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And hearken, my merry-men! What time or where

[brow, Did she pass, that maid with her heavenly With her look so sweet and her eyes so fair, And her graceful step and her angel air, And the eagle plume in her dark-brown hair,

That pass’d from my bower e'en now ?"

She must be lovely, and constant, and kind,
Holy and pure, and humble of mind,
Blithe of cheer, and gentle of mood,
Courteous, and generous, and noble of blood-
Lovely as the sun's first ray,
When it breaks the clouds of an April day;
Constant and true as the widow'd dove,
Kind as a minstrel that sings of love;
Pure as the fountain in rocky cave,
Where never sunbeam kiss'd the wave;
Humble as maiden that loves in vain,
Holy as hermit's vesper strain ;
Gentle as breeze that but whispers and dies,
Yet blithe as the light leaves that dance in its

sighs; Courteous as monarch the morn he is crown'd, Generous as spring-dews that bless the glad

ground; Noble her blood as the currents that met In the veins of the noblest PlantagenetSuch must her form be, her mood, and her

strain, That shall match with Sir Roland of Triermain.

V.
Answerd him Richard de Bretville; he
Was chief of the Baron's minstrelsy,
“Silent, noble chieftain, we

Have sat since midnight close,
When such lulling sounds as the brooklet sings,
Murmur'd from our melting strings,

And hush'd you to repose.
Had a harp-note sounded here,

It had caught my watchful ear,
Although it fell as faint and shy
As bashful maiden's half-form'd sigh,

When she thinks her lover near.".
Answer'd Philip of Fasthwaite tall,
He kept guard in the outer hall,-
“Since at eve our watch took post,
Not a foot has thy portal cross'd;

Else had I heard the steps, though low
And light they fell, as when earth receives,
In morn of frost, the wither'd leaves,

That drop when no winds blow."

II.
Sir Roland de Vaux he hath lain him to sleep,
His blood it was fever'd, his breathing was deep,
He had been pricking against the Scot,
The foray was long, and the skirmish hot :
His dinted helm and his buckler's plight
Bore token of a stubborn fight.

All in the castle must hold them still,
Harpers must lull him to his rest,
With the slow soft tunes he loves the best,
Till sleep sink down upon his breast,

Like the dew on a summer hill.

III. It was the dawn of an autumn day; The sun was struggling with frost-fog gray, That like a silvery crape was spread Round Skiddaw's dim and distant head, And faintly gleam'd each painted pane Of the lordly halls of Triermain,

When that Baron bold awoke. Starting he woke, and loudly did call, Rousing his menials in bower and hall,

While hastily he spoke.

VI.
“Then come thou hither, Henry, my page,
Whom I saved from the sack of Hermitage,
When that dark castle, tower, and spire,
Rose to the skies a pile of fire,

And redden'd all the Nine-stane Hill,
And the shrieks of death, that wildly broke
Through devouring flame and smothering smoke,

Made the warrior's heart-blood chill.
The trustiest thou of all my train,
My fleetest courser thou must rein,

And ride to Lyulph's tower,
And from the Baron of Triermain

Greet well that sage of power.
He is sprung from Druid

sires,
And British bards that tuned their lyres
To Arthur's and Pendragon's praise,
And his who sleeps at Dunmailraise.?
Gifted like his gifted race,
He the characters can trace,
Graven deep in elder time
Upon Hellvellyn's cliffs sublime;
Sign and sigil well doth he know,
And can bode of weal and woe,
Of kingdoms' fall, and fate of wars,

IV. “ Hearken, my minstrels ! Which of ye all Touch'd his harp with that dying fall,

So sweet, so soft, so faint,
It seem'd an angel's whisper'd call

To an expiring saint ?

1 Dunmailraise is one of the grand passes from Cumberland of stones, erected, it is said, to the memory of Danmail, the into Westmoreland. It takes its name from a cairn, or pile | last King of Cumberland.

From mystic dreams and course of stars.
He shall tell if middle earth
To that enchanting shape gave birth,
Or if 'twas but an airy thing,
Such as fantastic slumbers bring,
Framed from the rainbow's varying dyes,
Or fading tints of western skies.'
For, by the Blessed Rood I swear,
If that fair form breathe vital air,
No other maiden by my side
Shall ever rest De Vaux's bride !!?

So perilous to knightly worth,

In the valley of St. John ? Listen, youth, to what I tell, And bind it on thy memory well; Nor muse that I commence the rhyme Far distant, 'mid the wrecks of time. The mystic tale, by bard and sage, Is handed down from Merlin's age.

VII. The faithful Page he mounts his steed, And soon he cross'd green Irthing's mead, Dash'd o'er Kirkoswald's verdant plain, And Eden barr'ā his course in vain. He pass'd red Penrith’s Table Round," For feats of chivalry renown'd, Left Mayburgh's mound* and stones of power, By Druids raised in magic hour, And traced the Eamont's winding way, Till Ulfo's lake beneath him lay.

X.

Lyulpb's Tale. “King Arthur has ridden from merry Carlisle,

When Pentecost was o'er:
He journey'd like errant-knight the while,
And sweetly the summer sun did smile

On mountain, moss, and moor.
Above his solitary track
Rose Glaramara's ridgy back,
Amid whose

yawning gulfs the sun
Cast umber'd radianoe red and dun,
Though never sunbeam could discern
The surface of that sable tarn,
In whose black mirror you may spy
The stars, while noontide lights the sky.
The gallant King he skirted still
The margin of that mighty hill;
Rock
upon

rocks incumbent hung,
And torrents, down the gullies flung,
Join'd the rude river that brawld on,
Recoiling now from crag and stone,
Now diving deep from human ken,
And raving down its darksome glen.
The Monarch judged this desert wild,
With such romantic ruin piled,
Was theatre by Nature's hand
For feat of high achievement plann'd.

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VIII.
Onward he rode, the pathway still
Winding betwixt the lake and hill;
Till, on the fragment of a rock,
Struck from its base by lightning shock,

He saw the hoary Sage:
The silver moss and lichen twined,
With fern and deer-hair, check'd and lined,

A cushion fit for age; And o'er him shook the aspen-tree, A restless, rustling canopy. Then sprung young Henry from his selle,

And greeted Lyulph grave,
And then his master's tale did tell,

And then for counsel crave.
The Man of Years mused long and deep,
Of time's lost treasures taking keep,
And then, as rousing from a sleep,
His solemn answer gave.

IX.
" That maid is born of middle earth,

And may of man be won, Though there have glided since her birth

Five hundred years and one. But where's the Knight in all the north, . That dare the adventure follow forth,

XI.
“O rather he chose, that Monarch bold,

On vent'rous quest to ride,
In plate and mail, by wood and wold,
Than, with ermine trapp'd and cloth of gold,

In princely bower to bide ;
The bursting crash of a foeman's spear,

As it shiver'd against his mail,
Was merrier music to his ear

Than courtier's whisper'd tale:
And the clash of Caliburn more dear,
When on the hostile casque it rung,

Than all the lays

To their monarch's praise his nightly visitant, of whom at this time he could know nothing, but that she looked and sung like an angel, if of mortal mould, shall be his bride."-Quarterly Review. 3 See Appendix, Note C. 4 Ibid. Note D. 5 Ulswater.

& The small lake called Scales-tarn lies so deeply embosomed in the recesses of the huge mountain called Saddleback, more poetically Glaramara, is of such great depth, and so complete

1 * Just like Aurora, when she ties

A rainbow round the morning skies."-Moore. 2 « This powerful Baron required in the fair one whom he should honor with his hand an assemblage of qualities, that appears to us rather unreasonable even in those high days, profase as they are known to have been of perfections now anattainable. His resolution, however, was not more inflexible than that of any mere modern youth ; for he decrees that

And, where the Gothic gateway frown'd,

Glanced neither bill nor bow.

That the harpers of Reged sung. He loved better to rest by wood or river, Than in bower of his bride, Dame Guenever, For he left that lady, so lovely of cheer, To follow adventures of danger and fear; And the frank-hearted Monarch full little did wot,

(Launcelot That she smiled, in his absence, on brave

XII. “He rode, till over down and dell The shade more broad and deeper fell; And though around the mountain's head Flow'd streams of purple, and gold, and red, Dark at the base, unblest by beam, Frown'd the black rocks, and roard the stream. With toil the King his way pursued By lonely Threlkeld's waste and wood, Till on his course obliquely shone The narrow valley of Saint John, Down sloping to the western sky, Where lingering sunbeams love to lie. Right glad to feel those beams again, The King drew up his charger's rein; With gauntlet raised he screen'd his sight, As dazzled with the level light, And, from beneath his glove of mail, Scann'd at his ease the lovely vale, While 'gainst the sun his armor bright Gleam'd ruddy like the beacon's light.

XIV.
Beneath the castle's gloomy pride,
In ample round did Arthur ride
Three times ; nor living thing he spied,

Nor heard a living sound,
Save that, awakening from her dream,
The owlet now began to scream,
In concert with the rushing stream,

That wash'd the battled mound.
He lighted from his goodly steed,
And he left him to graze on bank and mead;
And slowly he climb'd the narrow way,
That reach'd the entrance grim and gray,
And he stood the outward arch below,
And his bugle-horn prepared to blow,

In summons blithe and bold,
Deeming to rouse from iron sleep
The guardian of this dismal Keep,

Which well he guess'd the hold
Of wizard stern, or goblin grim,
Or pagan of gigantic limb,

The tyrant of the wold.

XIII.
“Paled in by many a lofty hill,
The narrow dale lay smooth and still,
And, down its verdant bosom led,
A winding brooklet found its bed.
But, midmost of the vale, a mound
Arose with airy turrets crown'd,
Buttress, and rampire's circling bound,

And mighty keep and tower ;
Seem'd some primeval giant's hand
The castle's massive walls had plann'd,
A ponderous bulwark to withstand

Ambitious Nimrod's power.
Above the moated entrance slung,
The balanced drawbridge trembling hung,

As jealous of a foe;
Wicket of oak, as iron hard,
With iron studded, clench’d, and barr'd,
And prong'd portcullis, join'd to guard

The gloomy pass below.
But the gray walls no banners crown'd,
Upon the watch-tower's airy round
No warder stood his horn to sound,
No guard beside the bridge was found,

XV. “The ivory bugle's golden tip Twice touch'd the Monarch’s manly lip,

And twice his hand withdrew. -Think not but Arthur's heart was good! His shield was cross’d by the blessed rood, Had a pagan host before him stood,

He had charged them through and through;
Yet the silence of that ancient place
Sunk on his heart, and he paused a space

Ere yet his horn he blew.
But, instant as its 'larum rung,
The castle gate was open flung,
Portcullis rose with crashing groan
Full harshly up its groove of stone:
The balance-beams obey'd the blast,
And down the trembling drawbridge cast;
The vaulted arch before him lay,
With naught to bar the gloomy way,
And onward Arthur paced, with hand
On Caliburn's' resistless brand.

XVI. “ A hundred torches, flashing bright, Dispell’d at once the gloomy night

That lour'd along the walls,
And show'd the King's astonish'd sight

The inmates of the halls.
Nor wizard stern, nor goblin grim,

Iy hidden from the sun, that it is said its beams never reach it, and that the reflection of the stars may be seen at mid-day.

1 This was the name of King Arthur's well-known sword, sometimes also called Excalibar.

Raised, with imposing air, her hand,
And reverent silence did command,

On entrance of their Queen,
And they were mute.—But as a glance
They steal on Arthur's countenance

Bewilder'd with surprise, Their smother'd mirth again 'gan speak, In archly dimpled chin and cheek,

And laughter-lighted eyes.

Nor giant huge of form and limb,

Nor heathen knight, was there;
But the cressets, which odors flung aloft,
Show'd by their yellow light and soft,

A band of damsels fair.
Onward they came, like summer wave

That dances to the shore;
An hundred voices welcome gave,

And welcome o'er and o'er!
An hundred lovely hands assail
The bucklers of the monarch's mail,
And busy labor'd to unhasp
Rivet of steel and iron clasp.
One wrapp'd him in a mantle fair,
And one flung odors on his hair ;
His short curld ringlets one smooth'd down,
One wreathed them with a myrtle crown.
A bride upon her wedding-day,
Was tended ne'er by troop so gay.

46

XIX.
“The attributes of those high days
Now only live in minstrel lays;
For Nature, now exhausted, still
Was then profuse of good and ill.
Strength was gigantic, valor high,
And wisdom soar'd beyond the sky,
And beauty had such matchless beam
As lights not now a lover's dream.
Yet e'en in that romantic age,

Ne'er were such charms by mortal seen,
As Arthur's dazzled eyes engage,
When forth, on that enchanted stage,
With glittering train of maid and page,

Advanced the castle's Queen! While up the hall she slowly passid, Her dark eye on the King she cast,

That flash'd expression strong ;-
The longer dwelt that lingering look,
Her cheek the livelier color took,
And scarce the shame-faced King could brook

The gaze that lasted long.
A sage, who had that look espied,
Where kindling passion strove with pride,

Had whisper'd, ‘Prince, beware!
From the chafed tiger rend the prey,
Rush on the lion when at bay,
Bar the fell dragon's blighted way,

But shun that lovely snare !

XVII.
"Loud laugh'd they all,—the King, in vain,
With questions task'd the giddy train;
Let him entreat, or crave, or call,
'Twas one reply,-loud laugh'd they all.
Then o'er him mimic chains they fling,
Framed of the fairest flowers of spring,
While some their gentle force unite,
Onward to drag the wondering knight,
Some, bolder, urge his pace with blows,
Dealt with the lily or the rose.
Behind him were in triumph borne
The warlike arms he late had worn.
Four of the train combined to rear
The terrors of Tintadgel's spear ;'
Two, laughing at their lack of strength,
Dragg'd Caliburn in cumbrous length,
One, while she aped a martial stride,
Placed on her brows the helmet's pride ;
Then scream'd, 'twixt laughter and surprise,
To feel its depth o'erwhelm her eyes.
With revel-shout, and triumph-song,
Thus gayly march'd the giddy throng.

XVIII.
“ Through many a gallery and hall
They led, I ween, their royal thrall;
At length, beneath a fair arcade
Their march and song at once they staid.
The eldest maiden of the band

(The lovely maid was scarce eighteen), 1 Tintadgel Castle, in Cornwall, is reported to have been the birth-place of King Arthur.

1 " In the description of the Queen's entrance, as well as in the contrasted enumeration of the levities of her attendants, the author, we think, has had in his recollection Gray's celebrated description of the power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion in the body."-Quartețly Review.

XX. “At once, that inward strife suppress'd, The dame approach'd her warlike guest, With greeting in that fair degree, Where female pride and courtesy Are bended with such passing art As awes at once and charms the heart. A courtly welcome first she gave, Then of his goodness 'gan to crave

Construction fair and true Of her light maidens' idle mirth,

3" Arouse the tiger of Hyrcanian deserts,

Strive with the half-starved lion for his prey ;
Lesser the risk, than rouse the slumbering fire
Of wild Fanaticism.".

Waverley Novels, vol. xvii. p. 207. 4 “Still sways their souls with that commanding art That dazzles, leads, yet chills the vulgar heart."

Byron's Corsair, 1814.

Who drew from lonely glens their birth, Nor knew to pay to stranger worth

And dignity their due ; And then she pray'd that he would rest That night her castle's honor'd guest. The Monarch meetly thanks express'd; The banquet rose at her behest, With lay and tale, and laugh and jest,

Apace the evening flew.

The Saxon stern, the pagan Dane,
Maraud on Britain's shores again.
Arthur, of Christendom the flower,
Lies loitering in a lady's bower;
The horn, that foemen wont to fear,
Sounds but to wake the Cumbrian deer,
And Caliburn, the British pride,
Hangs useless by a lover's side.

like

XXI.
"The Lady sate the Monarch by,
Now in her turn abash'd and shy,
And with indifference seem'd to hear
The toys he whisper'd in her ear.
Her bearing modest was and fair,
Yet shadows of constraint were there,
That show'd an over-cautious care

Some inward thought to hide ;
Oft did she pause in full reply,
And oft cast down her large dark eye,
Oft check'd the soft voluptuous sigh,

That heaved her bosom's pride.
Slight symptoms these, but shepherds know
How hot the mid-day sun shall glow,

From the mist of morning sky; And so the wily monarch guess'd, That this assumed restraint express'd More ardent passions in the breast,

Than ventured to the eye.
Closer he press’d, while beakers rang,
While maidens laugh'd and minstrels sang,

Still closer to her ear-
But why pursue the common tale ?
Or wherefore show how knights prevail

When ladies dare to hear ?
Or wherefore trace, from what slight cause
Its source one tyrant passion draws,

Till, mastering all within,"
Where lives the man that has not tried,
How mirth can into folly glide,

And folly into sin ?"

II. “ Another day, another day, And yet another, glides away! Heroic plans in pleasure drown'd, He thinks not of the Table Round; In ess love dissolved his life, He thinks not of his beauteous wife: Better he loves to snatch a flower From bosom of his paramour, Than from a Saxon knight* to wrest The honors of his heathen crest ! Better to wreathe, 'mid tresses brown, The heron's plume her hawk struck down, Than o'er the altar give to flow The banners of a Paynim foe. Thus, week by week, and day by day, His life inglorious glides away; But she, that soothes his dream, with fear Beholds his hour of waking near !

III. “Much force have mortal charms to stay Our peace in Virtue's toilsome way; But Guendolen's might far outshine Each maid of merely mortal line. Her mother was of human birth, Her sire a Genie of the earth, In days of old deem'd to preside O'er lovers' wiles and beauty's pride, By youths and virgins worship'd long, With festive dance and choral song, Till, when the cross to Britain came, On heathen altars died the flame. Now, deep in Wastdale solitude, The downfall of his rights he rued, And, born of his resentment heir, He train’d to guile that lady fair, To sink in slothful sin and shame The champions of the Christian name. Well skill'd to keep vain thoughts alive, And all to promise, naught to give,The timid youth had hope in store, The bold and pressing gain'd no more. As wilder'd children leave their home,

The Bridal of Triermain.

CANTO SECOND.

I. Lyulpb's Tale, continued. " ANOTHER day, another day, And yet another glides away!

1“ On the opinion that may be formed even of these two stanzas (xix. and xx.) we are willing to hazard the justness of the eulogium we have bestowed on the general poetical merit of this little work."--Quarterly Review.

1_"One Master Passion in the breast,

Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest."-POPE. 3 MS._"Lovely.4 MS.-—" Paynim knight." 6 MS.-" Vanquish'd foe.”

6 The MS. has this and the sixth couplet of stanza iii. interpolated.

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