Imágenes de páginas

Then steep thy words in wine and milk, We'll sing while we bait, and we'll sing while we haul, And weave a doom of gold and silk,

For the deeps of the Haaf have enouga for us all : For we would know, shall Brenda prove There is torsk for the gentle, and skate for the carle, In love, and happy in her love ?

And there's wealth for bold Magnus, the son of the

earl. NORNA. Untouch'd by love, the maiden's breast

Huzza! my brave comrades, give way for the Haaf, Is like the snow on Rona's crest,

We shall sooner come back to the dance and the laugh; High seated in the middle sky,

For light without mirth is a lamp without oil; In bright and barren purity;

Then, mirth and long life to the bold Magnus Troil ! But by the sunbeam gently kiss'd,

Chap. xxii. Scarce by the gazing eye 'tis miss'd, Ere, down the lonely valley stealing, Fresh grass and growth its course revealing, It cheers the flock, revives the flower, And decks some happy shepherd's bower.


[blocks in formation]


AND you shall deal the funeral dole;

Ay, deal it, mother mine,
To weary body, and to heavy soul,

The white bread and the wine.

(10.)-NORNA'S INCANTATIONS. CHAMPION, famed for warlike toil, Art thou silent, Ribolt Troil ? Sand, and dust, and pebbly stones, Are leaving bare thy giant bones. Who dared touch the wild bear's skin Ye slumber'd on, while life was in ?A woman now, or babe, may come And cast the covering from thy tomb.

And you shall deal my horses of pride;

Ay, deal them, mother mine ; And you shall deal my lands so wide,

And deal my castles nine.

But deal not vengeance for the deed,

And deal not for the crime; Tho body to its place, and the soul to Heaven's

grace, And the rest in God's own time.

Yet be not wrathful, Chief, nor blight
Mine eyes or ears with sound or sight!
I come not, with unhallow'd tread,
To wake the slumbers of the dead,
Or lay thy giant reliques bare;
But what I seek thou well canst spare.
Be it to my hand allow'd
To shear a merk's weight from thy shroud;
Yet leave thee sheeted lead enough
To shield thy bones from weather rough.

Saint Magnus control thee, that martyr of treason; Saint Ronan rebuke thee, with rhyme and with

reason; By the mass of Saint Martin, the might of Saint

Mary, Be thou gone, or thy weird shall be worse if thou

tarry! If of good, go hence and hallow thee;If of ill, let the earth swallow thee;If thou’rt of air, let the grey mist fold thee;If of earth, let the swart mine hold thee ;If a Pixie, seek thy ring ;If a Nixie, seek thy spring ;If on middle earth thou'st been Slave of sorrow, shame, and sin, Hast eat the bread of toil and strife, And dree'd the lot which men call life; Begone to thy stone! for thy coffin is scant of

thee, The worm, thy play-fellow, wails for the want of

See, I draw my magic knife-
Never, while thou wert in life,
Laidst thou still for sloth or fear,
When point and edge were glittering near;
See, the cerements now I sever--
Waken now, or sleep for ever!
Thou wilt not wake-the deed is done!
The prize I sought is fairly won.

Thanks, Ribolt, thanks,- for this the sea
Shall smooth its ruffled crest for thee-
And while afar its billows foam,
Subside to peace near Ribolt's tomb.
Thanks, Ribolt, thanks for this the might
Of wild winds raging at their height,
When to thy place of slumber nigh,
Shall soften to a lullaby.


Hence, houseless ghost ! let the earth hide thee, Till Michael shall blow the blast, see that there

thou bide thee!Phantom, fly hence! take the Cross for a token, Hence pass till Hallowmass my spell is spoken.

Where corpse-light
Dances bright,
Be it by day or night,
Be it by light or dark,
There shall corpse lie stiff and stark.

She, the dame of doubt and dread,
Norna of the Fitful-head,
Mighty in her own despite,-
Miserable in her might;
In despair and frenzy great,
In her greatness desolate;
Wisest, wickedest who lives,
Well can keep the word she gives.

Chap. XXV

Menseful maiden ne'er should rise,
Till the first beam tinge the skies;
Silk-fringed eyelids still should close,
Till the sun has kiss'd the rose;
Maiden's foot we should not view,
Mark'd with tiny print on dew,
Till the opening flowerets spread
Carpet meet for beauty's tread.

[AT INTERVIEW WITH MINNA.] Thou, so needful, yet so dread, With cloudy crest, and wing of red; Thou, without whose genial breath The North would sleep the sleep of death Who deign'st to warm the cottage hearth, Yet hurls proud palaces to earth,Brightest, keenest of the Powers, Which form and rule this world of ours,

Chap. xxiii.

[blocks in formation]

Be patient, be patient; for Patience hath power
To ward us in danger, like mantle in shower;
A fairy gift you best may hold
In a chain of fairy gold ;
The chain and the gift are each a true token,
That not without warrant old Norna has spoken;
But thy nearest and dearest must never behold

them, Till time shall accomplish the truths I have told them,

Chap. xxviii.

Thou, that over billows dark
Safely send'st the fisher's bark,—
Giving him a path and motion
Through the wilderness of ocean;
Thou, that when the billows brave ye,
O'er the shelves canst drive the navy,-
Didst thou chafe as one neglected,
While thy brethren were respected ?
To appease thee, see, I tear
This full grasp of grizzled hair;
Oft thy breath hath through it sung,
Softening to my magic tongue,-
Now, 'tis thine to bid it fly
Through the wide expanse of sky,
'Mid the countless swarms to sail
Of wild-fowl wheeling on thy gale;
Take thy portion and rejoice,
Spirit, thou hast heard my voice!



She who sits by haunted well,
Is subject to the Nixies' spell;
She who walks on lonely beach,
To the Mermaid's charmed speech;
She who walks round ring of green,
Offends the peevish Fairy Queen;
And she who takes rest in the Dwarfie's cave,
A weary weird of woe shall have.

Poor sinners whom the snake deceives,
Are fain to cover them with leaves.
Zetland hath no leaves, 'tis true,
Because that trees are none, or few;
But we have flax and taits of woo',
For linen cloth and wadmaal blue;
And we have many of foreign knacks
Of finer waft, than woo' or flax.
Ye gallanty Lambmas lads appear,
And bring your Lambmas sisters here,
Bryce Snailsfoot spares not cost or care,
To pleasure every gentle pair.

Chap. xxxii.

By ring, by spring, by cave, by shore,
Minna Troil has braved all this and more;
And yet bath the root of her sorrow and ill,
A source that's more deep and more mystical



(1.)-CHAP, 11. "Tis not alone the scene—the man, Anselmo, The man finds sympathies in these wild wastes,


wall ;

And roughly tumbling seas, which fairer views When sweetheart shall be kind, or when cross And smoother waves deny him.

dame shall die; Ancient Drama. Where lurks the thief who stole the silver tankard,

And how the pestilent murrain may be cured ;(2.)--Chap, vii.

This sage adviser 's mad, stark mad, my friend; She does no work by halves, yon raving ocean ; Yet, in her madness, hath the art and cunning Engulphing those she strangles, her wild womb To wring fools' secrets from their inmost bosoms, Affords the mariners whom she hath dealt on, And pay inquirers with the coin they gave her. Their death at once, and sepulchre.

Old Play. Old Play.

(8.)-CHAP. xxx. (3.)-CHAP. IX.

What ho, my jovial mates! come on! we'll frolic it This is a gentle trader, and a prudent

Like fairies frisking in the merry moonshine, He's no Autolycus, to blear your eye,

Seen by the curtal friar, who, from some christening, With qui of worldly gauds and gamesomeness; Or some blithe bridal, hies belated cell-wardBut seasons all his glittering merchandise

He starts, and changes his boid bottle swagger With wholesome doctrine suited to the use,

To churchman's pace professional,-and, ransackAs men sauce goose with sage and rosemary.

ing Old Play.

His treacherous memory for some holy hymn,

Finds but the roundel of the midnight catch. (4.)-CHAP. XI.

Old Play. -All your ancient customs, And long-descended usages, I'll change.

(9.)--CHAP. XXXII. Ye shall not eat, nor drink, nor speak, nor move, I strive like to the vessel in the tide-way, Think, look, or walk, as ye were wont to do;

Which, lacking favouring breeze, hath not the Even your marriage-beds shall know mutation;

power The bride shall have the stock, the groom the To stem the powerful current.--Even so,

Resolving daily to forsake my vices, For all old practice will I turn and change,

Habit, strong circumstance, renewid temptation, And call it reformation---marry, will I!

Sweep me to sea again.-0 heavenly breath, '7'is Eren that we're at Odds.

Fill thou my sails, and aid the feeble vessel,

Which ne'er can reach the blessed port without (5.)-CHAP. XIV.

thee! We'll keep our customs—what is law itself,

'Tis Odds when Evens meet. But old establish'd custom? What religion, (I mean, with one-half of the men that use it,)

(10.)–CHAP. XXXII, Save the good use and wont that carries them

Parental love, my friend, has power o'er wisdom, To worship how and where their fathers wor

And is the charm, which, like the falconer's lure, shipp'd ?

Can bring from heaven the highest soaring spirits. All things resolve in custom-we'll keep ours. So, when famed Prosper doft'd his magic robe,

Old Play.
It was Miranda pluck'd it from his shoulders.

Old Play.
(6.)--CHAP. XXV.
-I do love these ancient ruins !

(11.)-CHAP. XXXIV. We never tread upon them but we set

Ilark to the insult loud, the bitter sneer, Our foot upon some reverend history,

The fierce threat answering to the brutal jeer; And questionless, here in this open court,

Oaths fly like pistol-shots, and vengeful words (Which now lies naked to the injuries

Clash with each other like conflicting swords.Of stormy weather,) some men lie interr’d, The robber's quarrel by such sounds is shown, Loved the Church so well, and gave so largely to it, And true men have some chance to gain their own. They thought it should have canopied their bones

Captivity, a Poem. Till doomsday;-but all things have their endChurches and cities, which have diseases like to

(12.)-CHAP. XXXVII. men,

Over the mountains and under the waves, Must have like death which we have.

Over the fountains and under the graves,
Duchess of Malfy.

Over floods that are deepest,

Which Neptune obey, (7.)-CHAP. xxix.

Over rocks that are steepest, See yonder woman, whom our swains revere,

Love will find out the way. And dread in secret, while they take her counsel

Old Song.

Where the forester, lated, with wonder espied me On Ettrick Forest's Mountains Dun.' Explore the wild scenes he was quitting for home

Farewell, and take with thee thy numbers wild speak

ing 1822.

The language alternate of rapture and woe:

Oh! none but some lover, whose heart-strings are On Ettrick Forest's mountains dun,

breaking, 'Tis blithe to hear the sportsman's gun,

The pang that I feel at our parting can know. And seek the heath-frequenting brood Far through the noonday solitude ;

Each joy thou couldst double, and when there came By many a cairn and trenched mound,

sorrow, Where chiefs of yore sleep lone and sound,

Or pale disappointment to darken my way, And springs, where grey-hair'd shepherds tell,

What voice was like thine, that could sing of to-morThat still the fairies love to dwell.


Till forgot in the strain was the grief of to-day! Along the silver streams of Tweed,

But when friends drop around us in life's weary 'Tis blithe the mimic fly to lead,

waning, When to the hook the salmon springs,

The grief, Queen of Numbers, thou canst not asAnd the line whistles through the rings;

suage; The boiling eddy see him try,

Nor the gradual estrangement of those yet remaining, Then dashing from the current high,

The languor of pain, and the chillness of age.
Till watchful eye and cautious hand
Have led his wasted strength to land.

'Twas thou that once taught me, in accents bewailing,

To sing how a warrior lay stretch'd on the plain, 'Tis blithe along the midnight tide,

And a maiden hung o'er him with aid unavailing, With stalwart arm the boat to guide;

And held to his lips the cold goblet in vain; On high the dazzling blaze to rear,

As vain thy enchantments, 0 Queen of wild Numbers, And heedful plunge the barbed spear;

To a bard when the reign of his fancy is o'er, Rock, wood, and scaur, emerging bright,

And the quick pulse of feeling in apathy slumbersFling on the stream their ruddy light,

Farewell, then, Enchantress! I meet thee no more! And from the bank our band appears Like Genii, arm’d with fiery spears.

[blocks in formation]

1 Written after a week's shooting and fishing, in which the tenanted, by the lamented death of that kind and hospitable poet had been engaged with some friends. The reader may nobleman, the author's nearest neighbour and intimate friend. see these verses set to music in Mr. Thomson's Scottish Melo- Lord S. died in February 1819. dies for 1822.

4 Ashestiel, the poet's residence at that time. 9 Sec the famous salmon-spearing scene in Guy Mannering. 5 Written, during illness, for Mr. Thomson's Scottish Col -Waverley Novels, vol. iii., p. 259-63.

lection, and first published in 1822, united to an air composed 3 Aboyn, the seat of the Lord Somerville ; now, alas ! un by George Kinloch of Kinloch, Esq.

« AnteriorContinuar »