bound,
Loose hung her ash-grey hair ;
As from two dreary caves profound
Her blue flamed eye-balls glare.
Her skin, of earthy red, appear'd
Clung round her shoulder bones,
Like wither'd bark, by lightning sear'd
When loud the tempest groans.
A robe of squalid green and blue,
Her ghostly length array'd,
A gaping rent, full to the view
Her furrow'd ribs betray'd.
— " And tell, my daughter, fearless tell,
" What sorrow brought thee here ;
" So may my power thy cares expel,
" And give thee sweetest cheer." —
— " O, mistress of the powerful spell,
" Kino- Edric's daughter see ;
" Northumbria to my father fell,
" And sorrow fell to me.
" My virgin heart Lord Wolfwold won ;
" My father on him smiled ;
" Soon as he gain'd Nortlmmbria's throne,
" His pride the youth exiled.
M Stern Denmark's ravens o'er the seas
" Their gloomy black wings spread,
" And o'er Nortlmmbria's hills and leas,
" Their dreadful squadrons sped.
" — • Return, brave Wolfwold,' — Edric cried,
1 O generous warrior, hear,
' My daughter's hand, thy willing bride,
* Awaits thy conquering spear.' —
" The banish'd youth in Scotland's court
" Had pass'd the weary year ;
" And soon he heard the glad report,
" And soon he grasp'd his spear.
" He left the Scottish dames to weep,
" And wing'd with true love speed;
" Nor day, nor night, he stopt to sleep,
" And soon he cross'd the Tweed.
" With joyful voice, and raptured eyes,
" He pressed my willing hand;
«« — « I go, my fair, my love,' — he cries,
' To guard thy father's land.
" ' By Edon's shore indeathful fray
' The daring foe we meet,
1 Ere three short days I trust to lay
' My trophies at thy feet.' —
" Alas, alas ! that time is o'er,
1 ' And three long days beside,
" Yet not a word from Edon's shore
" Has cheer'd his fearful bride.
" O, mistress of the powerful spell,
*' His doubtful fate decide." —
— " And cease, my child, for all is well,"
The grizzly witch replied.
— " Approach my cave, and where I place
" The magic circle, stand,
" And fear not aught of ghastly face
" That glides beneath my wand."—
The grizzly witches powerful charms,
Then reach'd the labouring moon,
And, cloudless at the dire alarms,
She shed her brightest noon.
The pale beam struggled through the shade,
That black'd the cavern's womb,
And in the deepest nook betray 'd
An altar and a tomb.
Around the tomb, in mystic lore,
Were forms of various mien,
And efts, and foul wing'd serpents, bore
The altar's base obscene.
Eyeless, a huge and starved toad sat
In corner murk aloof,
And many a snake and famish'd bat
Clung to the creviced roof.
A fox and vulture's skeletons
A yawning rift betray 'd,
And grappling still each other's bones,
The strife of death display 'd.
— " And now, my child," the Sorceress said,
" Lord Wolfwold's father's grave
*' To me shall render up the dead,
" And send him to my cave.
'* His skeleton shall hear my spell,
• ' And to the figured walls
*' His hand of bone shall point, and tell
** What fate his son befalls." —
cold down Ulla's snow-like face
The trembling sweat drops fell,
And, borne by sprites of gliding pace,
The corse approach' d the cell.
And thrice the Witch her magic wand
Waved o'er the skeleton ;
And slowly, at the dread command,
Up rose the arm of bone.
A cloven shield and broken spear
The figure wander'd o'er,
Then rested on a sable bier
Distain'd with drops of gore.
In ghastly writhes her mouth, so wide
And black, the Sorceress throws,
— " And be those signs, my child," she cried,
" Fulfill'd on Wolfwold's foes !
" A happier spell I now shall try;
" Attend, my child, attend,
" And mark what flames from altar high,
" And lowly floor, ascend.
'• If of the roses softest red
" The blaze shines forth to view,
" Then Wolfwold lives — but Hell forbid
" The glimmering flame of blue !" —
The Witch then raised her haggard arm,
And waved her wand on high ;
And, while she spoke the mutter'd charm,
Dark lightning fill'd her eye.
Fair Ulla's knee swift smote the ground,
Her hands aloft were spread,
And every joint as marble bound,
Felt Horror's darkest dread.
Her lips, erewhile so like the rose,
Were now as vi'let pale,
And tumbling in convulsive throes,
Express'd o'erwhelming ail.
Her eyes, erewhile so starry bright,
Where living lustre shone,
Were now transform'd to sightless white,
Like eyes of lifeless stone.
And soon the dreadful spell was o'er,
And glimmering to the view,
The quivering flame rose through the floor,
A flame of ghastly blue.
Behind the altar's livid fire,
Low from the inmost cave,
Young Wolfwold rose in pale attire,
The vestments of the grave.
His eye to Ulla's eye he rear'd,
His cheek was wan as clay,
And half cut through his hand appear'd
That beckon' d her away.
Fair Ulla saw the woeful shade,
Her heart struck at her side,
And burst — low bow'd her listless head,
And down she sunk, and died.