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Dark was the vaulted room of gramarye,
To which the wizard led the gallant Knighti Save that before a mirror, huge and high,
A hallowed taper shed a glimmering light On mystic implements of magic might;
On cross, and character, and talisman, And almagest, and altar, nothing bright j
For fitful was the lustre, pale and wan, As watch-light by the bed of some departing man.
But soon, within that mirror huge and high,
Was seen a self-emitted light to gleam; And forms upon its breast the earl 'gan spy,
Cloudy and indistinct, as feverish dream; Till, slow arranging, and defined, they seem
To form a lordly and a lofty room, Part lighted by a lamp with silver beam,
Placed by a couch of Agra's silken loom, And part by moonshine pale, and part was hid in gloom.
Fair all the pageant—but how passing fair
The slender form, which lay on couch of Ind! O'er her white bosom strayed her hazel hair,
Pale her dear cheek, as if for love she pined; All in her night robe loose she lay reclined,
And, pensive, read from tablet eburnine Some strain, that seemed her inmost soul to find:—
That favoured strain was Surrey's raptured line, That fair and lovely form, the Lady Geraldine.
Slow rolled the clouds upon the lovely form,
And swept the goodly vision all away— So royal envy rolled the murky storm
O'er my beloved Master's glorious day. Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant! Heaven repay
On thee, and on thy children's latest line, The wild caprice of thy despotic sway,
The gory bridal bed, the plundered shrine, The murdered Surrey's blood, the tears of Geraldine!
Both Scots, and Southern chiefs, prolong
For all of wonderful and wild
And much of wild and wonderful
Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell 5
Of chiefs, who, guided through the gloom
By the pale death-lights of the tomb,
Ransacked the graves of warriors old,
Their faulchions wrenched from corpses' hold,
Waked the deaf tomb with war's alarms,
And bade the dead arise to arms!
With war and wonder all on flame,
To Roslin's bowers young Harold came,
Where, by sweet glen and greenwood tree,
He learned a milder minstrelsy;
Yet something of the northern spell
Mixed with the softer numbers well.
O listen, listen, ladies gay!
No haughty feat of arms I tell;
Soft is the note, and sad the lay,
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.