"Nor of its fields a blade of grass,

"Save what grows on a ridge of wall,

"Where stood the hearth-stone of the hall; "And many a time ye there might pass, 400 •

"Nor dream that e'er that fortress was:
"I saw its turrets in a blaze,
"Their crackling battlements all cleft,

"And the hot lead pour down like rain
"From off the scorch'd and blackening roof,
"Whose thickness was not vengeance-proof.

"They little thought that day of pain, "When lanch'd, as on the lightning's flash, "They bade me to destruction dash,

"That one day I should come again, 410 "With twice five thousand horse, to thank

"The Count for his uncourteous ride. "They play'd me then a bitter prank,

"When, with the wild horse for my guide, "They bound me to his foaming flank: "At length I play'd them one as frank— "For time at last sets all things even—

"And if we do but watch the hour,

"There never yet was human power "Which could evade, if unforgiven, 420 "The patient search and vigil long "Of him who treasures up a wrong.


"Away, away, my steed and I, "Upon the pinions of the wind, "All human dwellings left behind; "We sped like meteors through the sky, "When with its crackling sound the night "Is chequer'd with the northern light: "Town—village—none were on our track,

"But a wild plain of far extent, "And bounded by a forest black;

"And, save the scarce seen battlement "On distant heights of some strong hold, "Against the Tartars built of old, "No trace of man. The year before "A Turkish army had marched o'er; "And where the Spain's hoof hath trod, "The verdure flies the bloody sod :— "The sky was dull, and dim, and gray, "And a low breeze crept moaning by— "I could have answered with a sigh—

"But fast we fled, away, away—
"And I could neither sigh nor pray;
"And my cold sweat-drops fell like rain
"Upon the courser's bristling mane;
"But, snorting still with rage and fear,
"He flew upon his far career:
"At times I almost thought, indeed,
"He must have slacken'd in his speed;
"But no—my bound and slender frame

"Was nothing to his angry might,
"And merely like a spur became:
"Each motion which I made to free
"My swoln limbs from their agony

"Increased his fury and affright: "I tried my voice,—'twas faint and low, "But yet he swerved as from a blow; "And, starting to each accent, sprang "As from a sudden trumpet's clang: "Meantime my cords were wet with gore, "Which, oozing through my limbs, ran o'er "And in my tongue the thirst became "A something fierier far than flame.


"We near'd the wild wood—'twas so wide,

"I saw no bounds on either side;

"Twas studded with old sturdy trees,

"That bent not to the roughest breeze

"Which howls down from Siberia's waste,

"And strips the forest in its haste,—

"But these were few, and far between 470

"Set thick with shrubs more young and green,

"Luxuriant with their annual leaves,

"Ere strown by those autumnal eves

"That nip the forest's foliage dead,

"Discolour'd with a lifeless red,

"Which stands thereon like stifFen'd gore

"Upon the slain when battle's o'er,

"And some long winter's night hath shed

"Its frost o'er every tombless head,

"So cold and stark the raven's beak 480

"May peck un pierced each frozen cheek:

"'Twas a wild waste of underwood,

"And here and there a chestnut stood,

"The strong oak, and the hardy pine;

"But far apart—and well it were, "Or else a different lot were mine—

"The boughs gave way, and did not tear "My limbs; and I found strength to bear "My wounds, already scarr'd with cold— "My bonds forbade to loose my hold. "We rustled through the leaves like wind, "Left shrubs, and trees, and wolves behind; "By night I heard them on the track, "Their troop came hard upon our back, "With their long gallop, which can tire "The hound's deep hate, and hunter's fire: "Where'er we flew they follow d on, "Nor left us with the morning sun; "Behind I saw them, scarce a rood, "At day-break winding through the wood, "And through the night had heard their feet "Their stealing, rustling step repeat. "Oh! how I wish'd for spear or sword, "At least to die amidst the horde,

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