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[This poem might be dedicated to my friends, Sir G. Beaumont and
Mr. Rogers jointly. While we were making an excursion together in this part of the Lake District we heard that Mr. Glover, the artist, while lodging at Lyulph's Tower, had been disturbed by a loud shriek, and upon rising he had learnt that it had come from a young woman in the house who was in the habit of walking in her sleep. In that state she had gone down stairs, and, while attempting to open the outer door, either from some difficulty or the effect of the cold stone upon her feet, had uttered the cry which alarmed him. It seemed to us all that this might serve as a hint for a poem, and the story here told was constructed and soon after put into verse by me as it now stands. ]
List, ye who pass by Lyulph's Tower*
At eve; how softly then
Speak from the woody glen!
And holier seems the ground
Embodied in the sound.
Not far from that fair site whereon
The Pleasure-house is reared,
A stern-browed house appeared;
* A pleasure-house built by the late Duke of Norfolk upon the banks of Ullswater. FORCE is the word used in the Lake District for Water-fall.
There set, and guarded well;
Beyond her native dell.
To win this bright Bird from her cage,
To make this Gem their own,
And Knights of high renown;
Sir Eglamore was he;
alone Their mutual loyalty
Known chiefly, Aira ! to thy glen,
Thy brook, and bowers of holly;
That all but love is folly;
Doubt came not, nor regret-
Whose sun could never set.
But in old times Love dwelt not long
Sequestered with repose ;
Fanned by the breath of foes.
“And proves the Lover true;' So spake Sir Eglamore, and pressed The drooping Emma to his breast,
And looked a blind adieu.
They parted. Well with him it fared
Through wide-spread regions errant; A knight of proof in love's behoof,
The thirst of fame his warrant: And She her happiness can build
On woman's quiet hours;
And needlework and flowers.
Her Champion's praise recounted;
And high her blushes mounted;
She warbled from full heart;
Born only to depart.
Whatever path he chooses;
Received the light hers loses.
Requires for nobler deeds;
But what her fancy breeds.
His fame may spread, but in the past
Her spirit finds its centre;
And that would now content her.
“Still is he my devoted Knight?”
The tear in answer flows; Month falls on month with heavier weight; Day sickens round her, and the night
Is empty of repose.
In sleep She sometimes walked abroad,
Deep sighs with quick words blending, Like that pale Queen whose hands are seen
With fancied spots contending; But she is innocent of blood,–
The moon is not more pure That shines aloft, while through the wood She thrids her way, the sounding Flood
Her melancholy lure !
While 'mid the fern-brake sleeps the doe,
And owls alone are waking,
The downward pathway taking,
And to a holly bower;
By thee, Sir Eglamore!
A wandering Ghost, so thinks the Knight,
His coming step has thwarted, Beneath the boughs that heard their vows,
Within whose shade they parted. Hush, hush, the busy Sleeper see!
Perplexed her fiugers seem,
Flung from her to the stream.
To violate the Tree,
Unfading constancy ?
Of valour, truth, and love.
He moved with stealthy pace;
He recognised the face;
Some to the green-leaved tree, Some muttered to the torrent-fall ;“Roar on, and bring him with thy call;
“I heard, and so may He!” Soul-shattered was the Knight, nor knew
If Emma's Ghost it were,
Her very self stood there.
The soft touch snapped the thread Of slumber-shrieking back she fell, And the Stream whirled her down the dell
Along its foaming bed.