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No more in pomp of war, or vaulting steed, The wild birds singing on the twinkling spray, Jogeth the Son of Vortigern, nor feasts
Wake her no more ; the summer wind breathes soft, With jocund harpings, and rich-jewell'd dames, Waving the fresh grass o'er her narrow bed, Outshining in their pride the starry heavens. Gladdening to all but her. Senseless and cold
She lies; while all she loved, unheard, unseen, As fair the spring-flower's bloom, as graceful droops Mourn round her.” There broke off her faltering voice. The wild ash-spray, as sweet the mountain bee
Dimly, with farewell glance, she roved around, Murmurs, melodious breathes the twilight grove, Never before so beautiful the lake, Unheard of her, unheeded, who ere while
Like a new sky, distinct with stars, the groves, Visited, constant as the morning dew,
Green banks and shadowy dells, her haunts of bliss, Those playmates and sweet sisters of her soul.
Smiled, ne'er before so lovely, their last smile ; In one sole image sees the enamour'd maid
The fountains seem'd to wail, the twilight mists, Concentrated all qualities of love,
On the wet leaves were weeping all for her. All beauty, grace, and majesty. The step
Had not her own tears blinded her, there wo Of tall stag prancing stately down the glen,
She surely had beheld a youthful form, The keen bright fierceness of the eagle's glance, Wandering the solitary glen. But loud And airy gentleness of timorous roe.
The courser neigh'd, down bursting, wood and rock And, more than all, a voice more soothing soft Fly backward, the wide plain its weary length Than wild bird's carol, or the murmuring brook, Vainly outspreads; and now 't is midnight deep. With eloquence endued and melting words
Ends at a narrow glen their fleet career. So wondrous ; though unheard since eve, the sounds That narrow glen was paled with rude black rocks Come mingling with her midnight sleep, and make There slowly rollid a brook its glassy depth; The damask of her slumbering cheek grow warm. Now in the moon-beams white, now dark in gloom.
And she is now beneath the moonlight rock, She lived, she breathed, she felt lo her denied Chiding the rippling waters that efface
That sole sad happiness the wretched know,
Even from excess of feeling, not to feel.
Where all around, through rilled rock and wood, Looks up to her with glance of tenderer love, Grim features glare, huge helmed forms obscure Than wild-dove to its mate at earliest spring. People the living gloom, with dreary light
Glimmering, as of the moon from iron arms Oft hath that moonlight war'd and waned, since last Coldly reflected, lovely stands she there, He parted, all of him that could depart;
Like a blest Angel 'mid th accurst of Hell. Save that no distance could remove the words, A voice is heard.—Lu, mighty Monarch, here The look, the touch, that lives within her still, The stream of sacrifice; to man alone The promise of return sworn on her lips.
Fits the proud privilege of bloody death
By shaft or mortal steel; to Hela's realm, And hark it comes, bis steed along the glen; Unblooded, woundless, must the maid descend; She o'er the lucid mirror stooping, braids
So in the bright Valhalla shall she crown Hasty her dark brown tresses, bashful smiles
For Woden and his Peers the cup of bliss." Of virgin vanity flit o'er her cheek,
Her white arms round her father's rugged neck Tinging its settled paleness. Now 't is near, Winding with desperate fondness, she 'gan pour, But ne'er did Vortimer with iron hoof
As to some dear, familiar, long-loved heart, Bruise the green flowery sward that Lilian loves.
Most eloquent her inarticulate prayers. A gentle frown of winning fond reproach
Is the dew gleaming on his cheek? or weeps Arch'd her dark eyelash, as her head she turn'd, The savage and the stern, yet still her sire? Ah! not on Vortimer. Her father stood
But some rude arm of one, whose dreadful face Before her, stern and dark, his trembling child She dared not gaze on, seized her. Gloomy stood, Cheer'd nor fond word, nor greeting kiss ;' his arm Folding his wolf-skin mantle to conceal Clasp'd round her, on his steed again he sprung. The shuddering of his huge and mailed form,
Caswallon. Then again the voice came forth, and on through moon-light and through shade he - Fast wanes the night, the Gods brook no delay, spurr'd.
Monarch of Britain, speed." He, at that name Gleam'd like a meteor's track his flinty road,
Shaking all human from his soul, Aung back Like some rude hunter with a snow-white fawn,
The foldings of his robe, and stood elate, His midnight prey. Anon, the mountain path
As haughty of some glorious deed, nor knew 'Gan upward wind, the fiery courser paused
Barbarian blind as proud, who feels no more Breathless, and faintly raising her thin form;
The mercies and affections of his kind, Oh, whither bear ye me?" with panting voice,
Casts off the image of God, a man of ill, Murmurd. Caswallon spake unmoved, “ to death.” With all his nature's earth, without its heaven.
- Death, father, death is comfortless and cold! A sound is in the silent night abroad, Ay me! when maiden dies, the smiling morn, A sound of broken waters; rings of light
Float o'er the dark stream, widening to the shore.* Her broken faith, as fond as Vortimer,
As full of love. "T is closer now; he leaps
From his high steed, he draws it to the shore. In the lone twilight glen; the moonlight gleam Scarce time for fancy or for fear, the moon Falls tenderly on her beseeching face,
Quench'd her broad light behind a rushing cloud, Like the halo of expiring Saint, she seems
And utter darkness settled round. He sale Lingering to lie upon the water top,
In solitude, with that cold liseless thing; As to enjoy once more that light beloved ;
He dared not leave it, for a hideous thought And trernulously moved her soundless lips
Was in his brain.—“Why is it like to thee, As syllabling the name of Vortimer;
My Lilian! be it any one but thouThen deep she sank, and quiet the cold stream, Ilopelessly cold, irrevocably cold: Unconscious of its guilt. went eddying on,
It cannot be, and yet 't was like: her height, And look'd up lovely to the gazing moon.
Her slender waist like Lilian's, and her hair
As dainty soft, and trick'd with flowers; 't is she, What deepest thoughts, young Vortimer, have place and I will kiss her, parlon if I err, Within thy secret breast? thou slowly ridest
If stranger lips round, smooth like thine; but oh! By Eamont's alder brink, thy silver arms
So coldly passive; when we parted, thine Through the brown copse with moonshine glittering Thwarted me with a struggling bashfulness, dim,
And, won at length, with meek surrender swellid. Is 't that late fighi by Thanet, when the fire
Wild and delirious fancy! many a maid From thine and Horsa's steel, frequent and red, Hath full round lips, to trick the hair with flowers Burnt the pale sea-spray? or thy stately charge, "Tis common vanity. If dead, even dead, With show of British war, to curb and check
So chilly senseless Lilian conld not be The threatening Caledonian? or what bathes To Vortimer's embrace. Oh, but for light, Youth's cheek in bitterest and most gall-like tears; Though dim and scanty as a glow-worm's fire, Thy father's shame, the curse that, unredeem'd
To make me surely, hopelesely undone! By thy young valour, his once kingly name
Aught but this racking ignorance. Dawn forth, Brands with the deep-seard characters of hate? Thou iortoise-footed sluggard, Morn! one beam,
Thou pitiless cold Moon!"– Morn dawn'd not pel Or is 't that gentle Maid by Derwent lake,
And pale and thick remainid the moonless sky. Her flower-wreath'd tresses and her pale sweet smile? Darkness around, the dead within his arms, How pleasant, after war and journeying fleet
He sate, even like a poison'd man, that waits, To Britain's Northern realm, from Kent's white cliffs, Yet haunted by a miserable hope, Once more to see her early gliding fool
The palpable cold sickness in his veins, Skimming the morning dews, to hear her voice.
And yearns to live or die, scarce cares he which, As artless, as melodious, melt on air,
So one were certain. But when slow the dawn Among the wood-birds' matins to surprise
Unveil'd its filmy light, he turn'd away Thine own dear name upon her bashful lips!
From that wbich might be Lilian's face, and pray's
Even for the hateful, dun, uncertain gloom, What floateth down the stream a deep dead white
As now by habit the slow-creeping grief, Amid the glittering moonshine, where the stream
Winding like ivy round and round his heart, Runs black beneath the thicket boughs, still white,
Were rapture, and not lightly to be lost. Still slowly drifting, like a dying swan,
It seem'd unconsciously his hand held up, In snowy beauty, on its watery bier?
Unconsciously declined his heary eye, Oh, were bot Lilian here! perchance its neck
Where slowly brighten'd on that lifeless face May struggle up, to the still waves to chaunt
The intrusive beauty ; one tress lay across, Its own soft requiem, the most gentle breath,
O'erspreading yet a thin and shadowy doubt; Most fancifully, delicately sweet,
Move it he dare not, but the officious wind That ever soothes the midnight's dewy calm.
At length dispersed it. As the thought, the fear Near, and more near, it takes a human shape :
Were new, were sudden, like the lightning flash
'That sears the infant in its mother's arms, Some luckless maiden; haply her loved youth
Smote on him the dire certainty. He clasp d Awaits her at the well-known place, upbraids
Her damp dead cheek to his.-—"Thus, meet we thos
Lilian, my Lilian, silent, strange, and cold? Homo autem quem immolandum obtulerat, in fontem gni ad locum sacrificiorum rcat ricbat vivus immerecbatur:
I do not bid thee fondly gaze. nor ask qui si facile eftaret animam, taus'um renunciabant sacerdotes Long garrulous welcoming.—but speak. but more! votum: moxque inde ereplum in vicinum nemus, quod sacrum Lilian ; ne'er thought I, I should live to loathe credebant, suspendentes
, inter Deos transinium affirmabant. Thy gentle presence.—Most ungrateful girl, Quo factum Athl, 11! beatum se crederet, qui eo immolatione e vivis excederet, Accidit nonnunquam reges ipens simili sorte
And I for thee forsook my warrior trust, delectos victimari Qurd quia fuusii simum regno libamen Was truant to my country's cause for thee. æstimabatur, totius populi multivado cum surma congratu. By the green Tees my murmuring camp upbraids Jatjone tam insignre victiman prosequrhantut. Enimvero sic defuncios non omnino mori, sed iam illos quam re ipsos im. My soft unwarlike absence-ay, upbraid ! mortales esse. -OLAUS MAGNUS, Book 3, cap. 6.
llenceforth finds Fortune no where in this soul
To fasten misery on; I laugh at Fate,
Of infants and decrepit eld, from Thames For I am past its wavering malice now.
To Thanet crown the pale-brow'd cliffs of Kent. Thinks she with hollow gauds of fame, and clang As when from Aulis that immortal feet Of cymbal praise, to lure me forth, a bland
Swept the Ægean, all the hollow beach, And courteous parasite in her fond train?
And every Phrygian promontory glow'd No; hang thou there, my helm, my broad-barr'd shield With brazen battle, here the Morning's Son, Rust on yon bank; my sword, one duty more, Swarth Memnon, here the invulnerable strength To shape the smooth turf for my Lilian's grave; Of Cycnus, here the beardless Troilus, Thy bridal bed, sweet Maid, it should have been, Unwounded by soft Cresseide's arrowy eyes ; Where thou and Vortimer had met. Thy grave Here Hector, seeking through the walery route Shall be my field of fame, my wreath of pride The tall Thessalian prow, with fatal thirst The flowers the courteous spring shall lavish there; Furious even then, the silver-footed Queen And I'll have glory in my depth of woe
To orphan of her heaven-soul'd boy. So broad, A wild and strange delight in my despair :
So brave in splendour tower'd the rampart bold Not yet, the cold earth must not part us yet, Of British Warriors on that pallid shore. One glimmer more from thine eye's dark-fringed blue, One throb, one tremor, though it be the last
On Thanet are the Sea King Brethren met. In thy soft limbs-dead, sightless, icy dead!" Their greeting in that fiercely sportive strain
That, elevate with imminent success, O'er his lost Love, thus that sad Prince, undream'd Scoffs at past ill.—“On Thanet's marge well met, The hell-born secret of her fate, arraign'd
Erle Horsa ; now meseems our spacious realm Blind Chance for keen-eyed Man's earth-sullying sins. Is somewhat waste and shrunken, since we last
View'd its fair confines : for such noble guests But southward far the savage fleet bore on.
And numerous as attend our royal march, On Flamborough-head the morning sun look'd dusk
Our kingdom's harbours show 100 close, our land Through their dim sails ; where Scarborough's naked Narrow and brief for such free spirits' range. foot
Ill husbandry! our fertile province wide Spurns back, and saith, “no further," to the waves,
To barier for this spare and meagre isle. From cleft and care the sullen sea-birds sprang,
Horsa, for anchorage and breathing space Wheeling in air with dizzy flight, and shrek'd
Our weary mariners must e'en go sue Their dreary fears abroad. The Shepherd, wont
Their gentle Briton neighbours; baply they, O'er level Lindesay view the watery plain,
Knowing our native courtesy, may cede Blue trembling to the soft horizon's line,
From their abundance some fair leagues of earth." Sees, like a baleful portent from the heavens, That sable train of gloom warp slowly past.
"* Ingrate and blind (cried Horsa,) they forswear Th' Icenian coast (that scepired woman's realm,
Our mild dominion; to their King's behest Bondoca, who from her fair body slaked
Rebellious, they proclaim the British earth The stain cof Roman Just in Roman blood,)
The undivided, indivisible right Looks haggard, with distracted faces wan,
Of their old British sires, nor may't descend Hoar age, fair youth, the woman and the child.
Sever'd and mutilate to their British sons. From beech or steep cliff, gazing now to Heaven,
They shook not off the Roman's gentle sway, Now on that ocean army's watery march.
To slave it to Barbarians. Specious terms, Oh Nelson! if the unborn soul distinct
And with such cogent arguments enforced, Amid the loose infinity of space,
We were fain shroud us in this narrow isle Be visited by apparitions dim
From such hot disputants; a desperate spirit of this earth's fleeting Present, and inhale
Was that old Cesar, who first planted here Faint foretaste of its mortal passions, ihon,
The free of conquest.”_"Holds the King his faith p" When, with usurping prow, that foreign fleet
“Oh, thy fair daughter bath a soft-link'd chain Daunted thy Britain, thou didst surely yearn
For the old royal Lion; he obeys, To unordain'd maturity to force
Like a slim greyhound in a silken leash. Thy unripe being, to foreseize from Fate
Her eye-wou empire. But there walks abroad Thy slow existence. Oh, the days must dawn,
A youngling of the brood; no blood but mine When Saxon and when Briton, melted off
Mighi fesh the ravin of his dainty jaws. Al fend, all hate, all discord, of their strength
This Vortimer, this bright-eyed, beardless boy. And talonr blent th' abstract and essence rich,
Ay, front to front I met him, but their hands One sword, one name, one glory, and one God,
Rent us asunder, and my crest-lopp'd helm, From their bright armoury of Captains, thee
My scatter'd blood. pass'd unavenged. Now earth Their chosen thunderbolt shall usher forth,
Swallow me in my wrath, heaven's bolt sear up From the leagued Nations' frantic grasp to wrest
My constant heart, if I forget thee, Boy, Britain's allotted sceptre of the sea.
Nor shear the gay sprouts of thy budding fame!"
"A child their mightiest !"_"Scornful Hengisi, no; A brighter and more British battlement,
A manlier spirit ridleth the fierce storm, Than tender forms of woman, the pale dread One in whom bravery and counsel vie
For excellence : wild battle wears the shape Scallers the languid mist, that wreathes their souls,
And from their blanch'd cheeks drives the white fe forceth it with his strong sword to obey
dismay. His high behest, and take the fate he gives." "His name-his name!"_“The Chieftain of the Vales,
What ho! a trumpet from the Thanet shore, So sounds his title.”—Then a bitter groan,
Truce for the Saxon's embassage; his hand
Outholding the white wand of peace, comes on
Old Cerdic, and before the assemblage proud
fleet A light and laughing carelessness relaxd
Affronts your pale cliffs with fierce show of war, Those knitted surrows, seem'd his eager soul Yet would we peace with Britain. Deem not this, Clasp'd the dim future with a wanton joy.
In the blown arrogance of brief success,
The hard-wrung cowering of faint sear; look rouod But on the mainland, in sad council, meet
Your own brief camp, then gaze abroad, onr sails The Baronage of Britain, timorous hearts
Outnumber your thin helms, and that pale sear In hollow unsubstantial valour trick'd,
Is not familiar with our German souls. While those who dare show fear, fear undisguised.
This know ye further, what we Saxons dare,
That dare we nobly, openly. Far south
Spreads to the sun, there all the basking hills
Glow with the red wine, there the fresh air floats Wanting the steadfast fuel, the strong wind
So fragrant, that 'tis pleasure but to breathe, Wanting of love devotional, heart-deep
Aye one blue summer in the cloudless skies; To their own native land, that passion proud
And our old Bards have legends, how of yore That is all passions, that hath breath to fan
From that soft land bright engles, fledged with gold To a broad light beyond the noon-day Sun
Danube or Rhine o'erflew, their Cæsars fired The waning embers of faint zeal; they hence
Our holy groves with insolent fames, and girt Powerful, but now with gallant charge to sweep
Our fierce free foresters with slavish chains, From Kent's fair Valleys Horsa's Saxon train,
That scarce bold Herman rent their massive links Downcast in mien and mind, with prospect sad
Not to despoil a mild and gentle isle. Now count that countless navy's gathering sails.
For full fierce vengeance on Imperial Rome
Pours forth embattled Germany. Then hear Not now the rapture and the restlessness,
Brave islanders! our Saxon terms of peace: The riding and the racing, burst and shock,
For this fair province, ours by royal boon And sudden triumph, or as sudden death;
of your King Vortigern give plenteous gold; Now long, long wasting of the limbs and life,
And with it take the gift, that deepest wrings The circumspect cold strife, drear march, damp watch,
Our German souls to part with, our revenge. Forepining day, and vigilant sleepless night,
With most unwonted patience will we bear Eternal and interminable war,
Erle Horsa's camp with fierce assault o'erborne, Before them spreads its comfortless wide tract.
And British wolves full-gorged with Saxon gore. Gone all soft joys, all courtly luxuries gone:
Then not as foes, but friends, we disembark The languor of the bath, the harp, the song
Our sea-worn crews, ourselves, the Chiefs of war By twilight in the lady's sleepless porch,
In solemn festival to your high Lords, The loitering in the sunny colonnade,
Pledge on the compact our unwavering faith. The circus, and the theatre, the feast
But if ye still with lavish thirst pursue Usurping the mild midnight's solemn hours ;
War's crimson goblets, freely let them flow. From holier hearts, the chapel and the prayer, If the fierce pastime of the fire and sword The matins, and melodious vesper hymn,
Be jocund to ye, ho, let slip the game. The bridal with its gay and jocund rout,
Your city walls are not so airy high, The baptism with its revel, gone-all gone.
But our fleet flames may climb their dizzy towers The burial on cold battle field, unhymn'd,
And revel on their pinnacles of pride ; Unmourn'd, untomb'd; nor taper, tear, nor rite:
Your breastplates not so adamantine proof, Gentle commercing between God and man
But our keen falchions to your hearts may find Broke off, save hasty prayer ere batile morn,
A direful passage. And not we alone, Cold orison upon the midnight watch.
Caswallon, at our call, o'er the wide North
Wakes the hoarse music of his rushing cars. Sole pillar of the quaking temple, firm,
Then choose your bride, oh Britons, lo, each courts Inflexible, on the foundation deep
Your arms with rival beauties, Peace and War."
Thus half in courtesy, defiant half,
His voice, ere from a single lip assent
Our earth be patient of one armed hoof, Had parted, Samor rose, and cried aloud
Tame treaty, temporizing truce, avaunt!
The foreign banner that (surps our winds, “ Britons. oh Britons! hinds fear fawning wolves, Be it a fue, strange steel that doth divert The peasant flies the snake that smoothly coils
One ray of sunlight from our shores, be that Round his numb foot ils gay enamell'd rings;
The scope and centre of all British swords. I dread a peaceful Saxon. "T'is too rare,
So build we up our peace on the strong rock Prodigious, and unnatural, like a star
Of brave defiance, cement it with scorn, Seen in the noon-day. Was 't for this, for this
Set bright-arm’d Valour in its jealous porch, Round Vortigern's tame soul that proud-ey'd Queen
Bold warden; from our own intrinsic strength Wound her voluptuous trammels? did the meek,
Not from the mercy of our foes, be free."The hermit Constans, bleed for this? Oh, Peace Is like the rain from heaven, the clouds must burst Oh the soul's fire, of that swist element Ere earth smile lovely with its lucid dews. Th’intensest, broadest spreads and nimblest mounts, Peace must be won by war, swords, swords alone With flaky fierce contagion; it hath caught Work the strong treaty. Shall our slaves, that sold In that Baronial conclave, it hath blazed. Their blood, their lives unto us for base hire, But then rose Elidure, with bashful mien, On our fair provinces set now their price?
Into himself half shrinking; from his lips Nor feast, nor metal give we, but cold steel! The dewy words dropt, delicate and round, Give gold! as wisely might the miser lend
And crept into the chambers of the soul, The robber to his treasury, and then cry,
Like the bee's liquid honey :-“And thou too, “Go hence, and plunder;" 'I were to tempt, to bribe Enamour'd of this gaudy murderer, War! The undream'd perjury, and spread a lure,
Samor, in hunger's meagre hour who scorns To bring the parted spoiler swiftly back.
A fair-skinn'd fruit, because its inward pulp
May be or black or hollow ? this bland Peace
Wears manifest its hideousness, and bares
Deformities the Sun sbrinks to behold. The hydra heads of liberty? Our earth
Because 't is in the wanton roll of chance Shall burst to bearing of as boon a crop
That he may die, who desperately leaps Of sworded soldiers, as of bladed grass,
Into the pit, with mad untimely arms And all our hills branch out in groves of steel. To clasp annihilation? Were no path So thought our fathers, so they bravely strove But through the grim and haunted wilds of strife, For the bleak freedom of their steamy moors, To the mild shrine of peace, maids would not wear Their black oak’s fruitage coarse, and rites uncouth Their bridal chaplets with more joy, than I Of Druid, by the beal-fire's lurid flame.
Th’oppressive morion : then th' old vaunt were wise, But we, less drossy beings, filter'd off
To live in freedom, or for freedom die. Our natures rude and gross, create anew
Then would I too dissemble, with vain boast Souls of fine wants and delicate desires,
Our island's weakness; wear an iron front, Rich in the fair civilities of life,
Though all within were silken, soft, and smooth. Endued with sensitiveness keen and clear
For what are we, slight sunshine birds, thin plumed Of earth's best pleasures, shall we tamely yield For dalliance with the mild, luxurious airs ! Our beauteous Britai our own pleasant isle, To grapple with these vultures, whose broad vans, To dreary-sould Barbarians? "T is not now Strong with their icy tempests, but with wind Merely to 'scape the heaven-branded name of slaves, of their forth rushing down would swoop us? Then, For license to breathe where we choose, and wield Then, Samor, eminent in strength and power, At our own wayward will unfetter'd limbs.
It were most proud for thee alone to break Oh, if we fail, free Christians must sink down The hot assault, with single arm t' arrest To Heathen slaves, our gilded palace roofs
The driving ruin-suin, ah! too sure. Shout the loose riot of new Lords, our wives Oh, 't were most proud; to us sad comfort ; sunk, Be like base plunder, vilely bought and sold ; Amerced of all our fair, smooth sliding hours, Worse shame! worse sin! the murky Heathen groves Our rich abodes the wandering war-flame's feast. O'er our failen Churches their pale gloom advance; Samor, our fathers fear'd not death; cast off Our holy air go hot and reeking up
Most careless their coarse lives; with nought to lose. With impious incense to blood beveraged Gods !
They fear'd no loss; our breathing is too rich,
Too precions this our sensitive warm mould,
For such light venture. Oh, then, be we not
Most wretched from the fear of wretchedness! As with a conqueror's pride, with steel-gloved hand If war must be, in God's name let war be: Seal our stern treaty. So if they depart,
But, oh, with clinging hand, with lingering love, And with their spread sails hunt their mad emprize; Clasp we our mistress, Peace. Gold! what is gold But while one prow dash menace on our shore, My fair and wealthy palace set to sale,