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LAY OF THE IMPRISONED HUNTSMAN.
And lighten'd up a tapestried wall,
Pay the deep debt" — O say not so! And for her use a menial train
To me no gratitude you owe. A rich collation spread in vain.
Not mine, alas! the boon to give, The banquet proud, the chamber gay,
And bid thy noble father live; Scarce drew one curious glance astray;
I can but be thy guide, sweet maid, Or, if she look’d, 'twas but to say,
With Scotland's King thy suit to aid. With better omen dawn’d the day
No tyrant he, though ire and pride In that lone isle, where waved on high
May lead his better mood aside. The dun deer's hide for canopy;
Come, Ellen, come !-'tis more than time, Where oft her noble father shared
He holds his court at morning prime."The simple meal her care prepared,
With beating heart, and bosom wrung, While Lufra, crouching by her side,
As to a brother's arm she clung. Her station claim'd with jealous pride,
Gently he dried the falling tear, And Douglas, bent on woodland game,
And gently whisper'd hope and cheer; Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Græme,
Her faultering steps half led, half staid, Whose answer, oft at random made,
Through gallery fair and high arcade, The wandering of his thoughts betray’d.
Till, at his touch, its wings of pride
A portal arch unfolded wide.
Within 'twas brilliant all and light,
A thronging scene of figures bright; What distant music has the power
It glow'd on Ellen's dazzled sight, To win her in this woeful hour!
As when the setting sun has given 'Twas from a turret that o'erhung
Ten thousand hues to summer even,
And, from their tissue, fancy frames
Still by Fitz-James her footing staid;
A few faint steps she forward made,
Then slow her drooping head she raised, My horse is weary of his stall,
And fearful round the presence gazed ; And I am sick of captive thrall.
For him she sought, who own'd this state, I wish I were as I have been,
The dreaded prince whose will was fate! Hunting the hart in forest green,
She gazed on many a princely port, With bended bow and blood-hound free,
Might well have ruled a royal court; For that's the life is meet for me.
On many a splendid garb she gazed,
Then turn'd bewilder'd and amazed, “I hate to learn the ebb of time,
For all stood bare ; and, in the room, From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime,
Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume. Or mark it as the sunbeams crawl,
To him each lady's look was lent; Inch after inch, along the wall.
On him each courtier's eye was bent; The lark was wont my matins ring,
Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen, The sable rook my vespers sing ;
He stood, in simple Lincoln green, These towers, although a king's they be,
The centre of the glittering ring Have not a hall of joy for me.
And Snowdoun's knight is Scotland's king! “ No more at dawning morp I rise,
As wreath of snow, on mountain-breast, And sun myself in Ellen's eyes, Drive the feet deer the forest through,
Slides from the rock that gave it rest, And homeward wend with evening dew;
Poor Ellen glided from her stay, A blithesome welcome blithely meet,
And at the monarch's feet she lay; And lay my trophies at her feet,
No word her choaking voice commands,While Aed the eve on wing of glee,
She show'd the ring—she clasp'd her hands. That life is lost to love and me!".
0! not a moment could he brook,
The generous prince, that suppliant look! The heart-sick lay was hardly said,
Gently he raised her,-and, the while, The list'ner had not turn'd her head,
Check'd with a glance the circle's smile ; It trickled still, the starting tear,
Graceful, but grave, her brow he kiss’d, When light a footstep struck her ear,
And bade her terrors be dismiss'd:And Snowdoun's graceful knight was near.
“ Yes, Fair; the wandering poor
Fitz-James She turn’d the hastier, lest again
The fealty of Scotland claims. The prisoner should renew his strain.
To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; “ O welcome, brave Fitz-James !” she said;
He will redeem his signet ring. “How may an almost orphan maid
Ask nought for Douglas;-yester even,
His prince and he have much forgiven:
My fairest earldom would I give
Hast thou no other boon to crave?
No other captive friend to save?"-
And to the Douglas gave the ring,
As if she wish'd her sire to speak I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern,
The suit that stain'd her glowing cheek.With stout De Vaux and grey Glencairn;
“ Nay, then, my pledge has lost its force, And Bothwell's Lord henceforth we own
And stubborn justice holds her course. The friend and bulwark of our throne.
Malcolm, come forth!"-And, at the word, But, lovely infidel, how now?
Down kneel'd the Græme to Scotland's lord. What clouds thy misbelieving brow?
“ For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues, Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid ;
From thee may vengeance claim her dues, Thou must confirm this doubting maid.”
Who, nurtured underneath our smile,
Hast paid our care by treacherous wile, Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,
And sought, amid thy faithful clan, And on his neck his daughter hung.
A refuge for an outlaw'd man, The monarch drank, that happy hour,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.The sweetest, holiest draught of power,
Fetters and warder for the Græme!When it can say with godlike voice,
His chain of gold the King unstrung, Arise, sad virtue, and rejoice!
The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung, Yet would not James the general eye
Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.
Harp of the north, farewell! the hills grow dark, The riddle 'tis my right to read,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending ; That brought this happy chance to speed.
In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark, Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray
The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending. In life's more low but happier way,
Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending, 'Tis under name which veils my power,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy; Nor falsely veils—for Stirling's tower
Thy numbers sweet with nature's vespers blending, of yore the name of Snowdon claims,
With distant echo from the fold and lea, [bee. And Normans call me James Fitz-James.
And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing Thus watch I o'er insulted laws, Thus learn to right the injured cause."
Yet, once again, farewell, thou minstrel harp! Then, in a tone apart and low,
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway, -“ Ah, little trait'ress! none must know
And little reck I of the censure sharp What idle dream, what lighter thought,
May idly cavil at an idle lay. What vanity full dearly bought,
Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way, Join'd to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew
Through secret woes the world has never known, My spell-bound steps to Benvenue,
When on the weary night dawn'd wearier day, In dangerous hour, and all but gave
And bitterer was the grief devour'd alone. Thy monarch’s life to mountain glaive!"
That lo'er live such woes, Enchantress! is thine owl. Aloud he spoke—“ Thou still dost hold That little talisman of gold,
Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
Some spirit of the air has waked thy string! Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ring
'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire, What seeks fair Ellen of the king :"
'Tis now the brush of fairy's frolic wing. Full well the conscious maiden guess'd,
Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell, He probed the weakness of her breast;
And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring But, with that consciousness, there came
A wandering witch-note of the distant spellA lightning of her fears for Græme,
And now,'tis silent all!- Enchantress, fare thee well!
The blood left Wilfrid's ashen cheek; “ Forbear thy suit:—the King of kings
and hastes to speak.Alone can stay life's parting wings.
“ Happy in friendship's ready aid, I know his heart, I know his hand,
Let all my murmurs here be staid ! Have shared his cheer, and proved his brand :- And Rokeby's maiden will not part
THE CYPRESS WREATH.
From Rokeby's hall with moody heart.
But when you hear the passing bell, This night at least, for Rokeby's fame
Then, Lady, twine a wreath for me,
And twine it of the cypress tree.
Yes! twine for me thc cypress bough;
But, O Matilda, twine not now!
Stay till a few brief months are past,
And I have look'd and loved my last!
When villagers my shroud bestrew
With pansies, rosemary, and rue,-
Then, Lady, weave a wreath for me,
And weave it of the cypress tree.
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
On the mountain dawns the day,
All the jolly chace is here,
With hawk, and horse, and hunting spear;
Hounds are in their couples yelling,
Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling,
Merrily, merrily, mingle they,
“ Waken, lords and ladies gay.”
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
The mist has left the mountain gray,
Springlets in the dawn are steaming,
To track the buck in thicket green;
Now we come to chaunt our lay,
“ Waken, lords and ladies gay."
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
To the green-wood haste away;
We can shew you where he lies,
Fleet of foot, and tall of size;
We can shew the marks he made,
When 'gainst the oak his antlers fray'd;
You shall see him brought to bay,
“ Waken, lords and ladies gay.”
Louder, louder chaunt the lay,
Waken, lords and ladies gay!
Tell them youth, and mirth, and glee,
Run a course as well as we.
Time, stern huntsman! who can baulk,
Staunch as hound, and fleet as hawk?
Think of this, and rise with day,
Gentle lords and ladies gay.
The violet in her green-wood bower,
Where birchen boughs with hazles mingle,
May boast itself the fairest flower
In glen, or copse, or forest dingle.
Though fair her gems of azure hue,
Beneath the dew-drop's weight reclining,
I've seen an eye of lovelier blue,
More street through wat'ry lustre shining.
The summer sun that dew shall dry,
The owl and the raven are mute for dread, Ere yet the day be past its morrow;
And the time is meet to awake the dead!
“ Souls of the mighty, wake and say,
To what high strain your harps were strung,
When Lochlin plough'd her billowy way, TO A LADY,
And on your shores her Norsemen fung WITH FLOWERS FROM A ROMAN WALL.
Her Norsemen train’d to spoil and blood, Take these flowers, which, purple waving,
Skill'd to prepare the raven's food, On the ruin'd rampart grew,
All by your harpings doora'd to die
On bloody Largs and Loncarty.
“ Mute are ye all? No inurmurs strange Warriors from the breach of danger
Upon the midnight breeze sail by;
Nor through the pines with whistling change Pluck no longer laurels there: They but yield the passing stranger
Mimic the harp's wild harmony!
Mute are ye now?-Ye ne'er were mute, Wild-flower wreaths for beauty's hair.
When Murder with his bloody foot,
And Rapine with his iron hand,
Were hovering near yon mountain strand. WRITTEN UNDER THE THREAT OF INVASION IN
“ O yet awake the strain to tell, THE AUTUMN OP 1804.
By every deed io song enrollid,
By every chief who fought or fell
Through the deep ranks of Roman war,
To him, of veteran memory dear,
Who victor died on Aboukir.
By all their swords, by all their scars,
By all their names, a mighty spell ! There is a voice among the trees
By all their wounds, by all their wars, That mingles with the groaning oak
Arise, the mighty strain to tell! That mingles with the stormy breeze,
For fiercer than fierce Hengist's strain, And the lake-waves dashing against the rock ;- More impious than the heathen Dane, There is a voice within the wood,
More grasping than all-grasping Rome,
Gaul's ravening legions hither come!"
The wind is hush'd, and still the lake
Strange murmurs fill my tingling ears, “ Wake ye from your sleep of death,
Bristles my hair, my sinews quake, Minstrels and Bards of other days!
At the dread voice of other years, For the midnight wind is on the heath,
“ When targets clash'd, and bugles rung, And the midnight meteors dimly blaze!
And blades round warriors' heads were flung, The spectre with his bloody hand
The foremost of the band were we, Is wandering through the wild woodland;
And hymn'd the joys of liberty!"
HESTER. When maidens such as Hester die, Their place ye may not well supply, Though ye among a thousand try,
With vain endeavour.
Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood.
A month or more hath she been dead,
And her together.
That Aush'd her spirit.
She did inherit.
Her parents held the Quaker rule, Which doth the human feeling cool, But she was train'd in Nature's school,
Nature had blest her.
A FAREWELL TO TOBACCO. May the Babylonish curse Strait confound my stammering verse, If I can a passage see In this word-perplexity, Or a fit expression find, Or a language to my mind, (Still the phrase is wide or scant) To take leave of thee, great plant! Or in any terms relate Half my love, or half my hate: For I hate, yet love, thee so, That, whichever thing I shew, The plain truth will seem to be A constrain'd hyperbole, And the passion to proceed More for a mistress than a weed.
Sooty retainer to the vine, Bacchus' black servant, negro fine; Sorcerer, that mak'st us dote upon Thy begrimed complexion, And, for thy pernicious sake, More and greater oaths to break Than reclaimed lovers take 'Gainst women: thou thy siege dost lay Much too in the female way, While thou suck'st the lab'ring breath Faster than kisses or than death.
THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES. I have had playmates, I have had companions, In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. I have been laughing, I have been carousing, Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. I loved a love once, fairest among women! Closed are her doors on me, I must not see herAll, all are gone, the old familiar faces. I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man; Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly; Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.
Thou in such a cloud dost bind us,
Thou through such a mist dost shew us, That our best friends do not know us, And, for those allowed features,