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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.
Have sate since midnight close,
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,
Else had I heard the steps, though low
And redden'd all tbe Nine-stane Hill,
Made the warrior's heart-blood chill!
And ride to Lyulph's tower,
Greet well that sage of power.
All in the castle must hold them still,
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.
So sweet, so soft, so faint,
To an expiring saint?
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)
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 for counsel crave.
His solemn answer gave.
Was theatre by Nature's hand
On vent'rous quest to ride,
In princely bower to bide;
As it shiver'd against his mail,
Than courtier's whisper'd tale ;
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.
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.
In the valley of St John ?
And mighty keep and tower;
Ambitious Nimrod's power.
As jealous of a foe;
The gloomy pass below.
When Pentecost was o'er ;
On mountain, moss, and moor.
But the gray walls no banners crown'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.
Nor heard a living sound,
That wash'd the battled mound,
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.
And twice his hand withdrew.
He had charged them through and through;
Ere yet his horn he blew.
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.
That lour'd along the walls,
The inmates of the halls.
Nor heathen knight was there;
A band of damsels fair.
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
Till, mastering all within,
And folly into sin ?
As Arthur's dazzled eyes engage,
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,
Had whisperd, « Prince, beware;
But shun that lovely snare!»
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.
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,
Some inward thought to hide;
That heaved her bosom's pride.
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.
Still closer lo her ear-
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,