Imágenes de páginas

4. “ 'Tis hers the manly sports to love

That southern maidens fear,
To bend the bow by stream and grove,

And lift the hunter's spear.
She can her chosen champion's flight

With eye undazzled see,
Clasp him victorious from the strife,
Or on his corpse yield up her life,–

A Danish maid for me !"

For dread of monk or monkish knight -
Up and away, that deepening bell
Doth of the Bishop's conclave tell
Thither will I, in manner due,
As Jutta bade, my claim to sue;
And, if to right me they are loth,
Then woe to church and chapter both!”
Now shift the scene, and let the curtain fall,
And our next entry be Saint Cuthbert's ball.

Harold the Dauntless.


XI. Then smiled the Dane—“Thou canst so well The virtues of our maidens tell, Half could I wish my choice had been Blue eyes, and hair of golden sheen, And lofty soul ;-yet what of ill Hast thou to charge on Metelill ?"“Nothing on her,"' young Gunnar said, " But her base sire's ignoble trade. Her mother, too—the general fame Hath given to Jutta evil name, And in her gray eye is a flame Art cannot hide, nor fear can tame.That sordid woodman's peasant cot Twice have thine honor'd footsteps sought, And twice return'd with such ill rede As sent thee on some desperate deed.”—

I. Full many a bard hath sung the solemn gloom Of the long Gothic aisle and stone-ribb'd roof, O'er-canopying shrine and gorgeous tomb, Carved screen, and altar glimmering far aloof, And blending with the shade--a matchless proof Of high devotion, which hath now wax'd cold; Yet legends say, that Luxury's brute hoof

Intruded oft within such sacred fold, [of old.' Like step of Bel's false priest, track'd in his fane

i Well pleased am I, howe'er, that when the route: Of our rude neighbors whilome deign'd to come, Uncall’d, and eke unwelcome, to sweep out To cleanse our chancel from the rags of Rome, They spoke not on our ancient fane the doom To which their bigot zeal gave o'er their own, But spared the martyr'd saint and storied tomb,

Though papal miracles had graced the stone, And though the aisles still loved the organ's swel

ling tone.

XII. “ Thou errest; Jutta wisely said, He that comes suitor to a maid, Ere link'd in marriage, should provide Lands and a dwelling for his brideMy father's, by the Tyne and Wear, I have reclaim'd.”—“O, all too dear, And all too dangerous the prize, E'en were it won,” young Gunnar cries;“And then this Jutta's fresh device, That thou shouldst seek, a heathen Dane, From Durham's priests a boon to gain, When thou hast left their vassals slain In their own halls!”—Flash'd Harold's eye, Thunder'd his voice—“False Page, you lie! The castle, hall and tower, is mine, Built by old Witikind on Tyne. The wild-cat will defend his den, Fights for her nest the timid wren; And think'st thou I'll forego my right

And deem not, though 'tis now my part to paint
A Prelate sway'd by love of power and gold,
That all who wore the mitre of our Saint
Like to ambitious Aldingar I hold;
Since both in modern times and days of old
It sate on those whose virtues might atone
Their predecessors' frailties trebly told:

Matthew and Morton we as such may ownAnd such (if fame speak truth) the honor'd Bar


1 "Nothing on her," is the reading of the interleaved copy of 1831—“On her naught," in all the former editions.

2 ~ All is hush'd, and still as death-'tis dreadful!

How reverend is the face of this tall pile,
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads
To bear aloft its arch'd and ponderous roof,
By its own weight made stedfast and immovable,
Looking tranquillity! It strikes an awe
And terror on my aching sight. The tombs

And monumental caves of death look cold, And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart."

CONGREVE's Mourning Bride, Act ii. Scene 1. See also Joanna Baillie's " De Montfort," Acts iv. and y.

3 See, in the Apocryphal Books, " The History of Bel and the Dragon."

4 See, for the lives of Bishop Matthew and Bishop Morton, here alluded to, Mr. Surtees's History of the Bishopric of Dur ham : the venerable Shute Barrington, their honored successor, ever a kind friend of Sir Walter Scott, died in 1826.



That the priests of a chantry might hymn him to But now to earlier and to ruder times,


(due, As subject meet, I tune my rugged rhymes, And the fiefs which whilome he possess'd as his Telling how fairly the chapter was met, Have lapsed to the Church, and been granted And rood and books in seemly order set; Huge brass-clasp'd volumes, which the hand To Anthony Conyers and Alberic Vere, Of studious priest but rarely scannid,

For the service Saint Cuthbert's bless'd banner to Now on fair carved desk display'd,


[Wear; 'Twas theirs the solemn scene to aid.

When the bands of the North come to foray the O’erhead with many a scutcheon graced, Then disturb not our conclave with wrangling or And quaint devices interlaced,


[came." A labyrinth of crossing rows,

But in peace and in patience pass hence as ye The roof in lessening arches shows; Beneath its shade placed proud and high,

V. With footstool and with canopy,

Loud laugh’d the stern Pagan,—“They're free from Sate Aldingar,—and prelate ne'er

the care More haughty graced Saint Cuthbert's chair ; Of fief and of service, both Conyers and Vere,Canons and deacons were placed below, Six feet of your chancel is all they will need, In due degree and lengthen'd row.

A buckler of stone and a corslet of lead.Unmoved and silent each sat there,

Ho, Gunnar !-the tokens;"--and, sever'd anew, Like image in his oaken chair ;

A head and a hand on the altar he threw. Nor head, nor hand, nor foot they stirr'd, Then shudder'd with terror both Canon and Monk, Nor lock of hair, nor tress of beard;

They knew the glazed eye and the countenance And of their eyes severe alone

shrunk, The twinkle show'd they were not stone. And of Anthony Conyers the half-grizzled hair,

And the scar on the hand of Sir Alberic Vere. III.

There was not a churchman or priest that was there, The Prelate was to speech address’d,

But grew pale at the sight, and betook him to Each head sunk reverent on each breast;

prayer, But ere his voice was heard-without Arose a wild tumultuous shout,

VI. Offspring of wonder mix'd with fear,

Count Harold laugh'd at their looks of fear: Such as in crowded streets we hear

“Was this the hand should your banner bear, Hailing the flames, that, bursting out,

Was that the head should wear the casque Attract yet scare the rabble rout.

In battle at the Church's task ? Ere it had ceased, a giant hand

Was it to such you gave the place Shook oaken door and iron band,

Of Harold with the heavy mace? Till oak and iron both gave way,

Find me between the Wear and Tyne Clash'd the long bolts, the hinges bray,

A knight will wield this club of mine,And, ere upon angel or saint they can call,

Give him my fiefs, and I will say
Stands Harold the Dauntless in midst of the hall. There's wit beneath the cowl of gray."

He raised it, rough with many a stain,

Caught from crush'd skull and spouting brain; “Now save ye, my masters, both rocket and rood, He wheel'd it that it shrilly sung, From Bishop with mitre to Deacon with hood! And the aisles echo'd as it swung, For here stands Count Harold, old Witikind's son, Then dash'd it down with sheer descent, Come to sue for the lands which his ancestors And split King Osric's monument.won.”

[eye, “How like ye this music? How trow ye the hand The Prelate look'd round him with sore troubled That can wield such a mace may be reft of its land? Unwilling to grant, yet afraid to deny;

No answer ?—I spare ye a space to agree, While each Canon and Deacon who heard the And Saint Cuthbert inspire you, a saint if he be. Dane speak,

Ten strides through your chancel, ten strokes on To be safely at home would have fasted a week:Then Aldingar roused him, and answer'd again, And again I am with you-grave fathers, farewell.” “ Thou suest for a boon which thou canst not obtain;

VII. The Church hath no fiefs for an unchristen’d Dane. He turn'd from their presence, he clash'd the oak Thy father was wise, and his treasure hath given, door,

your bell,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And the clang of his stride died away on the floor; As if to oracles from heaven ; And his head from his bosom the Prelate uprears I have counted his steps from my chamber door, With a ghost-seer's look when the ghost disappears. And bless'd them when they were heard no more; “Ye priests of Saint Cuthbert, now give me your But sooner than Walwayn my sick couch should rede,

nigh, For never of counsel had Bishop more need! My choice were, by leech-craft unaided, to die. Were the arch-fiend incarnate in flesh and in bone, The language, the look, and the laugh were his


“Such service done in fervent zeal,
In the bounds of Saint Cuthbert there is not a The Church may pardon and conceal,"

The doubtful Prelate said, “but ne'er
Dare confront in our quarrel yon goblin in fight; The counsel ere the act should hear.-
Then rede me aright to his claim to reply, Anselm of Jarrow, advise us now,
'Tis unlawful to grant, and 'tis death to deny.". The stamp of wisdom is on thy brow;

Thy days, thy nights, in cloister pent,

Are still to mystic learning lent;
On ven’son and malmsie that morning had fed Anselm of Jarrow, in thee is my hope,
The Cellarer Vinsauf—'twas thus that he said :- Thou well mayst give counsel to Prelate or Pope."
"Delay till to-morrow the Chapter's reply ;
Let the feast be spread fair, and the wine be

XI. pour'd high:

Answer'd the Prior-“ 'Tis wisdom's use If he's mortal he drinks,--if he drinks, he is ours- Still to delay what we dare not refuse; His bracelets of iron,—his bed in our towers." Ere granting the boon he comes hither to ask, This man had a laughing eye,

Shape for the giant gigantic task; Trust not, friends, when such you spy ;

Let us see how a step so sounding can tread A beaker's depth he well could drain,

In paths of darkness, danger, and dread; Revel, sport, and jest amain

He may not, he will not, impugn our decree. The haunch of the deer and the grape’s bright dye That calls but for proof of his chivalry; Never bard loved them better than I;

And were Guy to return, or Sir Bevis the Strong, But sooner than Vinsauf fill'd me my wine, Our wilds have adventure might cumber them Pass'd me his jest, and laugh'd at mine,


[no more! Though the buck were of Bearpark, of Bourdeaux The Castle of Seven Shields"- -“ Kind Anselm, the vine,

The step of the Pagan approaches the door." With the dullest hermit I'd rather dine

The churchmen were hush'd.—In his mantle of skin, On an oaken cake and a draught of the Tyne. With his mace on his shoulder, Count Harold strode

in. IX.

There was foam on his lips, there was fire in his eye, Walwayn the leech spoke next—he knew For, chafed by attendance, his fury was nigh. Each plant that loves the sun and dew,

“Ho! Bishop,” he said, “dost thou grant me my But special those whose juice can gain

claim? Dominion o'er the blood and brain;.

Or must I assert it by falchion and flame !"-
The peasant who saw him by pale moonbeam
Gathering such herbs by bank and stream,

Deem'd his thin form and soundless tread “On thy suit, gallant Harold,” the Bishop replied,
Were those of wanderer from the dead.-

In accents which trembled, " we may not decide, “ Vinsauf, thy wine,” he said, “ hath power, Until proof of your strength and your valor we Our gyves are heavy, strong our tower; Yet three drops from this flask of mine,

'Tis not that we doubt them, but such is the law."— More strong than dungeons, gyves, or wine, And would you, Sir Prelate, have Harold make Shall give him prison under ground


[court i More dark, more narrow, more profound.

For the cowls and the shavelings that herd in thy Short rede, good rede, let Harold have

Say what shall he do ?-From the shrine shall be A dog's death and a heathen's grave.”

tear I have lain on a sick man's bed,

The lead bier of thy patron, and heave it in air, Watching for hours for the leech's tread,

And through the long chancel make Cuthbert take As if I deem'd that his presence alone


[sling Were of power to bid my pain begone;

With the speed of a bullet dismiss'd from the I have listed his words of comfort given

"Nay, spare such probation," the Cellarer said,



have power,

"From the mouth of our minstrels thy task shall And for every spindle shall rise a tower, be read.

Where the right shall be feeble, the wrong shall While the wine sparkles high in the goblet of gold, And the revel is loudest, thy task shall be told; And there shall ye dwell with your paramour." And thyself, gallant Harold, shall, hearing it, tell That the Bishop, his cowls, and his shavelings, Beneath the pale moonlight they sate on the wold, meant well."

And the rhymes which they chanted must never

be told; XIII.

And as the black wool from the distaff they sped, Loud revell’d the guests, and the goblets loud rang, With blood from their bosom they moisten'd the But louder the minstrel, Hugh Meneville, sang ;

thread. And Harold, the hurry and pride of whose soul,

[gleam, E'en when verging to fury, own'd music's control, As light danced the spindles beneath the cold Still bent on the harper his broad sable eye, The castle arose like the birth of a dreamAnd often untasted the goblet pass'd by;

The seven towers ascended like mist from the Than wine, or than wassail, to him was more dear ground, The minstrel's high tale of enchantment to hear; Seven portals defend them, seven ditches surround. And the Bishop that day might of Vinsauf complain That his art had but wasted his wine-casks in vain. Within that dread castle seven monarchs were wed,

But six of the seven ere the morning lay dead; XIV.

With their eyes all on fire, and their daggers all red, The Castle of the Seven Spields. Seven damsels surround the Northumbrian's bed.


THE Druid Urien had daughters seven,

“Six kingly bridegrooms to death we have done, Their skill could call the moon from heaven; Six gallant kingdoms King Adolf hath won, So fair their forms and so high their fame,

Six lovely brides all his pleasure to do, That seven proud kings for their suitors came. Or the bed of the seventh shall be husbandless too." King Mador and Rhys came from Powis and Wales, Well chanced it that Adolf the night when he wed Unshorn was their hair, and unpruned were their Had confess'd and had sain’d him ere boune to his nails; [lame,

[drew, From Strath-Clwyde was Ewain, and Ewain was He sprung from the couch and his broadsword he And the red-bearded Donald from Galloway came. And there the seven daughters of Urien he slew. Lot, King of Lodon, was hunchback'd from youth; The gate of the castle he bolted and seald, Dunmail of Cumbria had never a tooth;

And hung o'er each arch-stone a crown and a shield; But Adolf of Bambrough, Northumberland's heir, To the cells of Saint Dunstan then wended his way, Was gay and was gallant, was young and was fair. And died in his cloister an anchorite gray.


There was strife 'mongst the sisters, for each one Seven monarchs' wealth in that castle lies stow'd, would have

The foul fiends brood o'er them like raven and toad. For husband King Adolf, the gallant and brave; Whoever shall guesten these chambers within, And envy bred hate, and hate urged them to blows, From curfew till matins, that treasure shall win. When the firm earth was cleft, and the Arch-fiend arose !

But manhood grows faint as the world waxes old!

There lives not in Britain a champion so bold, He swore to the maidens their wish to fulfil- So dauntless of heart, and so prudent of brain, They swore to the foe they would work by his will. As to dare the adventure that treasure to gain. A spindle and distaff to each hath he given, "Now hearken my spell,” said the Outcast of The waste ridge of Cheviot shall wave with the rye, heaven.

Before the rude Scots shall Northumberland fly,

And the flint clifts of Bambro'shall melt in the sun “ Ye shall ply these spindles at midnight hour, Before that adventure be perill’d and won.'

1“ The word • peril is continually used as a verb by both Were the blood of all my ancestors in my veins, I would writers :

have perilled it in this quarrel.'-Waverley. Nor peril anght for me agen.'

Lady of the Lake. Canto ïi. stanza 26. 'I were undeserving his grace, did I not peril it for his good.' 'I perill'd thus the helpless child.'

Lord of the Isles.

&c. &c."'-ADOLPHUS' Letters on the Author of Waverley

Canto v. stanza 10.

XV. " And is this my probation ?” wild Harold he said, * Within a lone castle to press a lone bed ? Good even, my Lord Bishop,--Saint Cuthbert to borrow,

[row." The Castle of Seven Shields receives me to-mor

And at his master ask'd the timid Page,
“ What is the emblem that a bard shou'd spy
In that rude rock and its green canopy !"
And Harold said, “ Like to the helmet brave
Of warrior slain in fight it seems to lie,

And these same drooping boughs do o'er it wave Not all unlike the plume his lady's favor gave.”—

Harold the Wauntless.


“Ah, no!" replied the Page; “ the ill-starr'd love
Of some poor maid is in the emblem shown,
Whose fates are with some hero's interwove,
And rooted on a heart to love unknown:
And as the gentle dews of heaven alone
Nourish those drooping boughs, and as the

scathe Of the red lightning rends both tree and stone,

So fares it with her unrequited faith,Her sole relief is tears--her only refuge death."—

I. DENMARK's sage courtier to her princely youth, Granting his cloud an ouzel or a whale,' Spoke, though unwittingly, a partial truth; For Fantasy embroiders Nature's veil. The tints of ruddy eve, or dawning pale, Of the swart thunder-cloud, or silver haze, Are but the ground-work of the rich detail

Which Fantsay with pencil wild portrays, Blending what seems and is, in the wrapt muser's


“Thou art a fond fantastic boy,"
Harold replied, “ to females coy,

Yet prating still of love;
Even so amid the clash of war
I know thou lovest to keep afar,
Though destined by thy evil star

With one like me to rove,
Whose business and whose joys are found
Upon the bloody battle-ground.
Yet, foolish trembler as thou art,
Thou hast a nook of my rude heart,
And thou and I will never part;-
Harold would wrap the world in flame
Ere injury on Gunnar came !"

Nor are the stubborn forms of earth and stone
Less to the Sorceress's empire given ;
For not with unsubstantial hues alone,
Caught from the varying surge, or vacant

From bursting sunbeam, or from flashing levin,
She limns her pictures : on the earth, as air,
Arise her castles, and her car is driven ;

And never gazed the eye on scene so fair, But of its boasted charms gave Fancy half the


Up a wild pass went Harold, bent to

Hugh Meneville, the adventure of thy lay;
Gunnar pursued his steps in faith and love,
Ever companion of his master's way.
Midward their path, a rock of granite gray
From the adjoining cliff had made descent,-
A barren mass-yet with her drooping spray

Had a young birch-tree crown'd its battlement, Twisting her fibrous roots through cranny, flaw

and rent.

The grateful Page made no reply,
But turn'd to Heaven his gentle eye,
And clasp'd his hands, as one who said,
“My toils—my wanderings are o'erpaid I"
Then in a gayer, lighter strain,
Compell’d himself to speech again;

And, as they flow'd along,
His words took cadence soft and slow,
And liquid, like dissolving snow,

They melted into song.

V. “What though through fields of carnage wide I may not follow Harold's stride, Yet who with faithful Gunnar's pride

Lord Harold's feats can see? And dearer than the couch of pride, He loves the bed of gray wolf's hide,

This rock and tree could Gunnar's thought

engage Till Fancy brought the tear-drop to his eye,

1 "Hamlet. Do you see yonder cloud, that's almost in shape of a camel ?

Polonius. By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed!
Ham. Methinks, it is like a weasel.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »