Изображения страниц
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Yet sunk beneath Matilda's look,
Nor could the eye of Redmond brook
To the suspicious, or the old,
Suhtle and dangerous and bold
Had seem'd this self-invited guest;
But young our lovers.--and the rest,
Wrapt in their sorrow and their fear
At parting of their Mistress dear,
Tear-blinded to the Castle-hall,
Came as to bear her funeral pall.

All that expression base was gone,
When wak'd the guest his minstrel tone,
It fled at inspiration's call,
As erst the demon fled from Saul.
More noble glance he cast around,
More free-drawn breath inspir'd the sound,
His pulse beat bolder and more high,
In all the pride of minstrelsy!
Alas! too soon that pride was o'er,
Sunk with the lay that bade it soar!
His soul resun'd, with habit's chain,
Its vices wild and follies vain,
And gave the talent, with him born,
To be a common curse and scorn.
Such was the youth whom Rokeby's Maidh,
With condescending kindness, pray'd
Here to renew the strain she lov'd,
At distance heard and well approv'd.



I was a wild and wayward boy,
My childhood scorn'd each childish topi
Retir'd from all, reserv'd, and coy,

To musing prone,
I woo'd my solitary joy,

My harp alone.
My youth, with bold Ambition's mood,
Despis'd the humble stream and wood,
Where my poor father's cottagé stood,

To fame unknown;
Flat should my soaring views make good?

My harp alone

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Love came with all his frantic fire,
And wild romance of vain desire:
The baron's daughter heard my lyre,

And prais'd the tone;
What could presumptuous 'hope inspire?

My harp alone!
At manhcnd's touch the bubble burst,
And manhood's pride the vision curstin
And all that had my folly nurs d

Love's sway to own,
Yet spar'd the speli that lull’d me first,

My harp alone!
Woe came with war, and want with woo
And it was mine to undergo
Each outrage of the rebel foe:

Can aught atone
My fields laid waste, my cot laid low?

My harp alone!
Ambition's dreams I've seen depart,
Have rued of penury the smart,
Have telo ut love the venom'd dart,

When hope was flown;
Yet rests one solace to my heart,

My harp alone!
Then over mountain, moor, and hill,
My faithful Harp, I'll bear thee still,
And when this life of want and ill

Is well nigh gone,
Thy strings mine elegy shall thrill,
My Harp alone!

“A pleasing lay!" Matilda said;
But Harpool shook his old grey head.
And took his baton and his torch,
To seek his guard-room in the porch.
Edmund observed with sudden change,
Among the strings his fingers range,
Until they wak'd a bolder glee
Of military melody:
Then pausd amid the martial sound,
And look'd with weil-feign'd fear around,
« None to this noble house belong,"
He said, " that would a Minstrel wrong
Whose fate has been, throu!h good and ill,
To love his Royal Master still;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

And, with your honour'd leave, would fain
Rejoice you with a loyal strain."
Then, as assured by sign and look,
The warlike tone again he took;
And Harpool stopp'd, and turn'd to hear
A ditty of the Cavalier.



While the dawn on the mountain was misty and grey
My true love has mounted his steed and away,
Over hill, over valley, o'er dale, and o'er down;
Heaven shield the brave Gallant that fights for the

He has doff'd the silk doublet the breast-plate to bear,
He has placed the steal-cap o'er his long flowing hair,
From his belt to his stirrup his broadsword hangs

Heaven shield the brave Gallant that fights for the

For the rights of fair England that broadsword he draws
Her King is his leader, her Church is his

His watchword is honour,his pay is renown,-
God strike with the Gallant that strikes for the Crown.
They may boast of their Fairfax, their Waller, and all
The round-headed rebels of Westminster Hall;
But tell these bold traitors of London's proud town,
That the spears of the North have encircled the Crown.
There's Derby and Cavendish, dread of their foes,
There's Erin's high Ormond, and Scotland's Montrose!
Would you match the base Skippon, and Massey, and

With the Barons of England, that fight for the Crown!
Now joy to the crest of the brave Cavalier!
Be his banner unconquer'd, resistless his spear,
Till in peace and in triumph his toils he may drown,
In a pledge to fair England, her Church, and her Crowe.

56 Alas!" Matilda said, “that strain,
Good harper, now is heard in vain!
The time has been, at such a sound,
When Rokeby's vassals gather'd round
An hundrod manly hearts woulu buando


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

But now, the stirring verse we hear
Like trump in dying soldier's ear!
Listless and sad the notes we own,
The pow'r to answer them is flown.
Yet not without his meet applause
Be he that sings the rightful cause,
Ev'n when the

crisis of its fate
To human eye seems desperate.
While Rokeby's Heir such pow'r retains,
Let this slight guerdon pay thy pains.
And, lend thy harp; I fain would try,
If my poor skill can aught supply,
Ere yet I leave my fathers' hall,
To mourn the cause in which we fall."

بعله .. عند ماه


The harper, with a downcast look,
And trembling hand, her bounty took.-
As yet, the conscious pride of art
Had steeld him in his treach'rous parts
A pow'rful spring, of force unguess'd,
That hath each gentler mood suppressione

And reign'd in many a human breast;
From his that plans the red campaign,
To his that wastes the woodland reiga.
The failing wing, the blood-shot eye-
The sportsman marks with apathy,
Each feeling of his victim's ill
Drown'd in his own successful skill.
The vetran, too, who now no moro
Aspires to head the battle's roar,
Loves still the triumph of his art,
And traces on the pencilld chart
Some stern invader's destin'd way,
Through blood and ruin to his preys
Patriots to death, and towns to flame.
He dooms, to raise another's name,
And shares the guilt, though not the fame.
Wbat pays him for his span of time
Spent in premeditated crime?
What against pity arms his heart?
It is the conscious pride of art.


But principles in Edmund's mind
Were baseless, vague, and undefin'da

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

His soul, like bark with rudder lost,
On Passion's changeful tide was tost;
Nor Vice nor Virtue had the pow'r
Beyond th' impression of the hour;
And, 01 when Passion rules, how rare
The hours that fall to Virtue's share!
Yet now she rous'd her--for the pride,
That lack of sterner guilt supplied,
Could scarce support him when arose
The lay that mourn'd Matilda's woes.


[ocr errors]

The sound of Rokeby's woods I luar,

They mingle with the song:
Dark Greta's voice is in mine ear,

I must not hear them long.
From ev'ry lov'd and native haunt

The native Heir must stray,
And, like a ghost whom sunbeams #nini,

Must part before the day.
Soon from the halls my fathers rearde

Their scutcheons may descend.
A line so long belov'd arid feard

May soon obscurely end.
No longer here Matilda's tone

Shall bid these echoes swell;
Yet shalla

The cause in which we fell,
'he Lady paus'd, and then again
Resum'd the lay in loftier strain.


Let our halls and tow'rs decay,

Be our name and line forgot,
Lands and manors pass away,

We but share our Monarch's lots
If no more our annals show

Battles won and banners taken,
Still in death, defeat, and woe,

Ours be loyalty unshaken!
Constant still in danger's hour,

Princes own'd our fathers' rid:
Lands and honours, wealth and powity

Well their loyalty repaid.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »