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I give into thine hand

The buckler and the brand,
And clasp the golden spur upon thy heel.

“When thou hast made thee wise

In the sad lore of sighs, When the world's visions fail thee and forsake,

Return, return to me,

And to my Haunted Tree; The charm hath bound thee now; Sir knight,

awake!”

Sir Isumbras, in doubt and dread,

From his feverish sleep awoke,
And started up from his grassy bed

Under the ancient oak.
And he called the page who held his spear,

And, “ Tell me, boy,” quoth he,
“ How long have I been slumbering here,

Beneath the greenwood tree ?”— “ Ere thou didst sleep, I chanced to throw

A stone into the rill ;
And the ripple that disturbed its flow

Is on its surface still :

Ere thou didst sleep, thou bad’st me sing

King Arthur's favourite lay;
And the first echo of the string

Has hardly died away."

“ How strange is sleep!" the young knight said,

As he clasped the helm upon his head,
And, mounting again his courser black,

To his gloomy tower rode slowly back: “ How strange is sleep! when his dark spell lies

On the drowsy lids of human eyes,
The years of a life will float along
In the compass of a page's song.
Methought I lived in a pleasant vale,
The haunt of the lark and the nightingale,
Where the summer rose had a brighter hue,
And the noon-day sky a clearer blue,
And the spirit of man in age and youth
A fonder love, and a firmer truth.
And I lived on, a fair-haired boy,
In that sweet vale of tranquil joy ;
Until at last my vain caprice
Grew weary of its bliss and peace.

And one there was, most dear and fair,
Of all that smiled around me there-
A gentle maid, with a cloudless face,
And a form so full of fairy grace ;
Who, when I turned with scornful spleen ,
From the feast in the bower, or the dance on the

green,
Would humour all my wayward will
And love me, and forgive me still.
Even now, methinks, her smile of light
Is there before me, mild and bright;
And I hear her voice of fond reproof,
Between the beats of my palfrey's hoof.
'T is idle all : but I could weep;-
Alas!" said the knight, how strange is sleep!”

He struck with his spear the brazen plate
That hung before the castle gate;
The torch threw high its waves of flame
As forth the watchful menials came ;
They lighted the way to the banquet hall,
They hung the shield upon the wall,

They spread the board, and they filled the bowl, · And the phantoms passed from his troubled soul.

Sir Isumbras was ever found

Where blows were struck for glory; There sate not at the Table Round

A knight more famed in story: The king on his throne would turn about

To see his courser prancing; And, when Sir Launcelot was out,

The queen would praise his dancing : He quite wore out his father's spurs,

Performing valour's duties
Destroying mighty sorcerers,

Avenging injured beauties,
And crossing many a trackless sand,

And rescuing people's daughters
From dragons that infest the land,

And whales that walk the waters.
He throttled lions by the score,

And giants by the dozen;
And, for his skill in lettered lore,

They called himo“ Merlin's Cousin.”

A score of steeds, with bit and rein,

Stood ready in his stable ;

An ox was every morning slain,

And roasted for his table.
And he had friends, all brave and tall,

And crowned with praise and laurel,
Who kindly feasted in his hall,

And tilted in his quarrel ;
And minstrels came and sang his fame

In very rugged verses ;
And they were paid with wine and game,

And rings, and cups, and purses.

And he loved a Lady of high degree,

Faith’s fortress, Beauty's flower ; A countess for her maid had she,

And a kingdom for her dower; And a brow whose frowns were vastly grand,

And an eye of sunlit brightness,
And a swan-like neck, and an arm and hand

Of most bewitching whiteness ;
And a voice of music, whose sweet tones

Could most divinely prattle
Of battered casques, and broken bones,

And all the bliss of battle.

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