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"My sand is run; my thread is spun; This sign regardeth me."
The elfin harp his neck around,
Then forth he went; yet turned him oft
On the grey tower, in lustre soft,
And Leader's waves, like silver sheen,
"Farewell, my father's ancient tower! A long farewell," said he :
The scene of pleasure, pomp, or power,
"To Learmont's name no foot of earth
And on thy hospitable hearth
The hart and hind approached the place,
And there, before Lord Douglas' face,
Lord Douglas leaped on his berry-brown steed, And spurred him the Leader o'er;
But, though he rode with lightning speed,
Some said to hill, and some to glen,
Their wondrous course had been; But ne'er in haunts of living men
Again was Thomas seen.
OF THE ROYAL EDINBURGH LIGHT DRAGOONS.
THE following War-song was written during the apprehension of an invasion. The corps of volunteers, to which it was addressed, was raised in 1797, consisting of gentlemen, mounted and armed at their own expense. It still subsists, as the Right Troop of the Royal Mid-Lothian Light Cavalry, commanded by the Hon. Lieutenant-Colonel Dundas. The noble and constitutional measure of arming freemen in defence of their own rights, was nowhere more successful than in Edinburgh, which furnished a force of 3,000 armed and disciplined volunteers, including a regiment of cavalry, from the city and county, and two corps of artillery, each capable of serving twelve guns. To such a force, above all others, might, in similar circumstances, be applied the exhortation of our ancient Galgacus: "Proinde ituri in aciem, et majores vestros et posteros cogitate."
To horse! to horse! the standard flies,
The Gallic navy stems the seas,
From high Dunedin's towers we come,
Our casques the leopard's spoils surround,
Though tamely crouch to Gallia's frown
Their ravished toys though Romans mourn,
O! had they marked the avenging call
The Royal colours.
a The allusion is to the massacre of the Swiss guards, on the fatal 10th of August, 1792. It is painful, but not useless, to remark, that the passive temper with which the Swiss regarded the death of their bravest countrymen, mercilessly slaughtered in discharge of their duty, encouraged and authorized the progressive injustice by which the Alps, once the seat of the most virtuous and free people on the Continent, were, at length, converted into the citadel of a foreign and military despot. A state degraded is half enslaved.
Shall we, too, bend the stubborn head,
Or brook a victor's scorn?
No! though destruction o'er the land
For gold let Gallia's legions fight,
Unbribed, unbought, our swords we draw,
If ever breath of British gale
Or footstep of invader rude,
Then farewell home! and farewell friends!
To horse! to horse! the sabres gleam;
Translations and Imitations of German Ballads.
[This and the following ballad were first published anonymously in a small book, entitled, "The Chase and William and Helen;" two ballads, from the German of Gottfried Augustus Bürger. Edinburgh: Printed by Mundell and Son, Bank-close, for Manners and Miller, Parliament-square; and sold by T. Cadell, jun., and W. Davies, in the Strand, London. 1796. 4to. It goes generally by the title, "The Wild Huntsman."]
THIS is a translation, or rather an imitation, of the "Wilde Jäger" of the German poet Bürger. The tradition upon which it is founded bears, that formerly a Wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest, named Falkenburg, was so much addicted to the pleasures of the chase, and otherwise so extremely profligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unhallowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other days consecrated to religious duty, but accompanied it with the most unheard-of oppression upon the poor peasants who were under his vassalage. When this second Nimrod died, the people adopted a superstition, founded probably on the many various uncouth sounds heard in the depth of a German forest, during the silence of the night. They conceived they still heard the cry of the Wildgrave's hounds; and the wellknown cheer of the deceased hunter, the sounds of his horse's feet, and the rustling of the branches before the game, the pack, and the sportsmen, are also distinctly discriminated; but the phantoms are rarely, if ever, visible. Once, as a benighted Chasseur heard this infernal chase pass by him, at the sound of the halloo, with which the Spectre Huntsman cheered his hounds, he could not refrain from crying, “ Glück zu Falkenburg!" [Good sport to ye, Falkenburg!] 'Dost thou wish me good sport ?" answered a hoarse voice; "thou shalt share the game;" and there was thrown at him what seemed to be a huge piece of foul carrion. The daring Chasseur lost two of his best horses soon after, and never perfectly recovered the personal effects of this ghostly greeting. This tale, though told with some variations, is universally believed all over Germany.
The French had a similar tradition concerning an aërial hunter, who infested the forest of Fountainebleau.
THE Wildgrave winds his bugle horn,
The eager pack, from couples freed,
Dash through the bush, the brier, the brake;
The beams of God's own hallowed day
Loud, long, and deep, the bell had tolled:
But still the Wildgrave onward rides;
Who was each Stranger, left and right,
The right-hand horseman, young and fair,
Shot midnight lightning's lurid ray.
He waved his huntsman's cap on high,
To match the princely chase afford ?"—
"Cease thy loud bugle's clanging knell,"
To-day, the ill-omened chase forbear,
To-morrow thou mayst mourn in vain."
In the First Edition "Earl Walter" is the term applied throughout the ballad, instead of "the Wildgrave."