Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

66

tone, and with a low graceful bow, “I rascals fell by my own hand. The am come to enquire how you chance booty was enough to make us all rich, to be within those woods with fire- but what then-lightly gained freely arms."

spent-And talking of that, signor, * Upon whose authority do you here we are at the hut.” question us ?" I replied, taking upon He led the way into a miserable myself the office of spokesman. hovel, situated on the outskirts of

“On the authority of his majesty, the wood. Its only furniture was signor; I am one of the royal game- a small crazy table, and a few large keepers."

baskets turned upside down, which “We are strangers here, sir," I re- served for chairs. A decrepit, but joined, and were not aware that we respectable-looking old man, was its were trespassing upon the Royal only occupant ; and on our calling for Chase. We are willing, however, to some wine, he produced a flask which return immediately to the road.” he assured us we would find excellent.

" Quite enough, signor, quite enough," As soon as the cup of our valorous replied the polite gamekeeper, “ your conductor was filled, I enquired how explanation is quite satisfactory. This he had chanced to quit his former prois a very hot day,” he contined ; “is fession. it not signor? very !"

Why, the truth is, signor,” he " Very!" was my laconic reply. replied, " that after I had ravaged “Does not the heat make you thirsty, the whole country from Naples to signor ? My palate is as parched as Otranto, and from Otranto to the a Buffalo's bide !"

Straits, I began to find that there was * If I knew where a cup of wine not much left behind worth taking. could be procured," I replied, “ I would However, I still kept at the old trade, willingly bestow it on you."

more for the love of fighting than for “ Hard by, signor, in the corner of any other reason. And as to fighting the wood, there is a cottage where you I had enough of it; for the king sent can have some excellent ; I have tried out his troops, and the pope sent out il more than once before now. Will his, and the emperor sent out his, all you allow me to conduct you thither ?” trying to catch me and lay me in limbo.

To this proposal I readily assented ; Well! many a skirmish' we had, and and we set off in company with our many a trooper did I send to his long new acquaintance, who I soon found home, till at last, finding they could was a great talker, and very clo- make nothing of me, they were obliged quent in praise of his own valour. The to come to terms, and I agreed to leave conversation naturally turned upon the off the trade on payment of a certain banditti of whose exploits were daily sum of money. So the money was occurring so many fresh and appalling paid down on the nail, and I went to instances, and I enquired if he knew Naples, and saw the king, who was so anything of their habits.

much pleased with me that he ap“I ought to know something of pointed me on the spot one of his them, signor," he replied: "during * cacciatori.” However, I still think of ten years of my life I was a bandit the old times, and jump with delight at myself, and somewhat of a formidable the sight of a drawn sword, or the report one too,

I
may assure you. There was

of a musket. 'Tis very odd, but I was not a village or town on all Calabria, certainly all my life a very devil for ay, or Campania either, in which my fighting. I remember once, general, name was not dreaded. I had a band I forget his name, was out in pursuit of fifteen men under my command, of me, with a troop of two hundred and many a rich booty we managed to caralry. I descried the whole cavaldrive ; sometimes by plundering on the cade winding through the defile just king's highway, and sometimes by beyond La Cava. Well! I had only sacking villages. Ay, these were merry ten of my men with me at the time, days! I recollect we once attacked a and I could easily have run for it had I troop of an hundred soldiers that were chosen. But no! the temptation of guarding a waggonful of treasure on so glorious a victory was too much ; so its way to Naples ; every soul of them calling my gallant" fellows together, I we put to the sword, and twenty of the addressed them thus : There are two

VOL. VII.

F

hundred troopers, my men, coming turn, in tlie midst of repeated bursts of down the pass to attack us ; now mind laughter. what I say. You will stop here till “ He is the most arrant coward in you get their heads in a line with the

Christendom,” he continued, when he top of Fenestra, then pell-mell down observed that the fellow was clear off upon them and route them. I will into the woods. take the general and twenty of the “ So I thought," I replieil ; " I only head men in my own hand ; so see wanted to have the satisfaction of provyou

don't interfere with them. If you ing it." do, I'll blow your brains out.' Well, After spending a few hours at Salersignor

no, we took the road by La Cava and But just as he had arrived at this Nocera, and reached Naples on the sucpart of his story, with which my com- ceeding day without farther adventure. panions and especially the old man, On the evening of our arrival there seemed extremely diverted, a mouse was a party at the Ambassador's, where crept out from the clay with which the I had the pleasure of dancing with roof of the hut was lined, and stood that elegant and delightful young wopeering over the rafter immediately man, Mrs.

In the course of above the head of the valorous “ cac- conversation, I gave her an account of ciatore." Without intimating my in- our Pæstan trip, and she told me that lention, I quietly drew a pistol from she herself intended to visit the ruins my belt, took a deliberate aim, and fired. in a few days. One short week had The mouse with a quantity of loosened scarcely elapsed when she and her amiclay and dust fell clattering down on able husband fell into the toils of those the slouch hat of the soi dissant bandit, very banditti whom we had so narrowly who, without ever looking over his escaped, and were murdered under cirshoulder. dropped his gun, and bolted cumstances of peculiar atrocity. The out at the door of the cabin, making story is, alas ! too well known; and to but one leap between his seat and the dwell on it here would be but to open threshold.

the wounds of friends and relations and E morto! e morto!” we all shouted cause them to bleed afresh. The deafter him. “ E morto."

lightful hours I spent in their society I E vero,” said the old man, as he shall never forget, and to me their meheld up the murdered mouse by the mory shall be for ever sacred.

De la vita mortale il fiore e l'verde, tail, and shouted to the ranger to re- Cosi trapassa.

[ocr errors]

THREE BALLADS.

By the Author of “ Hibernian Nights' Entertainments."

1.-UNA PHELIMY.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ Awaken, Una Phelimy,

· How canst thou sluinber so ? “ How canst thou dream so quietly

Throngh such a night of woe? “ Through such a night of wo ?" he

said, “ How canst thou dreaming lie, When the kindred of thy love lie dead,

“ And he must fall or ily?" She rose and to the casement came;

“ Oh, Williamn dear, speak low; “For I should bear my brother's blame

“ Did Hugh or Angus know.” “ Did Hugh or Angus know, Una ?

“Ah, little dreamest thou “On what a bloody errand bent

“ Are Hugh and Angus now.”

“Oh,what has chanced my brothers dear?

My William, tell me true! “ Over God forbode that what I fear

Be that they're gone to do!" They're gone on bloody work, Una,

The worst we feared is done; They've taken to the knife at last,

The massacre's begun! “ They came upon us while we slept

- Fast by the sedgy Bann;
“ In darkness to our beds they crept,

And left me not a man!
Bann rolls my comrades even now

“ Through ail bis pools and fords;
“And their hearts' best blood is warm,

Una,
“Upon thy brothers' swords !

[ocr errors]

66

“And mine had borne them company, And, leaning o'er the weather-rail,
“Or the good blade I wore,

The lovers, hand in hand,
“Which ne'er left foe in victory Take their last look of Innisfail ;
“Or friend in need before;

Farewell, doomed Ireland !”
" In their's as in their fellows' hearts
“Also had dimmed its shine,

“And art thou doomed to discord still?
“But for these tangling curls, Una, And shall thy sons ne'er cease
" And witching eyes of thine ! To search and struggle for thine ill,

Ne'er share thy good in peace? " I've borne the brand of fight for these, Already do thy mountains feel " For these, the scornful cries

Avenging Heaven's ire ? "Of loud insulting enemies;

Hark-hark—this is no thunder peal, "But busk thee, love, and rise :

That was no lightning fire!" « For Ireland's now no place for us;

“'Tis time to take our flight, It was no fire from heaven he saw, "When neighbour steals on neighbour

For, far from hill and dell, thus,

O'er Goblin's brow the mountain flaw “ And stabbers strike by night. Bears musquet-shot and yell,

And shouts of brutal glee, that tell « And black and bloody the revenge A foul and fearful tale;

“For this dark midnight's sake, While over blast and breaker swell "The kindred of my murdered friends Thin shrieks and woman's wail.

“On thine and thee will take,
“ Unless thou rise and fly betimes, Now fill they far the upper sky,
“Unless thou fly with me,

Now down mid air they go,
"Sweet Una, from this land of crimes The frantic scream, the piteous cry,
“To peace beyond the sea.

The

rage
and

W0;
“For trustful pillows wait us there,

And wilder in their agony

And shriller still they grow
"And loyal friends beside,
“Where the broad lands of my father are, Now cease they, choking suddenly;

The waves boom on below.
"Upon the banks of Clyde;
“In five days hence a ship will be
“Bound for that happy home;

“A bloody and a black revenge!
“Till then we'll make our sanctuary

Oh, Una, blest are we

Who this sore-troubled land can change "In sea-cave's sparry dome : " Then busk thee, Una Phelimy,

For peace beyond the sea ; “ And o'er the waters come !"

But for the manly hearts and true

That Antrim still retain,

Or be their banner green or blue,
The midnight moon is wading deep; For all that there remain,

The land sends off the gale; God grant them quiet freedom too,
The boat beneath the sheltering steep And blythe homes soon again!”

Hangs on a seaward sail;

groan of

[ocr errors]

11.-WILLY GILLILAND.

Up in the mountain solitudes, and in a rebel ring,
He has worshipped God upon the hill, in spite of church and king;
And sealed his treason with his blood on Bothwell Bridge he hath;
So he must fly his father's land, or he must die the death;
For comely Claverhouse has come, along with grim Dalzell,
And his smoking rooftree testifies they've done their errand well.

In vain to fly his enemies he fled his native land;
Hot persecution waited him upon the Carrick strand;
His name was on the Carrick cross, a price was on his head.
A fortune to the man that brings him in, alive or dead!
And so on moor and mountain, from the Lagan to the Bann,
From house to house, and hill to hill, he lurked an outlawed man.

[ocr errors]

At last, when in false company he might no longer bide,
He staid his houseless wanderings upon the Collon side;
There in a cave all under ground he laired his heathy den,
Ah, many a gentleman was fain to earth like hill fox then!
With hound and fishing-rod he lived on hill and stream, by day,
At night, betwixt his fleet greyhound and his bonny mare

he lay.

It was a summer evening, and, mellowing and still,
Glenwhirry to the setting sun lay bare from hill to bill;
For a!l that valley pastoral held neither house nor tree,
But spread abroad and open all, a full fair sight to see,
From Slemish foot to Collon top lay one unbroken green;
Save where in many a silver coil the river glanced between.

And on the river's grassy bank, even from the morning grey,
He at the angler's pleasant sport had spent the summer day:
Ah! many a time and oft I've spent the summer day from dawn,
And wondered, when the sunset came, where time and care had gone,
Along the reaches curling fresh, the wimpling pools and streams,
Where he that day his cares forgot in these delightful dreams!

His blythe work done, upon a bank the outlaw rested now,
And laid the basket from his back, the bonnet from his brow,
And there, his hand upon the Book, his knee upon the sod,
He filled the lonely valley with the gladsome Word of God;
And for a persecuted kirk, and for her martyrs dear,
And against a godless church and king he spoke up loud and clear.

And now, upon his homeward way he crossed the Collon high,
And over bush and bank and brae he sent abroad his eye;
But all was darkening peacefully in grey and purple haze,
The thrush was silent in the banks, ihe lark upon the braes--
When suddenly shot up a blaze—from the cave's mouth it came;
And troopers' steeds and troopers' caps are glancing in the same!

He couched among the heather, and he saw them, as he lay,
With three long yells at parting, ride lightly east away;
Then down with heavy heart he came, to sorry cheer came he,
For ashes black were crackling where the green wbins used to be,
And stretched among the prickly coomb his heart's blood smoking round,
From slender pose to breast-bone cleft, lay dead his good greyhound !

[ocr errors]

* They've slain my dog, the Philistines! they've ta'en my bonny mare!”.
He plunged into the sinoky hole; no borny beast was there
He groped beneath his burning bed, (it burned him to the bone,)
Where his good weapon used to be, but broadsword there was none ;
He reeled out of the stifling den, and sat down on a stone,
And in the shadows of the night 'twas thus he made his moan

“ I am a houseless outcast ; I have neither bed nor board,
Nor living thing to look upon, nor comfort save the Lord;
Yet was the good Elijah once in worse extremity;
Who succoured him in his distress, He now will succour me,
He now will succour me, I know; and, by His holy name,
I'll make the doers of this deed right dearly rue the same!

“My bonny mare! I've ridden you when Claver'se rode behind,
And from the thumbscrew and the boot you bore me like the wind;
And, while I have the life you saved, on your sleek flank, I swear,
Episcopalian rowel shall never ruffle hair!
Though sword to wield they've left me none-yet Wallace wight, I wis,
Good battle did on Irvine side wi' waur weapon than this."
His fishing-rod with both his hands he griped it as he spoke,
And, where the butt and top were spliced, in pieces twain he broke;
The limber top he cast away, with all its gear abroad,
But, grasping the tough hickory butt, with spike of iron shod,
He ground the sharp spear to a point; then pulled his bonnet down,
And, meditating black revenge, set forth for Carrick town.
The sun shines bright on Carrick wall and Carrick Castle grey,
And up thine aisle, Saint Nicholas, has ta’en his morning way;
And to the North-Gate sentinel displayeth far and near
Sea, hill, and tower, and all thereon, in dewy freshness clear,
Save where, behind a ruined wall, himself alone to view,
Is peering from the ivy green a bonnet of the blue.
The sun shines red on Carrick wall and Carrick Castle old,
And all the western buttresses have changed their grey for gold;
And from thy shrine, Saint Nicholas ! the pilgrim of the sky
Hath gone in rich farewell, as fits such royal votary;
But, as his last red glance he takes down past black Slieve-a-true,
He leaveth where he found it first, the bonnet of the blue.

Again he makes the turrets grey stand out before the hill,
Constant as their foundation rock, there is the bonnet still !
And now the gates are opened, and forth in gallant show
Prick jeering grooms and burghers blythe, and troopers in a row;
But one has little care for jest, so hard bested is he
To ride the outlaw's bonny mare, for this at last is she !

Down comes her master with a roar, her rider with a groan-
The iron and the hickory are through and through him gone !
He lies a corpse ; and where he sat, the outlaw sits again,
And once more to his bonny mare he gives the spur and rein ;
Then some with sword, and some with gun, they ride and run amain;
But sword and gun, and whip and spur, that day they plied in vain !
Ah! little thought Willy Gilliland, when he on Skerry side
Drew bridle first, and wiped his brow after that weary ride,
That where he lay like hunted brute, a caverned outlaw lone,
Broad lands and yeoman tenantry should yet be there his own :
Yet so it was; and still from him descendants not a few
Draw birth and lands, and, let me trust, draw love of Freedom too.

III.-YOUNG DOBBS.

Paul Jones, the Pirate Captain, has left the Scottish strand,
And turned his blood-stained bow's across to emerald Ireland ;
The roaring Mull of Galloway and the Copelands he has pass’d,
And, Bangor on his weather beam, has opened Loch Belfast ;
But from the frightened fishermen the pirate stood away,
And bore down on the anchored Drake in Carrickfergus bay.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »