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"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;
With blood besmear'd, and white with foam,
The humble hermit's hallow'd bower.
But man and horse, and horn and hound,
All mild, amid the rout 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,
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 rites, I spurn; Not sainted martyr's sacred song,
Not God himself, shall make me turn!"
He spurs 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,
Wild gazed the affrighted Earl around;
Could from his anxious lips be borne.
He listens for his trusty hounds;
The quickening spur unmindful bears.
Still dark and darker frown the shades,
Save what a distant torrent gave.
High o'er the sinner's humbled head
"Oppressor of creation fair!
Apostate Spirits' 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;
Earth heard the call;-Her entrails rend; From yawning rifts, 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,
This is the horn, and hound, and horse,
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!” VOL I.25
"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, grey palmer, O tell unto me,
'Published in 1801.