Imágenes de página

For since that evil hour hath flown,
Many a summer's sun hath shone;
Yet ne'er found I a friend again
Like Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine."

The lady fell, and clasped his knees,
Her face upraised, her eyes o'erflowing;
And Bracy replied, with faltering voice,
His gracious hail on all bestowing!-
"Thy words, thou sire of Christabel,
Are sweeter than my harp can tell;
Yet might I gain a boon of thee,
This day my journey should not be,
So strange a dream hath come to me,
That I had vowed with music loud
To clear yon wood from thing unblest,
Warned by a vision in my rest!
For in my sleep I saw that dove,
That gentle bird, whom thou dost love,
And call'st by thy own daughter's name-
Sir Leoline! I saw the same

Fluttering, and uttering fearful moan,
Among the green herbs in the forest alone.
Which when I saw and when I heard,
I wondered what might ail the bird;
For nothing near it could I see,
Save the grass and green herbs underneath
the old tree.

"And in my dream methought I went To search out what might there be found; And what the sweet bird's trouble meant, That thus lay fluttering on the ground. I went and peered, and could descry No cause for her distressful cry; But yet for her dear lady's sake I stooped, methought, the dove to take, When lo! I saw a bright green snake Coiled around its wings and neck, Green as the herbs on which it couched. Close by the dove's its head it crouched; And with the dove it heaves and stirs, Swelling its neck as she swelled hers! I woke; it was the midnight hour, The clock was echoing in the tower; But though my slumber was gone by, This dream it would not pass away, It seems to live upon my eye! And thence I vowed this selfsame day, With music strong and saintly song To wander through the forest hare, Lest aught unholy loiter there."

Thus Bracy said: the Baron the while Half-listening heard him with a smile; Then turned to Lady Geraldine,

His eyes made up of wonder and love,

And said in courtly accents fine, "Sweet maid, Lord Roland's beauteous dove,

With arms more strong than harp or


Thy sire and I will crush the snake!"
He kissed her forehead as he spake,
And Geraldine, in maiden wise,
Casting down her large bright eyes,
With blushing cheek and courtesy fine
She turned her from Sir Leoline;
Softly gathering up her train,
That o'er her right arm fell again;
And folded her arms across her chest,
And couched her head upon her breast,
And looked askance at Christabel —
Jesu Maria, shield her well!

A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy, And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head,

Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye,
And with somewhat of malice, and more
of dread,

At Christabel she looked askance !--
One moment -and the sight was fled!
But Christabel, in dizzy trance
Stumbling on the unsteady ground,
Shuddered aloud, with a hissing sound;
And Geraldine again turned round,
And like a thing that sought relief,
Full of wonder and full of grief,
She rolled her large bright eyes divine
Wildly on Sir Leoline.

The maid, alas! her thoughts are gone;
She nothing sees, -no sight but one!
The maid, devoid of guile and sin,
I know not how, in fearful wise
So deeply had she drunken in
That look, those shrunken serpent eyes,
That all her features were resigned
To this sole image in her mind,
And passively did imitate

That look of dull and treacherous hate!
And thus she stood in dizzy trance,
Still picturing that look askance
With forced unconscious sympathy
Full before her father's view, -
As far as such a look could be
In eyes so innocent and blue!
And when the trance was o'er, the maid
Pauséd awhile, and inly prayed:
Then falling at the Baron's feet,
"By my mother's soul do I entreat
That thou this woman send away!"
She said and more she could not say:



For what she knew she could not tell,
O'ermastered by the mighty spell.

Why is thy cheek so wan and wild,
Sir Leoline? Thy only child
Lies at thy feet, thy joy, thy pride,
So fair, so innocent, so mild;
The same for whom thy lady died!
O, by the pangs of her dear mother,
Think thou no evil of thy child!
For her, and thee, and for no other,
She prayed the moment ere she died, -
Prayed that the babe for whom she died
Might prove her dear lord's joy and pride!
That prayer her deadly pangs beguiled,
Sir Leoline!

And wouldst thou wrong thy only child,

Her child and thine?

Within the Baron's heart and brain,
If thoughts like these had any share,
They only swelled his rage and pain,
And did but work confusion there.
His heart was cleft with pain and rage,
His cheeks they quivered, his eyes were

Dishonored thus in his old age;
Dishonored by his only child,
And all his hospitality

To the wronged daughter of his friend,
By more than woman's jealousy
Brought thus to a disgraceful end. -
He rolled his eye with stern regard
Upon the gentle minstrel bard,
And said in tones abrupt, austere,
"Why, Bracy! dost thou loiter here?
I bade thee hence!" The bard obeyed;
And turning from his own sweet maid,
The aged knight, Sir Leoline,
Led forth the Lady Geraldine!


A LITTLE child, a limber elf,
Singing, dancing to itself,
A fairy thing with red round cheeks,
That always finds, and never seeks,
Makes such a vision to the sight
As fills a father's eves with light;
And pleasures flow in so thick and fast
Upon his heart, that he at last
Must needs express his love's excess
With words of unmeant bitterness.
Perhaps 't is pretty to force together
Thoughts so all unlike each other;
To mutter and mock a broken charm,
To dally with wrong that does no harm.


Perhaps 't is tender too and pretty
At each wild word to feel within
A sweet recoil of love and pity.
And what if in a world of sin
(O sorrow and shame, should this be true!)
Such giddiness of heart and brain
Comes seldom save from rage and pain,
So talks as it 's most used to do.




My days among the dead are passed;
Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,

The mighty minds of old;
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal,
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,

My cheeks have often been bedewed
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the dead; with them
I live in long-past years;

Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the dead; anon My place with them will be, And I with them shall travel on

Through all futurity:

Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.


No stir in the air, no stir in the sea, The ship was as still as she could be; Her sails from heaven received no motion, Her keel was steady in the ocean.

Without either sign or sound of their shock The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;

So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The good old Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape

On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,

And over the waves its warning rung.

When the Rock was hid by the surges' swell,

The mariners heard the warning bell;
And then they knew the perilous Rock,
And blessed the Abbot of Aberbrothok.

The sun in heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled

And there was joyance in their sound.

The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck,
And he fixed his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness.

His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, "My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I'll plague the priest of Aberbro-

The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape

Down sank the bell, with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, "The next who comes
to the Rock

Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok."

Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away,
He scoured the seas for many a day;
And now, grown rich with plundered store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.

So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.

[merged small][ocr errors]

"Canst hear," said one, "the breakers roar?

For methinks we should be near the shore; Now where we are I cannot tell,

But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell.”

They hear no sound, the swell is strong; Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along,

Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock:

Cried they, "It is the Inchcape Rock!"

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He cursed himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.

But even in his dying fear
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear,
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell
The fiends below were ringing his knell.


ONE day to Helbeck I had strolled,
Among the Crossfell Hills,
And, resting in the rocky grove,
Sat listening to the rills,

The while to their sweet undersong
The birds sang blithe around,
And the soft west-wind awoke the wood
To an intermitting sound.

Louder or fainter, as it rose

Or died away, was borne The harmony of merry bells

From Brough, that pleasant morn.

"Why are the merry bells of Brough, My friend, so few?" said I; "They disappoint the expectant ear, Which they should gratify.

"One, two, three, four; one, two, three, four;

'Tis still one, two, three, four: Mellow and silvery are the tones;

But I wish the bells were more!"

[blocks in formation]

Such thoughts were in the old man's | I loved a love once, fairest among women!

[blocks in formation]

He curls up in his sanctuary shell.
He's his own landlord, his own tenant;

Long as he will, he dreads no Quarter Day.
Himself he boards and lodges; both in-

And feasts himself; sleeps with himself o' nights.

He spares the upholsterer trouble to pro


Chattels; himself is his own furniture,
And his sole riches. Wheresoe'er he


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

WHEN maidens such as Hester die,
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try,

With vain endeavor.

A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed
And her together.

Knock when you will, he's sure to be A springy motion in her gait,

at home.


I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions,

In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days;

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,

Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies;

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

A rising step, did indicate
Of pride and joy no common rate,
That flushed her spirit,

I shall it call;-if 't was not pride,
I know not by what name beside
It was a joy to that allied,

She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule,
Which doth the human feeling cool;
But she was trained in nature's school,
Nature had blessed her.

A waking eye, a prying mind,
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;

« AnteriorContinuar »