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WILLIAM AND HELEN.
Imitated from the “ LENORE” of BÜRGER.
The author had resolved to omit the following version of a well-known Poem, in any collection which he might make of his poetical trifles. But the publishers having pleaded for its admission, the author has consented, though not unaware of the disadvantage at which this youthful essay (for it was written in 1995) must appear with those which have been executed by much more able hands, in particular that of Mr Taylor of Norwich, and that of Mr Spencer.
The following Translation was written long before the author saw any other, and originated in the follow
ing circumstances. A lady of high rank in the literary world read this romantic tale, as translated by Mr Taylor, in the house of the celebrated Professor Dugald Stewart of Edinburgh. The author was not present, nor indeed in Edinburgh at the time; but a gentleman who had the pleasure of hearing the ballad, afterwards told him the story, and repeated the remarkable chorus,
" Tramp! tramp! along the land they rode,
Splash ! splash ! along the sea ;
Dost fear to ride with me?"
In attempting a translation then intended only to circulate among friends, the present author did not hesitate to make use of this impressive stanza; for which freedom he has since obtained the forgiveness of the ingenious gentleman to whom it properly belongs.
WILLIAM AND HELEN.
And eyed the dawning red :
O art thou false or dead'?"
With gallant Fred'rick's princely power
He sought the bold crusade ; But not a word from Judah's wars
Told Helen how he sped.
With Paynim and with Saracen
At length a truce was made, And ev'ry knight return’d to dry
The tears his love had shed.
Our gallant host was homeward bound, With
many a song of joy; Green waved the laurel in each plume,
The badge of victory.
And old and young, and sire and son,
To meet them crowd the way, With shouts, and mirth, and melody,
The debt of love to pay.