صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

On beauty soonest will the eye
A blemish or a stain descry;
In summer skies are soonest seen
The clouds that shade their light serene;
The fairest spots are foulest made,
When horrors their delights pervade :
And the young earth in beauty built,
Seem'd loathsome when accursed by guilt.
So fared it then. As gazing o'er
That scene which spread those towers before,
The courtiers saw, extended wide,
A broad black arch from side to side
Of the vast space extended glide ;
Spanning the heavens, and all below,
Within its dark and fearful bow.
The elder courtier then, who trod
In silence his


comrade near, At length broke forth,—“O mighty God!

Look, Garcias, what a sight is here !
By every saint that o'er us treads,

The azure pavement of the sky,
What is that sign in heaven that spreads

Its awful sable arch on high ?
By such a form we sure might scan
The rainbow's covenant-seal with man:
But there no beauteous tints are blending,
No colours in each other ending,
And not a ray of this fair night
Hath gem'd it with a spark of light ;
But all is fearful, black, and strange,
Without one tint its hue to change !"
Then spake the younger courtier, who

Look'd on in fear, with stifled breath, " If old tradition's tales be true,

Yon apparition speaks of death!
Of royal death !-When monarchs die,

And down to dusky tombs are hurl'd,
Their fates are spoke by earth and sky,

And read and mourn'd by half the world ;
And this thou know'st may we believe,
And the dark sign as truth receive

At such an hour as this :
Yon fearful, sable midnight bow
Our king's descent may well foreshow;

To the grave's dark abyss;
For ne'er did time and fate unite
To form so wild and fair a sight
Of gloom and brilliance, darkness, light,
A scene of pleasure and affright;

Of all, and aught save bliss. “ Unhappy Charles !"—the gale swept by,

And they who to the wild winds wake, Well know that oft some fearful cry

Seems with their hollow sounds to break.

Unhappy Charles !-that gale replied,

Then came a shriek like demons howling; When in their hour of fiendish pride,

O'er some new victim they are scowling! Each courtier sprang with beating heart, And quick drawn breath and sudden start, Nearer the palace, whence there came Bright flashes of unearthly flame ! As if the sprite who rules the air Had come with all his terrors there, To bear his royal living prey To realms of darkness far away. But yet those courtiers could not stand Like some who form the lordly band, And leave their king alone to lie In death's most dark extremity; And not one former friend be near, His parting soul to soothe and cheer ; And thus, though terror bound them fast, On to the palace quick they pass'd. Within the dreary chamber shone

No livid fires, no fames were streaming ; One pallid watch-light's ray alone

Was through the dark apartment gleaming.
And not one echo of that sound
Was heard throughout the palace round;
It was as if the awful cry
Did with those lurid meteors die,
And all attendants silence kept,
As if the king for ever slept ;

Save where the sound arose,
Of the low prayer, and sullen toll
That hymn'd to rest the parting soul,
That its last hours might peaceful roll,

And calm in death repose.
'Tis known to all, that men have said,
In death the heart may best be read ;
For then is torn the veil away
That life wraps round our mortal clay ;
And gives unto the world's slight view
Virtues and crimes alike untrue :
But when Death's talisman is there,
Deceptions all must melt in air,
Then all we shew is plain and sooth,
And all our words are words of truth.
So 'twas with Charles :--to guilt resign'd,
His loves and passions, heart and mind,
Grew darker and more stain'd with sin,
As guilt sway'd more his breast within :
And then so false his heart reflected,
That crimes on crimes pass'd undetected,
And conscience sear'd by long delay,
Spake not until his dying day.


That day was come :-around his bed

Some few unwilling took their stand ;
And fewer still a tear-drop shed

O'er the lost ruler of their land.
Oh! 'twas a sight both sad and dread
To view that now uncrowned head,
Rack'd with vain fantasy's control,
Unruled by reason's power his soul,
Disease and pain around him flung,
Distress and madness on his tongue,
Which thus in passion's fits would wake,
Till nature's ties in pity break.
" Rivers of ice are round me flowing !

Transport me where the golden sun,
With noontide heat is ever glowing,

And his bright race is never done.
I did not bid ye, slaves, embrace

My frozen limbs with Iceland snows;
But bear me bleeding from the chase,
Warm furs around my form to close,
O heaven! I shiver,

And if thou wilt but hear my cry,

Oh ! let not this keen agony
Around my frozen members quiver.
It is as marble to my heart !

Now through my brain
A thousand lightnings dart,

And yet I mourn in vain !
Aye,-Now the genial warmth returns again;

But that return
Brings with it shafts of fire and scorching pain,

Oh God I burn!
Whence come those flames that round my couch are spreading?
Whence come those fends that on my bed are treading?
Oh! Death ! thy near approach my soul is dreading;

My guards there, -Ho!
Seize ye upon that demon,-chain that fiend,
I am a monarch yet,and to the end

I will be so !
What forms are these whose glances shed
A pale yet fearful light on me?

that watch beside the dead,
Their cold blue eyes appear to be.
No, they are living men; for there
Is Charles of France, the crowned heir
Of him, the Wise, who stands beside
His brother's form,--and men say died
By those slow poisons !-O my brain
To madness wanders back again ;
Both my elixirs might defy,
For if they drank, they did not die.”

Like lamps


He ceased ; and from a source unknown

Red Hames burst out his couch around;
Then wilder horrors mark'd each groan.

And frantic grew each dying sound.
For none, though many a heart was brave,
Those fires could quench, the king could save ;
Till death had closed all mortal strife
With pain, with nature, and with life;

gave the sign that all was o'er,
That Charles of Navarre breathed no more.
He fell, and round the regal tower

Where once he lived, where thus he died,
E'en in that dark and dreadful hour,

The SABLE Bow expanded wide !
It spread o'er all created things

That from the palace ye descry ;
And still appears when evil kings

Are call'd into eternity!


The traveller shall come, he who knew me in health and beauty shall come, his eyes shall

search the meads, but shall not find me. -OSSIAN,



the northern blast “ wi angry sough" dominated more or less over the minds whistles bleakly over the heath-covered of the weak, the credulous, and the iga hills, listening to the gude wife as she norant ; and more especially when the relates the tales “ of other times;” tales Catholic religion was the established still replete with interest, as they chefaith, when the belief in miracles, the rish that national attachment, which so adoration attached to sacred relics, and particularly distinguishes this free and the unequivocal dominion the priests brave people. held over the minds of the uninformed, The inhabitants of the mountain huts contributed to render the light of reason even yet remember the Legend of Dunmore obscure.

Yet in those ages this morven. credulity was not entirely confined to

When the storm shall rage bleak, the uncultivated intellects of the vulgar, O'er auld Aughtercla's grave, and even now all classes cling with ro And the tower of Dunmorven mantic fondness to the long cherished Shall sink in the wave, and far-traced traditions of the days of

Then the last of the line their father's ; for time having en wrapt

Shall meet with his doom ;

And Dunmorven's proud heir their origin in his own dark mantle of

Find a watery tomb. obscurity, renders them still dearer from Then the storm shall rage bleak the mystery in which they are enve

O'er auld Aughtercla's grave, loped.

And the tower of Dunmorven

Will sink in the wave. Now, as formerly, the natives of the more remote parts of the Highlands of The wandering stranger, or way-wom Scotland will sit around their peat fires, traveller, often found an hospitable welthrough the long winter nights, when come beneath the stately roof of Dun

morven Castle, whose lofty turrets his vows to another, and therefore preproudly overlooked the northern wave, pared to lead his clan to the assistance which lashed with incessant violence of a neighbouring chieftain. Yet his the rock on which it stood. The tower, brave and generous mind disdained to to which the tradition alluded, was the bend at the shrine of interest or ambiremains of a small fortress, placed at tion, and still wished to cherish a linthe base of the rock, as a watch-tower, gering hope of future bliss. to guard the castle from the incursions It was evening when he bent his way of the Danish invaders, or hostile chief to the lonely hovel where she resided, tains of their own mountains. The pro and the awful stillness that reigned phecy had long been sung by the old through the air proclaimed an approachminstrels of the house of Dunmorven, ing storm ; the sun, like a ball of fire, when the halls resounded with festivity rolled on a mountain cloud, into whose and mirth, and the wassail bowl was dark bosom it sunk, as if in eternal drained to the health of the laird ; and night, for the darkness that succeeded so strongly was the truth of it impressed was horrible ; yet neither the darkness, on the minds of each succeeding gene the sullen brooding tempest, nor the ration, that the boldest of the clan could rising blast which fearfully swept along 1 ot pass the grave of auld Aughtercla, the plain, could deter Allan from urgor view the nodding tower rock fearfully ing his dreary way to the habitation of with the wintry blast, without trembling his soul's best treasure. He arrived for the fate of the then existing heir. there, the door was opened, and amid Yet time rolled on, and generation after a pious circle, where the little family generation mouldered into dust; the were assembled, he beheld her be sought; tradition was enrolled among the current every eye was raised to heaven in heartsuperstitions of the mountains, and the felt devotion; hers seemed to have ascradle of each infant heir was lulled to sumed an expression of piety still more the lay that recorded the fearful warning. celestial. The smile that welcomed At length the terrors of the devoted vas his approach quickly gave place to a sals were raised to new apprehensions, deep sigh of silent anguish, when she by the death of Donald, the oldest son understood he had come to bid her a of the laird, which left Allan, the youn last farewell. He perceived that sorger, the last and sole remaining heir of row was deeply rooted in her heart, and the noble house of Dunmorven. Allan, that, in wishing to transplant this fair to the grief and dismay of his father, blossom to his bosom, he had caused a cherished an unfortunate attachment for blight to descend on its sweetness, the lovely daughter of one of the hum- which had sapped its strength, and wiblest of his clansmen. Sweet as the thered its bloom. Her words spoke reviolet rears its azure head beneath the signation, but her look betrayed it was clustered fern, and as unheeded, bloom rather the effort of calm despair; and ed the innocent Annie; and though when he would have soothed her, when the unfeeling proud one, in all the he would have awakened a hope of fuhaughtiness inspired by superior rank, ture happiness, it was too evident that might regard her with disdain, yet the even the delusions of hope had lost their eye of affection could not hnd a more charms for her. She had long acknowpure and spotless heart than that which ledged a conviction that she could never resided in her fair bosom. Love, free become the bride of the heir of Dunas the mountain wind, refused to bow morven, and she had long struggled to to the mandate of an imperious parent ; conquer an affection which daily gained and, though forced to resign bis Annie, strength in her heart ; but the effort was young Allan preferred a temporary exile now past, and she was prepared for from the house of his father to plighting their final separation. The night ad

« السابقةمتابعة »