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The lovely maid and the lady tall That they, who thus had wronged the Are pacing both into the hall,
dame And pacing on through page and groom, Were base as spotted infamy! Enter the Baron's presence-room.
* And if they dare deny the same,
My herald shall appoint a week, The Baron rose, and while he prest And let the recreant traitors seek
440 His gentle daughter to his breast,
My tourney court--that there and then With cheerful wonder in his eyes
I may dislodge their reptile souls The lady Geraldine espies,
From the bodies and forms of men !' And gave such welcome to the same, He spake : his eye in lightning rolls ! As might beseem so bright a dame ! For the lady was ruthlessly seized ; and
he kenned But when he heard the lady's tale, In the beautiful lady the child of his And when she told her father's name,
friend! Why waxed Sir Leoline so pale, Murmuring o'er the name again,
And now the tears were on his face, Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine ? And fondly in his arms he took
Fair Geraldine, who met the embrace, Alas! they had been friends in youth ; Prolonging it with joyous look. But whispering tongues can poison truth ; Which when she viewed, a vision fell And constancy lives in realms above ; 410 | Upon the soul of Christabel, And life is thorny ; and youth is vain; The vision of fear, the touch and pain ! And to be wroth with one we love
She shrunk and shuddered, and saw Doth work like madness in the brain.
againAnd thus it chanced, as I divine,
(Ah, woe is me! Was it for thee, With Roland and Sir Leoline.
Thou gentle maid ! such sights to see ?) Each spake words of high disdain And insult to his heart's best brother : Again she saw that bosom old, They parted—ne'er to meet again ! Again she felt that bosom cold, But never either found another
And drew in her breath with a hissing To free the hollow heart from pain
sound : ing
Whereat the Knight turned wildly They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
460 Like cliffs which had been rent asunder; And nothing saw, but his own sweet A dreary sea now flows between.
maid But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder, With eyes upraised, as one that prayed. Shall wholly do away, I ween, The marks of that which once hath been.
The touch, the sight, had passed away,
And in its stead that vision blest, Sir Leoline, a moment's space,
Which comforted her after-rest, Stood gazing on the damsel's face : While in the lady's arms she lay, And the youthful Lord of Tryermaine Had put a rapture in her breast, Came back upon his heart again.
And on her lips and o'er her eyes
Spread smiles like light ! O then the Baron forgot his age,
With new surprise, His noble heart swelled high with rage ; • What ails then my beloved child ? ' 470 He swore by the wounds in Jesu’s | The Baron said–His daughter mild side
Made answer, ‘All will yet be well !' He would proclaim it far and wide, I ween, she had no power to tell With trump and solemn heraldry, Aught else : so mighty was the spell.
Yet he, who saw this Geraldine,
To Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine ! Had deemed her sure a thing divine. -For since that evil hour hath flown, Such sorrow with such grace she blended, Many a summer's sun hath shone ; As if she feared she had offended
Yet ne'er found I a friend again Sweet Christabel, that gentle maid ! Like Roland de Vaux
Vaux of TryerAnd with such lowly tones she prayed 480
maine.' She might be sent without delay Home to her father's mansion.
The lady fell, and clasped his knees, 519
• Nay ! Her face upraised, her eyes o'erflowing; Nay, by my soul !' said Leoline.
And Bracy replied, with faltering voice, 'Ho! Bracy the bard, the charge be His gracious hail on all bestowing ; thine !
Thy words, thou sire of Christabel, Go thou, with music sweet and loud, Are sweeter than my harp can tell ; And take two steeds with trappings Yet might I gain a boon of thee, proud,
This day my journey should not be, And take the youth whom thou lov'st So strange a dream hath come to me ; best
That I had vowed with music loud To bear thy harp, and learn thy song, To clear yon wood from thing unblest, And clothe you both in solemn vest, Warn'd by a vision in my rest ! 530 And over the mountains haste along, 490 For in my sleep I saw that dove, Lest wandering folk, that are abroad, That gentle bird, whom thou dost love, Detain you on the valley road.
And call'st by thy own daughter's
name• And when he has crossed the Irthing Sir Leoline! I saw the same, flood,
Fluttering, and uttering fearful moan, My merry bard ! he hastes, he hastes
Among the green herbs in the forest Up Knorren Moor, through Halegarth
Which when I saw and when I heard, And reaches soon that castle good
I wonder'd what might ail the bird ; Which stands and threatens Scotland's
For nothing near it could I see, wastes.
Save the grass and green herbs under· Bard Bracy ! bard Bracy ! your horses
neath the old tree.
540 are fleet, Ye must ride up the hall, your music so And in my dream, methought, I went sweet,
To search out what might there be found; More loud than your horses' echoing And what the sweet bird's trouble meant, feet !
That thus lay fluttering on the ground. And loud and loud to Lord Roland call, I went and peered, and could descry Thy daughter is safe in Langdale hall ! No cause for her distressful cry; Thy beautiful daughter is safe and free- But yet for her dear lady's sake Sir Leoline greets thee thus through me. I stooped, methought, the dove to He bids thee come without delay
take, With all thy numerous array ;
When lo ! I saw a bright green snake And take thy lovely daughter home : Coiled around its wings and neck. 550 And he will meet thee on the way
Green as the herbs on which it couched, With all his numerous array
Close by the dove's its head it crouched ; White with their panting palfreys' foam : And with the dove it heaves and stirs, And, by mine honour ! I will say, 511 Swelling its neck as she swelled hers ! That I repent me of the day
I woke ; it was the midnight hour, When I spake words of fierce disdain The clock was echoing in the tower ;
But though my slumber was gone by, The maid, devoid of guile and sin,
So deeply had she drunken in
That look, those shrunken serpent eyes, With music strong and saintly song 561 That all her features were resigned To wander through the forest bare, To this sole image in her mind : Lest aught unholy loiter there.'
And passively did imitate
That look of dull and treacherous hate ! Thus Bracy said : the Baron, the while, And thus she stood, in dizzy trance, Half-listening heard him with a smile ; Still picturing that look askance Then turned to Lady Geraldine,
With forced unconscious sympathy His eyes made up of wonder and love ; Full before her father's view
610 And said in courtly accents fine,
As far as such a look could be 'Sweet maid, Lord Roland's beauteous In eyes so innocent and blue !
dove, With arms more strong than harp or And when the trance was o'er, the maid song,
Paused awhile, and inly prayed : Thy sire and I will crush the snake !' Then falling at the Baron's feet, He kissed her forehead as he spake, * By my mother's soul do I entreat And Geraldine in maiden wise
That thou this woman send away!' Casting down her large bright eyes,
She said : and more she could not With blushing cheek and courtesy fine
say: She turned her from Sir Leoline;
For what she knew she could not tell, Softly gathering up her train,
O'er-mastered by the mighty spell. 620 That o'er her right arm fell again; And folded her arms across her chest, 579 Why is thy cheek so wan and wild, And couched her head upon her breast, Sir Leoline ? Thy only child And looked askance at Christabel Lies at thy feet, thy joy, thy pride, Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
So fair, so innocent, so mild ;
The same, for whom thy lady died ! A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy, O, by the pangs of her dear mother And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her Think thou no evil of thy child ! head,
For her, and thee, and for no other, Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye, She prayed the moment ere she died : And with somewhat of malice, and more Prayed that the babe for whom she died, of dread,
Might prove her dear lord's joy and At Christabel she look'd askance!
631 One moment — and the sight was That prayer her deadly pangs beguiled, fled !
Sir Leoline ! But Christabel in dizzy trance
And wouldst thou wrong thy only child, Stumbling on the unsteady ground
Her child and thine ?
Within the Baron's heart and brain And like a thing, that sought relief, If thoughts, like these, had any share, Full of wonder and full of grief,
They only swelled his rage and pain, She rolled her large bright eyes divine And did but work confusion there. Wildly on Sir Leoline.
His heart was cleft with pain and rage,
His cheeks they quivered, his eyes were The maid, alas ! her thoughts are gone,
641 She nothing sees—no sight but one! Dishonour'd thus in his old age ;
Dishonour'd by his only child,
Ye Ocean-Waves ! that, wheresoe'er And all his hospitality To the insulted daughter of his friend Yield homage only to eternal laws ! By more than woman's jealousy
Ye Woods! that listen to the nightBrought thus to a disgraceful end-
birds' singing, He rolled his eye with stern regard
Midway the smooth and perilous slope Upon the gentle minstrel bard,
reclined, And said in tones abrupt, austere- 650 | Save when your own imperious branches Why, Bracy! dost thou loiter here?
swinging, I bade thee hence !' The bard obeyed ; Have made a solemn music of the And turning from his own sweet maid,
wind ! The aged knight, Sir Leoline,
Where, like a man beloved of God, Led forth the lady Geraldine ! 1801. Through glooms, which never woodman
How oft, pursuing fancies holy,
My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds
Inspired, beyond the guess of folly, A little child, a limber elf,
By each rude shape and wild unconquerSinging, dancing to itself,
able sound ! A fairy thing with red round cheeks,
O ye loud Waves! and Oye Forests That always finds, and never seeks,
high ! Makes such a vision to the sight As fills a father's eyes with light ;
And 0 ye Clouds that far above me
soared ! And pleasures flow in so thick and fast
Thou rising Sun ! thou blue rejoicing Upon his heart, that he at last
Yea, every thing that is and will be free!
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be, Perhaps ’tis pretty to force together
With what deep worship I have still Thoughts so all unlike each other ;
adored To mutter and mock a broken charm,
The spirit of divinest Liberty.
When France in wrath her giant-limbs And what, if in a world of sin
upreared, (O sorrow and shame should this be true !)
And with that oath, which smote air, Such giddiness of heart and brain
earth, and sea, Comes seldom save from rage and pain,
Stamped her strong foot and said she So talks as it's most used to do. ? 1801.
would be free, Bear witness for me, how I hoped and
With what a joy my lofty gratulation FRANCE: AN ODE
Unawed I sang, amid a slavish band :
And when to whelm the disenchanted I
nation, YE Clouds! that far above me float and Like fiends embattled by a wizard's pause,
wand, Whose pathless march no mortal may The Monarchs marched in evil day, controul !
And Britain join'd the dire array; 31
Though dear her shores and circling Then I reproached my fears that would ocean,
not flee; Though many friendships, many youthful · And soon,' I said, "shall Wisdom loves
teach her lore Had swoln the patriot emotion
In the low huts of them that toil and And Aung a magic light o'er all her hills
60 and groves;
And, conquering by her happiness alone, Yet still my voice, unaltered, sang Shall France compel the nations to be defeat
free, To all that braved the tyrant-quelling Till Love and Joy look round, and call lance,
the Earth their own.' And shame too long delay'd and vain retreat!
IV For ne'er, O Liberty! with partial aim I dimmed thy light or damped thy holy Forgive me, Freedom ! O forgive those flame;
dreams! But blessed the pæans of delivered I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud France,
lament, And hung my head and wept at Britain's From bleak Helvetia's icy caverns name.
I hear thy groans upon her blood-stained III
streams! * And what, I said, “though Blas- Heroes, that for your peaceful country phemy's loud scream
perished, With that sweet music of deliverance And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountainstrove !
snows Though all the fierce and drunken With bleeding wounds; forgive me, passions wove
that I cherished
70 A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's One thought that ever blessed your cruel dream!
foes ! Ye storms, that round the dawning To scatter rage and traitorous guilt east assembled,
Where Peace her jealous home had built; The Sun was rising, though ye hid his A patriot-race to disinherit light !!
Of all that made their stormy wilds so And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and trembled,
And with inexpiable spirit The dissonance ceased, and all seemed To taint the bloodless freedom of the calm and bright;
mountaineerWhen France her front deep-scarr’d O France, that mockest Heaven, adul
terous, blind, Concealed with clustering wreaths of And patriot only in pernicious toils ! glory;
Are these thy boasts, Champion of human When, insupportably advancing,
kind? Her arm made mockery of the warrior's To mix with Kings in the low lust of ramp ;
sway, While timid looks of fury glancing, Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous Domestic treason, crushed beneath her
To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils Writhed like a wounded dragon in his From freemen torn ; to tempt and to gore ;