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Then spake the king in gentlest tone,
66 Rise up, thou sister mine!
For this thy dear and gallant son,
Forgiveness shall be thine."
Dame Bertha rose, o'ercome with joy:
Thanks, brother!" did she say;
"And this my good and loyal boy
Thy kindness shall repay.
Shall, like his king, uprear his helm
In many a conquering field;
Shall bear the colours of many a realm
In pennon, and on shield.
"Shall tear from many a royal board
The gold, with a conqueror's hand;
Shall raise, to power and wealth restored
His drooping mother land!"
FROM GERMAN BALLADS.”
N.B. Madame Bertha, sister of the Emperor Charlemagne, having, contrary to the wish of her royal brother, married the Chevalier Milon, was obliged to quit the palace of her ancestors, and follow her husband. Misfortune overtook the unhappy pair. In fording a river the current carried Milon away, and he was drowned; and Bertha was left alone with her sorrows, and her little son Roland. Exiled and homeless, she took up her abode at last in a grotto, formed in a large rock, near Aix-la-Chapelle.
The Marriage Bells.
WHEN folks with headstrong passion blind,
To play the fool make up their mind,
They're sure to come with phrases nice,
And modest air, for your advice;
But, as a truth unfailing make it,
They ask, but never mean to take it.
'Tis not advice they want, in fact,
But confirmation in their act:
Now mark what did in such a case
A worthy priest who knew the race.
A dame more buxom, blithe, and free,
Than Fredegonde you scarce would see;
So smart her dress, so trim her shape,
Ne'er hostess offering juice of grape
Could for her trade wish better sign;
Her looks gave flavour to the wine;
And each guest feels it, as he sips,
Smack of the ruby of her lips:
A smile for all, a welcome glad,
A jovial, coaxing way she had,
And,-what was more her fate than blame,
A nine months' widow was our dame.
But toil was hard, for trade was good,
And gallants sometimes will be rude,
"And what can a lone woman do?
The nights are long, and eerie too,
Now, Guillot,-there's a likely man,
None better draws, or taps a can;
He's just the man I think would suit,
If I could bring my courage to't."
With thoughts like these her mind is cross'd;
The dame, they say, who doubts is lost:
"But then the risk? I'll beg a slice
Of Father Rantin's good advice."
Prankt in her best, with looks demure,
She seeks the priest, and to be sure
Asks if he thinks she ought to wed.
"With such a business on my head
I'm worried off my legs with care,
And need some help to keep things square:
I've thought of Guillot, truth to tell;
He's steady, knows his business well.
What do you
think?" When thus he met her Oh, take him, dear; you can't do better." "But then the danger, my good pastor, If of the man I make the master: There is no trusting to these men."
"Well, well, my dear, don't have him then."
"But help I must have; there's the curse:
I may go farther, and fare worse."
Why take him, then." "But if he should Turn out a thankless ne'er-do-good;
In drink and riot waste my all,
And rout me out of house and hall."
"Don't have him, then. But I've a plan
To clear your doubts, if any can.
The bells a peal are ringing,-hark!
Go straight, and what they tell you, mark.
If they say 'Yes,' wed, and be blest;
If No,' why-do as you think best."
The bells rung out a triple bob;
Oh, how our widow's heart did throb,
As thus she heard their burden go!
"Marry, mar-marry, mar, mar-Guillot!"
The bells were not left to hang idle,
A week, and they rang for her bridal;
But woe the while, they might as well
Have rung the poor dame's parting knell :
The rosy dimples left her cheek;
She lost her beauties plump and sleek,
For Guillot oftener kick'd than kiss'd,
And back'd his orders with his fist,
Proving by deeds, as well as words,
That servants make the worst of lords.
She seeks the priest, her ire to wreak,
And speaks as angry women speak,
With tiger looks, and bosom swelling,
Cursing the hour she took his telling.
To all, his calm reply was this:—
"I fear you've read the bells amiss;
If they have led you wrong in aught,
Your wish, not they, inspired the thought:
Just go, and mark well what they say."
Off trudged the dame upon her way,
And sure enough their chime went so,—
"Don't have that knave, that knave Guillot!"
"Too true!" she cried; "there's not a doubt: What could my ears have been about ?" She had forgot, that as fools think,
The bell is ever sure to chink.
MERRY it is in the good green wood
When the mavis and merle are singing,
When the deer sweeps by, and the hounds are in
And the hunter's horn is ringing.
"Oh, Alice Brand! my native land Is lost for love of you,
And we must hold by wood and wold
As outlaws wont to do.
"Oh, Alice! 'twas all for thy looks so bright,
And 'twas all for thine eyes so blue,
That on the night of our luckless flight
Thy brother bold I slew.
"Now must I teach to hew the beech
The hand that held the glaive,
For leaves to spread our lowly bed,
And stakes to fence our cave.
"And for vest of pall, thy fingers small,
That wont on harp to stray,
A cloak must shear from the slaughter'd deer,
To keep the cold away."
"Oh, Richard! if my brother died,
'Twas but a fatal chance,
For darkling was the battle tried,
And fortune sped the lance.