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The veil of silver mist it shook,
But from the eastern battlement
A turret had made sheer descent,
And, down in recent ruin rent,
In the mid torrent lay. The gentle breeze, yet oft it waved
Else, o'er the Castle's brow sublime, Its mantle's dewy fold;
Insults of violence or of time And still, when shook that filmy screen,
Unfelt had pass'd away. Were towers and bastions dimly seen,
In shapeless characters of yore,
The gate this stern inscription bore :-
"Patience waits the destined day, As prompt and light as, when the hound
Strength can clear the curber'd way.
Warrior, who hast waited long,
Firm of soul, of sinew strong,
It is given to thee to gaze
On the pile of ancient days. The rocks their shapeless form regain,
Never mortal builder's hand
This enduring fabric plann'd;
Sign and sigil, word of power,
From the earth raised keep and tower.
View it o’er, and pace it round,
Rampart, turret, battled mound.
Dare no more! To cross the gate
Were to tamper with thy fate;. Fool'd by the enemies of men,
Strength and fortitude were vain, Like a poor hind, whose homeward way
View it o'er-and turn again."Is hauntedt by malicious fay?
XVII. Is Triermain become your taunt,
“That would I," said the warrior bold, De Vaux your scorn ? False fiends, avaunt !"
"If that my frame were bent and old, A weighty curtal-axe he bare ; The baleful blade so bright and square,
And my thin blood dropp'd slow and cold
As icicle in thaw; And the tough shaft of hehen wood,
But while my heart can feel it dance, Were oft in Scottish gore imbrued.
Blithe as the sparkling wine of France, Backward his stately form he drew,
And this good arm wields sword or lance, And at the rocks the weapon threw,
I mock these words of a we!" Just where one crag's projected crest
He said ; the wicket felt the sway Hung proudly balanced o'er the rest.
Of his strong hand, and straight gave way, Huri'd with main force, the weapon's shock
And, with rude crash and jarring bray, Rent a huge fragment of the rock.
The rusty bolis withdraw;
But o'er the ihreshold as he strode,
And forward took the vaulted road,
An unseen arm, with force amain, Down bank, o'er bush, its course was borne,
The ponderous gate flung close again,
And rusted bolt and bar
Spontaneous took their place once more,
While the deep arch with sullen roar
Return'd their surly jar. And bade the waters' high-swoln tide
“Now closed is the gin and the prey within Seek other passage for its pride.
By the Rood of Lanercost !
But he that would win the war-wolf's skin, When ceased that thunder, Triermain
May rue him of his boast.' Survey'd the mound's rude front again;
Thus muttering, on the Warrior went, And, lo! the ruin had laid bare,
By dubious light down steep descent.
Unbarr'd, unlock'd, unwatch'd, a port
Led to the Castle's outer court :
There the main fortress, broad and tall,
Spread its long range of bower and hall, Where, the wild witchery to close,
And towers of varied size,
Wrought with each ornament extreme,
That Gothic art, in wildest dream
Of fancy could devise ; No meteor-blazon'd show was there;
But full between the Warrior's way
And the main portal arch, there lay
An inner moat;
Nor bridge nor boat
Affords De Vaux the means to cross
The clear, profound, aud silent fosse.
His arms aside in haste he flings,
Cuirass of steel and hauberk rings,
And down falls helm, and down the shield, Its strength had brook'd the tempest's roar,
Rough with the dints of many a field. The scutcheon'd emblems which it bore
Fair was his manly form, and fair Had suffer'd no decay :
His keen dark eye, and close curl'd hair, "The praise of truth, precision, and distinctness, is not very * ("The scenery of the valley, seen by the light of the sumfrequently combined with that of extensive magnificence and mer and autunnal moon, is described with an aerial touch to splendid complication of imagery: yet, low masterly, and often which we cannot do justice."-Quarterly Revicio.) sublime, is the panoramic display, in all these works, of vast and + (MS. -"Is wilderd."') diversified scenery, and of crowded and tumultuous action," &c. 1 MS." And bade its waters in their pride -Adolphus, p. 163.]
Seek other current for their tide." I
When, all unarm'd, save that the brand
Zarah's sands in pillars reeling, Of well-proved metal graced his hand,
Join the measure that we tread, With naught to fence his dauntless breast
When the Moon has donn'd her cloak, But the close gipon's* under-vest,
And the stars are red to see, Whose sullied buff the sable stains
Shrill when pipes the sad Siroc,
Music meet for such as we.
“Where the shatter'd columns lie,
Showing Carthage once had been,
If the wandering Santon's eye
Our mysterious rites hath seen,And soon he reach'd the farther side,
Oft he cons the prayer of death, And enter'd soon the Hold,
To the nations preaches doom, And paced a hall, whose walls so wide
'Azrael's brand hath left the sheath! Were blazon'd all with feats of pride,
Moslems, think upon the tomb !
"Ours the scorpion, ours the snake, While trumpets seem'd to blow;
Ours the hydra of the fen, And there, in den or desert drear,
Ours the tiger of the brake, They quell'd gigantic foet
All that plagues the sons of men. Braved the fierce griffon in his ire,
Ours the tempest's midnight wrack, Or faced the dragon's breath of fire.
Pestilence that wastes by dayStrange in their arms, and strange in face,
Dread the race of Zaharak! Heroes they seem'd of ancient race,
Fear the spell of Dahomay !" Whose deeds of arms, and race, and name,
Uncouth and strange the accents shrill
Rung those vaulted roofs among,
Long it was erc, faint and still,
Died the far-resounding song:
While yet the distant echoes roll,
The Warrior communed with his soul.
“When first I took this venturous quest, Then sought the chamber's upper end, Where three broad easy steps ascend
I swore upon the rood, To an arch'd portal door,
Neither to stop, nor turn, nor rest,
For evil or for good.
My forward path too well I ween,
Lies yonder fearful ranks between; The gallant Knight took earnest view
For man unarmid, 'tis bootless hope
With tigers and with fiends to cope-
Yet, if I turn, what waits me there,
Save famine dire and fell despair ?
Other conclusion let me try, Had never mortal Knight such need!
Since, choose howe'er 1 list, I die. He spied a stately gallery; all
Forward, lies faith and knightly fame; Of snow-white marble was the wall,
Behind, are perjury and shame. The vaulting, and the floor;
In life or death I hold my word !" And, contrast strange! on either hand
With that he drew his trusty sword, There stood array'd in sable band
Caught down a banner from the wall,
And enter'd thus the fearsul hall.
On high each wayward Maiden threw For the leash that bound these monsters dread Her swarthy arm, with wild halloo ! Was but of gossamer.
On either side a tiger sprungEach Maiden's short barbaric vestil
Against the leftward foe he flung Left all unclosed the knee and breast,
The ready banner, to engage And limbs of shapely jet ;
With tangling folds the brutal rage; While was their vest and turban's fold,
The right-hand monster in mid air On arms and ankles rings of gold
He struck so fiercely and so fair, In savage pomp were set;
Through gullet and through spinal bone A quiver on their shoulders lay,
The trenchant blade hath sheerly gone. And in their hand an assagay. I
His grisly brethren ramp'd and yell’d, Such and so silent stood they there,
But the slight leash their rage withheld, That Roland well nigh hoped
Whilst, 'twixt their ranks, the dangerous road He saw a band of statues rare,
Firmly, though swift, the champion strode. Station'd the gazer's soul to scare;
Safe to the gallery's bound he drew, But, when the wicket oped,
Safe pass'd an open portal through; Each grisly beast 'gan upward draw,
And when against pursuit he flung Roll'd his grim eye, and spread his claw,
The gate, judge if the echoes rung!
Onward his daring course he bore,
Wild jubilee and loud hurra
Pursued him on his venturous way. XXI. "Rash Adventurer, bear thee back! •
XXIV. Dread the spell of Dahomay!
"Hurra, hurra! Our watch is done; Fear the race of Zaharak, **
We hail once more the tropic sun. Daughters of the burning day!
Pallid beams of northern day, "When the whirlwind's gusts are wheeling,
Farewell, farewell ! Hurra, hurra! Ours it is the dance to braid;
Five hundred years o'er this cold glen • A sort of doublet worn bencath the armour
Hath the pale sun come round agen ; + (M8.-" They counter'd giant toe.") 1 (M.-Portray'd by limner to appal.”)
(MS." Each maiden's short and suvage vost.'') 6 (M8,- Four maidens stood in sable band
(The MS, has not this couplet.) The blackest Afrique bore."']
** (Zaharak or Zaharah is the Arab name of the Great Desert
Foot of man, till now, hath ne'er
XXVII. Dared to cross the Hall of Fear.
Calmly and unconcern'd, the Knight
Waved aside the treasures bright: “Warrior! thou, whose dauntless heart
“Gentle Maidens, rise, I pray! Gives us from our ward to part,
Bar not thus my destined way. Be as strong in future trial,
Let these boasted brilliant toys Where resistance is denial.
Braid the hair of girls and boys ! “Now for Afric's glowing sky,
Bid your streams of gold expand Zwenga wide and Atlas high,
O'er proud London's thirsty land. Zaharak and Dahomay !
De Vaux of wealth saw never need, Mount the winds! Hurra, hurra!"
Save to purvey him arms and steed,
And all the ore he deign'd to hoard
Inlays his helm, and hills his sword."
Thus gently parting from their hold,
He left, unmoved, the dome of gold.
And now the morning sun was high, That flash'd with such a brilliant flame, *
De Vaux was weary, faint, and dry; As if the wealth of all the world
When, lo! a plashing sound he hears, Were there in rich confusion hurl'd.
A gladsome signal that he nears For here the gold, in sandy heaps,
Some frolic water-run; With duller earth'incorporate, sleeps;
And soon he reach'd a court-yard square, Was there in ingots piled, and there
Where, dancing in the sultry air, Coin'd badge of empery it bare;
Toss'd high aloft, a fountain fair Yonder, huge bars of silver lay,
Was sparkling in the sun. Dimm'd by the diamond's neighbouring ray,
On right and left, a fair arcade, Like the pale moon in morning day;
In long perspective view display'd And in the midst four Maidens stand,
Alleys and bowers, for sun or shade: The daughters of some distant land.
But, full in front, a door, Their hue was of the dark-red dye,
Low-brow'd and dark, seem'd as it led That fringes oft a thunder sky;
To the lone dwelling of the dead, Their hands palmetto baskets bare,
Whose memory was no more, And cotton fillets bound their hair;
XXIX. Slim was their form, their mien was shy,
Here stopp'd De Vaux an instant's space, To earth they bent the humbled eye,
To bathe his parched lips and face, Folded their arms, and suppliant kneelid,
And mark'd with well pleased eye,
Refracted on the fountain stream,
In rainbow hues the dazzling beam
Of that gay summer sky. CHORUS. "See the treasures Merlin piled,
His senses felt a mild control,
Like that which lulls the weary soul, Portion meet for Arthur's child.
From contemplation high Bathe in Wealth's unbounded stream,
Relaxing, when the ear receives
The music that the green wood leaves
Make to the breezes' sigh. 'See these clots of virgin gold !
XXX. Sever'd from the sparry mould,
And oft in such a dreamy mood,
The half-shut eye can frame
Fair apparitions in the wood
As if the Nymphs of field and flood
In gay procession came.
Are these of such fantastic mould, "See these pearls, that long have slept ;
Seen distant down the fair arcade, These were tears by Naiads wept
These Maids enlink'd in sister-fold, For the loss of Marinel.
Who, late at bashful distance staid, Tritons in the silver shell
Now tripping from the green wood shade, Treasured them, till hard and white
Nearer the musing champion draw, As the teeth of Amphitrite."
And, in a pause of seeming awe,
Again stand doubtful now ?-
Ah, that sly pause of witching powers! "Does a livelier hue delight?
That seems to say, “ To please be ours, Here are rubies blazing bright,
Be yours to tell us how." Here the emerald's fairy green,
Their hue was of the golden glow And the topaz glows between;
That suns of Candahar bestow, Here their varied hues unite,
O'er which in slight suffusion flows In the changeful chrysolite.'
A frequent tinge of paly rose;
Their limbs were fashion'd fair and free,
In nature's justest syminetry ; “Leave these gems
And, wreathed with flowers, with odours graced Leave them all, and look on mine!
Their raven ringlets reach'd'the waist : While their glories I expand,
In eastern pomp, its gilding pale Shade thine eyebrows with thy hand.
The hennah lent each shapely nail, Mid-day sun and diamond's blaze
And the dark sumah gave the eye Blind the rash beholder's gaze."'.
More liquid and more lustrous dye.
The spotless veil of misty lawn, “Warrior seize the splendid store;
In studied disarrangement, drawn Would 't were all our mountains bore !
The form and bosom o'er, We should ne'er in future story,
To win the eye, or tenipt the touch, Read. Peru, thy perish'd glory?"
For modesty show'd all 10o inuch
Too much-yet promis'd more. * (MS. golden flame.'') t (M3.--" And wuppliant as on earth they kneelid,
: (MS.-"Let those boasted gems and pearls The gifts they proffer'd thus reveal'd."')
Braid the hair of toy caught girls.")
Danger, darkness, toil despise ; "Gentle Knight, a while delay,”
'Tis Ambition bids thee rise. Thus they sung, “thy toilsome way
"He that would her heights ascend, While we pay the duiy due To our Master and to you.
Many a weary step musi wend;
Hand and foot and knee he tries;
Thus Ambition's minions rise.
"Lag not now, though rough the way, Are slaves to Love, are friends to thee.
Fortune's mood brooks no delay; Though no treasured gems have we,
Grasp the boon that's spread before ye, To proffer on the bended knee,
's power, and Conqueror's glory!" Though we boast nor arm nor heart, For the assagay or dart,
It ceased. Advancing on the sound, Swains allow each simple girl
A steep ascent the Wanderer found, Ruby lip and teeth of pearl;
And then a turret stair : Or, if dangers more you prize,
Nor climb'd he far its steepy round Flatterers find them in our eyes.
Till fresher blew the air,
And next a welcome glimpse was given *Stay, then, gentle Warrior, stay,
That cheer'd him with the light of heaven. Rest till evening steal on day;
At length his toil had won
A lofty hall with trophies dress'd,
Where, as to greet imperial guest, Spread the feast and fill the wine,
Four maidens stood, whose crimson vest Charm thy ear with sounds divine,
Was bound with golden zone.
XXXV. "Then shall she you most approve,
Of Europe seem'd the damsels all; Sing the lays that best you love,
The first a nymph of lively Gaul, Soft thy mossy couch shall spread,
Whose easy step and laughing eye Watch thy pillow, prop thy head,
Her borrow'd air of awe belie; Till the weary night be o'er
The next a maid of Spain, Gentle Warrior, wouldst thou more?
Dark-eyed, dark-hair'd, sedate, yet bold; Wouldst thou more, fair Warrior,--she
White ivory skin and tress of gold,
Her shy and bashful comrade told
For daughter of Almaine. 0, do not hold it for a crime
These maidens bore a royal robe, In the bold hero of my rhyme,
With crown, with sceptre, and with globe, For Stoic look,
Emblems of empery ;,
The fourth a space behind them stood, And meet rebuke, He lack'd the heart or time;
And leant upon a harp, in mood As round the band of sirens trip,
Of minstrel ecstasy.. He kiss'd one damsel's laughing lip,*
Of merry England she, in dress And press'd another's profler'd hand,
Like ancient British Druidess : Spoke to them all in accents bland,
Her hair an azure fillet bound, But broke their magic circle through ;
Her graceful vesture swept the ground, " Kind Maids," he said, " adieu, adieu !
And, in her hand display'd,
A crown did that fourth Maiden hold, My fate, my fortune, forward lies.”
But unadorn'd with gems and gold,
Of glossy laurel made.
XXXVI. "Fair Flower of Courtesy, depart !
At once to hrave De Vaux knelt down Go, where the feelings of the heart
These foremost Maidens three, With the warm pulse in concord move;
And proffer'd sceptre, robe, and crown, Go, where Virtue sanctions Love!"
Liegedom and seignorie,,
O'er many a region wide and fair,
Destined, they said, for Arthur's heir; And ruin'd vaults has gone,
But homage would he none :Till issue from their wilder'd maze,
Rather," he said, “De Vaux would ride, Or safe retreat, seem'd none,
A Warden of the Border-side, And e'en the dismal path he strays
In plate and mail, than, robed in pride, Grew worse as he went on.
A monarch's empire own; For cheerful sun, for living air,
Rather, far rather, would he be Foul vapours rise and mine-fires glare,
A free-born knight of England free, Whose fearful light the dangers show'd
Than sit on Despot's throne." That dogg'd him on that dreadful road.
So pass'd he on, when that fourth Maid, Deep pits, and lakes of waters dun,
Ag starting from a trance, They show'd, but show'd not how to shun.
Upon the harp her finger laid; These scenest of desolate despair,
Her magic touch the chords obey'd,
Their soul awaked at once!
SONG OF THE FOURTH MAIDEN. Nay, soothful bards have said,
"Quake to your foundations deep, So perilous his state seem'd now,
Stately Towers, and Banner'd Keep, He wish'd him under arbour bough
Bid your vaulted echoes moan,
As the dreaded step they own.
'Fiends, that wait on Merlin's spell, And as it ceased, a lofty Jay
Hear the foot-fall! mark it well!
Spread your dusky wings abroad,!!
Boune ye for your homeward road !
“It is His, the first who e'er Think on the reward before ye!
Dared the dismal Hall of Fear; * (MS.-" Ay round the band of sirens press'd.
I (MS.-"Of laurel leaves was made.")
(MS." But the firm knight pags'd on.")
* (M8.-" This state," &c.]
His, who hath the snares defied
-But beneath their mystic rocks, Spread by Pleasure, Wealth, and Pride.
In the arms of bold De Vaux,
Safe the princess lay; "Quake to your foundations deep,
Safe and free from magic power, Bastion huge, and Turret steep !*
Blushing like the rose's flower Tremble, Keep! and totter, Tower!
Opening to the day; This is Gyneth's waking hour."
And round the Champion's brows were bound XXXVII.
The crown that Druidess had wound, Thus while she sung, the venturous Knight
Of the green laurel-bay.
And this was what remain'd of all
The wealth of each enchanted hall,
The Garland and the Dame: Her purple veil when twilight leaves
But where should Warrior seek the meed, Úpon its western swell.
Due to high worth for daring deed, That bower, the gazer to bewitch,
Except from Love and Fame! Had wondrous store of rare and rich
As e'er was seen with eye;
1. All seem'd to sleep-the timid hare
My Lucy, when the Maid is won, On form, the stag upon his lair,
The Minstrel's task, thou know'st, is done; The eagle in her eyrie fair
And to require of bard
That to his dregs the tale should run,
Were ordinance too hard. Could win De Vaux's eye-glance, where,
Our lovers, briefly be it said,
Wedded as lovers wont to wed,
When tale or play is o'er ;
Lived long and blest, loved fond and true,
And saw a numerous race renew
The honours that they bore.
Know, too, that when a pilgrim strays,
In morning mist or evening maze,
Along the mountain lone,
That fairy fortress often mocke
His gaze upon the castled rocks
Of the Valley of St. John; 'Twixt childhood and 'twixt youth,
But never man since brave De Vaux That ivory chair, that sylvan dress,
The charmed portal won. The arms and ankles bare, express
'Tis now a vain illusive show, Or Lyulph's tale the truth.
That melts whene'er the sunbeams glow, Still upon her garment's hem
Or the fresh breeze hath blown.ll
But see, my love, where far below Still her dark locks dishevell'd flow
Our lingering wheels are moving slow,
The whiles, up-gazing still,
Our menials eye our sleepy way.
Marvelling, perchance, what whim can stay
Our steps when eve is sinking gray
On this gigantic hill.
So think the vulgar-Life and time
Ring all their joys in one dull chime
of luxury and ease; Trembling in his fitful joy,
And, O! beside these simple knaves, Doubtful how he should destroy
How many better-born are slaves Long-enduring spell ;,
To such coarse joys as these, Doubtful, too, when slowly rise
Dead to the nobler sense that glows
When nature's grander scenes unclose!
But, Lucy, we will love them yet,
The mountain's misty coronet,
The greenwood, and the wold ;
And love the more, that of their maze
Adventure high of other days Soft that lovely hand he steals,
By ancient bards is told, Soft to kiss, and soft to clasp
Bringing, perchance, like my poor tale, But the warder leaves her grasp ;
Some moral truth in fiction's veil :** Lightning flashes, rolls the thunder!
Nor love them less, that o'er the hill Gyneth startles from her sleep,
The evening breeze, as now, comes chill;Totters Tower, and trembles Keep,
My love shall wrap her warm,
And, fearless of the slippery way,
While safe she trips the heathy brae,
Shall hang on Arthur's arm.tt * (MS. " and battled keep.")
which all his peculiarities might, with comparatively little difficul (MS. "soften'd light."
ty, be concentrated-but a long and complete work, with pict, I (MS.-" But what of rich or what of rare.")
character, and machinery entirely new-and with no manner of $ (M8.--" Yet know, this muid and warrior too,
resemblance, therefore, io a parody on any production of the Wedded as lovers wont to do.")
original author :--this must be acknowledged an attempt of no # (M8.-" That melts whene'er the breezes blow,
timid daring."-Edinburgh Magazine, 1817. Or beams a cloudless sun."]
"The fate of this work must depend on its own merits, for it 1 (M8.--" Sylvan.")
is not borne up by any of the adventitious circumstances that ** (The MS has not this couplct.)
frequently contribute to literary success tt (" The Bridal of Triermain is written in the style of Mr. world in the most modest guise ; and the author, we bebeve, is Walter Scott; and it in magnis voluisse sat est, the author, entirely unknown. Should it fail altogether of a favourable rewhatever may be the merits of bis work, has earned the meed at ception, we shall be disposed to abate sometbing of the indigna: which he aspires. To attempt a serious imilation of the most tion which we have occasionally expressed against the ertrava popular living poet-and this imitation, not a short fragment, in gant gauclineas of modern publications, and imagine that there
It is usbered into the