« ElőzőTovább »
“I have armor on," cried the Lord Douglas, But the Douglas swore a solemn oath, “Cuirass and helm, as you may see."
That was a debt he could never owe; “ The deil me care !" quo' the Tinkler lad; He would rather die at the back of the dike
“I shall have a skelp at them and thee.” Than owe his sword to a man so low. “You are not horsed,” quo' the Lord Douglas,
“ But if thou wilt ride under my banner, “And no remorse this weapon brooks."
And bear my livery and my name, “Mine's a right good yaud," quo' the Tinklerlad, My right-hand warrior thou shalt be
“And a great deal better nor she looks. And I'll knight thee on the field of fame."
But up there came two squires renowned ;
In search of Lord Douglas they came; And when they saw their master down,
Their spirits mounted in a flame.
And they flew upon the Tinkler wight,
Like perfect tigers on their prey : But the Tinkler heaved his trusty sword,
And made him ready for the fray.
“Come one to one, ye coward knaves,
Come hand to hand, and steed to steed; I would that ye were better men,
For this is glorious work indeed !”
“I might have known thy noble form
In that disguise thou 'rt pleased to wear; All Scotland knows thy matchless arm,
And England by experience dear. “ We have been foes as well as friends,
And jealous of each other's sway; But little can I comprehend
Thy motive for these pranks to-day.” “Sooth, my good lord, the truth to tell, "T was I that stole
away. And gave her to the lord of Ross
An hour before the break of day; “For the lord of Ross is my brother,
By all the laws of chivalrye;
To guard him to my ain countrye.
And try your lordship to waylay,
By leading you so far astray. “ Judging it better some lives to spare,
Which fancy takes me now and then, And settle our quarrel hand to hand,
Than each with our ten thousand men.
Before you could have counted twelve,
The Tinkler's wondrous chivalrye Had both the squires upon the sward,
And their horses galloping o'er the lea.
The Tinkler tied them neck and heel,
And mony a biting jest gave he : “O tie, for shame!” said the Tinkler lad;
“Siccan fighters I did never see !"
He slit one of their bridle reins,
0, what disgrace the conquered feels !And he skelpit the squires with that good tawse,
Till the blood ran off at baith their heels.
The Douglas he was forced to laugh
Till down his cheek the salt tear ran : “I think the deevil be come here
In the likeness of a tinkler inan!”
“God send you soon, my Lord Douglas,
To Border foray sound and haill !
Then he has to Lord Douglas gone,
And he raised him kindly by the hand, And he set him on his gallant steed,
And bore him away to Henderland:
“ Be not cast down, my Lord Douglas,
Nor writhe beneath a broken bane ; For the leech's art will mend the part,
And your honor lost will spring again.
“'T is true, Jock Johnstone is my name ;
I'm a right good tinkler, as you see ; For I can crack a casque betimes,
Or clout one, as my need may be.
My name is Norval: on the Grampian hills
fled For safety and for succor. I alone, With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows, Hovered about the enemy, and marked The road he took, then hastened to my friends, Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men, I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
“Jock Johnstone is my name, 't is true, –
But noble hearts are allieil to me; For I am the lord of Annandale,
And a knight and earl as well as thee."
Then Douglas strained the hero's hand,
And took from it his sword again : “Since thou art the lord of Annandale,
Thou hast eased my heart of meikle pain.
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumbered foe. Had threatened, suddenly descending, lay We fought and conquered. Ere a sword was Flat on the surface. Statue-like he stood, drawn
His journey ended, when a ray divine An arrow from my bow had pierced their chief, Shot through his soul. Breathing a prayer to Who wore that day the arms which now I wear. her Returning home in triumph, I disclained Whose ears are never shut, the Blessed Virgin, The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard He plunged, he swam, - and in an instant rose, That our good king had summoned his bold peers The barrier past, in light, in sunshine! Through To lead their warriors to the Carron side, A smiling valley, full of cottages, I left my father's house, and took with me Glittering the river ran ; and on the bank A chosen servant to conduct my steps,
The young were dancing ('t was a festival-clay) You trembling coward, who forsook his master. All in their best attire. There first he saw Journeying with this intent, I passed these towers, His Madelaine. In the crowd she stood to hear, And, Heaven-directed, came this day to do When all drew round, inquiring; and her face, The happy deed that gilds my humble name. Seen behind all, and varying, as he spoke,
JOHN HOME With hope and fear and generous sympathy,
Subdued him. From that very hour he loved.
Jorasse was in his three-and-twentieth year ;
And swelling bubbles of the golden domes Their haggard looks, and strange soliloquies. Rise through the trees of Sana, and my heart
Grew great within me with the strength of God;
Once, nor long before, And I cried out, “Now shall I right myself, Alone at daybreak on the Mettenberg,
I, Adeb the despised, — for God is just !" He slipped, he fell ; and, through a fearful cleft There he who wronged my father dwelt in Gliding from ledge to ledge, from deep to deeper, peace, Went to the under-world! Long-while he lay My warlike father, who, when gray hairs crept Upon his rugged bed, — then waked like one Around his forehead, as on Lebanon Wishing to sleep again and sleep forever ! The whitening snows of winter, was betrayed For, looking round, he saw, or thought he saw, To the sly Imam, and his tented wealth Innumerable branches of a cavern,
Swept from him, 'twixt the roosting of the cock Winding beneath a solid crust of ice ;
And his first crowing, — in a single night : With here and there a rent that showed the And I, poor Adeb, sole of all my race, stars!
Smeared with my father's and my kinsmen's What then, alas, was left him but to die?
blood, What else in those immeasurable chambers, Fled through the Desert, till one day a tribe Strewn with the bones of miserable men,
Of hungry Bedouins found me in the sand, Lost like himself ? Yet must he wander on, Half mad with famine, and they took me up, Till cold and hunger set his spirit free !
And made a slave of me, - of me, a prince! And, rising, he began his dreary round ; All was fulfilled at last. I fled from them, When hark, the noise as of some mighty river In rags and sorrow. Nothing but my heart, Working its way to light! Back he withdrew, Like a strong swimmer, bore me up against But soon returned, and, fearless from despair, The howling sea of my adversity. Dashed down the dismal channel ; and all day, At length o'er Sana, in the act to swoop, If day could be where utter darkness was, I stood like a young eagle on a crag. Travelled incessantly, the craggy roof
The traveller passed me with suspicious fear: Just overhead, and the impetuous waves, I asked for nothing ; I was not a thief. Nor broad nor deep, yet with a giant's strength, The lean dogs snuffed around me: my lank bones Lashing him on. At last the water slept Fed on the berries and the crusted pools, In a dead lake, at the third step he took, Were a scant morsel. Once a brown-skinne Unfathomable, — and the roof, that long
Called me a little from the common path, Fierce pangs and flashes of bewildering light
Leaped through my brain and danced before my I paid her with a kiss, with nothing more,
eyes. And she looked glad ; for I was beautiful, So loud my heart beat, that I feared its sound And virgin as a fountain, and as cold.
Would wake the sleeper; and the bubbling blood
I touched myself ; I was the same ; I knew
Thick with the fumes of the accurséd grape,
Almost a child, her bosom barely showed God heard my voice, preparing all for me, The change beyond her girlhood. All her charms As, softly stepping down the hills, I saw Were budding, but half opened ; for I saw The Imam's summer-palace all ablaze
Not only beauty wondrous in itself, In the last flash of sunset. Every fount But possibiżity of more to be Was spouting fire, and all the orange-trees In the full process of her blooming days. Bore blazing coals, and from the marble walls I gazed upon her, and my heart grew soft, And gilded spires and columns, strangely As a parched pasture with the dew of heaven. wrought,
While thus I gazed she smiled, and slowly raised Glared the red light, until my eyes were pained The long curve of her lashes; and we looked With the fierce splendor. Till the night grew Each upon each in wonder, not alarm, thick,
Not eye to eye, but soul to soul, we held I lay within the bushes, next the door,
Each other for a moment. All her life Still as a serpent, as invisible.
Seemed centred in the circle of her eyes. The guard hung round the portal. Man by man She stirred no limb; her long-drawn, equal They dropped away, save one lone sentinel,
Or pinched the arches of her tender mouth.
With her sleep's smile unaltered, as in doubt
I was not graceless to a woman's eyes.
One maiden said, “ He has a prince's air !"
I am a prince ; the air was all my own.
I held a warning finger to my lips,
Adeb, the son of Akem !” She replied
In a low murmur whose bewildering sound Leading from Sana, in the eastern sands :
When the moon flashed upon it, the strange smile Shining with gold and jewels; and I bound It wore on waking. Once I kissed her mouth, In my long turban gems that inight have bought When she grew weary, and her strength returned. The lands 'twixt Babelmandeb and Sahan. Allthrough the night we scoured between the hills : I girt about me, with a blazing belt,
The moon went down behind us, and the stars A scimitar o'er which the sweating smiths Dropped after her; but long before I saw In far Damascus hammered for long years, A planet blazing straight against our eyes, Whose hilt and scabbard shot a trembling light The road had softened, and the shadowy hills From diamonds and rubies. And she smiled, Had flattened out, and I could hear the hiss As piece by piece I put the treasures on, Of sand spurned backward by the flying mares. To see me look so fair, — in pride she smiled. Glory to God! I was at home again ! I hung long purses at my side. I scooped,
The sun rose on us ; far and near I saw From off a table, figs and dates and rice, The level Desert ; sky met sand all round. And bound them to my girdle in a sack. We paused at mid-ulay by a palm-crowned well, Then over all I flung a snowy cloak,
And ate and slumbered. Somewhat, too, was And beckoned to the maiden. So she'stole
said : Forth like my shadow, past the sleeping wolf The words have slipped my memory. That same Who wronged my father, o'er the woolly head Of the swart eunuch, down the painted court, We rode sedately through a Hamoum camp, And by the sentinel who standing slept. I, Adeb, prince amongst them, and my bride. Strongly against the portal, through my rags, And ever since amongst them I have ridden, My old base rags, — and through the maiden's A head and shoulders taller than the best ; veil,
And ever since my days have been of gold,
Bring forth the horse!' - the horse was The fragrance of the stables. As I slid
brought, The wide doors open, with a sudd bound
In truth, he was a noble steed, l'prose the startled horses : but they stood A Tartar of the Ukraine breed, Still as the man who in a foreign land
Who looked as though the speed of thought Hears his strange language, when my Desert call, Were in his limbs ; but he was wild, As low and plaintive as the nested dove's, Wild as the wild deer, and untaught, Fell on their listening ears. From stall to stall, With spur and bridle undefiled, Feeling the horses with my groping hands, 'T was but a day he had been caught ; I crept in darkness ; and at length I came And snorting, with erected mane, Upon two sister inares whose rounded sides, And struggling fiercely, but vain, Fine muzzles, and small heads, and pointed ears, In the full foam of wrath and dread And foreheauls spreading 'twixt their eyelids wide, To me the desert-born was led ; Long slender tails, thin manes, and coa of silk, They bound me on, that menial throng, Told me, that, of the hundred steeds there stalled, Upon his back with many a thong ; My hand was on the treasures. O’er and o'er Then loosed him with a sudden lash, I felt their bony joints, and down their legs Away ! --- away ! — and on we dash! To the cool hoofs ; - no blemish anywhere : Torrents less rapid and less rash. These I led forth and saddled. Upon one I set the lily, gathered now for me,
“ Away !- away ! - My breath was gone, My own, henceforth, forever. So we rode I saw not where he hurried on ; Across the grass, besiile the stony path, ’T was scarcely yet the break of clay, L'ntil we gained the highway that is lost, And on he foamed, - away ! -- away! –
GEORGE HENRY BOKER.