Page images
PDF
EPUB

LORD WILLIAM AND EDMUND.

No eye beheld when William plunged

Young Edmund in the stream ;
No human ear, save William's, heard

Young Edmund's drowning scream.

Submissive all the vassals owned

The murderer for their Lord :
And he-now rightful heir--possessed

The house of Erlingford.

But never could Lord William dare

To gaze on Severn's stream:
In every wind that swept its waves,

He heard young Edmund scream !

In vain at midnight's silent hour,

Sleep closed the murderer's eyes ; In every dream, the murderer saw

Young Edmund's form arise !

Each hour was tedious-long, yet swift

Twelve months appeared to roll; And now the day returned, that shook

With terror William's soul.

A fearful day was that! the rains

Fell fast, with tempest roar,
And the swoln tide of Severn spread

Far on the level shore.

Reluctant, now as night came on,

His lonely couch he pressed;
And, wearied out, he sank to sleep,

To sleep—but not to rest.

When lo! the voice of loud alarm

His inmost soul appals“ What ho! Lord William rise in haste !

The water saps the walls !”

He rose in haste, beneath the walls

He saw the flood appear : It hemmed him round—'twas midnight now,

No human aid was near.

He heard a shout of joy! for pow

A boat approached the wall; And eager to the welcome aid

He sprang with joyous call.

The boatman plied the oar, the boat

Went light along the stream ;Sudden Lord William heard a cry,

Like Edmund's dying seream.

“ I heard a child's distressful scream"

The boatman cried again; Nay, hasten on-the night is dark,

And we should search in vain.”

Oh, God! Lord William, dost thou know

How dreadful 'tis to die?
And canst thou, without pity, hear

A child's expiring cry?

" How horrible it is to sink

Beneath the chilly stream;
To stretch the powerless arms in vain !

In vain for help to scream!”

The shriek again was heard, it came

More deep, more piercing loudThat instant, o'er the flood, the moon

Shone through a broken cloud;

And near them they beheld a child;

Upon a crag he stood, A little crag, and all around

Was spread the rising flood.

“ Now reach thy hand,” the boatman cried,

“ Lord William, reach and save;" The child stretched forth his little hands

To grasp the band he gave.

Then William shrieked ;- the hand he touched

Was cold, and damp, and dead ! He felt young Edmund in his arms,

A heavier weight than lead !

For mercy help,” the murderer cried,

As he sank in the raging stream; He rose-he shrieked-no human ear Heard William's drowning scream.

SOUTHEY. Adap.

THE INCHCAPE ROCK.

The good old abbot of Aberbrothock
Had fixed a large bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On the waves of the storm it floated and swung,
And louder and louder its warning rung.
When the rock was hid by the surge's swell,
The mariners heard the warning bell :
And then they knew the perilous rock,
And blessed the priest of Aberbrothock.
The sun in heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that fine day;
The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled around,
And there was pleasure in the sound.
The float of the Inchcape bell was seen,
A darker spot on the ocean green;
When Sir Ralph the pirate walked the deck,
And he quickly perceived the distant speck.
As soon as he knew 'twas the bell and float,
Quoth he, “My men put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
For I'll plague the priest of Aberbrothock.”
The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And cut the warning bell from the float !
This ill-deed done, he sailed away,
And scoured the seas for many a day;
At last grown rich with plundered store,
He steered his course for Scotland's shore.
So thick a haze o'erspread the sky,
He could not see the sun on high;
The wind bad blown a gale all day,
At evening it had died away.
On deck the rover takes his stand :
Said he, I wish we saw the land;
For where we are I cannot tell,
0, I should like to hear the Inchcape Bell !
They hear no sound, the swell is strong,
Though the wind has fallen, they drift along,
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock-
Alas ! it is on the Inchcape Rock!”
Sir Ralph then wildly tore his hair,
He cursed himself in wild despair;
But the waves rush'd in on every side,
And the vessel sank beneath the tide.-SOUTHEY.-Adap.

THE BELLS.

Hear the sledges with the bells

Silver bells ! What a world of merriment their melody foretells ! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinabulation that so musically swells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, belís, belís—
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
Hear the loud alarum bells

Brazen bells !
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells.

In the startled 'ear of night
How_they scream out their affright!

Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek and shriek,

Out of tune.
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,-

Leaping higher, higher, higher,

With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavour

Now-now to soar or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.

Oh, the bells, bells, bells,
What a tale their terror tells

Of despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!

What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!

Yet the ear too fully knows,

By the twanging,

And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Still the ear distinctly tells

In the jangling,

And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the b

Of the bells
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells
In the clamour and the clangour of the bells !-EDC.

BETH-GELERT.

The spearmen heard the bugle sound,

When gaily smiled the morn,
And many a brach, and many a hound,

Attend Llewellyn's horn.

“Where does my faithful Gelert roam ?

The flower of all his race;
So true, so brave ; a lamb at home,

A lion in the chace !

Only at the Welsh prince's board

The faithful Gelert fed ; He watched, he served, he cheered his lord,

And sentineled his bed.

In sooth he was a peerless hound,

The gift of royal John:
But now no Gelert could be found,

So all the train rode on.

That day Llewellyn little loved

The chace of hart or hare;
And scant and small the booty proved,

For Gelert was not there.

Displeased, Llewellyn homeward hied :

When near the portal seat,
His truant Gelert he espied,

Bounding his lord to greet.
But when he gained his castle door,

Aghast the chieftain stood;
The hound was smeared with drops of gore,

His lips and fangs ran blood !
Onward in haste Llewellyn past,

And on went Gelert too;
And still where'er his eyes he cast,

Fresh blood-drops shocked his view !
O'erturned his infant's bed he found,

The blood-stained covert rent; And all around the walls and ground

With recent blood besprent.

He called his child, no voice replied

He searched with terror wild; Blood ! blood he found on every side,

But no-where found his child !

« PreviousContinue »