« VorigeDoorgaan »
With head upraised, and look intent,
And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace Of finer form, or lovelier face! What though the sun, with ardent frown, Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown What though no rule of courtly grace To measured mood had trained her pace A foot more light, a step more true, Ne'er from the heath-flower dashed the dew; E'en the slight harebell raised its head, Elastic from her airy tread: What though upon her speech there hung The accents of the mountain tongue Those silver sounds, so soft, so dear, The listener held his breath to hear!
A chieftain's daughter seemed the maid; Jler satin snood, her silken plaid, Her golden brooch, such birth betrayed. And seldom was a snood amid Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid, Whose glossy black to shame might bring The plumage of the raven's wing; And seldom o'er a breast so fair Mantled a plaid with modest care ; And never brooch the folds combined Above a heart more good and kind. Her kindness and her worth to spy, You need but gaze on Ellen's eye; Not Katrine, in her mirror blue, Gives back the shaggy banks more true, Than every free-born glance confessed The guileless movements of her breast; Whether joy danced in her dark eye, Or woe or pity claimed a sigh, Or filial love was glowing there, Or meek devotion poured a prayer, Or tale of injury called forth The indignant spirit of the North.
Oně only passion unrevealed
260. PATERNAL AFFECTION.
FROM "THE ANTIQUARY.” 261. SUNSET AND THE APPROACH OF A STORM. As Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour paced along, enjoying the pleasant footing afforded by the cool moist hard sand, Miss Wardour could not help observing, that the last tide had risen considerably above the usual water-mark. Sir Arthur made the same observation, but without its occurring to either of them to be alarmed at the circumstance. The sun was now resting his huge disk upon the edge of the level ocean, and gilded the accumulation of towering clouds through which he had travelled the livelong day, and which now assembled on all sides, like misfortunes and disasters around a sinking empire and falling monarch. Still, however, his dying splendor gave à sombre magnificence to the massive congregation of vapors, forming out of their unsubstantial gloom, the show of pyramids and towers, some touched with gold, some with purple, some with a hue of deep and dark red. The distant sea, stretched beneath this varied and gorgeous canopy, lay almost portentously still, reflecting back the dazzling and level beams of the descending luminary, and the splendid coloring of the clouds amidst which he was setting. Nearer to the beach the tide rippled onwards in waves of sparkling silver, that imperceptibly, yet rapidly, gained upon the sand.
With a mind employed in admiration of the romantic scene, or perhaps on some more agitating topic, Miss Wardour advanced in silence hy her father's side, whose recently offended dignity did not stoop to open any conversation. Following the windings of the beach, they passed one projecting point or headland of rock after another, and now found themselves under a huge and continued extent of the precipices by which that iron-bound coast is in most places defended. Long projecting reefs of rock, extending under water, and only evin
cing their existence by here and there a peak entirely bare, or by the breakers which foamed over those that were partially covered, rendered Knockwinnock bay dreaded by pilots and ship-masters. The crags which rose between the beach and the main land, to the height of two or three hundred feet, afforded in their crevices shelter for unnumbered sea-fowl, in situations seemingly secured by their dizzy height from the rapacity of man. Many of these wild tribes, with the instinct which sends them to seek the land before a storm arises, were now winging towards their nests with the shrill and dissonant clang which announces disquietude and fear. The disk of the sun became almost totally obscured ere he had altogether sunk below the horizon, and an early and lurid shade of darkness blotted the serene twilight of a summer evening. The wind began next to arise; but its wild and moaning sound was heard for some time, and its effects became visible on the bosom of the sea, before the gale was felt on shore. The mass of waters, now dark and threatening, began to lift itself in larger ridges, and sink in deeper furrows, forming waves that rose high in foam upon the breakers, or burst upon the beach with a sound resembling distant thunder.
FROM "THE HEART OF Mid-LOTHIAN."
262. DESCRIPTION OF RICHMOND. The carriage rolled rapidly onwards through fertile meadows, ornamented with splendid old oaks, and catching occasionally a glance of the majestic mirror of a broad and placid river. After passing through a pleasant village, the equipage stopped on a commanding eminence, where the beauty of English landscape was displayed in its utmost luxuriance. Here the Duke alighted, and desired Jeanie to follow him. They paused for a moment on the brow of a hill, to gaze on the unrivalled landscape which it presented. A huge sea of verdure, with crossing and intersecting promontories of massive and tufted groves, was tenanted by numberless flocks and herds, which seemed to wander unrestrained and unbounded through the rich pastures. The Thames, here turreted with villas, and there garlanded with forests, moved on slowly and placidly, like the mighty monarch of the scene, to whom all its other beauties were but accessories, and bore on its bosom a hundred barks and skiffs, whose white sails and gayly fluttering pennons gave life to the whole.
FROM “IVANHOE." 263. REBECCA DESCRIBES THE SIEGE TO THE WOUNDED IVANHOE.
“And I must lie here like a bedridden monk,” exclaimed Ivanhoe, “while the game that gives me freedom or death is played out by the hand nf others ! - Look from the window once again, kind maiden,
but beware that you are not marked by the archers beneath - Look out once more, and tell me if they yet advance to the storm.”
With patient courage, strengthened by the interval which she had employed in mental devotion, Rebecca again took post at the lattice, sheltering herself, however, so as not to be visible from beneath.
" What dost thou see, Rebecca ?” again demanded the wounded knight.
Nothing but the cloud of arrows flying so thick as to dazzle mine eyes, and to hide the bowmen who shoot them.”
“ That cannot endure,” said Ivanhoe; “ if they press not right on to carry the castle by pure force of arms, the archery may avail but little against stone walls and bulwarks. Look for the Knight of the Fetterlock, fair Rebecca, and see how he bears himself; for as the leader is, so will his followers be."
'I see him not,” said Rebecca. “ Foul craven !” exclaimed Ivanhoe; “ does he blench from the helm when the wind blows highest? ”
“ He blenches not! he blenches not!” said Rebecca. “I see him now; he leads a body of men close under the outer barrier of the barbican. — They pull down the piles and palisades; they hew down the barriers with axes. His high black plume floats abroad over the throng, like a raven over the field of the slain. — They have made a breach in the barriers - they rush in – they are thrust back! - Frontde-Beuf heads the defenders; I see his gigantic form above the press. They throng again to the breach, and the pass is disputed hand to hand, and man to inan. God of Jacob! it is the meeting of two fierce tides — the conflict of two oceans moved by adverse winds ! ”
She turned her head from the lattice, as if unable longer to endure a sight so terrible.
“ Look forth again, Rebecca,” said Ivanhoe, mistaking the cause of her retiring; “the archery must in some degree have ceased, since they are now fighting hand to hand. - Look again; there is now less danger."
Rebecca again looked forth, and almost immediately exclaimed,
Holy prophets of the law! Front-de-Bæuf and the Black Knight fight hand to hand on the breach, amid the roar of their followers, who watch the progress of the strife. - Heaven strike with the cause of the oppressed and of the captive!” She then uttered a loud shriek, and exclaimed, “He is down! - he is down!”
“Who is down?” cried Ivanhoe; “ for our dear Lady's sake, tell me which has fallen?”
“ The Black Knight,” answered Rebecca, faintly; then instantly again shouted with joyful eagerness " But no- but no!- the name of the Lord of Hosts be blessed! he is on foot again, and fights as if there were twenty men's strength in his single arm - His sword is broken he snatches an axe from a yeoman
- he presses Front-deBæuf with blow on blow – The giant stoops and totters like an oak under the steel of the woodman - he falls — he falls !”
“ Front-de-Bæuf?” exclaimed Ivanhoe.
“ Front-de-Bauf!” answered the Jewess; “his men rush to the rescue, headed by the haughty Templar — their united force compels the champion to pause They drag Front-de-Bæuf within the walls."
“The assailants have won the barriers, have they not?” said Ivanhoe. "They have — they have!” exclaimed Rebecca
" and they press the besieged hard upon the outer wall; some plant ladders, some swarm like bees, and endeavor to ascend upon the shoulders of each other — down go stones, beams, and trunks of trees upon their heads, and as fast as they bear the wounded to the rear, fresh men supply their places in the assault — Great God! hast thou given men thine own image, that it should be thus cruelly defaced by the hands of their brethren!”
“Think not of that,” said Ivanhoe; “this is no time for such thoughts — Who yield? – who push their way?”
6. The ladders are thrown down,” replied Rebecca, shuddering; “the soldiers lie grovelling under them like crushed reptiles — The besieged have the better.”
“ Saint George strike for us!” exclaimed the knight; “ do the false yeomen give way?”
“No!” exclaimed Rebecca, “they bear themselves right yeomanly — the Black Knight approaches the postern with his huge axe - the thundering blows which he deals, you may hear them above all the din and shouts of the battle — Stones and beams are hailed down on the bold champion - he regards them no more than if they were thistle-down or feathers ! ”
“By Saint John of Acre,” said Ivanhoe, raising himself joyfully on his couch,“ methought there was but one man in England that might do such a deed!”
“ The postern gate shakes,” continued Rebecca; “it crashes - it is splintered by his blows — they rush in the outwork is won o God! they hurl the defenders from the battlements - they throw them into the moat -0 men, if ye be indeed men, spare them that can resist no longer!”
“ The bridge - the bridge which communicates with the castle – have they won that pass?” exclaimed Ivanhoe.
“No,” replied Rebecca, “the Templar has destroyed the plank on which they crossed — few of the defenders escaped with him into the castle – the shrieks and cries which you hear tell the fate of the others — Alas! I see it is still more difficult to look upon victory than