ページの画像
PDF
ePub

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;
In camp, in castle, or in bower,

Each warrior sought repose.
Lord Douglas, in Juis lofty tent,

Dream'd o'er the woful tale;
When footsteps light, across the beni,

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

confusion strove.

Ile starts, he wakes : What, Richard, ho!

Arise, my page, arise!
What venturous wight, at dead of night,

Dare step where Douglas lies!»
Then forth they rush'd: by Leader's tide,

A selcoutlı sight they see-
A hart and hind pace side by side,

As white as snow on Fairnalie. (5)
Beneath the moon, with gesture proud,

They stately move and slow;
Nor scare they at the gathering crowd,

Who marvel as they go.
To Learmoni's tower a message sped,

As fast as page might run;
And Thomas started from bis bed,

And soon his clothes did.on.
First he woxe pale, and then woxe red;

Never a word he spake but three;-
My sand is run; my thread is spun;

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
And on the wind, in coleful sound,

Its dying accents rung.
Then forth he went; yet turned him oft

To view his ancient hall;
On the gray tower, in lustre soft,

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.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

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,
Undir nethe the derne leo,
It was derke as at midnyzt,
And euyr in water unto the kne;
Through the space of days thre,
He berde but swowyng of a flode;
Thomas sayd, ful wo is me,
Nowe I spell for fawte of fode;
To a garden she lede him tyto,
There was fruyte in grete plento,
Peyres and appless iher were rype,
The date and the damese,
The figge and als fylbert tre;
The nychtyngale bredying in her neste,
The papigaye about gan fle,
The throstylcok sang wold hafe no rest.
He pressed to pulle fruyt with his hand
As man for faute that was faynt;
She seyd, Thomas, lat al stand,
Or els the deusi wil the ataynt.
Sche said, Thomas, I the hyzt,
To lay thi hede upon my kne,
And thou shalt see fayrer sight,
Tban ouyr sawe man in their kintre.
Sees thou, Thomas, yon fair way,
That lynes ouyr yone fayr playn?
Yonder is the way to heuyn for ay,
Whan synful sawlos haf derayed their payne.
Sees thou, Thomas, yone secand way,
Tbat lycces lawe undir the ryse ?
Streight is the way, sothly to say,
To the joyes of paradyce.
Sees thou, Thomas, yone thyrd way,
That lygges ouyr yone bow?
Wide is the way, sothly to say,
To the brynşng fyres of hell.
Sees thou, Thomas, yone fayr castells,
That standes ouyr yone fayr hill?
Of town and tower it beereth the belle,
In middell earth is non like theretill,
Whan thou comyst in yon castell gaye
I pray thu curteis man to be ;
What so any man to you say,
Soke thu answer non but me.
My lord is servyd at yche messe,
With xxx kpiztes feir and fre;
I sall say syttyng on the dese,
I toko thy speeche beyonde the le.
Thomas stode as still as stone,
And bebeld that ladye gaye ;
Than was sche fayr and ryche anone,
And also ryal on bir palfreye.
The growhoundes had fylde them on the dero,
The ratches coupled, by my fay,
She blewe her horn Thomas to chere,
To the castle she went her way.
The lady into the hall went,
Thomas folowyd at her band;
Thar kept hyr mony a lady gent,
With cartasy and lawe.
Harp and fedyl both he fande,
The getern and the sawtry,
Lut and rybib ther gon gang,
Thair was al maner of mynstralsy.
The most fertly ibat Thomas thoght,
When he com emyddes the fore,
Fourty hertes to quarry were broght,
That had been befor both long and store.
Lymors lay lappyng blode,
And kokes standing with dressyng knife,
And dressyd dere as thai wer wodo,
And rewell was thair wonder.
Knyghtes dansyd by two and thre,
All that leue long day.
Ladyes that were gret of gre,
Sat and sang of rych aray.
Thomas save much more in that place,
Than I can descryve,
Till on a day alas, alas,
My lovelye ladye sayd to me,
Busk ye, Thomas, you must agayn,
Here you may no longer be:
Hly thon zerne that you were at hame,

PART III.

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.
The spot is rendered classical by its having given
name to the beautiful melody, called the Broom oʻthe
Cowdenknows.

Note 3. Verse ü.
They roused the deer from Cadden head,

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,
Gang 10 the bonnie banks of Fairnolie.

Harold the Dauntless :

A POEM.

IN SIX CANTOS.

INTRODUCTION.

'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,

brood ;

While all her friends around their vestments gay pre- HAROLD THE DAUNTLESS.

pare.

Ennui!-or, as our mothers call'd thee, Spleen!
To thee we owe full many a rare device;-

CANTO I.
Thine is the shcaf of painted cards, I ween,
The rolling billiard-ball, the rattling dice,

1. The turning-lathc for framing gimcrack nice:

List to the valorous deeds that were done
The amateur's blotch'd pallet thou mayst claim, By Harold the Dauntless, Count Witikind's son!
Retort, and air-pump, threatening frogs and mice
(Murders disguised by philosophic, name),

Count Witikind came of a regal strain,
And much of trifling grave, and much of buxom game. And roved with his Norsemen the land and the main.

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,
Plays, poems, novels, never read but once ;-

Gathering of ravens and wolves to the feast:
But not of such the tale fair Edgeworth wrote, When hé hoisted his standard black,
That bears thy name, and is thine antidote;

Before him was battle, behind him wrack,
And not of such the strain my Thomson sung, And he burn'd the churches, that heathen Dane,
Delicious dreams inspiring by his note,

To light his band to their barks again.
What time to Indolence his harp he strung:
Oh! might my lay be rank'd that happier list among!

II.

On Erin's shores was his outrage known, Each hath his refuge whom thy cares assail.

The winds of France had his banners blown;
For me,

I love
my study-fire to trim,

Little was there 10 plunder, yet still
And con right vacantly some idle tale,

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,
Beacons were lighted on headland and cape,
Bells were tolld out, and aye as they rung,
Fearful and faintly the gray brothers sung,
« Bless us, St Mary, from flood and from fire,
From famine and pest, and Count Witikind's ire!»--

He kneel'd before Saint Cuthbert's shrine,
With patience unwonted at rites divine;
He a bjured the gods of heathen race,
And he bent his head at the font of grace;
But such was the gricsly old proselyte's look,
That the priest who baptized him grew pale and shook ;
And the old monks mutter'd beneath their hood,
« Of a stem so stubborn can never spring good!»-

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.

VIII.
Young Harold was fear'd for his hardihood,
His strength of frame, and his fury of mood;
Rude he was and wild to behold,
Wore neither collar nor bracelet of gold,

ap of vair, nor rich array,
Such as should grace that festal day:
His doublet of bull's hide was all unbraced,
Uncover'd his head, and his sandal unlaced :
His sbagay black locks on his brow hung low,
And his eyes glanced through them a swarthy glow:
A Danish club in his hand lie bore,
The spikes were clotted with recent gore;
At his back a she-wolf, and her wolf-cubs twain,
In the dangerous chase that morning slain.
Rude was the greeting to his father he made,
None to the bishop,—while thus he said :

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;

« 前へ次へ »