« PreviousContinue »
"A royal messenger he came,
At first in heart it liked me ill,
When the king praised his clerkly skill.
258. THE Death of MaRMION.
With that, straight up the hill there rode
A wounded knight they bore.
His hand still strained the broken brand:
Said "By St. George, he's gone!
And see the deep cut on his head!
Good night to Marmion."
"Unnurtured Blount!-thy brawling cease:
When doffed his casque, he felt free air,
"Where's Harry Blount! Fitz-Eustace where ?
Linger ye here, ye hearts of hare!
Redeem my pennon, charge again!
Cry 'Marmion to the rescue!' - Vain!
Last of my race, on battle plain
That shout shall ne'er be heard again!
Till pain wrung forth a lowly moan,
Page, squire, or groom, one cup to bring
O Woman! in our hours of ease,
By the light quivering aspen made;
Scarce were the piteous accents said,
When, with the Baron's casque, the maid,
To the nigh streamlet ran:
Forgot were hatred, wrongs, and fears;
But in abhorrence backward drew;
Was curdling in the streamlet blue.
Where shall she turn?-behold her mark
A little fountain-cell,
Where water, clear as diamond-spark,
Above, some half-worn letters say,
"Drink. weary. pilgrim. drink. and, prag. For. the. kind. soul. of. Sybil . Grey . Who. built. this. cross. and. well.”
With fruitless labor, Clara bound,
And strove to stanch, the gushing wound:
A lady's voice was in his ear,
And that the priest he could not hear,
For that she ever sung,
"In the lost battle, borne down by the flying,
Where mingles war's rattle with groans of the dying )"
A light on Marmion's visage spread,
And shouted, "Victory!
Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on!*
FROM "THE LADY OF THE LAKE."
259. ELLEN-THE LADY OF THE LAKE.
But scarce again his horn he wound,
That slanted from the islet rock.
A little skiff shot to the bay.
With head upraised, and look intent,
In listening mood she seemed to stand,
And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace
Of finer form, or lovelier face!
What though the sun, with ardent frown, Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown --What though no rule of courtly grace
To measured mood had trained her pace -
A foot more light, a step more true,
What though upon her speech there hung
A chieftain's daughter seemed the maid; Her satin snood, her silken plaid, Her golden brooch, such birth betrayed. And seldom was a snood amid
Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid,
Whose glossy black to shame might bring
And seldom o'er a breast so fair
One only passion unrevealed
With maiden pride the maid concealed,
O need I tell that passion's name!
260. PATERNAL AFFECTION.
Some feelings are to mortals given,
From passion's dross refined and clear,
It would not stain an angel's cheek,
FROM "THE ANTIQUARY."
261. SUNSET AND THE Approach of a Storm.
As Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour paced along, enjoying the pleas. ant footing afforded by the cool moist hard sand, Miss Wardour could not help observing, that the last tide had risen considerably above the usual water-mark. Sir Arthur made the same observation, but without its occurring to either of them to be alarmed at the circumstance. The sun was now resting his huge disk upon the edge of the level ocean, and gilded the accumulation of towering clouds through which he had travelled the livelong day, and which now assembled on all sides, like misfortunes and disasters around a sinking empire and falling monarch. Still, however, his dying splendor gave a sombre magnificence to the massive congregation of vapors, forming out of their unsubstantial gloom, the show of pyramids and towers, some touched with gold, some with purple, some with a hue of deep and dark red. The distant sea, stretched beneath this varied and gorgeous canopy, lay almost portentously still, reflecting back the dazzling and level beams of the descending luminary, and the splendid coloring of the clouds amidst which he was setting. Nearer to the beach the tide rippled onwards in waves of sparkling silver, that im::ceptibly, yet rapidly, gained upon the sand.
With a mind employed in admiration of the romantic scene, or perhape on some more agitating topic, Miss Wardour advanced in silence by her father's side, whose recently offended dignity did not stoop to open any conversation. Following the windings of the beach, they passed one projecting point or headland of rock after another, and now found themselves under a huge and continued extent of the precipices by which that iron-bound coast is in most places defended. Long projecting reefs of rock, extending under water, and only evin