Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Llewelyn gazed with fierce surprise ;

Unused such looks to meet, His favorite checked his joyful guise,

And crouched, and licked his feet.

Hot-steaming, up behind him come again
The inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Expel him, circling through his every shist.
He sweeps the forest oft ; and sobbing sees
The glades, mild opening to the golden day,
Where, in kind contest, with his butting friends
He wont to struggle, or his loves enjoy.
Oft in the full-descending flood he tries
To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides ;
Oft seeks the herd ; the watchful herd, alarmed,
With selfish care avoid a brother's woe.
What shall he do? His once so vivid nerves,
So full of buoyant spirit, now no more
Inspire the course ; but fainting breathless toil,
Sick, seizes on his heart : he stands at bay ;
And puts his last weak refuge in despair.
The big round tears run down his dappled face ;
He groans in anguish ; while the growling pack,
Blood-happy, hang at his fair jutting chest,
And mark his beauteous checkered sides with gore.

JAMES THOMSON.

[blocks in formation]

BETH GELERT.

The spearmen heard the bugle sound,

And cheerily smiled the morn ; And many a brach, and many a hound,

Obeyed Llewelyn's horn.

“Hell-hound! my child's by thee devoured,"

The frantic father cried ;
And to the hilt his vengeful sword

He plunged in Gelert's side.
Aroused by Gêlert's dying yell,

Some slumberer wakened nigh : What words the parent's joy could tell

To hear his infant's cry! Concealed beneath a tumbled heap

His hurried search had missed,
All glowing from his rosy sleep,

The cherub boy he kissed.
Nor scathe had he, nor hari, nor dread,

But, the same couch beneath,
Lay a gaunt wolf, all torn and dead,

Tremendous still in death.

And still he blew a louder blast,

And gave a lustier cheer, "Come, Gêlert, come, wert never last

Llewel yn's horn to hear.

Ah, what was then Llewelyn's pain !

For now the truth was clear ;
His gallant hound the wolf had slain
To save Llewelyn's heir.

WILLIAM R. SPENCER.

THE STAG HUNT.

“O, where does faithful Gêlert roam,

The Power of all his race ;
So true, so brave, – a lamb at home,

A lion in the chase ?"
In sooth, he was a peerless hound,

The gift of royal John;
But now no Gêlert could be found,

And all the chase rode on.
That day Llewelyn little loved

The chase of hart and hare ;
And scant and small the booty proved,

For Gêlert was not there.
Unpleased, Llewelyn homeward hied,

When, near the portal seat,
His truant Gêlert he espied,

Bounding his lord to greet.
But, when he gained his castle-door,

Aghast the chieftain stood ;
The hound all o'er was smeared with gore ;

His lips, his fangs, ran blood.

FROM

“THE LADY OF THE LAKE.”

The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
In lone Glenartney's hazel shade ;
But, when the sun his beacon red
Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,
The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bay
Resounded up the rocky way,
And faint, from farther distance borne,
Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.

As Chief who hears his warder call,
"To arms! the foemen storm the wall,"
The antlered monarch of the waste
Sprung from his heathery couch in haste.
But, ere his fleet career he took,
The dew-drops from his flanks he shook ;
Like crested leader proud and high
Tossed his beamed frontlet to the sky;
A moment gazed adown the dale,
A moment snuffed the tainted gale,
A moment listened to the cry,
That thickened as the chase drew nigh;
Then, as the headmost foes appeared,
With one brave bound the copse he cleared,
And, stretching forward free and far,
Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.

Yelled on the view the opening pack;
Rock, glen, and cavern paid them back;
To many a mingled sound at once
The awakened mountain gave response.
A hundred dogs bayed deep and strong,
Clattered a hundred steeds along,
Their peal the merry horns rung out,
A hundred voices joined the shout;
With hark and whoop and wild halloo.
No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew.
Far from the tumult fled the roe;
Close in her covert cowered the doe;
The falcon, from her cairn on high,
Cast on the rout a wondering eye,
Till far beyond her piercing ken
The hurricane had swept the glen.
Faint, and more faint, its failing din
Returned from cavern, cliff, and linn,
And silence settled, wide and still,
On the lone wood and mighty hill.

Less loud the sounds of sylvan war
Disturbed the heights of Uam-Var,
And roused the cavern, where, 't is told,
A giant made his den of old;

For ere that steep ascent was won,
High in his pathway hung the sun,
And many a gallant, stayed perforce,
Was fain to breathe his faltering horse,
And of the trackers of the deer,
Scarce half the lessening pack was near;
So shrewdly on the mountai -side
Had the bold burst their mettle tried.

The noble stag was pausing now
Upon the mountain's southern brow,
Where broad extended, far beneath,
The varied realms of fair Menteith.
With anxious eye he wandered o'er
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor,
And pondered refuge from his toil,
By far Lochard or Aberfoyle.

But nearer was the copsewood gray
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray,
And mingled with the pine-trees blue
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.
Fresh vigor with the hope returned,
With flying foot the heath he spurned,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.

'T were long to tell what steeds gave o'er,
As swept the hunt through Cambus-more;
What reins were tightened in despair,
When rose Benledi's ridge in air;
Who flagged upon Bochastle's heath,
Who shunned to stem the flooded Teith,
For twice that day, from shore to shore,
The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er.
Few were the stragglers, following far,
That reached the lake of Vennachar;
And when the Brigg of Turk was won,
The headmost horseman rode alone.

Alone, but with unbated zeal,
That horseman piled the scourge and steel;
For, jaded now, and spent with toil,
Embossed with foam, and dark with soil,
While every gasp with sobs he drew,
The laboring stag strained full in view.
Two dogs of black St. Hubert's breed,
Unmatched for courage, breath, and speed,
Fast on his flying traces came,
And all but won that desperate game;
For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch,
Vindictive toiled the bloodhounds stanch;
Nor nearer might the dogs attain,
Nor farther might the quarry strain.
Thus up the margin of the lake,
Between the precipice and brake,
O'er stock and rock their race they take.

The Hunter marked that mountain high,
The lone lake's western boundary,
And deemed the stag must turn to bay,
Where that huge rampart barred the way;
Already glorying in the prize,
Measured his antlers with his eyes;
For the death-wound and death-halloo
Mustered his breath, his whinyard drew;
But thundering as he came prepared,
With ready arm and weapon bared,
The wily quarry shunned the shock,
And turned him from the opposing rock;
Then, dashing down a darksome glen,
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken,
In the deep Trosachs' wildest nook
His solitary refuge took.

There, while close couched, the thicket shed
Cold dews and wild flowers on his head,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

He heard the baffled dogs in vain Rave through the hollow pass amain, Chiding the rocks that yelled again. Close on the hounds the hunter came, To cheer them on the vanished game; But, stumbling in the rugged dell, The gallaut horse exhausted fell. The impatient rider strove in vain To rouse him with the spur and rein, For the good steed, his labors o'er, Stretched his stitf linıbs, to rise no more; Then, touched with pity and remorse, He sorrowed o'er the expiring horse. "I little thought, when first thy rein I slacked upon the banks of Seine, That Highland eagle e'er should feed On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed ! Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day, That costs thy life, my gallant gray !" Then through the dell his horn resounds, From vain pursuit to call the hounds. Back limped, with slow and crippled pace, The sulky leaders of the chase ; Close to their master's side they pressed, With drooping tail and humbled crest; But still the dingle's hollow throat Prolonged the swelling bugle-note. The owlets started from their dream, The eagles answered with their scream, Round and around the sounds were cast, Till echo seemed an answering blast ; And on the Hunter hied his way, To join some comrades of the day ; Yet often paused, so strange the road, So wondrous were the scenes it showed.

I. My beautiful ! my beautiful ! that standest meck

ly by, With thy proudly arched and glossy neck, and

dark and fiery eye, Fret not to roam the desert now, with all thy

wingéd speed ; I may not mount on thee again, – thou 'rt sold,

my Arab steed! Fret not with that impatient hoof, — snuff not the

breezy wind, The farther that thou fliest now, so far am I behind; The stranger hath thy bridle-rein, -- thy master

hath his gold, Fleet-limbed and beautiful, farewell; thou 'rt

sold, my steed, thou 'rt sold.

II.

SIR WALTER SCOTT.

Farewell ! those free, untiréd limbs full many a

mile must roam, To reach the chill and wintry sky which clouds

the stranger's home ; Some other hand, less fond, must now thy corn

and bed prepare, Thy silky mane, I braided once, must be another's

care ! The morning sun shall dawn again, but never

more with thee Shall I gallop through the desert paths, where

we were wont to be ; Evening shall darken on the earth, and o'er the

sandy plain Some other steed, with slower step, shall bear me

home again.

LIY OF THE IMPRISONED HUNTSMAN.

My hawk is tired of perch and hood,
My idle greyhound loathes his food,
My horse is weary of his stall,
And I am sick of captive thrall.
I wish I were as I have been,
Hunting the hart in forest green,
With bended bow and bloodhound free,
For that's the life is meet for me.
I hate to learn the ebb of time
From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime,
Or mark it as the sunbeams crawl,
Inch after inch, along the wall.
The lark was wont my matins ring,
The sab le rook my vespers sing;
These towers, although a king's they be,
Have not a hall of joy for me.

III.

Yes, thou must go ! the wild, free breeze, the bril.

liant sun and sky, Thy master's house, — from all of these my exiled

one must fly ; Thy proud dark eye will grow less proud, thy

step become less fleet, And vainly shalt thou arch thy neck, tly mas.

ter's hand to meet.

Only in sleep shall I behold that dark eye, | Thus, thus, I leap upon thy back, and scour the glancing bright; distant plains;

Only in sleep shall hear again that step so firm Away! who overtakes us now shall claim thee for and light; his pains!

And when I raise my dreaming arm to check or cheer thy speed,

Then must I, starting, wake to feel, thou 'rt sold, my Arab steed!

[blocks in formation]

[blocks in formation]

but no,

V.

Return alas! my Arab steed! what shall thy master do,

When thou, who wast his all of joy, hast vanished from his view?

When the dim distance cheats mine eye, and through the gathering tears

Thy bright form, for a moment, like the false mirage appears;

Slow and unmounted shall I roam, with weary step alone,

Where, with fleet step and joyous bound, thou oft hast borne me on;

And sitting down by that green well, I'll pause and sadly think,

"It was here he bowed his glossy neck when last I saw him drink!"

VI.

When last I saw thee drink! — Away! the fevered dream is o'er, —

I could not live a day, and know that we should meet no more!

They tempted me, my beautiful! - for hunger's power is strong, They tempted me, my beautiful! but I have

CAROLINE E. NORTON

SLEIGH SONG.

JINGLE, jingle, clear the way,
'Tis the merry, merry sleigh,
As it swiftly scuds along
Hear the burst of happy song,
See the gleam of glances bright,
Flashing o'er the pathway white.
Jingle, jingle, past it flies,
Sending shafts from hooded eyes,
Roguish archers, I'll be bound,
Little heeding who they wound;
See them, with capricious pranks,
Ploughing now the drifted banks;
Jingle, jingle, mid the glee
Who among them cares for me?
Jingle, jingle, on they go,
Capes and bonnets white with snow,
Not a single robe they fold
To protect them from the cold;
Jingle, jingle, mid the storm,
Fun and frolic keep them warm ;
Jingle, jingle, down the hills,
O'er the meadows, past the mills,
Now 't is slow, and now 't is fast;
Winter will not always last.
Jingle, jingle, clear the way,
'Tis the merry, merry sleigh.

G. W. PETTEE

OUR SKATER BELLE.

ALONG the frozen lake she comes

In linking crescents, light and fleet; The ice-imprisoned Undine hums

A welcome to her little feet.

I see the jaunty hat, the plume

Swerve bird-like in the joyous gale, The cheeks lit up to burning bloom,

The young eyes sparkling through the veil.

The quick breath parts her laughing lips,

The white neck shines through tossing curls ; Her vesture gently sways and dips,

As on she speeds in shell-like whorls.

loved too long.

Who said that I had given thee up? who said Men stop and smile to see her go; that thou wast sold?

They gaze, they smile in pleased surprise; "T is false, -'t is false, my Arab steed! I fling They ask her name; they long to show them back their gold! Some silent friendship in their eyes.

[blocks in formation]
« VorigeDoorgaan »