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And dismal trains arise
Spirits, I pray ye, let them sleep
The sear and whispering leaf
DARK-visaged visitor! who comest here
seat, Sound thy dull showers, as o'er my woodland
Dismal, and drear, the leafless trees they beat:
[Time Sweeping the groves' long aisle, while sullen Thy stormy mantle o'er his shoulder casts,
And, rock'd upon his throne, with chant sublime, Joins the full-pealing dirge, and winter weaves Her dark sepulchral wreath of faded leaves.
THE FAIR MAID OF CLIFTON.
A NEW BALLAD IN THE OLD STYLE.
The night it was dark, and the winds were high,
And mournfully waved the wood, As Bateman met his Margaret
By Trent's majestic flood.
He press'd the maiden to his breast,
And his heart it was rack'd with fear, For he knew, that again, 't was a deadly chance
If ever he press'd her there.
“Oh! Margaret, wilt thou bear me true,"
He said, “ while I am far away, For to
morrow I go to a foreign land, And there I have long to stay.”
And the maid she vow'd she would bear him true,
And thereto she plighted her troth; And she pray'd the fiend might fetch her away,
When she forgot her oath.
And the night-owl scream'd, as again she swore,
And the grove it did mournfully moan, And Bateman's heart within him sunk,
He thought 't was his dying groan.
And shortly he went with Clifton, his Lord,
To abide in a foreign land;
And Margaret she forgot her oath,
And she gave to another her hand.
Her husband was rich, but old, and crabb'd,
And oft the false one sigh’d,
She had broken her heart, and died.
And now return’d, her Bateman came
To demand his betrothed bride;
A wealthier lover's side.
And when he heard the dreadful news,
No sound he utter'd more,
Hung at his false one's door.
And Margaret, all night, in her bed,
She dreamed hideous dreams; And oft upon the moaning wind
Were heard her frightful screams.
And when she knew of her lover's death,
On her brow stood the clammy dew, [fate, She thought of her oath, and she thought of her
And she saw that her days were few.
But the Lord He is just, and the guilty alone
Have to fear of his vengeance the lash,
While the criminal dies 'neath the flash.
His justice, she knew, would spare her awhile
For the child that she bare in her womb; But she felt, that when it was born therefrom
She must instantly go to her tomb.
The hour approach'd, and she view'd it with fear
As the date of her earthly time;
To expiate her crime.
And she begg'd her relations would come at the day,
And the parson would pray at her side; And the clerk would sing a penitent hymn,
With all the singers beside.
And she begg'd they would bar the windows so
strong, And put a new lock to the door; And sprinkle with holy water the house,
And over her chamber-floor.
And they barr'd with iron the windows so strong,
And they put a new lock on the door; And the parson he came, and he carefully strew'd
With holy water the floor.
And her kindred came to see the dame,
And the clerk, and the singers beside ; And they did sing a penitent hymn,
And with her did abide.
And midnight came, and shortly the dame
Did give to her child the light;
And then she did pray, that they would stay,
And pass with her the night.
And she begg'd they would sing the penitent hymn,
And pray with all their might;
And fetch me away this night.
And now without, a stormy rout,
With howls, the guests did hear;
And the singers they quaver'd with fear.
And Margʻret pray'd the Almighty's aid,
· For louder the tempest grew; And every guest, his soul he bless'd,
As the tapers burned blue.
And the fair again, she pray'd of the men
To sing with all their might;
And louder they sung for affright.
But now their song, it died on their tongue,
For sleep it was seizing their sense;
Or the fiends would bear her thence.