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• What woful wight art thou,' said the Knight,
"To haunt this wassail fray?''I was once,' quoth he, a mortal like thee,
Though now I'm an Elfin gray.
• And the knight so bold as the corpse lies cold,
Who trod the greensward ring ; He must wander along with that restless throng,
For aye, with the Elfin King.
( With the restless crew, in weeds so blue,
The hapless Knight must wend; Nor ever be seen on haunted green
Till the weary seven years' end.
• Fair is the mien of the Knight in Green,
And bright his sparkling hair; 'Tis hard to believe how malice can live
In the breast of aught so fair.
• And light and fair are the fields of air,
Where he wanders to and fro;
To the realms of endless snow.
• When high over head falļ the streamers * red,
He views the blessed afar;
To earth like a falling star.
• With his shadowy crew, in weeds so blue,
That Knight for aye must run, Except thou succeed in a perilous deed, Unseen by the holy sun.
* Northern lights.
Who ventures the deed, and fails to succeed,
Perforce must join the crew.'-
• A deed that a Knight may do.' Mid the sleet and the rain thou must here remain
By the haunted greensward ring, Till the dance wax slow, and the song faint and low,
Which the crew unearthly sing. • Then right at the time of the matin chime,
Thou must tread the’unhallow'd ground, And with mystic pace the circles trace
That enclose it nine times round. • And next must thou pass the rank green grass
To the tables of ezlar red;
Nor behind thee turn thy head.
The sward of the green charm'd ring,
That 'longeth of holy thing.
And the lake spreads wide below, And the water fiend, there, with the fiend of air,
Is leagued for mortals' woe.'-
Till the evening star did rise ;
To the elritch dwarfy size.
[hail Sad notes of woe seem'd round him to grow,
The dirge of the Elfins gray.
And right at the time of the matin chime
His mystic pace began,
Like the moans of a murder'd man.
When he reach'd the central ring,
That crew with the Elfin King.
When the black monks wend to pray,
Before the dawn of day., The sigh of the trees and the rush of the breeze
Then pause on the lonely hill; And the frost of the dead clings round their head,
And they slumber cold and still. The Knight took up the emerald cup,
And the ravens hoarse did scream, And the shuddering Elfins half rose up,
And murmur'd in their dream:
To every icy limb;
'Gan roll with lustre dim.
To retrace the mystic track,
Who sobbed behind his back.
And he listen'd in wild amaze;
And he did not turn to gaze.
With panting breast, as he forward press’d,
He strode on a mangled head;
The voice of his mother dead.
He thought-but he nought did say;
And loud laugh'd the Elfins gray.
The wings of the blue Elf-King;
But he crossed the charmed ring.
Was the sound of the matin bell;
Fled where the moonbeams fell.
Arose from the green witch-grass;
And he wist not where he was.
Did bear from the ghostly crew,
To the ragged whinstone blue;
Was the murky midnight dew.
SIR RALPH THE ROVER.
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,