Imágenes de páginas

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,s
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:

[ocr errors]


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,
Well 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."

k First edition :

"Still shall the dreadful chase endure,

Till time itself shall have an end;
By day earth's tortured womb they scour."


This is the horn, the hound, and horse,
That oft the 'lated peasant hears;
Appalled, he signs the frequent cross,
When the wild din invades his ears.


The wakeful priest oft drops a tear
For human pride, for human woe,
When, at his midnight mass, he hears
The infernal cry of, "Holla, ho!"


IN the preface to the edition published anonymously in 1796, Sir Walter Scott says:-"The first two lines of the fortyseventh stanza, descriptive of the speed of the lovers, may perhaps bring to the recollection of many a passage extremely similar, in a translation of "Leonora," which first appeared in the "Monthly Magazine."a In justice to himself, the translator thinks it his duty to acknowledge that his curiosity was first attracted to this truly romantic story, by a gentleman, who, having heard "Leonora" once read in manuscript, could only recollect the general outlines, and part of a couplet which, from the singularity of its structure and frequent recurrence, had remained impressed upon his memory. If, from despair of rendering the passage so happily, the property of another has been invaded, the translator makes the only atonement now in his power, by restoring it thus publicly to the rightful owner. For the information of those to whom such obsolete expressions may be less familiar, it may be noticed that the word serf, means a vassal; and that to busk and boune, is to dress and prepare one's self for a journey.


FROM heavy dreams fair Helen rose


And eyed the dawning red:

"Alas, my love, thou tarriest long!

O art thou false or dead ?”


With gallant Frederick's princely power

He sought the bold Crusade;

But not a word from Judah's wars

Told Helen how he sped.


With Paynim and with Saracen
At length a truce was made,

a This was done by Mr. William Taylor, of Norwich.

And every knight returned to dry
The tears his love had shed.


Our gallant host was homeward bound With many a song of joy;

Green waved the laurel in each plume, The badge of victory.

And old and young, and sire and son, To meet them crowd the way, With shouts, and mirth, and melody, The debt of love to pay.


Full many a maid her true love met,
And sobbed in his embrace,
And fluttering joy in tears and smiles
Arrayed full many a face.


Nor joy nor smile for Helen sad;
She sought the host in vain;
For none could tell her William's fate,
If faithless, or if slain.


The martial band is passed and gone;
She rends her raven hair,
And in distraction's bitter mood
She weeps with wild despair.


"O, rise, my child," her mother said,

[ocr errors]

"Nor sorrow thus in vain;

A perjured lover's fleeting heart
No tears recall again."


"O mother, what is gone, is gone,
What's lost, for ever lorn:

Death, death alone can comfort me;
O had I ne'er been born!


"O break, my heart, O break at once!
Drink my life-blood, Despair!
No joy remains on earth for me,
For me in heaven no share.”


"O enter not in judgment, Lord!"

[ocr errors]

The pious mother prays;

'Impute not guilt to thy frail child!

She knows not what she says,

« AnteriorContinuar »