صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

promise without loss of time to affix | and did not rejoin him until they were the fly-Aapping appendage once more to out of sight of those devil's eye-sores, the hinder part of thy steed.”

He now resolved to make the best use Karl, although he strongly doubted of his observation, and happening to the possibility of such a maneuvre, espy a small cross at a little distance, willingly pledged his word, and in a

and seeing that his good friend had left moment afterwards heard the stranger him as usual, he rode up to it, dismutter something which was unintelli- mounted, and easily drew it from the gible to him, but which he made no ground. It's an ill procession, they question was some spell used in the say, when the devil carries the cross,'* ceremony of tail-fixing. “ Turn,” | cried Karl, “so I'll e'en be beforesaid the stranger, who was now again hand with him.” He threw it across beside him, thy horse is repaired !” his shoulders, vaulted into his saddle, Karl did as he was requested, and the tail and trotted forward, until he came to a became manifest; but Nicolaus betrayed town which he supposed to be the place as little joy at the recovery of it, as he of his destination. Nicolaus made a had evinced sorrow for its loss. Karl sudden halt and neighed loudly; and could not help suspecting that the lashes and caresses were alike inefstranger had made him promise to look fectual to induce him to proceed. A straight forward, not sū much out of door was opened, and the old cook fear that he should be a spy upon his who knew the voice of Nicolaus too well operations, as that he dreaded an ex to be mistaken, welcomed the young posure of the cloven-foot; nevertheless apprentice home again to his master's he thanked him for his good offices, house, at Magdeburg. The truth is, and kept on his way. After a short that Nicolaus, liking better a dirty statime it occurred to him that a pipe ble than a clean road, had taken care to would be no bad thing; but when he turn his head homeward, when his rider had filled it, he found to his mortifica awoke from his slumber under the tree, tion that he had lost his fint, and began and Karl was obliged to defer his visit railing in good terms at his own care to Brunswick until a better opportunity lessness and indiscretion. “ Despair should occur. He told his master the not while I am near thee,” said the whole story the next morning; but the stranger; “ hold thy pipe towards jeweller (unbeliever as he was !) attrime !" No sooner was this done than buted every thing to his superstition he breathed upon it, and the tobacco and state of intoxication ; but the old was ignited. Karl felt now convinced cook was fully persuaded that he had that he was travelling with Satan ; for actually been in the society of the devil, the herb burnt rather blue than others and was not satisfied that he was entirely wise, and there was a villanous smack out of his, the said devil's power, of sulphur in the only whiff that he until he had confessed to the priest of took. He had a very certain presenti- the family, and purified himself with ment that his companion had not an additional sprinkling of holy water. brought the fire which he had just given His master had the cross burned, and him from the same place where Proine- warned Karl not to mention the cirtheus had obtained his. The pipe dropp- cumstance of his having sacrilegiously ed from his lips, and he trembled from carried it off, as he might incur the head to foot. He now began to devise displeasure of the holy church. Karl means of ridding himself of his black did as he was desired, and on the folart-practising fellow-traveller. He had lowing day the removal of the cross observed on their journey that when was discovered, and considered as a they came near any of the crosses, miracle by the good people of Lower which are common to this day in Catho- | Saxony in the seventeenth century. lic countries, his companion vanished,

PETER OF STAUFFENBURG.

call me.

from the German. Peter DIRMINGER, who resided at | by promising to meet him the next his town of Stauffen, in the Ortenau, morning, in the same place. The and was called from it the Lord of knight was there before the stars had Stauffen, was returning from the chace faded from the sky. At break of day one day at sunset, and when he reached the maiden appeared from the copse, the village of Nussbach he was dying and so graceful was she, and so lovely, with thirst and exhausted by fatigue. that the knight thought he saw an angel He therefore dismounted at a spring,

descended from heaven. The ringlets which flowed by the road side, and was of her fine flaxen hair seemed to be shaded by beautiful oaks. There he dewed by the tears of Aurora, and were found seated a beautiful maiden, who set off by a wreath of vividly coloured modestly greeted him, and addressed | blue-belis; two rose-buds were placed him by bis name. The astonished on her beautiful bosom. She fixed on knight requested to know who she was, the astonished and silent knight her and whence she came. “ I live just by eyes, which were full of innocence and here," said she, “and have often seen you vivacity. At length he ventured to take and your huntsmen, when you stopped her hand, and to speak to her of his to drink at this fountain, and it was by passion. She made him sit down, and this means that I learned your name." then said to him “I am not one of

Stauffen, who was young and disen- the children of the human race; the gaged, was enchanted by the graceful waves give me birth. I am a nymph, maiden and her prudent converse, and a water fairy, or whatever you please to love took possession of his heart.

We grant our hand but with On the following days he went to the our love, and our love but with our I fountain at the same hour, but the un hand. But think well of what you do,

known was never there. In the even- | Sir Knight. If you pledge your faith to ing of the fourth day, as, wrapped in me, you must keep it as pure as this grief, be sat leaning against an oak, he limpid spring, and as firm as the steel heard a voice of heavenly sweetness of your sword. A single act of infidelity that seemed to come from the bottom will be the cause of your death and of of the water. He started up, and with my eternal sorrow. For our love and impatient curiosity looked on all sides, our grief have no end.” but could perceive nobody, nor did he

any longer hear the voice. He was that it was as impossible for him to 1

going to reseat himself under the oak, | live without her as it was for him ever in the hope that he should again hear to be faithless to her. The nymph the accents of the invisible, when all at then gave him a precious ring. He once he saw the unknown sitting upon pressed her tenderly to his heart, and the stone from whence he had just spoke to her of the delightful situation arisen. She seemed to be in a charm of his castle, and how she should live ing temper, for to all the questions that there in peace, and amidst a circle of he put to her she replied only by plea- perpetual pleasures. They fixed the santries, instead of direct answers ; and day on which he should conduct her to by this the knight was not a little em it as his bride.—The morning of that barrassed. But, nevertheless, all she day had scarcely dawned when the said was engaging, and at length she knight passing from his couch to the did not scruple to open her heart, and hall, saw on the table three elegantly to avow tender sentiments in his favour. ornamented baskets, the one full of She then became pensive, and ended gold, the other of silver, and the third

her "The knight attested by a solemn vow

full of precious stones of all kinds. It | duke shook his head and declared that was the portion of the bride. She soon the wicked spirit had had to do with appeared with a numerous train, and the business, that the knight was not the lovers were united. Previously to bound to keep his word with visionary the ceremony, however, the nymph beings, and that, for the good of his desired to speak to the knight in private; soul, he wished to see him released she led him into a room, and said to from such a dangerous connection. him, “ Think well once on what you The chaplain was consulted on the subare about to do; if ever your heart ject, and he assured them that, as soon should grow cold towards me, or should as ever the knight should receive the glow for another, you are a lost man, benediction of the church, this magical and will have a sign of your approach- illusion would vanish. Peter was wiling death: that sign will be your not be- ling enough to be persuaded, and they ing able to see more of my person than were accordingly betrothed. The wedthis right foot which I now shew you.” ding day was put off for a fortnight.

The knight renewed his vows in all the On the eve of that day one of his folwarmth of a first and violent love. They lowers arrived from Stauffenburgh, with were wedded. Many days passed away intelligence that his wife and child had in pleasures and serenity. Before a year disappeared from that place. was expired, she added to the happiness quiring into the circumstances, Peter of the knight by giving him a son. found that this had occurred precisely

Soon after this event, a terrible war at the instant of betrothing. This contook place on the French frontier. Peter firmed him in the suspicion of magic, was brave and fond of glory. By the which had been instilled into him, and side of love, ambition held a place in he went with a light heart to celebrate his heart. The countess did not think the nuptials at a country house in the it proper to oppose these noble feelings; neighbourhood. While the guests were but she did not let him depart without seated at table, and the knight was in bathing him with her tears, and intreat- high spirits, he chanced to cast his eyes ing him neither to forget his wife nor towards the wall, and saw, as if it were the only pledge of their tenderness. coming out of it, the handsome foot of

Peter crossed the Rhine at the head a female. He rubbed his eyes, but of a chosen band, and went to fight still clearly and continually saw this under the banners of one of the dukes fatal herald. He was excessively disof the Franks. In the very first battle turbed, and drank glass after glass to he manifested the strength of his arm, dissipate the melancholy forebodings, and his skill in leading the brave. The in which he partly succeeded. In the duke estimated properly his worth, and, evening they returned to the castle. in a severe contest, it was to the knight There was a bridge to pass, but Peter that he was indebted for the preservation preferred riding through the ford. He of his life. It was also the valour of had hardly reached the middle of the the knight that decided the victory, and stream before the water became agitated, occasioned the speedy conclusion of a and foamed as if it were lashed by a peace. Full of gratitude, the duke tempest : the waves rose like walls ; thought it not too much to offer him the the horse grew frightened, he plunged, hand of his youngest and handsomest threw off the knight, and gained the daughter. Peter was, in fact, not in- | bank. For a moment the storm insensible to her charms; he was still creased, then every thing became calm, less so to the honour of an alliance with as though an invisible hand had apan illustrious house. But he was not peased it, and the water recovered its yet depraved enough to conceal his clearness and peaceable flow. The marriage. He candidly recounted the knight, however, had disappeared, and whole of what had taken place. The ' his body was never more seen.

THE SPRITE OF THE GLEN,

A Swedish Legend. The clock it struck twelve, clear and calm was the night, Bright beam'd from the heavens the moon's paly light; No sentinel watch'd on steep Karlofelt's wall, Scarce a breath shook the banners that waved in the ball, While through the wide courts silent echo reposed, And in sleep every eye in the castle was closed. All, all but poor Bertha's! there tears flow'd amain, And hope in her breast held its wavering reign; Full sore she lamented her lover's delay, "Twas the hour when he promised to bear her away ; Her eyes o'er the mountains she wistfully cast, And her heart quicker throbb’d at each sigh of the blast. “ Haste! haste! my Geraldus, time urges,” she said, “ 'Twill be dawn-light ere far we've from Karlofelt Ned; « O'er the mountains of Sevo fast spur on your steed, “ Let the impulse of love give new wings to your speed; “ Haste, haste, to your Bertha, and husb ber alarms, “For no danger she'll fear when she's lock'd in your arms!' She spake; when her lamp's trembling glimmer display'd Full many a form on the arras portray'd; Gloomy thoughts on her ill bodiag fancy arose, When her eyes met the stories of true lovers' woes; When depicted she saw, in his wide-yawning den, The blaster of love, the grin“ Sprite of the Glen!" “Great God !" she exclaimed, “ Oh! preserve me this night, “ From the deep-lurking snares of this mischievous sprite, “ For tradition declares, that when young he oft tried, “ From the damsels of Sevo, to bring home a bride ; “But refused, he revengeful now strives by his charms “ To tear the fond maid from her true lover's arms."As she gazed on the picture, all sad and dismay'd, His dark-scowling visage new terrors array'd ; She saw in the face indignation arise, And the fire of revenge brightly flash'd in his eyes ; No longer the moon on the battlements beam'd, Aud the owl, at her window, ill-ominous scream'd ! Bewilder'd by fancy, and conquer'd by dread, The terror-struck maiden now sunk on her bed; O'er her woe-begone bosom, while fear held its sway, She sigh'd a sad sigh, and then motionless lay; Nor agaio with new life did her languid pulse move E’er she heard, in low whispers, the voice of her love. “ Descend now, my Bertha, and banish affright, “The winds they all sleep, and the moon-beams shine bright, “ My courser awaits thee, sweet Bertha,” he said, “ Ere dawn we shall far have from Karlofelt fled." Quick Bertha descended, and hush'd her alarms, For no danger she fear'd when fast lock'd in his arms. To his bosom he press'd her, so white and so wan, And kiss'd off the tears that slow trickling ran; To his bosom he press'd her, and oft as she sigh’d, Her fears he'd in accents of tenderness chide. Full quickly they sped o'er the reed-skirted fen, And enter'd the shades of Duvranno's dark glen! On each side of the dell a rude precipice frown'd, Whose craggs were with deep-tangled thickets embrown'd; O'er the dale a chill horror the pine-branches shed, Night blacken’d the steep, all was darkness and dread!

[ocr errors]

Oft was heard from its eyrie the hawk's piercing scream,
While o'er the loose pebbles bourse-babbled the stream.
This prospect so frightful poor Bertha alarm'd,
Aod fear froze the bosom which love lately warmed.
“ Oh, stop thee, my true love! my spirits now fail,
“Must we pass Ibrough the shades of Duvrannu's dark dale?”
“Oh ! hush thee, sweet-heart, nor thus shrink with dismay,
“In this glen waits my coarser to bear thee away."-
Now onward they hasten'd, all drear was the view,
To their nests sped the night-birds, and croak'd as they flew;
“ See, my love,” said the knight, “ pear yon far spreading pine,

My courser awaits thee, now Bertha is mine!",
“ Yes, I'm thine !” cried the maiden “ with you will I fee,
“ For Bertha's fond bosom beats only for thee!"-
« Then perish, thou falsc one! let death be thy doom !"-
Cried a youth, as he sprang from a thicket's dark gloom ;
« This drinks thy life.blood !"— with a shriek fell the maid,
As deep in her bosom he strack the cold blade!
But, o God! what a pang rent her breast when she found,
'Twas the steel of Geraldus inflicted the wound!
“ Nor,” frantic, he cried, “is my vengeance complete,
Till thou tro, cursed rival, shall bleed at my feet!"-
His sword then he brandish'd and rush'd on his foe,
In vain on the helmet resounded the blow,
When again did he eager the breast-plate assail,
His steel shiver'd short on the well-twisted mail !
But how started Geraldus with fear and affright,
When sudden the armour fell off from the knight!
On the ground rung his hanberk, his vizor unclosed,
And a face fraught with grim exultation exposed;
A sbriek from poor Bertha her horror expressid,
For before her the Sprite of the Glen stood confess'd!
On his form so gigantic, all reeking with gore,
A rough shaggy mantle of bear-skiu he wore,
Maligoity scowl'd in his features so ghast,
His broad sable pinions he waved in the blast :
"Mine's the conquest !” he cried, " for my spells and my charms,
“ Have torn a fond maid from her true-lover's arms!!!
“ Look up,” cried Geraldus,“ look up my pale love,
“For us this deep snare hath the wily fiend wove!
“ He prompted the blow, yet forgive me, sweet heart,
“Oh! my Bertha, one look ere for ever we part!"
Poor Bertha look'd up, and full sadly she sigh’d,
Gave a smile of forgiveness, faint murmur:d, and died.
“ Stop, my love," exclaim'd, “ for together we'll fee,
“And the grave, the cold grave, shall our bridal-bed be;"
Thrice in agony speechless he gazed on her form,
Thrice he kiss d her pale lips that with life still were warm,
Thrice he plunged in his bosom the blade wet with gore,
Then clasp'd his poor Bertba, to clasp her no more.
Like the crash of an earthquake the fiend's hideous yell
Fillid each wood and each vale as the true lover's fell;
The forest-clad mountains, con volsed at the sound,
Shook the pines from their summits, and burled them around;
Each cavern's dark spirit, aroured by the cry,
Burst forth in a hollow-toned echo ofjoy!
Oft the foud wakeful maid wets her pillow with tears,
When at midnight these heart-freezing murmurs she hears ;
Full oft too, at eve, when she bids him“ farewell,"
Her soul's horror and dread to her lover she'll tell,
Who will spur on his steed o'er the rush-cover'd fen,
Lest hc meet, in the twilight, the “Sprite of the Glen!"

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »