« VorigeDoorgaan »
and dried her tears, consoling herself in
again." _ But what shall purify the forlorn. On returning to the home of character of our house," "returned the my infancy, I found my mother dead, pious matron, “ that my son has for my father sinking into the tomb. ever sullied. A house that was prior to Friends relations, that I left smiling the food, and was intimately acquainted in health and happiness, were all-all with the patriarchs. A house that gone; and I stood among my native The little fat bailiff here interrupted hills, as a stranger in a foreign land. her expostulations, and, with a face of In the hour of my solitude my thoughts reverential purity, adjusted his wig, and reverted to you, with whom I had spent informed the disconsolate mother, that '
many of the happiest hours of my one consolation was still left—that her existence. I thought of your fondness, son would be damned for ever. “Why your regard to feminine delicacy, and I to be sure there is some consolation in resolved to return to you for ever. Do that,” whimpered the good old lady, you accept my offer, love ?"
“ Sweetest, sweetest girl,” passionthe meanwhile with the pleasant proba- ately replied Brenno, “ I am thine, bility of her son's damnation.
for ever thine. My love, my virgin By this time the story had got wind, bride, we will henceforth live solely and a report was circulated through the for each other, devoting each thought town, that Brenno had made a com- and each moment to delight.”—“ Thus, pact with the Devil; that the virtue of then, I seal our union,” resumed Zoe, his mother had exposed the fraud; and tearing in a thousand pieces the magic that Apollyon, accompanied by a cloud web of immortality. “ I shall not of sulphur and brimstone, was seen to need eternal beauty while fly away, with a torch in one hand and lasts. To you I shall ever be beautiful; his tail in the other.
and when age obscures the fair front of Worn down with anxiety, and fear- youth, the mind of the lover will conful of the superstition of his country- iinue the delusion. Here, then, where men, the unfortunate lover returned in
we first met, we will for ever live; and a state of agony to his hermitage. the wood that once echoed the syren Here he passed his hours of solitude, song of love, shall still reply to our in fruitless lamentations for the fairy he bridal felicity.
bridal felicity. We will wander hand had lost, and regret for his shameless in hand through a world which affection duplicity. His only pleasure seemed shall strew with roses; and when Brenno to consist in wandering by the banks of sinks into the tomb, Zoe will not rethe Swan's Pool, and in recalling the main long behind. Why should I covet remembrance of the past. He thought immortality, when he is gone for whom of the beautiful Zoe, fond and gentle I desired it? Is there a pleasure in as he first knew her, and dwelt with sitting by the side of the grave of a agony on her soft smiles, her infantine beloved object, and feeling that all we simplicity. He was roaming one even- once held dear is flown-never to reing by the side of his favourite stream- turnNo! my love--thy bride shall let, when a light step passed beside never survive the fate that shall bow him. He turned round to discover the thee to the earth, but wither like a intruder, and beheld the fair form of flowret on its stem when thou hast Zoe, the object of his thoughts by day, ceased to be. In the quiet grave we his dreams by night.
“ You are sur
will repose together, and, locked in prised,” she exclaimed," at my return, each other's arms, await the period of a but listen to my reasons.
I have wan
more glorious resurrection.” dered to other climes; I have seen my She ceased, and the heart of Brenno dearest friends drop day by day into was happy. They lived long and tranthe grave, and life grow desolate and quilly together; and the beautiful Zoe
imparted the privilege of immortality the magic pool, and the spirits of the to her children, whose descendants still lovers rise from their cold tenements, to flourish in the dark-browed mountains visit the spots that were once so dear. of Swabia. Years and years have rolled They are friendly to man, and are acon; and by the banks of the Bath of customed to warn him of impending Beauty a little tomb may be seen, sorrows;
and if fate throws a cloud bearing on its mouldering tablet the athwart the sunshine of his path, it is simple names of Zoe and Brenno. At the province of the fairies to dissipate the period of the equinox, a sweet the gloom, and restore the original strain of music is heard to float along splendour.
THE BLACK CANON OF ELMHAM;
SAINT EDMOND'S EVE.
An Old English Legend.
North Elmbam (formerly written Elmenham) was, before the conquest, the seat of a bishop, who, together with the bishop of Dunwich, in Suffolk, governed the present diocese of Norwich. It will easily he conceived that the episcopal residence was sufficiently surrounded with monasteries and punneries to give probability to the foundation of my story; and as for the journey which the canon is obliged to take, it is no very extraordinary distance, and it certainly may be supposed that there was an excellent road between the bishop's see and the principal convent in the diocese. This tale, if it be not given with the spirit, is at any rate versified with the irregulanity, of an ancient ballad.
Oh! did you observe the Black Canon pass ?
And did you observe his frown?
In holy St. Edmond's town.
Add to lay the wand'ring sprite,
The abbey's drear aisle this night.
Till that holy man comes near ;
The Canon his faultering knee thrice bow'd,
His body it shook with fear;
“ Prepare ! for thy hour is near."
To heaven he lifts his eye;
Nor the monks that murmur'd by.
And his brow is gloom'd with care.
faints, At the abbot's feet he falls! And straight the father's robe he kiss'd,
Who cried“Grace dwells with thee ! “ The sprite will fade, like the morning
mist, “ At your Benedicite. « Now haste within the board is spread
“ Keen blows the air and cold;
“ The spectre sleeps in its earthy bed
* Till St. Edmond's eve hath toll'd.
Now straight to the chancel doors he leads,
And untouch'd they open wide!
«* Yet rest your weary limbs to-night,
“Oh! enter, Black Canon!” a'whisper fell,
“ Oh! enter! thy hour is come ! The sounds irresistless lsis steps impel;
To approach the marble torpb.: He paused told his beads and the thresh
hold pass'd Oh, horror! the chancel doors close ;A loud yell was borne on the howling blast,
And a deep dying groan arose, The monks in amazement shuddering stand,
They burst through the chancel's gloom! From St. Edmond's shrine, lo! a wither'd
Lo! deeply engraved, an inscription blood
red, In characters fresh and clear ; The guilty Black Canon of Elmham's dead « And his wife lies buried here!
“ In Elmham's tower he wedded a nun,
" To St. Edmonds his bride he bore; « On this eve her qoviciate was here begun,
« And a friar's grey weeds she worc.
« Oh ! deep was her conscience dyed with
guilt, « Remorse she full oft reveal'd; “The black Canon her blood relentless spilt,
« And in death her lips he seal'd!
“ Her spirit to penance this night was
doom'd, « Till the Canon atoned the deed; “Here together they now shallrest entonbd
“ Till their bodies from dust are freed!"
Hark! a loud peal of thunder shakes the
roof, Round the altar bright lightnings play, Speechless with horror the monks stand
The inscription was gone.--A cross on the
« You've journey'd many a mile; « To-morrow lay the wailing sprite,
« That shrieks iathe moonlight aisle."
« Oh! faint are my limbs, and my bosom
cold! “ Yet to-night must the sprite be laid ;k Yet to-night when the hour of horror's
toli’d, “ Must I meet the wandering shade! « Nor food, nor rest, can now delay,
« For, hark! the echoing pile “ A bell loud shakes! Oh! baste a way,
« Oh ! lead to the haunted aisle." The torches slowly move before,
The cross is rear'd on high;
Bat borror fix'd his eye.
The chapel gates unclose;
And fear each bosom froze.
And view'd the solemn scene;
The moon gleams bright between.
Conceals the unquiet shade? Within what dark unhallow'd tomb
The corse unbless'd was laid?"*Through yon drear aisle alone it walks,
And murmurs a mournful plaiat;
And calls on thy patron saint.
When he prays at St. Edmond's shrine,
And under yon arch recline." « Oh ! say, upon that black-marble tomb
What memorial sad appears?". < Undistinguish'd it lies in the chancel's
gloom, No memorial sad it bears!” The Canon his pater-poster reads
His rosary bung by his side;
ground And a rosary shone through the gloom ; But never again was the Canon there found
Nor the ghost on the black-marble tomh.
Wake not the dead :-they bring but gloomy night
And cheerless desolation into day
Let them repose within their house of clay
Corruption, rainly wilt thou e'er essay
The interest of the following tale is of a description the most dark and fearful,
and but few translations can convey to the English reader the romantic wildness and spirit of the German original. We have seen several translations, but we think none of them are equal to the one given in the collection of “Popular Tales and Romances of Northern Nations," lately published by the German bookseller, Bohte, of Tavistock Street, which we take the liberty of extracting
“Wilt thou for ever sleep? Wilt thou of eternity, but rather as the sober never more awake, my beloved, but beams which cheer this nether world, henceforth repose for ever from thy short and which, while they enlighten, kindle pilgrimage on earth ? O yet once again the sons of earth to joy and love. Brunreturn ! and bring back with thee the hilda became the wife of Walter, and vivifying dawn of hope to one whose both being equally enamoured and devotexistence hath, since thy departure, ed, they abandoned themselves to the enbeen obscured by the dunnest shades. joyment of a passion that rendered them What ! dumb for ever dumb ? Thy reckless of aught besides, while it lulled friend lamenteth, and thou heedest him them in a fascinating dream. Their not? He sheds bitter, scalding tears, sole apprehension was lest aught should and thou reposest unregarding his afflic- awaken them from a delirium which tion? He is in despair, and thou no they prayed might continue for ever. longer openest thy arms to him as an Yet how vain is the wish that would asylum from his grief ? Say then, doth arrest the decrees of destiny! as well the paly shroud become thee better than might it seek to divert the circling plathe bridal veil ? Is the chamber of the nets from their eternal course. Short grave a warmer bed than the couch of was the duration of this phrenzied pasJove? Is the spectre death more wel- sion; not that it gradually decayed and come to thy arms than thy enamoured subsided into apathy, but death snatchconsort ? "Oh! return, my beloved, ed away his blooming victim, and left return once again to this anxious dis- Walter to a widowed couch. Impetuous, consolate bosom.” Such were the la- however, as was his first burst of grief, mentations which Walter poured forth he was not inconsolable, for ere long for his Brunhilda, the partner of his another bride became the partner of the youthful, passionate love: thus did he youthful nobleman. bewail over her grave at the midnight Swanhilda also was beautiful; alhour, what time the spirit that presides though nature had formed her charms in the troublous atmosphere, sends his very different model from those of legions of monsters through mid-air; Brunhilda. Her golden locks waved so that their shadows, as they fit be- bright as the beams of morn: only neath the moon and across the earth, when excited by some einotion of her dart as wild, agitating thoughts that soul did a rosy hue tinge the lily palechase each other o'er the sinner's bo- ness of her cheek : her limbs were prosom :-thus did he lament under the portioned in the nicest symmetry, yet tall linden trees by her grave, while his did they not possess that luxuriant fullhead reclined on the cold stone. ness of animal life : her eye beamed
Walter was a powerful lord in Bur- eloquently, but it was with the milder gundy, who, in his earliest youth, had radiance of a star, tranquillizing to tenbeen smitten with the charms of the derness rather than exciting to warmth. fair Brunhilda, a beauty far surpassing Thus formed, it was not possible that in loveliness all her rivals ; for her she should steep him in his former detresses, dark as the raven face of night, lirium, although she rendered happy streaming over her shoulders, set off to his waking hours-tranquil and serious, the utinost advantage the beaming lustre yet cheerful, studying in all things her of her slender form, and the rich dye husband's pleasure, she restored order of a cheek whose tint was deep and and comfort in his family, where her brilliant as that of the western heaven :
presence shed a general influence all her eyes did not resemble those burning around. Her mild benevolence tended orbs whose pale glow gems the vault of to restrain the fiery, impetuous disponight, and 'wbose immeasurable dis- sition of Walter : while at the same tance fills the soul with deep thoughts time her prudence recalled him in some