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CANTO 1.

1. WHERE is the maiden of mortal strain, That may match with the Baron of Triermain ?(2) She must be lovely and constant and kind, "Holy and pure and humble of mind, Blithe of cheer and gentle of mood, Courteous and generous and noble of bloodLovely as the sun's first ray, When it breaks the clouds of an April day; Constant and true as the widowd dove, Kind as a minstrel that sings of love; Pure as the fountain in rocky cave, Where never sun-beam kiss'd the wave; Humble as maiden that loves in vain, Holy as hermit's vesper strain ; Gentle as brecze that but whispers and dies, Yet blithe as the light leaves that dance in its sighs; Courteous as monarch the morn he is crown'd, Generous as spring-dews that bless the glad ground; Noble her blood as the currents that met In the veins of the noblest Plantagenet Such must her form be, her mood, and her strain, That shall match with Sir Roland of Triermain.

V.
Answer'd him Richard de Brettville; he
Was chief of the baron's minstrelsy,
« Silent, noble chieftain, we

Have sate since midnight close,
When such Julling sounds as the brooklet sings
Murmur'd from our melting strings,

nd hush'd you to repose. Had a harp-note sounded here, It had caught my watchful ear,

Although it fell as faint and shy

As bashful maiden's half-form'd sigh,
When she thinks her lover near.»
Answer'd Philip of Fasthwaite tall,
He kept guard in the outer hall, -
.« Since at cve our watch took post,
Not a foot has thy portal cross'd;

Else had I heard the steps, though low
And light they fell as when earth receives,
In morn of frost, the wither'd leaves,
That drop when no winds blow.»—

V1.
« Then come thou hither, Henry, my page,
Whom I saved from the sack of Hermitage,
When that dark castle, tower, and spire,
Rose to the skies a pile of fire,

And redden'd all tbe Nine-stane Hill,
And the shrieks of death, that wildly broke
Through devouring flame and smothering smoke,

Made the warrior's heart-blood chill!
The trustiest thou of all my train,
My fleetest courser thou musi rein,

And ride to Lyulph's tower,
And from the Baron of Triermain

Greet well that sage of power.
He is sprung from druid sires,
And British bards that tuned their lyres
To Arthur's and Pendragon's praise,
And bis who sleeps at Dunmailraise. (3)
Gifted like his gifted race,
He the characters can trace,
Graven deep in elder time
Upon Helvellyn's cliffs sublime;
Sign and sigil well doth he know,
And can bode of weal and woe,
Of kingdoms' fall, and fate of wars,
From mystic dreams and course of stars.
He shall tell if middle earth
To that enchanting shape gave birth,
Or if 't was but an airy thing,
Such as fantastic slumbers bring,
Framed from the rainbow's varying dyes,
Or fading tints of western skies,
For, by the blessed rood I swear,
If that fair form breathe vital air,
No other maiden by my side
Shall ever rest de Vaux's bride!»-

JI.
Sir Roland de Vaux he bath laid him to sleep,
His blood it was fever'd, his breathing was deep.
He had been pricking against the Scot,
The foray was long and the skirmish hot ;
His dinted helm and his buckler's plight
Bore token of a stubborn fight.

All in the castle must hold them still,
Harpers must lull him to his rest,
With the slow soft tunes he loves the best,
Till sleep sink down upon liis breast,

Like the dew on a summer-hill.

JII. It was the dawn of an autumn day; The sun was struggling with frost-fog gray, That like a silvery crape was spread Round Skiddaw's dim and distant head, And faintly gleam'd each painted pane Of the lordly halls of Tricrmain,

When that baron bold awoke. Starting he woke, and loudly did call, Rousing his menials in bower and hall,

While hastily he spoke.

IV.
« Hearken, my miostrels! Which of ye all
Touch'd his harp with that dying fall,

So sweet, so soft, so faint,
It seem'd an angel's whisper'd call

To an expiring saint?
And hearken, my merrymen! What time or where

Did she pass, that maid with her heavenly brow, With her look so sweet and her eyes so fair, And her graceful step and her angel air, And the eagle-plume in her dark brown hair,

That pass'd from my bower c'en now ?»-

VII. The faithful page he mounts his steed, And soon he cross'd green Irthing's mead, Dash'd o'er Kirkoswald's verdant plain, And Eden barrd his course in vain. He pass'd red Penrith's Table Round, (4) For feats of chivalry renown'd,

Left Myburgh's mound and stones of power, (5)
By druids raised in magic hour,
And traced the Eamont's winding way,
Till Ulfo's lake bencath him lay.

VIII. Onward he rode, the pathway still Winding betwixt the lake and hill; Till on the fragment of a rock, Struck from its base by lightning shock,

He saw the hoary saye : The silver moss and lichen twined, With fern and deer-hair check d and lined,

A cushion fit for age ; And o'er bim shook the

aspen-tree, A restless rustling canopy. Then sprung young Henry from his selle,

And greeted Lyulph grave,
And then his master's tale did tell,

And then for counsel crave.
The Man of Years mused long and deep,
of time's lost treasures taking keep,
And then, as rousing from a sleep,

His solemn answer gave.

Was theatre by Nature's hand
For feat of high achievement plann'd.

XI.
O rather he chose, that monarch bold,

On vent'rous quest to ride,
In plate and mail, by wood and wold,
Than, with ermine trapp'd and cloth of gold,

In princely bower to bide;
The bursting crash of a foeman's spear,

As it shiver'd against his mail,
Was merrier music to his ear

Than courtier's whisper'd tale ;
And the clash of Caliburn more dear,
When on the hostile casque it rung,

Than all the lays

To their monarch's praise That the harpers of Reged sung. He loved better to rest hy wood or river, Than in bower of his bride, Dame Guenever ; For he left that lady so lovely of cheer, To follow adventures of danger and fear; And the frank-hearted monarch full little did wot, That she smiled, in his absence, on brave Lancelot.

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IX. « That maid is born of middle earth,

And may of man be won, Though there have glided since her birth,

Five hundred years and one.
But where's the knight in all the north,
That dare the adventure follow forth,
So perilous to knightly worth,

In the valley of St John ?
Listen, youth, to what I tell,
And bind it on thy memory well;
Nor muse that I commence the rhyme
Far distant 'mid the wrecks of time.
The mystic tale, hy bard and sage,
Is handed down from Merlin's age.»

XII.
He rode, till over down and dell
The shade more broad and deeper fell;
And though around the mountain's head
Flow'd streams of purple, and gold, and red,
Dark at the base, unblest by beam,
Frown'd the black rocks, and roard the stream,
With toil the king his way pursued
By lonely Threlkeld's waste and wood,
Till on his course obliquely shone
The narrow valley of Saint John,
Down slopicg to the western sky,
Where lingering sun-beams love to lie.
Right glad to feel those beams again,
The king drew up his charger's rein;
With gauntlet raised he screen'd his sight,
As dazzled with the level light,
And, from beneath his glove of mail,
Scann'd at his ease the lovely vale,
While 'gainst the sun his armour bright
Gleam'd ruddy like the beacon's light.

XIII.
Paled in by many a lofty hill,
The narrow dale lay smooth and still,
And, down its verdant bosom led,
A winding brooklet found its bed.
But, midmost of the vale, a mound
Arose, with airy turrets crown'd,
Buttress and rampire's circling bound,

And mighty keep and tower;
Seem'd some primeval giant's hand
The castle's massive walls had plann'd,
A pond'rous bulwark to withstand

Ambitious Nimrod's power.
Above the moated entrance slung,
The balanced draw-bridge trembling hung,

As jealous of a foe;
Wicket of oak, as iron hard,
With iron studded, clenclid, and barrd,
And prong d portcullis, join'd to guard

The gloomy pass below.

X.

LYULPI'S TALE.
King Arthur has ridden from merry Carlisle,

When Pentecost was o'er ;
He journey'd like errant knight the while,
And sweetly the summer sun did smile

On mountain, moss, and moor.
Above his solitary track
Rose Glaramara's ridgy back,
Amid whose yawning gulphs the sun
Cast umber'd radiance red and dun,
Though never sun-beam could discern
The surface of that sable tarn, (6)
In whose black mirror you may spy
The stars, while noontide lights the sky.
The gallant king, he skirted still
The margin of that mighty hill;
Rocks upon rocks incumbent hung,
And torrents, down the gullies flung,
Join'd the rude river that brawld on,
Recoiling now from crag and stone,
Now diving deep from human ken,
And raving down its darksome glen.
The monarch judged this desert wild,
With such romantic ruin piled,

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But the gray walls no banners crown'd,
Upon the watch-tower's airy round
No warder stood his horn to sound,
No guard beside the bridge was found,
And, where the Gothic gateway frown'd,

Glanced neither bill nor bow.

An hundred voices welcome gave,

And welcome o'cr and o'er! An hundred lovely hands assail The bucklers of the monarch's mail, And busy labour'd to unhasp Rivet of steel and iron clasp. One wrapp'd him in a mantle fair, And one tlung odours on his hair; His short curld ringlets one smooth'd down, One wreath'd them with a myrtle crown, A bride, upon her wedding-day, Was tended ne'er by troop so gay.

XIV.
Beneath the castle's gloomy pride,
In ample round did Arthur ride
Three times; nor living thing he spiel,

Nor heard a living sound,
Save that, awakening from her dream,
The owlet now began to scream,
In concert with the rushing stream, .

That wash'd the battled mound,
He lighted from his goodly steed,
And he left liim to graze on bank and mead;
And slowly he climb'd the narrow way,
That reachd the entrance grim and gray,
And he stood the outward arch below,
And his bugle lorn prepared to blow,

In summons blithe and bold, Deeming to rouse from iron sleep The guardian of this dismal keep,

Which well he guess d the hold Of wizard stern, or goblin grim, Or pagan of gigantic limb,

The tyrant of the wold.

XVII. Loud laugh'd they all,- the king, in vain, With questions task'd the giddy train : Lei bim entreat, or crave, or call, "T was one reply,-- loud laughid they all. Then o'er him mimic chains they fling, Framed of the fairest flowers of spring. While some their gentle force unite, Onward to drag the wondering knight, Some, bolder, urge his pace with blows, Dealt with the lily or the rose. Behind him were in triumph borne The warlike arms he late had worn; Four of the train combined to rear The terrors of Tintagel's spear; (7) Two, laughing at their lack of strength, Draged Caliburn in cumbrous length ;(8) One, while she aped a martial stride, Placed on lier brows the helmet's pride, Then scream'd, 'ewixt laughter and surprise, To feel its depth o'erwhelm her eyes. With revel shou and triumph song, Thus gaily march'd the giddy throng.

XV,
The ivory bugle's golden tip
Twice touclid the monarch's manly lip,

And twice his hand withdrew.
- Think not but Arthur's heart was good!
His shield was cross'd by the blessed rood,
Had a pagan host before him stood,

He had charged them through and through;
Yet the silence of that ancient place
Sunk on his heart, and he paused a space

Ere yet his horn he blew.
But, instant as its larum rung,
The castle-gate was open fung,
Portcullis rose with crashing groan,
Full harshly up its groove stone;
The balance-beams obey'd the blast,
And down the trembling draw-bridge cast
The vaulted arch before him lay,
With nought to bar the gloomy way,
And onward Arthur paced, with hand
On Caliburn's resistless brand.

XVIII. Through many a gallery and hall They led, I ween, their royal thrall; At length, beneath a fair arcade Their march and song at once they staid. The eldest maiden of the bapd

(The lovely maid was scarce eighteen) Raised, with imposing air, her hand, And reverend silence did command, On entrance of their

queen; And they were mute. But as a glance They steal on Arthur's countenance,

Bewilder'd with surprise, Their smother'd mirth again 'gan speak, In arclily dimpled chin and check,

And laughter-lighted eyes.

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XVI.
A hundred torches flashing bright
Dispellid at once the gloomy night

That lour'd along the walls,
And show'd the king's astonislid sight

The inmates of the halls.
Nor wizard stern, nor goblin grim,
Nor giant huge of form and limb,

Nor heathen knight was there;
But the cressets, which odours tlung aloft,
Show'd by their yellow lighi and soft,

A band of damsels fair.
Onward they came, like summer wave

That dances to the shore;

XIX. The attributes of those bigh days Now only live in minstrel lays, For Nature, now exhausted, still Was then profuse of good and ill. Strength was gigantic, valour high, And wisdom soar'd beyond the sky, And beauty had such matchless bearn, As lights not now a lover's dream. Yet, e'en in that romantic age, Ne'er were such charms by mortal seen

Or wherefore trace, from what slight cause
Ils source one tyrant passion draws,

Till, mastering all within,
Where lives the man that has not tried,
How mirth can into folly glide,

And folly into sin ?

ир

As Arthur's dazzled eyes engage,
When forth on that enchanted state,
With glittering train of maid and

page,
Advanced the castle's queen!
While

the hall she slowly pass d, Her dark eye on the king she cast,

That flash'd expression strong; The longer dwelt that lingering look, Her cheek the livelier colour took, And scarce the shame-faced king could brook,

The gaze that lasted long. A sage,

who had that look espied,
Where kindling passion strove with pride,

Had whisperd, « Prince, beware;
From the chafed tiger rend the prey,
Rusha on the lion when at bay,
Bar the fell dragon's blighted way,

But shun that lovely snare!»

CANTO II.

I. LYULPI'S TALE CONTINUED. Anothee day, another day, And yet another, glides away! The Saxon stero, the pagan Dane, Maraud on Britain's shores again. Arthur, of Christendom the flower, Lies loitering in a lady's bower; The horn, that foemen wont to fear, Sounds but to wake the Cumbrian deer, And Caliburn, the British pride, Hangs useless by a lover's side.

At once,

XX. that inward strife suppress'd, The dame approach'd her warlike guest, With greeting in that fair degree Where female pride and courtesy Are blended with such passing art As a wes at once and charms the beart. A courtly welcome first she gave, Then of his goodness 'gan to crave

Construction fair and truc Of her light maidens' idle mirth, Who drew from lonely glens their birth, Nor knew to pay to stranger worth

And dignily their due; And then she pray'd that he would rest That night her castle's honour'd guest. The monarch meetly thanks express'd; The banquet rose at her behest; With lay and tale, and laugh and jest,

Apace the evening tew,

NI.
Another day, another day,
And yet another, glides away.
Heroic plans in pleasure drown'd,
He thinks not of the Table Round;
In lawless love dissolved his life,
He thinks not of his beauteous wife;
Better he loves to snatch a flower
From bosom of his

paramour,
Than from a Saxon knight to wrest
The lionours of lis heathen crest;
Better to wreathe, 'inid tresses brown,
The heron's plume her hawk struck down,
Than o'er the altar give to flow
The banners of a Paynim foe.
Thus, week by week, and day by day,
His life inglorious glides away;
But she, that soothes his dream, with fear
Beholds his hour of waking near.

XXI.
The lady sate the monarch by,
Now in her turn abash'd and shy,
And with indifference seemd to hear
The toys he whisperd in her car.
Her bearing modest was and fair,
Yet shadows of constraint were there,
That show'd an over-cautious care

Some inward thought to hide;
Oft did slie pause in full reply,
And oft cast down her large dark eye,
Oft check'd the soft voluptuous sigh,

That heaved her bosom's pride.
Slight symptoms these; but shepherds know
How hot the mid-day sun shall glow,

From the mist of morning sky; And so the wily monarch yuess'd, That this assumed restraint express'd More ardent passions in the breast,

Than ventured to the eye.
Closer he press'il, while beakers rang,
While maidens luaghd and miastrels sang,

Still closer lo her ear-
But why pursue the common tale?
Or wherefore show how knigbes prevail

When ladies darc to hear?

UI. Much force have mortal charms to stay Our pace

in Virtue's toilsome way; But Guendolen's might far outshine Each maid of merely mortal line. Her mother was of human birth, Her sire a genie of the earth, In days of oid deem'd to preside O'er lovers' wiles and beauty's pride, By youths and virgins worshipp'd long, With festive dance and choral song, Till, when the cross to Britain carne, On heatben altars died the flame, Now, deep in Wastdaie's solitude, The downfall of his rights he rued, And, born of his resentment heir, He train'd to guide that lady fair, To sink in slothful sin and shame The champions of the christian name. Well-skill'd to keep vain thoughts alive, And all to promise, nought to give,

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