ページの画像
PDF
ePub

the same, charged with an anchor between 2 lions' heads erazed, or,-Gale.

CANTO II. 2d. Or, 2 bars gemelles gules, and a chief or,-Richmond.

3d. Or, a fess chequey, or and gules between 9 gerbes gules,- Vaux of Caterlen.

Note 1. Stanza x. 4th. Gules, a fess chequey, or and gules between 6

From Arthur's hand the goblet few. gerbes or,–Vaux of Torcrossock.

The author has an indistinct recollection of an ad5th. 'Argent, a bend chequey, or and gules, for Vaux

venture somewhat similar to that which is here ascribed of Triermain.

to King Arthur, having befallen one of the ancient 6th. Gules, a cross-patonce, or,-Delamore.

kings of Denmark. The horn in which the burning 7th. Gules, 6 lions rampant argent, 3, 2, and 1,- liquor was presented to that monarch, is said still to Leybourne.

be preserved in the Royal Museum at Copenhagen. Note 3. Stanza vi.

Note 2, Stanza x.
And his who sleeps at Dunmailraise.

Nor tower nor donjon could he spy,
Dunmailraise is one of the grand passes from Cum-

Darkening against the morning sky. berland into Westmoreland. It takes its name from a

---- We now gained a view of the Vale of Saint cairn, or pile of stones, erected, it is said, to the me- John, a very narrow dell, hemmed in by mountains, mory of Dunmail, the last king of Cumberland.

through which a small brook makes many meanderNote 4. Stanza vii.

ings, washing little inclosures of grass-ground, which stretch

up the rising of the hills. In the widest part of Penrith's Table Round. A circular entrenchment, about half a mile from cient ruined castle, which seems to stand upon the

the dale you are struck with the appearance of an anPenrith, is thus popularly termed. The circle within summit of a little mount, the mountains around formthe ditch is about one hundred and sixty paces in cir- ing an amphitheatre. This massive bulwark shows a cumference, with openings, or approaches, directly op- front of various towers, and makes an awful, rude, and posite to each other. As the ditch is on the inner side, Gothic appearance, with its lofty turrets and ranged it could not be intended for the purpose of defence, and baulements; we traced the galleries, the bending it has reasonably been conjectured, that the inclosure arches, the buttresses. The greatest antiquity stands was designed for the solemn exercise of feats of chi characterized in its architecture; the inhabitants near valry; and the embankment around for the conveni- it assert it is an antediluvian structure. ence of the spectators.

« The traveller's curiosity is roused, and he prepares Note 5. Stanza vii.

to make a nearer approach, when that curiosity is put - Mayburgh's mound and slopes of power.

upon the rack by his being assured, that if he advances, Higher up the river Eamont than Arthur's Round certain genii who govern the place, by virtue of their Table, is a prodigious inclosure of great antiquity, supernatural art and necromancy, will strip it of all its formed by a collection of stones upon the top of a gen

beauties, and, by enchantment, transform the magic tly-sloping hill, called Mayburgh. In the plain which walls. The vale seems adapted for the habitation of it incloses there stands erect an unhewn stone of twelve sucli beings; its gloomy recesses and retirements look feet in height. Two similar masses are said to have like haunts of evil spirits. There was no delusion in been destroyed during the memory of man. The whole the report; we were soon convinced of its truth; for

this piece of antiquity, so venerable and noble in its appears to be a monument of druidical times,

aspect, as we drew near, changed its figure, and proved Note 6. Stanza x.

no other than a shaken massive pilc of rocks, which Though never sun-beam could discern

stand in the midst of this little vale, disunited from

the adjoining mountains, and have so much the real The small lake called Scales-tarn lies so deeply em form and resemblance of a castle, that they bear the bosomed in the recesses of the huge mountain called

name of the Castle Rocks of St John.»—IlutchINSON'S Saddleback, more poetically Glaramara, is of such great Excursion to the Lakes, p. 121. depth, and so completely hidden from the sun, that it is said its bcams never reach it, and that the reflection

Note 3. Stanza xi. of the stars may be seen at mid-day.

The Sasons to subjection brought.

Arthur is said to have defeated the Saxons in twelve
Note 7. Stanza xvii.
-Tintadgel's spear.

pitched battles, and to have achieved the other feats

alluded to in the text. Tintadgel Castle, in Cornwall, is reported to have been the birth-place of King Arthur.

Note 4. Stanza xiii.

There Morolt of the iron mace, etc.
Note 8. Stanza xvii.
-Caliburn in cumbrous length.

The characters named in the following stanza are all This was the name of King Arthur's well-known

of them, more or less, distinguished in the romances sword, sometimes also called Excalibar.

which treat of King Arthur and his Round Table, and

their names are strung together according to the estaYot vert, as stated by Burn.

blished custom of minstrels upon such occasions; for * This more detailed genealogy of the family of Triermain was example, in the ballad of the marriage of Sir Gaobligingly sent to the author by Major Braddyllof Corbishcad Priory.

wajne:

The surface of that sable tarn.

Sir Lancelot, Sir Stephen bolde,

standyng poole, covered and overflowed all England, They rode with them that daye,

fewe books were read in our tongue, savyng certaine And, foremost of the companye, There rode the stewarde Kaye.

bookes of chevalrie, as they said, for pastime and pleaSoe did Sir Banier and Sir Bore,

sure; wbich, as some say, were made in the monasteAnd eke Sir Garratte keen,

ries, by idle monks or wanton chanons. As one for Sir Tristram too, that gentle knight,

example, La morte d'Arthure; the whole pleasure of To the forest fresh and green.

which book standeth in two speciall poynts, in open Note 5. Stanza xiji.

manslaughter and bold bawdrye; in which booke they And Lancelot, that evermore

be counted the noblest knightes that do kill most men Look'd stol'n-wise on tbe queen.

without any quarrell, and commit fowlest adoulteries Upon this delicate subject hear Richard Robinson, by sutlest shiftes; as Sir Launcelot, with the wife of citizen of London, in his Assertion of King Arthur: King Arthur, his master; Sir Tristram, with the wife of

« But as it is a thing sufficiently apparent that she King Marke, his uncle; Sir Lamerocke, with the wife (Guenever, wife of King Arthur) was beautiful, so it is of King Lote, that was his own aunt. This is good a thing doubted whether she was chaste, yea or no. stuffe for wise men to laugh at, or honest men to take Truly, so far as I can with honestie, I would spare the pleasure at, yet I know when God's Bible was banished impayred honour and fame of noble women. But yet the court, and La Morte d'Arthure received into the the truth of the historie pluckes me by the eere, and prince's chamber.»—ASCHAM's Schoolmaster. willeth me not onely, but commandeth me to declare what the ancients have deemed of her. To wrestle or

Note 7. Stanza xviii. contend with so great authoritie were indeed unto me

-- valiant Carodac, a controversie, and that greate »- Assertion of King

Who won the cup of gold. Arthure. Imprinted by John Wolfe, Loodon, 1582. See the comic tale of the Boy and the Mantle, in Note 6. Stanza xviii.

the third volume of Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, There were two who loved their neighbours' wives, from the Breton or Norman original of which Ariosto And one who loved his own,

is supposed to have taken his tale of the Enchanted « In our forefathers' tyme, when papistrie, as a Cup,

The Uision of Don Roderick.

Quid dignum memorare tuis, Hispania, lerris,
Vox humana valet !

CLAUDIAN

TO JOHN WHITMORE, ESQ.
AND TO THE COMMITTEE OF SUBSCRIBERS FOR RELIEF OF THE PORTUGUESE SUFFERERS,

IN WHICH HE PRESIDES,

This Poem,

COMPOSED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUND UNDER THEIR MANAGEMENT,

IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,

BY WALTER SCOTT.

PREFACE,

change of scene, into THREE PERIODS. The First of these represents the Invasion of the Moors, the Defeat

and Death of Roderick, and closes with the peaceful The following poem is founded upon a Spanish tradi- occupation of the country by the victors. The SECOND tion, particularly detailed in the Notes; but bearing, in Period embraces the state of the Peninsula, when the general, that Don Roderick, the last Gothic King of conquests of the Spaniards and Portuguese in the East Spain, when the invasion of the Moors was impending, and West Indies had ra 'sed to the highest pitch the rehad the temerity to descend into an ancient vault, near nown of their arms; sullied, however, by superstition Toledo, the opening of which had been denounced as and cruelty. An allusion to the inhumanities of the Infatal to the Spanish monarchy. The legend adds, that quisition terminates this picture. The Last Part of the his rash curiosity was mortified by an emblematical re- poem opens with the state of Spain previous to the unpresentation of those Saracens, who, in the year 714, paralleled treachery of BONAPARTE ; gives a sketch of defeated him in battle, and reduced Spain under their the usurpation attempted upon that unsuspicious and dominion. I have presumed to prolong the Vision of friendly kingdom, and terminates with the arrival of the Revolutions of Spain down to the present eventful the British succours. It may be farther proper to mencrisis of the Peninsula ; and to divide it, by a supposed tion, that the object of the poem is less to commemo

rate or detail particular incidents, than to exhibit a ge

IV. neral and impressive picture of the several periods Ye mountains stern! within whose rugged breast brought upon the stage.

The friends of Scottish freedom found repose; I am too sensible of the respect due to the Public, Ye torrents! whose hoarse sounds have soothed their especially by one who has already experienced more

rest, than ordinary indulgence, to offer any apology for the Returning from the field of vanquish'd foes; inferiority of the poetry to the subject it is chiefly de- Say, have ye lost each wild majestic close, signed to commemorate. Yet I think it proper to men That erst the choir of bards or druids flung; tion, that while I was hastily executing a work, written What time their hymn of victory arose, for a temporary purpose, and on passing events, the And Cattraeth's glens with voice of triumph rung, task was cruelly interrupted by the successive deaths of And mystic Merlin harp'd, and gray-hair'd Llywarch: Lord President Blair, and Lord Viscount Melville.

sung. (1) In those distinguished characters, I had not only to re

V. gret persons whose lives were most important to Scot-o! if your wilds such minstrelsy retain, land, but also whose notice and patronage honoured As sure your changeful gales seem oft to say, my entrance upon active life; and I may add, with me- When sweeping wild and sinking soft again, lancholy pride, who permitted my more advanced age Like trumpet-jubilee, or harp's wild sway; to claim no common share in their friendship. Under If ye can echo such triumphant lay, such interruptions, the following verses, which my best Then lend the note to him has loved you long! and happiest efforts must have left far unworthy of Who pious gather'd each tradition cray, their theme, have, I am myself sensible, an appearance That floats your solitary wastes ong, of negligence and incoherence, which, in other circum- And with affection vain gave them new voice in song. stances, I might have been able to remove.

VI. Edinburgh, June 24, 1811.

For not till now, how oft soe'er the task

Of truant verse hath lighteo'd graver care,
From muse or sylvan was he wont to ask,

In phrase poetic, inspiration fair;
Careless he gave his numbers to the air,-

They came unsought for, if applauses came;
INTRODUCTION.

Nor for himself prefers he now the prayer ;

Let but bis verse befit a hero's fame,

Immortal be the verse !--forgot the poet's name. 1.

VII.
Lives there a strain, whose sounds of mountain fire Hark, from yon misty cairn their answer tost :
May rise distinguished o'er the din of war,

« Minstrel! the fame of whose romantic lyre, Or died it with yon Master of the Lyre,

Capricious swelling now, may soon be lost, Who sung beleaguer'd lion's evil star?

Like the light flickering of a cottage fire;
Such, WELLINGTON, might reach thee from afar, If to such task presumptuous thou aspire,
Wafting its descant wide o'er ocean's range;

Seek not from us the meed to warrior due:
Nor shouts, nor clashing arms, its mood.could mar, Age after age has gather'd son to sire,
All as it swell'd 'twixt each loud trumpet-change,

Since our gray cliffs the din of conflict knew,
That clangs to Britain victory, to Portugal revenge! Or, pealing through our vales, victorious bugles blew.
II.

VIJI. Yes! such a strain, with all o'er-powering measure,

Decay'd our old traditionary lore, Might melodize with each tumultuous sound,

Save where the lingering fays renew their ring Each voice of fear or triumph, woe or pleasure,

By milk-maid seen beneath the hawthorn hoar, That rious Mondego's ravaged shores around; Or round the marge of Minchmore's haunted spring:(2) The thund'ring cry of hosts with conquest crown'd,

Save where their legends gray-hair'd shepherds sing, The female shriek, the ruin d peasant's moan,

That now scarce win a listening ear but thine, The shout of captives from their chains unbound, Of feuds obscure, and border ravaging, The foild oppressor's deep and sullen groan,

And rugged deeds recount in rugged line, A nation's choral bymn for tyranny o'erthrown. Of moon-light foray made on Teviot, Tweed, or Tyne.

III.
But we, weak minstrels of a laggard day,

Skill'd but to imitate an elder page,
Timid and raptureless, can we repay

The debt thou claim'st in this exhausted age ? Thou givest our lyres a theme, that might engage

Those that could send thy name o'er sea and land,
While sea and land shall last; for Homer's rage

A theme; a theme for Milton's mighty hand-
How much unmeet for us, a faint degenerate band !

IX.
« No! search romantic lands, where the near sun

Gives with unstinted boon ethereal flame,
Where the rude villager, his labour done,

In verse spontaneous(3) chaunts some favour'd name;
Whether Olalia's charms his tribute claim,
Her

eye of diamond, and her locks of jet;
Or whether, kindling at the deeds of Græme, (4)

le sing, to wild Morisco measure set,
Old Albyn's red claymore, green Erin's bayonet !

III.

X. « Explore those regions, where the flinty crest

But of their monarch's person keeping ward, Of wild Nevada ever gleams with snows,

Since last the deep-mouth'd bell of vespers tollid, Where in the proud Alhambra's ruin'd breast

The chosen soldiers of the royal guard Barbaric monuments of pomp repose;

Their post beneath the proud cathedral hold; Or where the banners of more ruthless foes

A band unlike their Gothic sires of old, Than the fierce Moor, float o'er Toledo's fane,

Who, for the cap of steel and icon mace, From whose tall towers even now the patriot throws Bear slender darts, and casques bedeck'd with gold, An anxious glance, to spy upon the plain

While silver-studded belts their shoulders grace, The blended ranks of England, Portugal, and Spain. Where ivory quivers ring in the broad falchion's place. XI.

IV. « There, of Numantian fire a swarthy spark

In the light language of an idle court, Still lightens in the sun-burnt native's eye;

They murmur'd at their master's long delay, The stately pori, slow step, and visage dark,

And held his lengthend orisons in sport :Suill mark enduring pride and constancy.

« What! will Don Roderick here till morning stay, And, if the glow of feudal chivalry

To wear in s'ırift and prayer the night away? Beam pot, as once, thy nobles' dearest pride,

And are his hours in such dull penance past, Iberia! oft thy crestless peasantry

For fair Florioda's plunderd charms to pay?»--(5) Have seen the plumed lidalgo quit their side,

Then to the east their weary eyes they cast, Have seen, yet dauntless stood gainst fortune fought And wislı'd the lingering dawe would glimmer forth at and died.

last. XII.

V. « And cherish'd still by that unchanging race,

But, far within, Toledo's prelate lent Are themes for minstrelsy more bigh than thine; An ear of fearful wonder to the king ; Of strange tradition many a mystic trace,

The silver lamp a fitful lustre sent, Legend and vision, prophecy and sign ;

So long thai sad confession witnessing: Where wonders wild of Arabesque combine

For Roderick told of many a hidden thing, With Gothic imagery of darker shade,

Such as are lothly utter'd to the air, Forming a model meet for minstrel linc.

When fear, remorse, and shame the bosom wring,
Go, seek such theme !»— The mountain spirit said: And guilt his secret burthen cannot bear,
With filial awe I heard -I heard, and I obey'd. And conscience seeks in speech a respite from despair.

VI.
Full on the prelate's face, and silver hair,

The stream of failing light was feebly rollid;
But Roderick's visage, though his head was bare,

Was shadow'd by his hand and mantle's fold,
While of his hidden soul the sins he told,

Proud Alaric's descendant could not brook,
VISION OF DON RODERICK.

That mortal man his bearing should behold,

Or boast that he had seen, when conscience shook,
Fear tame a monarch's brow, remorse a warrior's look.

VII.
I.

The old man's faded cheek wax'd yet more pale,
REARING their crests amid the cloudless skies,

As many a secret sad the king bewray'd ;
And darkly chustering in the pale moon-light, And sign and glance eked out the unfinish'd tale,
Toledo's holy towers and spires arise,

When in the midst his faltering whisper staid.As from a trembling lake of silver white.

« Thus royal Wiliza' was slain, »—hc said; Their mingled shadows intercept the sight

« Yet, holy father, deem not it was I.»— Of the broad burial-ground outstretch'd below, Thus still ambition strives her crime to shadeAnd nought disturbs the silence of the night;

« Oh rather deem ' was stern nccessity! All sleeps in sullen shade, or silver glow,

Self-preservation bade, and I must kill or die. All save the heavy swell of Teio's ceaseless flow.

VIII.

wc And if Florinda's shrieks alarm'd the air, II.

If she invoked her absent sire in vain, All save the rushing swell of Teio's tide,

And on her knees implored that I would spare, Or distant heard, a courser's neigh or tramp,

Yet, reverend priest, thy sentence rash refrain ! Their changing rounds as watchful horsemen ride,

All is not as it seems- the female train To guard the limits of King Roderick's camp.

Know by their bearing to disguise their mood :-> For, through the river's night-fog rolling damp,

But conscience here, as if in high disdain, Was many a proud pavilion dimly seen,

Sent to the monarch's cheek the burning blood Which glimmer'd back, against the moon's fair lamp,

He stay'd his speech abrupt-and up the prelate stood. Tissues of silk and silver-iwisted sheen, And standards proudly pitch'd, and warders arnid be- ! "The predecessor of Roderick upon the Spanish throne, and

slain by his connivance, as is affirmed by Rolriguez, of Toledo. the father of Spanish history,

THE

tween.

IX.

[ocr errors]

XV. «O hardend offspring of an iron race!

Fix'd was the right-hand giant's brazen look What of thy crimes, Don Roderick, shall I say? Upon his brother's glass of shifting sand, What alms, or prayers, or penance can efface

As if its ebb he measured by a book, Murder's dark spot, wash treason's stain away! Whose iron volume loaded his huge hand; For the foul ravisher how shall I pray,

In which was wrote of many a falling land, Who, scarce repentant, makes his crime his boast? Of empires lost, and kings to exile driven, How hope Almiglity vengeance shall delay,

And o'er that pair their names in scroll expandUnless, in mercy to yon christian host,

«Lo, Destiny and Time! to whom by Heaven le spare

the shepherd, .Jest the guiltless sheep be The guidance of the earth is for a season given.»—. lost ?» X.

XVI. Then kindled the dark tyrant in his mood,

Een while they read, the sand-glass wastes away ; And to bis brow return'd its dauntless gloom ;

And, as the last and lageing grains did creep, « And welcome thico,» he cried, « be blood for blood, That right-hand giant 'gan his club upsway, For treason treachery, for dishonour doom!

As one that startles from a heavy sleep. Yet will I know whence come they, or by whom. Full on the upper wall the mace's sweep

Show, for thou canst-give forth the fated key, At once descended with the force of thunder, And guide me, priest, to that mysterious room, And hurling down at once, in crumbled heap, Where, if aught true in old tradition be,

The marble boundary was rent asunder, His nation's future fate a Spanislı king shall see.»— -(6) And gave to Roderick's view new sights of fear and

wonder. XI.

XVII. « [ll-fated prince! recal the desperate word,

For they might spy, beyond that mighty breach, Or pause ere yet the omen thou obey!

Realms as of Spain in vision'd prospect laid, Bethink yon spell-bound portal would afford

Castles and towers, in due proportion each, Never to former monarch entrance-way;

As by some skilful artist's hand portray'd : Nor shall it ever ope, old records say,

Ilere, erossid by many a wild Sierra's shade, Save to a king, the last of all his line,

And boundless plains that tire the traveller's

eye ; What time his empire totters to decay,

There, rich with vincyard and with olive glade, And treason digs, beneath, her fatal mine,

Or deep-embrown'd by forests huge and high, And, high above, impends avenging wrath divine.»—

Or wash'd by mighly streams, that slowly murmurd

by.
XII.

XVII.
Prelate! a monarch's fate brooks no delay; And here, as erst upon the antique stage
Lead on !»—the ponderous key the old man took, Pass'd forth the bands of masquers trimly led,
And held the winking lamp, aud led the way,

In various forms, and various equipage,
By winding stair, dark aisle, and secret nook,

While fitting strains the hearer's fancy fed ; Then on an ancient gate-way bent his look;

So to sad Roderick's eye in order spread, And, as the key the desperate king essay'd,

Successive pageants fill'd that mystic scene, Low-mutter'd thunders the cathedral shook,

Showing the fate of battles ere they bled, And twice le stopp'd, and cwice new effort made,

And issue of events that had not been ; Till the huge bolts rolld back, and the loud hinges and ever and anon strange sounds were heard between. bray'd. XIII.

XIX. Long, large, and lofty, was that vaulted hall;

First shrilld an unrepeated female shriek!Roof, walls, and floor, were all of marble stone, It seem'd as if Don Roderick knew the call, Of polislid marble, black as funeral pall,

For the bold blood was blanching in his cheek. Carved o'er with signs and characters unknown. Then answer'd keltic-drum and atabal, A paly light, as of the dawniny, shone

Gong-pcal and cymbal-clauk the ear appal, Through the sad bounds, but whence they could not The Tecbir war-cry, and the Lelies' yell, (7) spy;

Ring wildly dissonant along the hall. For window to the upper air was none;

Needs not to Roderick their dread import tell — Yet by that light, Don Roderick could descry « The Moor,» be cried, « the Moor!-ring out the Wonders that ne'er till they were seen by mortal eye.

tocsiu bell! XIV.

XX. Grim sentinels, against the upper wall,

« They come! they come! I see the groaning lands Of molten bronze, iwo statues held their place; White with the turbans of each Arab horde, Massive their naked limbs, their stature tall,

Swart Zaarah joins her misbelieving bands, Their frowning forelieads golden circies grace.

Alla and Mahomet their battle-word, Moulded they seem'd for kings of giant race,

The choice they yield, the koran or the sword.That lived and sino'd before the avenging flood; See how the christians rush to arms amain ! This grasp'd a scythe, that rested on a mace;

In yonder shout the voice of conflict roard ! This spreads his wings for flight, that pondering Tlic shadowy hosts are closing on the plainstood,

Now, God and Saint Jago strike, for the good cause of Each stubborn seenid and stero, immutable of mood.

Spain!

[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »