Images de page

And now on the dry wither'd fern, she could hear The hoofs of swift horses rebound:

She stopp'd, and she listen'd, she trembled with fear, When a voice most prophetic and sad met her ear, And she shudder'd and shrunk at the sound.

"'Tis here will we wait," cry'd the horseman ; “ for


"How the moon with black clouds is o'erspread; "No hut yields a shelter, no forest a tree"This heath shall young Theodore's bridal-couch be, "And the cold earth shall pillow his head.

"Hark! some one approaches :-now stand we aside, "We shall know him-for see the moon's clear; "In a doublet of grey he now waits for his bride, "But ere dawn-light, the carle shall repent of his "pride,

"And his pale mangled body rest here."

Again, the moon shrouded in clouds, o'er the plain
The horsemen were scatter'd far wide;

The night became stormy, the fast falling rain
Beat hard on her bosom, which dar'd not complain,
And the torrent roll'd swift by her side.

Now clashing of swords overwhelm'd her with dread, While her ear met the deep groan of death; "Yield, yield thee, bold peasant," the murderer said,

"This turf with thy heart's dearest blood shall be red, "And thy bones whiten over the heath."

Now shrieking, despairing, she starts from the ground,

And her spear, with new strength she let go: She aim'd it at random, she felt it rebound

From the sure hand of Fate, which inflicted the

[blocks in formation]

As it drank the life-blood of her foe.

The morning advanc'd, o'er the pale chilling skies Soon the warm rosy tints circled wide;

But, oh God! with what anguish, what terror she flies,

When her father, all cover'd with wounds, she


[ocr errors]

With her lover's pale corpse by his side!

Half frantic she fell on her parent's cold breast,
And she bath'd her white bosom with gore;
Then, in anguish, the form of her Theodore prest—
"I will yet be thy bride, in the grave we will rest,"
She exclaim'd; and she suffer'd no more.

Now o'er the wild heath, when the winter winds blow,

And the moon-silver'd fern branches wave,
Pale Theodore's spectre is seen gliding slow,
As he calls on the damsel in accents of woe,
Till the bell warns him back to his grave.

And while the deep sound echoes over the wood,
Now the villagers shrink with dismay;

For as legends declare, where the castle once stood, 'Mid the ruins, by moon-light, all cover'd with blood, Shrieks the maid-in her doublet of grey.



LOUD and shrill the west wind blows,

Annan's angry waters roar:

No kind star the skies disclose

To light me o'er the dangerous moor.

Birds of prey flit screaming by,
Grisly spectres stalk before

Haste, my steed, nor heed the cry;

Bear me to my cottage door.

The Frith of Solway falls into the mouth of the River Annan.

Both are the frequent scenes of tragical accidents.

Hark-what melancholy moans
'Mid the tempest's pause I hear!

Soul-piercing shrieks, and lengthen'd groans,
Full of anguish, full of fear,
Haste, my steed, across the moor;
Bear me to my cottage door.

Terror shakes me-hark! again !
Mournful o'er mine car it past;-
Never yet so sad a strain

Mingled with the hollow blast!

From Solway's Frith the sounds arise-
Human voice it cannot be-
'Tis the water-spirit cries,
Mourning her sad destiny.

Heav'n be prais'd, I've cross'd the moor,
And soon shall reach my cottage door.

The morning broke ;-his orient light
Divulg'd the mystery of the night.
Now no longer rav'd the storm;

The tide has ebb'd, but left behind,
Lash'd to a pole, a ghastly form,
Swollen, and bleaching in the wind.
By Solway's rapid stream o'erta'en,
Homeward as Donald bent his course,
Flight he sought, but sought in vain,
In vain he spurr'd his jaded horse.
(Janet opes the lattice wide,

Anxious her husband to discern :—
Forbear his lingering stay to chide,
For Donald never will return.)

His fearful eyes he cast around—
Fix'd on the sand a net-pole stood;
There his body fast he bound,

Half-rais'd above the roaring flood.

O'er his poor devoted head.

Soon the tumultuous billows roll-
Night her blackest mantle spread;
Fell despair possess'd his soul.

Ah! Janet, soon, too soon you'll learn
That Donald never can return.
Dreadful fate-the yawning wave
Happy could he plunge beneath,
Its utmost fury instant brave,

And rush within the arms of death.

All is hush'd-the passing gale

No longer wafts his plaintive cries; Successive waves at length prevail,

And close the exhausted suff'rer's eyes.

Yes-Janet-yes! too soon you'll learn
Your Donald never will return.

Still when hoarse Annan's waters roar.
And howls the dæmon of the storm,
Loud shrieks are heard on Solway's shore,
And Donald rears his ghastly form.




you beneath yon cloud so dark, Fast gliding along, a gloomy bark?

Her sails are full, though the wind is still,
And there blows not a breath her sails to fill!

Oh! what doth that vessel of darkness bear?
The silent calm of the grave is there,
Save now and again a death-knell rung,
And the flap of the sails, with night-fog hung.

There lieth a wreck on the dismal shore
Of cold and pitiless Labrador;

Where, under the moon, upon mounts of frost,
Full many a mariner's bones are tost!

Yon shadowy bark hath been to that wreck,
And the dim blue fire, that lights her deck,
Doth play on as pale and livid a crew,
As ever yet drank the church-yard dew!

To Dead-man's Isle, in the eye of the blast,
To Dead-man's Isle she speeds her fast;
By skeleton shapes her sails are furl'd,
And the hand that steers is not of this world!

Oh! hurry thee on,-oh! hurry thee on,
Thou terrible bark! ere the night be gone,
Nor let morning look on so foul a sight
As would blanch for ever her rosy light.



RETURNING from their evening walk,
On yonder ancient style,

In sweet, romantic, tender talk,
Two lovers paus'd awhile:

Edmund, the monarch of the dale,
All-conscious of his powers;

Ella, the lily of the vale,

The rose of Auburn's bowers!

In airy love's delightful bands
He held her heart in vain;

The nymph denied her willing hands
To Hymen's awful chain.


« PrécédentContinuer »