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For feats of arms as far renown'd
Already gasping on the ground
Of chivalry the prime.'
And quaked with ruth and fear;
And chid the rising tear. Then Brunor, Taulas, Mador, fell, Helias the White, and Lionel,
And many a champion more; Rochemont and Dinadam are down, And Ferrand of the Forest Brown
Lies gasping in his gore. Vanoc, by mighty Morolt press'd Even to the confines of the list, Young Vanoc of the beardless face (Fame spoke the youth of Merlin's race), O’erpower'd at Gyneth's footstool bled, His heart's blood dyed her sandals red. But then the sky was overcast, Then howld at once a whirlwind's blast,
And, rent by sudden throes, Yawn'd in mid lists the quaking earth, And from the gulf,—tremendous birth
The form of Merlin rose.
XXVII. “ As Merlin speaks, on Gyneth's eye Slumber's load begins to lie; Fear and anger vainly strive Still to keep its light alive. Twice, with effort and with pause, O'er her brow her hand she draws; Twice her strength in vain she tries, From the fatal chair to rise; Merlin's magic doom is spoken, Vanoc's death must now be wroken. Slow the dark-fringed eyelids fall, Curtaining each azure ball, Slowly as on summer eves Violets fold their dusky leaves. The weighty baton of command Now bears down her sinking hand, On her shoulder droops her head; Net of pearl and golden thread, Bursting, gave her locks to flow O'er her arm and breast of snow. And so lovely seem'd she there, Spell-bound in her ivory chair, That her angry sire, repenting, Craved stern Merlin for relenting, And the champions, for her sake, Would again the contest wake; Till, in necromantic night, Gyneth vanish'd from their sight.
XXVI. "Sternly the Wizard Prophet eyed The dreary lists with slaughter dyed,
And sternly raised his hand :• Madmen,' he said, 'your strife forbear! And thou, fair cause of mischief, hear
The doom thy fates demand ! Long shall close in stony sleep Eyes for ruth that would not weep; Iron lethargy shall seal Heart that pity scorn'd to feel. Yet, because thy mother's art Warp'd thine unsuspicious heart, And for love of Arthur's race, Punishment is blent with grace, Thou shalt bear thy penance lone In the Valley of Saint John, And this weird shall overtake thee; Sleep, until a knight shall wake thee,
XXVIII. “Still she bears her weird alone, In the Valley of Saint John; And her semblance oft will seem, Mingling in a champion's dream, Of her weary lot to 'plain, And crave his aid to burst her chain. While her wondrous tale was new, Warriors to her rescue drew, East and west, and south and north, From the Liffy, Thames, and Forth. Most have sought in vain the glen,
1 “The difficult subject of a tournament, in which several knights engage at once, is admirably treated by the novelist in Ivanhoe, and by his rival in The Bridal of Triermain, and the leading thought in both descriptions is the sudden and tragic change from a scene of pomp, gayety, and youthful pride, to one of misery, confusion, and death."- Adolphus, p. 245.
“The tide of battle seemed to flow now toward the southern, now toward the northern extremity of the lists, as the one or the other party prevailed. Meantime, the clang of the blows, and the shouts of the combatants, mixed fearfully with the
sound of the trampets, and drowned the groans of those who fell, and lay rolling defenceless beneath the feet of the horses. The splendid armor of the combatants was now defaced with dust and blood, and gave way at every stroke of the sword and battle-axe. The gay plumage, shorn from the crests, drifted upon the breeze like snow-flakes. All that was beautiful and graceful in the martial array had disappeared, and what was now visible was only calculated to awake terror or compassion."-Ivanhoe-Waverley Novels, vol. xvi. p. 187.
Tower nor castle could they ken;
the gloomy gate.
END OF LYULPH'S TALE.
Damning whate'er of vast and fair
Here pause, my tale ; for all too soon,
Lordlings and witlings not a few,
Yet ill at ease with naught to do.
Some phantom, fashionably thin,
And lounging gape, or sneering grin,
Of tinkling chain and spur,
Of feathers, lace, and fur:
II. Or grant the hour be all too soon For Hessian boot and pantaloon, And grant the lounger seldom strays Beyond the smooth and gravell’d maze, Laud we the gods, that Fashion's train Holds hearts of more adventurous strain. Artists are hers, who scorn to trace Their rules from Nature's boundless grace, But their right paramount assert To limit her by pedant art,
So early train’d for statesman's part, Who talks of honor, faith, and truth,
As themes that he has got by heart; Whose ethics Chesterfield can teach, Whose logic is from Single-speech;.
1 "The trammels of the palfraye pleased his sight,
Rowley's Ballads of Charitie.
2 See “Parliamentary Logic, &c., by the Right Honorable William Gerard Hamilton" (1808), commonly called "Sin. fle-Speech Hamilton."
Who scorns the meanest thought to vent,
'Tis there-nay, draw not back thy hand ! 'Tis there this slender finger round Must golden amulet be bound, Which, bless'd with many a holy prayer, Can change to rapture lovers' care, And doubt and jealousy shall die, And fears give place to ecstasy.
VIII. Now, trust me, Lucy, all too long Has been thy lover's tale and song. 0, why so silent, love, I pray! Have I not spoke the livelong day! And will not Lucy deign to say
One word her friend to bless ? I ask but one-a simple sound, Within three little letters bound,
O, let the word be YES!
V. What, neither? Can there be a third, To such resistless swains preferr'd lO why, my Lucy, turn aside, With that quick glance of injured pride ? Forgive me, love, I cannot bear That alter'd and resentful air. Were all the wealth of Russel mine, And all the rank of Howard's line, All would I give for leave to dry That dew-drop trembling in thine eye. Think not I fear such fops can wile From Lucy more than careless smile; But yet if wealth and high degree Give gilded counters currency, Must I not fear, when rank and birth Stamp the pure ore of genuine worth? Nobles there are, whose martial fires Rival the fame that raised their sires, And patriots, skill'd through storms of fate To guide and guard the reeling state. Such, such there are-If such should come, Arthur must tremble and be dumb, Self-exiled seek some distant shore, And mourn till life and grief are o'er.
The Bridal of Triermain.
VI. What sight, what signal of alarm, That Lucy clings to Arthur's arm? Or is it that the rugged way Makes Beauty lean on lover's stay? Oh, no! for on the vale and brake, Nor sight nor sounds of danger wake, And this trim sward of velvet green, Were carpet for the Fairy Queen. That pressure slight was but to tell, That Lucy loves her Arthur well, And fain would banish from his mind Suspicious fear and doubt unkind.
I. Long loved, long wood, and lately won, My life's best hope, and now mine own! Doth not this rude and Alpine glen ? Recall our favorite haunts agen? A wild resemblance we can trace, Though reft of every softer grace, As the rough warrior's brow may bear A likeness to a sister fair. Full well advised our Highland host, That this wild pass on foot be crossid, While round Ben-Cruach's mighty base Wheel the slow steeds and lingering chaise. The keen old carl, with Scottish pride, He praised his glen and mountains wide: An eye he bears for nature's face, Ay, and for woman's lovely grace. Even in such mean degree we find The subtle Scot's observing mind; For, nor the chariot nor the train Could gape of vulgar wonder gain, But when old Allan would expound Of Beal-na-paish' the Celtic sound, His bonnet doff’d, and bow, applied His legend to my bonny bride; While Lucy blush'd beneath his eye, Courteous and cautious, shrewd and sly.
VII. But wouldst thou bid the demons fly Like mist before the dawning sky, There is but one resistless spellSay, wilt thou guess, or must I tell ? "Twere hard to name, in minstrel phrase, A landaulet and four blood-bays, But bards agree this wizard band Can but be bound in Northern land.
1 Beal-na-paish, the Vale of the Bridal.
II. Enough of him.--Now, ere we lose, Plunged in the vale, the distant views, Turn thee, my love! look back once more To the blue lake's retiring shore. On its smooth breast the shadows seem Like objects in a morning dream, What time the slumberer is aware He sleeps, and all the vision's air : Even so, on yonder liquid lawn, In hues of bright reflection drawn, Distinct the shaggy mountains lie, Distinct the rocks, distinct the sky; The summer-clouds so plain we note, That we might count each dappled spot: We gaze and we admire, yet know The scene is all delusive show. Such dreams of bliss' would Arthur draw, When first his Lucy's form he saw; Yet sigh'd and sicken'd as he drew, Despairing they could e'er prove true!
When twice you pray'd I would again
pray Continuance of the knightly lay, Was it not on the happy day
That made thy hand mine own?
Save, Lucy, thee alone!
Up the fair glen, our destined way: The fairy path that we pursue, Distinguish'd but by greener hue,
Winds round the purple brae,
To swell the brooklet's moan! Seems that the Highland Naiad grieves, Fantastic while her crown she weaves, Of rowan, birch, and alder leaves,
So lovely, and so lone. There's no illusion there; these flowers, That wailing brook, these lovely bowers,
Are, Lucy, all our own; And, since thine Arthur called thee wife, Such seems the prospect of his life, A lovely path, on-winding still, By gurgling brook and sloping hill. 'Tis true, that mortals cannot tell What waits them in the distant dell; But be it hap, or be it harm, We tread the pathway arm in arm.
V. Again the summons I denied In yon fair capital of Clyde: My Harp—or let me rather choose The good old classic form—my Muse, (For Harp's an over-scutched phrase Worn out by bards of modern days), My Muse, then—seldom will she wake, Save by dim wood and silent lake; She is the wild and rustic Maid, Whose foot unsandall'd loves to tread Where the soft greensward is inlaid
With varied moss and thyme; And, lest the simple lily-braid, That coronets her temples, fade, She hides her still in greenwood shade,
To meditate her rhyme.
The glade hath won her eye;
Her blither melody.
Loved for its chivalry. List how she tells, in notes of flame, ["Child Roland to the dark tower came ! ]
IV. And now, my Lucy, wot’st thou why I could thy bidding twice deny,
3 MS." Her wild-wood melody."
1 MS.--"Scenes of bliss." MS.-"Until yon peevish oath you swore,
That you would sue for it no more."
4 The MS. has not this couplet.
The Bridal of Triermain.
Such as, in solitary hall,
Beguiles the musing eye, When, gazing on the sinking fire, Bulwark, and battlement, and spire,
In the red gulf we spy. For, seen by moon of middle night, Or by the blaze of noontide bright, Or by the dawn of morning light,
Or evening's western flame, In every tide, at every hour, In mist, in sunshine, and in shower,
The rocks remain'd the same.
Speir-Adam's steeds must bide in stall, Of Hartley-burn the bowmen bold
Must only shoot from battled wall; And Liddesdale may buckle spur,
And Teviot now may belt the brand, Taras and Ewes keep nightly stir,
And Eskdale foray Cumberland.
The Borderers bootless may complain; They lack the sword of brave de Vaux,
There comes no aid from Triermain. That lord, on high adventure bound,
Hath wander'd forth alone, And day and night keeps watchful round
In the valley of Saint John.
Yet nothing might explore,
To a rough fortress bore.
And drinks but of the well;
He seeks a rocky cell,
For aid to burst his spell.
And shone both fair and full;
Her light composed and cool.
Sir Roland eyed the vale ; Chief where, distinguish'd from the rest, Those clustering rocks uprear'd their crest, The dwelling of the fair distress’d,
As told gray Lyulph's tale Thus as he lay, the lamp of night Was quivering on his armor bright,
In beams that rose and fell, And danced upon his buckler's boss, That lay beside him on the moss,
As on a crystal well.
And now the moon her orb has hid,
Dim seen in middle heaven,
The midnight clouds are driven. The brooklet raved, for on the hills The upland showers had swoln the rills,
And down the torrents came; Mutter'd the distant thunder dread, And frequent o'er the vale was spread
A sheet of lightning flame. De Vaux, within his mountain cave (No human step the storm durst brave), To moody meditation gave
Each faculty of soul,' Till, lull'd by distant torrent sound, And the sad winds that whistled round, Upon his thoughts, in musing drown'd,
A broken slumber stole.
III. Ever he watch'd, and oft he deem'd, While on the mound the moonlight stream'd,
It alter'd to his eyes ; Fain would he hope the rocks 'gan change To buttress'd walls their shapeless range, Fain think, by transmutation strange,
He saw gray turrets rise. But scarce his heart with hope throb'd high, Before the wild illusions fly,
Which fancy had conceived, Abetted by an anxious eye
That long'd to be deceived. It was a fond deception all,
VI. 'Twas then was heard a heavy sound
(Sound, strange and fearful there to hear,
1 MS." His faculties of soul."