Imágenes de páginas

Staindrop, who, from her silvan bowers,"
Salutes proud Raby's battled towers ;
The rural brook of Egliston,
And Balder, named from Odin's son;
And Greta, to whose banks ere long
We lead the lovers of the song;
And silver Lune, from Stanmore wild,
And fairy Thorsgill's murmuring child,
And last and least, but loveliest still,
Romantic Deepdale's slender rill.
Who in that dim-wood glen hath stray'd,
Yet long’d for Roslin's magic glade?
Who, wandering there, hath sought to

Even for that vale so stern and strange,
Where Cartland's Crags, fantastic rent,
Through her green copse like spires are sent !
Yet, Albin, yet the praise be thine,
Thy scenes and story to combine!
Thou bid'st him, who by Roslin strays,
List to the deeds of other days ;2
'Mid Cartland's Crags thou show'st the

The refuge of thy champion brave ;3
Giving each rock its storied tale,
Pouring a lay for every dale,
Knitting, as with a moral band,
Thy native legends with thy land,
To lend each scene the interest high
Which genius beams from Beauty's eye.

V. Stern Bertram shunnid the nearer way, Through Rokeby's park and chase that

lay, And, skirting high the valley's ridge, They cross'd by Greta's ancient bridge. Descending where her waters wind Free for a space and unconfined, As, 'scaped from Brignall’s dark-wood glen, She seeks wild Mortham's deeper den. There, as his eye glanced o'er the mound, Raised by that Legion long renown'd, Whose votive shrine asserts their claim, Of pious, faithful, conquering fame, “ Stern sons of war!” sad Wilfrid sigh'd, “ Behold the boast of Roman pride! What now of all your toils are known? A grassy trench, a broken stone !"This to himself ; for moral strain To Bertram were address'd in vain.

[ocr errors]

IV. Bertram awaited not the sight Which sun-rise shows from Barnard's height, But from the towers, preventing day, With Wilfrid took his early way, While misty dawn, and moonbeam pale, Still mingled in the silent dale. By Barnard's bridge of stately stone, The southern bank of Tees they won ; l'heir winding path then eastward cast, And Egliston's grey ruins pass'd ;* Each on his own deep visions bent, Silent and sad they onward went. Well may you think that Bertram's mood,5 To Wilfrid savage seem'd and rude; Well may you think bold Risingham Held Wilfrid trivial, poor, and tame; And small the intercourse, I ween, Such uncongenial souls between.

VI. Of different mood, a deeper sigh Awoke, when Rokeby's turrets high? Were northward in the dawning seen To rear them o'er the thicket green. O then, though Spenser's self had stray'd Beside him through the lovely glade, Lending his rich luxuriant glow Of fancy, all its charms to show, Pointing the stream rejoicing free, As captive set at liberty, Flashing her sparkling waves abroad, And clamouring joyfui on her road; Pointing where, up the sunny banks, The trees retire in scatter'd ranks, Save where, advanced before the rest, On knoll or hillock rears his crest, Lonely and huge, the giant Oak, As champions, when their band is broke, Stand forth to guard the rearward post, The bulwark of the scatter'd hostAll this, and more, might Spenser say, Yet waste in vain his magic lay, While Wilfrid eyed the distant tower, Whose lattice lights Matilda's bower.

VII. The open vale is soon passed o'er, Rokeby, though nigh, is seen no more ;'

And nought of mutual interest lay To bind the comrades of the way.

MS.--" Staindrop, who, on her silvan way,

Salutes proud Raby's turrets grey. 2 See Notes to the song of Fair Rosabelle, in the Lay of the Last Minstrel.

3 Cartland Crage, near Lanark, celebrated as among the favourite retreats of Sir William Wallace.

4 See Appendix, Note M.
8 MS." For brief the intercourse, I woen,

Such uncongenial souls between ;
Well may you think stern Risingham
Held Wilfrid trivial, poor, and tame;

6 See Appendix, Note N. 7 See Appendix, Note 0. 8 MS.-“ Flashing to heaven her sparkling spray,

And clamouring joyful on her way." 9 MS.-“ And Rokeby's tower is seen no more ;

Sinking 'mid Greta's thickets green,
The journeyers seek another scene."

Sinking mid Grata's thickets deep,

IX. A wild and darker course they keep,

Now from the stream the rocks recede, A stern and lone, yet lovely road,

But leave between no sunny mead, As e'er the foot of Minstrel trode !!

No, nor the spot of pebbly sand, Broad shadows o'er their passage fell,

Oft found by such a mountain strand; Deeper and narrower grew the dell;

Forming such warm and dry retreat, It seem'd some mountain, rent and riven,

As fancy deems the lonely seat, A channel for the stream had given,

Where hermit, wandering from his cell, So high the cliffs of limestone grey

His rosary might love to tell. Hung beetling o'er the torrent's way,

But here, 'twixt rock and river, grew Yielding, along their rugged base,

A dismal grove of sable yew, A flinty footpath’s niggard space,

With whose sad tints were mingled seen Where he, who winds 'twixt rock and wave,

The blighted fir’s sepulchral green. May hear the headlong torrent rave,

Seem'd that the trees their shadows cast, And like a steed in frantic fit,

The earth that nourish'd them to blast; That flings the froth from curb and bit, 3

For never knew that swarthy grove May view her chafe her waves to spray,

The verdant hue that fairies love; O’er every rock that bars her


Nor wilding green, nor woodland flower, Till foam-globes on her eddies ride,

Arose within its baleful bower: Thick as the schemes of human pride

The dank and sable earth receives That down life's current drive amain,

Its only carpet from the leaves, As frail, as frothy, and as vain !

That, from the withering branches cast,

Bestrew'd the ground with every blast.

Though now the sun was o'er the hill,
The cliffs that rear their haughty head

In this dark spot 'twas twilight still,8 High o'er the river's darksome bed,

Save that on Greta's farther side Were now all naked, wild, and grey,

Some straggling beams through copsewood glide; Now waving all with greenwood spray;

And wild and savage contrast made Here trees to every crevice clung,

That dingle's deep and funeral shade, And o'er the dell their branches hung;

With the bright tints of early day, And there, all splinter'd and uneven,

Which, glimmering through the ivy spray,
The shiver'd rocks ascend to heaven;

On the opposing summit lay.
Oft, too, the ivy swath'd their breast,"
And wreathed its garland round their crest,

Or from the spires bade loosely flare

The lated peasant shunn'd the dell; Its tendrils in the middle air.

For Superstition wont to tell As pennons wont to wave of old

Of many a grisly sound and sight, O'er the high feast of Baron bold,

Scaring its path at dead of night. When revell'd loud the feudal route,

When Christmas logs blaze high and wide, And the arch'd halls return’d their shout;

Such wonders speed the festal tide ; Such and more wild is Greta's roar,

While Curiosity and Fear, And such the echoes from her shore.

Pleasure and Pain, sit crouching near, And so the ivied banners gleam,”

Till childhood's cheek no longer glows, Waved wildly o'er the brawling stream.

And village maidens lose the rose.

6 MS.

1 See Appendix, Note P.
2 MS.--"Yielding their rugged base beside

"a torrent's strand; Where in the warm and dry retreat, May fancy form some hermit's seat."

A {niggard } path by Greta's tide."

7 MS." A darksome grove of funeral yew,

Where trees a baleful shadow cast,
The ground that nourish'd them to blast,
Mingled with whose sad tints were seen
The blighted fir's sepulchral green."

3 MS.-" That flings the foam from curb and bit,

Chafing her waves to whiten wrath,

O'er every rock that bars her path,

Till down her boiling eddies ride," &c. 4 MS.-" The frequent ivy swathed their breast,

And wreathed its tendrils round their crest,
Ot from their summit bade them fall,

And tremble o'er the Greta's brawl." • M8.—“And so the iry's banners (green,

Waved wildly trembling o'er the scene,
Waved roild above the clamorous stream."

8 MS.-“In this dark grove 'twas twilight still,

Save that upon the rocks opposed
Some straggling beams of morn reposed,
And wild and savage contrast made
That bleak and dark funereal shade
With the bright tints of early day,
Which, struggling throngh the green wood spray.
Upon the rock's wild summit lay.”

The thrilling interest rises higher,"
The circle closes nigh and nigher,
And shuddering glance is cast behind,
As louder moans the wintry wind.
Believe, that fitting scene was laid
For such wild tales in Mortham glade ;
For who had seen, on Greta's side,
By that dim light fierce Bertram stride,
In such a spot, at such an hour,-
If touch'd by Superstition's power,
Might well have deem'd that Hell had given
A murderer's ghost to upper Heaven,
While Wilfrid's form had seem'd to glide
Like his pale victim by his side.

And canvass, wove in earthly looms,
No more to brave the storm presumes !
Then, ʼmid the war of sea and sky,
Top and top-gallant hoisted high,
Full spread and crowded every sail,
The Demon Frigate braves the gale;*
And well the doom'd spectators know
The harbinger of wreck and woe.

Then, too, were told, in stifled tone,
Marvels and omens all their own;
How, by some desert isle or key,7
Where Spaniards wrought their cruelty,
Or where the savage pirate's mood
Repaid it home in deeds of blood,
Strange nightly sounds of woe and fear
Appall’d the listening Bucanier,
Whose light-arm'd shallop anchor'd lay
In ambush by the lonely bay.
The groan of grief, the shriek of pain,
Ring from the moonlight groves of cane;
The fierce adventurer's heart they scare,
Who wearies memory for a prayer,
Curses the road-stead, and with gale
Of early morning lifts the sail,
To give, in thirst of blood and prey,
A legend for another bay.

Nor think to village swains alone
Are these unearthly terrors known;
For not to rank nor sex confined
Is this vain ague of the mind :
Hearts firm as steel, as marble hard,
'Gainst faith, and love, and pity barr’d,
Have quaked, like aspen leaves in May,
Beneath its universal sway.
Bertram had listed many a tale
Of wonder in his native dale,
That in his secret soul retain'd
The credence they in childhood gain'd:
Nor less his wild adventurous youth
Believed in every legend's truth;
Learn’d when, beneath the tropic gale,
Full swell’d the vessel's steady sail,
And the broad Indian moon her light
Pour'd on the watch of middle night,
When seamen love to hear and tell
Of portent, prodigy, and spell: 2
What gales are sold on Lapland's shore,
How whistle rash bids tempests roar,“
Of witch, of mermaid, and of sprite,
Of Erick’s cap and Elmo's light; 5
Or of that Phantom Ship, whose form
Shoots like a meteor through the storm;
When the dark scud comes driving bard,
And lower'd is every topsail-yard,

Thus, as a man, a youth, a child,
Train’d in the mystic and the wild,
With this on Bertram's soul at times
Rush'd a dark feeling of his crimes;
Such to his troubled soul their form,
As the pale Death-ship to the storm,
And such their omen dim and dread,
As shrieks and voices of the dead,
That pang, whose transitory force 8
Hover'd 'twixt horror and remorse;
That pang, perchance, his bosom press'd,
As Wilfrid sudden he address’d:-
“ Wilfrid, this glen is never trode
Until the sun rides high abroad;

I MS.-" The interest rises high and higher."

gave them unto the merchants; observing that rule, that when 2 The MS. has not the two following couplets.

they unloosed the first, they should have a good gale of wind; 8 " Also I shall shew very briefly what force conjurers and when the second, a stronger wind; but when they untied the witches have in constraining the elements enchanted by them third, they should have such cruel tempests, that they should or others, that they may exceed or fall short of their natural not be able to look out of the forecastle to avoid the rocks, order: premising this, that the extream land of North Fin- nor move a foot to pull down the sails, nor stand at the helm land and Lapland was so taught witchcraft formerly in hea- to govern the ship; and they made an unhappy trial of the thenish times, as if they had learned this cursed art from truth of it who denied that there was any such power in those Zoroastres the Persian; though other inhabitants

knots."--OLAUS MAGNUS's History of the Goths, Swedes, and coasts are reported to be bewitched with the same madness; Vandals. Lond. 1658, fol. p. 47.-[See Note to The Pirate for they exercise this devilish art, of all the arts of the world, “ Sale of Winds," Waverley Novels, vol. xxiv. p. 136.] to admiration; and in this, or other such like mischief, they commonly agree. The Finlanders were wont formerly,

4 See Appendix, Note Q. 6 Ibid, Note R amongst their other errors of gentilisme, to sell winds to mer

6 See Appendix, Note S. 7 Ibid, Note T chants that were stopt on their coasts by contrary weather ; and when they had their price, they knit three magical knots, 8 MS.-"Its fell, though transitory force, not like to the laws of Cassius, bound up with a thong, and they

Hovers, 'twixt pity and remorse."

the sea

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »