Page images
PDF
EPUB

מס

LI.

[ocr errors]

XLVII.

LXII. Tramp! tramp! along the land they rode,

The falling gauntlet quits the reign, Splash! splash! along the sea;

Down drops the casque of steel, The scourge is wight, the spur is bright,

The cuirass leaves his shrinking side,
Toe tiashing pebbles flee.

The spur his gory heel.
XLVIII.

LXIII.
Fled past on right and left how fast

The eyes desert the naked skull, Each forest, grove, and bower!

The mould'ring flesh the bone, On nght and left fied past how fast

Till Helen's lily arms entwine Each city, town, and tower!

A ghastly skeleton.

LXIV.
XLIX.

The furious barb snorts fire and foam, * Dost fear? dost fear? The moon shines clear,

And, with a fearful bound, Dust fear to ride with me?

Dissolves at once in empty air, Hurrah! hurrah! the dead can ride !"

And leaves her on the ground. * O William, let them be !

LXV.
L.

Half seen by fits, by fits half heard, * See there, see there! What yonder swings

Pale spectres tljt along, And creaks 'mid whistling rain?"

Wheel round the maid in dismal dance, *Gibbet and steel, th' accursed wheel;

And howl the funeral song; A murderer in his chain.

LXVI.

“E'en when the heart's with anguish cleft, "Hollo! thou felon, follow here:

Revere the doom of Heaven. To bridal bed we ride;

Her soul is from her body reft; And thou shalt prance a fetter dance

Her spirit be forgiven!"
Before me and my bride."

LII.
And, hurry! hurry! clash, clash, clash!

THE WILD HUNTSMAN.
The wasted form descends ;
And fleet as wind through hazel bush
The wild career atiends.

This is a translation, or rather an imitation, of

the Wilde Jiger of the German poet Bürger. The LIII.

tradition upon which it is founded bears, that formerTramp! tramp! along the land they rode, ly a Wildgrave, or keeper of a royal forest, named Splash! splash! along the sea ;

Faulkenburgh, was so much addicted to the pleasures The scourge is red, the spur drops blood,

of the chase, and otherwise so extremely profligate The flashing pebbles flee.

and cruel, that he not only followed this unhallowed LIV.

amusement on the Sabbath, and other days conseHow fled what moonshine faintly show'd!

crated to religious duty, but accompanied it with the

most unheard-of oppression upon the poor peasants, How fled what darkness hid ! How tied the earth beneath their feet,

who were under his vassalage. When this second

Nimrod died, the people adopted a superstition, The heaven above their head!

founded probably on the many various uncouth LV.

sounds heard in the depth of a German forest, during "Dost fear? doet fear? The moon shines clear, the silence of the night. They conceived they still And well the dead can ride;

heard the cry of the Wildgrave's hounds; and the Dost faithful Helen fear for them ?"'-

well-known cheer of the deceased hunter, the sounds "O leave in peace the dead !"

of his horses' feet, and the rustling of the branches

before the game, the pack, and the sportsmen, are LVI.

also distinctly discriminated; but the phantoms are " Barb! Barb! methinks I hear the cock;

rarely, if ever, visible. Once, as a benighted ChasThe sand will soon be run:

seur heard this infernal chase pass by him, at the Barb! Barb! I smell the morning air ;

sound of the halloo, with which the Spectre HuntsThe race is wellnigh done.”

man cheered his hounds, he could noi refrain from LVII.

crying, " Gluck zu, Falkenburgh!" (Good sport to Tramp! tramp! along the land they rode,

ye, Falkenburgh!'']

Dost thou wish me good Splash ! splash! along the sea;

sport ?'' answered a hoarse voice; "thou shalt share The ecourge is red, the spur drops blood,

the game;' and there was thrown at him what The flashing pebbles flee.

seemed to be a huge piece of foul carrion. The

daring Chasseur lost two of his best horses soon LVIII.

after, and never perfectly recovered the personal Hurrah! hurrah! well ride the dead;

effects of this ghostly greeting: This tale, though The bride, the bride is come;

told with some variations, is universally believed all And soon we reach the bridal bed,

over Germany. For, Helen, here's my home.”.

The French had a similar tradition concerning an LIX.

aprial hunter, who infested the forest of Fountain

bleau. He was sometimes visible; when he apReluctant on its rusty hinge Revolved an iron door,

peared as a huntsman, surrounded with dogs, a tall And by the pale moon's setting beam

grisly figure. Some account of him may be found

in “Sully's Memoirs,” who says he was called Le Were seen a church and tower.

Grand Vencur. At one time he chose to hunt so LX.

near the palace, that the attendants, and, if I misWith many a shriek and cry whiz round

take not, Sully himself, came out into the court, The birds of midnight, scared ;

supposing it was the sound of the king returning And rustling like autumnal leaves

from the chase. This phantom is elsewhere called Unhallow'd ghosts were heard.

Saint Hubert.

The superstition seems to have been very general, LXI.

as appears from the following fine poetical descripO'er many a tomb and tombstone pale

tion of this phantom chase, as it was heard in the He spurrd the fiery horse,

wilds of Ross-shire. Tulsudden at an open grave

" Ere since, of old, the haughty thanes of Ross,He check'd the wondrous course.

So to the simple swain tradition tells,

[ocr errors]

Were wont with clang, and ready vassals throng'd,

The Wildgrave spurr'd his courser light,
To wake the bounding slag, or guilty wolf,

O'er moss and moor, o'er holt and bill;
Thero oft is heard, at midnight, or at noon,
Beginning taint, but rising still more loud,

And on the left, and on the right,
And nearer, voice of hunters, and of hounds,

Each Stranger Horseman follow'd still. And horns, hoarse winded, blowing tar and keen :Forthwith the hubbub multiplies; the galo

Up springs, from yonder tangled thorn, Labours with wilder shrieks, and riler din

A stag more while than mountain snow; of hot pursuit; the broken cry ot' deer

And louder rung the Wildgrave's horn, Mangled by throttling dogs; the shouts of men,

“Hark forward, forward ! holla, ho!"
And hoofs, thick beating on the hollow hill.
Sudden the grazing heiter in the vale

A heedless wretch has cross'd the way;
Starts at the noise, and both the herdsman's ears
Tingle with inward dread. Aghast, he eyes

He gasps, the thundering hoofs below ;The mountains height, and all the ridges round,

But, live who can, or die who may, Yet not one trace of living wight discerns,

Still, “ Forward, forward !" on they go. Nor knowy, o'era wer, and trembling as he stands, To what, or whom, he owes his idle fear,

See, where yon simple fences meet, To ghost, to witch, to fairy, or to fiend;

A field with autumn's blessings crown'd; But wonders, and no end of wondering finds." Albania-reprinted in Scottish Descriptive Poems, pp. See, prostrate at the Wildgrave's feet, 167, 163.

A husbandman with toil embrown'd: A posthumous miracle of Father Lesley, a Scottish

“O mercy, mercy, noble lord ! capuchin, related to his being buried on a hill haunt

Spare the poor's pittance,” was his cry, ed by these unearthly cries of hounds and huntsmen.

"Earn’d by the sweat these brows have pour'd, After his sainted relics had been deposited there,

In scorching hour of fierce July.”the noise was never heard more. The reader will find this, and other miracles, recorded in the life of Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads, Father Bonaventura, which is written in the choi

The left still cheering to the prey; cest Italian.

The impetuous Farl no warning heeds,

But furious holds the onward way.
THE WILD HUNTSMAN,

"Away, thou hound! so basely born,
(1796.*]

Or dread the scourge's echoing blow !"

Then loudly rung his bugle horn, The Wildgrave winds his bugle-horn,

“Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!"To horse, to horse! halloo, halloo! His fiery courser snuffs the morn,

So said, so done:-A single bound And thronging serfs their lord pursue.

Clears the poor labourer's humble pale ;

Wild follows man, and horse, and hound, The eager pack, from couples freed,

Like dark December's storiny gale. Dash through the bush, the brier, the brake; While answering hound, and horn, and stced, And man and horse, and hound and horn, The mountain echoes startling wake.

Destructive sweep the field along;

While, joying o'er the wasted corn, The beams of God's own hallow'd day

Fell Famine marks the maddening throng. Had painted yonder spire with gold, And, calling sinful man to pray,

Again uproused, the timorous prey Loud, long, and deep the bell had toll’d:

Scours moss and moor, and holt and hill;

Hard run, he feels his strength decay,
But still the Wildgrave onward rides;
Halloo, halloo! and, hark again!

And trusts for life his simple skill.
When, spurring from opposing sides,

Too dangerous solitude appear’d; Two Stranger Horsemen join the train.

He seeks the shelter of the crowd;

Amid the flock's domestic herd
Who was each Stranger, left and right,

His harmless head he hopes to shroud.
Well may I guess, but dare not tell ;
The right-hand steed was silver white,

O’er moss and moor, and holt and hill,
The left, the swarthy hue of hell.

His track the steady blound-hounds trace; The right-hand Horseman, young and fair

O'er moss and moor, unwearied still, His smile was like the morn of May;

The furious Earl pursues the chase. The left, from eye of tawny glare,

Full lowly did the herdaman fall;Shot midnight lightning's lurid ray.

O spare, thou noble Baron, spare He waved his huntsman's cap on high,

These herds, a widow's little all;

These flocks, an orphan's fleecy care!" Cried, “Welcome, welcome, noble lord ! What sport can earth, or sea, or sky,

Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads, To match the princely chase, afford !"

The left still cheering to the prey : "Cease thy loud bugle's changing knell,”

The Earl nor prayer nor pity heeds,

But furious keeps the onward way. Cried the fair youth, with silver voice; "And for devotion's choral swell,

“Unmanner'd dog! To stop my sport Exchange the rude unhallow'd noise.

Vain were thy cant and beggar whine, "To-day, the ill-omen'd chase forbear,

Though human spirits, of thy sort, Yon bell yet summons to the fane;

Were tenants of these carrion kine!" To-day the Warning Spirit hear,

Again he winds his bugle horn, To-morrow thou mayst mourn in vain."-

* Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!" "Away, and sweep the glades along !"

And through the herd, in ruthless scorn, The Sable Hunter hoarse replies;

He cheers his furious hounds to go. "To muttering monks leave matin-song,

In heaps the throttled victims fall; And bells, and books, and mysteries.

Down sinks their mangled herdsman near; The Wildgrave spurr'd his ardent steed,

The murderous cries the stag appal, And, launching forward with a bound,

Again he starts, new nerved by fear. Who, for thy drowsy priestlike rede,

With blood besmear'd and white with foam, Would leave the jovial horn and hound ?

While big the tears of anguish pour, Hence, if our manly sport ofiend !

He seeks, amid the forest's gloom, With pious fools go chant and pray :

The humble hermit's hallow'd bower. Well hast thou spoke, my dark-brow'd friend; But man and horse, and horn and hound, Halloo, halloo! and, hark away !"

Fast rattling on his traces go; *[Published (1796) with William and Helen, and entitled, “The

The sacred chapel rung around CUACE.")

With, "Hark away 7 and, holla, ho!"

him."

All mild, amid the rout profane,

This is the horn, and hound, and horse, The holy hermit pour'd his prayer;

That oft the lated peasant hears; “ Forbear with blood God's house to stain; Appallid, he signs the frequent cross, Revere his altar, and forbear!

When the wild din invades his ears. "The meanest brute has rights to plead,

The wakeful priest oft drops a tear Which, wrong'd by crueliy, or pride,

For human pride, for human wo, Draw vengeance on the ruthless head

When, at his midnight mass, he hears Be warn d at length, and turn aside."

The infernal cry of, Holla, ho!"
Suill the Fair Horseman anxious pleads;

The Black, while whooping, points the prey :-
Alas! the Earl no warning heeds,
But frantic keeps the forward way.

THE FIRE-KING.
" Holy or not, or right or wrong,
Thy altar, and its rights, I spurn;

“The blessings of the evil Genii, which are curses, were upon Not sainted martyrs' sacred song,

Eastern Tale. Not God himself shall make me turn !''

[1801.) He spurs his horse, he winds his horn,

This ballad was written at the request of Mr. · Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!".

Lewiş, to be inserted in his “ Tales of Wonder." But oft, on whirlwind's pinions borne,

It is the third in a series of four ballads, on the subThe stag, the hut, the hermit, go.

ject of Elementary Spirits. The story is, however, And horse and man, and horn and bound,

partly historical; for it is recorded, that, during the And clamour of the chase, was gone;

struggles of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, a For hoofs, and howls, and bugle sound,

Knight-Templar, called Saint-Alban, deserted to A deadly silence reign'd alone.

the Saracens, and defeated the Christians in many

combats, till he was finally routed and slain, in Wild gazed the affrighted Earl around;

a conflict with King Baldwin, under the walls of He sirore in vain to wake his horn,

Jerusalem. In vain to call; for not a sound

Could from his anxious lips be borne. He listens for his trusty hounds;

Bold knights and fair dames, to my harp give an No distant baying reach'd his ears :

ear, His courser, rooted to the ground,

Of love, and of war, and of wonder to hear; The quickening spur unmindful bears.

And you haply may sigh, in the midst of your glee, Still dark and darker frown the shades,

At the tale of Count Albert, and fair Rosalie. Dark as the darkness of the grave;

O see you that castle, so strong and so high? And not a sound the still in vades,

And see you that lady, the tear in her eye? Save what a distant torrent gave.

And see you that palmer, from Palestine's land, High o'er the the sinner's humble head

The shell on his hat, and the staff in his hand ?Al length the solemn silence broke; And, from a cloud of swarthy red,

"Now palmer, gray palmer, ) tell unto me, The awful voice of thunder spoke.

What news bring you home from the Holy Coun.

trie? "Oppressor of creation fair!

And how goes the warfare by Galilee's strand? Apostate Spirits' harden'd tool!

And how fare our nobles, the flower of the land ?"Scorner of God! Scourge of the poor ! The measure of thy cup is full.

"O) well goes the warfare by Galilee's wave,

For Gilead, and Nablous, and Ramah we have; Be chased for ever through the wood;

And well fare our nobles by Mount Lebanon,
For ever roam the aftrighted wild;
And let thy fate instruct the proud,

For the Heathen have lost and the Christians have

won." God's meanest creature is his child." Twas hush'd : One flash, of sombre glare, A fair chain of gold ʼmid her ringlets there hung;. With yellow tinged the forests brown;

O'er the palmer's gray locks the fair chain has she Up rose the Wildgrave's bristling hair,

flung: And horror chill'd each nerve and bone. "Oh palmer, gray palmer, this chain be thy fee,

For the news thou hast brought from the Holy Cold pour'd the sweat in freezing rill ;

Countrie.
A nising wind began to sing;
And louder, louder, louder still,

"And, palmer, good palmer, by Galilee's wave, Brought storm and tempest on its wing.

O saw ye Count Albert, the gentle and brave? Earth heard the call ;-Her entrails rend;

When the Crescent went back, and the Red-cross

rush'd on, From yawning rifts, with many a yell, Mix'd with sulphureous flames, ascend

O saw ye him foremost on Mount Lebanon !" – The misbegotten dogs of hell.

O lady, fair lady, the tree green it grows; What ghastly Huntsman next arose,

O lady, fair lady, the stream pure it flows; Well may I guess, but dare not tell;

Your castle stands strong, and your hopes soar on His

high like midnight lightning glows, eye His steed the swarıhy hue of hell.

But, lady, fair lady, all blossoms to die. The Wildgrave flies o'er bush and thorn,

"The green boughs they wither, the thunderbolt With many a shriek of helpless wo;

falls, Behind him hound, and horse, and horn,

It leaves of your castle but levin-scorch'd walls; And, “ Hark away, and holla, ho!"

The pure siream runs muddy; the gay hope is With wild despair's reverted eye,

gone; Close, close behind, he marks the throng,

Count Albert is prisoner on Mount Lebanon." With bloody fangs, and eager cry;

O she's ta'en a horse, should be fleet at her speed; In frantic fear he scours along.

And she's ta'en a sword, should be sharp at her Still, still shall last the dreadful chase,

need; Till time itself shall have an end :

And she has ta'en shipping for Palestine's land, By day, they scour earth's cavern'd space,

To ransom Count Albert from Soldanrie's hand. At midnight's witching hour, ascend.

* Published in 1801. VOL. I.-2 T

side;

none,

Small thought had Count Albert on fair Rosalie, “ With this brand shalt thou conquer, thus long, and Small thought on his faith, or his knighthood, no more, had he;

Till thou bend to the Cross, and the Virgin adore." A heathenish damsel his light heart had won, The Soldan's fair daughter of Mount Lebanon.

The cloud-shrouded Arm gives the weapon; and

see! "O Christian, brave Christian, my love wouldst | The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his knee; thou be,

The thunders growl distant, and faint gleam the Three things must thou do ere I hearken to thee:

fires, Onr laws and our worship on thee shalt thou take; As, borne on the whirlwind, the phantom retires. And this thou shalt first do for Zulema's sake.

Count Albert has arm'd him the Paynım among, " And, next, in the cavern, where burns evermore Though his heart it was false, yet his arm it was The mystical flame which the Curdmans adore,

strong; Alone, and in silence, three nights shalt thou wake; And the Red-cross wax'd faint, and the Crescent And this thou shalt next do for Zulema's sake.

came on, "And, last, thou shalt aid us with counsel and From the day he commanded on Mount Lebanon hand,

From Lebanon's forests to Galilee's wave, To drive the Frank robber from Palestine's land; The sands of Samaar drank the blood of the brave; For my lord and my love then Count Albert I'll Till the Knights of the Temple, and Knights of take,

Saint John, When all this is accomplish'd for Zulema's sake." With Salem's King Baldwin, against him came

on. He has thrown by his helmet, and cross-handled sword,

The war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied, Renouncing his knighthood, denying his Lord; The lances were couch'd, and they closed on each He has ta'en the green caftan, and turban put on, For the love of the maiden of fair Lebanon.

And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrew, And in the dread cavern, deep deep under ground,

Till he pierced the thick tumult King Baldwin unto. Which fifty steel gates and steel portals surround, He has watch'd until daybreak, but sight saw he Against the charm'd blade which Count Albert did

wield,

The fence had been vain of the King's Red-cross Save the flame burning bright on its altar of stone.

shield; Amazed was the Princess, the Soldan amazed, But a Page thrust him forward the monarch before, Sore murmur'd the priests as on Albert they gazed; And cleft the proud turban the renegade wore. They search'd all his garments, and, under his weeds,

So fell was the dint, that Count Albert stoop'd They found, and took from him, his rosary beads.

low

Before the cross'd shield, to his steel saddlebow; Again in the cavern, deep deep under ground, He watch'd the lone night, while the winds whistled "Bonne grace, Notre Dame !" he unwittingly said.

And scarce had he bent to the Red-cross his head, round; Far off was their murmur, it came not more nigh, The fame burn'd unmoved, and nought else did'ne Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was spy.

It sprung from his grasp, and was never seen more; Loud murmur'd the priests, and amaz'd was the But true men have said, that the lightning's red King,

wing While many dark spells of their witchcraft they Did wast back the brand to the dread Fire-King.

sing; They search'd Albert's body, and, lo! on his breast He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntleted hand; Was the sign of the Cross, by his father impress'd. He stretch'd, with one buffet, that Page on the

strand; The priests they erase it with care and with pain, As back from the stripling the broken casque roll'd, And the recreant return'd to the cavern again :

You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of But, as he descended, a whisper there fell :

gold. It was his good angel, who bade him farewell !

Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare High bristled his hair, his heart flutter'd and beat, On those death-swimming eyeballs, and blood-clotAnd he turn'd him five steps, half resolved to re

ted hair; treat;

For down caine the Templars, like Cedron in flood, Put his heart it was harden'd, his purpose was gone, And dyed their long lances in Saracen blood. When he thought of the Maiden of fair Lebanon.

The Saracens, Curdmans, and Ishmaelites yield Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce To the scallop, the saltier, and crosslested shield trode,

And the eagles were gorged with the infidel dead, When the winds from the four points of heaven were From Bethsaida's fountains to Naphthali's head.

abroad, They made each steel portal to rattle and ring, The battle is over on Bethsaida's piain. And, borne on the blast, came the dread Fire-King. Oh, who is yon Paynim lies stretch'd 'mid the Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew And who is yon Page lying cold at his knee?

slain ?
nigh,
The fire on the altar blazed bickering and high ;

Oh, who bui Count Albert and fair Rosalie !
In volcanic explosions the mountains proclaim
The dreadful approach of the Monarch of Flame.

The Lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound:

The Count he was left to the vulture and hound: Unmeasured in height, undistinguish'd in form,

Her soul to high mercy Our Lady did bring; His breath it was lighining, his voice it was storm; His went on the blast to the dread Fire-King. I ween the stout heart of Count Albert was tame, When he saw in his terrors the Monarch of Flame. Yet many a minstrel, in harping can tell,

How the Red-cross it conquer'd, the Crescent it In his hand a broad falchion blue-glimmer'd through

fell : smoke,

And lords and gay ladies have sigh'd, 'mid their And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch he glee, spoke:

At the tale of Count Albert and fair Rosalie.

[ocr errors]

FREDERICK AND ALICE.

Midst the din, he seem'd to hear (1801.)

Voice of friends, by death removed ;

Well he knew that solemn air,
This tale is imitated, rather than translated, from 'Twas the lay that Alice loved.---
a fragment introduced in Goethe's "Claudina Von
Villa Bella," where it is sung by a member of a

Hark! for now a solemn knell gang of banditti, to engage the attention of the fam

Four times on the still night broke; ily, while his companions break into the castle. It

Four times, at its deaden'd swell, owes any little merit it may possess to my friend

Echoes froin the ruins spoke. ME. LEWIS, to whom it was sent in an extremely As the lengthen'd clangours die, rude stale; and who, after some material improve Slowly opes the iron door! ments, published it in his " Tales of Wonder." Straight a banquet met his eye,

But a funeral's form it wore !

Coffins for the seats extend ;
FEEDERICK leaves the land of France,
Homeward hastes his steps to measure,

All with black the board was spread

Girt by parent, brother, friend, Careless casts the parting glance

Long since number'd with the dead ! On the scene of former pleasure.

Alice, in her grave-clothes bound, Joying in his prancing steed,

Ghastly smiling, points a seat; Keen to prove his untried blade,

All arose, with thundering sound; Hove's gay dreams the soldier lead

All the expected stranger greet. Over mountain, moor, and glade.

High their meagre arms they wave,
Helpleas, ruin'd, left forlorn,

Wild their notes of welcome swell ;-
Lovely Alice wept alone;
Mourn d o'er love's fond contract torn,

Welcome, traitor, to the grave!

Perjured, bid the light farewell !"
Hope, and peace, and honour town.
Mark her breast's convulsive throbs!

See, the tear of anguish flows !-
Mingling soon with bursting sobs,

THE BATTLE OF SEMPACH. Loud ihe laugh of frenzy rose.

(1818.] While she cursed, and while she pray'd; Seven long days and nights are o'er;

THESE verses are a literal translation of an ancient Death in pity brought his aid

Swiss ballad upon the Battle of Sempach, fought As the village bell struck four.

9th July, 13-0, being the victory by which the Swiss

cantons established their independence; the author, Far from her, and far from France, Faithless Frederick onward rides;

Albert Tchudi, denominated the Souter, from his

profession of a shoemaker. He was a citizen of Marking, blithe, the morning's glance

Lucerne, esteemed highly among his countrymen, Jantling o'er the mountain's sides.

both for his powers as a Meister-Singer, or minHeard ye not the boding sound,

strel, and his courage as a soldier; so that he might As the tongue of yonder tower,

share the praise conferred by Collins on Æschylus, Slowly, to the hills around,

thatTold the fourth, the fated hour?

Not alone he nursed the poet's flame,

But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot steel."
Starts the steed, and snuffs the air,
Yer no cause of dread appears :

The circumstance of their being written by a poet Bristles high the rider's hair,

returning from the well-fought field he describes, Struck with strange mysterious fears.

and in which his country's fortune was secured, may

confer on Tchudi's verses an interest which they Desperate, as his terrors rise,

are not entitled to claim from their poetical merit. In the steed the spur he hides;

But ballad poetry, the more literally it is translated, From himself in vain he flies;

the more it loses ils simplicity, without acquiring Anxious, restless, on he rides.

either grace or strength; and therefore some of the Seven long days, and seven long nights,

faults of the verses must be imputed to the translaWild he wander'd, wo the while!

tor's feeling it a duty to keep as closely as possible Ceaseless care, and causeless fright,

to his original. The various puns, rude attempts at Urge his footsteps many a mile.

pleasantry, and disproportioned episodes, must be

set down to Tchudi's account, or to the taste of his Dark the seventh sad night descends;

age. Rivers swell, and rain-streams pour;

The military antiquary will derive some amuseWhile the deafening thunder lends

ment from the minute particulars which the martia! All the terrors of its roar.

poet has recorded. The mode in which the AusWeary, wet, and spent with toil,

trian men-at-arms received the charge of the Swiss. Where his head shall Frederick hide?

was by forming a phalanx, which they defended Where, but in yon ruin'd aisle,

with their long lances. The gallant Winkelreid, By the lightning's flash descried.

who sacrificed his own life by rushing among the

spears, clasping in his arms as many as he could To the portal, dank and low, Fast his steed the wanderer bound :

grasp, and thus opening a gap in those iron batta

lions, is celebrated in Swiss history. When fairly Down a ruin'd staircase slow,

mingled together, the unwieldy length of their weaNext his darkling way he wound.

pons, and cumbrous weight of their defensive armour Long drear vaults before him lie!

rendered the Austrian men-at-arms a very unequal Glimmering lights are seen to glide !

match for the light-armed mountaineers. The vic* Blessed Mary, hear me cry!

tories obtained by the Swiss over the German Deign a sinner's steps to guide !"

chivalry, hitherto deemed as formidable on foot as

on horseback, led to important changes in the art of Often lost their quivering beam,

war. The poet describes the Austrian knights and Suill the lights move slow before, Till they rest their ghastly gleam

squires as cutting the peaks from their boots ere

they could act upon foot, in allusion to an inconveRight against an iron door.

nient piece of foppery, often mentioned in the middle Thundering voices from within,

azes.

Leopold III., Archduke of Austria, called Mix'd with peals of laughter, rose;

** The handsome man-at-arms," was slain in the As they fell, a solemn strain

Battle of Sempach, with the flower of his chiyLent its wild and wondrous close!

alry.

« PreviousContinue »