ページの画像
PDF
ePub

How different now! condemned to bide
My doom from this dark tyrant's pride.-
But Marmion has to learn, ere long,
That constant mind, and hate of wrong,
Descended to a feeble girl,
From Red De Clare, stout Gloster's Earl :
Of such a stem, a sapling weak,
He ne'er shall bend, although he break.

[ocr errors]

“ But see !—what makes this armour here?”

For in her path there lay
Targe, corslet, helm ;-—she viewed them near.-
The breast-plate pierced !-- Aye, much I fear,
Weak fence wert thou ’gainst foeman's spear,
That hath made fatal entrance here,

As these dark blood-gouts say.-
Thus Wilton !-Oh! not corslet's ward,
Not truth, as diamond pure and hard,
Could be thy manly bosom’s guard,

On yon disastrous day !”—

She raised her eyes in mournful mood, Wilton himself before her stood !

It might have seemed his passing ghost,

For every youthful grace was lost;

And joy unwonted, and surprise,
Gave their strange wildness to his eyes.-
Expect not, noble dames and lords,
Than I can tell such scene in words :
What skilful limner ere would chuse
To paint the rainbow's varying hues,
Unless to mortal it were given
To dip his brush in dyes of heaven ?
Far less can my weak line declare

Each changing passion's shade ;
Brightening to rapture from despair,
Sorrow, surprise, and pity there,
And joy, with her angelic air,
And hope, that paints the future fair,

Their varying hues displayed :
Each o'er its rival's ground extending,
Alternate conquering, shifting, blending,
Till all, fatigued, the conflict yield,
And mighty Love retains the field.
Shortly I tell what then he said,
By many a tender word delayed,
And modest blush, and bursting sigh,
And question kind, and fond reply.

VI.

De Wilton's vistory. “ Forget we that disastrous day, When senseless in the lists I lay.. Thence dragged,—but how I cannot know,

For sense and recollection fled, I found me on a pallet low,

Within my ancient beadsman’s shed. Austin,-remember'st thou, my Clare,

How thou didst blush, when the old man,

When first our infant love began,
Said we would make a matchless pair ?—

Menials, and friends, and kinsmen fled
From the degraded traitor's bed,

He only held my burning head,
And tended me for many a day,
While wounds and fever held their sway.
But far more needful was his care,
When sense returned to wake despair ;

For I did tear the closing wound,

And dash me frantic on the ground, If e'er I heard the name of Clare. At length, to calmer reason brought, Much by his kind attendance wrought,

With him I left my native strand,
And, in a palmer's weeds arrayed,
My hated name and form to shade,

I journeyed many a land;
No more a lord of rank and birth,

But mingled with the dregs of earth. - Oft Austin for my reason feared,

When I would sit, and deeply brood

On dark revenge, and deeds of blood, Or wild mad schemes upreared.

My friend at length fell sick, and said,

God would remove him soon ;
And, while upon his dying bed,

He begged of me a boon-
If ere my deadliest enemy
Beneath my brand should conquered lie,
Even then my mercy should awake,
And spare his life for Austin's sake.

VII.

“ Still restless as a second Cain,
To Scotland next my route was ta’en.

Full well the paths I knew;
Fame of my fate made various sound,
That death in pilgrimage I found,
That I had perished of my wound,

None cared which tale was true :
And living eye could never guess
De Wilton in his palmer's dress ;

For now that sable slough is shed,
And trimmed my shaggy beard and head,

« 前へ次へ »