« PreviousContinue »
They search'd all his garments, and, under his weeds
Far off was their murmur, it came not more nigh,
Loud murmur'd the priests, and amaz'd was the king,
High bristled his hair, his heart flutter'd and beat,
Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce trod, When the winds from the four points of heav'n were abroad;
They made each steel portal to rattle and ring,
Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew nigh,
Unmeasur'd in height, undistinguish'd in form,
And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch he
"With this brand shalt thou conquer, thus long, and
Till thou bend to the Cross, and the Virgin adore."
The cloud-shrouded arm gives the weapon; and, seo The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his knee: The thunders growl distant, and faint gleam the fires, As, borne on his whirlwind, the Phantom retires.
Count Albert has arm'd him the Paynim among, Though his heart it was false, yet his arm it was
And the Red-cross wax'd faint, and the Crescent
From the day he commanded on Mount Lebanon.
From Lebanon's forests to Galilee's wave,
With Salem's King Baldwin, against him came on.
The war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied, The lances were-couch'd, and they clos'd on each side;
And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrew, Till he pierc'd the thick tumult King Baldwin unto. Against the charm'd blade which Count Albert did wield
The fence had been vain of the King's Red-cross shield;
But a Page thrust him forward the monarch before, And cleft the proud turban the renegade wore.
So fell was the dint, that Count Albert stoop'd low Before the cross'd shield, to his steel saddle-bow; And scarce had he bent to the Red-cross his head,"Bonne grace, notre Dame," he unwittingly said.
Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was o'er, It sprung from his grasp, and was never seen more; But true men have said, that the lightning's red wing Did waft back the brand to the dread Fire-King.
He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntletted hand; He stretch'd, with one buffet, that Page on the strand; As back from the stripling the broken casque roll'd, You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of gold
Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare
For down came the Templars, like Cedron in flood,
The Saracens, Curdmans, and Ishmaelites yield
The Lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound,
FREDERICK AND ALICE.
[This tale is imit ited, rather than translated, from a fragment troduced in Goethe's "Claudina von Villa Bella," where it is sung by a member of a gang of banditti, to engage the attention of the family, while his companions break into the castle.]
FREDRICK leaves the land of France,
Homewards hastes his steps to measure; Careless casts the parting glance,
On the scene of former pleasure; Joying in his prancing steed,
Keen to prove his untried blade, Hope's gay dreams the soldier lead
Över mountain, moor, and glade. Helpless, ruin'd, left forlorn, Lovely Alice wept alone;
Mourn'd o'er love's fond contract torn, Hope, and peace, and honour flown. Mark her breast's convulsive throbs!
See, the tear of anguish flows:Mingling soon with bursting sobs, Loud the laugh of frenzy rose. Wild she curs'd, and wild she pray'd; Sev'n long days and nights are o'er; Death in pity brought his aid,
As the village bell struck four.
Far from her, and far from France,
Faithless Fred'rick onward rides; Marking, blithe, the morning's glance Mantling o'er the mountain's sides. Heard ye not the boding sound,
As the tongue of yonder tow'r Slowly, to the hills around,
Told the fourth, the fated hour? Starts the steed, and snuffs the air,
Yet no cause of dread appears; Bristles high the rider's hair,
Struck with strange mysterious fears. Desp'rate, as his terrors rise,
In the steed the spur he hides; From himself in vain he flies;
Anxious, restless, on he rides.
Sev'n long days, and sev'n long nights, Wild he wander'd, woe the while! Ceaseless care, and causeless fright,
Urge his footsteps many a mile. Dark the sev'nth sad night descends;
Rivers swell, and rain-streams pour; While the deaf ning thunder lends
All the terrors of its roar.
Weary, wet, and spent with toil,
Where his head shall Fred'rick hide? Where, but in yon ruined aisle,
By the lightning's flash descried.
To the portal, dank and low,
Next his darkling way he wound.
Long drear vaults before him lie;
Glimm'ring lights are seen to glide!→→ "Blessed Mary, hear my cry!
Deign a sinner's steps to guide !"Often lost their quiv'ring beam,
Still the lights move slow before, Till they rest their ghastly gleam Right against an iron door. Thund'ring voices from within,
Mix d with peals of laughter, rose As they fell, a solemn strain
Lent its wild and wondrous close!
'Midst the din, he seem'd to hear
Voice of friends, by death remov'd;Well he knew that solemn air,
'Twas the lay that Alice lov'd.
Hark! for now a solemn knell
Four times on the still night broke; Four times, at its deaden'd swell,
Echoes from the ruins spoke.
As the lengthen'd clangours die,
But a funeral's form it wore!
All with black the board was spread; Girt by parent, brother, friend,
Long since number'd with the dead! Alice, in her grave-clothes bound,
Ghastly smiling, points a seat; All arose, with thund'ring sound;
All th' expected stranger greet. High their meagre arms they wave, Wild their notes of welcome swell;