صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

This Legend is founded upon a tradition current in Northumberland. Indeed, an adventore nearly similar to Sir Guy's, is said to have taken place in various parts of Great Britain, particularly on the Pentland Hills in Scotland, (where the prisoners are supposed to be King Arthur and bis Knights of the Round Table,) and in Lancashire, where an ale-bouse near Chorley still exbibits the sign of a Sir John Stauley following an old man with a torch, wbile his horse starts back in terror at the objects which are discovered through two immense iron gates the ale house is known by the name of the “ IRON Gates,” which are supposed to protect the entrance of an enebanted cavern in the neighbourhood—the female captive, we believe, is peculiar to Dunstanburgh Castle ; and certain shining stones, which are occasionally found in its neighbourhood, and which are called DUNSTANBURGH DIAMONDS,” are supposed hy the peasants to form part of that immense treasure, with which the lady will reward her deliverer.-lo Wallis's “ History of the Antiquities of Northumber. land," the castle is described as follows :-“ It stands on an eminence of several acres, sloping gently to the sea, and on the north and porth-west edged with precipices in the form of a crescent: by the western termination of which are three natural stone pyramids of a considerable height, and by the eastern one an opening in the rocks made by the sea, under a frightful precipice, called Ramble Churn, from the breaking of the waves in tempestuous weather and high seas. Above this is the main entrance, and by it the ruins of the chapel : at the south-west corner is the draw-well, partly filled up. It is built with rag and wbiustone."

LIKE those in the head of a man just dead Up the hill Sir Guy made his courser Ay,

Are his eyes, and his beard's like snow; And hoped, from the wind and the rain But when here he came, his glance was a

That he there should find some refuge kind, flame,

But he sought it long in vain. And his locks seemed the plumes of the crow.

For fast and hard each portal was barred,

And agaiost his efforts proof;
Since then are o'er forty summers and more; Till at length he espied a porch spread wide
Yet be still near the castle remains,

The shelter of its roof.
Aud pines for a sight, of that lady bright,
Who wears the wizard's chains.

“ Gramercy, St. George !" quoth glad Sir

Guy,
Nor sun nor snow from the ruins to go Aud sought the porch with speed;
Can force that aged wight;

And fast to the yew, which near it grew,
And still the pile, hall, chapel, and aisle, He bound bis Barbary steed.
He searches day and night.

And safety found on that sheltered ground But find can be ne'er the winding stair, From the sky's increasing gloom, Which he past that beauty to see,

From his brow he took his casque, and he Whom spells enthrall in the haunted hall,

shook Where none but once may be.

The raiu off, that burthened its plume. That once regret will not let him forget! Then long he stood in mournful mood 'Twas night and pelting showers

With listless sollen air, Did patter and splash when the lightning's Propped on his lance, and with indolent flash

glance Showed Dunstanburgh's grey towers. Watched the red lightning's glare.

Raised high on a mound that castle frowned

In ruined pagean-trie;
And where to the north did rocks jut forth,

Its towers hung o'er the sea.

And sadly listened to the shower,

On the clattering roof that fell;
And counted twice the lonely hour,

Tolled by some distant bell.
But scarce that bell could midnight tell,

When louder roared the thunder,
And the bolt so red whizzed by his head,

Aud burst the gates asuyder.

Proud they stood and darkened the flood;

For the cliffs were so rugged and steep, Had a plummet been dropt from their sum

mit unstopped That plummet had reached the deep.

Nor flower there grew; nor tree e'er drew

Its purture from that ground,
Save a lonely yew whose branches threw

Their baleful shade around.

Loud was the roar on that sounding shore;

Yet still could the knight discern, Louder than all, the s well and the fall

Of the bellowing Rumble Churn!

With a strange turmoil did it bubble and

boil, And echo from place to place; So strong was its dash, and so high did it

And lo! through the dark a glimmering

spark
He espied of lurid-blue;
Onward it came, aud a form all flame

Soon struck his wondering view.
"Twas an ancient man of visage wan,

Gigantic was bis height;
And his breast below there was seen to flow

A beard of grizzled white.
And flames o'erspread his hairless head,

And down his beard they streamed;
And in his band a radiant wand

Of burning iron gleamed.
Of darkest grain, with flowing train,

splash,
That it washed the castle's base.

A wond'rous robe be wore,
With many a charm to work man's harm

lo fire embroidered o'er.
And this robe was bound his waist around

With a triple chain red-hot !
And still came pigher that phantom of fire

Till he reached the self-same spot.

The spray as it broke appeared like smoke

From a sea-volcano pouring ;
And still it did rumble, and grumble, and

tumble,
Rioting ! raging! roaring!

[blocks in formation]

And a hundred shafts of laboured brouze

The fretted roof upheld; And the ponderous gloom of that vaulted

A hundred lights dispelled.

room

And a dead man's arm by a magic charm

Each glimmering taper bore, And where it was lopp’d, still dropp'd and

And now they go both high and low,

Above and under ground,
And in and out, and about and about,

Aud round, and round, and round !
The storm is hushed, and lets them hear

The owlet's boding screech,
As now through many a passage drear

A winding stair they reach.
With beckoning hand, which famed like a

brand, Still on the wizard led ; And well could Sir Guy hear a sob and a

sigh, As up the first flight he sped ! While the second he past with footsteps fast

He beard a death bell toll! While he climbed the third, a whisper he

beard,
“God's mercy on thy soul!"-
And now at the top the wanderers stop

A brazen gate before
Of massive make; and a living snake

Was the bolt, which held the door.
In many a fold round the staple 'twas rolled

With venop its jaws ran o'er ;
And that juice of hell, wherever it fell,
To a cinder burned the floor.

a

dropp'd Thick gouts of clotted gore.

Where ends the room, doth a chrystal tomb

Its towering front ophold ;
And on each hand two skeletons stand,

Which belonged to two giants of old.

That on the right holds a faulchion bright,

That on the left a horn;
And crowns of jet with jewels beset

Their eyeless skulls adorn.

Add both these grim colossal kings

With fingers long and lean Point tow'rds the tomb, within whose womb

A captive dame is seer.

A form more fair than that prisoner's, ne'er

Since the days of Eve were known ; Every glance that few from her eyes of

blue, Was worth an emperor's throne, And one sweet kiss from her roseate lips

Would have melted a bosom of stone.

[blocks in formation]

“ At its maker's birth long trembled the

“ But such keen woe, as never can know

Oblivion's balmy power,
With fixed despair your soul will share,

Till comes your dying hour. • Your choice now make for yon beauty's

sake; To burst her bonds endeavour; But that wbich you choose, beware how you

lose ; Once lost, 'tis lost for ever!"In pensive mood awhile now stood

Sir Guy, and gazed around; Now he turned his sight to the left, to the

right, Now he fixed it on the ground. Now the faulchion's blaze attracted his gaze

On the bilt his fingers lay; But he heard fear cry"You're wrong,

Sir Guy!"-
And be snatched his hand away!
Now bis steps he address'd tow'rd the

North and the West ;
Now be turned tow'rds the East ayd the

South :
Till with desperate thought the horn be

caught, And press'd it to his mouth. Hark! the blast is a blast so stroug and so

sbrill, That the vaults like thunder ring ; And each marble horse stamps the floor

with force,
· And from sleep the warriors spring!
And frightful stares each stoney eye,

As now with ponderous tread
They rush on Sir Guy, poising on high

Their spears to strike him dead.
At this strange attack full swift sprang back

I wot, the startled knight!
Away he threw the horn, and drew

His faulchion keen and bright.
But soon as the horn bis grasp forsook,

Was heard'a sry of grief;
It seemed the yell of a soul io hell

Made desperate of relief!
And straight each light was extinguished

quite, Save the flame so Jurid blue On the wizard's brow, (whose flashings now

Assumed a bloody bue,) And those sparks of Gre, which grief and ire

From his glaring eye-balls drew !
And he stamped in rage, and he laughed

in scorn,
While in thundering tone he roared,

earth;

The skies dropp'd showers of gore;
And she, who to light gave the wonderous

wight,
Had died seven years before;

“ And at Satan's right hand while keeping

his stand, The foulest fiend of fire Shrunk back with awe, when the babe he

saw,
For it shocked its very sire!

“ But hark, Sir Knight! and riddle aright

The riddle I'll riddle to thee : Thou'lt learn a way without delay

To set yon damsel free.

See'st yonder sword, with jewels rare,

Its dudgeon crusted oʻer?
See'st yonder horn of ivory fair ?

'Twas Merlin's horn of yore!

« That horn to sound, or sword to draw,

Now, youth, your choice explain;
But that which you choose, beware how you

lose,
For you never will find it again :

“ And that once lost, all hopes are crost,

Which now you fondly furm; And that once gone, the sun ne'er shone

sadder wight to warm ;

“ Now shame on the coward who sounded

a horn,
When he might have unsheathed a

sword!"

Whence the neighbours all the knight now

call By “ Guy, the Seeker's" name ;, For never he knows one hour's repose

From bis wish to find the dame.

He said, and from his mouth there came

A vapour blue and dank,
Whose poisonous breath seemed the kiss

of death,
For the warrior senseless sank.

Morning breaks! again he wakes ;

Lo! in the porch be lies,
And still in his heart he feels the dart,

Which shot from the captive's eyes.

But still he seeks, and aye he seeks,

And seeks, and seeks in vain ;
Aud still be repeats to all he meets,

“ Could I find the sword again !". Which words he follows with a groan,

As if his heart would break;
And oh! that groan has so strange a tone,

It makes all bearers quake!
The villagers round know well its sound,

And when they hear it poured,
« Hark! bark!” they cry," the Seeker Guy

Groans for the wizard's sword.".

From the ground he springs ! as if he had

wings,
The ruip he wanders o'er, .
And with prying look each cranny and nook

His anxious eyes explore.
But find can be ne'er the winding stair,

Which he climbed that dame to see,
Whom spells enthrall in the baunted ball,

Where none but once may be.
The earliest ray of dawning day

Beholds bis search begun;
The evening star ascends her car,

Nor yet his search is done.

Twice twenty springs on their fragrant

wings For his wound have brought no balm; For still he's found. But hark! what

sound Disturbs the midnight calm ? Good peasants tell, why rings that knell ?

« Tis the Seeker-Guy's we toll: “ His race is run ; his search is done."

God's mercy on his soul !

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

On the English side of the sea of tion, namely, the cottage of Miles ColSolway lies a long line of flat and un- vine, the Cumberland mariner. The elevated coast, where the sea-fowl find owner of this rude dwelling, once a refuge from the gun of the fowler, and seaman, a soldier, a scholar, and a genwhich, save the head-land and the deep tleman, was shipwrecked on the coast sea, presents but one object of attrac- about thirty years ago, and was the

« السابقةمتابعة »