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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 ;
Under the ancient oak.
And, “ tell me, boy,” quoth he,
Beneath the greenwood tree?”—
A stone into the rill;
Is on its surface still:
Has hardly died away.”
“ How strange is sleep!” the young knight said,
Methought I lived in a pleasant vale,
He struck with his spear the brazen plate
They lighted the way to the banquet hall,
Sir Isumbras was ever found
Where blows were struck for glory;
A knight more famed in story:
To see his courser prancing ;
The queen would praise his dancing :
Performing valour's duties;
Avenging injured beauties ;
And rescuing people's daughters
And whales that walk the waters.
And giants by the dozen;
They called him · 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 crowned with praise and laurel,
And tilted in his quarrel;
In very rugged verses ;
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,
Of most bewitching whiteness ;
Could most divinely prattle
And all the bliss of battle.
He trained her hawks and ponies;
With leverets and conies :
He loved, and he was loved again ;
I won't waste time in proving, There is no pleasure like the pain
Of being loved, and loving.
Dame Fortune is a fickle gipsy, And always blind, and often tipsy. Sometimes, for years and years together, She'll bless you with the sunniest weather, Bestowing honour, pudding, pence, You can't imagine why or whence ;Then in a moment—Presto, pass! Your joys are withered like the grass ; You find your constitution vanish, Almost as quickly as the Spanish; The murrain spoils your flocks and fleeces ; The dry-rot pulls your house to pieces ; Your garden raises only weeds ; Your agent steals your title deeds ; Your banker’s failure stuns the city; Your father's will makes Sugden witty ; Your daughter, in her beauty's bloom, Goes off to Gretna with the groom; And you, good man, are left alone, To battle with the gout and stone.
Ere long, Sir Isumbras began