De Vauban step.stion gave

Ere son khe hillsley spand ble borne

De Vaux, within his mountain cave,

With battled walls and buttress fast, (No human step the storm durst brave.)

And barbican* and balliumt vast, To moody meditation gave

And airy flanking towers that cast, Each faculty of soul,

Their shadows on the stream. Tin, lalled by distant torrent sound,

* Tis no deceit! distinctly clear And the sad winds that whistled round,

Crenellt and parapet appear, Upon his thoughts, in musing drowned,

While o'er the pile that meteor drear A broken slumber stole.

Makes momentary pause

Then forth its solemn path it drew,

And fainter yet and fainter grew
Twas then was heard a heavy sound,

Those gloomy towers upon the view, (Sound, strange and fearful there to hear,

As its wild light withdraws. Mongst desert hills, where, leagues around,

Dwelt but the gorcock and the deer:) As starting from his couch of fern,

Forth from the cave did Roland rush, Again he heard, in clangour stern,

O'er crag and stream, through brier and bush; That deep and solemn swell;

Yet far he had not sped, Twelve times, in measured tone, it spoke,

Ere sunk was that portentous light Like some proud minister's pealing clock,

Behind the hills, and utter night
Or city's 'larum-bell.

Was on the valley spread.
What thought was Ronald's, first when fell. He paused perforce, and blew his horn.
In that deep wilderness, the knell

And on the mountain-echoes borne
Upon his startled ear?-

Was heard an answering sound, To slander warrior were I loth,

A wild and lonely trumpet-note, Yet must I hold my minstrel troth,

In middle air it seemed to float It was a thought of fear.

High o'er the battled mound;

And sounds were heard, as when a guard VII.

Of some proud castle, holding ward,

Pace forth their nightly round. Bat lively was the mingled thrill

The valiant Knight of Triermain That chased that momentary chill,

Rung forth his challenge-blast again, For Love's keen wish was there,

But answer came there none;
And eager Hope, and Valour high,

And 'mid the mingled wind and rain,
And the prond glow of Chivalry,
That burned to do and dare.

Darkling he sought the vale in vain,
Forth from the cave the Warrior rushed,

Until the dawning shone :

And when it dawned, that wondrous sight, Long ere the mountain-voice was hushed,

Distinctly seen by meteor light,
That answered to the knell;
For long and far the unwonted sound,

It all had passed away !

And that enchanted mound once more
Eddying in echoes round and round,

A pile of granite fragments bore,
Was tossed from fell to fell;
And Glaramara answer flung,

As at the close of day.
And Grisdale-pike responsive rung,

XI. And Legbert heights their echoes swung,

Steeled for the deed, De Vaux's heart As far as Derwent's dell.

Scorned from his venturons quest to part,

He walks the vale once more;

But only sees, by night or day,
Forth apon trackless darkness gazed,

That shattered pile of rocks so gray, The Knight, bedeafened and amazed,

Hears but the torrent's roar. Till all was hushed and still,

Till when, through hills of azure borne, Save the swollen torrent's sullen roar,

The moon renewed her silver horn, And the night-blast that wildly bore

Just at the time her waning ray Its course along the hill,

Had faded in the dawning day, Then on the northern sky there came

A summer mist arose : A light, as of reflected flame,

Adown the vale the vapours float, And over Legbert head,

And cloudy undulations moat As if by magic art controlled,

That tufted mound of mystic note, A mighty Meteor slowly rolled

As ronnd its base they close. Its orb of fiery red;

And higher now the fleecy tide Thou wouldst have thought some demon dire Ascends its stern and shaggy side, Came mounted on that car of fire,

Until the airy billows hide To do his errand dread.

The rock's majestic isle: Far on the sloping valley's course,

It seemed å veil of Almy lawn, On thicket, rock, and torrent hoarse.

By some fantastic fairy drawn
Shingle and Scrae,* and Fell and Force,t

Around enchanted pile.
A dusky light arose :
Displayed, yet altered, was the scene,

Dark rock, and brook of silver sheen,

The breeze came softly down the brook. Even the gay thicket's summer green,

And sighing as it blew, In bloody tincture glows.

The veil of silver mist it shook,

And to De Vaux's eager look

Renewed that wondrous view.
De Vaux had marked the sunbeams set,

For, though the loitering vapour braved At eve, upon the coronet

The gentle breeze, yet oft it waved Of that enchanted mound,

Its mantle's dewy fold; And seen but crags at random flung,

And still, when shook that filmy scroen, That, o'er the brawling torrent hung,

Were towers and bastions dimly seen, In desolation frowned.

And Gothic battlements between
What sees he by that meteor's lour?-

Their gloomy length unrolled.
A bannered Castle, Keep, and Tower,
Return the lurid gleam:

* The outer defence of the Castle gate.

+ Fortified court. * Bank of loose stones. + Waterfall. I Apertures for shooting arrows.

ale nations Joseze

Onche Balbt and thererss course

Speed, speed, De Vaux, ere on thine eye

Warrior, who hast waited long, Once more the fleeting vision die !

Firm of soul, of sinew strong, The gallant Knight can speed

It is given to thee to gaze As prompt and light as, when the hound

On the pile of ancient days. Is opening, and the horn is wound,

Never mortal builder's hand Careers the hunter's steed.

This enduring fabric pianned ; Down the steep dell his course amain

Sign and sigil, word of power, Hath rivalled archer's shaft;

From the earth raised keep and tower, But ere the mound he could attain,

View it o'er, and pace it round, The rocks their shapeless form regain,

Rampart, turret, battle mound; And mocking loud his labour vain,

Dare no more! to cross the gate The mountain spirits laughed ;

Were to tamper with thy fate; Far up the echoing dell was borne

Strength and fortitude were vain,
Their wild unearthly shout of scorn.

View it o'er-and turn again."

Wroth waxed the Warrior.-"Am I then

That would I," said the Warrior bold, Fooled by the enemies of men,

"If that my frame were bent and old, Like a poor hind, whose homeward way

And my thin blood dropped slow and cold Is haunted by malicious fay?

As icicle in thaw; Is Triermain become your taunt,

But while my heart can feel it dance, De Vaux your scorn? False fiends, avaunt!" Blithe as the sparkling wine of France, A weighty curtal-axe he bare !

And this good arm wields sword or lance, The baleful blade so bright and square,

I mock these words of awe!" And the tough shaft of heben wood,

Ile said; the wicket felt the sway Were oft in Scottish gore imbrued.

Of his strong hand, and straight gave way, Backward his stately form he drew,

And, with rude crash and jarring bray, And at the rocks the weapon threw,

The rusty bolts withdraw; Just where one crag's projected crest

But o'er the threshold as he strode, Hung proudly balanced o'er the rest.

And forward took the vaulted road, Hurled with main force, the weapon's shock An unseen arm, with force amain, Rent a huge fragment of the rock.

The ponderous gate flung close again, If by mere strength 'twere hard to tell,

And rusted bolt and bar Or it the blow dissolved some spell,

Spontaneous took their place once more, But down the headlong ruin came,

While the deep arch with sudden roar With cloud of dust and flash of flame.

Returned their suriy jar. Down bank, o'er bush, its course was borne, “Now closed is the gin and the prey within, Crushed lay the copse, the earth was torn,

By the rood of Lanercost! Till, stayed at length, the ruin dread

But he that would win the war-wolf's skin, Cumbered the torrent's rocky bed,

May rue him of his boast."And bade the water's high-swoln tide

Thus muttering, on the Warrior went,
Seek other passage for its pride.

By dubious light down steep descent.

When ceased that thunder, Triermain

Unbarred, unlocked, unwatched, a port Surveyed the mound's rude front again;

Led to the Castle's outer court; And lo! the ruin had laid bare,

There the main fortress, broad and tall,
Hewn in the stone, a winding stair,

Spread its long range of bower and hall.
Whose mossed and fractured steps inight lend
The means the summit to ascend,

And towers of varied size,

Wrought with each ornament extreme,
And by whose aid the brave De Vaux

That Gothic art, in wildest dream
Began to scale these magic rocks,
And soon a platform won,

Of fancy, could devise.
Where, the wild witchery to close,

But full between the Warrior's way Within three lances' length arose

And the main portal arch, there lay The Castle of Saint John!

An inner mont; Yo misty phantom of the air.

Nor bridge nor boat No meteor-blazoned show was there;

Affords De Vaux the means to cross In morning splendour, full and fair,

The clear, profound, and silent fosse.

His arms aside in haste he flings,
The massive fortress shone.

Cuirass of steel and hauberk rings,

And down falls helm, and down the shield, Embattled high and proudly towered,

Rough with the dints of many a field. Shaded by ponderous flankers, lowered

Fair was his manly form, and fair The portal's gloomy way.

His keen dark eye, and close curled hair,

When,--all unarmed, save that the brand
Though for six hundred years and more,
Its strength had brooked the tempest's roar,

Of well-proved metal graced his hand,
The scutcheoned emblems that it bore

With nonght to fence his dauntless breast Had suffered no decay;

But the close gipon's* under-vest, But from the eastern batilement

Whose sullied biff the sable stains A turret had made sheer descent,

Of hauberk and of mail retains, And down in recent ruin rent,

Roland De Vaux upon the brim In the mid torrent lay.

Of the broad moat stood prompt to swim. Else, o'er the Castle's brow sublime,

Insnlts of violence or of time

Accoutred thus he dared the tide,
Unfelt had passed away.
In shapeless characters of yore,

And soon he reached the further side,
The gate this stern inscription bore:

And entered soon the Hold,

And paced a hall, whose walls so wide

Were blazoned all with feats of pride,

By warriors done of old.
“Patience waits the destined day,
Strength can clear the cumbered way

* A sort of doublet, worn beneath the armour.


nd by wscale thatform

to close

In middle lists they countere I here,

Ours the tempest's midnight wrack, While trumpets seemed to blow;

Pestilence that wastes by dayAnd there, in den or desert drear,

Dread the race Zaharak! They quelled gigantic foe,

Fear the spell of Dahomay!"
Braved the fierce griffon in his ire,

Or faced the dragon's breath of fire.
Strange in their arms, and strange in face,

Uncouth and strange the accents shrill
Heroes they seemed of ancient race,

Rung those vaulted roofs among, Whose deeds of arms, and race, and name,

Long it was ere, faint and still, Forgotten long by later fare,

Died the far-resounded song. Were here depicted to appal,

While yet the distant echoes roll, Those of an age degenerate,

The Warrior communed with his soul:Whose bold intrusion braved their fate

" When first I took this venturous quest, In this enchanted hall.

I swore upon the rood, For some short space, the venturous Knight

Neither to stop, nor turn, nor rest, With these high marvels fed his sight;

For evil or for good. Then sought the chamber's upper end,

My forward path too well I ween, Where three broad easy steps ascend

Lies yonder fearful ranks between : To an arched portal door,

For man unharmed, 'tis bootless hope In whose broad folding leaves of state

With tigers and with fiends to copeWas framed a wicket window-grate,

Yet, if I turn, what waits me there, And ere he ventured more,

Save famine dire and fell despair?The gallant Knight took earnest view

Other conclusion let me try,
The grated wicket-window through.

Since, choose howe'er I list, I die.
Forward, lies faith and knightly fame;

Behind, are perjury and shame.
Oh, for his arms; of martial weed

In life or death, I hold my word!"Had never mortal knight such need!

With that he drew his trusty sword, He spied a stately gallery; all

Caught down a banner from the wall,
Of snow-white marble was the wall,

And entered thus the fearful hall.
The vaulting, and the floor;
And, contrast strange! on either hand

There stood arrayed in sable band,

On high each wayward Maiden threw Four maids whom Afric bore;

Her swarthy arm, with wild halloo! And each a Lybian tiger led,

On either side a tiger sprungHeld by as bright and frail a thread

Against the leftward foe he flung,
As Lucy's golden hair,

The ready banner, to engage
For the leash that bound these monsters dread With tangling folds the brutal rage;
Was but of gossamer.

The right-hand monster in mid air
Each Maiden's short barbaric vest

He struck so fiercely and so fair, Veft all unclosed the knee and breast,

Through gullet and through spinal bone And limbs of shapely jet;

The trenchant blade had sheerly gone. White was their vest and turban's fold,

His grisly brethren ramped and yelled, On arms and ankles rings of gold

But the slight leash their rage withheld, In savage pomp were set,

Whilst, 'twist their ranks, the dangerous road A quiver on their shoulders lay,

Firmly, though swift, the champion strode. And in their hand an assagay.

Safe to the gallery's bound he drew, Such and so silent stood they there,

Safe passed an open portal through;
That Roland well-nigh hoped

And when 'gainst followers he fiung
He saw a band of statues rare,
Stationed the gazer's soul to scare;

Onward his daring course he bore,
But, when the wicket oped,

While, mixed with dying growl and roar, Each grisly beast 'gan upward draw,

Wild jubilee and lend hurra
Rolled his grim eye, and spread his claw,

Pursued him on his venturous way.
Scented the air, and licked his jaw;
While these weird Maids, in Moorish tongue,

A wild and dismal warning sung:-

“Hurra, hurra! Our watch is done!

We hail once more the tropic sun.

Pallid beams of northern day, “Rash Adventurer, bear thee back!

Farewell, farewell! Hurra, hurra!
Dread the spell of Dahomay!
Fear the race of Zaharak,

* Five hundred years o'er this cold glen Danghters of the burning day!

Hath the pale sun come round agen; " When the whirlwind's gusts are wheeling,

Foot of man, till now, hath ne'er Ours it is the dance to braid;

Dared to cross the Hall of Fear. Zarah's sands in pillars reeling,

" Warrior! thon, whose dauntless heart Join the measures that we tread;

Gives us from our ward to part, When the Moon has donned her cloak,

Be as strong in futrre trial,
And the stars are red to see,

Where resistance is denial.
Shrill when pipes the sad Siroc,
Music meet for such as we.

"Now for Afric's glowing sky, " Where the shattered columns lie,

Zaharak and Dahomay !
Showing Carthage once had been,

Mount the winds! Hurra, hurra!"-
If the wandering Santon's eye
Our mysterious rites has seen,-

xxy. Oft he cons the prayer of death,

The wizard song at distance died, To the nations preaches doom,

As if in ether borne astray, 'Azrael's brand hath left the sheath,

While through waste halls and chambers wide Moselms, think upon the tomb!'

The Knight pursued his steady way, 6. Ours the scorpion, ours the snake,

Till to a lofty dome he came Ours the hydra of the fen,

That flashed with such a brilliant flame, Ours the tiger of the brake,

As if the wealth of all the world All that plagues the sons of men.

Were there in rich confusion hurled.

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For here the gold, in sandy heaps,

Some frolic water-run; With duller earth incorporate sfeéps;

And soon he reached a court-yard square, Was there in ingots piled, and there

Where dancing in the sultry air, Coined badge of empery it bare;

Tossed high aloft, a fountain fair Yonder, huge bars of silver lay,

Was sparkling in the sun. Dimmed by the diamond's neighbouring rây, On right and lelt, a fair arcade, Like the pale moon in morning day;

In long perspective view displayed, And in the midst four Maidens stand,

Alleys and bowers, for sun or shade; The daughters of some distant land.

But, full in front, a door, Their hue was of the dark-red dye,

Low-browed and dark, seemed as it led That fringes oft a thunder sky;

To the lone dwelling of the dead,
Their hands palinetto baskets bare,

Whose memory was no more.
And cotton fillets bound their hair;
Slim was their form, their mien was shy,

To earth they bent the humbled eye,
Folded their arms, and suppliant kneeled,

Here stopped De Vaux an instant's space,
And thus their proffered gifts revealed.

To bathe his parched lips and face,

And marked with well-pleased eye,

Refracted on the fountain stream,

In rainbow hues the dazzling beam " See the treasures Merlin piled,

Of that gay summer sky.

His senses felt a mild control, Portion meet for Arthur's chiid.

Like that which lulls the weary soul, Bathe in wealth's unbounded stream,

From contemplation high
Wealth that Avarice ne'er could dream!"

Relaxing, when the ear receives

The music that the greenwood leaves “See these clots of virgin gold!

Make to the breezes' sigh.
Severed from the sparry mould,

Nature's mystic alchemy
In the mine thus bade them lie:

And oft, in such a dreamy mood,
And their orient smile can win

The half-shut eye can frame
Kings to stoop, and saints to sin."

Fair apparitions in the wood.

As if the nymphs of field and flood

In gay procession came. "See these pearls, that long have slept !

Are these of such fantastic mould, These were tears by Naiads wept

Seen distant down the fair arcade, For the loss of Marinel:

These Maids enlinked in sister-fold, Tritons in the silver shell

Who, late at bashful distance stayed, Treasured them, till hard and white

Now tripping from the greenwood shade, As the teeth of Amphitrite."

Nearer the musing champion draw,

And in a pause of seeming awe,

Again stand doubtful now? * Does a livelier hue delight?

Ah, that sly pause of witching powers! Here are rubies blazing bright,

That seems to say, "To please be ours, Here the emerald's fairy green,

Be yours to tell us how." And the topaz glows between;

Their hue was of the golden glow Here their varied hues unite,

That sons of Candahar bestow,
In the changeful chrysolite."-

O'er which in slight suffusion flows,

A frequent tinge of paly rose; .

Their limbs were fashioned fair and free, “Leave these gems of poorer shine,

In Nature's jnstest symmetry, Leave them all, and look on mine!

And, wreathed with While their glories I expand,

flowers, with odours

graced, Shade thine eyebrows with thy hand.

Their raven ringlets reached the waist;
Mid-day sun and diamond's blaze
Blind the rash beholder's gaze.''

In eastern pomp, its gilding pale

The hennah lent each shapely nail,

And the dark sumah gave the eye “ Warrior, seize the splendid store;

More liquid and more lustrous dye. Would 'twere all our mountains bore!

The spotless veil of misty lawn,

In studied disarrangement, drawn. We should ne'er in future story,

The form and bosom o'er,
Read, Peru, thy perished glory!"-

To win the eye-or tempt the touch,

For modesty showed all too much
Calmly and unconcerned the Knight

Too much-yet promised more. Waved aside the treasures bright: "Gentle Maidens, rise, I pray!

XXXI. Bar not thus my destined way.

“Gentle Knight, a while delay," Let these boasted brilliant toys

Thus they sung, “thy toilsome way, Braid the hair of girls and boys!

While we pay the duty due Bid your streams of gold expand

To our Master and to you. O'er proud London's thirsty land.

Over Avarice, over Fear, De Vaux of wealth saw never need,

Love triumphant led thee here; Save to purvey him arms and steed,

Warrior, list to us, for we
And all the ore he deigned to hoard

Are slaves to Love, are friends to thee.
Inlays his helm, and hilts his sword."
Thus gently parting from their hold,

"Though no treasured gems have we, He left uninoved, the dome of gold.

To proffer on the bended knee,

Though we boast nor arm nor heart

For the assagay or dart,
And now the morning sun was high,

Swains have given each simple De Vaux was weary, faint and dry;

a in a

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Ruby lip and teeth of pearl; When lo ! a plashing sound he hears,

Or, if dangers more you prize, A gladsome signal that he nears

Flatterers find them in our eyes. ..:

ore you briza .



* Stay, then, gentle Warrior, stay,

And next a welcome glimpse was given, Rest till evening steal on day :

That cheered him with the light of heaven. Stay, oh, stay!--in yonder bowers

At length his toil had won We will braid thy locks with flowers,

A lofty hall with trophies dressed, Spread the feast and fill the wine,

Where, as to greet imperial guest. Charm thy car with sounds divine.

Four maidens stood, whose crimson vest Weave our dances till delight

Was bound with golden zone. Yield to languor, day to night.

XXXV. "Then shall she you most approve

Of Europe seemed the damsels all; Sing the lays that best you love,

The first a nymph of lively Gaul, Soft thy mossy couch shall spread,

Whose easy step and laughing eye Watch thy pillow, prop thy head,

Her borrowed air of awe belie; Till the weary night be o'er

The next a maid of Spain, Gentle Warrior, wouldst thou more !-

Dark-eyed, dark-haired, sedate, yet bold; Wouldst thou more, fair Warrior,-she

While ivory skin and tress of gold,
Is slave to Love and slave to thee."

Her shy and bashful comrade told

For daughter of Almaine.
O do not hold it for a crime

These Maidens bore a royal robe, In the bold hero of my rhyme,

With crown, with sceptre, and with globe,
For stoic look,

Emblems of empery;
And meet rebuke,

The fourth, a space behind them stood, He lacked the heart or tiine!

And leant upon a harp, in mood

Of minstrel ecstasy.
As round the band of syrens trip,
He kissed ono damsel's laughing lip,

of merry England she, in dress, And pressed another's proffered hand,

Like ancient British Druidress; Spoke to them all in accents bland,

Her hair and azure fillet bound, But broke their magic circle through ;

Her graceful vesture swept the ground, " Kind Maids," said he, * adieu, adieu!

And, in her hand displayed, My fate, my fortune, forward lies."

A crown did that fourth Maiden hold, He said, and vanished from their eyes;

But unadorned with gems and gold, But, as he dared that dark some way,

Of glossy laurel made. Still heard behind their lovely lity :

XXXVI. "Fair Flower of Courtesy, depart ! Go, where the feelings of the heart

At once to brave De Vanx knelt down With the warm pulse in concord move;

These foremost Maidens three, Go, where Virtue sanctions love!"

And proffered sceptre, robe, and crown,

Liegedom and seignorie

O'er many a region wide and fair, Downward De Vanx through darksome ways Destined, they said, for Arthur's heir; And ruined vaults has gone,

But homage would be none: Till issue from their wildered maze,

“Rather," he said, “ De Vaux would ride, Or safe retreat seemed none,

A warden of the Border-side, And e'en the dismal path he strays

In plate and mail, than, robed in pride, . Grew worse as he went on.

A monarch's empire own: For cheerful sun, for living air,

Rather, far rather, would he be Foul vapours rise and mine-fires glare,

A free-born Knight of England free, Whose fearful light the dangers showed

That sit on Despot's throne." That dogged him on that dreadful road.

So passed he on, when that fourth Maid Deep pits, and lakes of waters dun,

As starting from a trance, They showed, bnt showed not how to shan. Upon the harp her fingers laid; These scenes of desolate despair,

Hér magic touch the chords obeyed,
These smothering clouds of poisoned air,

Their soul awaked at once!
How gladly had De Vaux exchanged,
Though 'twere to face yon tigers ranged!

Nay, soothful bards have said,
So perilous his state seemed now,

" Quake to your foundation deep, He wished him under arbour bough

Stately Towers, and bannered Keep!

Bid your vanlted echoes moan,
With Asia's willing maid.
When, joyful sound! at distance near

As the dreaded step they own.
A trumpet flourished loud and clear,

“Fiends! that wait on Merlin's spell, And as it ceased, a lofty lay

llere the foot-fall! mark it well! Seemed thus to chide his lagging way :

Spread your dusky wings abroad,

Boune ye for your homeward road! "Son of Honour, theme of story,

" It is His, the first who e'er Think on the reward before ye!

Dared the dismal Hall of Fear; Danger, darkness, toil despise ;

Ilis, who hath the snares defied "Tis Ambition bids thee rise.

Spread by Pleasure, Wealth, and Pride. "He, that would her heights ascend,

"Quake to your foundations deep, Many a weary step must wend;

Bastion huge, and Turret steep! Hand and foot and knee he tries :

Tremble Keep, and totter Tower! Thus Ambition's minions rise.

This is Gyneth's waking hour."“ Lag not now, though rough the way.

Fortune's mood brooks no delay;
Grasp the boon that's spread before ye,

Thus while she sung, the venturous Knight Monarch's power, and Conqueror's glory!"

Ilas reached a bower, where milder light

Through crimson curtains fell; It ceased. Advancing on the sound,

Such softened shade the hill receives, A steep ascent the wanderer found,

Her purple veil when twilight leaves And then a turret stair:

Upon its western swell. Nor climbed he far its steepy round

That bower, the gazer to bewitch, Till fresher blew the air,

Illath wondrous store of rare and rich


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