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Bellind a wide column half breathless with fear
That instant the moon o'er a dark cloud shone clear,
And she saw in the moonlight two ruffians appear, And between them a corpse did they bear.
Then Mary could feel her heart-blood curdle cold! Again the rough wind hurried by,
It blew off the hat of the one, and behold
Even close to the feet of poor Mary it roll'd,—
« Curse the hat!» he exclaims; a nay, come on till we hide The dead body,” his comrade replies. She beholds them in safety pass on by her side, She seizes the hat, fear her courage supplied, And fast through the Abbey she flies.
She ran with wild speed, she rush'd in at the door,
Ere yet her pale lips could the story impart,
Her eyes from that object convulsively start,
For—what a cold horror then thrill'd through her heart When the name of her Richard slue knew
Where the old Abbey stands, on the common hard by,
• In Finland there is a Castle which is called the New Rock, moated about with a river of unsounded depth, the water black, and the fish thereia very distasteful to the palate. In this are spectres often seen, which foreshow either the death of the Governor, or of some prime officer belonging to the place; and most commonly it appeareth in the shape of a harper, sweetly singing’and dailying and playing under the water."
• It is reported of one Donica, that after she was dead, the Devil walked in her body for the space of two years, so that none suspected but she was still alive: for she did both speak and eat, though very sparingly; only she had a deep paleness on her countenance, which was the only sign of death. At length a Magician coming by where she was then in the company of many other virgins, as soon as he beheld her he said, ‘Fair Maids, why keep you company with this dead Virgin, whom you suppose to be alive?'—when, taking away the magic charm which was tied under her arm, the body fell down lifeless and without motion.
The following Ballad is founded on these stories. They are to ,e found in the notes to The Ilierarchies of the Blessed Angels, a Poem by Thomas Heywood, printed in folio by Adam Islip, 1635.
High on a rock whose castled shade
In ancient strength majestic stood
The fisher in the lake below
Nor ever swallow in its waves
The cattle from its ominous banks
Though parch'd with thirst, and faint beneath
For sometimes when no passing breeze The long lank sedges waved,
All white with foam and heaving high Its deafening billows raved;
And when the tempest from its base The rooted pine would shake,
The powerless storm unruffling swept Across the calm dead lake.
And ever then when death drew near
Its dark unfathom'd waters sent
The Lord of Arlinkow was old, One only child had he,
Donica was the Maiden's name, As fair as fair might be.
A bloom as bright as opening morn
The music of her voice was mild,
Far was her beauty known, for none So fair could Finland boast;
Her parents loved the Maiden much, Young Ebenhard loved her most.
Together did they hope to tread
For now the day drew near to make
The eve was fair and mild the air, Along the lake they stray;
The eastern hill reflected bright The tints of fading day.
And brightly o'er the water stream'd
Donica's little dog ran on
Youth, health, and love bloom'd on her cheek;
In many a glance to Eberhard
Nor sound was heard, nor passing gale
The air was hush'd, no little wave
Sudden the unfathom'd lake sent forth
And slowly oer the waters sail'd
As those deep sounds of death arose,
And in the arms of Eberhard
Loudly the Youth in terror shriek'd,
And with a wild and eager look
But soon again did better thoughts In Eberhard arise,
And he with trembling hope beheld The Maiden raise her eyes.
And on his arm reclined she moved
And soon with strength recover'd reach'd
Yet never to Donica's cheek
Her cheeks were deathy white and wan,
Her eyes so bright and black of yore Were now more black and bright,
And beam'd strange lustre in her face So deadly wan and white.
The dog that gambold by her side, And loved with her to stray,
Now at his alter'd mistress howl'd, And fled in fear away.
Yet did the faithful Eberhard
He gazed with sorrow, but he gazed
And when he found her health unharm'd
But pressed the not unwilling Maid
And when at length it came, with joy
And onward to the house of God
But when they at the altar stood, And heard the sacred rite,
The hallow'd tapers dimly stream'd A pale sulphureous light.
And when the Youth with holy warmth
Sudden he felt Donica's hand
And loudly did he shriek, for lo! A Spirit met his view,
And Eberhard in the angel form His own Donica knew.
That instant from her earthly frame
- Divers Princes and Noblemen being assembled in a beautiful and fair Palace, which was situate upon the river Rhine, they beheld a boat or small barge make toward the shore, drawn by a Swan in a silver chain, the one end fastened about her neck, the other to the vessel; and in it an unknown soldier, a man of a comely personage and graceful presence, who stept upon the shore; which done, the boat guided by the Swan left him, and floated down the river. This man fell afterward in league with a fair gentlewoman, married her and by her had many children. After some years, the same Swan came with the same barge unto the same place;—the soldier entering into it, was carried thence the way he came, left wife, children and family, and was never seen amongst them after."
- Now who can judge this to be other than one of those spirits that are named Incubi - says Thomas Heywood. I have adopted his story, but not his solution, making the unknown soldier not an evil spirit, but one who had purchased happiness of a malevolent being, by the promised sacrifice of his first-born child.
Baight on the mountain's heathy slope
And rich with many a radiant hue,
And many a one from Waldhurst's walls
As ruffling o'er the pleasant stream
So as they stray'd a swan they saw
And by a silver chain he drew
‘Whose streamer to the gentle breeze Long floating fluttered light, Beneath whose crimson canopy There lay reclined a knight.
With arching crest and swelling breast
And lightly up the parting tide
And onward to the shore they drew,
The little boat adown the stream
Was never a knight in Waldhurst's walls
Was never a youth at aughtesteem'd
Was never a maid in Waldhurst's walls Might match with Margaret;
Her cheek was fair, her eyes were dark, Her silken locks like jet.
And many a rich and noble youth Had strove to win the fair;
But never a rich and noble youth Could rival Rudiger.