« AnteriorContinuar »
She listened with a flitting blush,
Too fondly on her face!
Her bosom heaved — she stepped aside,
She fled to me and wept.
But when I told the cruel scorn
She half enclosed me with her arms, That crazed that bold and lovely Knight, She pressed me with a meek embrace; And that he crossed the mountain-woods, And bending back her head, looked up, Nor rested day nor night;
And gazed upon my face.
That I might rather feel, than see,
The swelling of her heart.
And how she wept, and clasped his knees;
The scorn that crazed his brain; 60
And that she nursed him in a cave;
A dying man he lay; —
Disturbed her soul with pity.
No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell, Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the By sun or moon-light, to the influxes
shade of shapes and sounds and shifting elements Lights up her love-torch. Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song And of his fame forgetful ! so his fame 30
A most gentle Maid, Should share in Nature's immortality, Who dwelleth in her hospitable home 90 A venerable thing! and so his song
Hard by the castle, and at latest eve Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself (Even like a Lady vowed and dedicate Be loved like Nature ! But 't will not be so; To something more than Nature in the And youths and maidens most poetical,
grove) Who lose the deepening twilights of the Glides through the pathways; she knows all spring
their notes, In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still That gentle Maid ! and oft, a moment's Full of meek sympathy must heave their
What time the moon was lost behind a O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.
Hath heard a pause of silence; till the moon My Friend, and thou, our Sister ! we have Emerging, hath awakened earth and sky learnt
With one sensation, and those wakeful birds A different lore: we may not thus profane Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy, 80 Nature's sweet voices, always full of love As if some sudden gale had swept at once And joyance ! 'Tis the merry Nightingale A hundred airy harps! And she hath That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates
watched With fast thick warble his delicious notes, Many a nightingale perch giddily As he were fearful that an April night | On blossomy twig still swinging from the Would be too short for him to utter forth
breeze, His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul And to that motion tune his wanton song Of all its music!
Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head.
And I know a grove
Farewell, O Warbler! till to-morrow eve, Of large extent, hard by a castle huge, 50 And you, my friends ! farewell, a short Which the great lord inhabits not; and so
farewell! This grove is wild with tangling underwood, | We have been loitering long and pleasantly, And the trim walks are broken up, and And now for our dear homes. — That strain grass,
again! Thin grass and king-cups grow within the | Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe, paths.
Who, capable of no articulate sound, But never elsewhere in one place I knew Mars all things with his imitative lisp, So many nightingales; and far and near, How he would place his hand beside his ear, In wood and thicket, over the wide grove, His little hand, the small forefinger up, They answer and provoke each other's songs, And bid us listen! And I deem it wise With skirmish and capricious passagings, To make him Nature's play-mate. He And murmurs musical and swift jug jug, 601 knows well And one low piping sound more sweet than The evening-star; and once, when he awoke
In most distressful mood (some inward pain Stirring the air with such an harmony, 'Had made up that strange thing, an infant's That should you close your eyes, you might dream),
I hurried with him to our orchard-plot, Forget it was not day! On moonlight And he beheld the moon, and, hushed at bushes,
once, Whose dewy leaflets are but half-disclosed, Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently, You may perchance behold them on the While his fair eyes, that swam with untwigs,
dropped tears, Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! bright and full,
„. grow up
It is a father's tale: But if that Heaven But moss and rarest mistletoe:
And in silence prayeth she.
The lady sprang up suddenly, He may associate joy. – Once more, fare The lovely lady, Christabell - well,
It moaned as near, as near can be, Sweet Nightingalel once more, my friends! But what it is she cannot tell. farewell.
110 On the other side it seems to be,
The night is chill; the forest bare;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak ?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl "Tis the middle of night by the castle clock, | From the lovely lady's cheek — And the owls bave awakened the crowing There is not wind enough to twirl cock;
The one red leaf, the last of its clan, Tu – whit! –Tu– whoo!
That dances as often as dance it can, 50 And hark, again! the crowing cock,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high, How drowsily it crew!
On the topmost twig that looks up at the
sky. Sir Leoline, the Baron rich, Hath a toothless mastiff bitch;
Hush, beating heart of Christabel ! From her kennel beneath the rock
Jesu, Maria, shield her well! She maketh answer to the clock,
She folded her arms beneath her cloak, Four for the quarters, and twelve for the | And stole to the other side of the oak. hour;
10 What sees she there? Ever and aye, by shine and shower, Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
There she sees a damsel bright, Some say, she sees my lady's shroud. Drest in a silken robe of white,
That shadowy in the moonlight shone: 60 Is the night chilly and dark ?
The neck that made that white robe wan, The night is chilly, but not dark.
Her stately neck, and arms were bare; The thin gray cloud is spread on high, Her blue-veined feet unsandalled were, It covers but not hides the sky.
And wildly glittered here and there
The gems entangled in her hair.
Mary mother, save me now!
(Said Christabel,) And who art thou ? 70 Whom her father loves so well, What makes her in the wood so late, The lady strange made answer meet, A furlong from the castle gate ?
And her voice was faint and sweet: She had dreams all yesternight
Have pity on my sore distress, Of her own betrothed knight;
I scarce can speak for weariness: And she in the midnight wood will pray Stretch forth thy hand, and have no For the weal of her lover that's far away.
Said Christabel, How camest thou here? She stole along, she nothing spoke, 31 And the lady, whose voice was faint and The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
sweet, And nought was green upon the oak | Did thus pursue her answer meet:
Where an army in battle array had marched
out. The lady sank, belike through pain, And Christabel with might and main 130 Lifted her up, a weary weight, Over the threshold of the gate: Then the lady rose again, And moved, as she were not in pain.
My sire is of a noble line,
white: And once we crossed the shade of night. As sure as Heaven shall rescue me, I have no thought what men they be; 90 Nor do I know how long it is (For I have lain entranced I wis) Since one, the tallest of the five, Took me from the palfrey's back, A weary woman, scarce alive. Some muttered words his comrades spoke: He placed me underneath this oak; He swore they would return with haste; Whither they went I cannot tell I thought I heard, some minutes past, 100 Sounds as of a castle bell. Stretch forth thy hand (thus ended she), And help a wretched maid to flee.
Then Christabel stretched forth her hand,
They passed the hall, that echoes still,
Amid their own white ashes lying ;
tall, Which hung in a murky old niche in the
And now they pass the Baron's room, 190 | As still as death, with stifled breath!
They crossed the moat, and Christabel
And now have reached her chamber door ; Again the wild-flower wine she drank: 220 And now doth Geraldine press down
Her fair large eyes 'gan glitter bright, The rushes of the chamber floor.
And from the floor whereon she sank,
The lofty lady stood upright:
Like a lady of a far countrée.
And thus the lofty lady spake -
Do love you, holy Christabel! For a lady's chamber meet :
And you love them, and for their sake The lamp with twofold silver chain
And for the good which me befel, Is fastened to an angel's feet.
Even I in my degree will try,
Fair maiden, to requite you well. The silver lamp burns dead and dim; But now unrobe yourself; for I But Christabel the lamp will trim.
Must pray, ere yet in bed I lie." She trimmed the lamp, and made it bright,
Quoth Christabel, So let it be! And left it swinging to and fro,
And as the lady bade, did she. While Geraldine, in wretched plight, Her gentle limbs did she undress, Sank down upon the floor below.
And lay down in her loveliness. O weary lady, Geraldine,
But through her brain of weal and woe I pray you, drink this cordial wine !
So many thoughts moved to and fro, 240 It is a wine of virtuous powers ;
That vain it were her lids to close; My mother made it of wild flowers.
So half-way from the bed she rose,
And on her elbow did recline
To look at the lady Geraldine.
Beneath the lamp the lady bowed,
And slowly rolled her eyes around; I have heard the grey-haired friar tell Then drawing in her breath aloud, How on her death-bed she did say,
Like one that shuddered, she unbound That she should hear the castle-bell
The cincture from beneath her breast: Strike twelve upon my wedding-day.
Her silken robe, and inner vest,
Behold ! her bosom and half her side
A sight to dream of, not to tell ! But soon with altered voice, said she - O shield her! shield sweet Christabel ! “ Off, wandering mother! Peak and pine! I have power to bid thee flee."
Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs; Alas! what ails poor Geraldine ?
Ah! what a stricken look was hers! Why stares she with unsettled eye?
Deep from within she seems half-way Can she the bodiless dead espy?
To lift some weight with sick assay, And why with hollow voice cries she, 210 And eyes the maid and seeks delay; « Off, woman, off! this hour is mine - Then suddenly, as one defied, Though thou her guardian spirit be,
Collects herself in scorn and pride, Off, woman, off! 't is given to me."
And lay down by the Maiden's side!
And in her arms the maid she took,
These words did say:
“In the touch of this bosom there worketh The lady wiped her moist cold brow,
a spell, And faintly said, “ 't is over now!”. | Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel!