Imágenes de páginas

There, face by face, and hand by hand,
The Claphams and Mauleverers stand;
And, in his place, among son and sire,
Is John de Clapham, that fierce Esquire,
A valiant man, and a name of dread,

In the ruthless wars of the White and Red;

Who dragged Earl Pembroke from Banbury church,
And smote off his head on the stones of the porch!
Look down among them, if you dare;
Oft does the White Doe loiter there,
Prying into the darksome rent;
Nor can it be with good intent:
So thinks that Dame of haughty air,
Who hath a Page her book to hold,
And wears a frontlet edged with gold.
Well may her thoughts be harsh; for she
Numbers among her ancestry

Earl Pembroke, slain so impiously!

That slender Youth, a scholar pale,
From Oxford come to his native vale,
He also hath his own conceit :

It is, thinks he, the gracious Fairy,
Who loved the Shepherd Lord to meet
In his wanderings solitary:

Wild notes she in his hearing sang,
A song of Nature's hidden powers;
That whistled like the wind, and rang
Among the rocks and holly bowers.
'Twas said that she all shapes could wear;

And oftentimes before him stood,

Amid the trees of some thick wood,

In semblance of a lady fair;

And taught him signs, and showed him sights,
In Craven's dens, on Cumbrian heights;
When under cloud of fear he lay,

A Shepherd clad in homely grey,

Nor left him at his later day.

And hence, when he, with spear and shield,
Rode full of years to Flodden field,
His eye could see the hidden spring,
And how the current was to flow;
The fatal end of Scotland's King,
And all that hopeless overthrow.

But not in wars did he delight,

This Clifford wished for worthier might;
Nor in broad pomp, or courtly state;
Him his own thoughts did elevate,-

Most happy in the shy recess
Of Barden's humble quietness.

And choice of studious friends had he

Of Bolton's dear fraternity;

Who, standing on this old church tower,
In many a calm propitious hour,
Perused, with him, the starry sky;
Or, in their cells, with him did pry
For other lore, -through strong desire
Searching the earth with chemic fire:
But they and their good works are fled
And all is now disquieted.
And peace is none, for living or dead!

Ah, pensive Scholar, think not so, But look again at the radiant Doe! What quiet watch she seems to keep, Alone, beside that grassy heap!

Why mention other thoughts unmeet For vision so composed and sweet? While stand the people in a ring, Gazing, doubting, questioning; Yea, many overcome in spite Of recollections clear and bright; Which yet do unto some impart An undisturbed repose of heart.

And all the assembly own a law
Of orderly respect and awe;

But see they vanish, one by one,

[ocr errors]

And last, the Doe herself is gone.

Harp! we have been full long beguiled By busy dreams, and fancies wild; To which, with no reluctant strings, Thou hast attuned thy murmurings; And now before this Pile we stand In solitude, and utter peace:

But, harp! thy murmurs may not cease Thou hast breeze-like visitings;

For a Spirit with angel wings

Hath touched thee, and a Spirit's hand:
A voice is with us a command

To chant, in strains of heavenly glory,
A tale of tears, a mortal story!


THE Harp in lowliness obeyed;

And first we sang of the green-wood shade,
And a solitary Maid;

Beginning, where the song must end,
With her, and with her sylvan Friend;

The Friend who stood before her sight,

Her only unextinguished light;

Her last companion in a dearth

Of love, upon a hopeless earth.

For She it was this Maid, who wrought

Meekly, with foreboding thought,

In vermeil colours and in gold

An unblest work; which, standing by,

Her Father did with joy behold,

Exulting in the imagery;

A Banner, one that did fulfil

Too perfectly his headstrong will:

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »