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He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntletted hand; He stretch'd with one buffet that page on the strand; As back from the stripling the broken casque roll'd, You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of gold.
Short time bad Count Albert in horror to stare
On those death-swimming eye-balls, and blood-clotted
The Saracens, Kurdmans, and Ishmaclites yield
The battle is over on Bethsaida's plain.—
Oh, who is yon Paynim lies stretch'd 'mid the slain?
And who is yon page lies cold at his knee?—
Oh, who but Count Albert and fair Rosalie.
The lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound,
Yet many a minstrel, in harping, can tell,
FREDERICK AND ALICE.
This tale is imitated, rather than translated, from a fragment introduced in Goethe's Claudina von Filln Bella, where it is sung by a member of a gang of banditti, to engage the attention of the family, while his companions break into the castle. It owes any little merit it may possess to my friend Mr Lewis, to whom it was sent in an extremely rude state; and who, after some material improvements, published it in his Tales of frontier.
Frederick leaves the land of France,
Careless casts the parting glance
Joying in his prancing steed.
Keen to prove his untried blade,
Hope's gay dreams the soldier lead
Helpless, ruin'd, left forlorn,
Lovely Alice wept alone;
Hope, and peace, aud honour tlown.
Mark her breast's convulsive throbs!
See, the tear of anguish Hows!— Singling soon with bursting sobs,
Loud the laugh of freniy rose.
Wild she curs'd, and wild she pray'd,
Death in pity brought his aid.
Far from her, and far from France,
Marking, blytbe, the morning's gtanee
Heard ye not the boding sound.
Slowly to the hills around.
Told the fourth, the fated hour?
Starts the steed, and snuffs the air,
Bristles high the rider's hair.
Struck with strange mysterious fears.
Desperate, as his terrors rise,
From himself in vain he flies;
Seven long days, and seven long nights,
Ceaseless care, and causeless frights.
Dark the seventh sad night descends;
Rivers swell, and rain-streams pour! While the deafening thunder lends
All the terrors of its roar.
Weary, wet, and spent with toil.
Where his head shall Frederick bide'
Where, but in yon ruin'd aisle.
To the portal, dank and low,
Fast his steed the wanderer bound;
Down a ruin'd staircase slow.
Long drear vaults before him lie!
Glimmering lights are seen to glide' « Blessed Mary, hear my cry!
Deign a sinner's steps to guide!*—
Often lost their quivering beam.
Till they rest their ghasdy gleam
Thundering voices from within,
As they fell a solemn strain
Lent its wild aud woud'rous clote!
Midst the din, he seem d to bear
Well he knew that solemn air,
Hark! for now a solemn knell
Four times, at its deadend swell,
As the lengthen'd clangors die,
Slowly opes the iron door; Straight a banquet met his eye.
But a funeral's form it wore!
Coffins for the seats extend;
All with black the board was spread; Cirt by parent, brother, friend,
Long since number«i with the dead!
Alice in ber grave-clothes bound,
All arose, with thundering sound;
High their meagre arms they wave,
« Welcome, traitor, to the grave 1
THE WILD HTSTSMEN.
Tars is a translation, or rather an imitation, of the IfildeJnger of the German poet Burger. The tradition opon winch it is founded bears, that formerly a Wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest, named Falkenburg, va- so much addicted to the pleasures of the chase, and otherwise so extremely profligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unhallowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other days consecrated to religious only, but accompanied it with the most unheard-of oppression upon tlie poor peasants who were under his vassalage. When this second Nimrod died, the people adf-pird a superstition, founded probably on the many "nous uncouth sounds heard in the depth of a German brest, daring ilic silence of the night. They conceived they still heard the cry of the Wildgrave's hounds; and tlie well-known cheer of the deceased hunter, the sound of his horse's feet, and the rustling of the bnnclies before the game, the pack, and the sportsmen, are also distinctly discriminated; but the phantoms are rarely, if ever, visible. Once, as a benighted thatsmr heard this infernal chase pass by "him, at the wind of the halloo, with which the spectre Huntsman cheered his hounds, he rnuld not refrain from crying, -Chic* in, Falkenburg!* (flood sport to ye, Falkenburg!) «Dost thou wish me good sport?" answered a bnarsctoice; « thou shall share the game;» and there ■as thrown at him what seemed to be a huge piece of foul carrion. The daring chasseur lost two of his best horses won after, and never perfectly recovered the person.il effects of this ghostly greeting. This tale, though told with some variations, is universally believed all over Gernvmy.
The French had a similar tradition concerning an aerial hunter, who infested the forest of Kontaineblcau. He was lometimes visible; when he appeared as a huntsman, surrounded with dogs, a tall grisly figure.
Some account of him may be found in a Sully's Memoirs,* who says he was called, he Grand Veneur. At one time he chose to hunt to near the palace, that the attendants, and, if I mistake not, Sully himself, came out into the court, supposing it was the sound of the king returning from the chase. Tbis phantom is elsewhere called Saint Hubert.
The superstition seems to have been very genera], as appears from the following fine poetical description cf this phantom chase, as it was heard m the wilds of Uoss-sbire.
Ere lince, of old, the haughty thane* of Rot*,—
So to the timplo swalo I radii ion telU.—
Were wuut wiih clan*, sad nudj vaital* throng'd.
To wake ih.j hounding stag, or guilty wolf.
There oft !■ heard, al midnight, or ai noon,
Beginning faint, bat rising nill more load.
And nearer, voice of hunter*, and of hoondi.
And boras homse-winded, blowing far and keen: —
Forthwith lite bul>l>ul> multiplier*; the ;;ale
Labi.ar* with wilder *briek» and rifer din
Of but pursuit; the broken cry of deer
Mangled by tbrouliu,; dog*; the tboufe of man.
And hoof* thick beating on the hollow hill.
Sudden the caring heifer in the vale
Start* at the noise, and both the herdsman's ear*
Tingle with inward dread. Aghast, he eye*
The mountain'* height, and oil the ridge* round.
Yet not one trace of living wight discern*;
Hot know*, o'erawed, and trembling n* ho standi.
To what, or whom, he owes his idle fear.
To ghost, to witch, to fairy, or to h'eod;
Bm wonders, sod no end of wondering finds.*
Scultiih litfcripiipt Poemt, pp. 167, 168.
A posthumous miracle of Father Lesly, a Scottish capuchin, related to his being buried on a hill haunted hy these unearthly cries of hounds and huntsmen. After his sainted reliques had been deposited there, the noise was never heard more. The reader will find this, and other miracles, recorded in the life of Father Bonaventura, which is written in the choicest Italian.
The Wildgrave winds his bugle horn,
His fiery courser snuffs the morn.
And thronging serfs their lord pursue.
The eager pack, from couples freed,
Dash through the bush, the briar, the brake; While answering hound, and horn, and steed.
The mountain echoes startling wake.
The beams of God's own hallow'd day
And, calling sinful man to pray,
Loud, long, and deep the bell had toll'd:
But still the W*ildgrave onward ride»;
Halloo, halloo ! and hark again! When, spurring from opposing side*,
Two Stranger Horsemen join the train.
Who was each Stranger, left and right.
The right-hand steed was silver white,
The righl-h.md horseman, joung and fair,
The left, from eye of tawny glare,
He waved his huntsman's cap on high,
What sport can earth, or sea, or sky,
"Cease thy loud bugle's clanging knell,»
« And for devotion's choral swell,
« To-day, the ill-omen*d chase forbear, Yon bell yet summons to the lane;
To-day the Warning Spirit hear,
To-morrow thou mayst mourn in vaiu.n
« Away, and sweep the glades along!"
The sable Hunter hoarse replies; M To mulleriug monks leave matin-song,
And bells, and books, and mysteries.»
The Wildgrave spunr'd his ardent steed,
« Who, for thy drowsy priestlike rede,
« Hence, if our manly sport offend!
With pious fools go chauut and pray :— Weil hast thou spoke, my dark-brow'd friend;
Halloo, halloo ' and, hark away !»
The Wildgrave spurr'd his courser light,
And on the left, and on the right,
Each Stranger Horseman follow'd still.
Up springs, from yonder tangled thorn,
And louder rung the Wildgrave's horn,
A heedless wretch has cross'd the way;
He gasps, the thundering hoofs below;— But, live who can, or die who may,
Still, « Forward, forward !» on they go.
See, where yon simple fences meet,
A field with autumn's blessings crown'd;
See prostrate at the Wildgrave's feet,
* 0 mercy, mercy, noble lord!
Spare the poor's pittance,^ was his cry, « Earn'd by the sweat these brows have pour'd,
In scorching hour of tierce July.*.—
Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads,
The impetuous carl no warning heeds,
■ Away, thou bound! so basely born, Or dread the scourge's echoing blow 1b—
Then loudly rung bis bugle horn,
« Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!»
So said, so done:—a single bound
Clears the poor labourer's humble pale;
Willi follows man, and horse, and bound,
And man, and horse, and hound, and bora.
While joying o'er the wasted corn.
Fell Famine marks the madd'ning throng
Again up-roused, the timorous prey
Scours moss, and moor, and holt, and hill;
Hard run, he feels his strength decay.
Too dangerous solitude appear**!;
He seeks the shelter of the crowd; Amid the flock's domestic herd
His harmless head be hopes to shroud.
O'er moss and moor, and holt and hill.
O'er moss and moor, unwearied still.
Full lowly did the herdsman fall;—
These herds, a widow's little all;
These flocks, an orphan's fleecy care.»—
Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads.
The earl nor praver nor pity heeds.
—« Unmanner'd dog! to stop my sport
Though human spirits of thy sort.
Were tenants of these carrion kine '»—
Again he winds his bugle horn,
« Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!»
And through the herd, in ruthless scorn.
In heaps the throttled victims fall;
Down sinks their mangled herdsman near: The murderous cries the stag appal,—
Again he starts, new-nerved by fear.
With blood besmear'd, and white with foam.
He seeks, amid the forest's gloom.
But man and horse, and born and hound.
Fast rattling on his traces go; The sacred chapel rung around . With, « Hark away! and, holla, bo !>
Tramp t tramp! along ihc land (hey rod*,
Splash! splash! along the tea;
Dost fear to ride with me f
la attempting a translation, then intended only to circulate among friends, the present author did not hesitate to make use of this impressive stanza; for which freedom he has since obtained the forgiveness of the ingenious gentleman to whom it properly belongs.
Faoaf heavy dreams fair Helen rose,
And eyed the dawning red:
O art thou false or'dead ?»
He sought the bold crusade;
Told Helen how he sped.
With Paynim and with Saracen
At length a truce was made,
The tears his love had shed.
Our gallant host was homeward bound
With many a song of joy;
The badge of victory.
And old and young, and sire and son,
To meet them crowd the way,
The debt of love to pay.
Full many a maid her true love met,
And sobb'd in his embrace,
Array'd full many a face.
Nor joy nor smile for Helen sad;
She sought the host in vain;
If faithless, or if slain.
The martial band is past and gone;
She rends her raven hair,
She weeps with wild despair.
« O rise, my child,* her mother said,
« Nor sorrow thus in vain;
No tears recal again.»
■ O mother, what is gone is gone,
What's lost for ever lorn:
O had I ne'er been born!
« O break, my heart, O break at once!
Drink my life-blood, Despair!
For mc in heaven no share.*
« 0 enter not in judgment, Lord!»
The pious mother prays; « Impute not guilt to thy frail child.
She knows not what she says.
« O say thy pater noster, child!
O turn to Cod and grace!
Can change thy bale to bliss.»
« O mother, mother, what is bliss T
O mother, what is bale?
Without it earth is bell.
« Why should I pray lo ruthless, Heaven, Since my loved VVilli.im 's slain!
I only pray'd for William's sake.
« 0 take the sacrament, ray child.
By resignation's humble prayer,
« No sacrament can quench this fire,
Or slake this scorching pain; No sacrament can bid the dead
Arise and live again.
« O break, my heart, O break at once!
Be thou my god. Despair! Heaven's heaviest blow has fallen on me,
And vain each fruitless prayer.*
« O enter not in judgment. Lord,
With thy frail child of Hay! She knows not what her tongue has spoke;
Impute it not, I pray!
« Forbear, my child, this desperate woe.
And turn to God and grace; Well can devotion's heavenly glow
Convert thy bale to bliss.»
« O mother, mother, what is bliss?
O mother, what is bale 1
Or with him what were hell ?»
Wild she arraigns the eternal doom,
Upbraids each tarred power.
All iu the lonely tower.
She beat her breast, she wrung her bands.
Till sun and day were o'er. And through the glimmering lattice shone
The t» inkling of the star.
Then crash! the heavy draw-bridge feQ,
That o'er the moat was hung; And clatter! clatter! on iu boards
The hoof of courser rung.