Page images
PDF
EPUB

There came and looked him in the face
An Angel beautiful and bright,

And how he knew it was a fiend,
This miserable knight!

And how, unknowing what he did,
He leapt amid a lawless band,

And saved, from outrage worse than death,
The Ladie of the land.

And how she wept and clasped his knees,
And how she tended him in vain,

And meekly strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain:

And how she nursed him in a cave,
And how his madness went away,

When, on the yellow forest leaves,
A dying man he lay:

His dying words—but when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,

My faultering voice, and pausing harp,
Disturbed her soul with pity.

All impulses of soul and sense

Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve, The music and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,

An undistinguishable throng, And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherished long:

She wept with pity and delight—
She blushed with love and maiden shame,

And, like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.

I saw her bosom heave and swell.

Heave and swell with inward sighs— I could not choose but love to see

Her gentle bosom rise.

Her wet cheek glowed, she slept aside,

As conscious of my look she stept, Then suddenly with timorous eye

She flew to me and wept..

She half inclosed me with her arms—
She pressed me with a meek embrace,

And bending back her head, looked up,
And gazed upon my face.

'Twas partly love and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art,

That I might rather feel, than see
The swelling of her heart!

I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;

And thus I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous bride!

And now once more a tale of woe,

A woeful tale of love I sing, For thee, my Genevieve! it sighs

And trembles on the string.

When last I sung the cruel scorn

That crazed this bold and lovely knight,

And how he roamed the mountain woods, Nor rested day nor night:

I promised thee a sister-tale

Of man's perfidious cruelty;
Come, then, and hear what cruel wrong

Befell the dark Ladie.

Coleridge.

KILMENY.

Bonny Kilmeny gaed up the glen;

But it wasna to meet Duneira's men,

Nor the rosy monk of the isle to see,

For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be.

It was only to hear the Yorlin sing,

And pu' the cress-flower round the spring;

The scarlet hypp and the hindberrye,

And the nut that hang frae the hazel tree;

For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be*

But lang may her minny look o'er the wa',

And lang may she seek i' the green-wood shaw;

Lang the laird of Duneira blame,

And lang, lang greet or Kilmeny come hame!

When many a day had come and' fled, When grief grew calm, and hope was dead,

[graphic]

When mass for Kilmeny's soul had been sung,

When the bedes-man had prayed, and the dead-bell rum

Late, late in a gloamin when all was still,

When the fringe was red on the westlin hill,

The wood was sere, the moon i' the wane,

The reek o' the cot hung over the plain,

Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane;

When the ingle glowed with an eiry leme,

Late, late in the gloamin Kilmeny came hame!

'Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?
Lang hae we sought baith holt and den:
By linn, by ford, and green-wood tree,
Yet you are halesome and fair to see.
Where gat you that joup o' the lily scheen?
That bonny snood of the birk so green!
And these roses, the fairest that ever were seen?
Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?'

Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace,
But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face;
As still was her look, and as still was her ee,
As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea;
For Kilmeny had been she knew not where,
And Kilmeny had seen what she could not declare;

« PreviousContinue »