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'Mongst desert hills, where, leagues around,

Dwelt but the gorcock and the deer): As starting from his couch of fern,' Again he heard, in clangor stern,

That deep and solemn swell, Twelve times, in measured tone, it spoke, Like some proud minster's pealing clock,

Or city's larum-bell.
What thought was Roland's first when fell,
In that deep wilderness, the knell

Upon his startled ear?
To slander warrior were I loth,
Yet must I hold my minstrel troth,

It was a thought of fear.

Came mounted on that car of fire,

To do his errand dread. Far on the sloping valley's course, On thicket, rock, and torrent hoarse, Shingle and Scrae,* and Fell and Force,

A dusky light arose : Display'd, yet alter'd was the scene ; Dark rock, and brook of silver sheen, Even the gay thicket's summer green,

In bloody tincture glows.

But lively was the mingled thrill
That chased that momentary chill,

For Love's keen wish was there,
And eager Hope, and Valor high,
And the proud glow of Chivalry,

That burn'd to do and dare.
Forth from the cave the Warrior rush'd,
Long ere the mountain-voice was hush'd,

That answer'd to the knell;
For long and far the unwonted sound,
Eddying in echoes round and round,

Was toss'd from fell to fell;
And Glaramara answer flung,
And Grisdale-pike responsive rung,
And Legbert heights their echoes swung,

As far as Dertvent's dell."

IX. De Vaux had mark'd the sunbeams set, At eve, upon the coronet

Of that enchanted mound, And seen but crags at random flung, That, o'er the brawling torrent.hung,

In desolation frown'd.
What sees he by that meteor's lour -
A banner'd Castle, keep, and tower,

Return the lurid gleam,
With battled walls and buttress fast,
And barbican” and ballium® vast,
And airy flanking towers, that cast

Their shadows on the stream.
'Tis no deceit !-distinctly clear
Crenello and parapet appear,
While o'er the pile that meteor drear

Makes momentary pause;
Then forth its solemn path it drew,
And fainter yet and fainter grew
Those gloomy towers upon the view,

As its wild light withdraws.

Forth upon trackless darkness gazed
The Knight, bedeafen'd and amazed,

Till all was hush'd and still,
Save the swoln torrent's sullen roar,
And the night-blast that wildly bore

Its course along the hill.
Then on the northern sky there came
A light as of reflected flame,

And over Legbert-head,
As if by magic art controlld,
A mighty meteor slowly rolld

Its orb of fiery red; Thou wouldst have thought some demon dire

Forth from the cave did Roland rush,
O'er crag and stream, through brier and bush;

Yet far he had not sped,"
Ere sunk was that portentous light
Behind the hills, and utter night

Was on the valley spread."
He paused perforce, and blew his horn,
And, on the mountain echoes borne,"

Was heard an answering sound,
A wild and lonely trumpet-note,
In middle air it seem'd to float

High o'er the battled mound;

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1 MS.

«bis couch of rock,

Again apon his ear it broke." 7 MS.

mingled sounds were hush'd.” 3“ The rock, like something starting from a sleep,

Took up the lady's voice, and laugh'd again;
That ancient Woman seated on Helm-Crag
Was ready with her cavern ; Hammar-Scar,
And the tall steep of Silver-How, sent forth
A noise of laughter ; southern Loughrigg heard,
And Fairfield answer'd with a mountain tone;
Helvellyn far into the clear blue sky
Carried the lady's voice,--old Skiddaw blew

His speaking-trumpet ;-back out of the clouds
Of Glaramara southward came the voice ;
And Kirkstone tossed it from his misty head.”

WORDSWORTH. 4 Bank of loose stones.

5 Waterfall. 6 MS.- -"rocks at random piled,

That on the torrent brawling wild." 7 The outer defence of the castle gate. 8 Fortified court. 9 Apertures for shooting arrows.

.“ had not gone.” 11 MS.

-"the valley lone." 12 MS.--" And far upon the echoes borne."

10 MS.

And sounds were heard, as when a guard
Of some proud castle, holding ward,

Pace forth their nightly round.
The valiant Knight of Triermain
Rung forth his challenge-blast again,

But answer came there none;
And ʼmid the mingled wind and rain,
Darkling he sought the vale in vain,

Until the dawning shone;
And when it dawn'd, that wondrous sight,
Distinctly seen by meteor-light,

It all had passed away!
And that enchanted mound once more
A pile of granite fragments bore,

As at the close of day.


The veil of silver mist it shook,
And to De Vaux's eager look

Renew'd that wondrous view.
For, though the loitering vapor braved
The gentle breeze, yet oft it waved

Its mantle's dewy fold;
And still, when shook that filmy screen,
Were towers and bastions dimly seen,
And Gothic battlements between

Their gloomy length unrolld."
Speed, speed, De Vaux, ere on thine eye
Once more the fleeting vision die !

-The gallant knight 'gan speed
As prompt and light as, when the hound
Is opening, and the horn is wound,

Careers the hunter's steed.
Down the steep dell his course amain

Hath rivall’d archer's shaft;
But ere the mound he could attain,
The rocks their shapeless form regain,
And, mocking loud his labor vain,

The mountain spirits laugh’d.
Far up the echoing dell was borne
Their wild unearthly shout of scorn.

Steeld for the deed, De Vaux's heart
Scorn'd from his venturous quest to part,

He walks the vale once more ;
But only sees, by night or day,
That shatter'd pile of rocks so gray,

Hears but the torrent's roar.
Till when, through hills of azure borne,
The moon renew'd her silver horn,
Just at the time her waning ray
Had faded in the dawning day,

A summer mist arose;
Adown the vale the vapors float,
And cloudy undulations moat'
That tufted mound of mystic note,

As round its base they close.
And higher now the fleecy tide
Ascends its stern and shaggy side,
Until the airy billows hide

The rock's majestic isle;
It seem'd a veil of filmy lawn,
By some fantastic fairy drawno

Around enchanted pile.

Wroth wax'd the Warrior.—"Am I then
Fooled by the enemies of men,
Like a poor hind, whose homeward way
Is haunted by malicious fay?
Is Triermain become your taunt,
De Vaux your scorn? False fiends, avaunt !"
A weighty curtal-axe he bare ;
The baleful blade so bright and square,
And the tough shaft of heben wood,
Were oft in Scottish gore imbrued.
Backward his stately form he drew,
And at the rocks the weapon threw,
Just where one crag's projected crest
Hung proudly balanced o'er the rest.
Hurl'd with main force, the weapon's shock
Rent a huge fragment of the rock.
If by mere strength, 'twere hard to tell,

The breeze came softly down the brook,

And, sighing as it blew,

1 MS."he sought the towers in vain."

the windings of the river, and the peaks and precipices which 2 MS.--" But when, through fields of azure borne.” the mist left visible, while her beams seemed, as it were, ab 3 MS.—"And with their eddying billows moat."

sorbed by the fleecy whiteness of the mist, where it lay thick * MS.-"Until the mist's gray bosom hide."

and condensed, and gave to the more light and vapory specks, MS."a veil of airy lawn."

which were elsewhere visible, a sort of filmy transpa rency re6" A sharp frost wind, which made itself heard and felt sembling the lightest veil of silver gauze."-Waverley Nofrom time to time, removed the clouds of mist which might vels-Rob Roy-vol. viii. p. 267. otherwise bave slumbered till morning on the valley; and, " The praise of truth, precision, and distinctness, is not very though it could not totally disperse the clouds of vapor, yet frequently combined with that of extensive magnificence and threw them in confused and changeful masses, now hovering splendid complication of imagery ; yet, how masterly, and round the heads of the mountains, now filling, as with a dense often sublime, is the panoramic display, in all these works, of and voluminous stream of smoke, the various deep gullies vast and diversified scenery, and of crowded and tamultaous where masses of the composite rock, or brescia, tumbling in action," &c.-Adolphus, p. 163. fragments from the cliffs, have rushed to the valley, leaving 7 The scenery of the valley, seen by the light of the sumeach behind its course a rent and torn ravine, resembling a de mer and autumnal moon, is described with an aërial touch to serted water-course. The moon, which was now high, and which we cannot do justice."--Quarterly Review. twinkled with all the vivacity of a frosty atmosphere, silvered 8 MS.-_Is wilder'd."

Or if the blow dissolved some spell,
But down the headlong ruin came,
With cloud of dust, and flash of flame.
Down bank, o'er bush, its course was borne,
Crush'd lay the copse, the earth was torn,
Till staid at length, the ruin dread
Cumber'd the torrent's rocky bed,
And bade the waters' high-swoln tide
Seek other passage for its pride.

This enduring fabric plann'd;
Sign and sigil, word of power,
From the earth raised keep and tower.
View it o'er, and pace it round,
Rampart, turret, battled mound.
Dare no more! To cross the gate
Were to tamper with thy fate;
Strength and fortitude were vain,
View it o'er--and turn again." -

XIV. When ceased that thunder, Triermain Survey'd the mound's rude front again ; And, lo! the ruin had laid bare, Hewn in the stone, a winding stair, Whose moss'd and fractured steps might lend The means the summit to ascend; And by whose aid the brave De Vaux Began to scale these magic rocks,

And soon a platform won,
Where, the wild witchery to close,
Within three lances' length arose

The Castle of Saint John!
No misty phantom of the air,
No meteor-blazon'd show was there;
In morning splendor, full and fair,

The massive fortress shone.

XVII. “That would I,” said the Warrior bold, “If that my frame were bent and old, And

my thin blood dropp'd slow and cold

As icicle in thaw; But while my heart can feel it dance, Blithe as the sparkling wine of France, And this good arm wields sword or lance,

I mock these words of awe!”
He said ; the wicket felt the sway
Of his strong hand, and straight gave way,
And, with rude crash and jarring bray,

The rusty bolts withdraw;
But o'er the threshold as he strode,
And forward took the vaulted road,
An unseen arm, with force amain,
The ponderous gate flung close again,

And rusted bolt and bar
Spontaneous took their place once more,
While the deep arch with sullen roar

Return'd their surly jar. “Now closed is the gin and the prey within

By the Rood of Lanercost !
But he that would win the war-wolf's skin,

May rue him of his boast.”
Thus muttering, on the Warrior went,
By dubious light down steep descent.

Embattled high and proudly tower'd,
Shaded by pond'rous flankers, lower'd

The portal's gloomy way.
Though for six hundred years and more,
Its strength had brook'd the tempest's roar,
The scutcheon'd emblems which it bore

Had suffer'd no decay:
But from the eastern battlement
A turret had made sheer descent,
And, down in recent ruin rent,

In the mid torrent lay.
Else, o'er the Castle's brow sublime,
Insults of violence or of time

Unfelt had pass'd away.
In shapeless characters of yore,
The gate this stern inscription bore:-


* Patience waits the destined day,
Strength can clear the cumber'd way.
Warrior, who hast waited long,
Firm of soul, of sinew strong,
It is given to thee to gaze
On the pile of ancient days.
Never mortal builder's hand

Unbarr'd, unlock'd, unwatch'd, a port
Led to the Castle's outer court:
There the main fortress, broad and tall,
Spread its long range of bower and hall,

And towers of varied size,
Wrought with each ornament extreme,
That Gothic art, in wildest dream

Of fancy, could devise ;
But full between the Warrior's way
And the main portal arch, there lay

An inner moat;

Nor bridge nor boat Affords De Vaux the means to cross The clear, profound, and silent fosse. His arms aside in haste he flings, Cuirass of steel and hauberk rings, And down falls helm, and down the shield, Rough with the dints of many a field. Fair was his manly form, and fair

1 MS." And bade its waters, in their pride,

Seek other current for their tide," 51

His keen dark eye, and close curl'd hair,
When, all unarm’d, save that the brand
Of well-proved metal graced his hand,
With naught to fence his dauntless breast
But the close gipon’s' under-vest,
Whose sullied buff the sable stains
Of hauberk and of mail retains,
Roland De Vaux upon the brim
Of the broad moat stood prompt to swim.

For the leash that bound these monsters

Was but of gossamer.
Each Maiden's short barbaric vests
Left all unclosed the knee and breast,

And limbs of shapely jet;
White was their vest and turban's fold,
On arms and ankles rings of gold

In savage pomp were set;
A quiver on their shoulders lay,
And in their hand an assagay.
Such and so silent stood they there,

That Roland wellnigh hoped
He saw a band of statues rare,
Station’d the gazer's soul to scare;

But, when the wicket oped, Each grisly beast 'gan upward draw, Rollid his grim eye, and spread his claw, Scented the air, and lick'd his jaw; While these weird Maids, in Moorish tongue, A wild and dismal warning sung.

Accoutred thus he dared the tide,
And soon he reach'd the farther side,

And enter'd soon the Hold,
And paced a hall, whose walls so wide
Were blazon'd all with feats of pride,

By warriors done of old.
In middle lists they counter'd here,

While trumpets seem'd to blow;
And there, in den or desert drear,

They quell'd gigantic foe.?
Braved the fierce griffon in his ire,
Or faced the dragon's breath of fire.
Strange in their arms, and strange in face,
Heroes they seem'd of ancient race,
Whose deeds of arms; and race, and name,
Forgotten long by later fame,

Were here depicted, to appal
Those of an age degenerate,
Whose bold intrusion braved their fate

In this enchanted hall.
For some short space the venturous Knight
With these high marvels fed his sight,
Then sought the chamber's upper end,
Where three broad easy steps ascend

To an arch'd portal door,
In whose broad folding leaves of state
Was framed a wicket window-grate,

And, ere he ventured more,
The gallant Knight took earnest view
The grated wicket-window through.

XXI. “Rash Adventurer, bear thee back!

Dread the spell of Dahomay ! Fear the race of Zaharak,"

Daughters of the burning day !

“When the whirlwind's gusts are wheeling,

Ours it is the dance to braid ; Zarah's sands in pillars reeling,

Join the measure that we tread, When the Moon has donn'd her cloak,

And the stars are red to see, Shrill when pipes the sad Siroc,

Music meet for such as we.

“ Where the shatter'd columns lie,

Showing Carthage once had been, If the wandering Santon's eye

Our mysterious rites hath seen,Oft he cons the prayer of death,

To the nations preaches doom, ‘Azrael's brand hath left the sheath!

Moslems, think upon the tomb !

XX. O, for his arms! Of martial weed Had never mortal Knight such need! He spied a stately gallery; all Of snow-white marble was the wall,

The vaulting, and the floor ; And, contrast strange! on either hand There stood array'd in sable band

Four Maids whom Afric bore ;* And each a Lybian tiger led, Held by as bright and frail a thread

As Lucy's golden hair,

“Ours the scorpion, ours the snake,

Ours the hydra of the fen, Ours the tiger of the brake,

All that plagues the sons of men. Ours the tempest's midnight wrack,

Pestilence that wastes by dayDread the race of Zaharak!

Fear the spell of Dahomay !"

1 A sort of doublet, worn beneath the armor. 2 MS.--"They counter'd giant foe." 3 MS.-"Portray'd by limner to appal.” • MS.--"Four Maidens stood in sable band

The blackest Afrique bore." 6 MS.—“Each Maiden's short and savage vest." 6 The MS, has not this couplet. 7 Zaharak or Zaharah is the Arab name of the Great Desert.

“Five hundred years o'er this cold glep Hath the pale sun come round agen; Foot of man, till now,

hath ne'er Dared to cross the Hall of Fear.

“Warrior! thou, whose dauntless heart
Gives us from our ward to part,
Be as strong in future trial,
Where resistance is denial.

“Now for Afric's glowing sky,
Zwenga wide and Atlas high,
Zaharak and Dahomay !-
Mount the winds! Hurra, hurra !"

Uncouth and strange the accents shrill

Rung those vaulted roofs among,
Long it was ere, faint and still,

Died the far-resounding song.
While yet the distant echoes roll,
The Warrior communed with his soul.
“When first I took this venturous quest,

I swore upon the rood,
Neither to stop, nor turn, nor rest,

For evil or for good.
My forward path too well I ween,
Lies yonder fearful ranks between!
For man unarm’d, 'tis bootless hope
With tigers and with fiends to cope-
Yet, if I turn, what waits me there,
Save famine dire and fell despair -
Other conclusion let me try,
Since, choose howe'er I list, I die.
Forward, lies faith and knightly fame;
Behind, are perjury and shame.
In life or death I hold my word!”
With that he drew his trusty sword,
Caught down a banner from the wall,
And enter'd thus the fearful hall.

On high each wayward Maiden threw
Her swarthy arm, with wild halloo !
On either side a tiger sprung-
Against the leftward foe he flung
The ready banner, to engage
With tangling folds the brutal rage ;
The right-hand monster in mid-air
He struck so fiercely and so fair,
Through gullet and through spinal bone
The trenchant blade hath sheerly gone.
His grisly brethren ramp'd and yell’d,
But the slight leash their rage withheld,
Whilst, 'twixt their ranks, the dangerous road
Firmly, though swift, the champion strode.
Safe to the gallery's bound he drew,
Safe pass'd an open portal through;
And when against pursuit he flung
The gate, judge if the echoes rung!
Onward his daring course he bore,
While, mix'd with dying growl and roar,
Wild jubilee and loud hurra
Pursued him on his venturous way.

The wizard song at distance died,

As if in ether borne astray,
While through waste halls and chambers

wide The Knight pursued his steady way, Till to a lofty dome he came, That flash'd with such a brilliant flame, As if the wealth of all the world Were there in rich confusion hurl'd. For here the gold, in sandy heaps, With duller earth, incorporate, sleeps; Was there in ingots piled, and there Coin'd badge of empery it bare; Yonder, huge bars of silver lay, Dimm'd by the diamond's neighboring ray, Like the pale moon in morning day; And in the midst four Maidens stand, The daughters of some distant land. Their hue was of the dark-red dye, That fringes oft a thunder sky; Their hands palmetto baskets bare, And cotton fillets bound their hair ; Slim was their form, their mien was shy, To earth they bent the humbled eye, Folded their arms, and suppliant kneeld, And thus their proffer'd gifts reveal'd.”


CHORUS. "See the treasures Merlin piled, Portion meet for Arthur's child. Bathe in Wealth's unbounded stream, Wealth that Avarice ne'er could dream !"


XXIV. * Hurra, hurra! Our watch is done ! We hail once more the tropic sun. Pallid beams of northern day, Farewell, farewell! Hurra, hurra!

"See these clots of virgin gold !
Sever'd from the sparry mould,
Nature's mystic alchemy
In the mine thus bade them lie;

1 MS." That flash'd with such a golden flame.”

2 MS.-" And, sappliant as on earth they kneeld,

The gifts they proffer'd thus reveal'd."

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