[The following little Poems are written after the Model of the Old English Ballads, and are inscribed to those who admire the simplicity of that kind of versification.]
NEAR GLARIS, on a mountain’s side,
Beneath a shad’wy wood,
With walls of ivy compass’d round,
An ancient Castle stood.
By all rever’d, by all ador’d,
There dwelt a wealthy dame;
One peerless daughter bless’d her age,
A maid of spotless fame !
While one fair son, a gallant boy,
Whose VIRTUE was his shield,
Led on the dauntless sons of war,
Amidst the crimson’d field:
For o’er the land dissension reign’d
Full many a direful year,
And many a heart’s best blood had stain’d
The proud oppressor’s spear.
Young ELLA’S charms had spread her fame
O’er all the country wide;
And youths of high descent and brave,
Had sought her for their bride !
Amongst the rest SIR RAYMOND came,
Sprung from a princely race;
Right valiant in each warlike art,
And blest with ev’ry grace !
In tournaments renown’d afar,
For manly feats admir’d;
His brilliant fame, his bold exploits,
The damsel’s bosom fir’d.
Her blushing cheek, her down-cast eye
Her secret flame confess’d;
The gallant RAYMOND’S circling arm,
The beauteous ELLA press’d.
From her fond mother’s doating eyes
The radiant gem he bore;
The weeping maids and village swains
Beheld her charms no more.
Where the swift billows of the RHINE
Their shining curls disclose;
With many a gilded turret crown’d
His splendid Palace rose.
The festive scene had scarce began,
When near the Castle wall,
A messenger of warlike mein,
On RAYMOND’S name did call;
“Come forth thou valiant Knight,” he said,
“Thy prowess quickly show,
With speed prepare thy lance and shield
To meet the dauntless foe:
“The blood of many a noble Swiss
Doth stain the country round,
And many a brave aspiring youth
Lies vanquish’d on the ground.
“The daring Chief, whose shining spear
With purple gore is dy’d;
Oh ! direful news, prepare to meet
THE BROTHER OF THY BRIDE.”
Enrag’d, the haughty RAYMOND cried,
“Base wretch receive thy doom,
For thy bold errand thou shalt die
Within a dungeon’s gloom.”
Speechless the mournful ELLA stood,
Despair her heart did wound;
When from the echoing tow’r she heard,
Th’ larum-bell’s dreadful sound!
Her cold wan cheek, her quiv’ring lip,
Bespoke her soul’s deep woe,
From her blue eye the crystal drop
In silent grief did flow,
“For shame, shake off those woman’s tears,”
The frowning bridegroom cried,
“And know, SIR RAYMOND’S warlike breast
Disdains a timid bride.
“In vain you weep, ignoble dame,
Behold yon neighing steed;
My soldiers wait, my bosom burns
TO CONQUER or to BLEED.”
Forth went the Knight;
(Mary Darby Robinson)
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Based on Keywords: doating, down-cast, tournaments, versification, larum-bell