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The tinkling of a harp was heard. A manly voice of mellow swell, Bore burden to the music well.
Song. “Summer eve is gone and past, Summer dew is falling fast; I have wander'd all the day, Do not bid me farther stray! Gentle hearts, of gentle kin, Take the wandering harper in !"
Song resumed. “ I have song of war for knight, Lay of love for lady bright, Fairy tale to lull the heir, Goblin grim the maids to scare. Dark the night, and long till day, Do not bid me farther stray!
But the stern porter answer gave,
“Rokeby's lords of martial fame,
Song resumed. “ Bid not me, in battle-field, Buckler lift, or broadsword wield! All my strength and all my art Is to touch the gentle heart," With the wizard notes that ring Fom the peaceful minstrel-string."
The porter, all unmoved, replied, -
"Hark! Harpool parleys—there is hope,"
VIII. With somewhat of appealing look, The harper's part young Wilfrid took: * These notes so wild and ready thrill, They show no vulgar,minstrel's skill; Hard were his task to seek a home More distant, since the night is come; And for his faith I dare engageYour Harpool's blood is sour'd by age; His gate, once readily display'd, To greet the friend, the poor to aid, Now even to me, though known of old, Did but reluctantly unfold.”— “O blame not, as poor Harpool's crime, An evil of this evil time. He deems dependent on his care The safety of his patron's heir, Nor judges meet to ope the tower To guest unknown at parting hour," Urging his duty to excess Of rough and stubborn faithfulness. For this poor harper, I would fain He may relax:-Hark to his strain !"
X. Matilda smiled; " Cold hope,” said she, “From Harpool's love of minstrelsy! But, for this harper, may we dare, Redmond, to mend his couch and fare ?"* 0, ask me not !-At minstrel-string My heart from infancy would spring; Nor can I hear its simplest strain, But it brings Erin's dream again, When placed by Owen Lysagh's knee, (The Filea of O'Neale was he, A blind and bearded man, whose eld Was sacred as a prophet's held,) I've seen a ring of rugged kerne, With aspects shaggy, wild, and stern,
1 MS.-"0, bid not me bear sword and shield,
Or struggle to the bloody field,
2 MS.--"To vagrants at our parting hour."
Enchanted by the master's lay,
But rather had it been his choice Linger around the livelong day,
To share that melancholy hour, Shift from wild rage to wilder glee,
Than, arm'd with all a chieftain's power," To love, to grief, to ecstasy,'
In full possession to enjoy
Slieve-Donard wide, and Clandeboy.
The blood left Wilfrid's ashen cheek; Nor Owen's harp, beside the blaze,
Matilda sees, and hastes to speak.Tell maiden's love, or hero's praise !
“Happy in friendship’s ready aid, The mantling brambles hide thy hearth,
Let all my murmurs here be staid ! Centre of hospitable mirth ;
And Rokeby's Maiden will not part All undistinguish'd in the glade,
From Rokeby's hall with moody heart. My sires' glad home is prostrate laid,
This night at least, for Rokeby's fame. Their vassals wander wide and far,
The hospitable hearth shall flame, Serve foreign lords in distant war,
And, ere its native heir retire, And now the stranger's sons enjoy
Find for the wanderer rest and fire, The lovely woods of Clandeboy!"
While this poor harper, by the blaze," He spoke, and proudly turn'd aside,
Recounts the tale of other days. The starting tear to dry and hide.
Bid Harpool ope the door with speed,
Admit him, and relieve each need.-
Meantime, kind Wycliffe, wilt thou try
Thy minstrel skill !—Nay, no reply—6 Was glistening ere O'Neale's was dry.
And look not sad !-I guess thy thought, Her hand upon his arm she laid,
Thy verse with laurels would be bought ; It is the will of heaven,” she said.
And poor Matilda, landless now, “ And think'st thou, Redmond, I can part
Has not a garland for thy brow. From this loved home with lightsome heart, True, I must leave sweet Rokeby's glades, Leaving to wild neglect whate'er
Nor wander more in Greta shades; Even from my infancy was dear!
But sure, no rigid jailer, thou For in this calm domestic bound
Wilt a short prison-walk allow, Were all Matilda's pleasures found.
Where summer flowers grow wild at will, That hearth, my sire was wont to grace,
On Marwood-chase and Toller Hill;" Full soon may be a stranger's place ;'
Then holly green and lily gay This hall, in which a child I play'd,
Shall twine in guerdon of thy lay." Like thine, dear Redmond, lowly laid,
The mournful youth, a space aside, The bramble and the thorn may braid;
To tune Matilda's harp applied ; Or, pass'd for aye from me and mine,
And then a low sad descant rung, It ne'er may shelter Rokeby's line.
As prelude to the lay he sung.
The Cypress TVreath.
0, Lady, twine no wreath for me, For cold reserve had lost its power,
Or twine it of the cypress-tree ! In sorrow's sympathetic hour.
Too lively glow the lilies light, Young Redmond dared not trust his voice;
The varnish'd holly's all too bright, 1 MS. -** to sympathy." ? See Appendix, Note 3 D. 9 "Mr. Scott has imparted a delicacy (we mean in the coMS.--" That hearth, my father's honor'd place,
loring, for the design we cannot approve), a sweetness and a Full soon may see a stranger's face."
melancholy smile to this parting picture, that really enchant 4 MS. " Tanist's power."
us. Poor Wilfrid is sadly discomfited by the last instance of - MS.--" Find for the needy room and fire,
encouragement to Redmond ; and Matilda endeavors to cheer And this poor wanderer, by the blaze."
him by requesting, in the prettiest, and yet in the most touch6 vs. "what think'st thon
ing manner, · Kind Wycliffe,' to try his minstrelsy. We will Of yonder harp ?-Nay, clear thy brow." here just ask Mr. Scott, whether this would not be actual in: Marwood-chase is the old park extending along the Dur- fernal and intolerable torture to a man who had any soul ? ham side of the Tees, attached to Barnard Castle, Toller Hill Why, then, make his heroine even the unwilling cause of such s an eminence on the Yorkshire side of the river, commanding misery? Matilda had talked of twining a wreath for her poet a sa perb view of the ruins.
of holly green and lily gay, and he sings, broken-hearted, The * MS.--"Where rose and lily I will twine
Cypress Wreath.' We have, however, inserted this as one of In guerdon of a song of thine.”
the best of Mr. Scott's songs."- Monthly Review.
The May-flower and the eglantine
Let dimpled Mirth his temples twine
Who wears a sword he must not draw;
Let merry England proudly rear
Strike the wild harp, while maids prepare
XV. “But,” said Matilda, “ere thy name, Good Redmond, gain its destined fame, Say, wilt thou kindly deign to call Thy brother-minstrel to the hall ? Bid all the household, too, attend, Each in his rank a humble friend; I know their faithful hearts will grieve, When their poor Mistress takes her leave; So let the horn and beaker flow To mitigate their parting woe." The harper came ;-in youth's first prime Himself; in mode of olden time His garb was fashion'd, to express The ancient English minstrel's dress, A seemly gown of Kendal green, With gorget closed of silver sheen: His harp in silken scarf was slung, And by his side an anlace hung. It seem'd some masquer's quaint array, For revel or for holiday.
Yes! twine for me the cypress bough;
XIV. O'Neale observed the starting tear, And spoke with kind and blithesome cheer"No, noble Wilfrid ! ere the day When mourns the land thy silent lay, Shall many a wreath be freely wove By hand of friendship and of love. I would not wish that rigid Fate Had doom'd thee to a captive's state, Whose hands are bound by honor's law,
XVI. He made obcisance with a free Yet studied air of courtesy. Each look and accent, framed to please, Seem'd to affect a playful ease ; His face was of that doubtful kind, That wins the eye, but not the mind; Yet harsh it seem'd to deem amiss Of brow so young and smooth as this.
Į So lost to hope as falls to me; But wert thou such,
1 MS." I would not wish thee
in minstrel pride,
halls of barons bold.”
9 See Appendix, Note 3 E.
What should my soaring views make good ?
My Harp alone!
His was the subtle look and sly,
Love came with all his frantic fire,
And praised the tone;What could presumptuous hope inspire !
My Harp alone!
At manhood's touch the bubble burst, And manhood's pride the vision curst, And all that had my folly nursed
Love's sway to own; Yet spared the spell that lulld me first,
My Harp alone!
Woe came with war, and want with woe;
Can aught atone
My Harp alone!
XVII. All that expression base was gone, When waked the guest his minstrel tone; It fled at inspiration's call, As erst the demon fled from Saul.' More noble glance he cast around, More free-drawn breath inspired the sound, His pulse beat bolder and more high, In all the pride of minstrelsy! Alas! too soon that pride was o'er, Sunk with the lay that bade it soar ! His soul resumed, with habit's chain, Its vices wild and follies vain, And gave the talent, with him born, To be a common curse and scorn. Such was the youth whom Rokeby's Maid, With condescending kindness, pray'd Here to renew the strains she loved, At distance heard and well approved.
Ambition's dreams I've seen depart, Have rued of penury the smart, Have felt of love the venom'd dart,
When hope was flown; Yet rests one solace to my heart,
My Harp alone!
Then over mountain, moor, and hill,
Is wellnigh gone,
My Harp alone !
I was a wild and wayward boy,
To musing prone,
My Harp alone.
XIX. “A pleasing lay!" Matilda said ; But Harpool shook his old gray head, And took his baton and his torch, To seek his guard-room in the porch. Edmund observed; with sudden change, Among the strings his fingers range, Until they waked a bolder glee Of military melody; Then paused amid the martial sound, And look'd with well-feign'd fear around “None to this noble house belong,"
My youth, with bold Ambition’s mood, Despised the humble stream and wood, Where my poor father's cottage stood,
To fame unknown ;
1 MS.-"Nor could keen Redmond's aspect brook.” 9 MS.—"Came blindfold to the Castle-hall,
As if to bear her funeral pall." 3“But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
“And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took
an harp, and played with his hand : So Saul was refreshed,
His frantic dream, his wild desire."
Each varied outrage of the foc." * MS.-"And looking timidly around."
Till in peace and in triumph his toils he may drown, In a pledge to fair England, her Church, and her
He said, “ that would a Minstrel wrong,
THE CAVALIER. While the dawn on the mountainwas misty and gray, My true love has mounted his steed and away Over hill, over valley, o'er dale, and o'er down; Heaven shield the brave Gallant that fights for
XXI. “ Alas!" Matilda said, " that strain, Good harper, now is heard in vain ! The time has been, at such a sound, When Rokeby's vassals gather'd round, An hundred manly hearts would bound; But now the stirring verse we hear, Like trump in dying soldier's ear! Listless and sad the notes we own, The power to answer them is flown. Yet not without his meet applause, Be he that sings the rightful cause, Even when the crisis of its fate To human eye seems desperate. While Rokeby's Heir such power retains, Let this slight guerdon pay thy pains And, lend thy harp; I fain would try, If my poor skill can aught supply, Ere yet I leave my fathers' hall, To mourn the cause in which we fall."
He has doff?d the silk doublet the breast-plate to bear,
[hair, He has placed his steel-cap o'er his long flowing From his belt to his stirrup his broadsword hangs down,
[the Crown! Heaven shield the brave Gallant that fights for
For the rights of fair England that broadsword he
draws, Her King is his leader, her Church is his Cause; His watchword is honor, his pay is renown,God strike with the Gallant that strikes for the
They may boast of their Fairfax, their Waller, and
all The roundheaded rebels of Westminster Hall; But tell these bold traitors of London's proud town,
[Crown! That the spears of the North have encircled the
XXII. The harper, with a downcast look, And trembling hand, her bounty took.As yet, the conscious pride of art Had steeld him in his treacherous part; A powerful spring, of force unguessid, That hath each gentler mood suppress’d, And reign'd in many a human breast; From his that plans the red campaign, To his that wastes the woodland reign. The failing wing, the blood-shot eye,– The sportsman marks with apathy, Each feeling of his victim's ill Drown'd in his own successful skill. The veteran, too, who now no more Aspires to head the battle's roar,“ Loves still the triumph of his art, And traces on the pencill'd chart Some stern invader's destined way, Through blood and ruin, to his prey; Patriots to death, and towns to flame, He dooms, to raise another's name, And shares the guilt, though not the fame. What pays him for his span of time Spent in premeditating crime?
There's Derby and Cavendish, dread of their foes; There's Erin's high Ormond, and Scotland's Montrose!
[and Brown, Would you
match the base Skippon, and Massey, With the Barons of England, that fight for the
Now joy to the crest of the brave Cavalier!
Where God bless the brave gallants who fought
of proud London town,
9 In the MS. the last quatrain of this song is,
of Stratton and Lansdoune the Cornish can tell,
for the Crown.'
Like dirge beside a hero's bier."
The failing wing, the blood-shot eye.” 6 MS.-" The veteran chief, whose broken age,
No more can lead the battle's rage."