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INTRODUCTION TO CANTO III.
See how the little runnels leap,
To swell the brooklet's moan!
So lovely, and so lone. There's no illusion there, these flowers, That wailing brook, these lovely bowers,
Are, Lucy, all our own; And, since thine Arthur calid thee wife, Such seems the prospect of his life, A lovely path, on-winding still, By gurgling brook and sloping hill. "T is true that mortals cannot tell What waits them in the distant dell; But be it hap, or be it harm, We tread the path-way arm in arm.
grace, As the rough warrior's brow
he bears for nature's face,
IV. And now, my Lucy, wol'st thou wly I could thy bidding twice deny, When twice you pray'd I would again Resume the legendary strain Of the bold Knight of Triermain ? At length yon peevish vow you swore, That you would sue to me no more, Until the minstrel fit drew near, And made me prize a listening ear. * But, loveliest, when thou first didst pray Continuance of the knightly lay, Was it not on the happy day
That made thy hand mine own?
Save, Lucy, thee alone!
II. Enough of him.- Now, cre we lose, Plunged in the vale, the distant views, Turn thee, my love! look back once more To the blue lake's retiring shore. On its smooth breast the shadows seem Like objects in a morning dream, What time the slumberer is aware He sleeps, and all the vision's air : Even so, on yonder liquid lawn, In hues of bright reflection drawn, Distinct the shaggy mountains lie, Distinct the rocks, distinct the sky; The summer clouds so plain we note, That we might count cachi dappled spot : We gaze
and we admire, yet know The scene is all delusive show. Such dreams of bliss would Arthur draw, When first his Lucy's form he saw;. Yet sighid and sickend as he drew, Despairing they could e'er
fair capital of Clyde;
To meditate her rhyme.
Up the fair glen our destined way! The fairy path that we pursue, Distinguish'd but by greener hue,
Wiods round the purple brae, >> While Alpine flowers of varied dye For carpet serve or tapestry.
The glade hath won Irer eye;
Beal-na-paist, the Vale of the Bridal.
And now, my Lucy's way to cheer,
Loyed for its chivalry. List how she tells, in notes of flame, « Child Roland to the dark lower came!»
When, gazing on the sinking fire, Bulwark and battlement and spire
In the red gulf we spy. For seen, by moon of middle night, Or by the blaze of noontide bright, Or by the dawn of morning light,
Or evening's western flame, In every ride, at every hour, In misl, in sunshine, and in shower,
The rocks remain'd the same.
Speir-Adam's steeds must hide in stall, Of Hartley-burn the bowmen bold
Must only shoot from battled wall; And Liddesdale
spur, And Teviot now may belt the brand, Tarras and Ewes keep nightly stir,
And Eskdale foray Cumberland. Of wasted field and plunder'd flocks
The Borderers bootless may complain; They lack the sword of brave De Vaux,
There comes no aid from Triermain. That lord, on high adventure bound,
Hath wanderd forth alone, And day and night keeps watchful round
In the valley of Saint John.
Yet nothing might explore,
To a rough fortress bore.
And drinks but of the well;
He seeks a rocky cell,
For aid to burst the spell.
II. When first began his vigil bold, The moon twelve summer nights was old,
And shone both fair and full; High in the vault of cloudless blue, O'er streamlet, dale, and rock, she threw
ller light composed and cool. Stretch'd on the brown hill's heathy breast,
Sir Roland eyed the vale;
As told gray Lyulph's tale.
In beams that rose and fell,
As on a crystal well.
Dim seen in middle heaven,
The midnight clouds are driven. The brooklet raved, for on the hills The upland showers had swoll'n the rills,
And down the torrents came; Mutter'd the distant thunder dread, And frequent o'er the vale was spread
A sheet of lightning flame. De Vaux, within his mountain cave (No human step the storm durst brave), To mocdy meditation gave
Each faculty of soul, Till, lullid by distant torrent-sound, And the sad wind that whistled round, Upon his thoughts, in musing drown'd,
A broken slumber stole.
Ever he watchd, and oft he deem'd,
It alter'd to his eyes;
He saw gray turrets rise.
Which fancy had conceived, Abetted by an anxious eye
That long d 19 be deceived. It was a fond deception all, Suchras, in solitary ball,
Beguiles the musing eye,
VI. 'T was then was heard a heavy sound,
(Sound strange and fearful there to hear, 'Mongst desert hills, where, leagues around,
Dwelt but the gor-cock and the deer:) * As starting from his couch of fern, Again he heard, in clangour stem,
That deep and solemn swell; Twelve times, in measured ione, il spoke Like some proud minster's pealing clock,
Or city's larum-bell. What thought was Roland's first when fell, In that deep wilderness, the knell
Upon his started ear!.
To slander warrior were I lotlı,
It was a thought of fear.
and 'T is not deceit; distinctly clear
Crenell' and parapet appear,
Makes moinentary pause;
As its wild light withdraws.
For love's keen wish was there,
That burn'd to do and dare.
That answer'd to the knell;
Was toss'd from fell to fell;
As far as Derwent's dell.
Till all was hush'd and still,
Its course along the hill,
And over Legbert-head,
Its orb of fiery red;
To do his errand dread.
A dusky hight arose :
In bloody tincture glows.
Yet far he had not sped,
Was on the valley spread.
Was heard an answering sound,
High o'er the battled mound;
Pace forth their nightly round,
But answer came there none;
Until the dawning shone;
It all had pass d away!
As at the close of day.
He walks the vale once more;
Hears but the torrent's roar.
A summer mist arose;
As round its base they close.
The rock's majestic Isle;
And, sighing as it blew,
1 Bauk of loose stones. 2 Water-fall. 3 The outer defence of the castle-gate, 4 Fortified court.
" Apertures for shooting arrows.
No misty phantom of the air,
The massive fortress shone.
The portal's gloomy way.
Had suffer'd no decay;
In the mid torrent lay.
Unfelt had pass d away.
yore, The gate this stern inscription bore :
The veil of silver mist il slook,
Renew'd that wondrous vicw.
Its mantle's dewy fold;
Their gloomy length unrolld.
- The gallant knight can speed
Careers the hunter's stced.
Hath rivall d archer's shaft;
The mountain spirits laughid.
up the echoing dell was borne Their wild unearthly shout of scorn.
XIT. Wroth wax'd the warrior.-«Am I then foold by the enemies of men, Like a poor hind, whose homeward way Is haunted by malicious fay? Is Triermain become your taunt, De Vaux your scorn? False fiends, avaunt!» A weighty curtail-axe he bare; The baleful blade so bright and square, And the tough shaft of heben' wood, Were oft in Scottish gore embrucd. Backward his stately form he drew, And at the rocks the weapon threw, Just where one crag's projected crest Hung proudly balanced o'er the rest. Hurld with main force, the weapon's shock Rent a huge fragment of the rock: If by mere strength 't were hard to tell, Or if the blow dissolved some spell, But down the headlong ruin came, With cloud of dust and flash of flame. Down bank, o'er bush, its course was borne, Crush'd lay the copse, the earth was torn, Till, staid at length, the ruin dread Cumber'd the torrent's rocky bed, And bade the waters' high-swoll'n tide Seek other passage for its pride.
INSCRIPTION. Patience waits the destined day, Strength can clear the cumber'd way. Warrior, who hast waited long, Firm of soul, of sinews strong, It is given to thee to gaze On the pile of Never mortal builder's hand This enduring fabric plann'd; Sign and sigil, word of power, From the earth raised keep and tower. View it o'er, and pace it round, Rampart, turret, battled mound. Dare no more! to cross the gate Were to tamper with thy fate; Strength and fortitude were vain! View it o'er-and turn again,»
XIV. When ceased that thunder, Triermain Survey'd the mound's rude front again; And lo! the ruin had laid bare, Hewn in the stone a winding stair, Whose moss'd and fractured steps might lend The means the summit to ascend; And by whose aid the brave De Vaux Began to scale these magic rocks,
And soon a platform won, Where, the wild witchery, to close, Within three lances' length arose
The Castle of St John !
As icicle in thaw;
I mock these words of awe!»
The rusty bolts withdraw;
And rusted bolt and bar
Return'd their surly jar. « Now closed is the gin, and the prey within,
By the rood of Lanercost!
The gallant knight took carnest view The grated wicket-window throughr.
But he that would win the war-wolf's skin
May rue him of his boast.»-
And towers of varied size,
Of fancy, could devise.
An inner moat;
The vaulting, and the floor;
Four maids whom Afrie bore;
As Lucy's golden hair;
Was but of gossamer.
And limbs of shapely jet ;
In savage pomp were set;
That Roland well nigh hoped
But, when the wicket oped, Each grisly beast 'gan upward draw. Rolld his grim eye, and spread his claw, Scented the air, and lick'd his jaw! While these weird maids, in Moorish longue, A wild and dismal warning sung.
And enter'd soon the hold,
By warriors done of old.
While trumpets seemd to blow;
They quell'd gigantic foe, Braved the fierce griffon in his ire, Or faced the dragon's breath of fire. Strange in their arms, and strange in face, Heroes they seemnd of ancient race, Whose deeds of
name, Forgotten long by latter fame,
Were here depicted to appal
In this enchanted hall.
To an archid portal door,
And, ere he ventured more,
" When the whirlwind's gusts are wheeling,
Ours it is the dance to braid; Zarah's sands, in pillars reeling,
Join the measure that we tread, When the moon hath don'd ber cloak,
And the stars are red to see, Shrill when pipes the sad siroc,
Music meet for such as we.
« Where the shatter'd columns lie,
Showing Cartbage once had been, If the wandering santon's eye
Our mysierious rites hath seen, Oft he cons the prayer of death,
To the nations preaches doom, "Azrael's brand bath left the sheath!
Moslems think upon the tomb!'
« Ours the scorpion, ours the snake,
Ours the hydra of the fen, Ours the tiger of the brake,
All that plagues the sons of men, Ours the tempest's midnight wrack,
Pestilence that wastes by day
3 A sort of donblet, worn beneath the armour.