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which they could not find together. I he conducted his beloved once more A sigh, and a brief acquiescence in into the chamber which had often withis wishes was all the reply that Swan- nessed their former joys, and which hilda made : and, on the following was now newly gilded and adorned in morning, upon his presenting her with a most costly style : among the other a paper of separation, informing her decorations were figures of angels seatthat she was at liberty to return home to tering roses, which served to support her father, she received it most sub- the purple draperies, whose ample folds missively : yet, ere she departed, she o'ershadowed the nuptial couch. With gave him the following warning: “ Too what impatience did he await the bour well do I conjecture to whom I am in- that was to put him in possession of those debted for this our separation. Often beauties, for which he had already paid have I seen thee at Brunhilda's
grave, so high a price, but, whose enjoyment and beheld thee there even on that night was to cost him most dearly yet ! Unwhen the face of the heavens was sud- fortunate Walter ! revelling in bliss, denly enveloped in a veil of clouds. thou beholdest not the abyss that yawns Hast thou rashly dared to tear aside the beneath thy feet, intoxicated with the awful veil that separates the mortality luscious perfume of the flower thou hast that dreams, from that which dreameth plucked, thou little deemest how deadly
, not? Oh ! then woe to thee, thou is the venom with which it is fraught, wretched man, for thou hast attached although, for a short season, its potent to thyself that which will prove thy de- fragrance bestows new energy on all struction.” She ceased : nor did Wal- thy feelings. ter attempt any reply, for the similar Happy, however, as Walter now was, admonition uttered by the sorcerer flash- his household were far from being ed upon his mind, all obscured as it was equally so. The strange resemblance by passion, just as the lightning glares between their new lady and the deceasmomentarily through the gloom of night ed Brunhilda, filled them with a secret without dispersing the obscurity. dismay,-an undefinable horror; for
Swanhilda then departed, in order to there was not a single difference of feapronounce to her children, a bitter ture, of tone of voice, or of gesture. farewell, for they, according to na- To add too to these mysterious circumtional custom, belonged to the father ; stances, her female attendants discoverand, having bathed them in her tears, ed a particular mark on her back, exand consecrated them with the holy actly like one which Brunhilda had. A water of maternal love, she quitted report was now soon circulated, that her husband's residence, and departed their lady was no other than Brunhilda to the home of her father's.
herself, who had been recalled to life Thus was the kind and benevolent by the power of necromancy. How Swan hilda, driven an exile from those truly horrible was the idea of living halls, where she had presided with under the same roof with one who had such grace ;-~from halls which were been an inhabitant of the tomb, and of now newly decorated to receive another being obliged to attend upon her, and mistress. The day at length arrived, acknowledge her as mistress! There on which Walter, for the second time, was also in Brunhilda, much to increase conducted Brunhilda home, as a newly- this aversion, and favour their supermade bride. And he caused it to be stition: no ornaments of gold ever reported among his domestics, that his
decked her person; all that others were new consort had gained his affections wont to wear of this metal, she had by her extraordinary likeness to Brun- formed of silver: no richly coloured hilda, their former mistress. How in- and sparkling jewels glittered upon her; effably happy did he deem himself, as pearls alone, lent their pale sustre to adorn her bosom. Most carefully did affections and passions, whether of love she always avoid the cheerful light of or hate; for death had for ever destroythe sun, and was wont to spend the ed and withered it: all that Brunhilda brightest days in the most retired and now possessed was a chilled existence, gloomy apartments : only during the colder than that of the snake. It was
twilight of the commencing, or dechin- nevertheless necessary that she should ! ing day did she ever walk abroad, but love, and return with equal ardour the
her favourite hour was, when the phan- warm caresses of her spell-enthralled tom light of the moon bestowed on all husband, to whose passion alone she objects a shadowy appearance, and a was indebted for her renewed existence. sombre hue ; always too at the crowing It was necessary that a magic draught of the cock, an involuntary shudder should animate the dull current in her was observed to seize her limbs. Im- veins, and awaken her to the glow of perious as before her death, she quickly life and the flame of love-a potion of imposed her iron yoke on every one abomination-one not even to be named around her, while she seemed even far without a curse-human blood, imbibed more terrible than ever, since a dread of whilst yet warm, from the veins of some supernatural power attached to youth. This was the hellish drink for her, appalled all who approached her. which she thirsted : possessing no symA malignant withering glance seemed pathy with the purer feelings of humato shoot from her eye on the ur happy nity; deriving no enjoyment from object of her wrath, as if it would an- aught that interests in life, and occupies nihilate its victim. In short, those halls its varied hours ; her existence was a wbich, in the time of Swanhilda were mere blank, unless when in the arms the residence of cheerfulness and mirth, of her paramour husband, and therefore now resembled an extensive desert tomb. was it that she craved incessantly after With fear imprinted on their pale coun- the horrible draught. It was even with tenances, the domestics glided through the utmost effort that she could forbear the apartments of the castle; and, in sucking even the blood of Walter himthis abode of terror, the crowing of the self, as he reclined beside her. Whencock caused the living to tremble, as if ever she beheld some innocent child, they were the spirits of the departed; whose lovely face denoted the exubefor the sound always reminded them of rance of infantine health and vigour, their mysterious mistress. There was she would entice it by soothing words no one but who shuddered at meeting and fond caresses into her most secret her in a lonely place, in the dusk of apartment, where, lulling it to sleep in evening, or by the light of the moon, her arms, she would suck from its boa circumstance that was deemed to be som the warm, púrple tide of life. ominous of some evil : so great was Nor were youths of either sex safe from the apprehension of her female atten- her horrid attack : having first breathed dants, they pined in continual disquie- upon her unhappy victim, who never tude, and, by degrees, all quitted her. | failed immediately to sink into a lengthIn the course of time even others of the ened sleep, she would then in a similar domestics fed, for an insupportable manner drain his veins of the vital juice. horror had seized them.
Thus children, youths, and maidens The art of the sorcerer had indeed quickly faded away, as flowers gnawn bestowed upon Brunhilda an artificial by the cankering worm: the fullness of life, and due nourishment had conti- their limbs disappeared ; a sallow hue pued to support the restored body; yet, succeeded to the rosy freshness of their this body was not able of itself to keep cheeks, the liquid lustre of the eye was up the genial glow of vitality, and to deadened, even as the sparkling stream nourish the flame whence springs all the when arrested by the touch of frost;
and their locks became thin and grey, seen, nor any arise to replace those as if already ravaged by the storm of who shall await their fate in silence. life. Parents beheld with horror this Walter alone noticed not, or heeded desolating pestilence devouring their not, the desolation around him ; he offspring ; nor could simple or charm, apprehended not death, lapped as he potion or amulet avail aught against it. was in a glowing elysium of love. Far swallowed up one after the
more happy than formerly did he now other; or did the miserable victim seem in the possession of Brunhilda. survive, he became cadaverous and All those caprices and frowns which wrinkled even in the very morn of ex- had been wont to overcloud their former istence. Parents observed with horror, union had now entirely disappeared. this devastating pestilence snatch away She even seemed to doat on him with their offspring--a pestilence which, nor a warmth of passion that she had never herb however potent, nor charm, nor exhibited even during the happy season holy taper, nor exorcism could avert. of bridal love ; for the fame of that They either beheld their children sink youthful blood, of which she drained one after the other into the grave, or the veins of others, rioted in her own. their youthful forms withered by the At night, as soon as be closed his eyes, unholy, vampire embrace of Brunhilda she would breathe on him till he sank assume the decrepitude of sudden age. into delicious dreams, from which he
At length strange surmises and reports awoke only to experience more rapbegan to prevail; it was whispered that turous enjoyments. By day she would Brunhilda herself was the cause of all continually discourse with him on the these horrors ; although no one could bliss experienced by happy spirits bepretend to tell in what manner she de- yond the grave, assuring him that, as stroyed her victims, since no marks of his affection had recalled her from the violence were discernable. Yet when tomb, they were now irrevocably unityoung children confessed that she had ed. Thus fascinated by a continual frequently lulled them asleep in her spell, it was not possible that he should arms, and elder ones said that a sudden perceive what was taking place around slumber had come upon them when- him. Brunhilda, however, foresaw ever she began to converse with them, with savage grief that the source of her suspicion became converted into cer- youthful ardour was daily decreasing, tainty, and those whose offspring had for, in a short time, there remained hitherto escaped unbarmed, quitted nothing gifted with youth, save Walter their hearths and home-all their little and his children, and these latter she possessions--the dwellings of their fa- resolved should be her next victims. thers and the inheritance of their chil- On her first return to the castle, she dren, in order to rescue from so horrible had felt an aversion towards the offa fate those who were dearer to their spring of another, and therefore abansimple affections than aught else the doned them entirely to the attendants world could give
appointed by Swanhilda. Now, howThus daily did the castle assume a ever, she began to pay considerable more desolate appearance ; daily did attention to them, and caused them to its environs become inore deserted ; be frequently admitted into her prenone but a few aged decrepid old wo
The aged nurses were filled men and grey-headed menials were to with dread at perceiving these marks be seen remaining of the once numerous of regard from her towards their young retinue. Such will in the latter days charges, yet dared they not to oppose of the earth, be the last generation of the will of their terrible and imperious mortals, when child-bearing shall have mistress. Soon did Brunhilda gain the ceased, when youth shall no more be affection of the children, who were too
unsuspecting of guile to apprehend any ture the horrible truth, yet dared not to danger from her; on the contrary, her impart their suspicions to Walter, who caresses won them completely to her. was so devotedly attached to his horrible, Instead of ever checking their mirthful partner. Death had already smote his gambols, she would rather instruct them prey : the children were but the mere in new sports; often too did she recite shadows of their former selves, and to them tales of such strange and wild even this shadow quickly disappeared. interest as to exceed all the stories of The anguished father deeply bemoantheir nurses. Were they wearied either ed their loss, for, notwithstanding his with play or with listening to her nar- apparent neglect, he was strongly atratives, she would take them on her tached to them, nor until he had expeknees and lull them to slumber. Then rienced their loss, was he aware that did visions of the most surpassing mag- his love was so great. His affliction nificence attend their dreams they could not fail to excite the displeasure would fancy themselves in some garden of Brunhilda : “ Why dost thou lament, where flowers of every hue rose in rows so fondly,” said she, “ for these little one above the other, from the humble ones ? What satisfaction could such violet to the tall sun-Aower, forming a unformed beings yield to thee, unless party-coloured broidery of every hue, thou wert still attached to their mother? sloping upwards towards the golden Thy heart then is still hers? Or dost clouds, where little angels, whose wings thou now regret her and them, because sparkled with azure and gold, descended thou art satiated with my fondness, and to bring them delicious cates, or splen- weary of my endearments ? Had these did jewels; or sung to them soothing young ones grown up, would they not melodious hymns. So delightful did have attached thee, thy spirit and thy these dreams in short time become to affections more closely to this earth of the children, that they longed for no- clay—to this dust, and have alienated thing so eagerly as to slumber on Brun- thee from that sphere to which I, who hilda's lap, for never did they else enjoy have already passed the grave, endeasuch visions of heavenly forms. Thus vour to raise thee ? Say is thy spirit so were they most anxious for that which heavy, or thy love so weak, or thy was to prove their destruction :yet faith so hollow, that the hope of being do we not all aspire after that which mine for ever is unable to touch thee?" conducts us to the grave after the en- | Thus did Brunhilda express her indigjoyment of life? These innocents nation at her consort's grief, and forstretched out their arms to approaching bade him ber presence. The fear of death, because it assumed the mask of offending her beyond forgiveness, and pleasure ; for, while they were lapped his anxiety to appease her soon dried in these ecstatic slumbers, Brunhilda up his tears; and he again abandoned socked the life-stream from their bo- himself to his fatal passion, until apsoms. On waking, indeed, they felt proaching destruction, at length awakenthemselves faint and exhausted, yet did ed him from his delusion. no pain, nor any mark betray the cause. Neither maiden, nor youth, was any Shortly, however, did their strength longer to be seen, either within the entirely fail
, even as the summer brook dreary walls of the castle, or the adjoinis gradually dried up: their sports be- ing territory :—all had disappeared ; came less and less noisy; their loud, for those whom the grave had not swalfrolicsome laughter was converted into lowed up, had fled from the region of a faint smile; the full tones of their death. Who, therefore, now remained voices died away into a mere whisper. to quench the horrible thirst of the feTheir attendants were filled with horror male vampire, save Walter himself ? and despair; too well did they conjec- and his death she dared to contemplate
unmoved; for that divine sentiment as usual by Brunhilda's side, the magic that unites two beings in one joy and power of her breath produced no effect one sorrow was unknown to her bosom. upon him; and for the first time during Was he in his tomb, so was she free to many months did he close his eyes in a search out other victims, and glut her- natural slumber. Yet hardly had he self with destruction, until she herself fallen asleep, ere a pungent smarting should, at the last day, be consumed pain disturbed him from his dreams ; with the earth itself: such is the fatal and, opening his eyes, he discerned, law, to which the dead are subject, by the gloomy rays of a lamp, that when awoke by the arts of necromancy glimmered in the apartment, what for from the sleep of the grave.
some moments transfixed him quite She now began to fix.her blood- aghast, for it was Brunhilda, drawing thirsty lips on Walter's breast, when with her lips, the warm blood from his cast into a profound sleep by the odour bosom. The wild cry of horror which of her violet breath, he reclined beside at length escaped him, terrified Brunher quite unconscious of his impend- hilda, whose mouth was besmeared ing fate : yet soon did his vital powers with the warm blood. “ Monster !" begin to decay ; and many a grey hair exclaimed he, springing from the couch, peeped through his raven locks. With “ is it thus that you love me? his strength, his passion also declined ; and he now frequently left her in order plied she, with a malignant coldness. to pass the whole day in the sports of “ Creature of blood !” continued the chase, hoping thereby, to regain his Walter, “ the delusion which has so wonted vigour. As he was reposing one long blinded me is at an end : thou art day in a wood beneath the shade of an the fiend who hast destroyed my chiloak, he perceived, on the summit of a dren—who hast murdered the offspring tree, a bird of strange appearance, and of my vassals.” Raising herself upquite unknown to him ; but, before he wards, and, at the same time, casting could take aim at it with his bow, it on him a glance that froze him to the flew away into the clouds ; at the same spot with dread, she replied. “ It is time, letting fall a rose-coloured root not I who have murdered them :-) was which dropped at Walter's feet, who obliged to pamper myself with warm immediately took it up, and, although youthful blood, in order that I might he was well acquainted with almost satisfy thy furious desires-thou art the every plant, he could net remember to murderer !"_These dreadful words have seen any at all resembling this. summoned, before Walter's terrified Its delightfully odoriferous scent induced conscience, the threatening shades of him to try its flavour, but ten times all those who had thus perished; while more bitter than wormwood, it was even despair choked his voice. “ Why," as gall in his mouth ; upon which, im- continued she, in a tone that increaspatient of the disappointment, he flung ed his horror, “why dost thou make it away with violence. Had he, how- mouths at me like a puppet ? Thou ever, been aware of its miraculous who hadst the courage to love the dead quality, and that it acted as a counter -to take into thy bed, one wbo had charm against the opiate perfume of been sleeping in the grave, the bedBrunbilda's breath, he would have fellow of the worm- who hast clasped blessed it in spite of its bitterness: thus in thy lustful arms, the corruption of do mortals often blindly cast away in the tomb-dost thou, uphallowed as displeasure, the unsavoury remedy that thou art, now raise this hideous cry for would otherwise work their weal. the sacrifice of a few lives - They are
When Walter returned home in the but leaves swept from their branches by evening, and laid him down to repose a storm.-Come, chase these idiot fan