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Faith ! ill, I fear, while conjuring wand Of English oak is hard at hand.
II. Or grant the hour be all too soon For Hessian boot and pantaloon, And grant the lounger seldom strays Beyond the smooth and gravell'd maze, Laud we the gods, that Fashion's train Holds hearts of more adventurous strain. Artists are hers, who scorn to trace
Their rules from Nature’s boundless
grace, But their right paramount assert To fimit her by pedant art, Damning whate'er of vast and fair Exceeds a canvas three feet square. This thicket, for their gumption fit, May furnish such a happy bit. Bards, too, are hers, wont to recite Their own sweet lays by waxen light, Half in the salver's tingle drown'd, While the chasse-cafe glides around; And such may hither secret stray, To labour an extempore: Or sportsman, with his boisterous
hollo, May here his wiser spaniel follow; Or stage-struck Juliet may presume To choose this bower for tiring-room; And we alike must shun regard, From painter, player, sportsman, bard. Insects that skim in Fashion's sky, Wasp, blue-bottle, or butterfly, Lucy, have all alarms for us, For all can hum and all can buzz.
But oh, my Lucy, say how long
Westill must dread this trifling throng,
And stoop to hide, with coward art,
The genuine feelings of the heart |
No parents thine whose just command
Should rule their child's obedient
hand; Thy guardians, with contending voice Press each his individual choice.
And which is Lucy's Can it be
That puny fop, trimm'd cap-a-pie,
Who loves in the saloon to show
The arms that never knew a foe;
Whose sabre trails along the ground,
Whose legs in shapeless boots are
drown'd ; -
A new Achilles, sure : the steel
Fled from his breast to fence his heel;
One, for the simple manly grace
That wont to deck our martial race,
Who comes in foreign trashery
Of tinkling chain and spur,
A walking haberdashery,
Of feathers, lace, and fur:
In Rowley's antiquated phrase,
Horse-milliner of modern days
Were all the wealth of Russell mine,
And all the rank of Howard's line,
All would I give for leave to dry
That dewdrop trembling in thine eye.
Think not I fear such fops can wile
From Lucy more than careless smile ;
But yet if wealth and high degree
Give gilded counters currency,
Must I not fear, when rank and birth
Stamp the pure ore of genuine worth?
Nobles there are, whose martial fires
Rival the fame that raised their sires,
And patriots, skill'd through storms
To guide and guard the reeling state.
Such, such there are: if such should
Arthur must tremble and be dumb,
Self-exiled seek some distant shore,
And mourn till life and grief are o’er.
What sight, what signal of alarm,
That Lucy clings to Arthur's arm 1
Or is it, that the rugged way
Makes Beauty lean on lover's stay?
Oh, no for on the vale and brake
Nor sight nor sounds of danger wake,
And this trim sward of velvet green
Were carpet for the Fairy Queen.
That pressure slight was but to tell
That Lucy loves her Arthur well,
And fain would banish from his mind
Suspicious fear and doubt unkind.
But wouldst thou bid the demons fly
Like mist before the dawning sky,
There is but one resistless spell–
Say, wilt thou guess, or must I tell ?
'Twere hard to name, in minstrel
A landaulet and four blood-bays,
But bards agree this wizard band
Can but be bound in Northern land.
'Tis there—nay, draw not back thy
A wild resemblance we can trace,
Though rest of every softer grace,
As the rough warrior's brow may bear
A likeness to a sister fair.
Full well advised our Highland host,
That this wild pass on foot be cross'd,
While round Ben-Cruach's mighty
Wheel the slow steeds and lingering
The keen old carle, with Scottish pride,
He praised his glen and mountains
An eye he bears for Nature's face,
Ay, and for woman's lovely grace.
Even in such mean degree we find
The subtle Scot's observing mind;
For, nor the chariot nor the train
Could gape of vulgar wonder gain,
But when old Allan would expound
Of Beal-na-paish the Celtic sound,
His bonnet doff’d, and bow, applied
His legend to my bonny bride;
While Lucy blush'd beneath his eye,
Courteous and cautious, shrewd and
Enough of him. Now, ere we lose,
Plunged in the vale, the distant views,
Turn thee, my love look back once
To the blue lake's retiring shore.
On its smooth breast the shadows
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 each dappled
We gaze and we admire, yet know
The scene is all delusive show.
Such dreams of bliss would Arthur
When first his Lucy's form he saw ;
Yet sigh’d and sicken'd as he drew,
Despairing they could e'er prove true!
III. But, Lucy, turn thee now, to view Up the fairglen, ourdestined way: The fairy path that we pursue, Distinguish’d but by greener hue, Winds round the purple brae, While Alpine flowers of varied dye For carpet serve, or tapestry. See how the little runnels leap, In threads of silver, down the steep, To swell the brooklet's moan
1 Beal-na-paish, the Vale of the Bridal.
IV. And now, my Lucy, wot'st thou why 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 lengthyon 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 When, dizzied with mine ecstasy, Nought past, or present, or to be, Could I or think on, hear, or see, Save, Lucy, thee alone ! A giddy draught my rapture was, As ever chemist's magic gas.
v. Again the summons I denied In yon fair capital of Clyde : My Harp—or let me rather choose The good old classic form—my Muse, (For Harp's an over-scutchéd phrase, Worn out by bards of modern days)
That lord, on high adventure bound,
Hath wander'd forth alone,
And day and night keeps watchful
In the valley of Saint John.
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 Her light composed and cool. Stretch'd on the brown hill's heathy breast, Sir Roland eyed the vale; Chief where, distinguish'd from the rest, Those clustering rocks uprear'd their crest, The dwelling of the fair distress'd, As told grey Lyulph's tale. Thus as he lay, the lamp of night Was quivering on his armour bright, In beams that rose and fell, And danced upon his buckler's boss, That lay beside him on the moss, As on a crystal well. III. Ever he watch'd, and oft he deem’d, While on the mound the moonlight stream’d, It alter'd to his eyes; Fain would he hope the rocks 'gan change To buttress'd walls their shapeless range, Fain think, by transmutation strange, He saw grey turrets rise. But scarce his heart with hope throbb'd high, Before the wild illusions fly Which fancy had conceived, Abetted by an anxious eye That long'd to be deceived.
Oft has he traced the charmed mound,
Oft climb'd its crest, or paced it round,
Yet nothing might explore,
Save that the crags so rudely piled,
At distance seen, resemblance wild
To a rough fortress bore.
Yet still his watch the warrior keeps,
Feeds hard and spare, and seldom
And drinks but of the well:
Ever by day he walks the hill,
And when the evening gale is chill,
He seeks a rocky cell,
Like hermit poor to bid his bead,
And tell his Ave and his Creed,
Invoking every saint at need,
For aid to burst his spell.
De Vaux, within his mountain cave, (No human step the storm durst brave) To moody meditation gave
Each faculty of soul, Till, lull'd by distant torrent sound, And the sad winds that whistled round, Upon his thoughts, in musing drown'd, A broken slumber stole.
'Twas then was heard a heavy sound (Sound strange and fearful there to
hear, 'Mongst desert hills, where, leagues around, Dwelt but the gorcock and the deer):
As, starting from his couch of fern,
Again he heard, in clangor stern,
That deep and solemn swell,—
Twelve times, in measured tone, it
Like some proud minster's pealing
Or city's larum-bell,—
What thought was Roland's first when
In that deep wilderness, the knell
Upon his startled ear?
To slander warrior were I loth,
Yet must I hold my minstrel troth,
It was a thought of fear.
But lively was the mingled thrill
That chased that momentary chill,
For Love's keen wish was there,
And eager Hope, and Valour high,
And the proud glow of Chivalry;
That burn’d to do and dare.
Forth from the cave the warrior rush'd,
Long ere the mountain-voice was
That answer'd to the knell ;
For long and far the unwonted sound,
Eddying in echoes round and round,
Was toss'd from fell to fell;