Imágenes de páginas


"Away, and sweep the glades along!"
The Sable Hunter hoarse replies;
"To muttering monks leave matin-song,
And bells, and books, and mysteries."-


The Wildgrave spurred his ardent steed,

And, launching forward with a bound, "Who, for thy drowsy priestlike rede,

Would leave the jovial horn and hound?


"Hence, if our manly sport offend!

With pious fools go chant and pray:→
Well hast thou spoke, my dark-browed friend;
Halloo, halloo and, hark away!"b


The Wildgrave spurred his courser light,
O'er moss and moor, o'er holt and hill;
And on the left, and on the right,

Each Stranger Horseman followed still.


Up springs, from yonder tangled thorn,
A stag more white than mountain snow;
And louder rung the Wildgrave's horn,
"Hark, forward, forward! holla, ho!"


A heedless wretch has crossed the way;

He gasps the thundering hoofs below;-
But, live who can, or die who may,

Still, "Forward, forward!" On they go.


See, where yon simple fences meet,

A field with autumn's blessings crowned;
See, prostrate at the Wildgrave's feet,
A husbandman, with toil embrowned:


"O mercy, mercy, noble lord!

Spare the poor's pittance," was his cry,

b In the First Edition this, and the following verse, read thus:

"No! pions fool, I scorn thy lore;

Let him who ne'er the chase durst prove
Go join with thee the droning choir,
And leave me to the sport I love.
"Fast, fast, Earl Walter onward rides,

O'er moss and moor, o'er holt and hill,
And onward fast, on either side,

The stranger horsemen followed still."

"Spare the hard pittance of the poor."

e First edition:

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Earned by the sweat these brows have poured,
In scorching hour of fierce July." —


Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads,
The left still cheering to the prey;
The impetuous Earl no warning heeds,
But furious holds the onward way.


"Away, thou hound! so basely born,
Or dread the scourge's echoing blow!"
'Then loudly rung his bugle-horn,


Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!"


So said, so done :-A single bound

Clears the poor labourer's humble pale; Wild follows man, and horse, and hound, Like dark December's stormy gale.


And man, and horse, and hound, and horn,
Destructive sweep the field along;
While, joying o'er the wasted corn,

Fell Famine marks the maddening throng.


A gain up-roused the timorous prey

Scours moss, and moor, and holt, and hill;
Hard run, he feels his strength decay,
And trusts for life his simple skill.


Too dangerous solitude appeared;
He seeks the shelter of the crowd;
Amid the flock's domestic herd

His harmless head he hopes to shroud.


O'er moss, and moor, and holt, and hill,
His track the steady blood-hounds trace;
O'er moss and moor, unwearied still,
The furious Earl pursues the chase.


Full lowly did the herdsman fall; "O spare, thou noble Baron, spare

d First edition:

"In scorching July's sultry hour."

• First edition:

"O'er moss and moor, and holt and hill, The unwearied Earl pursues the chase." f First edition:

"The anxious herdsman lowly falls."

These herds, a widow's little all;
These flocks, an orphan's fleecy care."


Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads,
The left still cheering to the prey;
The Earl nor prayer nor pity heeds,
But furious keeps the onward way.


-"Unmannered dog! To stop my sport
Vain were thy cant and beggar whine,
Though human spirits, of thy sort,

Were tenants of these carrion kine!"-

Again he winds his bugle-horn,

Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!" And through the herd, in ruthless scorn, He cheers his furious hounds to go.


In heaps the throttled victims fall;

Down sinks their mangled herdsman near; The murderous cries the stag appal,Again he starts, new-nerved by fear.


With blood besmeared, and white with foam,
While big the tears of anguish pour,
He seeks amid the forest's gloom,

The humble hermit's hallowed bower.h


But man, and horse, and horn, and hound,
Fast rattling on his traces go;
The sacred chapel rung around

With, "Hark away; and, holla, ho!"


All mild, amid the rout profane,

The holy hermit poured his prayer ;"Forbear with blood God's house to stain; Revere his altar, and forbear!


"The meanest brute has rights to plead, Which, wronged by cruelty, or pride, Draw vengeance on the ruthless head:

Be warned at length, and turn aside."

g First edition :

"Nor prayer nor pity Walter heeds." h First edition: "hut obscure."


Still the Fair Horseman anxious pleads;
The Black, wild whooping, points the prey:-
Alas! the Earl no warning heeds,
But frantic keeps the forward way.


"Holy or not, or right or wrong,

Thy altar, and its rites, I spurn; Not sainted martyrs' sacred song,

Not God himself, shall make me turn!"


He spurs his horse, he winds his horn,
"Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!"-
But off, on whirlwind's pinions borne,
The stag, the hut, the hermit, go.


And horse, and man, and horn, and hound,
And clamour of the chase, was gone;
For hoofs, and howls, and bugle sound,
A deadly silence reigned alone.


Wild gazed the affrighted Earl around;
He strove in vain to wake his horn;
In vain to call; for not a sound

Could from his anxious lips be borne.


He listens for his trusty hounds;
No distant baying reached his ears:
His courser, rooted to the ground,
The quickening spur unmindful bears.


Still dark and darker frown the shades,i
Dark, as the darkness of the grave;
And not a sound the still invades,

Save what a distant torrent gave.


High o'er the sinner's humbled head
At length the solemn silence broke;
And, from a cloud of swarthy red,

The awful voice of thunder spoke:

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Oppressor of creation fair!
Apostate Spirits' hardened tool!
Scorner of God! Scourge of the poor!
The measure of thy cup is full.

i First edition: "round it spreads."


"Be chased for ever through the wood,
For ever roam the affrighted wild;
And let thy fate instruct the proud,
God's meanest creature is his child.”—


"Twas hushed: One flash, of sombre glare,
With yellow tinged the forests brown;
Up rose the Wildgrave's bristling hair,
And horror chilled each nerve and bone.


Cold poured the sweat in freezing rill;
A rising wind began to sing;
And louder, louder, louder still,

Brought storm and tempest on its wing.


Earth heard the call;-Her entrails rend;j
From yawning rifts, with many a yell,
Mixed with sulphureous flames, ascend
The misbegotten dogs of hell.


What ghastly Huntsman next arose,
may I guess, but dare not tell;
His eye like midnight lightning glows,
His steed the swarthy hue of hell.


The Wildgrave flies o'er bush and thorn,
With many a shriek of helpless woe;
Behind him hound, and horse, and horn,
And," Hark away, and holla, ho!”


With wild despair's reverted eye,

Close, close behind, he marks the throng,
With bloody fangs, and eager cry;—
In frantic fear he scours along.


Still, still shall last the dreadful chase,k
Till time itself shall have an end:
By day, they scour earth's caverned space,
At midnight's witching hour, ascend.

j First edition :

"The earth is rocked, it quakes, it rends." * First edition :

"Still shall the dreadful chase endure,
Till time itself shall have an end;

By day earth's tortured womb they scour."

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