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Tnls is a translation, or rather an imitation, of the Wz'lde Jager of the German poet Biirger. The tradition upon which it is founded bears, that formerly a Wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest, named Falkcnburg. was so much addicted to the pleasures of the chase, and otherwise so extremely prolligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unhallowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other days consecrated to religious duty, but accompanied it with the most unheard-of oppression upon the poor pezrsztnts who were under his vassalage. When this second Nimrod died, the people adopted a superstition, founded probably on the many various uncouth sounds heard in the depth of a German forest, during the silence of the night. They conceived they still heard the cry of the \Vildgrave's hounds; and the well-known cheer of the deceased hunter, the sound of his horse's feet, and the rustling of the branches before the game, the pack, and the sportsmen, are also distinctly discriminated; but the phantoms are rarely, if ever, visible. Once, as a benighted chasseur heard this infernal chase pass by him, at the sound of the halloo, with which the spectre Huntsman cheered his hounds, he could not refrain from crying, << Glue‘/r zu, Falkenburg !» (Good sport to ye, Falltenburg!)— it Dost thou wish me good sport?» answered a hoarse voice; a thou shalt share the gamepw and there was thrown at him what seemed to be a huge piece of foul carrion. The daring chasseu-r lost two of his best horses soon after, and never perfectly recovered the personal effects of this ghostly greeting. This talc, though told with some variations, is universally believed all over Germany.
The French had a similar tradition concerning an aerial hunter, who infested the forest of Fontainebleau. He was sometimes visible; when he appeared as a huntsman, surrounded wi ll dogs *1 "Ill grisly figure
Some account of him may be found in u Sully's illemoirs,» who says he was called Le Grand Veneur. At one time he chose to hunt so near the palace, that the attendants, and, if [mistake not, Sully himself, came out into the court, supposing it was the sound of the king returning from the chase. This phantom is elsewhere called Saint lluhert. '
The superstition seems to have been very general, as appears from the following fine poetical description of this phantom chase, as it was heard in the wilds of Rossshire.
Ere ninm, of old, the haughty thnnos of Ron,-
Werc wont with clan, and ready vassall throng‘d,
There oft is heard. at midnight, or at noon,
And nearer, voice of hunters, and ofhonndi,
Of hot pursuit; the broken cry of deer
lllnngled by throttling dogs; the shouts of men,
Starts at the noise, and both the herdnnnn'l earn
The mountain’: height, and all the ridges round,
Nor knows, o‘ernwed, and trembling an he stands,
To ghost, to witch, to fuiry, or to fiend;
But wonders, and no end,of wondering finds.