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THE CLOISTER.

FROM TIIE GERMAN OF MATTHISON.

Now fade the hues that streak the western skies,

The moon, arising, quits the oaken shade, The winds career the waste with doleful sighs,

The elves their dance weave softly on the mead.
High Pharus sheds from out his misty shroud,

Adown the precipice a fitful glare,
The Island's ridge of white cliffs, like a cloud,

'Twixt sea and sky suspended, melts in air. The Minster doth its moon-lit towers display,

In ghastly contrast with the leafy gloom Of the wild copse that skirts the rocky bay,

Where breaks the languid wave with hollow boom. Where yonder elms diffuse a calm around,

And wreaths of ivy round the portal twineStretched on a tomb,--absorbed in thought profound,

There Melancholy basks in full moonshine.
The yew-trees, there-a charnel-house disclose ;

The thistle nods beside the temple door,
Which long hath eased th' intruding owl t' oppose-

High builds the swallow in the fretted choir.
Deep in the windows caverned arches set,

Loose fragments of time-tarnished glass remain--
And in the leaden casements glimmer yet

The pious blazonries of Gothic stain.
The Altar, now by rustling grass o'ergrown-

The steps, outhollowed by devotion's knee,
Record how oft the seraphs here have flown

To count the sighs of prostrate piety.
Now whisper through the dome the winds alone,

The cobweb-craped confessional is dumb,
The organ rolls no more the stream of tone

Majestically onward through the gloom--
The hallelujahs long have breathed their last,

Nor now the spicy censer, as of yore,
Its festal haloes round the shrine doth cast,

They, too, that ministered, are now no more.
In this seclusion sadly burned erewbile

The taper's ray, what time the vestal train At midnight hour, along the echoing aisle,

Outpoured the solemn earth-dispelling strain ; Then, from their cloudy tenement released,

High soared their souls from sin and sorrow free, And for the virgin's bright coronal pressed

Right onward to the throne of Deity.

As closed the rite-awhile their spirits pause,

Then prone to earth precipitate their flight ; And one by one the white-stoled train withdraws,

And through the cloister, vanishes from sight.
The pilot, still, when gathering tempests lower

Their warning gestures from afar doth spy,
A flickering fire-stream quivers round each tower,

Where wave their white veils, meteor-like, on high. The wreaths of social love were never wrought,

O virgins ! your lone pilgrimage to cheer; For you life’s rosy-bosomed hours had nought

But withered garlands, such as grief doth wear. The name of Mother, for the tender ear,

Of nature yet unweaned, the softest tone, The magic cadence in creation's choir,

By heaven resounded-ye have never known. A spark, perchance, of Luther's torch illumed

Your infant bosoms, ere the die was cast, Ere to the sacrificial altar doomed

Ye smothered freedom's flame within your breast. Here many a Heloise, conflicting, grieved,

And sunk, exhausted, on the path she trod, Untold for whom her heart's last throb was heaved,

For earth or heaven-for Abelard or God. Ye-ranged the darkened corridors along!

Ye moss-grown cells, by rank grass overspread ! To whose forsaken chambers nightly throng

Wan, murmuring shades, the phantoms of the dead. Within your walls did beauty turn to sere,

Ere yet the folded leaves disclosed the flower, Nor love the last sad tributary tear

Did on the maiden sufferer's death-cross pour. The Alpine rose, on Bernard's cheerless height,

Blooms lovely mid the lichens in the cleft, And oft the fairest flower that woos the light,

Plucked by the tempest—to the stream is left. Hard by the convent tower their bones repose,

Where, startled by the lone owl's drowsy flight, Up the tall reed the trembling wildfire flows,

And mocks the taper's consecrated light. The rose, of innocence the symbol fair,

Has here long time its vernal bloom displayed ; Here, too, the clematis, to friendship dear,

Entwines its tendrils through the myrtle shade. And here, as legends tell, the trancing sound

Of angel harpings usher in the gloomThen golden mists exhale from graves around, And heavenly light irradiates each tomb.

0. B. C.

THE STRAY CANTO.

1

“Come to our camp, too, ye wlio love to quaff,

The brown jug foaming by the great hall fire."

1

The faggots are blazing, the blazes are Till all the old castle with roar of their
chasing

wassail,
The sparks to the groins of the stone Keep, dungeon, and turret is ringing-
ceiling springing :

Rings ev'ry rafter with tempest of
The Baron's retaining sit flagon-a-drain. laughter,
ing,

And bark to the stout hearts singing.
THE YEOMEN'S SONG.

1.

There are maidens in broad Avondale, full fair they are and free;
And many a dainty herd of deer under the greenwood tree;
And brown ale in the buttery, the spigot ever fows;
But in the wood and on the hill are stout Sir Roger's foes.

II.

We have true hearts for the maidens, and broad arrows for the deer,
And blithe faces have we, I trow, for stout Sir Roger's cheer;
And for the good Knight's enemies, wherever they may be,
Both true hearts, and broad arrows, and blithe faces have we !
Then troll about the bonny bowl, and troll it merrily.

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" Come, round the embers draw your Where God—Jehovah's self-did com
seats,

In this frail body's humble dress,
My merry hearts,” saith Barnardine; For his great love and tenderness,
“ Let's keep awake till morning shine Sweet Saviour ! from the virgin womb
With stories of some champion's feats, And it hath been my lot likewise,
With ballad or with goblin rhyme,

To see with these old rheumy eyes,
Fitting for this ghostly time.

Which fill with pleasant tears whene'er
Here's old Guy Blunt, who passing, well I think upon the sacrifice
Of many a perilous chance can tell. So freely made for sinners there-
Ah, would to heaven these eyes had been And, oh, at what a countless cost!
Some fifty summers sooner mine; I say, it was my lot to see,
So I might see what he has seen

Upon the hill of Calvary,
In Cyprus and in Palestine !

The
Come, Guy, ere all our faggots fade, Where God gave up the ghost !
Tell us a tale of the crusade."

But even though I ne'er had seen

These sights, so holy and so strange,
A snowy beard, a dreamy eye, That all in Christ's wide church's range,
A bent and shattered form hath Guy: From cowl to mitre, as I ween,
Upon a low black bench he sits,

There's never a one that should not
Scarce seen within the chimney dark,

change,
Save as each sinking brand emits And that right glad and thankfully,
Its dying flash, you then may mark, His honourable estate with me,
As, like a phantom starting forth, Though he be high, and I be mean,
The gaunt form shows beyond the hearth In my high fortune to have been
Pale in the gloom, that fray and storm, On Bethlehem and Calvary !
And, look again, you'd almost say

Though these all fortunes else excelled,
A hundred years and storm and fray Yet have I other sight beheld,
Were failing in that ghastly form. Of chivalry from every court

Of Christendom, that made resort
“ A-well-a-day!" he thus began, For rescue of the cross divine
And all drew round the aged man ; To fight in pagan Palestine-
“ A-well-a-day! I'm old and grey Aye, I bave seen such goodly sight

And feeble now, and little worth, Of many a well-debated fight, Save tedious time to while away

Of joust also, and tournament,
For comrades tired of mirth :

And palaces so wondrous fair,
Yet have I seen the day when none Of the hunting of the leopard there,
Now sitting round this broad hearth. The lion and the elephant.
stone,

As well may make me bold to say,
Tall men and lusty though ye be, Saint Hubert favoured me alway,
la manly craft had mastered me; Even from the hour I first drew bow,
Had mastered even me, albeit

when I can scarce employ I now am feeble on my feet

The yew I shot with when a boy,
To follow the blithe forest game;

Some five and seventy years ago,
My eyes likewise are not the same, Blest be the patron of the yew,
My hand also is changed, and weak That aye to the blythe archer crew
To draw the arrow to my cheek : Gives merry hearts, that spring from
Yet though, as age's nature is
To prate of its infirmities,

Elastic as the bows they bear!
I make this vain lament to you,

That gives to you, my comrades dear, Little need I mine old age rue;

Light hearts and lusty forest cheer;
For I can say, as few can do,

And craves of you no more to do
That I've been here for fourscore year, Than ranging woodland far and near,
For fourscore twelvemonths and a day, A spanning lawn and greenwood tree,
That many parts both far and near : With game-bound shafts loos'd merrily ;
Both east and west I have been through, Save when, in time of need, ye draw,
And never knew the fear of two, Broad arrow against bold outlaw
Or flight from one away.

Oh be the good Saint Hubert blest,
But that which most of all beside That maketh us, from strand to strand,
May give me in my old age, pride, From north to south, from east to west,
Is, that it was my favour'd lot

The strength and pride of Fatherland
To stand upon the holy spot

From grassy green to desert sand

Till now,

care

For I have seen our arrows go,

When up at last our battle came, Where neither blade of grass might grow, Struck in and played a gallant game; Nor leaf nor twig of tree below; As fleet as foot might go we ran, But all around hot sand was spread, And thick and fast at last began And never a cool cloud overhead, To send our silent powers in To bear the brazen furnace-heat

Among the iron's clanging din, That right down on our bonnets beat. And make as silent, well I wot, Then hath it been my lot to see,

As the fast shaft that stuck therein, When our mail-clad nobility

Full many a shouting pagan's throat. Were foundered in that sandy sea, Be sure I oft essayed to force And when our men-at-arms did fail A passage to my master's corse ; To move beneath their heavy mail; For 'twas the cry that both lay dead To see the boast of English land,

Where hardiest the hounds made head; The light true-hearted yeoman band, And boldly on their crowded van, Step forth, though knee-deep in the Charged many a worthy serving man, sand,

To drag their bodies forth, and save And loose their shafts as fast and free Good Christians from unhallow'd grave; As if they stood in English wood, For round about the infidel Under the greenwood tree !

Encompassed them, a bristling wall, 'Twas then I've seen our arrows fall, And many a shrill outlandish yell A shower of fire, for every one

Foretold them vulture burial. Showed like a sunbeam in the sun; Thus long we strove with loving will, And yet a chilling sleet withal,

But fruitless all our efforts still. And sharp upon the infidel.

At last when hope of help was iled, Ah, ha, my masters, trust me well, And we, with heavy hearts, were forced Iv'e seen them leap and heard them ring To leave them there, alive or dead, From breast of Soldan and of King ! A prey unto the dogs accurs'd; Ah grey goose wing that floated erst, Full suddenly among us burst The pride of Avon's silver flood, Of spearmen bold a goodly show, Of all our host I was the first

Led by the banner of De Veaux. To make thee swim in royal blood- Sir Roulf himself he rode the first, 'Twas I that made thee swim again And bright among the dust he show'd In the best blood of a Saracen

His armour blazing all abroad. Who reigned in pleasant Araby

A lusty blast old Stephen blew, Ab, strange and fearful was the fate And down they came, and round the close Which left his lady desolate,

-A fearful crushing shock-arose And doomed his death by me!

A sandy storm, that eddying flew, I'll tell you how-Sir John, who now As when the desert whirlwind blows: Wons outlaw'd in the forest here,

Andwhen that cloud had somewhat cleared, And our late lord, Sir Geoffrey, were St. George! what goodly sight appearedTogether fighting for the cross

For every lance in that rough course In Jewry_hot July it was,

Was either shivered on the shield, When, on a morning, from their tent And splinter-frayed the cumbered field, Like brothers, forth in arms they went; Or fixed and bored through man and horse : And we, a goodly band, uprose,

So hand to hand they waged the war With trusty aid of bills and bows. All with the sword and scimitar. But woe is me, us all before

I know not how my way I found Upon the pagan bost they before ; Among that press of battle keen ; For first were they in all assaults. Yet so it was, without a wound, And when they had approached the fight I passed the mellé all unseen ; Within about half-arrow flight,

And there, behind them all, espied With slackened rein and stooping crest, The noble barons, side by side; With spur to flank, and spear in rest, Upon the ground, and over theni Went in like thunderbolts!

Stood one whose crest shone like a star,
I saw them each unhorse his man, He held a dripping scimitar,
Then mingle with the broken van; And wore a kingly diadem.
I saw amid the dusty rout,

Ah, many a rapid death I've sent,
Their white blades Aickering about; But never drew I shaft before,
The blows they dealt fell thick as rain- Albeit my eyes were running o'er
I saw them down, and deemed them slain; Long ere the trusty tree was bent,
I saw them rise, then sink again ; So rapidly incontinent,

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