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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!”
These latter words right eagerly
From a slender stripling broke, And folds his arms, and goes to rest.
Who stood the ancient warrior by,
And trembled as he spoke.
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.
In all her gallant pride,
That rippled far and wide.
O'er wave and surge careering;
Her wings the sea-foam sheering. Sometimes, with poles and rigging bare,
She scudded before the blast;
Her anchor dropt at last.
Join'd with the brave and great,
I may not here relate.
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,
To hear their leader named.
And dim the loftiest brow;
Was in the dust laid low.
As sunk life's flickering flame,
That o'er his senses came.
Did on his vision fall,
The ancient seneschal.
His misty senses fled;
Was bending o'er his bed.
And then, his eyelids raising,
Intently on him gazing.
His battles I've fought and won ; Christians I scorn, their creeds deny,
But honour Mary's Son.
And set her parent free ;
Shall e'er be thrall’d by me.
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,
He sigh'd and wept full sore.
With the Moslem chief stay'd he,
One glimpse of the fair lady.
As he paced the court below,
If word or accent low
Traversed the garden green,
Might on the turf be seen.
His listening ear, who told,
Within that Syrian hold;
Upon the battle field,
He was obliged to yield:
So boldly cross the sea
To set her father free:
She and her people fell ;
She sought him in his cell;
Till grief her sex betray'd,
Spoke gently to the maid:
And solemn promise gave,
With every Christian slave;
Felt the stern rule of vice;)
Then paid the fearful price.-
His faded eyes to weep;
And saw it in his sleep.
Again to battle calls;
Are near those Moslem walls.
Sad to be thought upon :
And bade his guest be gone.
By thee so well maintain'd!
Sir Maurice took him by the hand,
“God bless thee, too,”-he cried ; Then to the nearest Christian band
With mingled feelings hied.
'Gainst foemen, foemen stood; And soon the fatal field was dyed
With many a brave man's blood.
Their valiant chief was slain;
And bore it from the plain.
A dull and dismal sound :
And safe protection found.
Look'd calm and cheerfully ;
And bent him on his knee.
He utter'd, pass we by ;
Then gave this firm reply:
(A thought that rose and vanish'd So fleetingly) I will not chide ;
'Tis from remembrance banish'd.
Still spotless shall it be :
And will never be bride to thee.”
Hope i' the instant fied:
And from her presence sped.
God serving day and night; And he of blest Jerusalem
A brave and zealous knight.
Wot ye, because of this
In sooth ye judge amiss.
For alms her wealth is stored ;
Man's grateful blessings pour’d.
In arms his prowess prove; And oft of siege or battle talk,
And sometimes of his love.
The gentlest of the kind;
Her like ye shall not find.
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 ;
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:
TO MRS. SIDDONS.
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
Of soul-exciting sound the mightiest spell.
But though time's lengthen'd shadows o'er thee
And pomp of regal state is cast aside,
Think not the glory of thy course is spent;
Which from the mental world can never fade,
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.
and to many a wight, bereft and lone, Yet, ne'ertheless, in strong array,
And now in crowded room or rich saloon, And the fierce onset raise its mingled roar,
Freemen, children of the free,
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.
TO A CHILD.
And curly pate and merry eye,
And soft and fair ? thou urchin sly!
First call'd thee his, or squire or hind ?-
Dost now a friendly playmate find.
As fringed eyelids rise and fall,
'Tis infantine coquetry all!
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.