« ElőzőTovább »
Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had bound.
Full many á scutcheon and banner, riven,
Shook to the cold night wind of heaven,
Around the screened altar's pale;
And there the dying lamps did burn,
Before thy low and lonely urn,
O gallant chief of Otterburne,
And thine dark Knight of Liddisdale'
O fading honors of the dead !
O high ambitioni, lowly laid !
The moon on the east oriel shone,
Through síender shafts of shapely stone,
By foliaged tracery combined:
Thou would'st have thought some fairy's hand
"Twixt poplars straight the osier wand,
In many a freakish knot, had twined:
Then framed a spell, when the work was done,
And changed the willow-wreaths to stone.
The silver light, so pale and faint,
Showed many a prophet, and many a saint,
Whose image on the glass was dyed:
Full in the midst, his Cross of Red
Triumphant Michael brandished,
And trampled the apostate's pride,
The moon-beam kissed the holy pane,
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain.
They sate them down on a marble stone,
A Scottish monarch slept below;
Thus spoke the Monk, in solemn tone:-
“I was not always a man of woe;
For Paynim countries I have trod,
And fought beneath the Cross of God:
Now strange to my eyes thine arms appear,
And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear.
* In these fair climes it was my lot
To meet the wondrous Michael Scott,
A wizard of such dreaded fame,
That when in Salamanca's cave
Him listed his magic wand to wave.
The bells would ring in Notre Dame.
Some of his skill he taught to me;
And, Warrior, I could say to thee
The words that cleft Eildon hills in three,
And bridled the Tweed yith a curb of stone.
But to speak them were ad eadly sin,
And for having but thought them my heart within
A treble penance must be done. “ When Michael lay on his dying bed
His conscience was awakened :
He bethought him of his sinful deed,
And he gave me a sign to come with speed.
I was in Spain when the morning rose,
But I stood by his bed ere evening close.
The words may not again be said
That he spoke to me on death-bed laid :
They would rend this Abbaye's massy nave
And pile it in heaps above his grave.
“I swore to bury his Mighty Book.
That never mortal might therein look;
And never to tell where it was hid,
Save at his chief of Branksome's need;
And when that need was past and o'er,
Again the volume to restore,
I buried him on St. Michael's night,
When the bell tolled one, and the moon was bright;
And I dug his chamber among the dead,
When the floor of the chancel was stained red,
That his patron's cross might over him wave,
And scare the fiends from the Wizard's grave.
It was a night of woe and dread
When Michael in the tomb I laid,
Strange sounds along the chancel past,
The banners waved without a blast.”
Still spoke the Monk when the bell tolled one,
I tell you that a braver man
Than William of Deloraine, good at need,
Against a foe ne'er spurred a steed;
Yet somewhat was he chilled with dread,
And his hair did bristle upon his head.
“ Lo. Warrior! now the Cross of Red
Points to the grave of the mighty dead ;
Within it burns a wondrous light
To chase the spirits that love the night:
That lamp shall burn unquenchably
Untii the eternal doom shall be,"
Slow moved the Monk to the broad flag-stone
Which the bloody Cross was traced upon :
He pointed to a secret 10k-
An iron bar the Warrior took :
And the Monk made a sign with his withered hand,
The grave's huge portal to expand.
With beating heart to the task he went-
His sinewy frame o'er the gravestone bent;
With bar of iron heaved amain,
Till the toil-drops fell from his brows like rain.
It was by dint of passing strength
That he moved the massy stone at length.
I would you had been there to see
How the light broke forth so gloriously-
Streamed upward to the chancel roof!
And through the galleries far aloof!
No earthly flame blazed e'er so bright,
It shone like heaven's own blessed light;
And issuing from the tomb,
Showed the Monk's cowl and visage pale,
Danced on the dark-browed Warrior's mail,
And kissed his waving plume.
Before their eyes the Wizard lay
As if he had not been dead a day.
His hoary beard in silver rolled,
He seemed some seventy winters old.
A palmer's amice wrapped him round
With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,
Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea.
His left hand held his Book of Might,
A silver cross was in his right;
The lamp was placed beside his knee.
High and majestic was his look,
At which the fellest fiends had shook,
And all unruffled was his face ;
They trusted his soul had gotten grace.
Otten had William of Deloraine
Rode through the battle's bloody plain,
And trampled down the warriors slain,
And neither known remorse or awe;
Yet now remorse and awe he owned;
His breath came thick, his head swam round,
When this strange scene of death he saw.
Bewildered and unnerved he stood,
And the priest prayed fervently and loud;
With eyes averted prayed he-
He might not endure the sight to see,
men he had loved so brotherly.
And when the priest his death-prayer had prayed
Thus unto Deloraine he saill :-
" Now speed thee what thou hast to do,
Or, Warrior, we may dearly rue ;
For those thou mayest not look upon
Are gathering fast round the yawning stone !"
Then Deloraine in terror took
From the cold hand the Mighty Book,
With iron clasped, and with iron bound :
He thought, as he took it, the dead man frowned,
But the glare of the sepulchral light
Perchance had dazzled the Warrior's sight.
When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb,
The night returned in double gloom;
For the mioou had gone down, and the stars were few;'
And as the Knight and Priest withdrew,
With wavering steps and dizzy brain,
They hardly might the postern gain.
"Tis said, as through the aisles they passed,
They heard strange noises on the blast:
And through the cloister-galleries small,
Which at mid-height thread the chancel wall,
Loud sobs, and laughter louder, rani,
And voices unlike the voice of man;
As if the fiends kept holiday,
Because these spells were brought to-day,
I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as 'twas said to me.
Now, hie thee hence," the Father said,
" And when we are on death-bed laid,
O may our dear Ladye, and sweet St. John,
Forgive our souls for the deed we have done!"
The Monk returned him to his cell,
And many a prayer and penance sped ;
When the convent met at the noontide bell
The Monk of St. Mary's aisle was dead !
Before the cross was the body laid,
With hands clasped fast, as if still he prayed.
(It will soon be a matter of tradition how the silver-voiced Everett held multitudes spell-bound by the magic of his flowing periods : for. tunately though the clarion-tones are hushed the brilliant sentences still remain to us.)
Sir, in the efforts of the people of the people struggling for their rights-moving, not in organized, disciplined masses, but in their spontaneous action, man for man, and heart for heart—there is something glorious. They can then move forward without orders, act together without combination, and brave the flaming lines of battle without intrenchments to cover or walls to shield them. No dissolute camp has worn off from the feelings of the youthful soldier the freshness of that home, where his mother and his sisters sit waiting, with tearful eyes and aching hearts, to hear good news from the wars; no long service in the ranks of a conqueror has turned the veteran's heart into marble. Their valor springs not from recklessness, from habit, from indifference to the preservation of a life knit by no pledges to the life of others; but in the strength and spirit of the CAUSE alone, they act, they contend, they bleed. In this they conquer.
The people always conquer. They always must conquer. Armies may be defeated, kings may be overthrown, and new dynasties imposed, by foreign arms, on an ignorant and slavish race, that cares not in what language the covenant of their subjection runs, nor in whose name the deed of their barter and sale is made out. But the people never invade; and, when they rise against the invader, are never subdued. If they are driven from the plains, they fly to the mountains. Steep rocks and everlasting hills are their castles; the tangled, pathless thicket their palisado; and nature, God, is their ally? Now he overwhelms the hosts of their enemies beneath his drifting mountains of sand ; now He buries them beneath a falling atmosphere of polar snows; He lets loose his tempest on their fleets ; He puts a folly into their counsels, a madness into the hearts of their leaders; He never gave, and never will give, a final triumph over a virtuous and gallant people, resolved to be free.
"For Freedom's battle once begun,
Bequeathed from bleeding sire to són
Though bafiled oft, is ever won."