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And alas! he did not wake before The cruel knight with skill and might,
Had lopped and flayed the tail he wore. Twelve hours by the chime he lay in his slime,
More utterly blind, I trow,
Than a Polypheme in the olden time,
Or a politician now.
He sped, as soon as he could see,
To the Paynim bowers of Rosalie;
For there the dragon had hope to cure,
By the tinkling rivulets, ever pure,
By the glowing sun, and fragrant gale,
His wounded honor and wounded tail !
He hied him away to the perfumed spot:
The little dwarfs clung—where the tail was not!
The damsel gazed on that young knight,
With something of terror, but more of delight;
Much she admired the gauntlets he wore,
Much the device that his buckler bore,
Much the feathers that danced on his crest,
But most the baldrick that shone on his breast.
She thought the dragon's pilfered scale
Was fairer far than the warrior's mail,
And she lifted it up with her weak white arm,
Unconscious of its hidden charm,
And round her throbbing bosom tied,
In mimicry of warlike pride.
Gone is the spell that bound her! The talisman hath touched her heart, And she leaps with a fearful and fawn-like start
As the shades of glamory depart-
Strange thoughts are glimmering round her;
Deeper and deeper her cheek is glowing,
Quicker and quicker her breath is flowing,
And her eye gleams out from its long dark lashes,
Fast and full, unnatural flashes;
For hurriedly and wild
Doth Reason pour her hidden treasures,
Of human griefs, and human pleasures,
Upon her new-found child.
And “ oh !” she saith, “my spirit doth seem
To have risen to-day from a pleasant dream;
A long, long dream-but I feel it breaking !
Painfully sweet is the throb of waking;
And then she laughed, and wept again :
While, gazing on her heart's first rain,
Bound in its turn by a magic chain,
The silent youth stood there:
Never had either been so blest;
You that are young may picture the rest,
You that are young and fair.
Never before, on this warm land,
Came Love and Reason hand in hand.
When you are blest, in childhood's years
With the brightest hopes and the lightest fears,
Have you not wandered in your dream,
Where a greener glow was on the ground,
And a clearer breath in the air around, And a purer life in the gay sunbeam, And a tremulous murmur in every tree, And a motionless sleep on the quiet sea ?
And have you not lingered, lingered still,
All unfettered in thought and will,
A fair and cherished boy ;
Until you felt it pain to part
From the wild creations of your art,
Until your young
and innocent heart
Seemed bursting with its joy ?
And then, oh then, hath your waking eye
Opened in all its ecstacy,
And seen your mother leaning o'er you,
The loved and loving one that bore you,
Giving her own, her fond caress,
And looking her eloquent tenderness?
Was it not heaven to fly from the scene
Where the heart in the vision of night had been,
And drink, in one o'erflowing kiss,
Your deep reality of bliss ?
Such was Lillian's passionate madness,
Such was the calm of her waking gladness.
Enough! my tale is all too long :
Fair children, if the trifling song,
That flows for you to-night,
Hath stolen from you one gay laugh,
Or given your quiet hearts to quaff
One cup of young delight,
Pay ye the rhymer for his toils
In the coinage of your golden smiles,
And treasure up his idle verse,
With the stories ye loved from the lips of your nurse.
WHERE foams and flows the glorious Rhine,
Many a ruin wan and gray O’erlooks the corn-field and the vine,
Majestic in its dark decay. Among their dim clouds, long ago, They mocked the battles that raged below, And greeted the guests in arms that came, With hissing arrow, and scalding flame : But there is not one of the homes of pride That frown on the breast of the peaceful tide, Whose leafy walls more proudly tower Than these, the walls of Belmont Tower.
Where foams and flows the glorious Rhine,
Many a fierce and fiery lord
Did carve the meat, and pour the wine,
For all that revelled at his board.
Father and son, they were all alike,
Firm to endure, and fast to strike;
Little they loved but a Frau or a feast,
Nothing they feared but a prayer or a priest;
But there was not one in all the land
More trusty of heart, or more stout of hand,
More valiant in field, or more courteous in bower,
Than Otto, the Lord of Belmont Tower.
Are you rich, single, and your Grace'?
I pity your unhappy case;
Before you leave your travelling carriage,
The women have arranged your marriage ;
Where'er your weary wit may
They pet you, praise you, fret you, feed you;
Consult your taste in wreaths and laces,
And make you make their books at Races,
Your little pony, Tam O'Shanter,
Is found to have the sweetest canter;
Your curricle is quite reviving,
And Jane 's so bold when you are driving !
Some recollect your father's habits,
And know the warren, and the rabbits !
The place is really princely-only
They 're sure you 'll find it vastly lonely.
You go to Cheltenham, for the waters,
And meet the Countess and her daughters ;
You take a cottage at Geneva-
Lo! Lady Anne and Lady Eva.
In horror of another session,
You just surrender at discretion,
And live to curse the frauds of mothers,
your younger brothers.