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"Holy or not, or right or wrong, Thy altar, and its rites, I spurn;Not sainted martyrs' sacred song, Not God himself, shall make me turn!"
He spurs his horse, he winds his horn,
But off, on whirlwind's pinions borne,
And horse and man, and horn and hound,
For hoofs, and howls, and bugle sound,
Wild gazed the affrighted Earl around;
He strove in vain to wake his horn, In vain to call: for not a sound
Could from his anxious lips be borne.
He listens for his trusty hounds;
No distant baying reach'd his ears: His courser, rooted to the ground,
The quickening spur unmindful bears.
Still dark and darker frown the shades,
- Dark as the darkness of the grave;And not a sound the still invades, Save what a distant torrent gave.
High o'er the sinner's humbled head
And, from a cloud of swarthy red,
"Oppressor of creation fair! f
Apostate Spirits' harden'd tool!Scorner of God! Scourge of the poor!The measure of thy cup is full.
"Be chased for ever through the wood;
For ever roam the affrighted wild; And let thy fate instruct the proud, (
God's meanest creature is his child."
'Twas hush'd: One flash, of sombre glare, With yellow tinged the forests brown;
Up rose the Wildgrave's bristling hair, And horror chill'd each nerve and bone.
Cold pour'd the sweat in freezing rill;
A rising wind began to sing; And louder, louder, louder still,
Brought storm and tempest on its wing.
Earth heard the call;—Her entrails rend;From yawning rifts, with many a yell, Mix'd with sulphureous flames, ascend The misbegotten dogs of hell.
What ghastly Huntsman next arose,
His eye like midnight lightning glows, His steed the swarthy hue of hell.
The Wildgrave flies o'er bush and thorn,
Behind him hound, and horse, and horn,
With wild despair's reverted eye,
Close, close behind, he marks the throng,
With bloody fangs, and eager cry;
Still, still shall last the dreadful chase,
By day, they scour earth's cavern'd space,
This is the horn, and hound, and horse,
Appall'd he signs the frequent cross,
The wakeful priest oft drops a tear
When, at his midnight mass, he hears
THE FIRE KING.
"The blessings of the evil Genii, which are curses, were upon him." Eastern Tale.
This ballad was written at the request of Mr. Lewis, to be inserted in his " Tales of Wonder."! It is the thirdin a series of four ballads, on the subject of Elementary Spirits. The story is, however,partly historical; for it is recorded, that, during the struggles of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, a Knight-Templar, called Saint-Alban, deserted to the Saracens, and defeated the Christians in many combats, till he was finally routed and slain in a conflict with King Baldwin, under the walls of Jerusalem.
Bold knights and fair dames, to my harp give an ear,
O see you that castle, so strong and so high? And see you that lady, the tear in her eye"
i Published in 1801.
And see you that palmer, from Palestine's land,
"Now palmer, grey palmer, O tell unto me,
"O well goes the warfare by Galilee's wave,
A fair chain of gold 'mid her ringlets there hung;
"And, palmer, good palmer, by Galilee's wave,
"O lady, fair lady, the tree green it grows;