« AnteriorContinuar »
'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.
Upon his startled ear?
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.
For Love's keen wish was there,
That burn'd to do and dare.
That answer'd to the knell;
Was toss'd from fell to fell;
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.
Return the lurid gleam,
Their shadows on the stream.
Makes momentary pause;
As its wild light withdraws.
Till all was hush'd and still,
Its course along the hill.
And over Legbert-head,
Its orb of fiery red; Thou wouldst have thought some demon dire
Yet far he had not sped,"
Was on the valley spread."
Was heard an answering sound,
High o'er the battled mound;
«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;
His speaking-trumpet ;-back out of the clouds
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."
And sounds were heard, as when a guard
Pace forth their nightly round.
But answer came there none;
Until the dawning shone;
It all had passed away!
As at the close of day.
The veil of silver mist it shook,
Renew'd that wondrous view.
Its mantle's dewy fold;
Their gloomy length unrolld."
-The gallant knight 'gan speed
Careers the hunter's steed.
Hath rivall’d archer's shaft;
The mountain spirits laugh’d.
He walks the vale once more ;
Hears but the torrent's roar.
A summer mist arose;
As round its base they close.
The rock's majestic isle;
Around enchanted pile.
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,
This enduring fabric plann'd;
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,
The Castle of Saint John!
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!”
The rusty bolts withdraw;
And rusted bolt and bar
Return'd their surly jar. “Now closed is the gin and the prey within
By the Rood of Lanercost !
May rue him of his boast.”
The portal's gloomy way.
Had suffer'd no decay:
In the mid torrent lay.
Unfelt had pass'd away.
And towers of varied size,
Of fancy, could devise ;
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,
For the leash that bound these monsters
And limbs of shapely jet;
In savage pomp were set;
That Roland wellnigh hoped
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.
And enter'd soon the Hold,
By warriors done of old.
While trumpets seem'd to blow;
They quell'd gigantic foe.?
Were here depicted, to appal
In this enchanted hall.
To an arch'd portal door,
And, ere he ventured more,
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
“Now for Afric's glowing sky,
Rung those vaulted roofs among,
Died the far-resounding song.
I swore upon the rood,
For evil or for good.
As if in ether borne astray,
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 !
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."