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I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And how for ten long years he woo'd

The Ladie of the Land.

I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone *
With which I sang another's love,

Interpreted my own.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
And she forgave me that I gazed

Too fondly on her face !

But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And how he roam'd the mountain-woods,

Nor rested day nor night;

[And how he cross'd the woodman's paths, Through briars and swampy mosses beat; How boughs rebounding scourged his limbs

And low stubs gored his feet;]

How sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once

In green and sunny glade,

* The low, the deep, the pleading tone-1799.

There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And how he knew it was a Fiend,

This miserable Knight!

And how, unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murderous band,*
And saved from outrage worse than death

The Ladie of the Land ;

And how she wept and clasp'd his knees;
And how she tended him in vain-
And ever strove † to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain ;

And how she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away
When on the yellow forest-leaves

A dying man he lay

His dying words—but when I reach'd
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp

Disturb'd her soul with pity!

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve;

* A lawless band—1799.

+ Meekly strove-it.

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherish'd long!

*

She wept with pity and delight,
She blush'd with love and virgin shame;
And, like the murmur of a dream,

I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved—she stepp'd aside,
As conscious of my look she stept-
Then suddenly, with timorous eye,

She fled I to me and wept.

She half inclosed me with her arms,
She press'd me with a meek embrace ;
And bending back her head, look'd up,

And gazed upon my face.

'Twas partly love, and partly fear, And partly 'twas a bashful art, That I might rather feel than see

The swelling of her heart.

* Maiden shame ;-1799.
+ I saw her bosom heave and swell,

Heave and swell with inward sighs
I could not choose but love to see

Her gentle bosom rise.
Her wet cheek glow'd; she stept aside, &c.-il.
Flew-ib.

I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,

My bright and beauteous Bride!

And now once more a tale of woe,
A woeful tale of love I sing ;
For thee, my Genevieve, it sighs,

And trembles on the string.

When last I sang the cruel scorn
That crazed this bold and lovely knight,
And how he roam'd the mountain woods,

Nor rested day nor night;

I promised thee a sister tale
Of man's perfidious cruelty;
Come then and hear what cruel wrong

Befell the Dark Ladie.

END OF THE INTRODUCTION.

THE BALLAD OF THE DARK LADIE.

A FRAGMENT.

BENEATH yon birch with silver bark

And boughs so pendulous and fair, The brook falls scatter'd down the rock :

And all is mossy there !

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And there upon the moss she sits,
The Dark Ladie in silent pain ;
The heavy tear is in her eye,

And drops and swells again.

Three times she sends her little page
Up the castled mountain's breast,
If he might find the Knight that wears

The Griffin for his crest.

The sun was sloping down the sky,
And she had linger'd there all day,
Counting moments, dreaming fears-

O wherefore can he stay?

She hears a rustling o'er the brook,
She sees far off a swinging bough!
6 Tis He ! 'Tis my betrothed Knight!

Lord Falkland, it is Thou !"

She springs, she clasps him round the neck,
She sobs a thousand hopes and fears,
Her kisses glowing on his cheeks

She quenches with her tears.

*

"My friends with rude ungentle words
They scoff and bid me fly to thee !
O give me shelter in thy breast !

O shield and shelter me !

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