페이지 이미지
PDF

But ghastly, pale, and livid streaks
Chequer'd his swarthy brow and cheeks. 270
—Hark, Minstrel! I have heard thee play,
With measure bold on festal day,
In yon lone isle, . . . again where ne'er
Shall harper play, or warrior hear!
That stirring air that peals on high,
O'er Dermid's race (1) our victory.
Strike it!—and then, (for well thou canst,)
Free from thy minstrel-spirit glanced,
Fling me the picture of the fight,
When met my clan the Saxon might.
I'll listen, till my fancy hears
The clang of swords, the crash of spears!
These grates, these walls, shall vanish
then
For the fair field of fighting men,
And my free spirit burst away,
As if it soared from battle-fray.’—
The trembling Bard with awe obey'd,
Slow on the i. his hand he laid;
But soon remembrance of the sight
He witness'd from the mountain's height, 290
With what old Bertram told at night,
Awaken'd the full power of song,
And bore him in career along;
As shallop launch'd on river's tide,
That slow and fearful leaves the side,
But, when it feels the middle stream,
Drives downward swift as lightning's beam.

275

280

285

295

Battle of Beal' an Duine. (2)

“The Minstrel came once more to view The eastern ridge of Benvenue, For, ere he parted, he would say Farewell to lovely Loch-AchrayWhere shall he find, in foreign land, 5 So lone a lake, so sweet a strand There is no breeze upon the fern, No ripple on the lake, Upon her eyry nods the erne, (3) The deer has sought the brake; 10 The small birds will not sing aloud, The springing trout lies still, So io glooms yon thunder-cloud, That swathes, as with a purple shroud, Benledi's distant hill. 15 Is it the thunder's solemn sound That mutters deep and dread, Or echoes from the groaning ground The warrior's measured tread 2 Is it the lightning's quivering glance 20 That on the thicket streams, Or do they flash on spear and lance The sun's retiring beams? —I see the dagger-crest of Mar, I see the Moray's silver star, 25

[blocks in formation]

Wave o'er the cloud of Saxon war,
That up the lake comes winding far!
To hero bound for battle-strife,
Or bard of martial lay,
"Twere worth ten i. of peaceful life, 30
One glance at their array!

Their light-arm'd archers far and near
Survey'd the tangled ground,
Their centre ranks, with pike and spear,
A twilight forest frown'd. 35
Their barded horsemen, in the rear,
The stern battalia crown'd.
No cymbal clash'd, no clarion rang,
Still were the pipe and drum;
Save heavy tread, and armour's clang, 40
The sullen march was dumb.
There breathed no wind their crests to
shake
Or wave their flags abroad;
Scarce the frail aspen seem'd to quake,
That shadow'd o'er their road. 45
Their vaward scouts no tidings bring,
Can rouse no lurking foe,
Nor spy a trace of living thing,
Save when they stirred the roe;
The host moves, like a deep sea-wave, 50
Where rise no rocks its pride to brave,
High-swelling, dark, and slow.
The lake is pass'd, and now they gain
A narrow and a broken plain,
Before the Trosach's rugged jaws; 5.
And here the horse and spearmen pause,
While to explore the dangerous glen,
Dive through the pass the archer-men.

)

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

—“We'll quell the savage mountaineer,
As their Tinchel cows the game!

They come as fleet as forest deer, 85
We'll drive them back as tame.’—

‘Bearing before them, in their course, The relics of the archer-force, Like wave with crest of sparkling foam, Right onward did Clan-Alpine come. , 90 Above the tide, each broad-sword bright Was brandishing like beam of light, Each targe was dark below: And with the ocean's mighty swing, When heaving to the tempest's wing, 95 They hurl’d them on the foe. I heard the lance's shivering crash, As when the whirlwind rends the ash; I heard the broad-sword's deadly clang, As if a hundred anvils rang. But Moray wheel'd his rearward rank Of horsemen on Clan-Alpine's flank, —‘My banner-man advance! I see,' he cried, ‘their column shake. — Now, gallants! for your ladies' sake, 105 Upon them with the lance 1'The horsemen dash'd among the rout, As deer break through i. broom; Their steeds are stout, their swords are out, They soon make lightsome room. 110 Clan-Alpine's best are backward borne– Where, where was Roderick then One blast upon his bugle-horn Were worth a thousand men. And refluent through the pass of fear 115 The battle's tide was pour'd; Vanish'd the Saxon's struggling Vanish'd the mountain #. s As Bracklinn's chasm, so black and steep, Receives her roaring linn, 120 As the dark caverns of the deep Suck the wild whirlpool in, So did the deep and darksome pass Devour the battle's mingled mass; None linger now upon the plain, Save those who ne'er shall fight again.

100

spear,

125

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

‘Viewing the mountain's ridge askance, The Saxons stood in sullen trance, Till Moray pointed with his lance, 155 And cried—‘Behold yon isle! See none are left to guard its strand, But women weak, that wring the hand. 'Tis there of yore the robber band Their booty wont to pile;— My purse, with bonnet-pieces store, To him will swim a bow-shot o'er, And loose a shallop from the shore. Lightly we'll tame the war-wolf then, Lords of his mate, and brood, and den.”— Forth from the ranks a spearman sprung, On earth his casque and corslet rung, He plunged him in the wave:-All saw the deed—the purpose knew And to their clamours É. A mingled echo gave; The Saxons shout, their mate to cheer, The helpless females scream for fear, And yells for rage the mountaineer. 'Twas then, as by the outcry riven, 185 Pour'd down at once the lowering heaven; A whirlwind swept Loch-Katrine's breast, Her billows rear'd their snowy crest. Well for the swimmer swell'd they high, To mar the Highland-marksman's eye; 190 For round him shower'd, 'mid rain and hail, The vengeful arrows of the Gael.— In vain.—He nears the isle—and lo! His hand is on a shallop's bow. —Just then a flash of lightning came, 195 It tinged the waves and strand with flame;— I mark'd Duncraggan's widow’d dame, Behind an oak I saw her stand, A naked dirk gleam'd in her hand:–

170

ISO

It darken'd, but amid the moan 200 While Lufra, crouching by her side,
Of waves I heard a dying groan;– | Her station claim'd with jealous pride,
Another flash!—the spearman floats And Douglas, bent on woodland game,
A weltering corse beside the boats, Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Graeme,
And the stern Matron o'er him stood, Whose answer, oft at random made, 250

Her hand and dagger streaming blood. 205 || The wandering of his thoughts betray'd.— Those who such simple !. have known “Revenge! revenge!” the Saxons cried, Are taught to prize them when they're gone

The Gaels' exulting shout replied. But sudden, see, she lifts her head!
Despite the elemental rage, The window seeks with cautious tread. 265
Again they hurried to engage; What distant music has the power
But, ere they closed in desperate fight, 210 To win her in this woeful hour!
Bloody with o: came a knight, 'Twas from a turret that o'erhung
Sprung from his horse, and, from a crag, Her latticed bower, the strain was sung.

Waved 'twixt the hosts a milk-white flag.

Clarion and trumpet by his side

Rung forth a truce-note high and wide, 215 ‘My hawk is tired of perch, and hood,

au of the imprisonet nisintun. L the imprisoned Hunt

While, in the monarch's name, afar | My idle grey-hound loathes his food,
An herald's voice forbade the war, My horse is weary of his stall,
For Bothwell's lord, and Roderick bold, And I am sick of captive thrall.
Were both, he said, in captive hold.' I wish I were as I have been, 5

- Hunting the hart in forest green,

—But there the lay made sudden stand, With bended bow and blood-hound free, The harp escaped the Minstrel's hand! | For that's the life is meet for me. Oft had he stolen a glance, to spy How Roderick brook'd his minstrelsy: At first, the Chieftain, to the chime, With lifted hand, kept feeble time; 225 That motion ceased, -yet feeling strong Varied his look as o the song; At length, no more his deafen'd ear The minstrel melody can hear; His face grows sharp, his hands are

clench'd, 230 “No more at dawning morn I rise,

As if some pang his heart-strings wrench'd; And sun myself in Ellen's eyes,
Set are his teeth, his fading eye | Drive the fleet deer the forest through,
Is sternly fixed on vacancy; | And homeward wend with evening dew; 20
Thus, motionless, and moanless, drew A blithesome welcome blithely meet,
His parting breath, stout Roderick Dhu !– And lay my trophies at her feet,
Old Allan-bane look'd on aghast, While fled the eve on wing of glee,_-
While grim and still his spirit pass'd: That life is lost to love and me!"—
But when he saw that life was fled,
He pour'd his wailing o'er the dead. |

‘I hate to learn the ebb of time,

From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime, 10
Or mark it as the sun-beams crawl,
|Inch after inch, along the wall.
The lark was wont my matins ring,
| The sable rook, my vespers sing;
These towers, although a king's they be, 15
Have not a hall of joy for me.

...The heart-sick lay was hardly, said, 25 Ellen, the while, with bursting heart, 240 The list'ner had not turn'd her head;

Remain'd in lordly bower apart, It trickled still, the starting tear,
Where play'd, with many-colour'd gleams, When light a footstep struck her ear,
Through storied pane the of beams. And Snowdoun's graceful Knight was near.
In vain on gilded roof they fall, She turn'd the hastier, lest again 30

And lighten'd up a tapestried wall, 245 The prisoner should renew his strain.

And for her use a menial train “O welcome, brave Fitz-James' she said;
A rich collation spread in vain. | How may an almost orphan maid
The banquet proud, the chamber gay, Pay the deep debt’—"O say not so!
Scarce drew one curious glance astray; To me no gratitude you owe. 35
Or, if she look'd, 'twas but to say, 250 Not mine, alas! the boon to give,
With better omen dawn'd the day | And bid thy noble father live;
In that lone isle, where waved on high I can but be thy guide, sweet maid,
The dun-deer's hide for canopy; With Scotland's .# thy suit to aid.
Where oft her noble father shared No tyrant he, though ire and pride 40

The simple meal her care prepared, 255 May lead his better mood aside.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Within 'twas brilliant all and light, A thronging scene of figures bright; It glow'd on Ellen's dazzled sight, As when the setting sun has given Ten thousand hues to summer-even, And, from their tissue, fancy frames Aerial knights and fairy dames. Still by Fitz-James her footing staid: A few faint steps she forward made, 60 Then slow her drooping head she raised, And fearful round the presence gazed; For him she sought, who own'd this state, The dreaded Prince whose will was fate 1 – She gazed on many a princely port, 65 Might well have ruled a royal court; . Or many a o garb . gazed,— Then turn'd bewilder'd and amazed, For all stood bare; and, in the room, Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume. To him each lady's look was lent; On him each courtier's eye was bent, Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen, He stood, in simple Lincoln green, The centre of the glittering ring, i.

75 And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's King!

[ocr errors]

As wreath of snow, on mountain breast, Slides from the rock that gave it rest, Poor Ellen 3. from her stay, And at the Monarch's feet she lay; No word her choking voice commands,She shew'd the ring—she clasp'd her hands. O! not a moment could he brook, The generous Prince, that suppliant look! Gently he raised her, and, the while, 85 Check'd with a glance the circle's smile: Graceful, but grave, her brow he kiss'd, And bade her terrors be dismiss'd:— ‘Yes, Fair; the wandering poor Fitz-James The fealty of Scotland claims. 90 To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; He will redeem his signet-ring. Ask nought for Douglas;—yester even, His prince and he have much forgiven: Wrong hath he had from slanderous tongue, I, from his rebel kinsmen, wrong. We would not to the vulgar crowd Yield what they craved with clamour loud; Calmly we heard and judged his cause, Our council aided, and our laws.

[ocr errors]

100

[ocr errors][merged small]

45 The friend and bulwark of our Throne.—

But, lovely infidel, how now?
What clouds thy misbelieving brow?
Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid;
Thou must confirm this doubting maid.’—

[ocr errors]

Then forth the noble Douglas sprung, And on his neck his daughter hung. 110 The Monarch drank, that happy hour, The sweetest, holiest draught of PowerWhen it can say, with godlike voice, Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice! Yet would not James the general eye 115 On nature's raptures long should pry; He stepp'd between—“Nay, Douglas, nay, Steal not my proselyte away ! The riddle 'tis my right to read,

That brought this happy chance to speed.—

Yes, Ellen, when disguised l stray
In life's more low but happier way,
'Tis under name which veils my power,
Nor falsely veils—for Stirling's tower
Of yore the name of Snowdoun claims, 125
And Normans call me James Fitz-James.
Thus watch I o'er insulted laws,
Thus learn to right the injured cause.’—
Then, in a tone apart and low,
—“Ah, little trait’ress' none must know 13)
What idle dream, what lighter thought,
What vanity full dearly bought,
Join'd to thine eye's dark witchcraft,
drew
My spell-bound steps to Bevenue,
In dangerous hour, and all but gave 135
Thy Monarch's life to mountain-glaive!’—
Aloud he spoke—“Thou still dost hold
That little talisman of gold,
Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ring—
What seeks fair Ellen of the King?'— 140

Full well the conscious maiden guessed, He probed the weakness of her breast; But, with that consciousness, there came A light'ning of her fears for Graeme, And more she deem'd the monarch's ire Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire, Rebellious broad-sword boldly drew; And, to her generous feeling true, She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu.— “Forbear thy suit:-the King of Kings 150 Alone can stay life's parting wings. I know his heart, I know his hand, Have shared his cheer, and proved his brand;— My fairest earldom would I give To bid Clan-Alpine's Chieftain live!— Hast thou no other boon to crave? No other captive friend to save?—

155

Blushing, she turn'd her from the King,
And to the Douglas gave the ring,
As if she wish'd her sire to speak 160
The suit that stain'd her glowing cheek.--
‘Nay, then, my pledge has lost its force,
And stubborn justice holds her course.
Malcolm, come forth !’—And, at the word,
Down kneel'd the Graeme to Scotland's Lord.
‘For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
From thee may Vengeance claim her dues,
Who, nurtured underneath our smile
Hast paid our care by treacherous wile,
And sought, amid thy faithful clan,
A refuge for an outlaw'd man,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.—
Fetters and warder for the Graeme!’——
His chain of gold the King unstrung,
The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung, 175
Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.

170

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

LORD BY RON.

Lo BYRON, (George Noel Gordon), was born in the period and of the count

London on the 22nd of Jan. 1788. At the early age of eleven he came into possession of the title and lands of one of the oldest English aristocratic families, and his prospects in life being thus improved, he entered Harrow School, and afterwards Trinity College, Cambridge. Byron appeared first before the public in 1807, when he published his "Hours of Idleness, a work which was severely and even coarsely criticised by the Edinburgh Reviewers: this criticism was the cause of that magnificent satire of Byron, “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.' Almost immediately after writing the latter, the poet travelled for two years, and upon his return he published the first and second cantos of “Childe Harold,” which appeared in 1812, at once placed him above all criticism, and procured for him the first rang among the English Poets. This production was followed in rapid succession by “The Giaour,” “The Bride of Abydos,” “The Corsair, and ‘Lara, in which Byron opens another source of interest, and forms a new era in literature, in bringing before us scenes from the east, and particularly modern Greece. Byron contracted about this time a marriage with Miss Milbanke, which proved very unfortunate, for after the birth of a daughter, Lady Byron left her husband without assigning any sufficient cause, on which occasion Byron expressed his feelings in those beautiful lines, “Fare thee well, &c." in which he so affectingly took leave of his wife. He left England almost immediately after, but before his departure he gave to the world “The siege of Corinth' and ‘Parisina." He now travelled through Belgium to Switzerland, where he wrote the third canto of Childe Harold, and then resided several years in various parts of Italy, and especially in Venice, living in a manner too profligate to be excused, even the loose manners of

7"HE PRISOAVER OF CHILL OAV.

My hair is grey, but not with years,
Nor grew it white
In a single night,
As men's have grown from sudden fears;

taken into consideration. At about this time (1817), Byron made his first attempt in the drama, and published ‘Manfred, which is rather a series of grand and majestic soliloquies. than a play; and indeed Byron has repeatedly insisted that it was not written with the view of being represented on the stage. This work was followed by the “Lament of Tasso, and the fourth and last canto of ‘Childe Harold." He has written several tragedies. of which the most famous are ‘Cain,” “Heaven and Earth,’ ‘The Deformed Transformed,” “Marino Faliero." ‘Sardanapalus,” “Werner,’ and “The Two Foscari. In ‘Don Juan' Byron has pictured almost all the features of modern society, and in many parts most satirically criticised what he considered the weak points in that of his own country. The chief feature in all Byron's poetry is the melancholy grandeur with which the whole is clothed, and the exceeding boldness of all his ideas. He excels in the conception and portraying of character, and in the expression of dark and terrible sentiments, but his principal heroes are almost all repetitions of one another, and have always their blackest qualities brought forward and strongly depicted. The religious principle of all his later works is bad, yet in spite of this, his high poetical feeling shows itself everywhere, and his works are now and will ever be read with great delight and fascination. Towards the end of his life Byron interested himself in the Greek war of independence; and after expending large sums of money in the cause of that country, he went himself Jan. 1824 to Greece where he died April 19th in the same year, in the midst of his exertions, which event was lamented by the Greeks as a national calamity. His remains were refused admission into Westminster Abbey on account of his religious opinions; they were therefore deposited in the family vault in Huckwell church, near Newstead.

My limbs are bow'd, though not with toil,'
But rusted with a vile repose,
For they have been a dungeon's spoil,
And mine has been the fate of those
To whom the goodly earth and air
Are bann'd, and barr'd—forbidden fare: 10

« 이전계속 »