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And Wulfstane bent his fatal yew,
Lord William on the plain is lying, But ere the silken cord he drew,
Beside bim Metelill scems dying! As hurld from Hecla's thunder, ftew
Bring odours-essences in haste That ruin through the air;
And lo! a flasket richly chased, Full on the outlaw's front it came,
But Jutla the elixir proves And all that late had human name,
Ere pouring it for those she loves And human face, and human frame,
Then Walwayn's potion was not wasted, That lived, and moved, and had free will For when three drops the hag had tasted, To choose the path of good or ill,
So dismal was her yell, Is to its reckoning gone;
Each bird of evil omen woke, And nought of Wulfstane rests behind,
The raven gave his fatal croak, Save that beneath that stone,
And shriek d the night-crow from the oak, Half buried in the dinted clay,
The screech-owl from the thicket broke, A red and shapeless mass there lay,
And flutter'd down the dell!
So fearful was the sound and stern,
The slumbers of the full-gorged erne
Were startled, and from furze and fern, The eagle darts amain,
Of forest and of fell, Three bounds from yonder summit high
The fox and famish'd wolf replied, Placed Harold on the plain.
(For wolres then prow'd the Cheviot side,) As the scared wild-fowl scream and fly,
From mountain head to mountain head So fled the bridal train;
The unhallow'd sounds around were sped; As 'gainst the eagle's peerless might
But when their latest echo fled, The noble falcon dares the fight,
The sorceress on the ground lay dead.
Such was the scene of blood and woes,
With which the bridal morn arose Its glittering fragments strew the sand,
Of William and of Metelill; lis lord lies on the plain.
But oft, when dawning 'gins to spread, Now, heaven! take noble William's part, The summer-morn peeps dim and red And melt that yet unmelted heart,
Above the eastern bill, Or, ere his bridal hour depart,
Ere, bright and fair, upon his road
The king of splendour walks abroad;
So, when this cloud had passid away,
Bright was the noon-tide of their day,
And all serene its setting ray.
1. The foam upon his lip is white,
WELL do I hope that this my minstrel tale His deadly arm is up to smite !
Will tempt no traveller from southern fie But, as the mace aloft he swung,
Whether in tilbury, barouche, or mail, To stop the blow young Gunnar sprung, To view the castle of these seven proud shields. Around his master's knees he clung,
Small confirmation its condition yields And cried, “In mercy spare!
To Meneville's high lay-Do towers are seen O, think upon the words of fear
On the wild heath, but those that faney builds, Spoke by that visionary seer,
And, save a fosse which tracks the moor with The crisis he foretold is here
green, Grant mercy-or despair!”
Is nought remains to tell of what may there have This word suspended Harold's mood,
been. Yet still with arm upraised he stood,
And yet grave authors, with the no small waste And visage like the headsman's rude
Of their grave time, have dignified the spot That pauses for the sign.
By theories, to prove the fortress placed “O mark thee with the blessed rood,"
By Roman bands, to curb the invading Scot. The page implored: “Speak word of good, Hutchinson, Horsley, Camden, I might quote, Resist the fiend, or be subdued!”
But rather choose the theory less civil He signed the cross divine
Of boors, who, origin of things forgot, Instant his eye hath human light,
Refer still to the origin of evil, Less red, less keen, less fiercely bright; And for their master-mason choose that master His brow relax'd the obdurate frown,
fiend the devil. The fatal mace sinks gently down,
II. He turns and strides away;
Therefore, I say, it was on fiend-built towers Yet oft, like revellers who leave
That stout count Harold bent his wond'ring gaze, Unfinish'd feast, looks back to grieve, When evening dew was on the heather flowers, As if repenting the reprieve
And the last sunbeams bade the mountain blaze, He granted to his prey.
And tinged the battlements of other days Yet still of forbearance one sign hath he given, With a bright level light ere sinking down. And fierce Witikind's son made one step towards Humined thus, the dauntless Dane surveys heaven.
The seven proud shields that o'er the portal XVIII.
frown, But though his dreaded footsteps part, And on their blazons traced high marks of old reDeath is behind and shakes his dart:
A wolf North Wales had on his armour-coat, For whom the bride's shy footstep, slow and light,
And Rhys of Powis-land a couchant stag; Was changed ere morning to the murderers Strath-Clwyde's strange emblem was a stranded tread. boat;
For human bliss and wo in the frail thread Donald of Galloway a trotting nag;
Of human life are all so closely twined, A corn-sheaf gilt was fertile Lodon's brag;
That till the shears of fate the texture shred, A dudgeon-dagger was by Dunmail wora;
The close succession cannot be disjoin'd, Northumbrian Adolf gave a sea-beat crag Nor dare we from one hour "udge that which coming
Surmounted by a cross-such signs were borne behind. Upon these antique shields, all wasted now and
But where the work of vengeance had been done, III.
In that seventh chamber was a sterner sights These scann'd, count Harold sought the castle door, There of the witch-brides lay each skeleton,
Whose ponderous bolts were rusted to decay; Still in the posture as to death when dight. Yet till that hour adventurous knight forbore For this lay prone, by one blow slain outright; The unobstructed passage to essay.
And that, as one who struggled long in dying; More strong than armed warders in array,
One bony hand held knife as if to smite; And obstacle more sure than bolt or bar,
One bent on fleshless knees as mercy crying; Sate in the portal Terror and Dismay,
One lay across the door, as kill'd in act of flying. While Superstition, who forbade to war The stern Dane smiled this charnel-house to see With foes of other mould than mortal clay, For bis chafed thought return'd to Metelill; Cast spells across the gate, and barr’d the onward And, “Well,” he said, “ hath woman's perfidy, way.
Empty as air, as waler volatile, Vain now those spells—for soon with heavy clank Been here avenged. The origin of ill The feebly-fasten'd gate was inward push'd,
Thro'woman rose, the christian doctrine saith; And, as it oped, through that emblazon'd rank
Nor deem I, Gunnar, that thy minstrel skill Of antique shields the wind of evening rush'd
Can show example where a woman's breath With sound most like a groan, and then was hush'a. Hath made a true-love vow, and tempted, kept her 18 none who on such spot such sounds could hear
faith.” But to his heart the blood had faster rush'd,
VII. Yet to bold Harold's breast hat throb was dear,
The minstrel boy half smiled, half sigh'd, It spoke of danger nigh, but had no touch of fear.
And his half filling eyes he dried,
And said, “The theme I should but wrong,
Unless it were my dying song,
The northern harp has treble power,)
Else could I tell of woman's faith
Pure and unflaw'd-her love unknown,
And unrequited; firm and pure, And fast beside, garnish'd both proud and high,
Her stainless faith could all endure; Was placed a power for rest in which a king might From clime to clime-from place to place lie.
Through want, and danger, and disgrace,
A wanderer's wayward steps could irace.
All this she did, and guerdon none
Thus hath a faithful woman done.
But Eivir was a Danish maid."
“ Thou art a wild enthusiast,” said Frail as the spider's mesh did that rich woof ap Count Harold, “ for thy Danish maid; pear.
And yet, young Guonar, I will own
Her's were a faith to rest upon.
And all resembling her are gone.
What maid e'er show'd such constancy The wasted relics of a monarch dead;
lo plighted faith, like thine to me? Barbaric ornaments around were spread,
But couch thee, boy: the darksome shade Vests twined with gold, and chains of precious Falls thickly round, nor be dismay'd stone,
Because the dead are by.
Yet near me, Gunnar, be thou laid, The wearer's fleshless scull, alike with dust be Thy couch upon my mantle made, strowo.
That thou may'st think, should fear in pacien
Thy master slumbers nigh.”
Gunnar, he must not haunt in vain An alter'd man lord Harold rose,
This world of wretchedness and paia: When he beheld that dawn unclose
I'll tame my wilful heart to live There's trouble in his eyes,
In peace-to pity and forgive-And traces on his brow and cheek
And thou, for so the vision said, Of mingled awe and wonder speak:
Must in thy lord's repentance aid. “My page,” he said, " arise;
Thy mother was a prophetess,". Leave we this place, my page.”
" Nor more
He said, “who by her skill could guess He utter'd till the castle door
How close the fatal textures join They cross'd-but there he paused and said,
Which knit that thread of life with mine, • My wildness hath awaked the dead
Then, dark, he hinted of disguise Disturb'd the sacred tomb!
She framed to cheat too curious eyes, Methought this night I stood on high
That not a moment might divide Where Hecla roars in middle sky,
Thy fated footsteps from my side. And in her cavern’d gulfs could spy
Methought, while thus my sire did teache The central place of doom!
I caught the meaning of his speech, And there before my mortal eye
Yet seems its purport doubtful now." Souls of the dead came flitting by,
His band then sought his thoughtful brow, Whom fiends, with many a fiendish cry,
Then first he mark'd, that in the tower Bore to that evil den!
His glove was left at waking hour. My eyes grew dizzy, and my brain
XII. Was wilder'd, as the elvish train,
Trembling at first, and deadly pale, With shriek and howł, dragg'd on amain
Had Gunnar heard the vision'd tale; Those who had late been men.
But when he learn'd the dubious close,
He blusbed like any opening rose, “ With haggard eyes and streaming hair,
And, glad to hide his tell-tale cheek,
Hied back that glove of mail to seek;
When soon a shriek of deadly dread
Summon'd his master to his aid. More bad I seen, but that uprose
XIII. A whirlwind wild, and swept the snows; What sees.count Harold in that boves, And with such sound as when at need
So late his resting place? A champion spurs his horse to speed,
The semblance of the Evil Power, Three armed knights rush on, who lead
Adored by all his race! Caparison'd a sable steed.
Odin in living form stood there, Sable their harness, and there came
His cloak the spoils of polar bear; Through their closed visors sparks of flame.
For plumy crest, a meteor shed The first proclaim'd, in sounds of fear,
Its gloomy radiance o'er his head, • Harold the Dauntless, welcome here!!
Yet veil'd its haggard majesty The next cried, • Jubilee! we've won
To the wild lightnings of his eye. Count Witikind the Waster's son!'
Such height was his, as when in stone And the third rider steruly spoke,
O'er Upsal's giant altar shows; Mount, in the name of Zernebock!
So flow'd his hoary beard; From us, 0 Harold, were thy powers,
Such was his lance of mountain-pine, Thy strength, thy dauntlessness, are ours; So did his sevenfold buckler shine; Nor think, a vassal thou of hell,
But when his voice he rear'd, With hell canst strive.' The fiend spoke true! Deep, without harshness, slow and strong, My inmost soul the summons knew,
The powerful accents rolld along, As captives know the knell,
And, while he spoke, his hand was laid That says the headsman's sword is bare,
On captive Gunnar's shrinking head.
“Harold,” he said, " What rage is theme My foot had that fell stirrup ta’en,
To quit the worship of thy line, My hand was on the fatal mane,
To leave thy warrior god? When to my rescue sped
With me is glory or disgrace, That palmer's visionary form,
Mine is the onset and the chase, And, like the passing of a storm,
Embattled hosts before my face The demons yell’d and fled!
Are withered by a nod.
Wilt thou then forfeit that high seat,
Deserved by many a dauntless feat “ His sable cowl, flung back, reveal'd
Among the heroes of thy live, The features it before conceal'd;
Eric and fiery Thorarine? And, Gunnar, I could find
Thou wilt not. Only I can give In him whose counsels strove to stay
The joys for which the valiant live, So oft my course on wilful way,
Victory and vengeance--only I My father Witikind!
Can give the joys for which they die, Doom'd for his sins, and doom'd for mine, The immortal ült-the banquet full, A wanderer upon earth to pine,
The brimming draught from foeman's skull Until his son shall turn to grace,
Mine art thou, witness this thy glove, And smooth for him a resting-place!
The faithful pledge of vassal's love."
And glimmer'd in her eye. “ Tempter!” said Harold, firm of heart,
Inly he said, “ That silken tress,
What blindness n.ine that could not guess, “I charge thee, hence! whate'er thou art, I do defy thee and resist
Or how could page's rugged dress The kindling frenzy of my breast,
That bosom's pride belie? Waked by thy words; and of my mail
O, dull of heart, through wild and wave
In search of blood and death to rave,
With such a partner nigh!"
XVIII. • Eivir,” the shape replied, “ is mine,
Then in the mirror'd pool he peer'd, Mark'd in the birth-hour with my sign.
Blamed his rough locks and shaggy beard, Think'st thou that priest with drops of spray The stains of recent conflict clear'd-Could wash that blood-red mark away?
And thus the champion proved, Or that a borrow'd sex and name
That he fears now who never fear'd, Can abrogate a godhead's claim ?"
And loves who never loved. Thrill'd this strange speech thro' Harold's brain, And Eivir-life is on her cheek, He clench'd his teeth in high disdain,
And yet she will not move or speak, For not his new-born faith subdued
Nor will her eyelid fully ope; Some tokens of his ancient mood.
Perchance it loves, that half-shut eye, “ Now, by the hope so lately given
Through its long fringe, reserved and shy, Of better trust and purer heaven,
Affection's opening dawn to spy;. I will assail thee, fiend!” Then rose
And the deep blush, which bids its dye His mace, and with a storm of blows
O'er cheek, and brow, and bosom fly,
Speaks shame-facedness and hope.
But vainly seems the Dane to seek
For terms his new-born love to speak, Darken'd the sky and shook the grounds
For words, save those of wrath and wrong, But not the artillery of hell,
Till now were strangers to his tongue; The bickering lightning, nor the rock
So, when he raised the blushing maid, Of turrets to the earthquake's shock,
In blunt and honest terms he said, Could Harold's courage quell.
('Twere well that maids, when lovers woo, Sternly the Dane his purpose kept,
Heard none more soft, were all as true,) And blows on blows resistless heap'd,
“ Eivir! since thou for many a day Till quail'd that demon form;
Hast followed Harold's wayward way, And for his power to hurt or kill
It is but meet that in the line Was bounded by a higher will
Of after-life I follow thine. Evanish'd in the storm.
To morrow is saint Cuthbert's tide, Nor paused the champion of the north,
And we will grace his altar's side, But raised, and bore his Eivir forth
A christian knight and christian bride; From that wild scene of fiendish strife,
And of Witikind's son shall the marvel be said, To light, to liberty, and life!
That on the same morn he was christen'd and wed. XVII. He placed her on a bank of moss,
And now, Ennui, what ails thee, weary maid? A silver runnel bubbled by,
And why these listless looks of yawning sorrow. And new-born thoughts his soul engross, No need to turn the page, as if 'twere lead, And tremors yet unknown across
Or fling aside the volume till to-morrow. His stubborn sinews fly;
Be cheer d—'tis ended-and I will not borrow, The whilewithtimid hand the dew
To try thy patience more, one anecdote Upon her brow and neck he threw,
From Bartholine, or Perinskiold, or Snorro. And mark'd how life with rosy hue
Then pardon thou thy mostrel, who hath wrote On her pale cheek revived anew,
A tale six cantos long, yet scorn'd to add a note.
Che Bridal of Triermain;
A LOVER'S TALE.
An elf-quene wol I love ywis,
Worthy to be my make in toun:
Rime of sir Thopes.
It is in this situation that those epics are found In the Edinburgh Annual Register for the year which have been generally regarded the standards 1809, three fragments were inserted, written in of poetry; and it has happened somewhat strangeimitation of living poets. It must have been ap-|ly, that the moderns have pointed out, as the chaparent, that by these prolusions, nothing burlesque racteristics and peculiar excellences of narrative or disrespectful to ihe authors was intended, but poetry, the very circumstances which the authors that they were offered to the public as serious, ihemselves adopted, only because their art involto though certainly very imperfect, imitations of that ed the duties of the historian as well as the poet style of composition, by which each of the writers It cannot be believed, for example, that Homer is supposed to be distinguished. As these exer-selected the siege of Troy as the most appropriate cises attracted a greater degree of attention than subjeet for poetry; his purpose was to write the the author auticipated, he has been induced to early history of his country: the event he has complete one of them, and present it as a separate chosen, though not very fruitful in varied incident, publication.
nor perfectly well adapted for poetry, was neverIt is not in this place that an examination of the theless combined with traditionary and genealogiworks of the master whom he has here adopted as cal anecdotes extremely interesting to those who his model can, with propriety, be introduced; were to listen to him; and this he has adorned by since his general acquiescence in the favourable the exertions of a genius, which, if it has been suffrage of the public must necessarily be inferred equalled, has certainly never been surpasser. It from the attempt he has now made. He is induced, was not till comparaqvey a late period that the by the nature of his subject, to offer a few remarks general accuracy of his narrative, or his purpose on what has been called Romantic Poetry,--the in composing it, was brought into question. Austi popularity of which has been revived in the pre- πρωτος ο Αναξαγόρας (καθα φησι Φαβορινος εν ταιsent day, under the auspices, and by the unparal-τοδαπο Ιστορια) την Ομηρου ποιησιν αποφασθαι leled success of one individual. The original purpose of poetry is either reli-ories might be framed by speculative men, his
ειναν αρετης και διχαοσυνης.• But whatever the gious or historical, or, as must frequently happen, work was of an historical, not of an allegorical nai mixture of both. To modern readers, the poems of Homer have many of the features of pure ro
Eναυτιλλετο μετα του Μοντες, και επου mance; but, in the estimation of his contempora
έκαστοτε αφιεοιτο, παντα τα επιχαρισ διεραταries, they probably derived their chief value from το, και ιστορευων επυνθανετο ιηος μιν αν και their supposed historical authenticity. The same Leon popura Taytay ? poopoo 025.4 Instead of remay be generally said of the poetry of all early commending the choice of a subject similar to that ages. The marvels and miracles which the poet of Homer, it was to be expected that erities should blends with his song do not exceed in number or have exhorted the poets of these later days to arkop extravagance the figments of the historians of the or invent a narrative in itself more susceptible of same period of society; and, indeed, the difference poetical ornament, and to avail themselves of that Detwixt poetry and prose, as the vehicles of his- advantage in order to compensate, in some degree, torical truth, is always of late introduction. Poets, the inferiority of genius. The contrary course has under varivus denominations of Bards, Scalds, been inculcated by almost all the writers upon the Chroniclers, and so forth, are the first historians Epopæia; with what success, the fate
of Homer's of all nations. Their intention is to relate the numerous imilators may best show. The ultima events they have witnessed, or the traditions that supplicium of criticism was inflicted on the author have reached them; and they clothe the relation if he did not choose a subject which at once de in rhyme, merely as the means of rendering it prived him of all claim to originality, and placed more solemn in the narrative, or more easily com- him, if not in actual contest, at least in fatal committed to memory. But as the poetical historian parison, with those giants in the land, whom it improves in the art of conveying information, the was most his interest to avoid. The celebrated Authenticity of his narrative unavoidably declines. recipe for writing an epic poem, which appeared He is tempted to dilate and dwell upon the events in the Guardian, was the brst instance in which that are interesting to his imagination, and, con- common sense was applied to this department of scious how different his audience is to the naked poetry; and indeed, if the question be considered truth of his poem, his hirmeny gradually becomes on its own merits, we must be satisfied that nasta a romanoo.
Diogenes Laertius, 1. xi, p. 8. tHomani Vits .