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For Marke, his cowardly uncle's right,
A venom'd wound he bore; When fierce Morholde he slew in fight,
Upon the Irish shore.
On Leader's stream, and Learmont's tower,
The mists of evening close;
Each warrior sought repose.
Dream'd o'er the woful tale;
The warrior's ears assail.
No art the poison might withstand;
No med'cine could be found, Till lovely Isolde's Jily hand
Had probed the rankling wound,
With gentle hand and soothing tongue,
She bore the leech's part; And, while she o'er his sick-bed hung,
He paid her with his heart.
O fatal was the gift, I ween!
For, doom'd in evil tide, The maid must be rude Cornwall's queen,
His cowardly uncle's bride.
Their loves, their woes, the gifted bard
In fairy tissue wove; Where lords, and kuights, and ladies briglil, In gay
Ile starts, he wakes : What, Richard, ho!
Arise, my page, arise!
Dare step where Douglas lies!»
A selcoutlı sight they see-
As white as snow on Fairnalie. (5)
They stately move and slow;
Who marvel as they go.
As fast as page might run;
And soon his clothes did.on.
Never a word he spake but three;-
This sign regardeth me.»
The Garde Joyeuse, amid the tale,
High reard ils glittering head; And Avalon's enchanted vale
In all its wonders spread.
Brengwain was there, and Segramore, And fiend-born Merlin's
gramarye; Of that famed wizard's mighty lore,
O who could sing but he?
Through many a maze the winning song
Jo changefui passion led, Till bent at length the listening throng
O'er Tristrem's dying bed.
The elfin harp his neck around,
In minstrel guise, he hungi
Its dying accents rung.
To view his ancient hall;
The autumn moon-beams fall.
His ancient wounds their scars expand;
With agony his heart is wrung; O where is Isolde's lily hand,
And where her soothing tongue?
And Leader's waves, like silver sheen,
Danced shimmering in the ray: In deepening mass, at disiance seen,
Broad Solira's mountains lay.
She comes, she comes! like flash of flame
Can lovers' footsteps fly: She comes, she comes!—she only came
To see her Tristrem die.
« Farewell, my father's ancient tower!
A long farewell,» said he: « The scene of pleasure, pomp, or power,
Thou never more shalt be.
I sal yo bryng to Eldyn Tre. Tbomas answerd with heuy cher, And sayd, lowely ladye, lat ma be, For I say ye certenly here Haf I be tot the space of dayes three. Sothly, Thomas, as I telle ye, You hath been here thre geres, And here you may no longer be ; And I sal tele ye a skele, To-morrowe of belle ye foule fende Amang our folke shall chuse his fee; For you art a larg man and an hende, Trowe you wele he will chuse thee. Fore all the golde that may be, Sal you not be betrayed for me, And thairfor sa! you bens wend. She broght him euyn to Eldyn tre. Under nethe the grene wode spray, In Huntle lankes was fayr to be, Ther breddes syng both nyzt and day. Ferre ouye yon montayns gray, There hathe my facon: Fare wele, Thomas, I wende my way.
[The elfin queen, after restoring Thomas to earth, pours forth a string of prophecies, in which we distinguish references to the events and personages of the Scottishi wars of Edward III. The battles of Dupplin and Halidon are mentioned, and also Black Agnes, Countess cf Dunbar. There is a copy of this poem in the Museum in the Cathedral of Lincoln, another in the collection of Peterborough, but unfortunately they are all in an imperfect state. Mr Jamieson, in his curious collection of Scottish ballads and Songs, has an entire copy of this ancient poem, with all the collations. The lacunæ of the former edition have been supplied from his copy.]
Sbe rode furth with all her myzt,
Note 1. Verse i.
And Ruberslaw show'd high Dunyon. Ruberslaw and Dunyon are two high hills above Jedburgh.
Note 2. Verse ïi.
Then all by bonnie Coldingknow. An ancient tower near Ercildoun, belonging to a family of the name of Home. One of Thomas's prophecies is said to have run thus:
Vengence, vengeance! when and where?
On the house of Coldingknow, now and ever mair.
Note 3. Verse ü.
To distapt Torwoodlee." Torwoodlee and Caddenhead are places in Selkirkshire.
Note 4. Verse x. How courteous Gawaine met the wound. See in the Fabliaux of Monsieur le Grand, elegantly translated by the late Gregory Way, Esq., the tale of the Knight and the Sword.
Note 5. Verse xxviii.
As white as snow on Fairnalie. An ancient seal upon the Tweed, in Selkirkshire. In a popular edition of the first part of Thomas the Rhymer, the fairy queen thus addresses him:
Gin ye wad meet wi' me again,
Harold the Dauntless :
IN SIX CANTOS.
'T is thus my malady I well may bear,
Albeit outstretch'd, like Pope's own Paridel,
Upon the rack of a too-easy chair ; There is a mood of mind we all have known,
And find, to cheat the time, a powerful spell On drowsy eve, or dark and louring day,
In old romaunts of errantry that tell, When the tired spirits lose their sprightly tone,
Or later legends of the Fairy-folk, And nought can chase the lingering hours away.
Or oriental tale of Afrite fell, Dull on our soul falls Fancy's dazzling ray,
Of Genii, Talisman, and broad-wing'd Roc, And Wisdom holds his steadier torch in vain,
Though taste may blush and frown, and sober reason
mock. Obscured the painting seems, mistuned the lay,
Nor dare we of our listless load complain, For who for sympathy may seek that cannot tell of Oft at sạch season, too, will rhymes unsought, pain?
Arrange themselves in some romantic lay;
The which, as things unfitting graver thought, The jolly sportsman knows such drearihood,
Are burnt or blotted on some wiser day.When bursts in deluge the autumnal rain,
These few survive-and proudly let me say, Clouding that morn which threats the heath-cock's Court not the critic's smile, nor dread his frown;
They well may serve to while an hour away, Of such, in summer's drought, the anglers plain,
Nor does the volume ask for more renown, Who hope the soft mild southern shower in vain ; Than Ennui's yawning smile, what time she drops it But, more than all, the discontented fair,
down. Whom father stern, and sterner aunt, restrain
From county-ball, or race occurring rare,
While all her friends around their vestments gay pre- HAROLD THE DAUNTLESS.
Ennui!-or, as our mothers call'd thee, Spleen!
1. The turning-lathc for framing gimcrack nice:
List to the valorous deeds that were done
Count Witikind came of a regal strain,
Woe to the realms which he coasted! for there Then of the books, to catch thy drowsy glance Was shedding of blood, and rending of hair; Compiled, what bard the catalogue may quote!
Rape of maiden, and slaughter of priest,
Gathering of ravens and wolves to the feast:
Before him was battle, behind him wrack,
To light his band to their barks again.
On Erin's shores was his outrage known, Each hath his refuge whom thy cares assail.
The winds of France had his banners blown;
Little was there 10 plunder, yet still
Ilis pirates had foray'd on Scottish hill; Displaying on the couch each listless limb,
But upon merry England's coast Till on the drowsy page the lights grow dim,
More frequent he saild, for he won the most. And doubtful slumber half supplies the theme; So wide and so far his ravage they knew, While antique shapes of knight and giant grim, If a sail but gleamd white 'gainst the welkin blue, Damsel and dwarf, in long procession gleam,
Trumpet and bugle to arms did call, And the romancer's tale becomes the reader's dream. Burghers hasten'd to man the wall,
Peasants fled inward his fury to 'scape,
He kneel'd before Saint Cuthbert's shrine,
IIJ. He liked the wealth of fair England so well, That he sought in her bosom as native to dwell. He enters the Humber in fearful hour, And disembark'd with his Danish power. Three earls came against him with all their train, Two hath he taken, and one liath be slain : Count Witikind left the Humber's rich strand, And he wasted and warr'd in Northumberland. But the Saxon king was a sire in age, Weak in battle, in council sage; Peace of that heathen leader le sought, Gifts he gave, and quiet he bought; And the count took upon him the peaccable style, Of a vassal and liegeman of Britain's broad isle.
VII. Up then arose that grim convertite, Ilomeward he hied hin whicn ended the rite; The prelate in honour will with lim ride, And feast in his castle on Tyne's fair side, Banners and banderols danced in the wind, Monks rode before them, and spearmen behind; Onward they pass'd, till fairly did shine Pennon and cross on the bosom of Tyne; And full in front did that fortress lour, In darksome strength with its buttress and tower; At the castle-gate was young Harold there, Count Witikind's only offspring and heir.
IV. Time will rust the sharpest sword, Time will consume the strongest cord; That which moulders hemp and steel, Mortal arm and nerve must feel. Of the Danish band, whom Count Witikind led, Many wax'd aged, and many were dead; Ilimself found his armour full weighty to bear, Wrinkled his brows grew, and hoary his hair; He lean'd on a staff, when his step went abroad, And patient his palfrey, when steed be bestrode; As lic grew feebler his wildness ceased, He made himself peace with prelate and priest, Made his peace, and, stooping his head, Patiently listed the counsel they said; Saint Cuthbert's bishop was holy and grave, Wise and good was the counsel he gave.
ap of vair, nor rich array,
V. « Thou hast murder'd, robb'd, and spoild, Time it is thy poor soul were assoild; Priest didst thou slay, and churches burn, Time it is now to repentance to turn; Fiends hast thou worshipp'd, with fiendish rite, Leave now the darkness, and wend into light: 0! while life and space are given, Turp thee yet, and think of Heaven!» That stern old heathen his head he raised, And on the good prelate he steadfastly gazed ; «Give me broad lands on the Wear and the Tyne, My faith I will leave and I 'll cleave unto thine.»
IX. « What priest-led hypocrite art thou, With thy humbled look and thy monkish brow, Like a shaveling who studies to cheat his vow! Canst thou be Witikind the Waster known, Royal Eric's fearless son, Haughty Gunhilda's haughtier lord, Who won his bride by the axe and sword; From the shrine of St Peter the chalice who tore, And melted to bracelets for Freya and Thor; With one blow of his gauntlet who burst the skull, Before Odin's stone, of the Mountain Bull? Then ye worshipp'd with rites that to war-gods belong, With the deed of the brave, and the blow of the strong, And now, in thine age to dotage sunk, Wilt thou patter thy crimes to a shaven monk, Lay down thy mail-shirt for clothing of hair, Fasting and scourge, like a slave, wilt thou bear? Or, at best, be admitted in slothful bower To batten with priest and with paramour ? 0! out upon thine endless shame! Each scald's high harp shall blast thy fame, And thy son will refuse thee a father's name!»-
VI. Broad lands he gave him on Tyne and on Wear, To be held of the church by bridle and spear; Part of Monkwearmouth, of Tynedale part, To better his will, and to soften his heart: Count Witikind was a joyful man, Less for the faith than the lands that he wan. The high church of Darham is dress'd for the day, The clergy are rank'd in their soleinn array; There came the count, in a bear-skin warm, Leaning on Hilda his concubine's arm;