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FOURTH MAIDEN. “ Leave these gems of poorer shine, Leave them all, and look on mine! While their glories I expand, Shade thine eyebrows with thy hand. Mid-day sun and diamond's blaze Blind the rash beholder's gaze."
“Warrior, seize the splendid store ;
XXVII. Calmly and unconcern'd, the Knight Waved aside the treasures bright:“Gentle Maidens, rise, I pray ! Bar not thus my destined way. Let these boasted brilliant toys Braid the hair of girls and boys!' Bid your streams of gold expand O'er proud London's thirsty land. De Vaux of wealth saw never need, Save to purvey him arms and steed, And all the ore he deign'd to hoard Inlays his helm, and hilts his sword.” Thus gently parting from their hold, He left, unmoved, the dome of gold.
The half-shut eye can frame
In gay procession came.
Seen distant down the fair arcade,
Who, late at bashful distance staid,
Now tripping from the greenwood shade,
Again stand doubtful now -
Be yours to tell us how."
The form and bosom o'er,
XXVIII. And now the morning sun was high, De Vaux was weary, faint, and dry; When, lo! a plashing sound he hears, A gladsome signal that he nears
Some frolic water-run;
1 MS.--"Let those boasted gems and pearls
Braid the hair of toy-caught girls."
To win the eye, or tempt the touch, For modesty show'd all too much
Too much-yet promised more.
“Fair Flower of Courtesy, depart !
XXXI. "Gentle Knight, a while delay," Thus they sung, “thy toilsome way, While we pay the duty due To our Master and to you. Over Avarice, over Fear, Love triumphant led thee here; Warrior, list to us, for we Are slaves to Love, are friends to thee. Though no treasured gems have we, To proffer on the bended knee, Though we boast nor arm nor heart, For the assagay or dart, Swains allow each simple girl Ruby lip and teeth of pearl; Or, if dangers more you prize, Flatterers find them in our eyes.
And ruined vaults has gone,
Or safe retreat, seem'd none,-
Grew worse as he went on.
Nay, soothful bards have said,
With Asia's willing maid.
"Stay, then, gentle Warrior, stay,
XXXIV. u Son of Honor, theme of story, Think on the reward before ye! Danger, darkness, toil despise ; 'Tis Ambition bids thee rise.
“He that would her heights ascend, Many a weary step must wend; Hand and foot and knee he tries; Thus Ambition's minions rise.
“Lag not now, though rough the way,
For Stoic look,
And meet rebuke, He lack'd the heart or time; As round the band of sirens trip, He kiss'd one damsel's laughing lip,' And press’d another's proffered hand, Spoke to them all in accents bland, But broke their magic circle through; " Kind Maids," he said, “ adieu, adieu ! My fate, my fortune, forward lies.” He said, and vanish'd from their eyes; But, as he dared that darksome way, Still heard behind their lovely lay :
It ceased. Advancing on the sound,
And then a turret stair:
Till fresher blew the air,
At length his toil had won
2 MS.-" This state," &c.
1 MS." As round the band of sirens press'd,
One damsel's laughing lip he kiss'd."
Bid your vaulted echoes moan, As the dreaded step they own.
A lofty hall with trophies dress’d,
Was bound with golden zone.
The next a maid of Spain,
For daughter of Almaine.
Emblems of empery;
Of minstrel ecstasy.
And, in her hand display'd,
These foremost Maidens three,
Liegedom and seignorie,
But homage would he none: -
A monarch's empire own;
Than sit on Despot's throne.”
As starting from a trance,
Their soul awaked at once !
“Quake to your foundations deep,
Through crimson curtains fell;
Upon its western swell.
As e'er was seen with eye;
Was limn'd in proper dye.
Between the earth and sky.
He saw King Arthur's child !
For, as she slept, she smiled: It seem'd, that the repentant Seer Her sleep of many a hundred year With gentle dreams beguiled.
XXXVIII. That form of maiden loveliness,
'Twixt childhood and 'twixt youth, That ivory chair, that silvan dress, The arms and ankles bare, express
Of Lyulph's tale the truth. Still upon her garment's hem
SONG OF THE FOURTH MAIDEN. “Quake to your foundations deep, Stately Towers, and Banner'd Keep,
1 MS.-“ of laurel leaves was made." 2 MS." But the firm knight pass'd on." 3 MS.—“Spread your pennons all abroad."
4 MS. " and battled keep." 6 MS. -" soften'd light." 6 MS." But what of rich or what of rare."
Vanoc's blood made purple gem,
What these eyes shall tell.-
And to require of bard
Were ordinance too hard.
When tale or play is o'er; Lived long and blest, loved fond and
The honors that they bore.
Along the mountain lone,
Of the Valley of St John;
The charmed portal won. 'Tis now a vain illusive show, That melts whene'er the sunbeams glow
Or the fresh breeze hath blown."
XXXIX. Gently, lo! the Warrior kneels, Soft that lovely hand he steals, Soft to kiss, and soft to claspBut the warder leaves her
Burst the Castle-walls asunder!
Melt the magic halls away ;
_But beneath their mystic rocks, In the arms of bold De Vaux,
Safe the princess lay;
Opening to the day;
Of the green laurel-bay.
The Garland and the Dame:
Except from Love and FAME!
The whiles, up-gazing still,
On this gigantic hill.
Of luxury and ease;
To such coarse joys as these,-
The greenwood, and the wold;
By ancient bards is told, Bringing, perchance, like my poor tale, Some moral truth in fiction's veil: Nor love them less, that o'er the hill The evening breeze, as now, comes chill;
My love shall wrap her warm, And, fearless of the slippery way, While safe she trips the heathy brae,
Shall hang on Arthur's arm.
THE END OF TRIERMAIN.
1 MS.-* Yet know, this maid and warrior too,
Wedded as lovers wont to do." 1 MS.-" That melts whene'er the breezes blow,
Or beams a cloudless sun."
5 "The Bridal of Triermain is written in the style of Mr. Walter Scott ; and if in magnis voluisse sat est, the author,
whatever may be the merits of his work, has earned the meed we shall give merely as such, without vouching for the truth at which he aspires. To attempt a serious imitation of the of it. When the article entitled, “The Inferno of Altisidora, most popular living poet--and this imitation, not a short frag- appeared in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1809, it will ment, in which all his peculiarities might, with comparatively be remembered that the last fragment contained in that singulittle difficulty, be concentrated--but a long and complete lar production, is the beginning of the romance of Triermain. work, with plot, character, and machinery entirely new-and Report says, that the fragment was not meant to be an imitawith no manner of resemblance, therefore, to a parody on any tion of Scott, but of Coleridge; and that, for this parpose, production of the original author ;-this must be acknowledged the author borrowed both the name of the bero and the scene an attempt of no timid daring."-Edinburgh Magazine, 1817. from the then unpublished poem of Christabelle ; and further,
that so few had ever seen the manuscript of that poem, that amongst these few the author of Triermain could not be mis
taken. Be that as it may, it is well known, that on the ap “The fate of this work must depend on its own merits, for pearance of this fragment in the Annual Register, it was uniit is not borne up by any of the adventitious circumstances that versally taken for an imitation of Walter Scott, and never once frequently contribute to literary success. It is ushered'into the of Coleridge. The author perceiving this, and that the poem world in the most modest guise; and the author, we believe, was well received, instantly set about drawing it out into a res is entirely unknown. Should it fail altogether of a favorable ular and finished work; for shortly after it was announced in reception, we shall be disposed to abate something of the in- the papers, and continued to be so for three long years; the dignation which we have occasionally expressed against the ex- author, as may be supposed, having, during that period, his travagant gaudiness of modern publications, and imagine that hands occasionally occupied with heavier metal. In 1813, the there are readers whose suffrages are not to be obtained by a poem was at last produced, avowedly and manifestly as an imwork without a name.
itation of Mr. Scott; and it may easily be observed, that from “The merit of the Bridal of Triermain, in our estimation, the 27th page onward, it becomes much more decidedly like consists in its perfect simplicity, and an interweaving the re- the manner of that poet, than it is in the preceding part which finement of modern times with the peculiarities of the ancient was published in the Register, and which, undoubtedly, does metrical romance, which are in no respect violated. In point bear some similarity to Coleridge in the poetry, and more esof interest, the first and second cantos are superior to the third. pecially in the rhythm, as, e. g.One event naturally arises out of that which precedes it, and the eye is delighted and dazzled with a series of moving pic- * Harpers must loll him to his rest, tures, each of them remarkable for its individual splendor, and With the slow tunes he loves the best, all contributing more or less directly to produce the ultimate Till sleep sink down upon his breast, result. The third canto is less profuse of incident, and some
Like the dew on a summer hill.' what more monotonous in its effect. This, we conceive, will be the impression on the first perusal of the poem. When we . It was the dawn of an autumn day; have leisure to mark the merits of the composition, and to sep
The sun was struggling with frost-fog gray, arate them from the progress of the events, we are disposed to That, like a silvery crape, was spread think that the extraordinary beauty of the description will near- Round Skiddaw's dim and distant head.' ly compensate for the defect we have already noticed. “But it is not from the fable that an adequate notion of the
-What time, or where merits of this singular work can be formed. We have already Did she pass, that maid with the heavenly brow, spoken of it as an imitation of Mr. Scott's style of composi- With her look so sweet, and her eyes so fair, tion; and if we are compelled to make the general approbation And her graceful step, and her angel air, more precise and specific, we should say, that if it be inferior And the eagle-plume on her dark-brown hair, in vigor to some of his productions, it equals, or surpasses them,
That pass'd from my bower e'en now ?' in elegance and beauty; that it is more uniformly tender, and far less infected with the unnatural prodigies and coarsenesses of · Although it fell as faint and shy the earlier romancers. In estimating its merits, however, we
As bashful maiden's half-form'd sigh, should forget that it is offered as an imitation. The diction
When she thinks her lover near.' undoubtedly reminds us of a rhythm and cadence we have heard before ; but the sentiments, descriptions, and characters,
• And light they fell, as when earth receives, have qualities that are native and unborrowed.
In morn of frost, the wither'd leaves, " In his sentiments, the author has avoided the slight de
That drop when no winds blow.' ficiency we ventured to ascribe to his prototype. The pictures of pure description are perpetually illuminated with reflections
Or if 'twas but an airy thing, that bring out their coloring, and increase their moral effect : Such as fantastic slumbers bring, these reflections are suggested by the scene, produced without
Framed from the rainbow's varying dyes, effort, and expressed with unaffected simplicity. The descrip Or fading tints of western skies.' tions are spirited and striking, possessing an airiness suited to the mythology and manners of the times, though restrained by " These, it will be seen, are not exactly Coleridge, but they correct taste. Among the characters, many of which are such are precisely such an imitation of Coleridge as, we conceive, as we expect to find in this department of poetry, it is impossi- another poet of our acquaintance would write : on that ground, ble not to distinguish that of Arthur, in which, identifying we are inclined to give some credit to the anecdote bere rehimself with his original, the author has contrived to unite the lated, and from it we leave our readers to guess, as we have valor of the hero, the courtesy and dignity of the monarch, and done, who is the author of the poem.”— Blackwood's Magthe amiable weaknesses of any ordinary mortal, and thus to azine. April, 1817. present to us the express lineaments of the flower of chivalry." -Quarterly Reviou. 1813.
The quarto of Rokeby was followed, within two months, by
the small volume which had been designed for a twin-birth ; “With regard to this poem, we have often heard, from what -the Ms. had been transcribed by one of the Ballantynes may be deemed good authority, a very curious anecdote, which themselves, in order to guard against any indiscretion of the