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But slept again, as slowly died
Where tower and buttress rose in martial rank,
And girdled in the massive donjon keep,
The matin bell with summons long and deep,
XIX. « And is this all,» said Jutta stern, « That thou canst teach and I can learn? Hence! to the land of fog and waste! There filtest is thine influence placed, Thou powerless sluggish deity! But ne'er shall Briton bend the knee Again before so poor a god.»She struck the altar with her rod ; Slight was the touch, as when at need A damsel stirs her tardy steed; But to the blow the stone gave place, And, starting from its balanced base, Rolld thundering down the moon-light dell,Re-echo'd moorland, rock, and fell; Into the moon-light tarn it dash’d, Their shores the sounding surges lash'd,
And there was ripple, rage, and foam ; But on that lake, so dark and lone, Placid and pale the moon-beam shone,
As Jutta hied her home.
As if in revelry;
The galo breath'd soft and free,
So light and gamesomely.
And, hardly wotting why,
Laid mace and falchion by,
Relax'd his rugged brow-
Were wise to ask it now.
I. GRAY towers of Durham! there was once a time
I view'd your battlements with such vague hope, As brightens life in its first dawning prime ;
Not that e'en then came within fancy's scope
Yet, gazing on the venerable hall,
Some reverend room, some prebendary's stall, And thus Hope me deceived as she deceiveth all.
Well yet I love thy mix'd and massive piles,
Half church of God, half castle 'gainst the Scot, And long to roam these venerable aisles,
With records stored of deeds long since forgot : There might I share my Surtees' happier lot,
Who leaves at will his patrimonial field To ransack every crypt and hallow'd spot;
And from oblivion rend the spoils they yield, Restoring priestly chaunt, and clang of knightly shield.
His place beside young Gunnar took,
To speak a warning word.
Ere he dare brave the ford;
Till Harold raised his eye, · That glanced as when athwart the shroud Of the dispersing tempest-cloud
The bursting sun-beams fly.
Vain is the wish-since other cares demand
Each vacant hour, and in another clime; But still that northern harp invites my hand,
Which tells the wonder of thine earlier time; And fain its numbers would I now command,
To paint the beauties of thy dawning fair, When Harold, gazing from its lofty stand
Upon the western heights of Beaurepaire, Saw Saxon Eadmer's towers begirt by winding Wear.
V. « Arouse thee, son of Ermengarde, Offspring of prophetess and bard! Take hars, and greet this lovely prime With some high strain of Runic rhyme, Strong, deep, and powerful! Peal it round Like that loud bell's sonorous sound, Yet wild by fits, as when the lay Of bird and bugle hail the day. Such was my grandsire Erick's sport, When dawn gleam'd on his martial court. Heymar the scald, with harp's high sound, Summond the chiefs who slept around;
II. Fair on the half-seen streains the sun-beams danced,
Betraying it beneath the woodland bank, And fair between the Gothic Turrets glanced
Broad lights, and shadows fell on front and flank,
Couch'd on the spoils of wolf and bear,
« Hawk and osprey scream'd for joy,
« Where eddying currents foam and boil
Is it to me, thou timid youth,
« What cares disturb the mighty dead?
« He may not rest from realms afar
VJI. « Peace !» said the knight; « the noble scald Our warlike fathers' deeds recallid, But never strove to soothe the son With tales of what himself had done. At Odin's board the bard sits high Whose harp ne'er stoop'd to lattery; But highest le whose daring lay llath dared unwelcome truths to say.»— With doubtful smile young Gunnar eyed His master's looks, and nought repliedBut well that smile his master led To construe what he left unsaid,
And form as fair as Denmark's pine, Who loves with purple heath to twine
Her locks of sunny glow; And sweetly blends that shade of gold
With the cheek's rosy hue, And faith might for her mirror hold That eye of matchless blue.
4. "T is hers the manly sports to love
That southern maidens fear,
And lift the hunter's spear.
With eye undazzled see,
A Danish maid for me!»
« Ill fares the bark with tackle riven, Aud ill when on the breakers driveu, -III when the storm-sprite shrieks in air, And the scared mermaid tears her hair; But worse when on her helm the hand Of some false traitor holds command.
« Ill fares the fainting palmer, placed
X. « How now, fond boy ?-Caust thou think ill,» Said Harold, « of fair Metelill?» « She may be fair,» the page replied,
As through the strings he ranged, « She may be fair; but yet,»--he cried,
And then the straiu he changed,
XI. Then smiled the Dane-« Thou canst so well The virtues of our maidens tell, Half could I wish my choice had been Blue eyes, and hair of golden sheen, And lofty soul, yet what of ill Hast thou to charge on Metelill ?»-« On herself nought,» young Gunnar said, « But her base sire's ignoble trade. Her mother, 100-the general fame Hath given to Julta evil name, And in her gray eye is a flame Art cannot hide, nor fear can tame.That sordid woodman's peasant cot Twice have thine honour'd footsteps sought, And twice return'd with such ill rede As sent thee on some desperate deed.»
XII. -« Thou errest; Jutta wisely said, He that comes suitor to a maid, Ere link'd in marriage, should provide Lands and a dwelling for his brideMy father's by the Tyne and Wear J have reclaim'd.»-«0, all too dear, And all too dangerous the prize, Een were it won,» young Gunnar cries. « And then this Jutta's fresh device, That thou shouldst seek, a heathen Dane, From Durham's priests a boon to gain, When thou hast left their vassals slain In their own halls !»— Flash'd Harold's eye, Thunder'd lis voice-« False page, you lie! The castle, hall and tower, is mine, Built by old Witikind on Tyne. The wild-cat will defend his den, Fights for her nest the timid wren; And think'st thou I'll forego my right For dread of monk or monkish knightUp and away, that deepening bell Doth of the Bishop's conclave tell. Thither will I, in manner due, As Julia bade, my claim to suc; And, if to right me they are loth, Then woe to church and chapter botb!».
« She may be fair,» he sang, « but yet
Far fairer have I seen
And eyes so dark and sheen.
As one day I may be, My heart should own no foreign charms,
A Danish maid for me.
« I love my father's northern land,
Where the dark pine-trees grow,
Looks o'er cach grassy oe.'
From Denmark loth to go,
3. « But most the northern maid I love,
With breast like Denmark's snow,
Now shift the scene, and let the curtain fall, And our next entry be Saint Cuthbert's hall.
But ere his voice was heard-without
Arose a wild tumultuous shout,
Hailing the flames, that, bursting out,
Attract yet scare the rabble rout. Full many a bard hath sung the solemn gloom,
Ere it had ceased, a giant hand Of the long Gothic aisle and stone-ribb'd roof,
Shook oaken door and iron band, O'er canopying shrine, and gorgeous tomb,
Till oak and iron both gave way, Carved screen, and altar glinimering far aloof,
Clash'd the long bolts, the hinges bray, And blending with the shade-a'matchless proof
And ere upon angel or saint they can call, Of high devotion, which hath now wax'd cold;
Stands Harold the Dauntless in midst of the hall. Yet legends say, that luxury's brute hoof
Intruded oft within such sacred fold, Like step of Bel's false priest, track'd in his fane of old. « Now save ye, my masters, both rocket and rood,
From bishop with miire to deacon with hood! Well pleased am I, howe'er, that when the route
For here stands Count Harold, old Witikind's son, Of our rude neighbours whiloine deign'd to come, Come to sue for the lands which his ancestors wou.» Uncalld, and eke unwelcome, to sweep out
The prelate look'd round him with sore troubled eye, And cleanse our chancel from the rage of Rome,
Unwilling to grant, yet afraid to deny, They spoke not on our ancient fane the doom
While each canon and deacon who heard the Dane To which their bigot zeal gave o'er their own,
speak, But spared the martyr'd saint and storied tomb,
To be safely at home would have fasted a week:Though papal miracles had graced the stone,
Then Aldingar roused him and answer'd again : And though the aisles still loved the organ's swelling « Thou suest for a boon which thou canst not obtaio ;
The church hath no ficfs for an unchristen's Dane. And deem not, though 't is now my part to paint
Thy father was wise, and his treasure hath given, A prelate sway'd by love of power and gold,
That the priests of a chantry might hymu him to That all who wore the mitre of our saint
heaven; Like to ambitious Aldingar I hold;
And the fiefs which whilome he possess'd as his duc, Since both in modern times and days of old
Have lapsed to the church, and been granted anew It sate on those whose virtues might atone
To Anthony Conyers and Alberic Vere, Their predecessors' frailties trebly told :
For the service St Cuthbert's bless'd banner to bear, Matthew and Morton we as such may own
When the bands of the North come to foray the l'ear. And such (if fame speak truth) the honourd Bar- Then disturb not our conclave with wrangling or rington.
But in peace and in patience pass hence as ye came.» II. But now to earlier and to ruder times,
V. As subject meet, I tune my rugged rhymes,
Loud laugh'd the stern pagan—-« They 're free from Telling how fairly the chapter was met,
the care And rood and books in seemly order set;
Of fief and of service, both Conyers and Vere, Huge brass-clasp'd volumes, which the hand
Six feet of your chancel is all they will need, Of studious priest but rarely scann'd,
A buckler of stone and a corslet of lead.-Now on fair carved desk display'd,
Ho, Gunnar!-the tokens !»mand, sever'd anew, 'T was theirs the solemn scene to aid.
A head and a hand on the altar he threw. O'er-head with many a scutcheon graced,
Then shudder'd with terror both canon and monk, And quaint devices interlaced,
They knew the glazed eye and the countenance shrunk, A labyrinth of crossing rows,
And of Anthony Conyers the half-grizzled hair, The roof in lessening arches shows;
And the scar on the land of Sir Alberic Vere. Beneath its shade placed proud and high,
There was not a churchman or priest that was there, With footstool and with canopy,
But grew pale at the sight, and betook him to prayer. Sate Aldingar, and prelate ne'er More haughty graced Saint Cuthbert's chair. Canons and deacons were placed below,
Count Harold laugh'd at their looks of fear: la due degree and lengtheu'd row.
« Was this the band should your banner bear? Unmoved and silent cachi sate there,
Was that the head should wear the casque Like image, in his oaken chair;
In battle at the church's task? Nor head, nor hand, nor foot they stirr'd,
Was it to such you gave
the place Nor lock of hair, nor tress of beard,
Of Harold with the heavy macc? And of their eyes severe alone
Find me between the Wear and Tyne The twinkle show'd they were not stone.
A knight will wield this club of mine,
Give him my fiefs, and I will say
There's wit beneath the cowl of gray.»
lle raised it, rough with many a stain, Each head sunk reverent on each breast;
Caught from crushi'd skull and spouting brain;
Ile wheeld it that it shrilly sung,
As if I deem'd that his presence alone And the aisles echoed as it swung,
Were of power to bid my pain begone; Then dash'd it down with sheer descent,
I have listed his words of comfort given, And split King Osric's monument.
As if to oracles from heaven; « How like ye this music ? llow trow ye the hand I have counted his steps from my chamber door, That can wield such a mace may be reft of its land ? And bless'd them when they were heard no more ;No answer?--1 spare ye a space to agree,
But sooner than Walwayn my sick couch should nigh, And St Cuthbert inspire you, a saint if he be.
My choice were by leech-craft unaided to die. Ten strides through your chancel, ten strokes on your bell,
X. And again I am with you,-- grave fathers, farewell.»
a Such service done in fervent zeal VII.
The church may pardon and conceal,» Ile turn'd from their presence, he clash'd the oak door, The doubtful prelate said, « but ne'er And the clang of his stride died away on the floor;
The counsel ere the act should hear.And his head from his bosom the prelate uprears
Anselm of Jarrow, advise us now, With a ghost-seer's look when the ghost disappears.
The stamp of wisdom is on thy brow; « Ye priests of St Guthbert, now give me your rede,
Thy days, thy nights in cloister pent, For never of counsel had bishop more need!
Are still to mystic learning lent ;Were the arch-Giend incarnate in flesh and in bone,
Anselm of Jarrow, in thee is my hope,
Thou well canst give counsel to prelate or pope.»
Answerd the prior—« 'Tis wisdom's use 'T is unlawful to grant, and 't is death to deny.» Still to delay what we dare not refuse ;
Ere granting the boon he comes hither to ask,
Shape for the giant gigantic task;
Let us see how a step so sounding can tread The Cellarer Vinsauf, 't was thus that he said:
In paths of darkness, danyer, and dread; Delay till to-morrow the chapter's reply ;
lle Let the feast be spread fair, and the wine be pour'd That calls but for proof of his chivalry,
may not, he will not, impugn our decree, bich: If he's mortal he drinks,- if he drinks, he is ours
And were Guy to return, or Sir Bevis the Strong,
Our wilds have adventure might cumber them longHis bracelets of iron,-his bed in our towers.»—
The Castle of Seven Shields This man had a laughing eye,
»-« Kind Anselm, no
more! Trust not, friends, when such you spy;
The step of the pagan approaches the door.» A beaker's depth he well could drain,
The churchmen were hush'd-In his mantle of skin, Revel, sport, and jest amain
With his mace on his shoulder, Count Harold strode in. The haunch of the deer and the grape's bright dye
There was foam on his lip, there was fire in luis eye, Never bard loved them better than 1;
For, chafed by attendance, his fury was nigh. But sooner than Vinsauf filld me my wine,
« Ho! Bishop, » he said, « dost thou grant me my Pass'd me his jest, and laughed at mine,
claim ? Though the buck were of Bearpark, of Bordeaux the Or must I assert it by falchion and flame ?»
vine, With the dullest hermit I'd rather dine On an oaten cake and a draught of the Tyne.
« On thy suit, gallant Harold,» the bishop replied, IX.
In accents which trembled, « we might not decide, Walwayo the leech spoke next-he knew
Until proof of your strength and your valour we sawEach plant that loves the sun and dew,
"T is not that we doubt them, but such is the law.»— But special those whose juice can gain
« And would you, Sir Prelate, have Harold make sport Dominion o'er the blood and brain ;
For the cowls and the shavelings that herd in thy The peasant who saw him by pale moon-beam
court? Gathering such herbs by bank and stream,
Say what shall he do?-From the shrine shall he fear Deem'd liis thin form and soundless (read
The lead bier of thy patron and heave it in air, Were those of wanderer from the dead.
And through the long chancel make Cuthbert take « Vinsauf, thy wine,” he said, a hath power,
wing, Our gyves are heavy, strong our tower;
With the speed of a bullet dismiss'd from the sling?» Yet three drops from this flask of mine,
Nay, spare such probation,» the cellarer said, More strong than dungeons, gyves, or wine,
« From the mouth of our minstrels thy task shall be Shall give him prison under ground
read, More dark, morc narrow, more profound.
While the wine sparkles high in the goblet of gold, Short rede, good rede, let Harold have
And the revel is loudest, thy task shall be told; A dog's death and a heathen's grave.)
And thyself, gallant Harold, shall, hearing it, tell I have lain on a sick man's bed,
That the bishop, his cowls, and his shavelings, meant Watching for hours for the leech's tread,