« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Or, if she look’d, 'twas but to say,
No tyrant he, though ire and pride
LAY OF THE IMPRISONED HUNTSMAN.
“My hawk is tired of perch and hood,
Within 'twas brilliant all and light,
XXV. The heart-sick lay was hardly said, The listener had not turn'd her head, It trickled still, the starting tear, When light a footstep struck her ear, And Snowdoun's graceful knight was near, She turn'd the hastier, lest again The prisoner should renew his strain. “() welcome, brave Fitz-James !” she said ; “How may an almost orphan maid Pay the deep debt"_“O say not so! To me no gratitude you owe. Not mine, alas! the boon to give, And bid thy noble father live ; I can but be thy guide, sweet maid, With Scotland's king thy suit to aid.
XXVII. As wreath of snow, on mountain breast, Slides from the rock that gave it rest, Poor Ellen glided from her stay, And at the monarch's feet she lay; No word her choking voice commandsShe show'd the ring—she clasp'd her hands. 0! not a moment could he brook, The generous prince, that suppliant look! Gently he raised her-and, the while, Check'd with a glance the circle's smile; Graceful, but grave, her brow he kissid, And bade her terrors be dismiss'd ;“ Yes, fair, the wandering poor Fitz-James The fealty of Scotland claims. To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; He will redeem his signet ring. Ask naught for Douglas :--yestereven His prince and he have much forgiven: Wrong hath he had from slanderous tongue ! I, from his rebel kinsman, wrong. We would not to the vulgar crowd Yield what they craved with clamour loud; Calmly we heard and judged his cause ; Our council aided, and our laws.
I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern,
My fairest earldom would I give
XXVIII. Then forth the noble Douglas sprung, And on his neck his daughter hung. The monarch drank, that happy hour, The sweetest, holiest draught of powerWhen it can say, with godlike voice, Arise, sad virtue, and rejoice! Yet would not James the general eye On nature's raptures long should pry; He stepp'd between-“Nay, Douglas, nay, Steal not my proselyte away! The riddle 'tis my right to read, That brought this happy chance to speed.— Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray In life's more low but happier way, 'Tis under name which veils my power, Nor falsely veils—for Stirling's tower Of yore the name of Snowdoun claims, And Normans call me James Fitz-James. Thus watch I o'er insulted laws, Thus learn to right the injured cause." Then in a tone apart and low, -"Ah, little trait'ress! none must know What idle dream, what lighter thought, What vanity full deariy bought, Join'd to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew My spell-bound steps to Ben-venue, In dangerous hour, and all but gave Thy monarch's life to mountain glaive !" Aloud he spoke- Thou still dost hold That little talisman of gold, Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ringWhat seeks fair Ellen of the king?”
Harp of the north, farewell! the hills grow dark,
Oa purple peaks a deeper shade descending; In twilight copse the glowworm lights her spark;
The deer, half seen, are to the covert wending. Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy; Thy numbers sweet with nature's vespers blending,
With distant echo from the fold and lea, And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing
bee. Yet once again, farewell, thou minstrel harp!
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway, And little reck I of the censure sharp,
May idly cavil at an idle lay. Much have I owed thy strains on iife's long way,
Thro' secret woes the world has never known, When on the weary night dawn'd wearier day,
And bitter was the grief devour'd alone. That I o'erlive such woes, enchantress! is thine
knew his heart, I pew his hand, Have shared his cheer and proved his brand.
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 bee
And she has ta’en shipping for Palestine's land,
To ransom Count Albert from Soldanrie's hand. THE FIRE KING.
Small thought had Count Albert on fair Rosalie, " The blessings of the evil genii, which are curses, were
Small thought on his faith, or his knighthood had he; Eastern Tale.
A heathenish damsel his light heart had won,
The Soldan's fair daughter of Mount Lebanon.
“ And, last, thou shalt aid us with counsel and
hand, Bold knights and fair dames, to my barp give an ear, To drive the Frank robber from Palestine's land; Of love, and of war, and of wonder to hear;
For my lord and my love then Count Albert I'll take, you haply may sigh, in the midst of your glee, When all this is accomplish'd for Zulema's sake.” At the tale of Count Albert, and fair Rosalie.
He has thrown by his helmet and cross-handled O see you that castle, so strong and so bigh?
sword, And see you that lady, the tear in her eye?
Renouncing his knighthood, denying his Lord ; And see you that palmer from Palestine's land,
He has ta'en the green caftan, and turban put on,
For the love of the maiden of fair Lebanon.
He has watch'd until daybreak, but sight saw he
none, “O well goes the warfare by Galilee's wave,
Save the flame burning bright on its allar of stone. For Gilead, and Nablous, and Ramah we have;
Amazed was the princess, the Soldan amazed, And well fare our nobles by Mount Lebanon,
Sore murmur'd the priests as on Albert they For the heathen have lost, and the Christians have
They search'd all his garments, and, under his A fair chain of gold mid her ringlets there hung:
weeds, O'er the palmer's gray locks the fair chain has she They found, and took from him, his rosary beads. fung;
Again in the cavern, deep, deep under ground, “O palmer, gray palmer, this chain be thy fee,
He watch'd the lone night, while the winds whisFor the news thou hast brought from the Holy
tled round; Countrie.
Far off was their murmur, it came not more nigh; “And, palmer, good palmer, by Galilee's wave, The flame burn'd unmoved, and naught else did he O saw ye Count Albert, the gentle and brave?
spy. When the crescent went back, and the red-cross Loud murmur'd the priests, and amazed was the rush'd on,
king, O saw ye him foremost on Mount Lebanon ?”
While many dark spells of their witchcraft they “O lady, fair lady, the tree green it
sing; O lady, fair lady, the stream pure it fows : They search'd Albert's body, and, lo! on his breast Your castle stands strong, and your hopes soar on Was the sign of the cross, by his father impress’d.
The priests they erase it with care and with pain, But lady, fair lady, all blossoms to die.
And the recreant return'd to the cavern again; “ The green boughs they wither, the thunderbolt But, as he descended, a whisper there fellfalls,
It was his good angel, who bade him farewell!
And he turn'd him five steps, half resolved to re-
When he thought of the maid of fair Lebanon.
Scarce pass’d he the archway, the threshold scarce But true men have said, that the lightning's red trod,
wing When the winds from the four points of heaven Did waft back the brand to the dread Fire-King. were abroad;
He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntletted hand; They made each steel portal to rattle and ring,
He stretch'd, with one buffet, that page on the And, borne on the blast, came the dread Fire-King. strand; Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew nigh;
As back from the stripling the broken casque The fire on the altar blazed bickering and high ;
rollid, In volcanic explosions the mountains proclaim
You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of The dreadful approach of the monarch of fame.
Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare Unmeasured in height, undistinguish'd in form,
On those death-swimming eye-balls, and bloodHis breath it was lightning, his voice it was storm; clotted hair; I ween the stout heart of Count Albert was tame,
For down came the Templars, like Cedron in flood, When he saw in his terrors the monarch of flame.
And died their long lances in Saracen blood. 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,
The battle is over on Bethsaida's plain. and no more,
0! who is yon Paynim lies stretched 'mid the Till thou bend to the cross, and the virgin adore."
slain The cloud-shrouded arm gives the weapon ; and, And who is yon page lying cold at his knee? see !
0! who but Count Albert and fair Rosalie. The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his The lady was buried in Salem's bless’d bound, knee:
The count he was left to the vulture and hound: The thunders grow distant, and faint gleam the Her soul to high mercy our lady did bring; fires,
His went on the blast to the dread Fire-king. As, borne on his whirlwind, the phantom retires.
Yet many a minstrel, in harping, can tell, Count Albert has arm'd him the Paynim among; How the red-cross it conquer'd, the crescent it fell; Though his heart it was false, yet his arm it was And lords and gay ladies have sigh’d, 'mid their strong;
glee, And the red-cross wax'd faint, and the crescent At the tale of Count Albert and fair Rosalie.
came on, From the day he commanded on Mount Lebanon.
From Lebanon's forest to Galilee's wave,
THE WILD HUNTSMEN.
This is a translation, or rather an imitation, of
the Wilde Jager of the German poet Bürger. The The war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied, tradition upon which it is founded bears, that forThe lances were couch'd, and they closed on each merly a wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest,
named Falkenburg, was so much addicted to the And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrew, pleasures of the chase, and otherwise so extremely Till he pierced the thick tumult King Baldwin profligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unto.
unhallowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other
days consecrated to religious duty, but accompaAgainst the charm’d blade which Count Albert did nied it with the most unbeard-of oppression upon wield,
the poor peasants who were under his vassalage. The fence had been vain of the king's red-cross when this second Nimrod died, the people adoptshield;
ed a superstition, founded probably on the many But a page thrust bim forward the monarch be- various uncouth sounds 'heard in the depth of a sore,
German forest, during the silence of the night. And cleft the proud turban the renegade wore.
They conceived they still heard the cry of the So fell was the dint, that Count Albert stoop'd low wildgrave's bounds; and the well-known cheer of Before the cross'd shield, to his steel saddle-bow;
the deceased hunter, the sound of bis horse's feet, And scarce had he bent to the red-cross his head,
and the rustling of the branches before the game, “ Bonne grace, notre dame,” he unwittingly said.
the pack, and the sportsmen, are also distinctly
discriminated; but the phantoms are rarely, if Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was 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
The beams of God's own hallow'd day
Had painted yonder spire with gold, And, calling sinful men 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 waved his huntsman's cap on high,
Cried, “ Welcome, welcome, noble lord ! What sport can earth, or sea, or sky,
To match the princely chase, afford ?"
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 wit 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 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,
To horse, to horse! halloo, halloo ! His fiery courser snuffs the morn,
And thronging serfs their lord pursue.
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 wildgrave's born,
“ Hark forward, forward! holla, ho !” A heedless wretch had crossd the way; He gasps,
the thundering hoofs below: But, live 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 3 See, prostrate at the wildgrave's feet, A husbandman, with toil embrown'd:
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.