Billeder på siden

" And palmer, good palmer, by Gallilee's wave, O saw ye Count Albert, the gentle and brave? When the Crescent went back, and the Red-cross rush'd on,

him foremost on Mount Lebanon ?"

O saw ye

“O lady, fair lady, the tree green it grows;
O lady, fair lady, the stream pure it flows;
Your castle stands strong, and your hopes soar on high,
But lady, fair lady, all blossoms to die.

The green boughs they wither, the thunderbolt falls,
It leaves of your castle but levin-scorch'd walls ;

stream runs muddy; the gay hope is gone; Count Albert is prisoner on Mount Lebanon.”.

O she's ta'en a horse, should be fleet at her speed ;
And she's ta'en a sword, should be sharp at her need;
And she has ta'en shipping for Palestine's land,
To ransom Count Albert from Soldanrie's hand.

Small thought had Count Albert on fair Rosalie,
Small thought on his faith, or his knighthood, had he;
A heathenish damsel his light heart had won,
The Soldan's fair daughter of Mount Lebanon. -

“O Christian, brave Christian, my love would'st thou be,
Three things must thou do ere I hearken to thee:
Our laws and our worship on thee shalt thou take ;
And this thou shalt first do for Zulema's sake.

And, next, in the cavern, where burns evermore The mystical flame which the Curdmans adore, Alone, and in silence, three nights shalt thou wake; And this thou shalt next do for Zulema's sake.

And, last, thou shalt aid us with counsel and hand, To drive the Frank robber from Palestine's land; For my lord and


love then Count Albert I'll take, When all this is accomplish'd for Zulema's sake."

He has thrown by his helmet and cross-handled sword,
Renouncing his knighthood, denying his Lord;
He has ta’en the green caftan, and turban put on,
For the love of the maiden of fair Lebanon.

And in the dread cavern, deep deep under ground,
Which fifty steel gates and steel portals surround,
He has watch'd until day-break, but sight saw he none,
Save the flame burning bright on its altar of stone.

Amazed was the princess, the Soldan amazed ;
Sore murmur'd the priests as on Albert they gazed :
They search'd all his garments, and, under his weeds,
They found, and took from him, his rosary beads.

Again in the cavern, deep deep under ground,
He watch'd the lone night, while the winds whistled round;
Far off was their murmur, it came not more nigh,
The flame burnt unmoved, and nought else did he spy.

Loud murmur'd the priests, and amazed was the king,
While many dark spells of their witchcraft they sing;

They search'd Albert's body, and, lo! on his breast
Was the sign of the Cross, by his father impress'd.

The priests they erase it with care and with pain,
And the recreant return'd to the cavern again ;
But, as he descended, a whisper there fell !
It was his good angel, who bade him farewell!

High bristled his hair, his heart flutter'd and beat,
And he turn’d him five steps, half resolved to retreat;
But his heart it was harden'd, his purpose was gone,
When he thought of the maiden of fair Lebanon.

Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce trod, When the winds from the four points of Heaven were

abroad; They made each steel portal to rattle and ring, And, borne on the blast, came the dread Fire-King.

Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew nigh,
The fire on the altar blazed bickering and high ;
In volcanic explosions the mountains proclaim
The dreadful approach of the Monarch of Flame.

Unmeasured in height, undistinguish'd in form,
His breath it was lightning, his voice it was storm;
I ween the stout heart of Count Albert was tame,
When he saw in his terrors the Monarch of Flame.

[ocr errors]

In his hand a broad faulchion blue-glimmer'd through smoke, And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch he spoke :« With this brand shalt thou conquer, thus long, and no


Till thou bend to the Cross, and the Virgin adore.”—

The cloud-shrouded Arm gives the weapon; and, see !
The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his knee:
The thunders growl distant, and faint gleam the fires,
As, borne on his whirlwind, the Phantom retires.

« ForrigeFortsæt »