« السابقةمتابعة »
Whose is that form that ascends the In vain rushes through the ruin the rocky path-way towards the grey ruin? power of the storm : in vain howl the It is the maiden that climbs amongst gusts of the up-risen tempest through the waving bushes, in the steep and the desolate place. The owl shrieks narrow track. Her white dress flutters against the wind in vain. The angel in the air; her steps slide ; she pauses of female shame is about to fly-when as if she would return. Midnight is lo, a burst of rain and thunder! The near. She advances again : and now heavy bird gives a last cry, and strikes, she is lost in the shade of the old tower. with flapping wing, affrighted from his
Hark ! in one loud, continuous, shrill dark roost! A dead silence then precry, the owl is heard; the sound length-vails, and, from the church-steeple in ens as it speeds; the boatmen listen the valley, is heard the iron-blow of aghast. The figure of the maiden passes the midnight hammer. by a chasm in the grey wall. The moon What rises from the black mouth of droops into the abyss, and all is dark. the tearful dungeon ? The eyes of the
But the youth had met his beloved lovers are fixed, as by a spiritual power. one, and tears of joy and gratitude run Is it fog Is it cloud ? Is it a human down bis Aushed cheeks. His arms shape? Is it light contending with the entwine her waist : they are in the darkness ? A Spectral-woman comes court-yard of the tower. Their eyes forth : she advances towards the maiden are full of love : their souls are as their and the youth ; an infant lies at her eyes. Broken battlements rise over breast, half covered by a stained shroud. them ; riven arches, fragments of fallen They were saved by the doleful vistrength are about. Dreary gleam the sion! Eternal Father, now is the doom narrow window-holes in the darkness ; accomplished: now is the long-past and the waving thistle rustles, as if to crime atoned for,” uttered the pale lips alarm.
of the Spectral-woman. “ The decree is They are seated on the soft moss that fulfilled; for two souls are this night springs from the ancient stones. High rescued from the guilt into which my beats the heart of the youth, for here earthly life had fallen!" suspicion does not watch: but the mai- The maiden sunk her head; the lover den trembles : her hands are cold : she regarded her with a look of holy but is weak and timid, and mutters as a | troubled affection. Slowly the Specsick child.
tral-woman raised in her arms the A clammy horror creeps over her shroud-wrapped child. Mercy, mercy! senses as she regards the blackness of was chanted in the air above : sweet a low door-way full before her face. sounds of harps were heard : the ghostly It once led to the pit of tears—the deep figures vanished in a flood of morning dungeon of the ancient tower. But the
But the splendour. Soon all had disappeared: youth's quick kisses have not fallen in and in a calm, but dark night, the vain on her lips: his heart beats against | guiltless lovers descended to the Rhine hers: time and place vanish from her from the old Single Tower of Neuftchaperception : in her inward soul move berg. the yearnings of delirious love.
Bishop Bruno awoke in the dead midnight,
Now forth he goes in proud array,
Before and behind the soldiers ride,
Behind, and before, and on either side,
And when he rung at the palace bell,
And now the Bishop had bless'd the meat,
The Bishop then grew pale with affright,
Then from amid the maskers' crowd,
The bony hand suspended his breath,
JAN SCHALKEN’S THREE WISHES.
A Butch Legend.
At a small fishing village in Dutch started up, drew back the bolt, and a Flanders, there is still shown the site of stranger entere. He was a tall man, a hut, which was an object of much at- but little could be distinguished either tention whilst it stood, on account of a of his face or figure, as he wore a singular legend that relates to its first large dark cloak, which he had coninhabitant, a kind-hearted fellow, who trived to pull over his head after the depended on his boat for his sub- fashion of a cowl. “ I am a poor trasistence, and his own happy disposition veller, (said the stranger), and want a for cheerfulness during every hardship night's lodging. Will you grant it to and privation. Thus the story goes :
Aye, to be sure, (replied oue dark and stormy night in winter, as Schalken), but I am afraid your cheer Jan Schalken was sitting with his good will be but sorry. Had you come natured buxom wife by the fire, he was sooner you might have fared better. awakened from a transient doze by a Sit down, however, and eat of what is knocking at the door of his hut. He left.” The traveller took him at his
word, and in a short time afterwards their clay płatters in order. Nothing retired to his humble sleeping-place. disturbed him so much as this, and he In the morning as he was about to de- determined if possible, to prevent a repart, he advanced towards Schalken, currence of the nuisance. With this and giving him his hand, thus addressed object in view, he approached close to him: “ It is needless for you, my good the stranger, and in a low whisper told friend, to know who I am ; but of this his third and last wish: that whoever be assured, that I can and will be sat in a particular chair in his hut, grateful; for when the rich and the should not be able to move out of it powerful turned me last night from their until it should please him so to order. inhospitable gates, you welcomed me This wish was agreed to by the traveller, as man should welcome man, and who, after many greetings, departed on looked with an eye of pity on the deso
Years passed on, and his late traveller in the storm. I grant you
last two wishes had been fully gratithree wishes. Be what they may, those fied by often detaining thieves in his wishes shall be gratified.” Now tree, and his wife on her chair. The Schalken certainly did not put much time was approaching when the profaith in these promises, yet he thought wise of longevity would be falsified or it the safest plan to make trial of them; made manifest.
It happened that the and, accordingly, began to think how birth-days of the fisherman and his wife he should fix his wishes. Jan was a were the same. They were sitting toman who had few or no ambitious gether on the evening of the day that views; and was contented with the made him 79 years, and Mietje 73 way of life in which he had been
when the moon that was brought up. In fact he was so well shining through the window of the hut satisñed with his situation, that he had seemed suddenly to be extinguished, not the least inclination to lose a single and the stars rushed down the dark day of his laborious existence; but, on clouds and lay glaring on the surface the contrary, had a very sincere wish of of the ocean, over which was spread an adding a few years to those which he unnatural calmness, although the skies was destined to live. This gave rise to appeared to be mastered by the winds, wish the first. “Let my wife and and were heaving onward, with their myself live (he said) fifty years longer mighty waves of cloud. Birds dropped than nature has designed: “It shall dead from the boughs, and the foliage be done,” cried the stranger. Whilst of the trees turned to a pale red. All Schalken was puzzling his brain for a seemed to prognosticate the approach of second wish, he bethought him that a Death: and in a few minutes afterwards pear-tree, which was in his little garden, sure enough he came. He was, howhad been frequently despoiled of its ever, very different from all that the fruit, to the no small detriment of the worthy couple had heard or fancied of said tree, and grievous disappointment him. He was certainly rather thin, of its owner. “ For my second wish, and had very little colour, but he was grant that whoever climbs my pear-tree well dressed, and his deportment was shall not have power to leave it until that of a gentleman. Bowing very pomy permission be given.”
litely to the ancient pair, he told them This was also assented to. Schalken he merely came to give notice that by was a sober man, and liked to sit down right they should have belonged to him and chat with his wife of an evening; on that day, but a fifty years' respite but she was a bustling body, and often was granted, and when that period had jumped up in the midst of a conversa- expired, he should visit them again. tion that she had only heard ten or He then walked away, and the moon, twelve times, to scrub the table or set and the stars, and the waters regained
their natural appearance. For the next the day. He was by no means so polite fifty years every thing passed on as as he had formerly been, for the trick quietly as before; but as the time drew that Schalken had put upon him offendnigh for the appointed advent of Death, ed his dignity and wounded his pride Jan became thoughtful, and he felt no not a little. “ Come, Jan,” said he, pleasure at the idea of the anticipated you used me scurvily the other day, visit. The day arrived, and Death came (Death thinks very little of fifty years!) preceded by the same horrors as on the and I am now determined to lose no former occasion. “ Well, good folks, time-come.” (said he), you now can have no objection Jan was seated at his little table, to accompany me; for assuredly you busily employed in writing, when Death have hitherto been highly privileged, entered. He raised his head sorrowand have lived long enough.” The old fully, and the pen trembled in his hand, dame wept and clung feebly to her hus- as he thus addressed him, “ I confess band, as if she feared they were to be that my former conduct towards you divided after passing away from the merits blame, but I have done with earth on which they had dwelt so long such knaveries now, and have learnt to and happily together. Poor Schalken know that life is of little worth, and also looked very downcast, and moved that I have seen enough of it. Still, after Death but slowly. As they passed before I quit this world I should like to by Jan's garden, he turned to take a do all the good I can, and was engaged last look at it, when a sudden thought when you arrived in making a will, struck him. He called to Death and that a poor lad, who has been always said, “ Şir, allow me to propose some
kind to us, may receive this hut and thing to you. Our journey is a long my boat. Suffer me but to finish what one, and we have no provisions; I am I have begun, and I shall cheerfully foltoo infirm, or I would climb yonder low wherever you may lead. Pray sit pear-tree, and take a stock of its best down, in a few minutes my task will fruit with us; you are active and be ended.” Death, thus appealed to, obliging, and will, I am sure, Sir, get it could refuse no longer, and seated himfor us."
Death, with great condescen- self in a chair, from which he found it sion, complied, and ascending the tree, as difficult to rise as he had formerly gathered a great number of pears, which to descend from the pear-tree. His lihe threw down to old Schalken and his beration was bought at the expense of wife. At length he determined upon an additional fifty years, at the end of descending, but to his surprise and ap- which period, and exactly on their parent consternation, discovered that he birth-day, Jan Schalken and his wife was immovable ; nor would Jan allow died quietly in their bed, and the salt him to leave the tree until he had given water flowed freely in the little village, them a promise of living another half in which they had lived long enough to century.
be considered the father and mother of They jogged on in the old way for all its inhabitants. fifty years more, and Death came to