Page images

"If pall and vair no more I wear,
Nor thou the crimson sheen,

As warm we'll say is the russet gray,
As gay the forest green.

"And, Richard, if our lot be hard,

And lost thy native land,
Still Alice has her own Richard,

And he his Alice Brand."

'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good green wood, So blithe Lady Alice is singing,

On the beech's pride, and oak's brown side, Lord Richard's axe is ringing.

Up spoke the moody elfin king,

Who wonn'd within the hill

Like wind in the porch of a ruin'd church, His voice was ghostly shrill.

"Why sounds yon stroke on beech and oak, Our moonlight circle's screen,

Or who comes here to chase the deer,
Beloved of our elfin queen,

Or who may dare on wold to wear,
The fairy's fatal green ?

"Up, Urgan, up! to yon mortal hie,
For thou wert christen'd man;
For cross or sign thou wilt not fly,
For mutter'd word or ban.

"Lay on him the curse of the wither'd heart, The curse of the sleepless eye,

Till he wish and pray that his life would part, Nor yet find leave to die."

'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good green wood, Though the birds have still'd their singing, The evening blaze doth Alice raise,

And Richard is fagots bringing.

Up Urgan starts, that hideous dwarf
Before Lord Richard stands,

But as he cross'd and bless'd himself,
"I fear not sign," quoth the grisly elf,
That is made with bloody hands!"

But out then spoke she, Alice Brand-
That woman void of fear-

"And if there's blood upon

his hand,

'Tis but the blood of deer."

"Now loud thou liest, thou bold of mood!

It cleaves unto his hand,

The stain of thine own kindly blood,

The blood of Ethert Brand.”

Then forward stepp'd she, Alice Brand,
And made the holy sign-

"And if there's blood on Richard's hand,
A spotless hand is mine.

"And I conjure thee, demon elf,

By Him whom demons fear,
To show us whence thou art thyself,
And what thine errand here."

"'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in fairy land, When fairy birds are singing,

When the court doth ride by their monarch's side,

With bit and bridle ringing.

"And gaily shines the fairy land

But all is glistening show,

Like the idle gleam that December's beam

Can dart on ice and snow.

"And fading like that various gleam,
Is our inconstant shape,

Who now like knight and lady seem,
And now like dwarf and ape.

"It was between the night and day,
When the fairy king has power,
That I sank down in a sinful fray,

And, 'twixt life and death, was snatched away,
To the joyless elfin bower.

"But wist I of a woman bold,

Who thrice my brow durst sign,

I might regain my mortal mould,

As fair a form as thine."

She cross'd him once, she cross'd him twice,

That lady was so brave,

The fouler grew his goblin hue,

The darker grew the cave.

She cross'd him thrice, that lady bold,
He rose beneath her hand,

The fairest knight on Scottish mould.
Her brother Ethert Brand.

Merry it is in the good green wood,

When the mavis and merle are singing, But merrier were they in Dunfermline gray, When all the bells were ringing.


Song of the Owl..

TU-WHOO! Tu-whoo! In my

In my old gray turret high,

ancient hall,

Where the ivy waves o'er the crumbling wall,

A king-a king reign I!


I wake the woods with my startling call
To the frighted passer-by.

The gadding vines in the chinks that grow,

Come clambering up to me;

And the newt, the bat, and the toad, I trow,
A right merry band are we.


Oh, the coffin'd dead, in their cells below,
Have no goodlier company.

Let them joy in their brilliant sun-lit skies,
And their sun-set hues, who may;

But how softer far than the tints they prize
Is the dim of the twilight gray!


Ob, a weary thing to an owlet's eyes
Is the garish light of day.

When the sweet dew sleeps on the winding pool, Some tall tree-top I win;

And the toad leaps up on her throne-shaped stool, And our revels loud begin.


While the bull-frog croaks o'er his stagnant pool, Or plunges sportive in.

As the last lone ray from the hamlet fades
In the dark and still profound,

The night-bird sings in the cloister shades,
And the glow-worm lights the ground.

And fairies trip o'er the broad green glades
To the fire-flies circling round.

Tu-whoo! Tu-whoo!-All the livelong night,
A right gladsome life lead we,

While the starry ones from their jewell'd height
Bend down approvingly.


They may bask who will in the noonday light;
But the midnight dark for me!

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »