Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

The Camp.
USTACE, I said, did blithely mark

The first notes of the merry lark.
The lark sang shrill, the cock he crew,
And loudly Marmion's bugles blew,
And with their light and lively call,
Brought groom and yeoman to the stall.
Whistling they came, and free of heart,

But soon their mood was changedl ; ('omplaint was heard on every part,

Of something disarranged.

Some clamour'd loud for armour lost;
Some brawl'd and wrangled with the host ;
“By Becket's bones,” cried one, “I fear,
That some false Scot has stolen my spear !"-
Young Blount, Lord Marmion's second squire,
Found his steed wet with sweat and mire ;
Although the rated horse-boy sware,
Last night he dress'd him sleek and fair.
While chafed the impatient squire like thunder,
Old Hubert shouts, in fear and wonder,-
“ Help, gentle Blount! help, comrades all !
Bevis lies dying in his stall :
To Marmion who the plight dare tell,
Of the good steed he loves so well ?”—
Gaping for fear and ruth, they saw
The charger panting on his straw;
Till one, who would seem wisest, cried, --
“ What else but evil could betide,
With that cursed Palmer for our guide ?
Better we had through mire and bush
Been lantern-led by Friar Rush."}

Alias, “ Will o' the Wisp." This personage is a strolling demon, or esprit follet, who, once upon a time, got admittance into a monastery as a scullion, and played the monks many pranks. He was also a sort of Robin Goodfellow, and Jack o' Lanthern. It is in allusion to this mischievous demon that Milton's clown speaks,- “She was pinched, and pull'd, she said,

And he by Friar's lanthern led." * The History of Friar Rush” is of extreme rarity, and, for some time, even the existence of such a book was doubted, although it is expressly alluded to by Reginald Scot, in his “ Discovery of Witchcraft." I have perused a copy in the valuable library of my friend Mr. Heber; and I observe, from Mr. Beloe's “ Anecdotes of Literature," that there is one in the excel lent collection of the Marquis of Stafford.

II.

Fitz-Eustace, who the cause but guess'd,

Nor wholly understood, His comrades' clamorous plaints suppress'd ;

He knew Lord Marmion's mood.
Him, ere he issued forth, he sought,
And found deep plunged in gloomy thought,

And did his tale display
Simply, as if he knew of nought

To cause such disarray.
Lord Marmion gave attention cold,
Nor marvell’d at the wonders told, -
Pass'd them as accidents of course,
And bade his clarions sound to horse.

III.
Young Henry Blount, meanwhile, the cost
Had reckon'd with their Scottish host ;
And, as the charge he cast and paid,
“ Ill thou deservest thy hire,” he said ;
“ Dost see, thou knave, my horse's plight?
Fairies have ridden him all the night,

And left him in a foam!
I trust, that soon a conjuring band,
With English cross, and blazing brand,
Shall drive the devils from this land,

To their infernal home:
For in this haunted den, I trow,
All night they trampled to and fro."-

[ocr errors]

The laughing host look'd on the hire,—
“Gramercy, gentle southern squire,

And if thou comest among the rest,
With Scottish broadsword to

be blest,
Sharp be the brand, and sure

the blow,
And short the pang to undergo."
Here stay'd their talk,—for

Marmion
Gave now the signal to set 0n.
The Palmer shewing forth

the way,
They journey'd all the

morning-day.

[graphic]

IV.

The green-sward way was

smooth and good,
Through Humbie's and through

Saltoun's wood;
A forest glade, whichi, varying

still,
Here gave a view of dale

and hill,
There narrower closed, till over

head
A vaulted screen the branches made.
" A pleasant path," Fitz-Eustace said ;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »