« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Or, if she look'd, 'twas but to say,
In that lone isle, where waved on high
LAY OF THE IMPRISONED HUNTSMAN.
"My hawk is tired of perch and hood,
"I hate to learn the ebb of time
"No more at dawning morn I rise,
The heart-sick lay was hardly said,
I can but be thy guide, sweet maid,
No tyrant he, though ire and pride
Within 'twas brilliant all and light, A thronging scene of figures bright; It glow'd on Ellen's dazzled sight, As when the setting sun has given Ten thousand hues to summer even, And, from their tissue, fancy frames, Aerial knights and fairy dames. Still by Fitz-James her footing stay'd, A few faint steps she forward made, Then slow her drooping head she raised, And fearful round the presence gazed; For him she sought who own'd this state, The dreadful prince whose will was fate!She gazed on many a princely port, Might well have ruled a royal court; On many a splendid garb she gazed— Then turn'd bewilder'd and amazed, For all stood bare: and, in the room, Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume. To him each lady's look was lent; On him each courtier's eye was bent; Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen, He stood, in simple Lincoln green, The centre of the glittering ring; And Snowdoun's knight is Scotland's king.
As wreath of snow, on mountain breast,
To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring;
We would not to the vulgar crowd
I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern,
Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,
That brought this happy chance to speed.-
Full well the conscious maiden guess'd
My fairest earldom would I give
To bid Clan-Alpine's chieftain live!-
Harp of the north, farewell! the hills grow dark,
Yet once again, farewell, thou minstrel harp!
May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Much have I owed thy strains on iife's long way,
Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire
Some spirit of the air has waked thy string! 'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire, 'Tis now the brush of fairy's frolic wing; Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell, And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spell-And now, 'tis silent all! Enchantress, fare thee well.
THE FIRE KING.
And she has ta'en shipping for Palestine's land, To ransom Count Albert from Soldanrie's hand.
"The blessings of the evil genii, which are curses, were upon him.' Eastern Tale.
This ballad was written at the request of Mr. Lewis, to be inserted in his Tales of Wonder. It is the third in a series of four ballads, on the subject of Elementary Spirits. The story is, however, partly historical; for it is recorded, that, during the struggles of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, a knight templar, called Saint Alban, deserted to the Saracens, and defeated the Christians in many combats, till he was finally routed and slain, in a conflict with King Baldwin, under the walls of Jerusalem.
BOLD knights and fair dames, to my harp give an ear,
O see you that castle, so strong and so high?
"Now, palmer, gray palmer, O tell unto me,
"O well goes the warfare by Galilee's wave,
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 Lebanon. "O Christian, brave Christian, my love wouldst 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 Kurdmans adore, Alone, and in silence, three nights shalt thou wake; And this thou shalt next do for Zulema's sake. "And, last, thou shalt aid us with counsel and To drive the Frank robber from Palestine's land; hand, For my lord and my love then Count Albert I'll take, When all this is accomplish'd for Zulema's sake.”
He has thrown by his helmet and cross-handled sword,
Renouncing his knighthood, denying his Lord; He has ta'en the green caftan, and turban put on, For the love of the maiden of fair Lebanon.
Which fifty steel gates and steel portals surround, And in the dread cavern, deep, deep under ground, He has watch'd until daybreak, but sight saw he none,
Save the flame burning bright on its altar of stone.
High bristled his hair, his heart flutter'd and beat, And he turn'd him five steps, half resolved to retreat;
O she's ta'en a horse, should be fleet at her speed; But his heart it was harden'd, his purpose was And she's ta'en a sword, should be sharp at her
When he thought of the maid of fair Lebanon.
Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce trod,
But true men have said, that the lightning's red wing
When the winds from the four points of heaven Did waft back the brand to the dread Fire-King.
They made each steel portal to rattle and ring,
Unmeasured in height, undistinguish'd in form,
In his hand a broad falchion blue glimmer'd through The Saracens, Kurdmans, and Ishmaelites yield smoke, To the scallop, the saltier, and crosletted shield; And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch he And the eagles were gorged with the infidel dead, spoke: From Bethsaida's fountains to Napthali's head.
"With this brand shalt thou conquer, thus long, The battle is over on Bethsaida's plain.
and no more,
Till thou bend to the cross, and the virgin adore."
The cloud-shrouded arm gives the weapon; and,
O! who is yon Paynim lies stretched mid the
And who is yon page lying cold at his knee?
The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his The lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound,
The thunders grow distant, and faint gleam fires,
As, borne on his whirlwind, the phantom retires.
The count he was left to the vulture and hound:
Yet many a minstrel, in harping, can tell,
And the red-cross wax'd faint, and the crescent At the tale of Count Albert and fair Rosalie.
From the day he commanded on Mount Lebanon.
From Lebanon's forest to Galilee's wave,
With Salem's king Baldwin, against him came on.
The war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied,
And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrew,
Against the charm❜d blade which Count Albert did
The fence had been vain of the king's red-cross shield;
THE WILD HUNTSMEN.
THIS is a translation, or rather an imitation, of the Wilde Jager of the German poet Bürger. The tradition upon which it is founded bears, that formerly a wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest, named Falkenburg, was so much addicted to the pleasures of the chase, and otherwise so extremely profligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unhallowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other days consecrated to religious duty, but accompanied it with the most unheard-of oppression upon the poor peasants who were under his vassalage. When this second Nimrod died, the people adopted a superstition, founded probably on the many various uncouth sounds heard in the depth of a German forest, during the silence of the night. They conceived they still heard the cry of the wildgrave's hounds; and the well-known cheer of the deceased hunter, the sound of his horse's feet, and the rustling of the branches before the game, the pack, and the sportsmen, are also distinctly discriminated; but the phantoms are rarely, if ever, visible. Once, as a benighted chasseur heard this infernal chase pass by him, at the sound of the It sprung from his grasp, and was never seen more: halloo, with which the spectre huntsman cheered
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
his hounds, he could not refrain from crying, "Gluck zu, Falkenburg!" (Good sport to ye, Falkenburg!) "Dost thou wish me good sport?" answered a hoarse voice; "thou shalt share the game;" and there was thrown at him what seemed to be a huge piece of foul carrion. The daring chasseur lost two of his best horses soon after, and never perfectly recovered the personal effects of this ghostly greeting. This tale, though told with some variation, is universally believed all over Germany.
The French had a similar tradition concerning an aërial hunter, who infested the forest of Fontainebleau. He was sometimes visible; when he appeared as a huntsman, surrounded with dogs, a tall grisly figure. Some account of him may be found in "Sully's Memoirs," who says he was I called Le Grande Veneur. At one time he chose to hunt so near the palace, that the attendants, and, if I mistake not, Sully himself, came out into the court, supposing it was the sound of the king returning from the chase. This phantom is elsewhere called Saint Hubert.
The superstition seems to have been very general, as appears from the following fine poetical description of this phantom chase, as it was heard in the wilds of Ross-shire.
"Ere since, of old, the haughty thanes of Ross-
Scottish Descriptive Poems, pp. 167, 168.
A posthumous miracle of father Lesly, a Scottish Capuchin, related to his being buried on a hill haunted by these unearthly cries of hounds and huntsmen. After his sainted relics had been deposited there, the noise was never heard more. The reader will find this, and other miracles, recorded in the life of father Bonaventura, which is written in the choicest Italian.
THE wildgrave winds his bugle horn,
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 beams of God's own hallow'd day
Loud, long, and deep, the bell had toll'd:
But still the wildgrave onward rides ;
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,
He waved his huntsman's cap on high,
To match the princely chase, afford ?"
"Cease thy loud bugle's clanging knell,"
Cried the fair youth, with silver voice; "And for devotion's choral swell Exchange the rude unhallow'd noise.
"To-day the ill-omen'd chase forbear, Yon bell yet summons to the fane; To-day the warning spirit hear,
To-morrow thou mayst mourn in vain."
"Away, and sweep the glades along!"
The wildgrave spurr'd his ardent steed,
"Hence, if our manly sport offend!
With pious fools go chant and pray: Well hast thou spoke, my dark-brow'd friend; Halloo, halloo and, hark away!"
The wildgrave spurr'd his courser light,
Up springs, from yonder tangled thorn,
A stag more white than mountain snow: And louder rung the wildgrave's horn, "Hark forward, forward! holla, ho!"
A heedless wretch had cross'd the way;
A field with autumn's blessings crown'd;