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And thus they to each other said,
“ Yon handful down to hew Will be no boastful tale to tell,
The peasants are so few.”
The gallant Swiss Confederates there
They pray'd to God aloud,
Against a swarthy cloud.
Then heart and pulse throbb’d more and more
With courage firm and high,
On the Austrian chivalry.
The Austrian Lion' 'gan to growl,
And toss his main and tail; And ball, and shaft, and crossbow bolt,
Went whistling forth like hail.
Lance, pike, and halbert, mingled there,
The game was nothing sweet; The boughs of many a stately tree
Lay shiver'd at their feet.
The Austrian men-at-arms stood fast,
So close their spears they laid ; It chafed the gallant Winkelreid,
Who to his comrades said
« I have a virtuous wife at home,
A wife and infant son; leave them to my country's care, This field shall soon be won.
“ Tiese nobles lay their spears right thick,
And keep full firm array,
And make my brethren way.”
He rush'd against the Austrian band,
In desperate career, And with his body, breast, and hand,
Bore down each hostile spear.
Four lances splinter'd on his crest,
Six shiver'd in his side; Still on the serried files he press’d
He broke their ranks, and died.
This patriot's self-devoted deed
First tamed the Lion's mood, And the four forest cantons freed
From thraldom by bis blood.
Right where his charge had made a lane,
His valiant comrades burst,
I A pon on the Archduke's name, Leopold.
With sword, and axe, and partigen,
And hack, and stab, and thrist.
The daunted Lion 'gan to whine,
And granted ground amain,
And gored his sides again.
Then lost was banner, spear, and sheld,
At Sempach in the flight,
Hold many an Austrian knight.
It was the Archduke Leopold,
So lordly would he ride,
And they slew him in his pride.
The heifer said unto the bull,
“ And shall I not complain ? There came a foreign nobleman
To milk me on the plain.
“ One thrust of thine outrageous horn
Has gall’d the knight so sore, That to the churchyard he is borne
To range our glens no more.”
An Austrian noble left the stour,
And fast the flight ’gan take; And he arrived in luckless hour
At Sempach on the lake.
He and his squire a fisher call’d,
(His name was Hans Von Rot,) “ For love, or meed, or charity.
Receive us in thy boat!”
Their anxious call the fisher heard,
And, glad the meed to win,
And took the flyers in.
And while against the tide and wind
Hans stoutly row'd his way, The noble to his follower sign'd
He should the boatman slay.
The fisher's back was to them turn'd,
The squire his dagger drew, Hans saw his shadow in the lake,
The boat he overthrew.
He’whelm'd the boat, and as they strorc,
He stunn’d them with his oar, “ Now, drink ye deep, my gentle sirs,
You'll ne'er stab boatman more.
2 A pun on the Urus, or wild-bull, which gives manio the Canton of Uri.
“ 'Two gilded Ashes in the lake
This morning have I caught, Their silver scales may much avail,
Their carrion flesh is naught.”
It was a messenger of woe
Has sought the Austrian land: “ Ah! gracious lady, evil news!
My lord lies on the strand.
was, by birth, of the house of Moringer. This lady he supposes to have been Moringer's daughter, mentioned in the ballad. He quotes the same authority for the death of Berckhold Von Neuffen, in the same year. The editors, on the whole, seem to embrace the opinion of Professor Smith of Ulm, who, from the language of the ballad, ascribes its date to the 15th century.
The legend itself turns on an incident not peculiar to Germany, and which, perhaps, was not unlikely to happen in more instances than one, when crusaders abode long in the Holy Land, and their disconsolate dames received no tidings of their fate. A story, very similar in circumstances, but without the miraculous machinery of Saint Thomas, is told of one of the ancient Lords of Haigh-hall in Lancashire, the patrimonial inheritance of the late Countess of Balcarras; and the particulars are represented on stained glass upon a window in that ancient manor house.
“ At Sempach, on the battle-field,
His bloody corpse lies there.”— “ Ah, gracious God!” the lady cried,
“ What tidings of despair!”
Now would you know the minstrel wight
Who sings of strife so stern, Albert the Souter is he hight,
A burgher of Lucerne.
A merry man was he, I wot,
The night he made the lay, Returning from the bloody spot,
Where God had judged the day.
THE NOBLE MORINGER.
sweet as May, And said, “ Now, lady of my heart, attend the words
The Noble Moringer.
AN ANCIENT BALLAD.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN
II. 66 'Tis 1 have vow'd a pilgrimage unto a distant shrine, And I must seek Saint Thomas-land, and leave the
land that's mine; [1819.']
Here shalt thou dwell the while in state, so thou wilt The original of these verses occurs in a collecton pledge thy fay, of German popular songs, entitled, Sammlung Deat. That thou for my return wilt wait seven twelvemonths schen Volkslieder, Berlin, 1807, published by Messrs.
and a day.” Busching and Von der Hagen, both, and more especially the last, distinguished for their acquaintance
III. with the ancient popular poetry and legendary history Then out and spoke that Lady bright, sore troubled of Germany.
in her cheer, In the German Editor's notice of the ballad, it is “ Now tell me true, thou noble knight, what order stated to have been extracted from a manuscript takest thou here; Chronicle of Nicolaus Thomann, chaplain to Saint And who shall lead thy vassal band, and hold thy Leonard in Weisenhorn, which bears the date 1533 ;
lordly sway, and the song is stated by the author to have been And be thy lady's guardian true when thou art far generally sung in the neighbourhood at that early jeriod. Thomann, as quoted by the German Editor, seems faithfully to have believed the event he nar
IV. rates. He quotes tombstones and obituaries to prove Out spoke the noble Moringer, “ Of that have thou the existence of the personages of the ballad, and dis
no care, covers that there actually died, on the llth May 1349, There's many a valiant gentleman of me holds living a Lady Von Neuffen, Countess of Marstetten, who
1 The translation of the Noble Moringer appeared origi- tervals of exquisite pain, to his daughter Sophia, and his friend Dally in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1816, (published William Laidlaw.-Ed. See Life of Scott, vol. vi., p. 71. in 1819.) It was composed during Sir Walter Scott's severe 2 See Introduction to “ The Betrothed,” Waverley Novels. and alarming illness of April, 1819, and dictated, in the in- vol. xxxvii.
The trustiest shall rule my land, my vassals and my And pledge thee for my Lady's faith till seven long state,
years are gone, And be a guardian tried and true to thee, my lovely And guard her as Our Lady dear was guarded by Inate.
XI. " As Christian-man, I needs must keep the vow which Marstetten’s heir was kind and true, but fiery, hot, I have plight,
and young, When I am far in foreign land, remember thy true And readily he answer made with too presumptuous knight;
tongue; And cease, ry dearest dame, to grieve, for vain were “ My noble lord, cast care away, and on your journey sorrow now,
wend, But grant thy Moringer his leave, since God hath And trust this charge to me until your pilgrimage heard his vow.”
XII. It was the noble Moringer from bed he made him “ Rely upon my plighted faith, which shall be truly boune,
tried, And met him there his Chamberlain, with ewer and To guard your lands, and ward your towers, and with
your vassals ride; He flung the mantle on his back, 'twas furrd with And for your lovely Lady's faith, so virtuous and so miniver,
dear, He dipp'd his hand in water cold, and bathed his I'll gage my head it knows no change, be absent thirty forehead fair.
with gown :
XIII. “ Now hear,” he said, “ Sir Chamberlain, true vassal The noble Moringer took cheer when thus he heard art thou mine,
him speak, And such the trust that I repose in that proved worth And doubt forsook his troubled brow, and sorrow left of thine,
his cheek; For seven years shalt thou rule my towers, and lead A long adieu he bids to all—hoists topsails, and away, my vassal train,
And wanders in Saint Thomas-land seven twelveAnd pledge thee for my Lady's faith till I return months and a day. again.”
It was the noble Moringer within an orchard slept, The Chamberlain was blunt and true, and sturdily When on the Baron's slumbering sense a boding vision said he,
crept; “ Abide, my lord, and rule your own, and take this And whisper’d in his ear a voice, “ 'Tis time, Siz rede from me;
Knight, to wake, That woman's faith 's a brittle trust-Seven twelve- Thy lady and thy heritage another master take.
months didst thou say? I'll pledge me for no lady's truth beyond the seventh
XV. fair day.”
“ Thy tower another banner knows, thy steeds another
And stoop them to another's will thy gallant vassa! The noble Baron turn’d him round, his heart was full
And she, the Lady of thy love, so faithful once and His gallant Esquire stood him nigh, he was Marstet fair, ten's heir,
This night within thy fathers’ hall she weds MarstetTo whom he spoke right ar xiously, “ Thou trusty ten's heir."
squire to me, Wilt thou receive this weighty trust when I am o'er
XVI. the sea ?
It is the noble Moringer starts up and tears his beard,
Oh would that I had ne'er been born! what tidings X.
have I heard ! “ To watch and ward my castle strong, and to protect | To lose my lordship and my lands the less would be my land,
my care, And to the hunting or the host to lead my vassal But, God! that e'er a squire untrue should wed my band;
XXIII. “O good Saint Thomas, hear,” he pray’d,“ my patron It was the noble Moringer to climb the hill deSaint art thou,
gan, A traitor robs me of my land even while I pay my And stood before the bolted gate a woe and weary vow!
man; My wife he brings to infamy that was so pure of “ Now help me, every saint in heaven that can comname,
passion take, And I am far in foreign land, and must endure the To gain the entrance of my hall this wofu, match to shame.”
XXIV. It was the good Saint Thomas, then, who heard his His very knock it sounded sad, his call was sad and pilgrim's prayer,
slow, And sent a sleep so deep and dead that it o'erpower'd For heart and head, and voice and hand, were heavy his care;
all with woe; Ile waked in fair Bohemian land outstretch'd beside And to the warder thus he spoke; “ Friend, to thy a rill,
Lady say, High on the right a castle stood, low on the left a A pilgrim from Saint Thomas-land craves harbour mill.
for a day.
XXV. The Moringer he started up as one from spell un “ I've wander'd many a weary step, my strength is bound,
wellnigh done, And dizzy with surprise and joy gazed wildly all And if she turn me from her gate I'll see no morrow's around;
sun; “ I know my fathers' ancient towers, the mill, tho I pray, for sweet Saint Thomas' sake, a pilgrim's bed stream I know,
and dole, Now blessed be my patron Saint who cheer'd his And for the sake of Moringer's, her once-loved luspilgrim's woe!
XXVI. He leant upon his pilgrim staft, and to the mill he It was the stalwart warder then he came bis dame drew,
before, So alter'd was his goodly form that none their master “A pilgrim, worn and travel-toild, stands at the knew;
castle-door; The Baron to the miller said, “ Good friend, for And prays, for sweet Saint Thomas' sake, for harbour charity,
and for dole, Tell a poor palmer in your land what tidings may And for the sake of Moringer, thy noble husband's there be?”
XXVII. The miller answered him again, “ He knew of little The Lady's gentle heart was moved, “Do up the
gate,” she said, Save that the Lady of the land did a new bridegroom“ And bid the wanderer welcome be to banquet and choose;
to bed; Her husband died in distant land, such is the constant And since he names my husband's name, so that he word,
lists to stay, His death sits heavy on our souls, he was a worthy These towers shall be his harbourage a twelvemontb Lord.
and a day.”
XXVIII. « Of him I held the little mill which wins me living It was the stalwart warder then undid the portal free,
broad, God rest the Baron in his grave, he still was kind to It was the noble Moringer that o'er the tlıreshold me!
strode; And when Saint Martin's tide comes round, and “ And have thou thanks, kind heaven," he said, millers take their toll,
“though from a man of sin, The priest that prays for Moringer shall have both That the true lord stands here once more his castle cope and stole.”
ger is here !"
Then might you see her start from seat, while tears “Chill flows the lay of frozen age,” 'twas thus the in torrents fell, pilgrim sung,
But whether 'twas for joy or woe, the ladies best can “ Nor golden meed nor garment gay, unlocks his tell.
heavy tongue; Once did I sit, thou bridegroom gay, at board as rich
XXXIX. as thine,
But loud she utter'd thanks to Heaven, and every And by my side as fair a bride with all her charms
saintly power, was mine.
That had return’d the Moringer before the midnight
And loud she utter'd vow on vow, that never was « But time traced furrows on my face, and I grew
there bride, silver-hair’d,
That had like her preserved her troth, or been so For locks of brown, and cheeks of youth, she left this sorely tried.
brow and beard ; Once rich, but non a palmer poor, I tread life's latest
“Yes, here I claim the praise,” she said, to conAnd mingle with your bridal mirth the lay of frozen stant matrons due,
Who keep the troth that they have plight, so sted
fastly and true; XXXIV.
For count the term howe'er you will, so that you It was the noble Lady there this woful lay that hears, count aright, And for the aged pilgrim's grief her eye was dimm’d Seven twelve-months and a day are out when bells with tears;
toll twelve to-night.” She bade her gallant cupbearer a golden beaker take, And bear it to the palmer poor to quaff it for her sake.
It was Marstetten then rose up, his falchion there ho XXXV.
drew, It was the noble Moringer that dropp'd amid the wine He kneeld before the Moringer, and down his wea. A bridal ring of burning gold so costly and so fine: