Page images

Yorshiremen, stern of mood, who, in the wars, They come from hill and lowland, town and cot,
between the Roses, supported the banners of
York and all-conquering Warwick.

As in great gatherings of the olden time
The Dales assembled: only war forgot,

They meet for peace instead of strife and crime.
A brighter scene could seldom Minstrel greet,

The Shawl with green woods waving at his feet,
Those groups of damsels fair and stalwart men ;
The landscape wide, mountain, and plain, and

The centre of attraction is the grand marquee, some fifty yards long, pitched in front of the larger alcove, so close to the precipice's dizzy edge, that a strong wooden barrier, concealed by laurels and wreaths of roses, is necessary to ensure safety. One side is open, and what a view do we thence command of hill and valley; the castles, the towns, the woods, the river, all bathed in the rich glow of a summer afternoon's sunshine! Within all is merriment and flowers; the crimson and white drapery is literally garlanded with blooms; while the tables are surrounded with by far the fairest blossoms Nature produces-lovely women!

Nor must we overlook the repast to which that merry tinkling of cups and tea-spoons invites us, nor forget to pay our thanks to the presiding nymphs of the mountain-those charming maids whose care provided it, and who are now busily engaged dispensing it to their smiling visitors. We seem sitting in a garden; so plentiful are flowers above us, and around us, and before us on the board. But as some, not poetically constituted, require other senses beside that of sight to be feasted, there is an ample supply of the Chinese herb, and of viands delicate and substantial; and we assure you, reader, you will in the course of a long life find few opportunities of relishing a cup of tea and a cheesecake in so romantic a spot as this our Leyburn Shawl on its Festival Day.

[blocks in formation]

Scenes of historic fame; lo, where aloft

Middleham's grey towers arise-a kingly pile; And Bolton-breathe it in a whisper soft

Who shall name Mary's prison-house and smile?

E'en 'mid our festival the passing thought

May well a mournful recollection wake,
To every heart by hoar tradition brought-
Forgive one tear for that lorn captive's sake.

Behold where, far beneath, the devious Yore

Urges his gather'd waters to the main ; And as the breeze subsides, his cataract's roar Rises and falls like dreamy music's strain.

Oh pleasant spot! 'twas in a happy hour
That first this celebration was devis'd.
Here may no clouds of work-day sorrow lour-
Here is that joy by truthful spirits priz'd.

Music and dance beneath the greenwood tree,

As in Arcadian times by poets sung;
A blameless feast, from all excesses free,
Suiting alike the aged and the young.

Thousands of smiling faces gladly met—

Kinsfolk, and friends, and lovers. Who shall say What young hearts shall this meeting ne'er forget, But bless through future years the golden day?

So flourish long such festival; and when

Summer comes lightly to fair Wensleydale,
When linnets warble wild in shaw and glen,

And gentle cushats tell love's plaintive tale

Still, e'en as now, upon the lofty height,

Be gather'd from afar the joyous crowdSmile rosy lips, and kind eyes beam as bright, As woe could never wound nor sorrow cloud.

All bright things must fade, and all happy days have an end. The Festival is over; so we walk homewards through the soft moonlight, but not alone: crowds are around us-hundreds of happy hearts and laughing faces. If our bosom feels somewhat lonely because one is not beside us, we can, nevertheless, rejoice in their joy. The music plays, the banners stream; we re-enter the little town, somewhat in the guise of a victorious host, only no secret tears will fall over our triumph. To rest, to rest! there is weariness even in unforbidden pleasure.

And now, reader, we take our leave. Our object in this imperfect sketch has simply been to bring into more general notice a successful attempt on the part of a few humble undistinguished young tradesmen to provide for the amusement of their fellow-townsmen, and to establish a rural festival, which, whilst its character is unique in these utilitarian days, must meet the approbation of all right-thinking men.

The Lover's Leap.


Of late years too little encouragement has | tival, though the promoters, like the writer of been given to harmless pastimes. It is well to this article, do not at all profess or advocate teach the People; but it must not be forgotten teetotalism. No police have ever been present; that they require recreation also; for, as the yet on all the seven past anniversaries, notwithhomely proverb says truly-" All work and no standing the congregated crowds, not one play makes Jack a dull boy :" we might add in offence has been committed, nor one disturbmost cases, a mischievous one likewise. We have ance caused. shown that a perception of natural beauty, and a spirit for tasteful improvement, exist amongst the middle classes, and that they do not invariably seek gratification in sensual indulgences. No intoxicating liquor is allowed to be sold on the grounds at the Leyburn Fes


In conclusion, we again say-and we hope all gentle readers of the New Monthly Belle Assemblée will unite with us in the encomiumhonour be to those young men who founded the LEYBURN SHAWL TEA FESTIVAL!



In the upper district of South Wales, that country which abounds in all that is picturesque and beautiful in nature, there was one spot, that for wild and magnificent scenery was unequalled; it appeared to attract universal attention; whether it was the loveliness of the landscape, or the legend attached to it, or both, certain it is no traveller ever visited those regions without endeavouring to become acquainted with its beauties. It bore the romantic name of the Lovers' Leap, from an incident which occurred many years ago.

At that time there dwelt-in an ancient, gloomy-looking mansion, situated in a small park, beautifully wooded, and which would have been a delightful retreat, did not everything around bespeak neglect and decay-an old man, the proprietor of the estate, of so stern and morose an aspect, and so violent a temper, that he was at once feared and hated by all around. An only child resided with him-a daughter, who, in common with the servants and neighbours, daily suffered from his fierce passions. She was in her seventeenth year, and as sweet and lovely a creature as can be imagined, with a disposition of such exceeding goodness as rendered her beloved in proportion as her father was disliked. They led a most retired life; never in the memory of the oldest inhabitant had more than one guest been admitted within his inhospitable doors; that one, alas! too much like himself to promise an increase of happiness or comfort to his child: he paid an annual visit of three months; but his manners were so coarse, and there was such an expression of malignant cunning in his otherwise handsome countenance, that during the whole time, Mary, feeling an intuitive dread of his presence, shut herself as much as possible in her apartment; and though of late he had endeavoured constantly to engage her in conversation, his wishes were always unattended with success; for she invariably shrunk from him, and retired as precipitately as possible to her own room. Phillips-for that was the name of her persecutor-being struck, during


his last visit, with her increased beauty, and knowing whoever she married would, on the death of the old man, become the possessor of immense wealth, he proposed to her father, who on his part eagerly accepted the offer, without once considering the happiness of his child, then at stake; all that appeared of importance to him were the known riches of his intended son-inlaw; and though there were strange reports respecting the manner in which he had acquired his property, they did not give the slightest uneasiness: it was sufficient to know him to be the actual proprietor of countless hoards.

The bargain-for I can call it nothing elsewas struck. Phillips, in conclusion, adding, that as he must leave Whilton Court in three days, he should like the marriage to be celebrated on the following one, but feared Mary's compliance with his request.

The imperious old man, not having for a moment consulted the feelings of the poor girl whose fate he had sealed, rose on hearing these words, and ringing the bell, ordered the servant to summon his daughter to his presence instantly; then turning to Phillips, added, You shall see whether anybody in this house dare presume to act in opposition to my commands."


At this moment Mary, utterly unconscious of the trial that awaited her, entered the room; the expression of her father's countenance struck her with dismay, and she would have retired, but that he ordered her to be seated, and without further preface abruptly informed her of the engagement he had entered into on her behalf. She was completely thunderstruck, having always regarded the person proposed to her with such extreme abhorrence, that, if possible to avoid it, nothing would ever induce her to spend an instant in his society; judge, then, of her agony, at the prospect of having such a companion for life, and that too on so short a notice! At first she tried to move her parent by tears and entreaties; but finding him inexorable, and all alike unavailing, she dried her eyes, and prepared to leave the apartment.

Though mild and gentle in the usual tenor of her life, Mary when roused had a spirit and energy that astonished those who witnessed her firmness. On this occasion it did not desert her. Arrived at the door, she turned round, and declared that nothing on earth should ever induce her to become the bride of a wretch so mean and cowardly as Phillips; for that he was so his whole conduct proved, otherwise he would scorn to take advantage of her helpless situation, and press his suit notwithstanding her known hatred of him. "I have hitherto," she added, "been a dutiful and affectionate daughter; you have rejected my prayers and intercessions, in a point, too, where the whole happiness of my life is concerned; you will find me alike deaf to your threats and commands, for never while I have breath will I consent to such a proposal; rather would I be carried out of the house a lifeless corse, than become united to a creature so despicable."

return he could catch but a glimpse of her sweet figure in passing one of the windows. Sometimes, but those occasions were very rare, the lovers would meet and renew their vows of affection; but each succeeding interview was rendered more difficult, in consequence of the strict watch kept on her actions. . To escape, and endeavour to reach her friend's house, was now her intention; for to remain where she was, with the dreadful prospect before her, she did not for an instant contemplate. No time was to be lost; hastily tying on a bonnet and scarf, she quietly descended the stairs, and happily escaped free from observation. Once in the grounds, she directed her steps to the abode of her friend, to gain which in all expedition, she resolved to take the short, though dangerous, road over the cliffs, that rose perpendicularly on each side of a small river dividing the lands of their respective parents. She had a double motive for going in that direction, it being the path usually taken by her lover when endeavouring to obtain an interview with herself; there was therefore a hope of meeting with him: could that only be accomplished, she seemed to feel assured of her safety. Accordingly, with hasty steps she commenced the perilous ascent, scarcely pausing to take breath, so apprehensive was she of being discovered. Alas! her fears were too soon realized, for hardly was she half-way up, when the sound of voices eager in the pursuit struck painfully on her ear. She renewed her Nothing daunted, Mary turned to depart, casting, efforts; but the difficulties and dangers of the as she did so, a withering expression of contempt mountain path were so great, that a young woon her persecutor, who during the scene had sat man more delicately brought up must have regarding her with a countenance in which ad- either lain down exhausted, or have been commiration of her beauty, and spite and malice for pelled to turn her steps back to the residence the terms in which she had spoken of himself, she had abandoned; but the solitary wanderings were blended. Had she known half that was of Mary had inured her to fatigue, and the passing in the mind of that bold, bad man, she deeper cause of terror which urged her to flight would have been more guarded in her expres-rendered her insensible to the perils of her way, sions respecting him. She paused for an instant to collect her scattered senses, and could plainly distinguish the voices

She had proceeded thus far without interruption, astonishment having for a time kept the old man silent. Recovering himself, he rose from his chair: clenching his fist, while his eyes literally flashed fire, he swore with a dreadful oath, that without delay would he have the ceremony performed. "And now, girl," he added, go to your room, and see that, on the peril of your life, my orders are obeyed; for by all that is sacred my will shall be law; let me see who dares dispute it."


Once more in her chamber, she considered the only plan the agitation of her thoughts pre-of Phillips and his servant, who it was evident sented to her. Mary had, some months pre- were fast gaining upon her. Though ready to vious to the commencement of my story, formed sink into the ground with apprehension, she an acquaintance with a brother of one of her strove to gain the summit; but her progress was schoolfellows, whose parents resided on a neigh- much impeded by the nature of the ground, bouring estate, and whom she had met on one which was rugged and broken; and as she toiled of the very few visits she had been permitted to breathless and panting up the sides of the hill, make. An attachment, as sincere as it was ar- the prospect of again falling into the power of dent, had arisen between them. Mary, though her dreaded enemy gave vigour to her weakened of a most loving temper, had from her childhood frame: one more effort, and the highest rock been obliged to restrain all such emotions; now would be attained; she bounded forward, and that she had an object on whom she could be- reached the projecting point in safety. A few stow her affections, it appeared as though all yards from where she stood, a small bridge had the warm feelings of her nature, so long pent been thrown across the cliffs, which in this place up, burst forth and concentrated themselves were separated only a short distance from each upon the one idolized being, with whom her other, as if to form a passage for the deep dark very existence appeared interwoven; and none waters that so silently flowed below; thither she that knew Henry Leslie could wonder at the turned to pursue her course, when-oh! horror sentiment with which he had inspired her. and dismay!-between her and the little bridge Strong as was her attachment for him, it was, if stood the object of her dread and detestation, possible, more than reciprocated; for he actually the abhorred Phillips, who having caught a worshipped her, and would roam whole days glimpse of her person as she climbed the hill, in the grounds surrounding the house in which and guessing her determination, had with great she dwelt, thinking himself amply repaid, if in speed ascended by another pathway, in order to

Lines to Mrs. Abdy.

intercept her passage, and now stood confront- | Thou never didst return! thy foes combining,
ing her with a look of malignant triumph, and
preventing all possibility of escape.

Heaped foul reproach upon thy honoured name-
That name among the bright the brightest shining,
Hath proved at once "their glory and their shame;"
And in the lapse of ages onward flying,

Men, as they point to Tuscany, will say-
"There was he born-that son of song undying!
Why resteth not his frame in kindred clay-
The Poet, Warrior, Statesmen-why was he
Thrust forth, to roam afar in abject penury?"

At this moment her lover appeared on the opposite cliff. Separated but a few yards, without a chance of reaching him-for already could she see her father and some workmen approaching -Mary formed the desperate resolution of attempting to leap the dreary gulph that lay between them. "Better to perish in the effort, than return to be the bride of that wretch!" was her inward ejaculation. Despair lent her courage; she made a spring-but, alas! alas! the distance was too great; she fell down the Boccacio states that liberty was obtained from the chasm which yawned to receive her, and was lost Florentine government for Dante to return, on conto the view of her despairing lover. Astonish-dition that he should remain awhile in prison, then do penance at the principal church during a festival solemnity; on which the poet observes, in a letter preserved in the Laurentian library, "This is not the way of return to my country for me. Yet if you, or any body else, can find another, which shall not comslow to take it. But if by such an one he may not promise the fame and honour of Dante, I will not be return to Florence-to Florence he will never return."

ment had for an instant paralysed his powers; recovering from the shock, he uttered, in words that made the rocks re-echo, "United in death !" and bounding over the side, sunk into the dark waters which had for ever closed over his beloved Mary-a sudden splash, a sullen moan, and they rolled on silently and slowly over the bodies of the hapless lovers!


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Not o'er the ruins of fall'n Carthage weeping,

Did banished Marius more august appear,

Than thou, oh, Dante! with thy glance far sweeping-
That glance of pride ineffably severe;
As by the walls of old Tulmino sitting,

Upon that lonely rock-that rugged throne,
Reared by immortal hands, and thus made fitting

For thee, first of Italia's bards, alone Unrivalled-leader of a band,

The pride and glory of thy sunny land.

Thou, exiled, and in want-thy heart still yearning
Towards the ungrateful country of thy birth—
Couldst yet to higher themes thy thoughts be turning,
Bidding defiance to the woes of earth,
And the sublime creations of thy brain
Singing, in Poesy's most lofty strain.


Thou never didst return, or dead or living-
Ravenna gave thy bones a resting-place;
Still, though of spirit proud, thou wast forgiving,
And, had it not been coupled with disgrace,
Again in Florence had assumed thy dwelling,

The home of infancy and manhood's prime;
But no: the terms were such, thy soul rebelling,
Compliance scorned; unconscious of a crime,
How couldst thou stoop to act the penitent-
Or how submit to dark imprisonment?


I never have met thee-thou seem'st from afar
To gleam on my sight like an exquisite star,
Yet thy beautiful lays in my thoughts are enshrin'd,
And I deem that in them I can image thy mind.
In genius and worth thou art sure to excel;
I will try my poor power to depicture thee well.

Thou art gifted-yet art not self-glorious and proud,
Nor dost thou contemptuously turn from the crowd;
Nor dost thou thy knowledge attempt to convey
By vain, overbearing, pedantic display-

He, like an eagle to its quarry flying,

Returned to Rome, and bathed him deep in blood, But thy mind, of sweet womanly talent the seat, To gratify a fierce revenge, and dying, Gives brightness and peace to thy hours of retreat.

Hath left a name detested by the good;

Thou art gentle-no ear has from thee ever heard
The bitter allusion, the petulant word,
The haughty assertion, the sullen reply;
The blunt contradiction, the tone raised and high,

And when angry opponents intrude on thy path,
Thou canst give the "soft answer" that "turns away

Thou art cheerful-thy spirit can sportively play
With all the light, trifling events of the day;
Thou art quick to remark manners, habits, and looks;
Thy words show acquaintance with men and with

Yet thou breathest no harsh inuendo or sneer,
Which the weak and the timid might tremble to hear.

Thou art pious-while searching thy pages within,
We hail the pure mind unpolluted by sin;
We feel that the writer is good as she's wise,
And that daily she lifts her pure thoughts to the skies.
I trust that my portrait may forcibly strike:
Ye who know the sweet poetess, say, is it like?




(From the German of Carl Borromäns Cünzer.)

BY M. A, Y.

I had quitted the capital with the Prince von T, weary of its intrigues, its heat, its politics, its splendour and wretchedness, and had spent eight calm, happy days at Clarenweise, the country-seat of a relative of his Highness, situated in one of the wildest of those lovely valleys which render the banks of the Rhine so picturesque, so enchanting. Apart from the charms communicated to it by the lovely combinations of mountain and valley, meadow and stream, rocks and wooded slopes, Clarenweise was in itself interesting. It had in former, and not very remote days, been the Convent of St. Clare, and still retained many vestiges of its original purpose, and a certain degree of sternness of aspect which not all the luxuries and modifications of its present noble owners could obliterate.

One of the most interesting objects about it to me was a clematis augustifolia, which had spread its luxuriant branches along two-thirds of one of the walls which encircled the south terrace, opposite the windows of the saloon. This wall had crumbled away in several places, and it was proposed entirely to remove it, and substitute an iron railing, which would open the prospect beyond to the view of the inhabitants. But then the clematis must be taken up. Some advised that it should be transplanted, and the lofty, prison-like wall removed: others were of opinion that the plant was too old, and its roots too deeply struck to admit of its being taken up; and arguing the point, we walked towards the object of dispute.

As we approached the spot loud and angry voices were heard, and we beheld an aged woman vehemently striving with several of the gardeners in defence, it seemed, of the clematis. Uttel! Uttel! What is all this?" exclaimed the daughter of our hostess.


"Ah, dear young lady!" replied the old woman, in a feeble, hoarse voice, "I am half dead with crying to these fellows that they shall take my life before I will see this shrub torn up. I planted it here before any of you were born; I have watered it with my tears, trained it with these feeble hands; it has been the confidant of my sorrows; and now ye would pluck it up, and cast down the wall! So it is! old things are to be rooted out and destroyed to make way for the young ones, who dream not that their turn will one day come!"

[blocks in formation]

"Alas, yes! But one cannot but pardon her; she has suffered so much. When this was a convent, she was one of the lay-sisters, and on the breaking up of the institution she alone remained to nurse a sick person-that Rosa of whom she spoke, and on whose grave she will sit by the hour together, or under yon clematis. Hers is a melancholy tale; but if you are curious to know it, I will take you to her some morning early, before she has drunk. She is reasonable enough then, poor thing."

I did not forget to remind the Countess of her promise; and a few days afterwards she led me to Uttel's hut, and, after much persuasion and the bribe of some excellent snuff, the old woman opened a small inlaid box, and took from thence a book, which, after having gazed upon, wept over, and kissed, she handed to me; making me, however, promise not to take it from under her roof, and to read its contents aloud to her; and when I agreed, she crouched down on her bed to listen. I opened the book, which was worn, and the binding of which was blotted as with tears.

« PreviousContinue »