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herself, and rendered frantic, turned offence by submitting to those tortures hastily round, and plunged the dagger that await me—which exceed not the in her assailant's breast.
agonies of my own bosom. Oh! my The wounded man dropped upon the much loved father !” she exclaimed, ground. “Cruel Erilda !” escaped his “ your daughter-your own daughter, lips, and he instantly expired.
is your murderer.” * Hence God-abandoned murder- She fell upon his bosom; and still ers;" muttered the voice that had before the Blood-plumed Knight urged her arrested the arm of Erilda. “Fly to to fly. meet thy doom."
“ Erilda !” he returned, “ what false “ Hark !" cried the maid ; “ heard notions occupy your breast! Rather you nothing ? - What voice was that?" by penitence expiate the crime; the foul
Terror sat on her brow—her lips were offence is not to be atoned by death. pale with fear her eyes looked wild Heaven in its wrath has doomed your
soul to everlasting torments; live then, "I heard nothing but the winds and, by penitence, seek to appease its sighing along the strand.”
vengeance." “Do you hear nothing," exclaimed " What mercy can the wretched she. 5: Merciful God! What have I murderer of her parent hope for ? done _Murderess !'—Oh, let me look Leave me, Wertwrold; distraction rages on him I have slain.”
through my brain.-I am lost-for ever She approached the corse, spite of the lost-God-abandoned-doomed to everentreaties of Wertwrold; and discovered, lasting torments.” wrapped in a long cloak, the bleeding Oh, Erilda ! think on your spotless body of Sir Rhyswick ! A crimson stream fame to be blasted by the scandalizing flowed from the fresh-made wound-tongue of futurity—think on the curses his eyes were filmed and closed in each peasant slave will mutter on her death-his cheek was wan-his mouth who was once her country's boast; the wide and distended.
name of Erilda shall be shuddered at "Oh, God! my father !” exclaimed by those who judge not of the motive Erilda," Murdered by my hands !" but the act-children shall be rocked And fell fainting upon his bleeding breast. to their slumbers with the frightful rela
Wertwrold endeavoured to recal her tion of her guilt, and she shall live for to recollection; but, for a long time, ever in the detestation and abhorrence vain were his atte:..pts. At length, re- even of the criminal. The pilgrim covering, " Leave me," she cried ; shall hear and tremble at her tale-the " leave me to die with my murdered monk shall cross himself, and tell his father.-Away! Anguish gnaws my beads, when he passes Rhuddlan's breast.-Abandoned by Heaven, leave blood-stained towers-all nature shall me to die, and receive the punishment be shocked with her enormities; and of my guilt.”
not a pitying sigh shall be heaved to her “ You rave, Erilda !-See, the vas- memory. Come, Erilda, let us fly; sals of the Baron draw near !-Hark penitence shall soon 'restore peace to now their voices are heard-their torches your bosom, and your crime shall be gleam in the walks ; we shall be dis- forgotten.” covered, Erilda, let me arouse you
« Oh, no! I will remain and sigh out from this torpor--let us fly, Erilda, and my last breath on the cold bosom of save ourselves from an ignominious my father.” death."
“ See, Erilda, the torches advance, “Away !” cried the distracted niaid; Prince Morven is at their head; this “Tam a wretch unfit to live-more way he bends his steps-he has his eye mfit to die : yet I will expiate the foul upon us—Distraction !-we are lost.”
« Ah! Morven! comes he hither to She buried her face in her cloak, witness my shame?” exclaimed the while the warrior Knight maintained a maid ; “ I cannot stand the inquiring contemptuous silence; at length, gazing glance of his penetrating eye."
upon her with satisfaction, he exclaimed: “ Then hasten to the coracle, Erilda, “ And is Erilda mine-do I now which now awaits us on the shore.- press
her in arms-do I now hold her Haste, Erilda, hear you not their voices ? to my heart, beyond the power of man
- They approach-they are at our to tear her from me? Why, this, inheels."
deed, is triumph—she is mine, volunAt this moment, a number of voices tarily mine—she has filed her paternal exclaimed, 6. This
roof for me, an unknown—she has re“Oh! hide me-hide me from them; jected Morven, the heir apparent to the they come—they come;" cried Erilda. crown of Wales, who came to her with And clasping the hand of Wertwrold, a heart full of love, and proffered the she flew to the strand where the coracle wealth of his country at her feet, to was anchored.
share her smiles, for me an unknown! The footsteps approached; and num- she has renounced her claim to virtue, berless torches lined the strand. Sir embraced infamy for a spotless name, Rhyswick was discovered by the vassals has preferred the blast of scandal to the of Rhuddlan, wrapped up in his cloak, mild breath of praise, and all this for and bathed in his blood. His heart me, an UNKNOWN !” was cold in his bosom-no signs of life
A horrible smile, as he concluded, animated his cheek, that was pale and played upon his cheek.-Erilda started deathlike. His silvery beard was dis- from his bosom. tained and clotted with gore ;-—the last • Wertwrold >” she exclaimed;breath had issued from his mouth. “Do you upbraid me?"
Morven had the corse borne to the “ Enamoured beauty, no! To me, castle, where it lay in state for three this guilt is pleasure : had you deluged days; when it was deposited in the the world in a sea of blood, or brought earth, and five hundred masses were another chaos on the earth-Wertwrold sung for his eternal repose.
would have smiled.” In the mean time, the despairing « For Heaven's sake," cried the alErilda having set her foot on board the most expiring criminal ; "tell me, who vessel, was borne over the thin wave are you?” with the rapidity of lightning. Torches « The Warrior Knight of the still lined the stand; and their glaring Blood-red Plume: but," he continued, light was reflected to the opposite shore, “ Erilda is beyond the reach of mercy breaking through the horrible darkness -is inevitably mine—and I will reveal that clouded the earth.
myself in all my glowing colours. I “ Vain is your flight, murderess !” am an agent of the
great infernal-my whispered a voice in the breeze.- residence is in the bosom of the Clwyd “ Mountains cannot conceal your guilt, -my occupation is to aggravate the or cover you from the wrath of the crimes on earth, and be the great instigreat avenger.-—To the furthermost cor- gater of war and rapine : in my bosom ner of the world, the retributive sword spring those seeds of faction, which I of justice shall pursue you."
scatter in the breasts of princes, urging < Hark!” cried Erilda, clinging to them to raise the sword against each the bosom of her seducer, while horror other's life, and plunge each other's distorted her countenance. “ Hark; nation in a torrent of destructive war: heard you not a voice ? Oh, heard you but this had ceased-Morven's father not a voice ? Oh, Wertwrold !-hide had restored Wales to prosperity and me-hide me.”
peacemand 1, in the bosom of my na
tive stream, was doomed to sleep and the waist in malignant triumph. Green brood new broils, in painful inactivity. scales covered his body; from his mouth While thus my mind was occupied with and nostrils he breathed the white froththought, an incubus approached iny en waters—and various animals, fosteroozy bed, and breathed Erilda's fame ed by the liquid element, trailed their into my ear: I was arouzed with the pestiferous slime across his carcase. sweet image my fancy drew; and, on In his right hand he held a trident, beholding the enchanting object, found which he raised on high to plunge in her sweeter than my imagination had
the bosom of his victim, who, screampainted her-and, from that moment, ing, burst from his embrace, and falling
resolved to make her mine. I heard upon her knees, implored of Heaven of her many virtues—of her piety—and protection. Loud thunders shook the what a feeling heart she boasted ; this sky-terrific lightning Aashed in her news instructed me what shape to as- eyes—and the furious winds bursting sinne; and the Warrior Knight of the through the mountains, swelled the agiBlood-red Plume answered every pur
tated river beyond its bounds. The pose. Erilda was easily ensnared: she fiend, with malignant yell, pursued Erilpitied me, because she thought me un- da—the trident entered her bosomfortunate-pity instantly begat love- and crimson torrents of her virgin blood love the glowing fire of all-consuming gushed from the yawning wound—in passion. I had no power to deceive, agony she fell—the demon, twining his But speciously—"
hand in her fair locks, hurled her to the “ Monster !” exclaimed the frantic deep, and, sated with triumph, vanished wretch, “ you were all deception." with his coracle.
" There Erilda wrongs me,” cried Long time did the white-browed the fiend; "she deceived herself-she waves bear up Erilda : in her last mo. though me what her heart hoped I was ments, she beheld the pale spectre of
- I did not need much art to gain her Sir Rhyswick, who advanced upon the -she readily entered into all my views rolling waters, that seemed to shrink
-embraced my projects as fast as they from his feet, placing his fore-finger to were uttered."
the deep wound in his breast. More Erilda threw herself upon her knees.
dreadful were her screams and billow “ Nay, prayer is vain,” continued succeeding billow, bore her near the the fiend ; you are lost to Heaven-you shore. Struggling for life, she clung to scrupled to commit an immediate mur- a loose rock to save herself, which yieldder, yet planned a lingering death for ing to her grasp, came rolling down, the parent who had nurtured you-you
and crashed her to pieces. would not stab, but preferred planting The hermit paused.daggers in your father's bosom.-Mur- Since then has Rhuddlan's castle been deress! you bid him who gave you life, the seat of anarchy.--Monarchs, indeed, live for a time in agony, to reflect on have made it their residence; but, each his daughter's infamy.'
night, Erilda's screams are heard, and Erilda shrunk with horror and affright the Warrior of the Blood-red Plume is from the hideous monster, who now seen pursuing her through the ruined resumed his original shape, amidst the courts. yell of demons, who rose from the sandy Such is the tale of Rhuddlan's ruindeep, upon the curling wave, to greet ed towers. Pilgrim, go thy way, stop their chief. The eyes of the sanguinary not within its blasted walls, foul fiends fiend emitting a sulphureous flame, were ride upon the misty air, and the defixed upon the pale countenance of the mons of the angry Clwyd claim it as guilty maid, whom he grasped round I their right.
ACCORDING to ancient tradition there started at the stern malediction of the was, some centuries ago, a large and mendicant, and the deep shadowing of populous town near Carrickfergus in the his brow; but time for reflection was north of Ireland. Towards the decline not given him, for the evening was of a day in autumn, as the nobles and drawing on, and the stranger accepting other inhabitants of this town were in- his offer, prepared to follow him to his dulging themselves with music and house. After passing through two or dancing, on the eve of a festival, an old three long streets, theguide, whose name man, habited in a long dark cloak, and was O'Halloran, struck into a narrow seemingly bent with fatigue, made his lane, and stopping before the gate of a appearance among them, and requested mean habitation, he lifted the latch, and refreshments and shelter for the night. | invited the old man to enter. The manner in which the traveller sought The room he led his guest into, corthe kindness of strangers was ill calcu- responded with the exterior of the lated to produce the effects he desired, house, and was occupied by an old for the tones of the mendicant were woman whose years appeared not to strangely mingled with a voice of com- have diminished the natural gaiety of mand, and the piercing grey eyes that her heart, and a young woman,
who sparkled beneath his white and over- was seated spinning in a corner, and hanging eyebrows, were fitfully illu- blythely singing as the merry wheel mined with a wild and fearful brilliancy. went round: the latter was a rosy-cheekThe people gazed at him for a moment, ed daughter of Erin ; her hair was chesand then, averse to his aspect, closed nut brown, and her eyes dark, blue, and their hearth and door to his importunity. brilliant, sparkled from beneath her For some time the old man vainly wan- bright and curling tresses, as she raised dered from gate to gate in search of them on the entrance of her husband, hospitality, till at length, in the market- who announced the traveller he had inplace, a person besought him to put up vited. In a moment the distaff was. with the accommodation of his humble thrown by, and the board was spread abode. The pilgrim stopped, and, turn- with the best that the humble dwelling ing round, beheld the towers and stee- produced; while the old man, having ples and houses of the town glittering been disencumbered by O'Halloran of like gold in the rich radiance of a setting his cloak and cap, sat down with an ursun. A withering expression of revenge banity of countenance that curiously darkened his eye, as, smiling bitterly contrasted with the almost supernatural upon the scene, he stretched forth his expression of malice which had, a few hands, and said, “ The curse of an out- minutes before, risen like a fire-flash on cast and wanderer light upon you, proud his features. After supper, O'Halloran city; and bright as thy turrets are now, brought a harp, one of which was then they shine for the last time in the sun to be found in every house in Ireland, burst of day, for the morning will come and placing it before his guest, waited and find thee fled as a dream from the in expectation of his playing. The brain of the sleeper." The young man stranger drew it on his knee, and, as
his fingers wandered among the strings, and the pure water was welling up in he sung, in a low but energetic tone, the the insterstices, while black and silvery following verses :
eels coiled upon the stones. A shriek
of dismay burst from the lips of all
present, and at that instant the door
was thrown open, and the old man ap-
peared before them : his aspect was as
that of a demon, and his eyes shone
with exultation. “ Fly!” cried he, fly
from the destruction ye have not merit-
ed! Rise, and follow me, and while
time is left ye, seek safety on the moun-
tains.” Saying this, he hurried them,
without further speaking, to the door.
O'Halloran supported his trembling wife
and mother in their forced progress
through the streets, which were now
above ankle deep in water. Every mi-
nute it rose higher and higher. “Hurry,
hurry !” exclaimed the old man,
the hour of favour will be past." He
was leading to the outskirts of the town,
when O'Halloran's mother, shrinking The minstrel repeated in a deepened from the reptiles that came in contact cadence,
with her feet, declared she could proFor the night--star that's coming
ceed no further : his wife hung heavily Shall wilness thy fall.
upon his arm, and the stranger's intriAnd O'Halloran felt an emotion of dread cate windings through the town were steal over him as he gazed upon the now difficult to follow, but delay was mysterious being, and remembered the not to be thought of; the water was bitter curse he had, in the market-place, rising in every part, and the newt and bestowed upon the town. The wanderer the eft, and slippery eel, were meanderdisregarded his agitation, and shortly af- ing on the pavement. “For the sake of ter complaining of fatigue, retired to the mercy bear up awhile," said O'Halloran, chamber set apart for his repose.
“and we may yet reach a shelter." He the stranger
had withdrawn, O'Halloran doubled the support of his arm, and the and his wife and mother drew round the party, renewing their exertions, in a fire, and the singularity of their guest short time gained the steep ascent of a gave rise to many observations, which mountain, which raised its stupendous at length induced O'Halloran to impart height above the steeples of the town, to his wondering auditors the circum- The old man halted not; but with an stance of the traveller's rejection by the agility that was surprising, commenced neighbours, and the fearful rage he had to tread the mazes of the bill, ever and expressed on the occasion. The old anon turning his head, and urging his woman's vivacity forsook her, and the companions to speed. The night was gentle Kathleen crossed herself repeat, calm and clear, and the heavens were of edly, as she sat in awful expectation of a deep blue, studded with a myriad
of stars, that seemed as innumerable The moments were wearing on, when lamps of silver burning and brightening suddenly the old woman cried out, that in the sky. In the distance, on the the apartment was sinking. O'Halloran skirts of the horizon, was traced, amidst started on his feet,-it was a fact : the the density of the surrounding clouds, hearth had already given some inches, 'many a gleam of pale and visionary hue;