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Bright was the noontide of their day. And all serene its setting ray.
Harold the Dauntless.
And visage like the headsman's rude
That pauses for the sign.
He sign'd the cross divine
He turns and strides away;
He granted to his prey.
1. Well do I hope that this my minstrel tale Will tempt no traveller from southern fields, Whether in tilbury, barouche, or mail, To view the Castle of these Seven Proud Shields. Small confirmation its condition yields To Meneville's high lay,—No towers are seen On the wild heath, but those that Fancy builds,
And, save a fosse that tracks the moor with greers, Is nought remains to tell of what may there have been,
XVIII. But though his dreaded footsteps part, Death is behind and shakes his dart; Lord William on the plain is lying, Beside him Metelill seems dying ! Bring odours---essences in hasteAnd lo! a flasket richly chased, But Jutta the elixir proves Ere pouring it for those she lovesThen Walwayn's potion was not wasted, For when three drops the hag had tasted,
So dismal was her yell,
And flutter'd down the dell !
Of forest and of fell,
And yet grave authors, with the no small waste
Refer still to the origin of evil,
II. Therefore, 1 say, it was on fiend-built towers That stout Count Harold bent his wondering gaze, When evening dew was on the heather flowers, And the last sunbeams made the mountain blaze, And tinged the hattlements of other days With the bright level light ere sinking down.-Illumined thus, the Dauntless Dane surveys
The Seven Proud Shields that o'er the portal frown, And on their blazons traced high marks of old renown.
XIX. Such was the scene of blood and woes, With which the bridal morn arose
Of William and of Metelill; But oft, when dawning 'gins to spread, The summer morn peeps dim and red
Above the eastern hill, Ere, bright and fair, upon his road The King of Splendour walks abroad; So, when this cloud had pass'd away,
A wolf North Wales had on his armour-coat,
Surmounted by a cross—such signs were borre Upon these antique shields, all wasted now and worr..
III. These scann'd, Count Harold sought the castle-door, Whose ponderous bolts were rusted to decay; Yet till that hour adventurous knight forbore 'The unobstructed passage to essay.
i See a note on the Lord of the Isles, Canto v.st. 31, inte.
As if a bridal there of late had been,
And tapestry clothed the walls with fragments sear-
While grinn'd, as if in scorn amongst them thrown, l'he wearer's fleshless skull, alike with dust bestrown.
For these were they who, drunken with delight,
1 “In an invention like this we are hardly to look for pro- until some hundred years after the era of the poem, and many babilities, but all these preparations and ornaments are not of the scenes described, like that last quoted, (stanzas iv, v. quite consistent with the state of society two hundred years vi.) belong even to a still later period. At least this defect is before the Danish Invasion, as far as we know any thing of it. act an imitation of Mr. Scott, who, being a skilful antiquary, In these matters, however, the author is never very scrupu- is extremely careful as to niceties of this sort."-Critical Res lous, and has too little regarded propriety in the minor cir- view. cumatances: thuy Harold is clad in a kind of armour not word
Not in each breast such truth is laid, But Eivir was a Danish maid.”_
VIII. “ Thou art a wild enthusiast,” said Count Harold," for thy Danish maid And yet, young Gunnar, I will own Hers were a faith to rest upon. But Eivir sleeps beneath her stone, And all resembling her are gone. What maid e'er show'd such constancy In plighted faith, like thine to me? But couch thee, boy; the darksome shade Falls thickly round, nor be dismay'd
Because the dead are by.
Thy master slumbers nigh.”
Sable their harness, and there came
Mount, in the name of Zernebock!
As captives know the knell
Commands them quit their cell.
When to my rescue sped
The demons yelld and fled !
There's trouble in his eyes,
“ My page,” he said, “ arise ;Leave we this place, my page.”—No more He utter'd till the castle door They cross'd—but there he paused and said, “ My wildness hath awaked the dead
Disturb'd the sacred tomb!
The central place of doom;
Bore to that evil den !
Those who had late been men.
And, Gunnar, I could find
My father Witikind!
X. " With haggard eyes and streaming hair, Jutta the Sorceress was there, And there pass’d Wulfstane, lately slain, All crush'd and foul with bloody stain.More had I seen, but that uprose A whirlwind wild, and swept the snows; And with such sound as when at need A champion spurs his horse to speed, Three arm'd knights rush on, who lead Caparison'd a sable steed.
XII. Trembling at first, and deadly pale, Had Gunnar heard the vision'd tale;
But when he learn :] the dubious close,
XIII. What sees Count Harold in that bower,
So late his resting-place ?
Adored by all his race!
So flow'd his hoary beard ;
But when his voice he rear'd,
Nor glove, nor buckler, splent, nor nall,
Eivir,” the Shape replied, " is mine,
But not the artillery of hell,
Could Harold's courage quell.
Till quail'd that Demon Form, And-for his power to hurt or kill Was bounded by a higher will
Evanish'd in the storm. Nor paused the Champion of the North, But raised, and bore his Eivir forth, From that wild scene of fiendish strife, To light, to liberty, and life!
To leave thy Warrior-God ?
Are wither'd by a nod. Wilt thou then forfeit that high seat Deserved by many a dauntless feat, Among the heroes of thy line, Eric and fiery Thorarine ? Thou wilt not. Only I can give The joys for which the valiant live, Victory and vengeance-only I Can give the joys for which they die, The immortal tilt—the banquet full, The brimming draught from foeman's skull. Mine art thou, witness this thy glove, The faithful pledge of vassal's love.”
A silver runnel bubbled by,
His stubborn sinews fly,
And glimmer'd in her eye.
That bosom's pride belie ? 0, dull of heart, through wild and wave In search of blood and death to rave, .
With such a partner nigh!”
XV. Tempter,” said Harold, firm of heart, “ I charge thee, hence! whate'er thou art, I do defy thee—and resist The kindling frenzy of my breast, Waked by thy words; and of my mail,
1 Mr. Adolphus, in his Letters on the Author of Waverley, in the Irish orphan of 'Rokeby,' and the conversion of Hap. 230, remarks on the coincidence between " the catastrophe rold's page into a female,"-all which he calls “specimens of of The Black Dwarf,' the ion of Mortham's lost son unsuccessful contrivance, at a great pense of probability.'
And thus the Champion proved,
And loves who never loved.
Nor will her eyelid fully ope;
Speaks shame-facedness and hope.
“ Eivir! since thou for many a day
A Christian knight and Christian bride;
AND now, Ennui, what ails thee, weary niaid ?
Then pardon thou thy minstrel, who hath wrote
1« «Harold the Dauntless,' like · The Bridal of Trier passages, than in those rougher scenes of feud and fray, through main,' is a tolerably successful imitation of some parts of the which the poet of early times conducts his reader. His war. style of Mr. Walter Scott; but, like all imitations, it is clearly horse follows with somewhat of a hobbling pace the proud and distinguishable from the prototype; it wants the life and sea- impetuous courser whom he seeks to rival. Unfortunately, as soning of originality. To illustrate this familiarly from the it appears to us, the last style of poetical excellence is rather stage :--We have all witnessed a hundred imitations of popu- more aimed at here than in the former poem; and as we do not lar actors-of Kemble, for instance, in which the voice, the discover any improvement in the mode of treating it, Harold gesture, and somewhat eren of the look, were copied. In ex- the Dauntless scarcely appears to us to equal the Bridal of ternals the resemblance might be sufficiently correct; but Triermain. It contains, indeed, passages of similar merit, but where was the informing soul, the mind that dictated the ac- not quite so numerous; and such, we suspect, will ever be the tion and expression? Who could endure the tedium of secing case while the author continues to follow after this line of the imitator go through a whole character? In · Harold the poetry."-Scots Jag., Feb. 1817. Dauntless,' the imitation of Mr. Scott is pretty obvious, but we are weary of it before we arrive near the end. The author has talent, and considerable facility in versification, and on
“ This is an elegant, sprightly, and delightful little poem, this account it is somewhat lamentable, not only that he written apparently by a person of taste and genius, but who should not have selected a better model, but that he should either possesses not the art of forming and combining a plot, copy the parts of that model which are least worthy of study. or regards it only as a secondary and subordinate object. In Perliaps it was not easy to equal the energy of Mr. Scott's line, this we do not widely differ from him, but are sensible, meanor his picturesque descriptions. His peculiarities and defects time, that many others will ; and that the rambling and unwere more attainable, and with these the writer of this novel certain nature of the story will be the principal objection in verse has generally contented himself; he will also content urged against the poem before us, as well as the greatest bar a certain number of readers, who merely look for a few amu- to its extensive popularity. The character of Mr. Scott's ro. sing or surprising incidents. In these, however, ‘Harold the mances has effected a material change in our mode of estiDauntless' does not abound so much as • The Bridal of Trier- mating poetical compositions. In all the estimable works of main.' They are, indeed, romantic enough to satisfy all the our former pocts, from Spenser down to Thomson and Cowper, parlour-boarders of ladies’ schools in England; but they want the plot seems to have been regarded as good or bad, only in that appearance of probability which should give them inter- proportion to the advantages which it furnished for poetical est."-Critical Review, April, 1817.
description; but, of late years, one half, at least, of the merit of a poem is supposed to rest on the interest and management
of the tale. “We had formerly occasion to notice, with considerable · Wespeak not exclusively of that numerous class of readers praise, The Bridal of Triermain. We remarked it as a pretty whó peruse and estimate a new poem, or any poem, with the close imitation of Mr. Scott's poetry; and as that great master same feelings, and precisely on the same principles, as they seems, for the present, to have left his lyre unstrung, a substi- do a novel. It is natural for such persons to judge only by tho tute, even of inferior value, may be welcomed by the public. effect produced by the incidents; but we have ofteu been It appears to us, however, and still does, that the merit of surprised that some of our literary critics, even those to whose the present author consists rather in the soft and wildly tender judgment we were most to bow, should lay so much