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Come see, false
Who died for love of you.
The lark sung loud; the morning smil'd
With beams of rosy red:
Pale William quak'd in every limb,
And raving left his bed.
He hied him to the fatal place
Where Margaret's body lay;
And stretch'd him on the green-grass turf
That wrapt her breathless clay.
And thrice he call'd on Margaret's name,
And thrice he wept full sore;
Then laid his cheek to her cold grave,
And word spake never more!
Character of the Minstrel.
THE wight whose tale these artless lines unfold,
Was all the offspring of this simple pair:
His birth no oracle or seer foretold;
No prodigy appear'd in earth or air,
Nor aught that might a strange event declare.
You guess each circumstance of Edwin's birth;
The parent's transport, and the parent's care;
The gossip's prayer for wealth, and wit, and worth,
And one long summer-day of indolence and mirth.
And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy:
Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his infant eye,
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaude, nor toy,
Save one short pipe of rudest minstrelsy.
Silent when glad; affectionate, tho' shy;
And now his look was most demurely sad,
And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none knew why;
The neighbours stared and sigh'd, and bless'd the
Some deem'd him wondrous wise, and some believ'd him mad.
But why should I his childish feats display ?
Concourse, and noise, and toil, he ever fled;
Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous fray
Of squabbling imps, but to the forest sped,
Or roam'd at large the lonely mountain's head;
Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd stream
To deep untrodden groves his footsteps led,
There would he wander wild, till Phoebus' beam,
Shot from the western cliff, releas'd the weary team.
Th' exploit of strength, dexterity, or speed,
To him nor vanity nor joy could bring.
His heart, from cruel sport estrang'd, would bleed
To work the woe of any living thing,
By trap, or net, by arrow, or by sling;
These he detested, those he scorn'd to wield:
He wish'd to be the guardian, not the king,
Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field.
And sure the sylvan reign unbloody joy might
Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves
Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine;
And sees, on high, amidst th' encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine:
While waters, woods, and winds in concert join,
And Echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies?
Ah! no; he better knows great Nature's charms
And oft he trac'd the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the sky advanc'd the kindling dawn,
The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain grey,
And lake, dim-gleaming on the smoky lawn;
Far to the west the long, long vale withdrawn,
Where twilight loves to linger for a while;
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn,
And villager abroad at early toil.-
But, lo! the sun appears! and heav'n, earth, ocean,
And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost.
What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast,
And view th' enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows, length'ning to th' horizon round,
Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains now em-
And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound, Flocks, herds, and water-falls, along the hoar profound!
In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle, and each dreadful scene.
In darkness, and in storm, he found delight:
Nor less, than when on ocean wave serene
The southern sun diffus'd his dazzling sheen.
Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul:
And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
A sigh, a tear so sweet, he wish'd not to control.
When the long-sounding curfew from afar
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale,
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening-star,
Ling'ring and list'ning, wander'd down the vale.
There would he dream of graves, and corses pale;
And ghosts, that to the charnel-dungeon throng,
And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail,
Till silenc'd by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shudd'ring aisles along.
Or, when the setting moon, in crimson dyed,
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep,
To haunted stream, remote from man, he hied,
Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep;
And there let Fancy roam at large, till sleep
A vision brought to his entranced sight.
And first, a wildly-murmuring wind 'gan creep
Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illum'd the vault of
Anon in view a portal's blazon'd arch
Arose; the trumpet bids the valves unfold:
And forth an host of little warriors march,
Grasping the diamond lance, and targe of gold.
Their look was gentle, their demeanour bold,
And green their helms, and green their silk attire ;
And here and there, right venerably old,
The long-robed minstrels wake the warbling wire, And some with mellow breath the martial pipe inspire.
With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear, A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance; The little warriors doff the targe and spear, And loud enliv'ning strains provoke the dance;
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance ;
To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze;
Now bound aloft with vig'rous spring, then glance
Rapid along; with many-colour'd rays
Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze.
The dream is fled. Proud harbinger of day,
Who scar'dst the vision with thy clarion shrill,
Fell chanticleer! who oft hast reft away
My fancied good, and brought substantial ill!
O to thy cursed scream, discordant still,
Let Harmony aye shut her gentle ear:
Thy boastful mirth let jealous rivals spill,
Insult thy crest, and glossy pinions tear,
And ever in thy dreams the ruthless fox appear.
Forbear, my Muse.
Let Love attune thy line,
Revoke the spell. Thine Edwin frets not so.
For how should he at wicked chance repine,
Who feels from ev'ry change amusement flow?
Ev'n now his eyes with smiles of rapture glow,
As on he wanders through the scenes of morn,
Where the fresh flowers in living lustre blow,
Where thousand pearls the dewy lawns adorn-
A thousand notes of joy on every breeze are borne.
But who the melodies of morn can tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain side;
The lowing herd; the sheep-fold's simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide;
The hum of bees, and linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.