Who in a softer, gentler way,

“ Nay, good my lord ! for had his life Will with the wakeful fancy play,

Been lost on battle-ground, When knolls of woods, their bases losing,

When ceased that fell and fatal strife, Are islands on a lake reposing,

His body had been found. And streeted town, of high pretence,

« No faith to such delusions give; As rolls away the vapour dense,

His mortal term is past.”— With all its wavy, curling billows,

“ Not so ! not so ! he is alive, Is but a row of pollard willows.

And will be found at last!”
O no! my traveller, still and lone,
A far, fatiguing way hath gone ;

These latter words right eagerly
His eyes are dim, he stoops his crest,

From a slender stripling broke, And folds his arms, and goes to rest.

Who stood the ancient warrior by,

And trembled as he spoke.
Sir Maurice started at the sound,

And all from top to toe

The stripling scann'd, who to the ground

His blushing face bent low. SIR MAURICE was a wealthy lord,

“ Is this thy kinsman, seneschal ? He lived in the north countrie,

Thine own or thy sister's son ? Well would he cope with foeman's sword,

A gentler page, in tent or hall, Or the glance of a lady's eye.

Mine eyes ne'er look'd upon.Now all his armed vassals wait,

« To thine own home return, fair youth, A stanch and burly band,

To thine own home return; Before his stately castle's gate,

Give ear to likely, sober truth, Bound for the Holy Land.

Nor prudent counsel spurn. Above the spearmen's lengthen'd file,

“War suits thee not, if boy thou art; Are figured ensigns flying;

And if a sweeter name Stroked by their keeper's hand the while,

Befit thee, do not lightly part Are harness'd chargers neighing.

With maiden's honour'd fame." And looks of wo, and looks of cheer,

He turn'd him from his liegemen all, And looks the two between,

Who round their chieftain press'd ; On many a warlike face appear,

His very shadow on the wall Where tears have lately been.

His troubled mind express'd. For all they love is left behind;

As sometimes slow and sometimes fast Hope beckons them before:

He paced to and fro, Their parting sails spread to the wind,

His plumy crest now upward cast Blown from their native shore.

In air, now drooping low. Then through the crowded portal pass'd

Sometimes like one in frantic mood, Six goodly knights and tall;

Short words of sound he utter'd, Sir Maurice himself, who came the last,

And sometimes, stopping short, he stood, Was goodliest of them all.

As to himself he mutter'd. And proudly roved with hasty eye

“A daughter's love, a maiden's pride! O’er all the warlike train ;

And may they not agree? “Save ye, brave comrades ! prosperously,

Could man desire a lovelier bride, Heaven send us o'er the main !

A truer friend than she ? “ But see I right? an armed band

“ Down, cursed thought! a boy's garb From Moorham's lordless hall;

Betrays not wanton will, And he who bears the high command,

Yet, sharper than an arrow's barb, Its ancient seneschal!

That fear might haunt me still.” “ Return; your stately keep defend ;

He mutter'd long, then to the gate, Defend your lady's bower,

Return'd and look'd around, Lest rude and lawless hands should rend

But the seneschal and his stripling mate That lone and lovely flower.”

Were nowhere to be found. “God will defend our lady dear,

With outward cheer and inward smart, And we will cross the sea,

In warlike fair array, From slavery's chain, his lot severe,

Did Maurice with his bands depart, Our noble lord to free.”

And shoreward bent his way. “ Nay, nay! some wandering minstrel's tongue, Their stately ship rode near the port, Hath framed a story vain;

The warriors to receive; Thy lord, his liegemen brave among,

And there, with blessings kind, but short, Near Acre's wall was slain.”_

Did friends of friends take leave.

And soon they saw the crowded strand

Wear dimly from their view; And soon they saw the distant land,

A line of hazy blue.
The white-sail'd ship with favouring breeze,

In all her gallant pride,
Moved like the mistress of the seas,

That rippled far and wide.
Sometimes with steady course she went,

O'er wave and surge careering;
Sometimes with sidelong mast she bent,

Her wings the sea-foam sheering. Sometimes, with poles and rigging bare,

She scudded before the blast;
But safely by the Syrian shore,

Her anchor dropt at last.
What martial honours Maurice won,

Join'd with the brave and great,
From the fierce, faithless Saracen,

I may not here relate.
With boldest band on bridge or moat,

With champion on the plain, ľ th' breach with clustering foes he fought,

Choked up with grisly slain. Most valiant by the valiant styled,

Their praise his deeds proclaim'd,
And oft his liegemen proudly smiled

To hear their leader named.
But fate will quell the hero's strength,

And dim the loftiest brow;
And this, our noble chief, at length

Was in the dust laid low.
He lay the heaps of dead beneath,

As sunk life's flickering flame,
And thought it was the trace of death,

That o'er his senses came.
And when again day's blessed light

Did on his vision fall,
There stood by his side,-a wondrous sight!

The ancient seneschal.
He strove, but could not utter word,

His misty senses fled;
Again he woke, and Moorham's lord

Was bending o'er his bed.
A third time sank he, as if dead,

And then, his eyelids raising,
He saw a chief with turban'd head,

Intently on him gazing.
“ The prophet's zealous servant I;

His battles I've fought and won ; Christians I scorn, their creeds deny,

But honour Mary's Son.
« And I have wedded an English dame,

And set her parent free ;
And none, who wears an English name,

Shall e'er be thrall’d by me.
« For her dear sake I can endure

All wrong, all hatred smother ; Whate'er I feel, thou art secure,

As though thou wert my brother."

“ And thou hast wedded an English dame !"

Sir Maurice said no more,
For o'er his heart soft weakness came,

He sigh'd and wept full sore.
And many a dreary day and night

With the Moslem chief stay'd he,
But ne'er could catch, to bless his sight,

One glimpse of the fair lady.
Oft gazed he on her lattice high

As he paced the court below,
And turn’d his listening ear to try

If word or accent low
Might haply reach him there; and oft

Traversed the garden green,
Wotting her footsteps small and soft

Might on the turf be seen.
And oft to Moorham's lord he gave

His listening ear, who told,
How he became a wretched slave

Within that Syrian hold;
What time from liegemen parted far,

Upon the battle field,
By stern and adverse fate of war

He was obliged to yield:
And how his daughter did by stealth

So boldly cross the sea
With secret store of gather'd wealth,

To set her father free:
And how into the foeman's hands

She and her people fell ;
And how (herself in captive bands)

She sought him in his cell;
And but a captive boy appear’d,

Till grief her sex betray'd,
And the fierce Saracen, so fear's !

Spoke gently to the maid:
How for her plighted hand sued he,

And solemn promise gave,
Her noble father should be free

With every Christian slave;
(For many there, in bondage kept,

Felt the stern rule of vice;)
How, long she ponder'd, sorely wept,

Then paid the fearful price.-
A tale which made his bosom thrill,

His faded eyes to weep;
He, waking, thought upon it still,

And saw it in his sleep.
But harness rings, and the trumpet's bray

Again to battle calls;
And Christian powers, in grand array,

Are near those Moslem walls.
Sir Maurice heard; un toward fate!

Sad to be thought upon :
But the castle's lord unlock'd its gate,

And bade his guest be gone.
“ Fight thou for faith by thee adored

By thee so well maintain'd!
But never may this trusty sword
With blood of thine be stain'd!"


Sir Maurice took him by the hand,

“God bless thee, too,”-he cried ; Then to the nearest Christian band

With mingled feelings hied.
The battle join'd, with dauntless pride

'Gainst foemen, foemen stood; And soon the fatal field was dyed

With many a brave man's blood.
At length gave way the Moslem force;

Their valiant chief was slain;
Maurice protected his lifeless corse,

And bore it from the plain.
There's mourning in the Moslem halls,

A dull and dismal sound :
The lady left its 'leaguer'd walls,

And safe protection found.
When months were past, the widow'd dame

Look'd calm and cheerfully ;
Then Maurice to her presence came,

And bent him on his knee.
What words of penitence or suit

He utter'd, pass we by ;
The lady wept, awhile was mute,

Then gave this firm reply:
“ That thou didst doubt my maiden pride

(A thought that rose and vanish'd So fleetingly) I will not chide ;

'Tis from remembrance banish'd.
“But thy fair fame, earn’d by thy sword,

Still spotless shall it be :
I was the bride of a Moslem lord,

And will never be bride to thee.”
So firm, though gentle, was her look,

Hope i' the instant fied:
A solemn, dear farewell he took,

And from her presence sped.
And she a plighted nun hecame,

God serving day and night; And he of blest Jerusalem

A brave and zealous knight.
But that their lot was one of wo,

Wot ye, because of this
Their seperate single state? if so,

In sooth ye judge amiss.
She tends the helpless stranger's bed,

For alms her wealth is stored ;
On her meek worth God's grace is shed,

Man's grateful blessings pour’d.
He still in warlike mail doth stalk,

In arms his prowess prove; And oft of siege or battle talk,

And sometimes of his love.
She was the fairest of the fair,

The gentlest of the kind;
Search ye the wide world everywhere,

Her like ye shall not find.
She was the fairest, is the best,

Too good for a monarch's bride'; I would not give her in her nun's coif dress'd

For all her sex beside.

ADDRESS TO A STEAM-VESSEL. FREIGHTED with passengers of every sort, A motley throng, thou leavest the busy port. Thy long and ample deck, where scatter'd lie Baskets, and cloaks, and shawls of scarlet dye; Where dogs and children through the crowd are

straying, And, on his bench apart, the fiddler playing, While matron dames to tressellid seats repair, Seems, on the gleamy waves a floating fair. Its dark form on the sky's pale azure cast, Towers from this clustering group thy pillar'd mast. The dense smoke issuing from its narrow vent Is to the air in curly volumes sent, Which, coiling and uncoiling on the wind, Trails like a writhing serpent far behind. Beneath, as each merged wheel its motion plies, On either side the white-churn'd waters rise, And, newly parted from the noisy fray, Track with light ridgy foam thy recent way, Then far diverged, in many a welted line Of lustre, on the distant surface shine.

Thou hold'st thy course in independent pride; No leave ask'st thou of either wind or tide. To whate'er point the breeze, inconstant, veer, Still doth thy careless helmsman onward steer; As if the stroke of some magician's wand Had lent thee power the ocean to command. What is this power which thus within thee lurks, And, all unseen, like a mask'd giant works? E’en that which gentle dames, at morning's tea, From silver urn ascending, daily see With tressy wreathings playing in the air, Like the loosed ringlets of a lady's hair ; Or rising from th' enamellid cup beneath, With the soft fragrance of an infant's breath: That which within the peasant's humble cot Comes from th’uncover'd mouth of savoury pot, As his kind mate prepares his noonday fare, Which cur, and cat, and rosy urchins share: That which, all silver'd with the moon's pale beann, Precedes the mighty Geyser's upcast stream, What time, with bellowing din exploded forth, It decks the midnight of the frozen north, Whilst travellers from their skin-spread couches

rise To gaze upon the sight with wondering eyes.

Thou hast to those “ in populous city pent," Glimpses of wild and beauteous nature lent; A bright remembrance ne'er to be destroy'd, Which proves to them a treasure, long enjoy'd, And for this scope to beings erst confined, I fain would hail thee with a grateful mind. They who had naught of verdant freshness seen But suburb orchards choked with colworts green Now, seated at their ease may glide along, Lochlomond's fair and fairy isles among; Where bushy promontories fondly peep At their own beauty in the nether deep, O’er drooping birch and berried row'n that lave Their vagrant branches in the glassy wave; They, who on higher objects scarce have counted Than church's spire with gilded vane surmounted, May view, within their near, distinctive ken, The rocky summits of the lofty Ben ;

[ocr errors][merged small]

Or see his purpled shoulders darkly lower

To whose free robes the graceful right is given Through the din drapery of a summer shower. To play and dally with the winds of heaven. Where, spread in broad and fair expanse, the Beholding thee, the great of other days Clyde

And modern men with all their alter'd ways, Mingles his waters with the briny tide,

Across my mind with hasty transit gleam, Along the lesser Cumra's rocky shore,

Like fleeting shadows of a feverish dream:
With moss and crusted lichens flecker'd o'er, Fitful I gaze with adverse humours teased,
E’en he, who hath but warr'd with thieving cat, Half sad, half proud, half angry, and half pleased.
Or from his cupboard chased a hungry rat,
The city cobbler,-scares the wild seamew
In its mid-fight with loud and shrill halloo ;
Or valiantly with fearful threatening shakes

His lank and greasy head at Kittywakes,*
The eyes that hath no fairer outline seen

GIFTED of Heaven ! who hast, in days gone by, Than chimney'd walls with slated roofs between,

Moved every heart, delighted every eye, Which hard and harshly edge the smoky sky,

While age and youth, of high and low degree, May Aron's softly-vision'd peaks descry,

In sympathy were join'd, beholding thee, Cooping with graceful state her steepy sides,

As in the drama's ever changing scene O’er which the cloud's broad shadow swiftly glides, Thou heldst thy splendid state, our tragic queen! And interlacing slopes that gently merge

No barriers there thy fair domain confined, Into the pearly mist of ocean's verge.

Thy sovereign sway was o'er the human mind; Eyes which admired that work of sordid skill, And, in the triumph of that witching hour, The storied structure of a cotton mill,

Thy lofty bearing well became thy power. May, wondering, now behold the unnumber'd host Th' impassion'd changes of thy beauteous face, Of marshall’d pillars on fair Ireland's coast,

Thy stately form and high imperial grace ; Phalanx on phalanx ranged with sidelong bend,

Thine arms impetuous tost, thy robe's wide flow, Or broken ranks that to the main descend,

And the dark tempest gather'd on thy brow, Like Pharaoh's army, on the Red Sea shore,

What time thy flashing eye and lip of scorn Which deep and deeper went to risc no more.

Down to the dust thy mimic foes have borne ; Yet ne'ertheless, whate'er we owe to thee,

Remorseful musings, sunk to deep dejection, Rover at will on river, lake, and sea,

The fix'd and yearning looks of strong affection ; As profit's bait or pleasure's lure engage,

The action'd turmoil of a bosom rending, Thou offspring of that philosophic sage,

When pity, love, and honour are contending :Watt, who in heraldry of science ranks,

Who have beheld all this, right well I ween! With those to whom men owe high meed of thanks, A lovely, grand, and wondrous sight have seen. And shall not be forgotten, e'en when fame

Thy varied accents, rapid, fitful, slow, Graves on her annals Davy's splendid name!

Loud rage, and fear's snatch'd whisper, quick and Dearer to fancy, to the eye more fair,

low, Are the light skiffs, that to the breezy air

The burst of stifled love, the wail of grief, Unfurl their swelling sails of snowy hue

And tones of high command, full, solemn, brief; Upon the moving lap of ocean blue:

The change of voice and emphasis that threw As the proud swan on summer lake displays, Light on obscurity, and brought to view With plumage brightening in the morning rays,

Distinctions nice, when grave or comic mood, Her fair pavilion of erected wings,

Or mingled humours, terse and new, elude They change, and veer, and turn like living things. Common perception, as earth's smallest things So fairly rigg'd, with shrouding, sails and mast,

To size and form the vesting hoarfrost brings, To brave with manly skill the winter blast

Which seem'd as if some secret voice, to clear Of every clime,-in vessels rigg'd like these

The ravelld meaning, whisper'd in thine ear, Did great Columbus cross the western seas,

And thou had'st even with him communion kept, And to the stinted thoughts of man reveal'd

Who hath so long in Stratford's chancel slopt, i What yet the course of ages had conceal'd.

Whose lines, where Nature's brightest traces shine, In such as these, on high adventure bent

Alone were worthy deem'd of powers like thine ; Round the vast world Magellan's comrades went.

They, who have heard all this, have proved full

To such as these are hardy seamen found
As with the ties of kindred feeling bound,

Of soul-exciting sound the mightiest spell.
Boasting, as cans of cheering grog they sip,

But though time's lengthen'd shadows o'er thee
The varied fortunes of " our gallant ship.”

The offspring these of bold sagacious man

And pomp of regal state is cast aside,
Ere yet the reign of letter'd lore began.

Think not the glory of thy course is spent;
In very truth, compared to these thou art There's moonlight radiance to thy evening lent,
A daily labourer, a mechanic swart,

Which from the mental world can never fade,
In working weeds array'd of homely gray,

Till all who've seen thee in the grave are laid. Opposed to gentle nymph or lady gay,

Thy graceful form still moves in nightly dreams,

And what thou wert to the wrapt sleeper seems : • The common or vulgar name of a water-bird frequent. While feverish fancy oft doth fondly trace ing that coast.

Within her curtain'd couch thy wondrous face.

Yea ;

and to many a wight, bereft and lone, Yet, ne'ertheless, in strong array,
In musing hours, though all to thee unknown, Prepare ye for a well-fought day.
Soothing his earthly course of good and ill, Let banners wave, and trumpets sound,
With all thy potent charm thou actest still. And closing cohorts darken round,

And now in crowded room or rich saloon, And the fierce onset raise its mingled roar,
Thy stately presence recognised, how soon New sound on England's shore !
The glance of many an eye is on thee cast,

Freemen, children of the free,
In grateful memory of pleasures past!

Are brave alike on land or sea ;* Pleased to behold thee with becoming grace

And every rood of British ground, Take, as befits thee well, an honour'd place

On which a hostile glave is found, (Where, blest by many a heart, long mayst thou Proves under their firm tread and vigorous stroke, stand)

A deck of royal oak. Amongst the virtuous matrons of the land.

A VOLUNTEER SONG. YE, who Britain's soldiers be, Freemen, children of the free, Who freely come at danger's call From shop and palace, cot and hall, And brace ye bravely up in warlike geer For all that ye bold dear! Blest in your hands be sword and spear ! There is no banded Briton here On whom some fond mate hath not smiled, Or hung in love some lisping child ; Or aged parent, grasping his last stay With locks of honour'd gray. Such men behold with steady pride The threaten'd tempest gathering wide, And list, with onward forms inclined, To sound of foemen on the wind, And bravely act, mid the wild battle's roar, In scenes untried before. Let veterans boast, as well they may, Nerves steel'd in many a bloody day; The generous heart, who takes his stand Upon his free and native land, Doth with the first sound of the hostile drum A fearless man become. Come then, ye hosts that madly pour From wave-toss'd floats upon our shore ! If fell or gentle, false or true, Let those inquire who wish to sue : Nor fiend nor hero from a foreign strand Shall lord it in our land. Come then, ye hosts that madly pour From wave-toss'd floats upon our shore ! An adverse wind or breezeless main, Lock'd in their ports our tars detain, To waste their wistful spirits, vainly keen, Else here ye had not been.

WHOSE imp art thou, with dimpled cheek,

And curly pate and merry eye,
And arm and shoulders round and sleek,

And soft and fair ? thou urchin sly!
What boots it who, with sweet caresses,

First call'd thee his, or squire or hind ?-
For thou in every wight that passes,

Dost now a friendly playmate find.
Thy downcast glances, grave, but cunning,

As fringed eyelids rise and fall,
Thy shyness, swiftly from me running,

'Tis infantine coquetry all!
But far afield thou hast not flown,

With mocks and threats half lisp'd, half spoken, I feel thee pulling at my gown,

Of right goodwill thy simple token. And thou must laugh and wrestle too,

A mimic warfare with me waging, To make, as wily lovers do,

Thy after kindness more engaging. The wilding rose, sweet as thyself,

And new-cropt daisies are thy treasure : I'd gladly part with worldly pelf,

To taste again thy youthful pleasure. But yet for all thy merry look,

Thy frisks and wiles, the time is coming, When thou shalt sit in cheerless nook,

The weary spell or horn-book thumbing. Well; let it be! through weal and wo,

Thou know'st not now thy future range ; Life is a motley, shifting show,

And thou a thing of hope and change.

* It was then frequently said, that our seamen excelled our soldiers.

« ForrigeFortsett »