Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Oh! come Maria, smile again,

My long lost peace restore!
Oh, come Ihyself, and grief and pain

Shall haunt my cot no more!
London, March 9th, 1819. -

EUSTACE.

ULRIC THE BOLD, .

From the German, HAVE ye heard of the Spectre of Brokenberge bighi, Whose tall shaggy form seems to reach to the sky? He roams through the forest of Harz all the night, And is seen on the Broken* at dụwning of light. The king of the waste, and the king of the mine, His steps he supports with an uprooted pine ; On bis huge matted head an oak garland is placed, And a cincture of oak leaves encircles his waist. Oh, shun the fell spectre with caution and care, He's the foe of mankind and his gifts prove a snare; , He assumes not unfrequent a hunter's disguise, To deceive the anwary with art and with lies. Some have bartered their souls for his gifts in their

need: He gave to Sir Ecbert that matchless black steed, Which at Bremeu's bigh Joustings the prize bore away; But the knight and the horse disappeared from that

day. The peasants around say he's gentle and kind, But these he assumes as a covert or blind. Have ye heard the strange story of Ulric the bold, How he fell by the lures of the fiend and his gold? Behold! where yon ruin in majesty frowns O'er the vale, from that hill whose broad summit it

crowns; 'Twas the Castle of Ulric, when high in his pride, His domains spread around it extensive and wide.

• For a particular account of that optical illusion, sec the article “ Brokenberge” Encyclopædia Londinensis, Vol. 3. Or the Pocket Magazine, Vol. 1. p. 318.

[ocr errors]

Those halls which resounded with music of yore,
Through the ruins the winter winds sullenly roar:
O'er their floors where the masquers' feet deftly did
The briar bush spreads, and high waves the rank grass.
At the lone hour of midnight, tradition reports,
Bad spirits repair to these mvuldering courts;
The Spectre of Brokenberge ever is there,
And his wild peals of laughter ring loud on the air.
Bold Ulric's poor sire was a cutter of wood,
In the forest of Harz, where his lone cottage stood;
His sons were compelled the same course to pursue,
And Ulric when young was a wood-cutter too.
Though Ulric was bold, yet his heart was depraved,
For pleasures and wealih he unceasingly craved :
By means good or bad his desires to obtain,
No scruples of conscience his soul could restrain.
'Twas said that the Brokenberge spectre, of old,
Had enriched some poor peasants with jewels and gold;
Though he knew with those gifts a curse lingered be.

hind,
The desire to possess them still ran through his mind.
A holy black friar, inspired from above,
To warn all the district round Brokenberge strove;
He bade them beware of this spectre so fell,
Whose gifts were obtained from the monarch of hell.
Young Ulric, enraged at the preacher's discourse,
Sought to silence his zeal by wild outrage and force;
A crowd of fierce miscreants joined in the fray,
And with curses and blows drove the friar away.
Soon after this impious scene was displayed,
One night, while employed in their wood-cutting trade,
Bold Ulric and brothers must take it in turns
To watch, while the charcoal fire steadily burns.
The first that held watch on that wonderful night,
Beheld the moon shining serenely and bright,
. When lo! a strange object portentous appears,
Which filled him with awe and awakened his fears.

He perceived on a neighbouring hill, with amaze,
A fire that appeared with wild fierceness to blaze;
A troop of strange figures around it danced long,
And the spectre of Broken was seen in the throng.
He whirled his huge uprooted pine tree around,
Whilst his loud bursts of laughter convulsed the firm

ground;
But the brother of Ulric was stricken with fear,
So he left not the cottage to view them more near.
That prayer* he repeated, whose words of blest might
Can dissolve charm or spell, and put demons to fight;
As the words past his lips, the pbantasma was fled,
And the moon-beams again o'er the hill softly spread.
His watch being ended, his partner he woke,
· Not a word of the scene he had witnessed he spoke;
With wonder the other full quickly espied
The spectres and fire gleaming on the hill side. Men
More courage had he than the first who now slept, I
And straight from the hovel he cautiously crept;
But as he drew near to observe them with care,' 'I
The fire and the spectres dissolved into air.. .,
When he reached the lone spot where the fire met his

view, The grass and the bushes were dripping with dew ; «i The moon in the heavens shone coldly and bright, -And the trees were all bathed in the vapours of night. Then back he returned to the hut with surprise, The time is now come when bold Ulric must rise; .. In his absence who went that strange pageant to see

! strange pageant to see The hovel-fire sunk, and rekindled must be. In haste the stone threshold young Ulric has crossed, Of fuel in quest, or their labour is lost : In silent amazement bebold him stand still, ! Lo! the spectres and fire he espies on the hill. ;,

*“ Let all good angels praise the Lord, &c." These words from the Psalms the Gernian peasants use as an exorcism over evil spirits ; no fiend nor enchantnicat can withstand their resistlcss potency.

He viewed them with wonder unmingled with fear,"
And he quickly determined to view them more near :
With his boar-spear in land there he boldly advanced,
A fire-brand to beg of those monsters that dayced,
He approached and addressed them with undaunted

brow, “ Say what are these Rites that ye celebrate now?" The spectre replied to this questioper bold, “ The black dragon's bridal with Hermes we hold.” . “4 Depart hence, rash Ulric, this warning I give,.. No mortal can look on these mysteries and live;" He carelessly answered,“ my fire's on the wane, So give me a brand to relight it again." They comply, and he struck his spear-head in a brand, When he heaved it its weight bent the spear like a

wand; Loud peals of wild laughter pursued bim amain, . As he past through the valley bis hut to regain. In vain he essayed his cold fire to relume, The coal he had brought only caused it to fumé; He looked from the hut, still the fire brightly shone, But the beings so wild that danced round it were

gone. He ventured again with a brand to make free, But this also proved upsuccessful to be; And his way to the hill a third time does explore,.' Though the spectres dance round the huge fire as be

fore. He boldly preferred and obtained his request, But the spectres thus stern the intruder addressed: “ If thou come back a fourth time 'twill cost thee full

dear,” And again their wild laughter rang loud in bis car. To rekindle his fire still in vain was his care, So he threw himself down on the couch in despair; How great was his wonder next morn to behold The fire-brands transformed to three masses of gold. Then that day of ambition on Ulric first rose, Which o'erwhelmed him with ruin and death at its

close;

He purchased domains and his castle stood high,"
Determined in pomp with his nobles to vie.
He married a lady adorned with each grace,
She made him a sire of a beautiful race ;
But the curse of his ill-gotten wealth o'er him hung,
His lady proved false, and his children died young..
He regarded not man, and he feared not his God,
His vassals he ruled with oppression's sharp rod;
He alike set laws human and sacred at nought,
Still bent on his pleasure, could pleasure be bought.
A festival high Ulric's sovereign proclaims, !
For tiltings and tourneys and chivalric games;
All the nobles and knights to these joustings repair,
In the pride of his heart Ulric vowed to be there.
His train was extensive and fair to behold,
His arms shone resplendent with jewels and gold;
He entered the lists with bis avantayle down,
Presuming to pass for some Baron unknown.
A herald was sent his degree to demand,
He felled him to earth with his gauntleted hayd,
Then rushed on the plain and encountered the foe,
But the first tilt he ran was the boaster laid low.
Wben his casque was removed and his face met their

view,
All present bold Ulric the wood-cutter knew ;
The pobles and knights were well nigh in a feud .
That this sifter of cinders had dared to intrude.
The monarch incensed gave an instant command
To arrest the proud peasant, and strike off his hand;
His lordships and castle must forfeited be, **
And Ulric is banished by public decree.
O’erwhelmed with confusion, with pain and dismay,
From the scene of his fall he slunk'silent away;
As he passed through that town whence whilom his

fierce hate
Had expelled the good monk, there he met the same

fate. Those peasants with pleasure had heard of his fall; His oppression and pride had made fues of them all.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »