« PreviousContinue »
Now all ye lovers that faithful prove,
The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,
Pray for their souls who died for love,
For love shall still be lord of all !
As ended Albert's simple lay, Arose a bard of loftier port ; For sonnet, rhyme, or roundelay, Renowned in haughty Henry's court: There rung thy harp unrivalled long, . Fitztraver of the silver song. The gentle Surrey loved his lyre, (Who has not heard of Surrey's fame :) His was the hero's soul of fire, And his the bard's immortal name ; And his was love exalted high, By all the glow of chivalry.
They sought, together, climes afar,
And oft, within some olive grove,
When evening came, with twinkling star,
They sung of Surrey's absent love,
His step the Italian peasant staid,
"And deemed, that spirits from on high,
Round where some hermit saint was laid,
Were breathing heavenly melody;
So sweet did harp and voice combine,
To praise the name of Geraldine.
The pangs thy faithful bosom knew,
When Surrey of the deathless lay,
Ungrateful Tudor's sentence slew :
Regardless of the tyrant's frown,
His harp called wrath and vengeance down ;
He left, for Naworth's iron towers,
Windsor's green glades, and courtly bowers ;
And, faithful to his patron's name,
With Howard, still, Fitztraver came;
Lord William's foremost favourite he,
And chief of all his minstrelsy,
XVI. FITZTRAVER, ‘Twas all souls' eve, and Surrey's heartbeat high
He heard the midnight bell with anxious start, Which told the mystic hour, approaching nigh, When wise Cornelius Promised, by his art,
To shew to him the ladye of his heart,
Albeit betwixt them roared the ocean grim ;
Yet so the sage had hight to play his part,
That he should see her form in life and limb,
And mark, if still she loved, and still she thought of
Dark was the vaulted room of gramarye,
To which the wizard led the gallant knight,
Save that before a mirror, huge and high,
A hallowed taper shed a glimmering light
On mystic implements of magic might,
On cross, and character, and talisman,
And almagest, and altar, nothing bright:
For fitful was the lustre, pale and wan,
As watch-light, by the bed of some departing man.
But soon within that mirror, huge and high;
Was seen a self-emitted light to gleam ;
And forms upon its breast, the earl 'gan spy,
Cloudy and indistinct as feverish dream ;
Till, slow arranging, and defined they seem
To form a lordly and a lofty room,
Part lighted by a lamp, with silver beam,
Placed by a couch of Agra's silken loom,
And part by moonshine pale, and part was hid in
fair all the pageant ; but how passing fair
The slender form which lay on couch of Ind?
O'er her white bosom strayed her hazel hair,
Pale her dear cheek, as if for love she pined;
All in her night robe loose, she lay reclined,
And, pensive, read from tablet, eburnine,
Some strain, that seemed her inmost soul to find :
That favoured strain was Surrey's raptured line,
That fair and lovely form, the ladye Geraldine.
Slow rolled the clouds upon the lovely form,
And swept the goodly vision all away :
So royal envy rolled the murky storm
O'er ray beloved master's gorious day.
Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant ' Heaven repay
On thee, and on thy children's latest line,
The wild caprice of thy despotic sway, -
The gory bridal bed, the plundered shrine,
The murdered Surrey's blood, the tears of Geraldine !
Both Scots, and southern chiefs prolong
Applauses of Fitztraver's song ;
These hated Henry's name as death,
And those still held the ancient faith.
Then, from his seat, with lofty air,
Rose Harold, bard of brave Saint Clair ;
Saint Clair, who, feasting high at home,
Had with that lord to battle come.
Harold was born where restless seas
Howl round the storm-swept Orcades;
Where erst Saint Clairs held princely sway,
O'er isle and islet, strait and bay ;
Still nods their palace to its fall,
Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall ! .
Thence oft he marked fierce Pentland rave,
As if grim Odinn rode her wave;
And watched, the whilst, with visage pale,
And throbbing heart, the struggling sail;