« ForrigeFortsett »
cessive Sundays in consequence; and I things do not strike one with such force, remember well, too, how I then used to though even then they will at times envy those happier juveniles who were intrude; but in vacation-time, when at church at home, that is to say, master and scholar are alike holiday. with their friends, and at liberty. I making-and it would be difficult to fear I did not say my prayers so car- say which enjoys the release with the nestly as I ought to have done on keener relish there is a silence and a those few weary Sundays; at any rate solitude about the place, a desolation it would be useless to deny that my - not of ruins, but as though some name is still legible, carved at full enchanter's wand had whisked away length on the back of the bench before from it every thing with the breath of that on which my seat was allotted. life in its nostrils—which chills my What a broad, kind, sheltering back spirits at the very outset, and disposes hadst thou, long lost, but not forgotten, me to sad and serious contemplations.
under whose concealing shade I The old gate-porter at his lodge, doz. plied my unseen labour ! What a ing in his elbow.chair, starts from his magnificent snore was thine, O most slumbers at the unwonted sound of a irreverent .! which did divert the footfall, as I pass through. The watchful ear of pastor and master from boards of the fine old carved oak stairheeding the cautious chisellings of the case that leads up to the terrace, are sculptor, alas, no less irreverent! as unstained as though they had been
Would that the mirth of the child laid down but an hour ago. The recalled, the pride of the man awaken- long broad terrace itself has lost ed, were the only feelings stirred up half of its attractions. There is no within us by a ramble about the well. pleasure in walking along it now. remembered precincts ! We leave a There is no admiring eye below to largo public school, and, though but look up at me as I pace along it, enone short year has departed to swell vious of the high privilege denied to the number of its vanished brethren, the status pupillaris ;—no enquiring we cannot return to it for an odd half group to speculate on the name and hour, without being visited by remem- business of the stranger who seems to brances which have, at the very least, be so much at home in their domain. some tinge of sadness. In the natural The old cloister strikes damp, and course of things it must be so. In the cold, and cheerless; I almost wonder course of four years passed within how I ever could have taken such these walls, I must have had, at a mo- pleasure in vaulting in and out at its derate computation, about eight hun. broad high windows.
The green dred schoolfellows. What wonder shows not, through all its extent, a that of so great a number,
vestige of its absent denizens, save, “ Some are dead and some are gone,
perchance, four or five hoops dexter
ously swung up to rot upon some proAnd some are scatter'd and alone,
jecting branch of the old, decaying, And some are in a far countrie,
smoke-blackened trees, or a broken And some all restlessly at home ?"
tennis..bat thrown aside on a heap of I do not mean to say that of that eight rubbish in some neglected corner, and hundred I could call one-eighth, or serving only by its presence to impress even one-sixteenth part my friends : upon us more forcibly the utter deserto half of them, perhaps, I never so tion of the place. I rattle the handles much as spoke twenty words during of the schoolroom doors in vain, and the whole period of our common pu. I growl and grumble that I am not pillage ; but they were all my schools able to get in, where I formerly thought fellows -- all Carthusians ;-and for it the greatest earthly happiness to get such, when I hear of unlooked for out. It would be a satisfaction to me sorrows or untimely death, I have ever to look even upon the old flogginga sigh the more. It is as good as a block-a sort of chastened pleasure, score of homilies to walk by one's self renovare dolorem. I would fain sen in holiday time round the old haunts. tisfy myself, also, as to the truth of a In the quarter, when the playground rumour which has reached my ears, is full and noisy, when the eye can that that venerable relic has in its turn nowhere but it lights upon some old age met with a “heavy blow and a laughing face, and the ear can hear great discouragement;" that it holds nothing save sounds of merriment, these now only a divisum imperium where
it once was alone in its glory; that a troduced acquaintanceships, when we second parvenu flogging block has need no master of the ceremonies to been of late introduced to share, per- present one Carthusian to anotherchance erelong to usurp, its long un- a day of merry tales and side-shaking questioned prerogatives. But the at- reminiscences, when all our juvenile tempt is vain. There is absolutely no- delinquencies and escapades are called thing to see but bare walls and close. up in review before us, only to make shuttered windows--nothing to hear but us wish that we could once more bave the distant hum and buzz of the world an opportunity of being guilty of shut out;”—around me silence and them—when the old school-stories of solitude, and beneath me the dead! our time are told, failing not, though I am treading at every step over the for the twentieth time, to elicit the common grave of thousands, unconse- accustomed peal of merriment, and crated by the voice of Holy Church, the old hall echoes again to the cheers unvisited by the gloomy .pageantry which follow the prime toast of the which waits on death in its ordinary evening, the time honoured heartfelt forms-a vast charnel-house of undis. toast of “ Domus," and the uproarious tinguished bones—a huge garner for but merry controversy to which it never the harvest of a pestilence, reaped five fails to give rise. It must be a temptcenturies ago! At such times it is ing lure, indeed, that would keep me that the sadness of the place inspires away from that day's meeting a most a kindred feeling; at such times do I unexceptionable excuse that would think of -, and
and poor salve my conscience for the breach of --, gone from among us in the duty. It was but the other day that I bright warm springtime of life; of heard of a little knot of Carthusians,
a solitary toiler in a land far who had met together and colebrated from the home and the friends of his Founder's Day" in Australia. I early years ;-of many a one on whose would I knew their names, for they undeserving head the world has dealt must be men after my own heart; but its merciless buffets-many a weary though unknown, I honour them none struggler. in vain-many a bright the less. I will answer for it, there is prospect dimmed and overclouded- not a single one of that “band of bromany a soaring spirit checked and thers” whom Charter-House need broken,—and I turn away from the blush to acknowledge as her son. spot with a less careless footstep, " But I must lay a strong hand upon sadder and (I trust) a wiser man. myself. The cacoëthes scribendi is in. But I did not mean to be mournful creasing uponi me too rapidly-crescit when I began this paper.
indulgens sibi-and I forget that I am Of all the days in the year, com- not yet quite sufficiently stricken in mend me most especially to that on years to claim the privilege of unli. which we meet to do honour to the mited garrulity. I would not will. memory of our Founder-a day long ingly become ad extremum ridendus, anticipated and fondly remembered though I have wind and bottom enough a day of hand-shakings and heart- for a mile or two more yet. It is betwarmings--a day on which they who ter to pull up at the distance than to were friends of old strengthen their break down before the judge. friendship, and they who were foes
T. V. R. forget their enmity-a day of unin.
ye the harp with tender • Go back-haste back, my little foothand,
page, And gently let its music flow,
To the palace straight repair, While softly, sadly the Minstrel And tell the Princess Elizabeth sings
That I will think of her." An olden tale of love and woe :- The little page knelt, the little page Three hundred years have come and gone,
From the rushes whereon he knelt, As dewdrops shine and disappear, And hied him thence,-but who may Since first 'twas sung by fair Marie
tell To Henry's royal ear.
What Eliduc then felt?
6. The stately knight, young Eliduc, Brave Eliduc is woe-begone, As alone in hall he sate,
A cloud o'erhangs his eyes, Beheld the page of Elizabeth,
And though in fame he hath rivals At eve, beside his gate.
none, • Come hither-hither, thou page of By the wild sea-shore he sighs. court,
He stands upon the barren rock, What would the King with me ?” He listens to the shrieking mew, The boy held the love.gifts on his arm, Until the evening star is out, As he lowly bent on knee.
And earth is moist with dew. 3.
7. " I bear this gay gold ring, Sir But the King hath sent, the Knight
Where he sat at chess in hall, Greets thee by these, my ladye At the chequer-board play'd a stranger bright,
lord, And bids thee think of her."
Behind stood his daughter tall. To and fro strode Eliduc,
“ Why, daughter, dove Elizabeth, To and fro he paced the floor, Greet ye not this noble knight? Then put the gift-ring on his 'Tis the same who hath our kingdom hand,
saved, And the robe his shoulders o'er. And quell'd our foes in fight."
4. To and fro strode Eliduc;
Anon with folded arms he stood;
thought, To the boy then, sighing, said
8. Elizabeth stretch'd forth her white
soft hand, And with Eliduc down she stray'd By the tapestried wall of that long
arch'd hall, While at board her father play'd. In a window'd niche at length they
stood, The fair one and the brave Both sorrowful and in pensive mood,
Both silent as the grave;
.]4. Till the ladye faltering spake-"Sir 6. Well, well I knew the carpet knights Knight,
For their gentle selves should fear, Words are ill befitting me,
When o'er them gleam'd the Flanders But were the world at my behest,
axe, I would wed no mate but thee."- " And Brabant's threatening spear.” “ Sweet princess fair,” said Eliduc,
“ Sir Eliduc," replied the King, As he dropp'd her proffer'd hand, " Thy worth may none gainsay ; “ I am pledged by the oath of a leal In the gloom of war thou camest' to true knight,
us, To return to my native land;
And leavest us peace to-day.”
19. « Like the rainbow to the clearing air, Like Salem to the pilgrim's sight, Like the bird to the vernal tree,
When his feet are travel-sore, Like spring's first flowers 'mid wood. Come the thoughts of thy returv, dear land bowers
love, To the honey-thirsting bee ;
My longing spirit o'er!"
1. O, sad was the song of Gildeluec
As she sate within her bower, Beguilmg, with her dulcimer,
The solitary hour. « Was it a voice?" she rose and cried, “ Or what step comes here in
quest?" The door flew wide-'twas Sir Eli
duc, And she fell upon his breast.
5. • As the snow," cried noble Gil.
Thy faith is firm and sure;
'Tis thy country calls for thee, When our foes have before thee fallen
6. « Welcome, welcome! my husband His steed at the portal neighing dear!"
paw'd; Aye she clasped his neck and cried ; Sir Eliduc donn'd his mail, “ All heavy and drear have lagg'd His figured casque, with its morion the hours
black, Since thou did'st sail the tide.
And steel-barr'd aventayle. Bring wine and bread, let the board He clasp'd her form-he snatch'd one be spread,
kiss Bid the silence of our halls re- By their threshold cypress-tree; “ Heaven bless thee, fair Gildeluec!' Bade all the saints his dame to bless, Quod the knight, with a low sad Then off through the woods rode voice.
7. “ And comest thou hither with heart The nights they pass'd, and the days of grief,
they pass', My lord, my loved ?" the lady said. Heavy and lone they fell, “ Thou know'st that our land is o'er- As Gildeluec pined for the bugle run with foes,"
blast Sigh’d the knight, with downcast Which her lord's return should head.
tell. Thou art weary, and here wilt rest Yet heard she how o'er vanquish'd to-night,
foes, And at morning to the king”. Had his banner victorious flown, Nay," answer'd he, “I must leave While the fame of his name, like a this roof
sveet west wind, Erə the bells of vesper ring."
Through his native land was blown.
[heart, • When life was young, Gildeluec, Did the trumpet of battle arouse his To me thou gavest thy hand;
As it aroused in days of yore ? There was no flower like thee, sweet Did he think of his mate, lone watch. love,
ing late, In all this blooming land.
For his coming, at her bower door? And dost thou call me cruel now? No more no more the battle toils Then surely am I changed ;
Did Sir Eliduc's bosom cheer ; Deem'st thou that broken is my vow, And if he thought of Gildeluec, Or my heart from thine estran- 'Twas with grief, and shame, and