Графични страници
PDF файл

ml when to bless the little babe The holy Father came,

0 cleanse the stains of sin away
In Christ's redeeming name;

ben did the check of Rndiger
Assume a death-pale hue,
id on his clammy forehead stood
The cold convulsive dew;

id faltering in his speech he bade
The Priest the rites delay,
ill he could, to right health restored,
Enjoy tho festive day.

hen o'er the many-tinted sky
He saw the day decline,
; called upon his Margaret
To walk beside the Rhine;

Lnd we will take the little babe,
For soft the breeze that blows,
id the mild murmurs of the stream
Will lull him to repose."

id so together forth they went,
The evening-breeze was mild,
d Rudiger upon his arm
Pillow'd the little child.

d many a one from Waldhurst's walls
\lnng the banks did roam,
t soon the evening-wind came cold,
\iiil all betook them home.

t Rudiger in silent mood
Hong the banks would roam,
r aught could Margaret prevail
I'o turn his footsteps home.

Ii turn thee, turn thee, Rudiger!
Che rising mists behold,
c evening-wind is damp and chill,
The little babe is cold!"

ow hush thee, hush thee, Margaret, The mists will do no harm,

1 from the wind the little babe
ties shelter'd on my arm."

i turn thee, turn thee, Rudiger,
Vhy onward wilt thou roam?
s moon is up, the night is cold,
nd we arc far from home."

answer'd not; for now he saw

swan come sailing strong, '. by a silver chain he drew

little boat along.

shore they came, and to the boat ast leapt he with the child,

in leapt Margaret—breathless now, nd pale with fear and wild.

With arching crest and swelling breast

On sail'd tho stately swan.
And lightly down the rapid tide

The little boat went on.

The full-orb'd moon, that beam'd around
Pale splendour through the night.

Cast through the crimson canopy
A dim-discolour'd light.

And swiftly down the hurrying stream

In silence still they sail,
And the long streamer fluttering fast

Flapp'd to the heavy gale.

And he was mute in sullen thought,

And she was mute with fear, Nor sound but of the parting tide

Broke on the listening ear.

The little babe began to cry,
Then Margaret raised her head.

And with a quick and hollow voice
"Give me the child!" she said.

"Now hush thee, hush thee, Margaret,

Nor my poor heart distress! I do but pay perforce the price

Of former happiness.

And hush thee too, my little babe!

Thy cries so feeble cease;
Lie still, lie still;—a little while

And thou shalt be at peace."

So as he spake to land they drew,

And swift he stept on shore, And him behind did Margaret

Close follow evermore.

It was a place all desolate,
Nor house nor tree was there;

And there a rocky mountain rose,
Barren, and bleak, and bare.

And at its base a cavern yawn'd,

No eye its depth might view,
For in the moon-beam shining round

That darkness darker grew.

Cold horror crept through Margaret's blood,
Her heart it paused with fear,

When Rudiger approach'd the cave,
And cried: "Lo I am here!"

A deep sepulchral sound the cave

Return'd: "Lo I am here!"
And black from out the cavern-gloom

Two*giant-arms appear.

And Rudiger approach'd, and held

The little infant nigh; Then Margaret shriek'd, and gather'd then

New powers from agony.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

In Finland there is a Castle which is called the New Rock, moated abont with a river of onsnuuded depth, the water black, and the fish therein very distasteful to the palate. In this are spectre, often seen, which foreshow either the death of the Governor, or of some prime officer belonging to the place; and »"* eommonly it appeareth in the shape of a harper, sweetly singing and dallying and playisi.under the water. It is reported of one Donica, that after she was dead, the Devil walked in her body for the space of two years, so that none suspected hot she was still alive; for she did both speak and eat, though very sparingly; only ► he had a deep paleness on her countenance, which was the only sign of death. At length a Magician coining by where she was then in the company of many other virgins, as soon as ne beheld her he said: Fair Maids, why keep you company with this dead Virgin, whom you sopnose to be alive? when, taking away the magic charm which was lied under her arm, the body fell down lifeless and without motion.

The following Ballad is founded on these stories They are to be found in the notes to I he Hierarchies of the Blessed Angels ;; a Poem by Thomas Heywood, printed In folio by Adam lslip, 1635.

Hick on a rock whose castled shade

Darken'd the lake below,
In ancient strength majestic stood

The towers of Arlinkow.

The fisher in the lake below

Durst never cast his net, Nor ever swallow in its waves

Her passing wing would wet.

The cattle from its ominous banks

In wild alarm would run,
Though parch'd with thirst, and faint beneath

The summer's scorching sun.

For sometimes when no passing breeze

The long lank sedges waved,
All white with foam and heaving high

Its deafening billows raved;

Far was her beauty known, for none

So fair could Finland boast;
Her parents loved the maiden much.

Young EsERHinn loved her most.

Together did they hope to tread

The pleasant path of life,
For now the day drew near to make

Donica Eberhard's wife.

The eve was fair and mild the air,

Along the lake they stray; The eastern hill reflected bright

The tints of fading day.

And brightly o'er the water stream •

The liquid radiance wide; Donica's little dog ran on

And gamboll'd at her side.

Youth, health, and lovebloom'd on her cam

Her full dark eyes express
In many a glance to Eberhard

Her soul's meek tenderness.

Nor sound was heard, nor passing p*k
Sigh'd through the long lnnk s.edfr;

The air was hush'd, no little wave
Dimpled the water's edge.

Sudden the unfathom'd lake sent forth

Its music from beneath.
And slowly o'er the waters ntil'd

The solemn sounds of death.

As those deep sounds of death arose.

Donica's cheek grew pale. And in the arms of Eberhard

The lifeless maiden fell.

Loudly the youth in terror shriek'd.

And loud he call'd for aid.
And with a wild and eager look

Gazed on the lifeless maid.

But soon again did better thoughts

In Eberhard arise,
And he with trembling hope beheld

The maiden raise her eyes.

And on his arm reclined she moved

With feeble pace and slow, And soon with strength recovcr'd reach'd

The towers of Arlinkow.

Yet never to Donica's cheek

Return'd the lively hue; Her cheeks were deathy white and wan,

Her lips a livid blue.

Her eyes so bright and black of yore
Were now more black and bright,

And beam'd strange lustre in her face
So deadly wan and white:

The dog that gamboll'd by her side,
And loved with her to stray,

Now at his altcr'd mistress howl'd,
And fled in fear away.

Yet did the faithful Eberhard

Not love the maid the less;
He gazed with sorrow, but he gazed

With deeper tenderness.

And when he found her health unharm'd,

He would not brook delay,
But press'd the not unwilling maid

To fix the bridal day.

And when at length it came, with joy

He hail'd the bridal day,
And onward to the house of God

They went their willing way.

But when they at the altar stood,

And heard the sacred rite,
The hallow'd tapers dimly stream'd

A pale sulphureous light.

And when the Youth with holy warmth

Her hand in bis did hold, Sudden he felt Donica's hand

Grow deadly damp and cold.

And loudly did he shriek, for lo!

A Spirit met his view,
And Eberhard in the angel-form

His own Donica knew.

Thnt instant from her earthly frame

Howling the Daemon fled. And at the side of Kliei hard

The livid form fell dead.



Tho subject of the following ballad was related to me. when a school-boy, as a fact which bad happened in the north of England. Either Fumes or Kirkstall-Abbey (I forgot which) was named as the scene. It seems, howover, to have been founded npon a story related in Dr. Plot's History of Staffordshire. "Amongst the unusual accidents," says this amusing author," that have attended the female sex in the course of their lives, I think I may also reckon the narrow escapes they have made from death. Whereof I met with one mentioned with admiration by every body at Leek, that happened not tar off at the Black Meer of Morridge which, though famous for nothing for which it is commonly reputed so (as that it is bottomless, no cattle will drink of it, or birds fly over or settle upon it, all which I found false;) yet Is so, for the signal deliverance of a poor woman, enticed thither in a dismal stormy night, by a bloody ruffian, who had first gotten her with ehild, and intended in this remote inhospitable place to have dispatched her by drowning. Tho same night (Providence so ordering it) there were several persons of inferior rank drinking in an ale-house at Leek, whereof one having been out, and observing the darkness and other ill circumstances of the weather, coming in again, said to the rest of his companions, that he were a stout man indeed that would venture to go to the Black Meer of Morridge in such a night as that: to which one of them replying, that for a crown or some sncb sum he would undertake it, the rest joining their purse, said he should have his demand. The bargain being struck, away he went on. his journey with a stick in his hand, which fae was to leave there as a testimony of his performance. At length coming near the Meer, he heard the lamentable cries of this distressed woman, begging for mercy, which at first put him to a stand; but being a man of great resolution and some policy, he went boldly on, however, counterfeiting the presence of divers other persons, calling Jack, Dick, and Tom, and crying //ere are the roguea we look'd for, which being heard by the murderer, he left the woman and fled; whom the other man found by the Meer side almost stript of her clothes, and brought her with him to Leek, as an ample testimony of his having been at the Meer, and of God's providence too."

Who is yonder poor Maniac, whose wildlyfix'd eyes

Seem a heart overcharged to express? She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs: She never complains, but her silence implies

The composure of settled distress.

No pity she looks for, no alms does she seek;

Nor for raiment nor food doth she care:

Through her rags do the winds of the winter

blow bleak On that wither'd breast, and her weatherworn cheek Hath the hue of a mortal despair.

Yrt cheerful and happy, nor distant the day,

Poor Mary the Maniac hath been; The Traveller remembers who journey'd

tliih way No damsel so lovely, no damsel so gay, As Mary the Maid of the Inn.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

She run with wild speed, she rush'd in at
the door,
She gazed horribly eager around,
Then her limbs could support their faint

burthen no more, And exhausted and breathless she sunk on the floor, Unable to utter a sound.

Ere yet her pale lips could the story
For a moment the hat met her view;—
Her eyes from that object convulsively

start, For — what a cold horror then thrill'd through her heart 'When the name of her Richard she knew!

Where the old Abbey stands, on the common hard by, His gibbet is now to be seen; His irons you still from the rond may espy, The traveller beholds them and thinks with a sigh Of poor Mary, the Maid of the Inn.

J A S P A It.

.ijspak was poor, and vice and want
Had made his henrt like stone;

And Jaspar look'd with envious eyes
On riches not his own.

On plunder bent abroad he went

Toward the close of day, And loitcr'd on the lonely road

Impatient for his prey.

No traveller came, he loitcr'd long,

And often look'd around,
And paused and listen'd eagerly

To catch some coming sound.

He sate him down beside the stream
That cross'd the lonely way,

So fair a scene might well have charm'd
All evil thoughts away:

He sate beneath a willow-tree
Which cast a trembling shade.

The gentle river full in front
A little island made;

Where pleasantly the moon-beam shone

Upon the poplar-trees;
Whose shadow on the stream below

I'lay'd slowly to the breeze.

He listen'd—and he heard the wind
That waved the willow-tree;

He heard the waters flow along',
And murmur quietly.

He listen'd for the traveller's tread.

The nightingale sung sweet,— He started up, for now he heard

The sound of coming feet;

He started up and graspt a stake.

And waited for his prey; There came a lonely traveller,

And Jaspar crust his way.

But Jaspar's threats and curses lail'd

The traveller to appal,
He would not lightly yield the purse

Which held his little all.

Awhile he struggled, but he strove
With Jospar's strength in vain;

Beneath his blows he fell and groan'd,
And never spake again.

Jaspar raised up the murder'd man,
And plunged him in the flood,

And in the running water then
He cleansed his hands from blood.

The waters closed around the corpse,
And cleansed his hands from gore.

The willow waved, the stream flow'd on,
And murmur'd as before.

There was no human eye had seen
The blood the murderer spilt,

And Jaspar's conscience never knew
The avenging goad of guilt.

And soon the ruffian had consumed

The gold he gain'd so ill,
And years of secret guilt pass'd on,

And he was needy still.

One eve beside the alehouse-fire

He sate as it befell,
When in there enmc a labouring man

Whom Jaspar knew full well.

He sate him down by Jaspar's side

A melancholy man,
For, spite of honest toil, the world

Went hard with Jonathan.

His toil a little earn'd, and he

With little was content;
But sickness on his wife had fallen.

And all he had was spent.

Then with his wife and little ones

He shared the scauty meal,
And saw their looks of wretchedness,

And felt what wretches feel.

« ПредишнаНапред »