Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thus marshall'a, o'er Denania's misty vale
The Danes their way pursue, then sudden halt,
Whilst Gorthmund thus his brave compeers address d,

Ye scowling warriors, whose big bosoms pant
“ For the strong toil of battle ! See ye not
A black cloud louring o'er yon mountain's brow?
“ At noon a tempest will break forth, and rain
“ In swelling torrents fall.—Yes, gallant Danes !
A storm will rage, but a loud storm of war,
A shower prone-rushing, but a shower of blood ;
“ For o'er yon heights the mighty Segowald

Approaches with his swarming legions, bred “ In Mercia's fruitful vales, and Sigebert On the right wing leads forth the Wessex bands. “ But be ye not dismay’d; here let us halt, “Screen'd by this woody height, and wait the attack. “ The God of victory smiles upon our arms; “ Thrice hath the Raven clapp'd his glossy wings, “ Thrice since the break of morn." Here ceas'd the Chief. Meanwhile the van of Segowold's firm troops Exulting reach'd the plain below, and now In banner'd pomp the rampant Dragon shone

Full on the adverse Host. A goodly scene,
How soon to close ! already his pale horse
Hath Death bestrode! The silver shields are struck
Loud twang the Mercian bows—instant the Danes
Return the charge, and showers of missile spears
Hurtle aloft. Now breast to breast they fought;
High roșe the mounts of slain.-Ceaulin raged
Like the gaunt wolf; down from his fissur'd helm
Spouted the life-blood, and ere long he fell,
By Sigebert's rais'd falchion cleft in twain.
Cathegor sought the mansion of his sires.
Fierce
grew

the conflict. Delward's withering arm
Hew'd many a Saxon down. Gorthmund meanwhile,
Wades through a purple flood, to where the King
Of Mercia panting, cut a lane of death,
And strikes his reeking javelin through the heart
Of Segowold-he staggering groan'd, and died.
And hark, the shout of conquest ! Lo! they fly!
The Saxons fly, and Gorthmund rash pursues
The dastard fugitives, reckless he, how soon
The fate of Segowald will be his own !
For ah a whizzing shaft too well perform'd
Its errand, and transfix'd his brawny chest !
Stunn'd he recoil'd, the sombre shades of death

Floating before his eyes, and with a smile
Gave up the ghost!

A faithful band of Danes
Their pointed bucklers o'er the lifeless corse
Suspend, whilst from their deep-toned harps, the Scalds
Pour'd forth their solemn-breathing strains. “Behold,

“ Spirit of Death! thy victory! behold,

“ Fit inmate for the yawning grave,
“Low weltering in the dust, and cold,

“ The bravest of the brave !

“Gothmund ! inglorious lies Thy plume, that rivall’d erst the dazzling snow;

“ Clos'd are those eyes, “ That erst flash'd terror on the foe, “ And crush'd the sinewy arm, that laid the mighty low !

“ Never more along the mountains

“ Shalt thou chase the bristly boar ;
“ Never shall thy glittering anlace

“ Drink the wolf's empurpled gore.
“ But some belated hunter, wandering near

“ The hallow'd precincts of thy to.nb,

[ocr errors]

(What time the western promontory

“ Is ting'd with Eve's departing glory,) “ Bending in pensive sadness o'er his spear, “ Shall muse on thee whose ashes rest beneath

“The hill of Roes, whilst through the deepening gloom “ The night-gales fitful moans funereal horrors breathe.”

St. ROMUALD.

The Virtues of this Saint, as mentioned in the poem, may be

found particularized in his life. The honour intended him by the Spaniards, is mentioned by Andrewes, History of England, Vol. 1.

One day, it matters not to know
How
many
hundred

years ago, A Spaniard stopt at a posada door :

The Landlord came to welcome him, and chat

Of this and that,
For he had seen the Traveller there before.

Does holy Romuald dwell

Still in his cell ?
The Traveller ask'd, or is the old man dead ?

No, he has left his loving flock, and we

So good a Christian never more shall see, The Landlord answer'd, and he shook his head.

G

« PreviousContinue »