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Then Christabel knelt by the lady's side,
And raised to heaven her eyes so blue-
“Alas!” said she, “this ghastly ride-
Dear lady! it hath wildered you!”
The lady wiped her moist cold brow,
And faintly said, " 'tis over now!!
Again the wild-flower wine she drank:
Her fair large eyes 'gan glitter bright,
And from the floor whereon she sank,
The lofty lady stood upright:
She was most beautiful to see,
Like a lady of a far countree.
And thus the lofty lady spake-
“All they who live in the upper sky,
Do love you, holy Christabel !
And you love them, and for their sake
And for the good which me befel,
Even I in my degree will try,
Fair maiden, to requite you well.
But now unrobe yourself; for I
Must pray, ere yet in bed I lie.”

"In the touch of this bosom there worketh a

spell, Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel! Thou knowest to-night, and wilt know to-mor

row, This mark of my shame, this seal of my sorrow; But vainly thou warrest,

270 For this is alone in Thy power to declare,

That in the dim forest

Thou heard 'st a low moaning, And found 'st a bright lady, surpassingly fair; And didst bring her home with thee in love

and in charity, To shield her and shelter her from the damp

air.'

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Quoth Christabel, So let it be!
And as the lady bade, did she.
Her gentle limbs did she undress,
And lay down in her loveliness.

THE CONCLUSION TO PART THE FIRST
It was a lovely sight to see
The lady Christabel, when she
Was praying at the old oak tree.

Amid the jagged shadows
Of mossy leafless boughs,
Kneeling in the moonlight,

To make her gentle vows;
Her slender palms together prest,
Heaving sometimes on her breast;
Her face resigned to bliss or bale-
Her face, oh call it fair not pale,
And both blue eyes more bright than clear,
Each about to have a tear.

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But through her brain of weal and woe
So many thoughts moved to and fro,
That vain it were her lids to close;
So half-way from the bed she rose,
And on her elbow did recline
To look at the lady Geraldine.

Beneath the lamp the lady bowed,
And slowly rolled her eyes around;
Then drawing in her breath aloud,
Like one that shuddered, she unbound
The cincture from beneath her breast:
Her silken robe, and inner vest,
Dropt to her feet, and full in view,
Behold! her bosom and half her side-
A sight to dream of, not to tell!
O shield her! shield sweet Christabel !

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Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs;
Ah! what a stricken look was hers!
Deep from within she seems half-way
To lift some weight with sick assay,
And eyes the maid and seeks delay;
Then suddenly, as one defied,
Collects herself in scorn and pride,
And lay down by the Maiden's side!-
And in her arms the maid she took,

Ah wel-a-day!
And with low voice and doleful look

These words did say:

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Large tears that leave the lashes bright!
And oft the while she seems to smile
As infants at a sudden light!

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Yea, she doth smile, and she doth weep,
Like a youthful hermitess,
Beauteous in a wilderness,
Who, praying always, prays in sleep.
And, if she move unquietly,
Perchance, 'tis but the blood so free
Comes back and tingles in her feet.
No doubt, she hath a vision sweet.
What if her guardian spirit 'twere,
What if she knew her mother near?
But this she knows, in joys and woes,
That saints will aid if men will call:
For the blue sky bends over all!

Bear witness for me, how I hoped and feared!
With what a joy my lofty gratulation

Unawed I sang, amid a slavish band:
And when to whelm the disenchanted nation,
Like fiends embattled by a wizard's wand,

The Monarchs marched in evil day,

And Britain joined the dire array;
Though dear her shores and circling ocean,
Though many friendships, many youthful loves

Had swoln the patriot emotion
And flung a magic light o'er all her hills and

groves;
Yet still my voice, unaltered, sang defeat

To all that braved the tyrant-quelling lance,
And shame too long delayed and vain retreat!
For ne'er, O Liberty! with partial aim
I dimmed thy light or damped thy holy flame;

But blessed the pæans of delivered France,
And hung my head and wept at Britain's name.

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39

FRANCE: AN ODE*

I

Wove

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Ye Clouds! that far above me float and pause,

Whose pathless march no mortal may control! “And what," I said, “though Blasphemy's Ye Ocean Waves! that, whereso 'er ye roll,

loud scream Yield homage only to eternal laws!

With that sweet music of deliverance strove! Ye Woods! that listen to the night-bird's Though all the fierce and drunken passions

singing, Midway the smooth and perilous slope re- A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's clined,

dream!1 Save when your own imperious branches swing- Ye storms, that round the dawning east asing,

sembled, Have made a solemn music of the wind! The Sun” was rising, though ye hid his light!” Where, like a man beloved of God,

And when to soothe my soul, that hoped and Through glooms, which never woodman trod, 10 trembled, How oft, pursuing fancies holy,

The dissonance ceased, and all seemed calm My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds I

and bright; wound,

When France her front deep-scarred and Inspired beyond the guess of folly,

gory By each rude shape and wild unconquerable Concealed with clustering wreaths of glory; sound!

When, insupportably advancing, O ye loud Waves! and 0 ye Forests high! Her arm made mockery of the warrior's

And ( ye Clouds that far above me soared! ramp; Thou rising sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!

While timid looks of fury glancing, Yea, every thing that is and will be free! Domestic treason, crushed beneath her fatal Bear witness for me, wheresoe 'er ye be,

stamp, With what deep worship I have still adored Writhed like a wounded dragon in his gore; The spirit of divinest Liberty.

Then I reproached my fears that would not flee;

I said, “shall Wisdom teach her

lore When France in wrath her giant-limbs up. In the low huts of them that toil and groan; reared,

And, conquering by her happiness alone, And with that oath which smote air, earth

Shall France compel the nations to be free,

Till Love and Joy look round, and call the Stamped her strong foot and said she would

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"And soon,

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61

and sea,

earth their own." be free,

1 Alluding to the

that attended the • Written in 1798; called forth by the French invasion of Switzerland.

2 Liberty

excesses French Revolution.

IV

HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE VALE

OF CHAMOUNI* Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams!

I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament, Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star

From bleak Helvetia 's3 icy caverns sent- In his steep course! So long he seems to pause I hear thy groans upon her blood-stained on thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc! streams!

The Arve and Arveiron at thy base Heroes, that for your peaceful country per- Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form! ished,

Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, And ye, that fleeing, spot your mountain snows How silently! Around thee and above With bleeding wounds; forgive me, that I Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, cherished

70

An ebon mass : methinks thou piercest it, One thought that ever blessed your cruel foes! As with a wedge! But when I look again, 10 To scatter rage and traitorous guilt

It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine, Where Peace her jealous home had built; Thy habitation from eternity! A patriot-race to disinherit

o dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee, Of all that made their stormy wilds so dear; Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, And with inexpiable spirit

Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in To taint the bloodless freedom of the moun

prayer taineer

I worshipped the Invisible alone. O France, that mockest Heaven, adulterous, blind,

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, And patriot only in pernicious toils!

So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, Are these thy boasts, Champion of human Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my kind ?

80

Thought, To mix with Kings in the low lust of sway, Yea, with my Life and Life's own secret joy: Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey; Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused, To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils

Into the mighty vision passing—there From freemen torn; to tempt and to betray! As in her natural form, swelled vast to

Heaven!

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The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain,

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, game

Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake, They burst their manacles and wear the name Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake! Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain!

Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn. O Liberty! with profitless endeavour Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour;

Thou' first and chief, sole sovereign of the But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain nor

Vale!
Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human And visited all night by troops of stars,

O struggling with the darkness all the night, power.

Or when they climb the sky or when they sink: Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee,

Companion of the morning-star at dawn, (Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee) Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn Alike from Priestcraft's harpy minions,

Co-herald: wake, O wake, and utter praise! And factious Blasphemy's obscener slaves,

Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth? Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions,

Who filled thy countenance with rosy light? The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

the waves! And there I felt thee! on that sea-cliff's

And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad! verge,

Who called you forth from night and utter Whose pines, scarce travelled by the breeze

death, above,

From dark and icy caverns called you forth, Had made one murmur with the distant surge! Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks, Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, For ever shattered and the same for ever? And shot my being through earth, sea and air, Possessing all things with intensest love,

* This rather Ossianic poem has been perhaps O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.

unduly admired. Coleridge

Chamouni; his immediate model was a poem 3 Switzerland's

by the German poetess Frederike Brun,

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Who gave you your invulnerable life,

THE KNIGHT'S TOMB Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your Where is the grave of Sir Arthur O'Kellyn? joy,

Where may the grave of that good man be?Unceasing thunder and eternal foam!

By the side of a spring, on the breast of And who commanded (and the silence came), Helvellyn, Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest? Under the twigs of a young birch tree!

The oak that in summer was sweet to hear, Ye Ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's And rustled its leaves in the fall of the year,

And whistled and roared in the winter alone, brow

Is gone,-and the birch in its stead is grown.Adown enormous ravines slope amain-

The Knight's bones are dust, Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,

And his good sword rust; And stopped at once amid their maddest

His soul is with the saints, I trust.
plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!

SONG
Who made you glorious as the Gates of
Heaven

From ZAPOLYA, Act II, SCENE I
Beneath the keen full moon: Who bade the

A sunny shaft did I behold,

From sky to earth it slanted: ('lothe you with rainbows? Who, with living

And poised therein a bird so boldflowers

Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted ! Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?

He sunk, he rose, he twinkled, he trolled God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations, Within that shaft of sunny mist; Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God! His eyes of fire, his beak of gold, God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome All else of amethyst!

voice! Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like And thus he sang: Adieu! adieu ! sounds!

Love's dreams prove seldom true. And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,

The blossoms they make no delay;
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

The sparkling dew-drops will not stay.
Sweet month of May,

We must away;
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!

Far far away!
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !

Today! today!
Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!

YOUTH AND AGE*
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise! | Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,

Where Hope clung feeding, like a beeThou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-point. Both were mine! Life went a-maying ing peaks,

70 With Nature, Hope, and Poesy, Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,

When I was young!
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure When I was young ?-Ah, woeful When!

Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then! Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast- This breathing house not built with hanois, Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou

This body that does me grievous wrong, That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low

O’er aery cliffs and glittering sands, In adoration, upward from thy base

How lightly then it flashed along:Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with

Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore, tears,

On winding lakes and rivers wide, Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,

That ask no aid of sail or oar, To rise before me Rise, ( ever rise,

That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Rise like a cloud of incense from the Earth! Nought cared this body for wind or weather
Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills,

When Youth and I lived in 't together.
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven,
Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky, 1 A mountain in Cumberland.
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun

serene

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79

* A first cough draft of this poem

"Area Spontanea," and the whole still reads Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God. like a musical improvisation.

was called

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Flowers are lovely; Love is Aower-like; And would you learn the spells that drowse my Friendship is a sheltering tree;

soul? 0! the joys, that came down shower-like, Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve, Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,

21 | And Hope without an object cannot live. Ere I was old! Ere I was old? Ah woeful Ere,

SIR WALTER SCOTT
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,

(1771-1832) 'Tis known, that Thou and I were one,

LOCHINVAR*
I'll think it but a fond conceit-
It cannot be that Thou art gone!

FROM MARMION, Canto V
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd:-
And thou wert aye a masker bold !

Oh! young Lochinvar is come out of the west, 30

Through all the wide Border his steed was the What strange disguise hast now put on,

best; To make believe, that thou art gone?

And save his good broadsword he weapons had I see these locks in silvery slips,

none. This drooping gait, this altered size:

He rode all unarmed and he rode all alone. But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,

So faithful in love and so dauntless in war, And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!

There never was knight like the young Life is but thought: so think I will

Lochinvar.

6 That Youth and I are house-mates still. Dew.drops are the gems of morning,

He stayed not for brake and he stopped not for But the tears of mournful eve!

stone, Where no hope is, life 's a warning

He swam the Eske river where ford there was That only serves to make us grieve,

none, When we are old:

But ere he alighted at Netherby gate That only serves to make us grieve

The bride had consented, the gallant came late: With oft and tedious taking-leave,

For a laggard in love and a dastard in war Like some poor nigh-related guest,

Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar. That may not rudely be dismist; Yet hath out-stay 'd his welcome while, So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall, And tells the jest without the smile.

Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers,

and all:

Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his WORK WITHOUT HOPEť.

sword, All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their

For the poor craven bridegroom said never a

word,lair

‘Oh! come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, The bees are stirring—birls are on the wing

Or to dance at our bridal, And Winter slumbering in the open air,

young Lord Lochinvar?'

18 Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring! And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,

'I long wooed your daughter, my suit you Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

denied; Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths Love swells like the Solway,1 but ebbs like its

tideblow, Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar And now am I come, with this lost love of flow.

mine, Bloom, 0 ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye

To lead but one measure, drink one cup of

wine. may, For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams,

There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by away!

far, With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I That would gladly be bride to the young stroll:

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Lochinvar.'

† Written in 1827; the mournful Ay de mi of a

man confronted by age and sickness and
looking back over a life of defeated hopes
and wasted opportunities.

1 Solway Firth, noted for its swift tides.
* Compare Katharine Jaffray. p. 79, upon which

Scott "in a very slight degree founded" the
present ballad.

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