Page images

By far Lochard or Aberfoyle.
But nearer was the copsewood grey,
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray,
And mingled with the pine-trees blue
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.
Fresh vigor with the hope return'd,
With flying foot the heath he spurn'd,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.

'T were long to tell what steeds gave o'er,
As swept the hunt through Cambus-more;
What reins were tighten'd in despair,
When rose Benledi's ridge in air;
Who flagg'd upon Bochastle's heath,
Who shunn'd to stem the flooded Teith,
For twice that day, from shore to shore,
The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er.
Few were the stragglers, following far,
That reach'd the lake of Vennachar;
And when the Brigg of Turk was won
The headmost horseman rode alone.

Alone, but with unbated zeal,
That horseman plied the scourge and steel;
For jaded now, and spent with toil,
Emboss'd with foam, and dark with soil,
While every gasp with sobs he drew,
The laboring stag strain'd full in view.

Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed,
Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed,
Fast on his flying traces came .
And all but won that desperate game;
For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch,
Vindictive toil'd the bloodhounds staunch;
Nor nearer might the dogs attain,
Nor farther might the quarry strain.
Thus up the margin of the lake,
Between the precipice and brake,
O’er stock and rock their race they take.

The hunter marked that mountain high,
The lone lake's western boundary,
And deem'd the stag must turn to bay,
Where that huge rampart barr'd the way;
Already glorying in the prize,
Measured his antlers with his eyes;
For the death-wound and death-halloo,
Muster'd his breath, his whinyard drew; -
But thundering as he came prepared,
With ready arm and weapon bared,
The wily quarry shunn'd the shock,
And turn'd him from the opposing rock;
Then, dashing down a darksome glen,
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken,
In the deep Trosachs' wildest nook
His solitary refuge took.
There, while close couch'd, the thicket shed

Cold dews and wild-flowers on his head,
He heard the baffled dogs in vain
Rave through the hollow pass amain.
Chiding the rocks that yell’d again.

Close on the hounds the hunter came,
To cheer them on the vanish'd game;
But, stumbling in the rugged dell,
The gallant horse exhausted fell.
The impatient rider strove in vain
To rouse him with the spur and rein,
For the good steed, his labors o'er,
Stretch'd his stiff limbs, to rise no more;
Then, touch'd with pity and remorse,
He sorrow'd o'er the expiring horse.
“I little thought, when first thy rein
I slack'd upon the banks of Seine,
That Highland eagle e'er should feed
On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed!
Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day,
That cost thy life, my gallant grey!”



Edgar Allan Poe was born in Baltimore, Md., February 19, 1809, and died there October 7, 1849.

n NCE, upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered

weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten

lore — While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came

a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my cham

ber door: “ 'T is some visitor," I muttered, “ tapping at my

chamber door — Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember! It was in the bleak De

cember, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost

upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to

· borrow From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the

lost Lenore — For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels

name Lenore – Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple

curtain Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never

felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood

repeating “ 'T is some visitor entreating entrance at my cham

ber door — Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber

door; — This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no

longer, “Sir," said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I

implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came

rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my

chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you,”— here I opened

wide the door:Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there

wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to

dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,

« PreviousContinue »