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Alas! alas ! let me not buoy myself up part of the garden. They met at the with faint hopes-Wertwrold shall yet supper board, but she, feigning indispobe happy, but Erilda will be for ever sition, begged leave to retire ; and full miserable. Yes, yes, some more happy early did the Baron and his guests press maid than thou, Erilda, will gain the
the downy pillow. heart of Wertwrold, and tear the bond In her chamber Erilda indulged her asunder that dates his inisery."
sighs: Sir Rhyswick had chosen the Faster flowed her tears-her agony heir apparent of Wales for her future became more acute-and, clasping her lord, and she well knew it was in vain hands together, she sunk down by his to contest his choice. The chieftain side-her eyes were pensive, fixed on loved the happiness of his child, but the his, that were shrouded in sleep; and love of aggrandisement he cherished in wrapped in ecstacy, she watched every his bosom; and he looked forward with breath that swelled his bosom, and es- fond delight to the time when Erilda caped his lips. How beautiful did he might, with the partner of her pleasures, appear, as he lay reclined upon the share the thrones of Gwynedd and ground—what a dew sparkled on his Powys. A few days was to see the lips—what a colour revelled upon his young Prince at Rhuddlan-preparacheeks; his jet black hair, on which tions were making for his receptionthe water-drop, from bathing, glistened, Sir Rhywick with pleasure beheld the clustered in silky curls arond his head. nuptial day advancing—but Erilda viewHe had laid aside his armour, and the ed its approach with agony. The night true shape and mouldings of his manly was far advanced, ere her troubled limbs were visible; his neck and bosom thoughts were invaded by sleep, yet were bare—they were of the most mas- still maintaining their empire, they culine beauty.
conjured up visions to the closed eyes. “ Ah, Erilda !” exclaimed he in his Erilda dreamed, that her father, overslumbers, “ you alone can liberate my powered by his affection for her, and anguished heart--you alone can restore her entreaties, yielded his consent to the smile to my fretted cheek—but you her union with Wertwrold, and placed do not love me.”
her hand in his. Transported with joy, “ Hear it, Heavens !” cried the en- she threw her arms round her lover's raptured maid ; “Oh, Wertwrold !". neck; at this junction awaking, she and fainted upon his bosom.
found the Knight clasped in ber emThe Knight awoke from the violence brace. Recoiling with horror from his of her fall, and he gazed upon her in arms, and recovering her senses, that astonishment.-“ Erilda!" he exclaim- were at first bewildered.
" Away," ed, and bathing her temples with cold she cried in a tone of terror: “ perfiwater, she soon revived; her wild eyes dious Knight, leave me; your conduct were timidly revealed to the light- calls for my indignation. Oh, Wertand as soon as she discovered herself wrold! was it possible for me to imain the arms of Wertwrold, she gave a gine you would thus repay the hospitafaint scream, and broke from his em- lity you have here experienced, by brace. “ Erilda !" cried the Knight invading, in the midnight hour, the with fervour,“ my fate is in your hands chamber of the defenceless :-Begone," -do with me as you please--you alone she added, with a contemptuous frown, can avert my cruel destiny. From this “ ere I call my attendants, and expose moment, I cease to hope or to despair.' the serpent who repays the favour of
Erilda was in an agony insupporta- Rhuddlan's lord with abusing his confible-tears choked her utterance, and dence." pressing his hand between her's, she “Yet hear me, Erilda,” returned the few to conceal her anguish in another Knight, “ ere I am gone for ever; 1
came but to gaze my last farewell on “ Yet stay; you leave me in doubt.” that lovely countenance that dooms me “ Erilda. must use her own discreto everlasting misery: my neighing cretion, I have not power to direct her. steed now waits at the castle gate, and i Farewell,” he cried; and pressing her must bid these much loved haunts adieu to his bosom, instantly retired, leaving for ever
Farewell, Erilda-irresisti- her lost in wonder and amazement. ble fate leads me bence—and, oh! For a time she could scarcely believe sometimes give a thought on him who, her senses—every thing appeared as a added to his agonies, harbours for you dream before her eyes—but she posa fruitless passion !"
sessed the charming ring—and the deWertwrold paused.
luding thought vanished, that told her "For ever!” exclaimed Erilda; “Oh, the preceding scene was the mere fabriWertwrold!"
cation of her imagination. “ Could my absence,” continued the At breakfast time she met Sir RhysKnight, “ create one pang in your wick, who was not a little surprized and breast
, though grateful would the know- angered with the abrupt departure of ledge be to my heart, still it would in- his guest. fict a wound, Erilda, urging my brain Erilda endeavoured to plead his cause to distraction, when I paused on your-urging that business of the utmost unhappiness.- Which ever way I turn, import demanded his immediate attenmisery attends me endless sorrow is dance, and that to her he apolgized. my bitter portion : that I am indifferent The generous chieftain was well sato Erilda creates another pang."
tisfied with the excuse, although he "Oh, Wertwrold !" cried the maid ; had hoped Wertwrold, in whose favour and, sinking on his bosom,
he was much interested, should have your's, and your's alone.”
been present at the solemnization of "Do not my ears deceive me,” cried Erilda's nuptials, which the fourth day the enraptured Knight; “ does Erilda was to see performed, according to a really love me--will she rent 'nce the message which he had received from world for me?"
the young Prince, who, impatient to The world !"
call Erilda his bride, thus early appoint“Yes," returned Wertwrold, “anded the day. then shall my felicity dawn : Erilda Sir Rhyswick, with joy expressed in must renounce every thing to be mine his countenance, imparted the news to -0 share with me those transports his daughter, who, falling upon her which virtuous love creates."
knees-her cheeks bathed in tears and "You speak in mystery.".
grasping his hand, entreated him, as he "Erilda must, with heroic fortitude, considered her happiness, to forego his overcome every obstacle to our union-intentions. must place implicit confidence in my “ How ?” cried the astonished Baron. faith --and sacrifice every thing for me. “ I shall never know happiness with The firm mind can stand, unshaken, a man whom my heart will not acknowon the stupendous rock, and sinile upon ledge for its lord,” returned the afflicted the gulph beneath that threatens to de- Erilda; “Oh!” as you love my peace vour—so must the woman who would of mind, send back the prince-Erilda gain my arms.”
cannot be the bride of Morven-an“ Wertwrold !"
other object has enchained her heart.” "Take this ring, Erilda, it is a charm- - How,” exclaimed the indignant end one: which, when breathed upon, Baron ; “Does Erilda reject the heir brings me to your presence : use it as to the throne of Wales ?” you need me, and I fy, in obedience to “ It would be criminal to bestow my your command, though at the extremity hand, when another possesses my heart
. of the world.”
Oh, my father! the happy Morven will
find one more worthy of being his bride my doom. It Erilda is who hurls me one more closely in conjunction with to destruction—it is Erilda who mocks his soul-who will return his fond my sighs, and points me to the spot affection with affection.
where angry demons wait to glut them “ Erilda,” cried the venerable chief- on my blood. But these inflictions tain with firmness, “ I seek not to know can brave—for, sbe I love proves false him whom your heart has chosen. If she who deceitfully sighed, I am you value my affection, Morven must your's, and your's alone." be your future lord ; if not, your father " You amaze and terrify me: what is lost to you for ever.” Thus saying, tortures what inflictions are those you he retired, leaving the distracted maid dread? Oh, Wertwrold ! do not keep overwhelmed with grief.
me in suspense tell me who, or what Sir Rhyswick would not see her the
are you?” rest of the day : and a messenger in “Who I am, lady, must remain a the evening coming to her chamber, secret—what I am, my warm sighs, bid her prepare on the morrow to receive my great affliction have revealed—your Morven, who was expected at the cas- lover. Oh, Erilda! I am man, with tle, attended by a numerous retinue. half his fortitude-man, with all his
Erilda, in an agony of distraction, weaknesses: love animates and distracts threw herself upon the couch; her my bosom ; and she whom I wed, must tears more plenteously flowed to her wed me for myself alone." relief, and eased those labouring sighs “ Fond Wertwrold! I question you that swelled her agitated bosom. She, no more—and oh! how shali I convince casting her eyes upon the magic ring you that my heart is your's doomed that encircled her finger; pressed it to as I am to misery and Morven." her lips, and her warm breath sullying She fixed her languishing eyes upon the ruby that sparkled upon it, instant- his countenance-Wertwrold paused. ly the Blood-red Knight stood before Erilda's chamber looked into the her.
castle garden; the woodbine and honey, “ I come,” ” he cried,
suckle climbed above her window, and command, from the bosom of the a rose-tree entwined itself with the odorvasty deep, to serve the mistress of my bus branches of the honeysuckle--some heart.”
sprigs hung pendant near the sashes of Wertwrold took a seat by her side- the casement, where the flower blowed Erilda hung her head upon his shoul- and scented the air with its refreshing der; her cheek was pale with weeping sweets. -her eyes were languid and heavy. Wertwrold eagerly slipped a spray
“ Oh, Wertwrold !" she exclaimed, that boasted a full blown Aower and a “this must be our last meeting; the ripening bud, which he presented to son of Cynvyn claims Erilda's hand, Erilda. and even now is on the road to Rhudd- “Look you," he cried; “ look on lan, to lead her to the bridal altar.” these flowers—the beauty of the one
“And will Erilda yield her honour, withers, while the other ripens. Here then, at the sordid entreaties of avarice we see a rich bloom upon the cheek and pride? Will she prostitute herself, of youth; what a glowing fragrance embittering the remainder of her days, does its breath impart! how sweet is to gratify another's passion."
the dew that hangs upon the expanding * Wertwrold ! you—"
leaf ! how rich! how luxuriant ! how “Oh, lady ! the fond affection glow- captivating to the senses! Would it ing in my bosom has heaped a world of not be cruel to pluck this early bud, ere ruin on my heart-I see the gulphit hath tasted of that dew which now yawning at my feet-I see what tortures sparkles on its lip-and, at the moment are preparing for me, and fly to meet' when it is about to enjoy those sweets
which are prepared for early life ?- | maid with half fainting 'voice. Lady, this new plucked bud, in an hour - To-morrow she will leave Rhuddlan shall perish-life sha! fly its newly for my arms ?” created bosom-the hand of man hath To-morrow, I am your's." deprived it of its succours, and, ere it They parted—each transported with ceased to charm, it dies, un pitied, un- the warmth of passion ; and the ensuing respected. Then turning to the other- eve was to see Erilda preparing her “This full-blown rose, whose shrivelled flight from her paternal home. leaf betrays a speedy dissolution, having The next morning, Morven and his tasted of all the pleasures life affords, numerous retinue were heard upon their and enjoyed them in their full sense, march across the mountain: the martial prepares to die. The morning sun, clang of their warlike instruments was instead of cheering, shall wither its heard at a great distance'; and some juiceless fibres—the flavour of its breath messengers preceding, brought the early is fled--and the falling dew animates news of his approach and presents for it not—the airs are cold and freezing the bride. The castle gates were thrown that play around it—and plucked, it open to receive them-white flags waved would not perish sooner than were it upon the walls, that were thronged with left to wither upon the
armed soldiers, who owned Rhuddlan's “ I do not understand you.”
powerful lord for their chieftain; and Lady, if one of these flowers must bards and harpers raised high their be torn from the branch of life, which voices in praise of the fair Erilda. would you sacrifice ?"
Morven entered the castle, amidst the “ The full-blown.”
acclamations of the generous people, “ Then live, Erilda_life to enjoy the who loudly testified their joy at his aptide of pleasure and of happiness. proach, and whose loud shouts rent the
“ Wertwrold, your words convey a air. Sir Rhyswick received him with horrible meaning; my soul shudders every demonstration of pleasure, and at the thought."
instantly conducted him to the presence “What thought, Erilda ? – I ask you of his daughter. but to live-is the thought mercenary? Erilda, habited in robes of virgin I ask you but to taste of those pleasures, white, that flowed adown her taper which he for whom you would sacrifice limbs, in the midst of her maidens, your happiness and person, cannot en- welcomed him with a smile. She lookjoy. Sir Rhyswick has nearly numbered ed beautiful-her cheeks were flushed his years—and dissolution betrays its with the ripe tincture of the rose—ber approach upon his cheek : his infirm blue eyes beamed with expressionlimbs-his shrivelled form—his silvery | her hair was tastefully disposed upon beard—and aged eye, like the full her forehead—and silver beads flowed blown rose, confirms a speedy termi- down her fine-shaped bosom. nation of his life.”
Morven saluted her with affability. Erilda fainted upon his bosom-his for a while the young Prince was trans'arms encircled her waist-hers were fixed with wonder and admiration ; her entwined round his neck : the colour of beauty far exceeded, in his estimation, returning life soon crimsoned her cheek: the report that had reached his ear; and her lips were pressed to his; the kiss he looked with impatience for the mowas exchanged that imparted a mutual ment that was to make her his bride. glow to the heart, and filled it with vo- The day was spent in merry pastimes; luptuous thoughts.
but Erilda was depressed with fears ; “ Erilda is mine, eternally," cried she trembled at the promise she had the Knight.
made to Wertwrold, and more than “ I am your's, for ever,” sighed the once resolved to break it. The evening fast approached, and she grew more and “ Use it,” he cried, “ in self-defence
alone. Where is Sir Rhyswick.” of the declining sun were reflected upon At this moment, a number of torches the lake-the tinkling bell of the goat- were seen flaming down the walks herds caught her ear—the much dreaded Sir Rhyswick was at the head of a party time was arrived—her heart fluttered of servants, whose countenances were in her bosom—and wild and unknowing expressive of fear. what she did, she sought the harbour See!” cried Erilda, “they bend where she had promised to meet the their steps this way; we shall be disunknown.
covered." Wertwrold was already there; with “ Take this dagger,” returned the eagerness he clasped her to his bosom Knight, thrusting it into her hand. --with unallayed passion pressed her “How am I to use it?” exclaimed lips to his.
the maid in terror. « Oh, Erilda !” he sighed, “ do I “ Sir Rhyswick advances ; 'tis him hold
you in my arms, and shall my pre- alone we have to fear.–Plunge it in his sent bliss be equalled by the future ? bosom.' Come,” he continued, « let us hasten “ In the bosom of my father?” cried our departure ; a coracle waits us on she, with horror. “ Wertwrold-Merthe Clwyd, to waft us to the opposite ciful heavens ! do not my ears deceive shore.”
Horror ! horror ! In the bosom “Wertwrold !” exclaimed the affright- of my father !-Away, monster,”. ed maid; “ I dare not-do not tempt “ Come to my arms, Erilda,” exme-I must remain-and-be the bride claimed the Knight, “I have proved of Morven."
your virtue, and you are doubly dear to " Perjured Erilda ! false fleeting wo- me.” He pressed the trembling maid man is this your truth—is this your to his bosom. constancy? Then farewell for
At this moment, Sir Rhyswick enter" Yet stay,” she cried, one moment: ed the arbour. “ Oh, Wertwrold ! do not leave me a “ This way—this way !” cried Wertprey to my own thoughts."
wrold : and hurrying through a small • Will Erilda be mine?"
outlet, that led to the river; footsteps « Yes, yes.”
pursued them. Still Erilda held the “Voluntarily mine?"
dagger in her hand, and the pale moon“Oh, yes !" exclaimed the maid; beams silvering the path, betrayed the unconscious of what she said, observing shadow of a person in pursuit, wrapped lights at the further end of the walk, in a long cloak. and fearful lest they should discover her “ We are betrayed," cried Wertwith the unknown.
our pursuer must die." “ Erilda will fly her paternal roof “ I see the coracle; it is at shore,” for Wertwrold ?"
said Erilda. And, at this moment, some « Yes, yes."
one seized her white robe behind. “ Regardless of a father's tears and “ Plunge your dagger in his heart," remonstrances .”
cried Wertwrold. “ I am Wertwrold's, and Wertwrold's “ Hold your impious hand !" returnalone !" she exclaimed, more alarmed ed a hollow voice. by the nearer approach of the lights ; “ Strike !” demanded the Knight "and no power on earth shall separate “ Stay, murderess!” uttered the voice. me from his arms."
“ Our safety pleads for his death," The Knight of the Blood-red Plume rejoined Wertwrold. smiled-it was the smile of satisfaction; The hand of the pursuer now clasped and he placed in her hand a dagyer. Erilda's shoulder ; who, disentangling