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Title: Popular British Ballads, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 4 (of 4)
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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POPULAR BRITISH BALLADS

ANCIENT AND MODERN

By Various

Chosen and  edited by R. Brimley Johnson

Illustrated  By W. C. Cooke

In Four Volumes

Volume IV

1894

[Illustration: 0024]



THE HIGH TIDE ON THE COAST OF LINCOLNSHIRE

|The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,

     The ringers ran by two, by three;

"Pull, if ye never pulled before;

     Good ringers, pull your best," quoth he.

"Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!

Ply all your changes, all your swells,

     Play uppe 'The Brides of Enderby.'"



Men say it was a stolen tyde--

     The Lord that sent it, He knows all;

But in myne ears doth still abide

     The message that the bells let fall:

And there was nought of strange, beside

The flights of mews and peewits pied

     By millions crouched on the old sea wall.



I sat and spun within the doore,

     My thread brake off, I raised myne eyes;

The level sun, like ruddy ore,

     Lay sinking in the barren skies;

And dark against day's golden death

She moved where Lindis wandereth,

My sonne's faire wife, Elizabeth.



"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,

Ere the early dews were falling,

Far re away I heard her song.

"Cusha! Cusha!" all along;

Where the reedy Lindis floweth,

          Floweth, floweth,

From the meads where melick groweth

Faintly came her milking song.--



"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,

"For the dews will soone be falling;

Leave your meadow grasses mellow,

          Mellow, mellow;

Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;

Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Light-

     foot;

Quit the stalks of parsley hollow,

          Hollow, hollow;

Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,

From the clovers lift your head;

Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Light-

     foot,

Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,

Jetty, to the milking shed,"



If it be long, aye, long ago,

     When I beginne to think howe long,

Againe I hear the Lindis flow,

     Swift as an arrowe, sharpe and strong;

And all the aire, it seemeth mee,

Bin full of floating bells (sayth shee),

That ring the tune of Enderby.



Alle fresh the level pasture lay,

     And not a shadowe mote be seene,

Save where full fyve good miles away

     The steeple towered from out the greene;

And lo! the great bell farre and wide

Was heard in all the country side

That Saturday at eventide.



The swannerds where their sedges are

     Moved on in sunset's golden breath,

The shepherde lads I heard afarre,

     And my sonne's wife, Elizabeth;

Till floating o'er the grassy sea

Came downe that kyndly message free,

The "Brides of Mavis Enderby."



Then some looked uppe into the sky,

     And all along where Lindis flows

To where the goodly vessels lie,

     And where the lordly steeple shows.

They sayde, "And why should this thing be?

What danger lowers by land or sea?

They ring the tune of Enderby!



"For evil news from Mabelthorpe,

     Of pyrate galleys warping down;

For shippes ashore beyond the scorpe,

     They have not spared to wake the towne:

But while the west bin red to see,

And storms be none, and pyrates flee,

Why ring 'The Brides of Enderby?'"



I looked without, and lo! my sonne

     Came riding downe with might and main:

He raised a shout as he drew on,

     Till all the welkin rang again,

"Elizabeth! Elizabeth!"

(A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath

Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth).



"The olde sea wall (he cried) is downe,

     The rising tide comes on apace,

And boats adrift in yonder towne

     Go sailing uppe the market-place."

He shook as one that looks on death:

"God save you, mother!" straight he saith;

"Where is my wife, Elizabeth?"



"Good sonne, where Lindis winds away

     With her two bairns I marked her long;

And ere yon bells beganne to play

     Afar I heard her milking song."

He looked across the grassy lea,

To right, to left, "Ho Enderby!"

They rang "The Brides of Enderby!"



With that he cried and beat his breast;

     For, lo! along the river's bed

A mighty eygre reared his crest,

     And up the Lindis raging sped.

It swept with thunderous noises loud;

Shaped like a curling snow-white cloud,

Or like a demon in a shroud.



And rearing Lindis backward pressed,

     Shook all her trembling bankes amaine;

Then madly at the eygre's breast

     Flung uppe her weltering walls again.

Then bankes came downe with ruin and rout--

Then beaten foam flew round about--

Then all the mighty floods were out.



So farre, so fast the eygre drave,

     The heart had hardly time to beat,

Before a shallow seething wave

     Sobbed in the grasses at oure feet:

The feet had hardly time to flee

Before it brake against the knee,

And all the world was in the sea.



Upon the roofe we sate that night,

     The noise of bells went sweeping by:

I marked the lofty beacon light

     Stream from the church tower, red and high--

A lurid mark and dread to see;

And awsome bells they were to mee,

That in the dark rang "Enderby."



They rang the sailor lads to guide

     From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed;

And I--my sonne was at my side,

     And yet the ruddy beacon glowed:

And yet he moaned beneath his breath,

"O come in life, or come in death!

O lost! my love, Elizabeth."



And didst thou visit him no more?

     Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter deare;

The waters laid thee at his doore,

     Ere yet the early dawn was clear.

Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace,

The lifted sun shone on thy face,

Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place.



That flow strewed wrecks about the grass,

     That ebbe swept out the flocks to sea;

A fatal ebbe and flow, alas!

     To manye more than my ne and me:

But each will mourn his own (she saith).

And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath

Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.



I shall never hear her more

By the reedy Lindis shore,

"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,

Ere the early dews be falling;

I shall never hear her song,

"Cusha! Cusha!" all along,

Where the sunny Lindis flpweth,

          Goeth, floweth;

From the meads where ihelick groweth,

When the water winding down,

Onward floweth to the town.



I shall never see her more

Where the reeds and rushes quiver,

          Shiver, quiver;

Stand beside the sobbing river.

Sobbing, throbbing, in its falling,

To the sandy lonesome shore;

I shall never hear her calling,

"Leave your meadow grasses mellow,

          Mellow, mellow;

Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;

Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot;

Quit your pipes of parsley hollow,

          Hollow, hollow;

Come uppe Lightfoot, rise and follow;

          Lightfoot, Whitefoot,

From your clovers lift the head;

Come uppe Jetty, follow, follow,

Jetty, to the milking shed."

----Jean Ingelow.



BALLAD OF THE BRIDES OF QUAIR

[Illustration: 9031]


|A stillness crept about the house,

At evenfall, in noon-tide glare;

Upon the silent hills looked forth

The many-windowed House of Quair.



The peacock on the terrace screamed;

Browsed on the lawn the timid hare;

The great trees grew i' the avenue,

Calm by the sheltered House of Quair.



The pool was still; around its brim

The alders sickened all the air;

There came no murmur from the streams,

Though nigh flowed Leithen, Tweed, and

     Quair.



The days hold on their wonted pace,

And men to court and camp repair,

Their part to fill, of good or ill,

While women keep the House of Quair.



And one is clad in widow's weeds,

And one is maiden-like and fair,

And day by day they seek the paths

About the lonely fields of Quair.



To see the trout leap in the streams,

The summer clouds reflected there,

The maiden loves in pensive dreams

To hang o'er silver Tweed and Quair.



Within, in pall-black velvet clad,

Sits stately in her oaken chair--

A stately dame of ancient name--

The Mother of the House of Quair.



Her daughter broiders by her side,

With heavy drooping golden hair,

And listens to her frequent plaint,--

"I'll fare the Brides that come to Quair.



"For more than one hath lived in pine,

And more than one hath died of care,

And more than one hath sorely sinned,

Left lonely in the House of Quair.



"Alas! and ere thy father died

I had not in his heart a share,

And now--may God forfend her ill--

Thy brother brings his Bride to Quair!"



She came: they kissed her in the hall,

They kissed her on the winding stair,

They led her to her chamber high,

The fairest in the House of Quair.



They bade her from the window look,

And mark the scene how passing fair,

Among whose ways the quiet days

Would linger o'er the wife of Quair.



"'_Tis_ fair," she said on looking forth,

"But what although 'twere bleak and

     bare"--

She looked the love she did not speak,

And broke the ancient curse of Quair--



"Where'er he dwells, where'er he goes,

His dangers and his toils I share."

What need be said--she was not one

Of the ill-fated Brides of Quair!

----Isa Craig Knox.-



FIRST LOVE


|O my earliest love, who, ere I number'd

     Ten sweet summers, made my bosom thrill!

Will a swallow--or a swift, or some bird--

     Fly to her and say, I love her still?



Say my life's a desert drear and arid,

     To its one green spot I aye recur:

Never, never, although three times married--

     Have I cared a jot for aught but her.



No, mine own! though early forced to leave you,

     Still my heart was there where first we met;

In those "Lodgings with an ample sea-view,"

     Which were, forty years ago, "To Let."



There I saw her first, our landlord's oldest

     Little daughter. On a thing so fair

Thou, O Sun,--who (so they say) beholdest

     Everything,--hast gazed, I tell thee, ne'er.



There she sat--so near me, yet remoter

     Than a star--a blue-eyed bashful imp:

On her lap she held a happy bloater,

     'Twixt her lips a yet more happy shrimp.



And I loved her, and our troth we plighted

     On the morrow by the shingly shore:

In a fortnight to be disunited

     By a bitter fate for evermore.



O my own, my beautiful, my blue-eyed!

     To be young once more, and bite my thumb

[Illustration: 003;]

At the world and all its cares with you, I'd

     Give no inconsiderable sum.

Hand in hand we tramp'd the golden seaweed,

     Soon as o'er the gray cliff peep'd the dawn:

Side by side, when came the hour for tea, we'd

     Crunch the mottled shrimp and hairy prawn:--



Has she wedded some gigantic shrimper,

     That sweet mite with whom I loved to play?

Is she girt with babes that whine and whimper,

     That bright being who was always gay?



Yes, she has at least a dozen wee things!

     Yes--I see her darning corduroys,

Scouring floors, and setting out the tea-things,

     For a howling herd of hungry boys,



In a home that reeks of tar and sperm-oil!

     But at intervals she thinks, I know,

Of those days which we, afar from turmoil,

     Spent together forty years ago.



O my earliest love, still unforgotten,

     With your downcast eyes of dreamy blue!

Never, somehow, could I seem to cotton

     To another as I did to you!

----C. S. Calverley.



SAD MEMORIES


|They tell me I am beautiful: they praise my

     silken hair,

My little feet that silently slip on from stair to

     stair:

They praise my pretty trustful face and innocent

     grey eye;

Fond hands caress me oftentimes, yet would

     that I might die!



Why was I born to be abhorr'd of man and bird

     and beast?

The bullfinch marks me stealing by, and straight

     his song hath ceased;

The shrewmouse eyes me shudderingly, then

     flees; and worse than that,

The housedog he flees after me--why was I

     born a cat?



Men prize the heartless hound who quits dry-

     eyed his native land;

Who wags a mercenary tail and licks a tyrant

     hand.

The leal true cat they prize not, that if e'er

     compell'd to roam

Still flies, when let out of the bag, precipitately

     home.



They call me cruel. Do I know if mouse or

     song-bird feels?

I only know they make me light and salutary

     meals:

And if, as 'tis my nature to, ere I devour I

     tease'em,

Why should a low-bred gardener's boy pursue

     me with a besom?



Should china fall or chandeliers, or anything but

     stocks--

Nay stocks, when they're in flowerpots--the cat

     expects hard knocks:

Should ever anything be missed--milk, coals,

     umbrellas, brandy--

The cat's pitch'd into with a boot or any thing

     that's handy.



"I remember, I remember," how one night I

     "fleeted by,"

And gain'd the blessed tiles and gazed into the

     cold clear sky.

"I remember, I remember, how my little lovers

     came,"

And there, beneath the crescent moon, play'd

     many a little game.



They fought--by good St Catharine,'twas a

     fearsome sight to see

The coal-black crest, the glowering orbs, of

     one gigantic He.



Like bow by some tall bowman bent at Hastings

     or Poictiers,

His huge back curved, till none observed a

     vestige of his ears:

He stood, an ebon crescent, flouting that ivory

     moon;

Then raised the pibroch of his race, the Song

     without a Tune;

Gleam'd his white teeth, his mammoth tail waved

     . darkly to and fro,

As with one complex yell he burst, all claws,

     upon the foe.



It thrills me now, that final Miaow--that weird

     unearthly din:

Lone maidens heard it far away, and leap'd out

     of their skin.

A potboy from his den o'erhead peep'd with a

     scared wan face;

Then sent a random brickbat down, which

     knock'd me into space.



Nine days I fell, or thereabouts: and, had we

     not nine lives,

I wis I ne'er had seen again thy sausage-shop,

     St Ives!

Had I, as some cats have, nine tails, how gladly

     I would lick

The hand, and person generally, of him who

     heaved that brick.



For me they fill the milkbowl up, and cull the

     choice sardine:

But ah! I nevermore shall be the cat I once

     have been!

The memories of that fatal night they haunt me

     even now:

In dreams I see that rampant He, and tremble

     at that Miaow.

----C. S. Calverley.



HOW WE BEAT THE FAVOURITE

(_A Lay of the Loamshire Hunt Cup_.)


|Aye, squire," said Stevens, "they back him

     at evens;

The race is all over, bar shouting, they say;

The Clown ought to beat her; Dick Neville is

     sweeter

Than ever--he swears he can win all the way.



"A gentleman rider--well, I'm an outsider,

But if he's a gent who the mischiefs a jock?

You swells mostly blunder, Dick rides for the

     plunder,

He rides, too, like thunder--he sits like a

     rock.



"He calls 'hunted fairly' a horse that has barely

     Been stripp'd for a trot within sight of the

          hounds,

A horse that at Warwick beat Birdlime and

          Yorick,

     And gave Abdelkader at Aintree nine pounds.



"They say we have no test to warrant a

          protest;

Dick rides for a lord and stands in with a

          steward;

The light of their faces they show him--his

          case is

Prejudged and his verdict already secured.



"But none can outlast her, and few travel faster,

     She strides in her work clean away from The

          Drag;

You hold her and sit her, she couldn't be fitter,

Whenever you hit her she'll spring like a stag.

"And p'rhaps the green jacket, at odds though

          they back it,

May fall, or there's no knowing what may

          turn up.

The mare is quite ready, sit still and ride steady,

     Keep cool; and I think you may just win the

          Cup."



Dark-brown with tan muzzle, just stripped for

          the tussle,

     Stood Iseult, arching her neck to the curb,

A lean head and fiery, strong quarters and wiry,

     A loin rather light, but a shoulder superb.



Some parting injunction, bestowed with great

          unction,

     I tried to recall, but forgot like a dunce,

When Reginald Murray, full tilt on White

          Surrey,

     Came down in a hurry to start us at once.



"Keep back in the yellow! Come up on

          Othello!

     Hold hard on the chesnut! Turn round on

          The Drag!

Keep back there on Spartan! Back you, sir,

          in tartan!

     So, steady there, easy," and down went the

          flag.



We started, and Kerr made strong running on

          Mermaid,

     Through furrows that led to the first stake-

          and-bound,

The crack, half extended, look'd bloodlike and

          splendid,

     Held wide on the right where the headland

          was sound.



I pulled hard to baffle her rush with the snaffle,

     Before her two-thirds of the field got away,

All through the wet pasture where floods of the

          last year

     Still loitered, they clotted my crimson with

          clay.



The fourth fence, a wattle, floor'd Monk and

          Blue-bottle;

     The Drag came to grief at the blackthorn

          arid ditch,

The rails toppled over Redoubt and Red Rover,

     The lane stopped Lycurgus and Leicestershire

          Witch.



She passed like an arrow Kildare and Cock

          Sparrow,

     And Mantrap and Mermaid refused the stone

          wall;

And Giles on The Greyling came down at the

          paling,

     And I was left sailing in front of them all.



I took them a burster, nor eased her nor nursed

          her

     Until the Black Bullfinch led into the plough,

And through the strong bramble we bored

          with a scramble--

     My cap was knock'd off by the hazel-tree

          bough.



Where furrows looked lighter I drew the rein

          tighter--

     Her dark chest all dappled with flakes of

          white foam,

Her flanks mud bespattered, a weak rail she

          shattered--

     We landed on turf with our heads turn'd for

          home.



Then crash'd a low binder, and then close

          behind her

     The sward to the strokes of the favourite

          shook;

His rush roused her mettle, yet ever so little

     She shorten'd her stride as we raced at the

          brook.



She rose when I hit her. I saw the stream

          glitter,

     A wide scarlet nostril flashed close to my knee,

Between sky and water The Clown came and

          caught her,

     The space that he cleared was a caution to see.



And forcing the running, discarding all cunning,

     A length to the front went the rider in green;

A long strip of stubble, and then the big double,

     Two stiff flights of rails with a quickset

          between.



She raced at the rasper, I felt my knees grasp her,

     I found my hands give to her strain on the

          bit,

She rose when the Clown did--our silks as we

          bounded

     Brush'd lightly, our stirrups clash'd loud as

          we lit.



A rise steeply sloping, a fence with stone

          coping--

     The last--we diverged round the base of the

          hill;

His path was the nearer, his leap was the

          clearer,

     I flogg'd up the straight, and he led sitting

          still.



She came to his quarter, and on still I brought

          her,

     And up to his girth, to his breast-plate she

          drew;

A short prayer from Neville just reach'd me,

          "The devil,"

     He mutter'd--lock'd level the hurdles we flew.



A hum of hoarse cheering, a dense crowd

          careering,

     All sights seen obscurely, all shouts vaguely

          heard;

"The green wins!" "The crimson!" The

          multitude swims on,

     And figures are blended and features are

          blurr'd.



"The horse is her master!" "The green

          forges past her!"

     "The Clown will outlast her!" "The

          Clown wins!" "The Clown!"

The white railing races with all the white faces,

     The chesnut outpaces, outstretches the brown.



On still past the gateway she strains in the

          straightway,

     Still struggles, "The Clown by a short neck

          at most,"

He swerves, the green scourges, the stand

          rocks and surges,

     And flashes, and verges, and flits the white

          post.



Aye! so ends the tussle,--I knew the tan muzzle

     Was first, though the ring-men were yelling

          "Dead heat!"

A nose I could swear by, but Clarke said "The

          mare by

     A short head." And that's how the favourite

          was beat.

----A. L. Gordon.



THE MERMAID OF PADSTOW


|It is long Tom Yeo of the town of Padstow,

     And he is a ne'er-do-weel:

"Ho, mates," cries he, "rejoice with me,

     For I have shot a seal."



Nay, Tom, by the mass thou art but an ass,

     No seal bestains this foam;

But the long wave rolls up a Mermaid's glass

     And a young Mermaiden's comb.



The sun has set, the night-clouds throng,

     The sea is steely grey.

They hear the dying Mermaid's song

     Peal from the outer bay.



"A curse with you go, ye men of Padstow!

     Ye shall not thrive or win,

Ye have seen the last ship from your haven slip,

     And the last ship enter in.



"For this deed I devote you to dwell without

          boat

     By the skirt of the oarèd blue,

And ever be passed by sail and by mast,

     And none with an errand for you."



And scarce had she spoke when the black

          storm broke

     With thunder and levin's might:

Three days did it blow, and none in Padstow

     Could tell the day from night.



Joy! the far thunder mutters soft,

     The wild clouds whirl o'erhead,

And from a ragged rift aloft

     A shaft of light is sped.



Now ho for him that waits to send

     The storm-bound bark to sea!

And ho for them that hither bend

     To crowd our busy quay!



Hath Ocean, think ye then, not heard

     His dying child deplore?

Are not his sandy deeps unstirred,

     And thrust against the shore?



Doth not a mighty ramp of sand

     Beleaguer all the bay,

Mocking the strength of mortal hand

     To pierce or sweep away?



The white-winged traders, all about,

     Fare o'er that bar to win:

But this one cries, I cannot out,

     And that, I may not in.



For thy dire woe, forlorn Padstow,

     What remedy may be?

Not all the brine of thy sad eyne

     Will float thy ships to sea.

The sighs that from thy seamen pass

     Might set a fleet a-sail,

And the faces that look in the Mermaid's

          glass

Are as long as the Mermaid's tail.

----R. Garnett.



[Illustration: 0049]



THE HIGHWAYMAN'S GHOST

[Illustration: 0050]


|Twelve o'clock--a misty night--

Glimpsing hints of buried light--

Six years strung in an iron chain--r

Time I stood on the ground again!



So--by your leave! Slip, easy enough,

Withered wrists from the rusty cuff.

The old chain rattles, the old wood groans,

O the clatter of clacking bones!



Here I am, uncoated, unhatted,

Shirt all mildewed, hair all matted,

Sockets that each have royally

Fed the crow with a precious eye.



O for slashing Bess the brown!

Where, old lass, have they earthed thee

          down?

Sobb'st beneath a carrier's thong?

Strain'st a coalman's cart along?



Shame to foot it!--must be so.

See, the mists are smitten below;

Over the moorland, wide away,

Moonshine pours her watery day.



There the long white-dusted track,

There a crawling speck of black.

The Northern mail, ha, ha! and he

There on the box is Anthony.



Coachman I scared him from brown or

          grey,

Witness he lied my blood away.

Haste, Fred! haste, boy! never fail!

Now or never! catch the mail!



The horses plunge, and sweating stop.

Dead falls Tony, neck and crop.

Nay, good guard, small profit thus,

Shooting ghosts with a blunderbuss!



Crash wheel! coach over! How it rains

Hampers, ladies, wigs, and canes!

O the spoil! to sack it and lock it!

But, woe is me, I have never a pocket!

----R. Garnett.



THE BROTHERS


|There were twa brethren fell on strife;

     Sweet fruits are sair to gather:

The tane has reft his brother of life;

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



There were twa brethren fell to fray

     Sweet fruits are sair to gather:

The tane is clad in a coat of clay;

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



O loud and loud was the live man's cry,

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"Would God the dead and the slain were I!"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"O sair was the wrang and sair the fray,"

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"But liefer had love be slain than slay,"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"O sweet is the life that sleeps at hame,"

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"But I maun wake on a far sea's faem,"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"And women are fairest of a' things fair,"

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"But never shall I kiss woman mair,"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



Between the birk and the aik and the thorn

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

He's laid his brother to lie forlorn:

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



Between the bent, the burn, and the broom

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

He's laid him to sleep till dawn of doom:

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



He's tane him owre the waters wide,

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

Afar to fleet and afar to bide:

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



His hair was yellow, his cheek was red,

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

When he set his face to the wind and fled:

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



His banes were stark and his een were bright

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

When he set his face to the sea by night:

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



His cheek was wan and his hair was grey

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

When he came back hame frae the wide world's

          way:

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



His banes were weary, his een were dim,

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

And nae man lived and had mind of him:

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"O whatten a wreck wad they seek on land"

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"That they houk the turf to the seaward hand?"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"O whatten a prey wad they think to take"

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"That they delve the dykes for a dead man's

          sake?"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



A bane of the dead in his hand he's tane;

     Sweet fruits are sair to gather:

And the red blood brak frae the dead white

          bane;

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



He's cast it forth of his auld faint hand;

     Sweet fruits are sair to gather:

And the red blood ran on the wan wet sand,

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"O whatten a slayer is this," they said,

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"That the straik of his hand should raise his

          dead?"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"O weel is me for the sign I take"

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"That now I may die for my auld sin's sake."

     And the wind wears owre the heather.



"For the dead was in wait now fifty year,".

     (Sweet fruits are sair to gather)

"And now I shall die for his blood's sake here,"

     And the wind wears owre the heather.

----A. C. Swinburne.



THE BALLAD OF DEAD MEN'S BAY

[Illustration: 0056]


|The sea swings owre the slants of sand,

     All white with winds that drive.,

The sea swirls up to the still dim strand,

     Where nae man comes alive.



At the grey soft edge of the fruitless surf

     A light flame sinks and springs;

At the grey soft rim of the flowerless turf

     A low flame leaps and clings.



What light is this on a sunless shore,

     What gleam on a starless sea?

Was it earth's or hell's waste womb that bore

     Such births as should not be?



As lithe snakes turning, as bright stars burning,

     They bicker and beckon and call;

As wild waves churning, as wild winds yearn-

          ing,

     They flicker and climb and fall.



A soft strange cry from the landward rings--

     "What ails the sea to shine?"

A keen sweet note from the spray's rim springs--

     "What fires are these of thine?"



"A soul am I that was born on earth

     For ae day's waesome span:

Death bound me fast on the bourn of birth,

     Ere I were christened man.



"A light by night, I fleet and fare

     Till the day of wrath and woe;

On the hems of earth and the skirts of air

     Winds hurl me to and fro."



"O well is thee, though the weird be strange

     That bids thee flit and flee;

For hope is child of the womb of change,

     And hope keeps watch with thee.



"When the years are gone, and the time is

          come

     God's grace may give thee grace;

And thy soul may sing, though thy soul were

          dumb,

     And shine before God's face.



"But I, that lighten and revel and roll

     With the foam of the plunging sea,

No sign is mine of a breathing soul

     That God should pity me.



"Nor death, nor heaven, nor hell, nor birth

     Hath part in me nor mine:

Strong lords are these of the living earth

     And loveless lords of thine.



"But I that know nor lord nor life

     More sure than storm or spray,

Whose breath is made of sport and strife,

     Whereon shall I find stay?"



"And wouldst thou change thy doom with me,

     Full fain with thee would I:

For the life that lightens and lifts the sea

     Is more than earth or sky.



"And what if the day of doubt and doom

     Shall save nor smite not me?

I would not rise from the slain world's tomb

     If there be no more sea.



"Take he my soul that gave my soul,

     And give it thee to keep;

And me, while seas and stars shall roll

     Thy life that falls on sleep."



That word went up through the mirk mid sky,

     And evén to God's own ear:

And the Lord was ware of the keen twin cry,

     And wroth was he to hear.



He's tane the soul of the unsained child

     That fled to death from birth;

He's tane the light of the wan sea wild,

     And bid it burn on earth.



He's given the ghaist of the babe new-born

     The gift of the water-sprite,

To ride on revel from morn to morn

     And roll from night to night.



He's given the sprite of the wild wan sea

     The gift of the new-born man,

A soul for ever to bide and be

     When the years have filled their span.



When a year was gone and a year was come,.

     O loud and loud cried they--

"For the lee-lang year thou hast held us dumb

     Take now thy gifts away!"



O loud and lang they cried on him,

     And sair and sair they prayed:

"Is the face of thy grace as the night's face

          grim

     For those thy wrath has made?"



A cry more bitter than tears of men

     From the rim of the dim grey sea;--

"Give me my living soul again,

     The soul thou gavest me,

The doom and the dole of kindly men,

     To bide my weird and be!"



A cry more keen from the wild low land

     Than the wail of waves that roll;--

"Take back the gift of a loveless hand,

     Thy gift of doom and dole,

The weird of men that bide on land;

     Take from me, take my soul!"



The hands that smite are the hands that spare

     They build and break the tomb;

They turn to darkness and dust and air

     The fruits of the waste earth's womb *

But never the gift of a granted prayer,

     The dole of a spoken doom.



Winds may change at a word unheard,

     But none may change the tides:

The prayer once heard is as God's own word;

     The doom once dealt abides.



And ever a cry goes up by day,

     And ever a wail by night;

And nae ship comes by the weary bay

     But her shipmen hear them wail and pray,

     And see with earthly sight

The twofold flames of the twin lights play

Where the sea-banks green and the sea-floods

          grey

Are proud of peril and fain of prey,

And the sand quakes ever; and ill fare they

     That look upon that light.

----A. C. Swinburne.



THE BRIDE'S TRAGEDY


|The wind wears roun', the day wears doun,

     The moon is grisly grey;

There's nae man rides by the mirk muirsides,

     Nor down the dark Tyne's way."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"And winna ye watch the night wi' me,

     And winna ye wake the morn?

Foul shame it were that your ae mither

     Should brook her ae son's scorn."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"O mither, I may not sleep nor stay,

     My weird is ill to dree;

For a fause faint lord of the south seaboard

     Wad win my bride of me."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"The winds are strang, and the nights are lang,

     And the ways are sair to ride:

And I maun gang to wreak my wrang,

     And ye maun bide and bide."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"Gin I maun bide and bide, Willie,

     I wot my weird is sair:

Weel may ye get ye a light love yet,

     But never a mither mair."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"O gin the morrow be great wi' sorrow,

     The wyte be yours of a':

But though ye slay me that haud and stay me,

     The weird ye will maun fa'."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



When cocks were crawing and day was dawing,

     He's boun' him forth to ride:

And the ae first may he's met that day

     Was fause Earl Robert's bride.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



O blithe and braw were the bride-folk a',

     But sad and saft rade she;

And sad as doom was her fause bridegroom,

     But fair and fain was he.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"And winna ye bide, sae saft ye ride,

     And winna ye speak wi' me?

For mony's the word and the kindly word

     I have spoken aft wi' thee."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"My lamp was lit yestreen, Willie,

     My window-gate was wide:

But ye camena nigh me till day came by me

     And made me not your bride."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



He's set his hand to her bridle-rein,

     He's turned her horse away:

And the cry was sair, and the wrath was mair,

     And fast and fain rode they.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



But when they came by Chollerford,

     I wot the ways were fell;

For broad and brown the spate swang down,

     And the lift was mirk as hell.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"And will ye ride yon fell water,

     Or will ye bide for fear?

Nae scathe ye'll win o' your father's kin,

     Though they should slay me here."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"I had liefer ride yon fell water,

     Though strange it be to ride,

Than I wad stand on the fair green strand,

     And thou be slain beside."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"I had liefer swim yon wild water,

     Though sair it be to bide,

Than I wad stand at a strange man's hand,

     To be a strange man's bride."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



"I had liefer drink yon dark water,

     Wi' the stanes to make my bed,

And the faem to hide me, and thou beside me,

     Than I wad see thee dead."

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



He's kissed her twice, he's kissed her thrice,

     On cheek and lip and chin:

He's wound her rein to his hand again,

     And lightly they leapt in.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



Their hearts were high to live or die,

     Their steeds were stark of limb:

But the stream was starker, the spate was

          darker,

     Than man might live and swim.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



The first ae step they strode therein,

     It smote them foot and knee:

But ere they wan to the mid water

     The spate was as the sea.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.



But when they wan to the mid water,

     It smote them hand and head:

And nae man knows but the wave that flows

     Where they lie drowned and dead.

          In, in, out and in,

          Blaws the wind and whirls the whin.

----A. C. Swinburne.



THE WITCH-MOTHER


|O where will ye gang to and where will

          ye sleep,

     Against the night begins?"

"My bed is made wi' cauld sorrows,

     My sheets are lined wi' sins.



"And a sair grief sitting at my foot,

     And a sair grief at my head;

And dule to lay me my laigh pillows,

     And teen till I be dead.



"And the rain is sair upon my face,

     And sair upon my hair;

And the wind upon my weary mouth,

     That never may man kiss mair.



"And the snow upon my heavy lips,

     That never shall drink nor eat;

And shame to cledding, and woe to wedding,

     And pain to drink and meat.



"But woe be to my bairns' father,

     And ever ill fare he:

He has tane a braw bride hame to him,

     Cast out my bairns and me."



"And what shall they have to their marriage

          meat

     This day they twain are wed?"

"Meat of strong crying, salt of sad sighing,.

     And God restore the dead.



"And what shall they have to their wedding

          wine

     This day they twain are wed?"

"Wine of weeping, and draughts of sleeping,

     And God raise up the dead."



She's tane her to the wild woodside,

     Between the flood and fell:

She's sought a rede against her need

     Of the fiend that bides in hell.



She's tane her to the wan burnside,

     She's wrought wi' sang and spell:

She's plighted her soul for doom and dole

     To the fiend that bides in hell.



She's set her young son to her breast,

     Her auld son to her knee:

Says, "Weel for you the night, bairnies,

     And weel the morn for me."



She looked fu' lang in their een, sighing,

     And sair and sair grat she:

She has slain her young son at her breast,

     Her auld son at her knee.



She's sodden their flesh wi' saft water,

     She's mixed their blood with wine:

She's tane her to the braw bride-house,

     Where a' were boun' to dine.

She poured the red wine in his cup,

     And his een grew fain to greet:

She set the baked meats at his hand,

     And bade him drink and eat.

Says, "Eat your fill of your flesh, my lord,

     And drink your fill of your wine j

For a' thing's yours and only yours

     That has been yours and mine."

Says, "Drink your fill of your wine, my lord,

     And eat your fill of your bread:

I would they were quick in my body again,

     Or I that bare them dead."

He struck her head frae her fair body,

     And dead for grief he fell:

And there were twae mair sangs in heaven,

     And twae mair sauls in hell.

----A. C. Swinburne.



THE SEA-SWALLOWS

[Illustration: 9069]


|This fell when Christmas lights were done,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine;

But before the Easter lights begun;

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne.



Two lovers sat where the rowan blows

     And all the grass is heavy and fine,

By the gathering place of the sea-swallows

     When the wind brings them over Tyne.



Blossom of broom will never make bread,

     Red rose leaves will never make winej

Between her brows she is grown red,

     That was full white in the fields by Tyne.



"O what is this thing ye have on,

     Show me now, sweet daughter of. mine?"

"O father, this is my little son

     That I found hid in the sides of Tyne.



"O what will ye give my son to eat,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine?"

"Fen water and adder's meat,

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne.'



"Or what will ye get my son to wear,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine?"

"A weed and a web of nettle's hair,

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne."



"Or what will ye take to line his bed,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine?"

"Two black stones at the kirkwall's head,

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne.



"Or what will ye give my son for land,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine?"

"Three girl's paces of red sand,

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne."



"Or what will ye give me for my son,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine?"

"Six times to kiss his young mouth on,

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne."



"But what have ye done with the bearing-bread,

     And what have ye made of the washing-wine?

Or where have ye made your bearing-bed,

     To bear a son in the sides of Tyne?"



"The bearing-bread is soft and new,

     There is no soil in the straining wine;

The bed was made between green and blue,

     It stands full soft by the sides of Tyne.



"The fair grass was my bearing-bread,

     The well-water my washing-wine;

The low leaves were my bearing-bed,

     And that was best in the sides of Tyne."

"O daughter, if ye have done this thing,

     I wot the greater grief is mine;

This was a bitter child-bearing,

     When ye were got by the sides of Tyne.

"About the time of sea-swallows

     That fly full thick by six and nine,

Ye'll have my body out of the house,

     To bury me by the sides of Tyne.

"Set nine stones by the wall for twain,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine;

For the bed I take will measure ten,

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne.

"Tread twelve girl's paces out for three,

     Red rose leaves will never make wine;

For the pit I made has taken me,

     The ways are sair fra' the Till to the Tyne."

----A. C. Swinburne.



[Illustration: 0072]

THE KINGS DAUGHTER

|We were ten maidens in the green corn,

     Small red leaves in the mill-water:

Fairer maidens never were born,

     Apples of gold for the king's daughter.



We were ten maidens by a well-head,

     Small white birds in the mill-water:

Sweeter maidens never were wed,

     Rings of red for the king's daughter.



The first to spin, the second to sing,

     Seeds of wheat in the mill-water;

The third may was a goodly thing,

     White bread and brown for the king's daughter.



The fourth to sew and the fifth to play,

     Fair green weed in the mill-water;

The sixth may was a goodly may,

     White wine and red for the king's daughter.



The seventh to woo, the eighth to wed,

     Fair thin reeds in the mill-water;

The ninth had gold work on her head,

     Honey in the comb for the king's daughter.



The ninth had gold work round her hair,

     Fallen flowers in the mill-water;

The tenth may was goodly and fair,

     Golden gloves for the king's daughter.



We were ten maidens in a field green,

     Fallen fruit in the mill-water;

Fairer maidens never had been,

     Golden sleeves for the king's daughter.



By there comes the king's young son,

     A little wind in the mill-water;

"Out of ten maidens ye'll grant me one,"

     A crown of red for the king's daughter.



"Out of ten mays ye'll give me the best,"

     A little rain in the mill-water;

A bed of yellow straw for all the rest,

     A bed of gold for the king's daughter.



He's ta'en out the goodliest,

     Rain that rains in the mill-water;

A comb of yellow shell for all the rest,

     A comb of gold for the king's daughter.



He's made her bed to the goodliest,

     Wind and hail in the mill-water;

A grass girdle for all the rest,

     A girdle of arms for the king's daughter.

He's set his heart to the goodliest,

     Snow that snows in the mill-water;

Nine little kisses for all the rest,

     An hundredfold for the king's daughter.

He's ta'en his leave at the goodliest,

     Broken boats in the mill-water;

Golden gifts for all the rest,

     Sorrow of heart for the king's daughter.

"Ye'll make a grave for my fair body,"

     Running rain in the mill-water;

"And ye'll streek my brother at the side of me,"

     The pains of hell for the king's daughter.

----A. C. Swinburne.



THE BALLAD OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN

1883.

PART I.


|The still white coast at Midsummer,

     Beside the still white sea,

Lay low and smooth and shining

     In this year eighty-three;

The sun was in the very North,

     Strange to see.



The walrus ivory lay in heaps

     Half-buried in the shore,

The slow stream slid o'er unknown beds

     Of golden ore,

Washings of amber to the beach

     Light waves bore.



Sprays of white, like foam-flowers,

     Betwixt the skies and seas,

Swayed and poised the sea-gulls

     In twos and threes,

Clustered like the stars men call

     Pleiades.



The white marsh-flowers, the white

          marsh-grass

     Shimmered amid the grey

Of the marsh-water--mirrored

     Over and under, they

Stood stiff and tall and slender,

     All one way.



The upper spake to the lower,

     "Are ye, or do ye seem?"

Out of the dim marsh-water

     Glided as in a dream

The still swans down a distance

     Of moonbeam.



The willow-warbler dropped from the spray

     Sweet notes like a soft spring shower,

There was a twitter of building birds

     In the blackthorn bower,

All broken from bare to gossamer

     In an hour.



A garden white lay all the land

     In wreaths of summer snow,

The heart of the year upspringing

     Swift and aglow,

In pale flame and slender stalk,

     Smooth and low.



The white heath and white harebell

     Let their chimes rise and fall,

The delicate sheets of wood-sorrel

     Unfolded all,

For a bed of bridal--

     Or a pall?



Powdered with pearl, auriculas,

     And beds of snowdrop sheen,

Frostwork of saxifrage, and fair balls

     Of winter green:

There was no room for foot to pass

     In between.



One only pink, the fragrant bloom

     Of all blooms boreal,

Every face of every flower

     With looks funereal

Bent to earth, and faintly

     Flowering all.



Down in the closely crowded camp

     Of the fresh snowdrops lay,

Fever and famine-stricken,

     None his name to say,

Sick to death, a traveller

     Cast away.



Brother might be of Balder

     The beautiful, the bold,

By Northern stature and by limbs'

     Heroic mould,

And the uncurled faint hair

     Of pale gold.



Faintly the words were uttered,

     Low, betwixt moan and moan:



"Here in the wilderness,

     Lost and alone,

I die, and far away,

     Hast thou known?



"Fame, and story of wonder,

     Wind of rumour had blown

My name to thine, my feet

     Up to thy throne:

What has the world been since?--

     Thee alone.



"I passed and bowed before thy face,

     And once thine eyes met mine;

Once I have kissed thy hand;--

     Hast thou no sign?

Here with my last sad breath

     I am thine."



The white hares nibbled fearlessly

     Among the tender green;

The silver foxes stayed and watched,

     Quick-eyed and keen;

The little ermine soft of foot

     Stole between.



But the white world changed and

          quickened

     To a red world, the same;

For with splendour as of sunset

     And sunrise flame,

From the highest heaven to the lowest,

     Midnight came.



The pulsing colours of the sky

     Deepened and purified;

All glorious chords of gold and red

     Struck out and died;

Stilled in one heavenly harmony

     Spread out wide,



In one ethereal crimson glow;

     As if the Rose of Heaven

Had blossomed for one perfect hour,

     Midsummer Even,

As ever in the mystic sphere

     Of stars seven.



An opening blush of purest pink,

     That swiftly streams and grows

As shoreward all the liquid waste

     Enkindled flows,

Every ripple of all the sea

     Rose on Rose.



--Through the heavens of midnight

     Came a bitter cry,

Flesh and spirit breaking,

     Mortal agony;

Died away unanswered

     Through the sky.--



But all the dim blue South was filled

     With the auroral flame,

Far out into the southward land

     Without a name

That dreamed away into the dark,--

     When One came,



Suddenly came stepping,

     Where the roseate rift

Of the boreal blossoms

     Crossed the snowy drift

In a trailing pathway,

     Straight and swift.



Her robes were full and silken,

     Her feet were silken-shod,

In sweeping stately silence,

     Serene she trod

The starry carpets strewing

     The soft sod.



The eyes of the veronica

     Looked out and far away,

A golden wreath around her head

     Of light curls lay,

And rippled back a shining shower,

     In bright array.



About her neck the diamonds flashed

     In rivers of blue fire;

But whiter her soft shoulders than

     Her white attire,

And tenderer her tender arms

     Than heart's desire.



She fronted full the crimson flood

     Of all the Northern space,

And all the hue of all the sky

     Was in her face;

The Rose of all the World has come

     To this place.



A vision of white that glowed to red

     With the fire at heaven, at heart,--

Nor paused nor turned,--but straight to

          him

     Who lay apart,

On she came, and knelt by him,--

     Here thou art!



At the first hour after midnight,

     As in the eider's nest,

The weary head sank soft into

     A heavenly rest;

Is it a bed of roses,--

     Or her breast?



At the second hour the cold limbs

     Felt comfort unaware;

Flickering, a golden glow

     Warmed all the air:

Is it the hearth-flame lighted,--

     Or her hair?



At the third hour, round the faint heart

     Failing in chill alarms,

Is it some silken coverlet

     Still wraps and warms

In close and closer clasping?--

     Or her arms?



At the fourth hour, to the wan lips

     There came a draught divine:

Some last reviving cup poured out

     Of hallowed wine,--

Or is it breath of hers

     Mixed with thine?



At the fifth hour all was dimness

     Alike to him and her;

One low and passionate murmur

     Still moved the air;

Is it the voice of angels,--

     Or her prayer?



At the sixth hour there stirred only

     The soft wave on the beach;

Two were lying stilly,

     Past sound or speech,

Fair and carven faces,

     Each by each.



PART II.

The Summer Palace stood by night

     Lit up in dazzling sheen,

The doors unfolded, and the pomp

     Stirred in between;

--To a burst of royal music

     Came the Queen.



Her eyes like stars of speedwell

     Shone down the great saloon;

She came, and all before her

     Knew it was June;

The passing of her presence

     Was too soon.



The little curls around her head

     Were all her crown of gold,

Her delicate arms drooped downward

     In slender mould,

As white-veined leaves of lilies

     Curve and fold.



All in white,--not ivory

     For young bloom past away,--

Blossom-white, rose-white,

     White of the May;

'Twixt white dress and white neck,

     Who could say?



She moved to measure of music,

     As a swan sails the stream;

Where her looks fell was summer,

     When she smiled was a dream;

All faces bowing towards her

     Sunflowers seem.



O the rose upon her silent mouth,

     The perfect rose that lies!

O the roses red, the roses deep,

     Within her cheeks that rise!

O the rose of rapture of her face

     To our eyes!



The tall fair Princes smile and sigh

     For grace of one sweet glance,

The glittering dancers fill the floor,

     The Queen leads the dance;

The dial-hands to midnight

     Still advance.



Dance down to the melting music!

     Hark to the viols' strain!

Their notes are piercing, piercing,

     Again, again;

The pulse of the air is beating

     Throbs of pain.



Does the dancing languish slower?

     Oh, the soft flutes wail and sigh;

In silver falling and calling,

     They seek reply;

And the heart is sinking, sinking,

     Why, ah why?



Oh, the high harp-strings resounding!

     So long, so clear they are:

A cry is ringing in heaven

     From star to star,

Rising sharper and fainter

     From afar.



The Queen has danced from end to end;

     Oh, the candles burn so bright!

But her blue eyes look far away

     Into the night;

And the roses on her cheeks and lips

     Have grown white.



Oh, why is the Queen so pale to-night?

     And why does silence fall,

As one by one they turn to her,

     Upon them all?

Whence comes that cold wind shivering

     Down the hall?



The hour draws close to midnight,

     The banquet board is spread;

The lamps are lit, the guests are set,

     The Queen at the head:

For the feasting at kings' tables

     Grace be said!



The shaded light of rubies

     Streams from every part

Down the golden supper;--

     Who is sick at heart?

Oh, hush! for the Queen is listening,

     Lips apart.



She sits with wide and open eyes,

     The wine-cup in her hand;

And all the guests are ill at ease,

     Nor understand;

Is it not some enchanted

     Strange far land?



The twelve long strokes of midnight

     With clash and clang affright;

The rose-glow seems to darken

     Before their sight;

But the Queen has swooned back heavily,

     Cold and white.



They lifted her, a burden

     Like broken lily-flowers;

They laid her on her own bed,

     Within her bowers;

They mourned, and they tended her,

     For six hours.



At the first hour after midnight,

     The Queen nor spoke nor stirred;

At the second, by her bedside,

     No breath they heard;

They said, "Is she living?"

     At the third.



At the fourth hour they watched sadly

     At her feet and her head;

At the fifth, standing idle,

     No word they said;

At the sixth, "Bring candles

     For one dead."



Swept low down across the East,

     Through the morning grey,

A flock of white clouds swiftly,

     Dim, far away;

Like a flight of white wings:--

     What were they?



Through the palace suddenly,

     Through every floor,

Wailed a wind and whistled,

     Shook every door,

Rattled through the windows,

     Then passed o'er.



And as they stood with tapers tall

     Around the Queen, there came

A soft and far-off fluttering

     Over her frame,

And from between her sleeping lips,

     One faint flame.



They take her hand, they call on her,

     She answers them likewise;

She sits upright, she looks around,

     With her blue eyes,

And a smile as of thy secrets,

     Paradise!



Winter is here, and has not brought

     The Traveller of renown;

Why has he not come back again

     To court and town?

Rumours and questionings pass

     Up and down.



Is it only the wolves of the Northland

     Know where his bones lie white?

Only the swans could tell us,

     In southward flight?

Is it only the wind could whisper

     To the night?



The Queen sits still and smiling,

     She hears the talk prevail,

She speaks no word, she gives no glance,

     She tells no tale;

In the golden shadow always

     She is pale.

---H. E. Hamilton-King.



LITTLE WILLIE

[Illustration: 0089]


|Twas good St John's, and the mountain woods

     Were gay with summer sheen,

A mother wept for her little Willie,

     All in his grave so green.



'Twas Yule, and on the mountain-side

     The wind was shrill and cold;

The mother wept for her little Willie,

     Who lay within the mould.



O cold, cold is a winter grave,

     O but a shroud is thin--

A wee hand tapp'd upon the door,

     "O mother, let me in."



"I dare not let thee in, Willie,"

     The sister up and said,

"For mother's away at Jane's lykewake,--

     Go to thy graveyard bed."



"O cold and lonely is the night,

     Madly the fierce winds rave;

How should I sleep?--The shroud is wet

     That wraps me in the grave."



She sign'd the cross upon her brow,

     The cross upon her breast,

With:--"Avoid thee, ghost, and aroint thee,

          ghost,

     And get thee to thy rest."



'Twas midnight, brightly glow'd the hearth,

     The wind howl'd down the lin;

A wee hand tapp'd upon the door,

     "O mother, let me in."



Up sprung the father to his feet,

     And many a cross sign'd he,

With:--"Angels defend us from thee, child,

     And from the like of thee."



"O cold, cold is the winter snow,

     That drifts adown the steep,

But colder far this clammy shroud

     Which will not let me sleep."



The wind had swept away the clouds,

     But still its laugh was wild;

Before the father slept, he pray'd

     The saints to ban his child.



Ah! who shall help a houseless soul?

     What refuge shall it win?

Again the hand tapp'd on the door:

     "O mother, let me in."



Quick was her ear to catch the cry,

     Her foot upon the floor,

Her hand to draw away the bolt,

     And open wide the door.



"Come in, come in, thou child of mine,

     Right welcome unto me,

Come in, and warm thee in the breast

     That erewhile suckled thee."



She took him up within her arms

     Or ere a word was said,

She set him down before the hearth,

     All wan and damp and dead.



"Cold was the snow that beat on me,

     The grave that let me out,

O take away this wet wet shroud

     That wraps me round about.



"Your tears fall on my face, mother,

     Your tears fall on my feet,

Your tears drip through the coffin-lid

     Upon my winding-sheet.



"Now weep no more for me, mother,

     It lets me in my rest,

But wrap me in another shroud

     And warm me in thy breast."



The sister peep'd from out her bed,

     Her face was pale with fear,--

"O mother, give him nought of mine

     Or I shall die this year."



[Illustration: 0092]

Out spoke the father from his bed,

     Harsh was his voice and wild,--

"O woman, take not aught of mine,

     To wrap about the child."



A strange strange smile was on her lips,

     But ne'er a word she said;

Her best seem'd hardly good enough

     To wrap around the dead.



She bore him to and fro, and sang

     Old songs and lullabies;

He laid his hands upon her cheeks

     And smiled into her eyes.



'Twas good St John's, and the mountain woods

     Were gay with summer sheen,

The mother slept with her little Willie

     All in the grave so green.

----Charles Grant.



THE BALLAD OF JUDAS ISCARIOT


|Twas the body of Judas Iscariot

     Lay in the Field of Blood;

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Beside the body stood.



Black was the earth by night,

     And black was the sky;

Black, black were the broken clouds,

     Tho' the red moon went by.



'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot

     Strangled and dead lay there;

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Look'd on it in despair.



[Illustration: 0094]



The breath of the world came and went

     Like a sick man's in rest;

Drop by drop on the world's eyes

     The dews fell cool and blest.



Then the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Did make a gentle moan--

"I will bury underneath the ground

     My flesh and blood and bone.



"I will bury deep beneath the soil,

     Lest mortals look thereon,

And when the wolf and raven come

     The body will be gone!



"The stones of the field are sharp as steel,

     And hard and cold, God wot;

And I must bear my body hence

     Until I find a spot!"



'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot,

     So grim, and gaunt, and gray,

Raised the body of Judas Iscariot,

     And carried it away.



And as he bare it from the field

     Its touch was cold as ice,

And the ivory teeth within the jaw

     Rattled aloud, like dice.



As the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Carried its load with pain,

The Eye of Heaven, like a lanthorn's eye,

     Opened and shut again.



Half he walk'd, and half he seem'd

     Lifted on the cold wind;

He did not turn, for chilly hands

     Were pushing from behind.



The first place that he came unto

     It was the open wold,

And underneath were prickly whins,

     And a wind that blew so cold.



The next place that he came unto

     It was a stagnant pool,

And when he threw the body in

     It floated light as wool.



He drew the body on his back,

     And it was dripping chill,

And the next place he came unto

     Was a Cross upon a hill.



A Cross upon the windy hill,

     And a cross on either side,

Three skeletons that swing thereon,

     Who had been crucified.



And on the middle cross bar sat

     A white Dove slumbering;

Dim it sat in the dim light,

     With its head beneath its wing.

[Illustration: 0097]

And underneath the middle cross

     A grave yawn'd wide and vast,

But the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Shiver'd, and glided past.



The fourth place that he came unto

     It was the Brig of Dread,

And the great torrents rushing down

     Were deep, and swift, and red.



He dared not fling the body in

     For fear of faces dim,

And arms were waved in the wild water

     To thrust it back to him.



'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Turned from the Brig of Dread,

And the dreadful foam of the wild water

     Had splashed the body red.



For days and nights he wandered on,

     Upon an open plain,

And the days went by like blinding mist,

     And the nights like rushing rain.



For days and nights he wandered on,

     All thro' the Wood of Woe;

And the nights went by like moaning wind,

     And the days like drifting snow.



'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Came with a weary face--

Alone, alone, and all alone,

     Alone in a lonely place!



He wandered east, he wandered west,

     And heard no human sound;

For months and years, in grief and tears,

     He wandered round and round.



For months and years, in grief and tears,

     He walked the silent night;

Then the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Perceived a far-off light.



A far-off light across the waste,

     As dim as dim might be,

That came and went like the lighthouse

          gleam

     On a black night at sea.



'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Crawl'd to the distant gleam;

And the rain came down, and the rain was

          blown

     Against him with a scream.



For days and nights he wandered on,

     Push'd on by hands behind;

And the days went by like black, black rain,

     And the nights like rushing wind.



'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot,

     Strange, and sad, and tall

Stood all alone at dead of night

     Before a lighted hall.



And the wold was white with snow,

     And his foot-marks black and damp,

And the ghost of the silvern moon arose,

     Holding her yellow lamp.



And the icicles were on the eaves,

     And the walls were deep with white,

And the shadows of the guests within

     Pass'd on the window light.



The shadows of the wedding guests

     Did strangely come and go,

And the body of Judas Iscariot

     Lay stretch'd along the snow.



The body of Judas Iscariot

     Lay stretched along the snow;

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Ran swiftly to and fro.



To and fro, and up and down,

     He ran so swiftly there,

As round and round the frozen pole

     Glideth the lean white bear.



'Twas the Bridegroom sat at the table-head,

     And the lights burnt bright and clear--

"Oh, who is that," the Bridegroom said,

     "Whose weary feet I hear?"



'Twas one looked from the lighted hall.

     And answered soft and slow,

"It is a wolf runs up and down

     With a black track in the snow."



The Bridegroom in his robe of white

     Sat at the table-head--

"Oh, who is that who moans without?"

     The blessed Bridegroom said.



'Twas one looked from the lighted hall,

     And answered fierce and low,

"'Tis the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Gliding to and fro."



'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Did hush itself and stand,

And saw the Bridegroom at the door

     With a light in his hand.



The Bridegroom stood in the open door,

     And he was clad in white,

And far within the Lord's Supper

     Was spread so broad and bright.



The Bridegroom shaded his eyes and look'd,

     And his face was bright to see--

"What dost thou here at the Lord's Supper

     With thy body's sins?" said he.



'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Stood black, and sad, and bare--

"I have wandered many nights and days:

     There is no light elsewhere."



'Twas the wedding guests cried out within,

     And their eyes were fierce and bright--

"Scourge the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Away into the night!"



The Bridegroom stood in the open door,

     And he waved hands still and slow,

And the third time that he waved his hands

     The air was thick with snow.



And of every flake of falling snow,

     Before it touch'd the ground,

There came a dove, and a thousand doves

     Made sweet sound.



'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot

     Floated away full fleet,

And the wings of the doves that bare it off

     Were like its winding-sheet.



'Twas the Bridegroom stood at the open

          door,

     And beckon'd, smiling sweet;

     'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot

     Stole in, and fell at his feet.



"The Holy Supper is spread within,

     And the many candles shine,

And I have waited long for thee

     Before I poured the wine!"



The supper wine is poured at last,

     The lights burn bright and fair,

Iscariot washes the Bridegroom's feet

     And dries them with his hair.

----R. Buchanan.



PHIL BLOOD'S LEAP

_A Tale of the Gold Seekers_.


|There's some think Injins p'ison."--(It was

     Parson Pete who spoke,

As we sat there, in the camp-fire glare, like

     shadows among the smoke.

'Twas the dead of night, and in the light our

     faces burned bright red,

And the wind all round made a screeching sound,

     and the pines roared overhead.



Ay, Parson Pete was talking; we called him

     Parson Pete,

For you must learn he'd a talking turn, and

     handled things so neat;

He'd a preaching style, and a winning smile, and,

     when all talk was spent,

Six shooter had he, and a sharp bowie, to p'int

     his argyment.



Some one had spoke of the Injin folk, and we

          had a guess, you bet,

They might be creeping, while we were sleeping,

          to catch us in the net;

And half were asleep and snoring deep, while

          the others vigil kept,

But devil a one let go his gun, whether he woke

          or slept.)



"There's some think Injins p'ison, and others

          count'em scum,

And night and day they are melting away, clean

          into Kingdom Come;

But don't you go and make mistakes, like many

          derned fools I've known,

For dirt is dirt, and snakes is snakes, but an

          Injin's flesh and bone!



We were seeking gold in the Texan hold, and

          we'd had a blaze of luck,

More rich and rare the stuff ran there at every

          foot we struck;

Like men gone wild we t'iled and t'iled, and

          never seemed to tire,

The hot sun beamed, and our faces streamed

          with the sweat of a mad desire.

I was captain then of the mining men, and I had

          a precious life,

For a wilder set I never met at derringer and

          knife;



Nigh every day there was some new fray, a

          bullet in some one's brain,

And the viciousest brute to stab and to shoot,

          was an Imp of Hell from Maine.



Phil Blood. Well, he was six foot three, with

          a squint to make you skeer'd,

His face all scabb'd, and twisted and stabb'd,

          with carroty hair and beard,

Sour as the drink in Bitter Chink, sharp as a

          grizzly's squeal,

Limp in one leg, for a leaden egg had nick'd

          him in the heel.



No beauty was he, but a sight to see, all stript

          to the waist and bare,

With his grim-set jaws, and his panther-paws,

          and his hawk's eye all aglare;

With pick and spade in sun and shade he labour'd

          like darnation,

But when his spell was over,--well! he was

          fond of his recreation!



And being a crusty kind of cuss, the only sport

          he had,

When work was over, seemed to us a bit too

          rough and bad;

For to put some lead in a comrade's head was

          the greatest fun in life,

And the sharpest joke he was known to poke

          was the p'int of his precious knife.



But game to the bone was Phil,  I'll own, and

          he always fought most fair,

With as good a will to be killed as kill, true

          grit as any there:

Of honour too, like me or you, he'd a scent,

          though not so keen,

Would rather be riddled thro' and thro', than do

          what he thought mean.



But his eddication to his ruination had not been

          over nice,

And his stupid skull was choking full of vulgar

          prejudice;

With anything white he'd drink, or he'd fight in

          fair and open fray;

But to murder and kill was his wicked will, if

          an Injin came his way!



* A sarpent's hide has p'ison inside, and an

          Injin's heart's the same,

If he seems your friend for to gain his end,

          look out for the sarpent's game;

Of the snakes that crawl, the worst of all is the

          snake in a skin of red,

A spotted Snake, and no mistake?' that's what

          he always said.



Well, we'd jest struck our bit of luck, and were

          wild as raving men,

When who should stray to our camp one day,

          but Black Panther, the Cheyenne;

Drest like a Christian, all a-grin, the old one

          joins our band,

And though the rest look'd black as sin, he

          shakes _me_ by the hand.

Now, the poor old cuss had been good to us,

          and I knew that he was true,--

I'd have trusted him with life and limb as soon

          as I*d trust _you_;

For tho' his wit was gone a bit, and he drank

          like any fish,

His heart was kind, he was well inclined, as

          even a white could wish.



Food had got low, for we didn't know the run

          of the hunting-ground,

And our hunters were sick, when, jest in the

          nick, the friend in need was found;

For he knew the place like his mother's face (or

          better, a heap, you'd say,

Since she was a squaw of the roaming race,

          and himself a castaway).



Well, I took the Panther into camp, and the

          critter was well content,

And off with him, on the hunting tramp, next

          day our hunters went,

And I reckon that day and the next we didn't

          want for food,

And only one in the camp looked vext--that

          Imp of Hell, Phil Blood.



Nothing would please his contrairy ideas! an

          Injin made him rile!

He didn't speak, but I saw on his cheek, a kind

          of an ugly smile;

And I knew his skin was hatching sin, and I

          kept the Panther apart,

For the Injin he was too blind to see the dirt

          in a white man's heart!



Well, one fine day, we a-resting lay at noon-

          time by the creek,

The red sun blazed, and we felt half-dazed, too

          beat to stir or speak;

'Neath the alder trees we stretched at ease, and

          we couldn't see the sky,

For the lian-flowers in bright blue showers

          hung through the branches high.



It was like the gleam of a fairy-dream, and I

          felt like earth's first Man,

In an Eden bower with the yellow flower of a

          cactus for a fan;

Oranges, peaches, grapes, and figs, cluster'd,

          ripen'd, and fell,

And the cedar scent was pleasant, blent with

          the soothing 'cacia smell.



The squirrels red ran overhead, and I saw the

          lizards creep,

And the woodpecker bright with the chest so

          white tapt like a sound in sleep;

I dreamed and dozed, with eyes half-closed,

          and felt like a three-year child,

And, a plantain blade on his brow for a shade,

          even Phil Blood look'd mild.



Well, back, jest then, came our hunting men,

          with the Panther at their head,

Full of his fun was every one, and the Panther's

          eyes were red,

And he skipt about with grin and shout, for he'd

          had a drop that day,

And he twisted and twirled, and squeal'd and

          skirl'd, in the foolish Injin way.



To the waist all bare Phil Blood lay there, with

          only his knife in his belt,

And I saw his bloodshot eye-balls stare, and I

          knew how fierce he felt,--

When the Injin dances with grinning glances

          around him as he lies,

With his painted skin and his monkey grin,--

          and leers into his eyes!



Then before I knew what I should do Phil Blood

          was on his feet,

And the Injin could trace the hate in his face,

          and his heart began to beat,

And, "Git out o' the way," he heard them say,

          "for he means to hev your life!"

But before he could fly at the warning cry, he

          saw the flash of the knife.



"Run, Panther run!" cried each mother's son,

          and the Panther took the track;

With a wicked glare, like a wounded bear, Phil

          Blood sprang at his back.

Up the side so steep of the canon deep the poor

          old critter sped,

And the devil's limb ran after him, till they

          faded overhead.



Now, the spot of ground where our luck was

          found, was a queerish place, you'll mark,

Jest under the jags of the mountain crags and

          the precipices dark,

Far up on high, close to the sky, the two crags

          leant together,

Leaving a gap, like an open trap, with a gleam

          of golden weather.



A pathway led from the beck's dark bed up to

          the crags on high,

And along that path the Injin fled, fast as a man

          could fly.

Some shots were fired, for I desired to keep the

          white beast back;

But I missed my man, and away he ran on the

          flying Injin's track.



Now all below is thick, you know, with 'cacia,

          alder, and pine,

And the bright shrubs deck the side of the

          beck, and the lian flowers so fine,

For the forest creeps all under the steeps, and

          feathers the feet of the crags

With boughs So thick that your path you pick,

          like a steamer among the snags.



But right above you, the crags, Lord love you!

          are bare as this here hand,

And your eyes you wink at the bright blue

          chink, as looking up you stand,

If a man should pop in that trap at the top, he'd

          never rest arm or leg,

Till neck and crop to the bottom he'd drop--

          and smash on the stones like an egg!



'Come back, you cuss! come back to us! and

          let the critter be!'

I screamed out loud, while the men in a crowd

          stood grinning at them and me....

But up they went, and my shots were spent, and

          at last they disappeared,--

One minute more, and we gave a roar, for the

          Injin had leapt,--and _cleared!_



A leap for a deer, not a man, to clear,--and the

          bloodiest grave below!

But the critter was smart and mad with fear,

          and he went like a bolt from a bow!

Close after him came the devil's limb, with his

          eyes as dark as death,

But when he came to the gulch's brim, I reckon

          he paused for breath!



For breath at the brink! but--a white man

          shrink, when a red had passed so neat?

I knew Phil Blood too well to think he'd turn

          his back dead beat!

He takes one run, leaps up in the sun, and bounds

          from the slippery ledge,

And he clears the hole, but--God help his soul!

          just touches the tother edge!



One scrambling fall, one shriek, one call, from

          the men that stand and stare,--

Black in the blue, where the sky looks thro', he

          staggers, dwarfd up there;

The edge he touches, then sinks, and clutches

          the rock--our eyes grow dim--

I turn away--what's that they say?--he's hang-

          ing on to the brim!



... On the very brink of the fatal chink a

          ragged shrub there grew,

And to that he clung, and in silence swung

          betwixt us and the blue,

And as soon as a man could run I ran the way I

          had seen them flee,

And I came mad-eyed to the chasm's side, and--

          what do you think I see?



All up? Not quite. Still hanging? Right!

          but he'd torn away the shrub;

With lolling tongue, he clutched and swung--

          to what? Ay, that's the rub!

I saw him glare, and dangle in air,--for the

          empty hole he trod--

Helped by a _pair of hands_ up there!--the InJin's?

          Yes, by God!



Now, boys, look here! for many a year I've

          roamed in this here land--

And many a sight both day and night I've seen

          that I think grand;

Over the whole wide world I've been, and I

          know both things and men,

But the biggest sight I've ever seen was the

          sight I saw jest then.



I held my breath--so nigh to death Phil Blood

          swung hand and limb,

And it seemed to us all that down he'd fall, with

          the Panther after him,

But the Injin at length put out his strength--

          and another minute past,--

Then safe and sound to the solid ground he

          drew Phil Blood, at last!!



Saved? True for you, by an Injin too!--and the

          man he meant to kill!

There, all alone, on the brink of stone, I see

          them standing still;

Phil Blood gone white, with the struggle and

          fright, like a great mad bull at bay,

And the Injin meanwhile, with a half skeer'd

          smile, ready to spring away.



What did Phil do? Well I watched the two,

          and I saw Phil Blood turn back,

Bend over the brink and take a blink right down

          the chasm black,

Then stooping low for a moment or so, he

          sheath'd his bowie bright,

Spat slowly down, and watch'd with a frown, as

          the spittle sank from sight!



Hands in his pockets, eyes downcast, silent,

          thoughtful, and grim,

While the Panther, grinning as he passed, still

          kept his eyes on him,

Phil Blood strolled slow to his mates below,

          down by the mountain track,

With his lips set tight, and his face all white,

          and the Panther at his back.



I reckon they stared when the two appeared!

          but never a word Phil spoke;

Some of them laughed and others jeered,--but

          he let them have their joke;

He seemed amazed, like a man gone dazed, the

          sun in his eyes too bright,

And for many a week, in spite of their cheek,

          he never offered to fight.



And after that day he changed his play, and kept

          a civiller tongue,

And whenever an Injin came that way, his con-

          trary head he hung;

But whenever he heard the lying word, 'It's a

          Lie!' Phil Blood would groan;

'_A Snake is a Snake, make no mistake! but an Injin's

          flesh and bone!_'"

----R. Buchanan.



THE RED THREAD OF HONOUR


|Among the hills of India

Dwelt warriors fierce and bold,

The sons of robber chieftains

Who, in the days of old,

Fought for their mountain freedom,

And, if by Fate laid low,

Fell ever crowned with honour--

Their faces to the foe.



Now'twas an ancient custom

Among those hillsmen brave,

When thus they found their kinsman,

To dig for him no grave;

But the torn blood-stained garments

They stripped from off the dead,

And then his wrist they circled

With green or crimson thread.



Many the green-decked warriors,

But only for a few

Was kept that highest honour,

The thread of sanguine hue;

For'twas alone the bravest

Of those who nobly shed

Their life-blood in the battle

Whose wrists were bound with red.



And when they thus had graced them

Who fell before the foe,

They hurled their lifeless bodies

Into the plain below.

The earth did ne'er imprison

Those hillsmen brave and free,

The sky alone should cover

The warriors of Trukkee.



There came a time of conflict,

And a great armed throng

Of England's bravest soldiers,--

Avengers of the wrong,--

Marched through the gloomy gorges,

Forded the mountain rills,

Vowing that they would vanquish

Those robbers of the hills.



The road was strange and dubious;

Easy it was to stray;

And of those English soldiers

Eleven lost their way.

Led by a trusty leader,

They reached a fearful glen,

And saw a mountain stronghold

Guarded by forty men.



Guarded by forty veterans

Of that fierce robber band,

In every face defiance,

Weapons in every hand.

"Back!" cried the trusty leader;

The soldiers would not hear,

But up the foe-crowned mountain

Charged with their English cheer.



With loud huzzas they stormed it,

Nor thought to turn from death,

But for old England's honour

Yielded their latest breath.

Short was the fight but deadly,

For, when our last man fell,

But sixteen of that forty

Were left to tell the tale.



But those sixteen were noble--

They loved a brave deed done;

They knew a worthy foeman,

And treated him as one.

And when the English soldiers

Sought for their comrades slain,

They found their stiff stark corpses

Prostrate upon the plain:

They lay with blood-stained faces,

Fixed eyes, and firm-clenched fists,

But the Red Thread of Honour,

Was twined around their wrists.

----J. A. Noble.



TICONDEROGA


|This is the tale of the man

     Who heard a word in the night

In the land of the heathery hills,

     In the days of the feud and the fight.

By the sides of the rainy sea,

     Where never a stranger came,

On the awful lips of the dead,

     He heard the outlandish name.

It sang in his sleeping ears,

     It hummed in his waking head:

The name--Ticonderoga,

     The utterance of the dead.



I.

THE SAYING OF THE NAME.

On the loch-sides of Appin,

     When the mist blew from the sea,

A Stewart stood with a Cameron:

     An angry man was he.



The blood beat in his ears,

     The blood ran hot to his head,

The mist blew from the sea

     And there was the Cameron dead.

"O, what have I done to my friend,

     O, what have I done to mysel',

That he should be cold and dead,

     And I in the danger of all?



"Nothing but danger about me,

     Danger behind and before,

Death at wait in the heather

     In Appin and Mamore,

Hate at all of the ferries

     And death at each of the fords,

Camerons priming gunlocks

     And Camerons sharpening swords."



But this was a man of counsel,

     This was a man of score,

There dwelt no pawkier Stewart

     In Appin or Mamore.

He looked on the blowing mist,

     He looked on the awful dead,

And there came a smile on his face,

     And there slipped a thought in his head.



Out over cairn and moss,

     Out over scrog and scaur,

He ran as runs the clansman

     That bears the cross of war.



His heart beat in his body,

     His hair clove to his face,

When he came at last in the gloaming

     To the dead man's brother's place.

The east was white with the moon,

     The west with the sun was red,

And there, in the house-doorway,

     Stood the brother of the dead.



"I have slain a man to my danger,

     I have slain a man to my death.

I put my soul in your hands,"

     The panting Stewart saith.

"I lay it bare in your hands,

     For I know your hands are leal;

And be you my targe and bulwark

     From the bullet and the steel."



Then up and spake the Cameron,

     And gave him his hand again:

"There shall never a man in Scotland

     Set faith in me in vain;

And whatever man you have slaughtered,

     Of whatever name or line,

By my sword and yonder mountain,

     I make your quarrel mine.

I bid you in to my fireside,

     I share with you house and hall;

It stands upon my honour

     To see you safe from all."



It fell in the time of midnight,

     When the fox barked in the den

And the plaids were over the faces

     In all the houses of men,

That as the living Cameron

     Lay sleepless on his bed,

Out of the night and the other world,

     Came in to him the dead.



"My blood is on the heather,

     My bones are on the hill;

There is joy in the home of ravens

     That the young shall eat their fill.

My blood is poured in the dust,

     My soul is spilled in the air;

And the man that has undone me

     Sleeps in my brother's care."



"I'm wae for your death, my brother,

     But if all of my house were dead,

I couldnae withdraw the plighted hand,

     Nor break the word once said."



"O, what shall I say to our father,

     In the place to which I fare?

O, what shall I say to our mother

     Who greets to see me there?

And to all the kindly Camerons

     That have lived and died long-syne--

Is this the word you send them

     Fause-hearted brother mine?"



[Illustration: 0122]

"It's neither fear nor duty,

     It's neither quick nor dead

Shall gar me withdraw the plighted hand,

     Or break the word once said."



Thrice in the time of midnight,

     When the fox barked in the den,

And the plaids were over the faces

     In all the houses of men,

Thrice as the living Cameron

     Lay sleepless on his bed,



Out of the night and the other world

     Came in to him the dead,

And cried to him for vengeance

     On the man that laid him low;

And thrice the living Cameron

     Told the dead Cameron, no.



"Thrice have you seen me, brother,

     But now shall see me no more,

Till you meet your angry fathers

     Upon the farther shore.

Thrice have I spoken, and now,

     Before the cock be heard,

I take my leave for ever

     With the naming of a word.

It shall sing in your sleeping ears,

     It shall hum in your waking head,

The name--Ticonderoga,

     And the warning of the dead."



Now when the night was over

     And the time of people's fears,

The Cameron walked abroad,

     And the word was in his ears.

"Many a name I know,

     But never a name like this;

O, where shall I find a skilly man

     Shall tell me what it is?"

With many a man he counselled

     Of high and low degree,

With the herdsmen on the mountains

     And the fishers of the sea.

And he came and went unweary,

     And read the books of yore,

And the runes that were written of old,

     On stones upon the moor.

And many a name he was told,

     But never the name of his fears--

Never, in east or west,

     The name that rang in his ears:

Names of men and of clans;

     Names for the grass and the tree,

For the smallest tarn in the mountains,

     The smallest reef in the sea:

Names for the high and low,

     The names of the craig and the flat;

But in all the land of Scotland,

     Never a name like that.



II.

THE SEEKING OF THE NAME.

And now there was speech in the south,

     And a man of the south that was wise,

A periwig'd lord of London, *

     Called on the clans to rise.

And the riders rode, and the summons

     Came to the western shore,

To the land of the sea and the heather,

     To Appin and Mamore.

It called on all to gather

     From every scrog and scaur,

That loved their fathers' tartan

     And the ancient game of war.



And down the watery valley

     And up the windy hill,

Once more, as in the olden,

     The pipes were sounding shrill;

Again in highland sunshine

     The naked steel was bright;

And the lads, once more in tartan,

     Went forth again to fight.



"O, why should I dwell here

     With a weird upon my life,

When the clansmen shout for battle

     And the war-swords clash in strife?

* The first Pitt.

I cannae joy at feast,

     I cannae sleep in bed,

For the wonder of the word

     And the warning of the dead.

It sings in my sleeping ears,

     It hums in my waking head,

The name--Ticonderoga,

     The utterance of the dead.

Then up, and with the fighting men

     To march away from here,

Till the cry of the great war-pipe

     Shall drown it in my ear!"



Where flew King George's ensign

     The plaided soldiers went:

They drew the sword in Germany,

     In Flanders pitched the tent.

The bells of foreign cities

     Rang far across the plain:

They passed the happy Rhine,

     They drank the rapid Main.

Through Asiatic jungles

     The Tartans filed their way,

And the neighing of the war-pipes

     Struck terror in Cathay.



"Many a name have I heard," he thought,

     "In all the tongues of men,

Full many a name both here and there,

     Full many both now and then.



When I was at home in my father's house

     In the land of the naked knee,

Between the eagles that fly in the lift

     And the herrings that swim in the sea,

And now that I am a captain-man

     With a braw cockade in my hat--

Many a name have I heard," he thought,

     "But never a name like that."



III.

THE PLACE OF THE NAME.

There fell a war in a woody place,

     Lay far across the sea,

A war of the march in the mirk midnight,

     And the shot from behind the tree,

The shaven head and the painted face,

     The silent foot in the wood,

In a land of a strange, outlandish tongue

     That was hard to be understood.



It fell about the gloaming

     The general stood with his staff,

He stood and he looked east and west

     With little mind to laugh.

"Far have I been and much have I seen,

     And kent both gain and loss,

But here we have woods on every hand

     And a kittle water to cross.



Far have I been and much have I seen,

     But never the beat of this;

And there's one must go down to that

          waterside

     To see how deep it is."



It fell in the dusk of the night

     When unco things betide,

The skilly captain, the Cameron,

     Went down to that waterside.

Canny and soft the captain went;

     And a man of the woody land,

With the shaven head and the painted face,

     Went down at his right hand.

It fell in the quiet night,

     There was never a sound to ken;

But all of the woods to the right and the left

     Lay filled with the painted men.



"Far have I been and much have I seen,

     Both as a man and as boy,

But never have I set forth a foot

     On so perilous an employ."

It fell in the dusk of the night

     When unco things betide,

That he was aware of a captain-man

     Drew near to the waterside.

He was aware of his coming

     Down in the gloaming alone;

And he looked in the face of the man

     And lo! the face was his own.



"This is my weird," he said,

     "And now I ken the worst;

For many shall fall the morn,

     But I shall fall with the first.

O, you of the outland tongue,

     You of the painted face,

This is the place of my death;

     Can you tell me the name of the place?"

"Since the Frenchmen have been here

     They have called it Sault-Marie;

But that is a name for priests,

     And not for you and me.

It went by another word,"

     Quoth he of the shaven head:

"It was called Ticonderoga

     In the days of the great dead."



And it fell on the morrow's morning,

     In the fiercest of the fight,

That the Cameron bit the dust

     As he foretold at night;

And far from the hills of heather,

     Far from the isles of the sea,

He sleeps in the place of the name

     As it was doomed to be.

----R. L. Stevenson.



HEATHER ALE


|From the bonny bells of heather

     They brewed a drink long-syne,

Was sweeter far than honey,

     Was stronger far than wine.

They brewed it and they drank it,

     And lay in a blessed swound

For days and days together

     In their dwellings underground.



There rose a king in Scotland,

     A fell man to his foes,

He smote the Piets in battle,

     He hunted them like roes.

Over miles of the red mountain

     He hunted as they fled,

And strewed the dwarfish bodies

     Of the dying and the dead.



Summer came in the country,

     Red was the heather bell;

But the manner of the brewing

     Was none alive to tell.

In graves that were like children's

     On many a mountain head,

The Brewsters of the Heather

     Lay numbered with the dead.



The king in the red moorland

     Rode on a summer's day;

And the bees hummed, and the curlews

     Cried beside the way.

The king rode, and was angry,

     Black was his brow and pale,

To rule in a land of heather

     And lack the Heather Ale.



It fortuned that his vassals,

     Riding free on the heath,

Came on a stone that was fallen

     And vermin hid beneath.

Rudely plucked from their hiding,

     Never a word they spoke:

A son and his aged father--

     Last of the dwarfish folk.



The king sat high on his charger,

     He looked on the little men;

And the dwarfish and swarthy couple

     Looked at the king again.

Down by the shore he had them;

     And there on the giddy brink--

"I will give you life, ye vermin,

     For the secret of the drink."



There stood the son and father

     And they looked high and low;

The heather was red around them,

     The sea rumbled below.



And up and spoke the father,

     Shrill was his voice to hear:

"I have a word in private,

     A word for the royal ear.

"Life is dear to the aged,

     And honour a little thing;

I would gladly sell the secret,"

     Quoth the Piet to the King.

His voice was small as a sparrow's,

     And shrill and wonderful clear:

"I would gladly sell my secret,

     Only my son I fear.

"For life is a little matter,

     And death is nought to the young;

And I dare not sell my honour

     Under the eye of my son.

Take _him_, O king, and bind him,

     And cast him far in the deep;

And it's I will tell the secret

     That I have sworn to keep."



They took the son and bound him,

     Neck and heels in a thong,

And a lad took him and swung him,

     And flung him far and strong,

And the sea swallowed his body,

     Like that of a child of ten;--

And there on the cliff stood the father,

     Last of the dwarfish men.



"True was the word I told you:

     Only my son I feared;

For I doubt the sapling courage

     That goes without the beard.

But now in vain is the torture,

     Fire shall never avail:

Here dies in my bosom

     The secret of Heather Ale."

----R. L. Stevenson.



CAPTAIN GOLD AND FRENCH JANET


|The first letter our Captain wrote

     To the Lord of Mantua:

"Did you ever see French Janet

     (He wrote) on any day?



"Did ye ever see French Janet,

     That was so blithe and coy?

The little serving-lass I stole

     From the mountains of Savoy.



"Last week I lost French Janet:

     Hunt for her up and down;

And send her back to me, my Lord,

     From the four walls o* the town."



Captain Gold and French Janet,

For thirty days and thirty nights

     There came no news to us.

Suddenly old grew Captain Gold,

     And his voice grew tremulous.



O Mantua's a bonny town,

     And she's long been our ally;

But help came none from Mantua-town,

     Dim grew our Captain's eye.



"O send me Janet home again!"

     Our Captain wrote anew;

"A lass is but a paltry thing,

     And yet my heart's in two!



"Ha' ye searched through every convent-

          close,

     And sought in every den?

Mistress o' man, or bride of Christ,

     I'll have her back again!"



O Mantua's a bonny town,

     And she's long been our ally;

But help came none from Mantua-town,

     And sick at heart am I.



For thirty days and thirty nights

     No news came to the camp;

And the life waned old in Captain Gold,

     As the oil wanes in a lamp.



The third moon swelled towards the full

     When the third letter he wrote:

"What will ye take for Janet?

     Red gold to fill your moat?



"Red wine to fill your fountains full?

     Red blood to wash your streets?

Ah, send me Janet home, my Lord,

     Or ye'll no die in your sheets!"



O Love, that makes strong towers to

          sway,

     And captains' hearts to fall!

I feared they might have heard his sobs

     Right out to Mantua-wall.



For thirteen days and thirteen nights

     No messenger came back;

And when the morning rose again,

     Our tents were hung with black.



The dead bell rang through all the camp;

     But we rung it low and dim,

Lest the Lombard hounds in Mantua

     Should know the end of him.



----A. M. F. Robinson (Darmesteter).



SIR ELDRIC


|Sir Eldric rode by field and fen

To reach the haunts of heathen men.



About the dusk he came unto

     A wood of birchen gray,

And on the other side he knew

     The heathen country lay.



"'Tis but a night," he sang, "to ride,

And Christ shall reach the other side."



The moon came peering through the trees,

     And found him undismayed;

For still he sang his litanies,

     And as he rode he prayed.



He looked as young and pure and glad

As ever looked Sir Galahad.



About the middle of the night

     He came upon the brink

Of running waters clear and white,

     And lighted there to drink.



And as he knelt a hidden foe

Crept from behind and smote him so.



He turned; he felt his heart's blood run;

     He sought his enemy:

"And shall I leave my deeds undone,

     And die for such as thee?"



[Illustration: 0137]

And since a knight was either man,

They wrestled till the dawn began.



Then in the dim and rustling place,

     Amid the thyme and dew,

Sir Eldric dealt the stroke of grace,

     And sank a-dying too,

And thought upon that other's plight

Who was not sure of Heaven to-night.



He dipped his fingers in his breast;

     He sought in vain to rise;

He leaned across his foe at rest,

     And murmured, "I baptise!"



When lo! the sun broke overhead:

There, at his side, Himself lay dead!

----A. M. F. Robinson (Darmesteter).



[Illustration: 0138



THE MOWERS


|They were three bonny mowers,

     Were mowing half the day;

They were three bonny lasses

     A-making of the hay.



"Who'll go and fetch the basket?"

     "Not I." "Nor I." "Nor I."

They had no time for falling out

     Ere Nancibel came by.

[Illustration: 0139]

"What's in your basket, Nancibel?"

     "There's cakes and currant wine,

There's venison and good cider, lads;

     Come quickly, come and dine."



They were two bonny mowers

     Fell to among the best;

The youngest sits a-fasting,

     His head upon his breast.



"What ails ye, bonny mower,

     You sit so mournfully?"

"Alas! what ails me, Nancibel?

     'Tis all the love of thee."



"Now laugh and quaff, my bonny lad,

     And think no more o' me.

My lover is a finer man

     Than any twain o' ye.



"He's bought for me a kirtle,

     He's bought for me a coat,

Of three-and-thirty colours,

     Wi' tassels at the throat.



"And twenty Maids of Honour

     They stitched at it a year,

And sewed in all their needlework

     The kisses of my dear!"



----A. M. F. Robinson (Darmesteter).



THE TOWER OF ST MAUR


|Where's my little son, Nourrice,

     And whither is he gone?

The youngest son of all I have,

     He should not gang alone."



"The child is safe enough, lady;

     He's barely gone an hour:

He's gone to see the mason-men,

     Are building at the tower."



"You should have kept him here, Nourrice,

     If I was sleeping then--

He's over young to gang alone

     Among the mason-men."



"Lie still, lie still, my sweet lady,

     There's nought to sorrow for;

The child is safe enough, I think,

     I' the keeping of St Maur!"



An hour's gone by, an hour or two,

     And still they're out-of-door--

"I wish they'd come at last, Nourrice,

     My heart is sick and sore."



"Now hush, lady, my sweet lady,

     The moon's still small and young;

If they're home before the curfew bell

     They'll not ha' stayed too long."



St Maur has ta'en his youngest son,

     To the riverside they're gone,

To see the busy mason-men

     Building a tower of stone.



"O why do they build the tower so strong

     Against the riverside?

I never saw the wall, father,

     That was so strong and wide."



"God knows the tower had need be strong

     Between my foes and thee!

Should once Lord Armour enter, child,

     An ill death would ye dee."



"We need not fear Lord Armour, father,

     Nor any of his kin;

Since God has given us such a wall,

     They cannot enter in."



"O twice, my babe, and thrice, my babe,

     Ere ever that I was born,

Lord Armour's men have entered in

     Betwixt the night and the morn.



"And once I found my nurse's room

     Was red with bloody men...

I would not have thy mother die

     As died my mother then.



"And 'tis not seven nights ago

     I heard, clear in a dream,

The bugle cry of Armour,

     Shrill over wood and stream."



"But if so foul a raid, father,

     Fell out so long agone,

Why did they never build before

     A wall and tower of stone?"



"Many's the time, my pretty babe,

     Ere ever this way you went,

We built the tower both thick and broad--

     An' we might as well ha' stent.



"Many's the time we built the tower,

     Wi' the grey stone and the brown.

But aye the floods in autumn

     Washed all the building down.



"And in my mind I see the morn

     When we'll be brought to dee--

Yoursel' and your seven brothers,

     And your young mother, and me.



"And oh, were it any but Armour,

     Oh God, were it any but she--

Before the Lord, my eyes grow dark

     With the ill sight that I see."



Among the busy mason-men,

     Are building at the tower,

There's a swarthy gipsy mason,

     A lean man and a dour.



He's lain the hammer down at last

     Out of his bony hand...

"Did ye never hear the spell, St Maur,

     Gars any tower to stand?"



"O what's the spell, thou black gipsy,

     I prithee rede it now:

There never was any mason-man

     Shall earn such wage as thou."



"I dared not speak the spell, St Maur,

     Lest you should do me an ill,

For a cruel spell, and an evil spell,

     Is the spell that works your will."



"There's no spell but I'll risk it, man,

     An' the price were half my lands--

To keep my wife and children safe

     Out of Lord Armour's hands."



"O, more than lands, and more than fee,

     You'll pay me for the spell----"

"An' the price were half my heart's red

          blood,

     I'd pay it down as well."



"O what's the blood of a sinful heart

     To bind the stones that fall?

St Maur, you'll build your christened child

     Alive into the wall."



St Maur has turned on his heel so light,

     And angry he turns away:

"Gang to the devil another time

     When ye ask what ye ask to-day."



He's ta'en his young son by the hand--

     He's opened wide the gate,

"Your mother's been sick a month by now,

     And she'll mourn sore if we're late."



They had not gone a little way,

     An' the child began to call--

"See how the flood runs high, father,

     And washes at the wall!"



They had not gone a mickle way,

     St Maur began to brood,

"'Tis the bugle cry of Armour,

     Shrill over stream and wood."



"And must they slay me, father dear,

     And my seven brothers tall?"

"Gin that's the blast of Armour, laddie,

     I fear they'll slay us all,"



"And will they slay my mother, then,

     That looks so bonny and small?"

"Come back, come back, thou little lad

     To the masons at the wall."



The flood runs high and still more high,

     And washes stone from stone--

"In another hour," say the masons,

     "Our work is all undone."

The flood runs high and still more high,

     And the bugle rings anear;

The masons looking o'er the wall

     Are blue and stark with fear.



There's one that's neither stark nor wan,

     But never he looked so well;

"Shall I gang to the devil, St Maur?" he

          cries,

     "Or say, shall I gang to yoursel'?"



He's set the child high in the air

     Upon his shoulder bone;

"Shall I leave them all for Armour,

     Or shall I take but one?"



Never an answer spake St Maur,

     And never a word he said:

There was not one o' the mason men

     Looked half so wan and dead.



The gipsy's ta'en the frighted child

     And set him in the wall:

"There's a bonny game to play, little man,

     The bonniest game of all.



"You'll stand so still and stark, my lad;

     I'll build in two's and three's;

And I'll throw you a red, red apple in,

     When the stones reach to your knees.



"You'll stand so still and stark, my lad;

     I'll lay the stones in haste;

And I'll throw you the forester's whistle

     When they reach above your waist.



"You'll stand so still and stark, my lad,

     You'll watch the stones that rise;

And I'll throw you in your father's sword,

     When they reach above your eyes.



"And if you tire o' the play, my lad,

     You've but to raise a shout:

At the least word o' your father's mouth,

     I'll stop and pluck you out."



The gipsy-man builds quick and light,

     As if he played a play,

And the child laughs with a frighted laugh,

     And the tower ceases to sway.



St Maur stares out of his bloodshot eyes,

     Like one that's well-nigh mad;

The tower stands fast, and the stones rise high

     About the little lad.



"O father, father, lift me out!

     The stones reach over my eyes,

And I cannot see you now, father,

     So swift the walls uprise.



"O father, lift me out, father!

     I cannot breathe at all,

For the stones reach up beyond my head,

     And it's dark down i' the wall."



But never an answer spake St Maur,

     Never a word but one:

"Have you finished your devil's work, mason,

     Or when will the deed be done?"



"Oh, the work is done that ye wished, St

          Maur,

     'Twill last for many a year;

     There's scarce a sound in the wall by now

     A mother might not hear.



"Gang home, gang home in peace, St Maur,

     And sleep sound if you can;

There's never a flood shall rock this tower,

     And never a mortal man.



"Gang home and kiss your bonny wife,

     And bid her mourn and fast...

She'll weep a year for her youngest child,

     But she'll dry her eyes at last.



"You'll say he fell in the flood, St Maur,

     But you'll not deceive yoursel',

For you've lost the bonniest thing you had,

     And you'll remember well.



"Your wife will mourn him a year, St Maur,

     You'll mourn him all your life,

For you've lost the bonniest thing you had,

     Better than bairns or wife."

-----A. M. F. Robinson (Darmesteter).



[Illustration: 0149]

[Illustration: 01;0]



A BALLAD OF HELL


|A letter from my love to-day!

     Oh, unexpected, dear appeal!"

She struck a happy tear away

     And broke the crimson seal.



"My love, there is no help on earth,

     No help in heaven; the dead man's bell

Must toll our wedding; our first hearth

     Must be the well-paved floor of hell."



The colour died from out her face,

     Her eyes like ghostly candles shone;

She cast dread looks about the place,

     Then clenched her teeth, and read right on.



"I may not pass the prison door;

     Here must I rot from day to day,

Unless I wed whom I abhor,

     My cousin, Blanche of Valencay.



"At midnight with my dagger keen

     I'll take my life; it must be so.

Meet me in hell to-night, my queen,

     For weal and woe."



She laughed although her face was wan,

     She girded on her golden belt,

She took her jewelled ivory fan,

     And at her glowing missal knelt.



Then rose, "And am I mad?" she said,

     She broke her fan, her belt untied;

With leather girt herself instead,

     And stuck a dagger at her side.



She waited, shuddering in her room

     Till sleep had fallen on all the house.

She never flinched; she faced her doom:

     They two must sin to keep their vows.



Then out into the night she went;

     And stooping, crept by hedge and tree;

Her rose-bush flung a snare of scent,

     And caught a happy memory.



She fell, and lay a minute's space;

     She tore the sward in her distress;

The dewy grass refreshed her face;

     She rose and ran with lifted dress.



She started like a morn-caught ghost

     Once when the moon came out and stood

To watch; the naked road she crossed,

     And dived into the murmuring wood.



The branches snatched her streaming cloak;

     A live thing shrieked; she made no stay!

She hurried to the trysting-oak--

     Right well she knew the way.



Without a pause she bared her breast

     And drove her dagger home and fell,

And lay like one that takes her rest,

     And died and wakened up in hell.



She bathed her spirit in the flame,

     And near the centre took her post;

From all sides to her ears there came

     The dreary anguish of the lost.



The devil started at her side

     Comely, and tall, and black as jet.

"I am young Malespina's bride;

     Has he come hither yet?"



"My poppet, welcome to your bed."

     "Is Malespina here?"

"Not he! To-morrow he must wed

     His cousin Blanche, my dear!"



"You lie; he died with me to-night."

     "Not he! It was a plot." "You lie."

"My dear, I never lie outright."

     "We died at midnight, he and I."



The devil went. Without a groan

     She, gathered up in one fierce prayer,

Took root in hell's midst all alone,

     And waited for him there.



She dared to make herself at home,

     Amidst the wail, the uneasy stir.

The blood-stained flame that filled the dome,

     Scentless and silent, shrouded her.



How long she stayed I cannot tell;

     But when she felt his perfidy,

She marched across the floor of hell;

     And all the damned stood up to see.



The devil stopped her at the brink;

     She shook him off; she cried, "Away!"

"My dear, you have gone mad, I think."

     "I was betrayed: I will not stay."



[Illustration: 0154]



Across the weltering deep she ran--

     A stranger thing was never seen:

The damned stood silent to a man;

     They saw the great gulf set between.



To her it seemed a meadow fair;

     And flowers sprang up about her feet;

She entered heaven; she climbed the stair;

     And knelt down at the mercy-seat.



Seraphs and saints with one great voice

     Welcomed that soul that knew not fear;

Amazed to find it could rejoice,

     Hell raised a hoarse half-human cheer.

----John Davidson.



THE WEDDING OF PALE BRONWEN


I.


|The wind was waked by the morning light,

     And it cried in the gray birch-tree,

And the cry was plain in Bronwen's bower,

     "Oh, Bronwen, come to me!"



Pale, pale sleeps Bronwen, pale she wakes;

     "What bird to my bower is flown?

For my lover, Red Ithel, is at the wars

     Before Jerusalem town."



But still the wind sang in the tree,

     "Come forth,'tis your wedding morn,

And you must be wed in Holy Land

     Ere your little babe is born."



And still the wind had her true-love's cry,

     "Kind Bronwen, come!" until

She could not rest, and rose to look

     To the sea beyond Morva Hill.



And afar came the cry over Morva Hill,

     "Kind Bronwen, come to me!"

Till she could not stay, for very love,

     And stole away to the sea.



She crossed the hill to the fishing-boats,

     And away she sailed so fine,

"Is it far, my love, in the summer sun

     To the shores of fair Palestine?"



II.

There was no sun at sea that day,

     To watch pale Bronwen drown,

But the sun was hot on the deadly sands

     Before Jerusalem town.'



All day Red Ithel lay dying there,

     But he thought of the far-off sea;

And he cried all day till his lips grew white,

     "Kind Bronwen, come to me!"



And so it passed till the evening time,

     And then the sea-wind came,

And he thought he lay on Morva Hill

     And heard her call his name.



He heard her voice, he held her hand,

     "This is the day," she said,

"And this is the hour that Holy Church

     Has given for us to wed."



There was no strength in him to speak,

     But his eyes had yet their say,

"Kind Bronwen, now we will be wed

     Forever and ever and aye!"



III.

Beneath the sea pale Bronwen lies,

     Red Ithel beneath the sand;

But they are one in Holy Church,

     One in love's Holy Land.



Red Ithel lies by Jerusalem town,

     And she in the deep sea lies;

But I trow their little babe was born

     In the gardens of Paradise.

---Ernest Rhys.



THE BALLAD OF FISHER'S BOARDING-HOUSE


|That night, when through the mooring-chains

     The wide-eyed corpse rolled free,

To blunder down by Garden Reach

     And rot at Kedgeree,

The tale the Hughli told the shoal

     The lean shoal told to me.



|Twas Fultah Fisher's boarding-house

     Where sailor-men reside,

And there were men of all the ports

     From Mississip to Clyde,

And regally they spat and smoked,

     And fearsomely they lied.



They lied about the purple Sea

     That gave them scanty bread,

They lied about the Earth beneath,

     The Heavens overhead,

For they had looked too often on

     Black rum when that was red.



They told their tales of wreck and wrong,

     Of shame and lust and fraud,

They backed their toughest statements with

     The Brimstone of the Lord,

And crackling oaths went to and fro

     Across the fist-banged board.



And there was Hans the blue-eyed Dane,

     Bull-throated, bare of arm,

Who carried on his hairy chest

     The maid Ultruda's charm--

The little silver crucifix

     That keeps a man from harm.



And there was Jake Without-the-Ears,

     And Pamba the Malay,

And Carboy Gin the Guinea cook,

     And Luz from Vigo Bay,

And Honest Jack who sold them slops

     And harvested their pay.



And there was Salem Hardieker,

     A lean Bostonian he--

Russ, German, English, Halfbreed, Finn,

     Yank, Dane, and Portugee,

At Fultah Fisher's boarding-house

     They rested from the sea.



Now Anne of Austria shared their drinks,

     Collinga knew her fame,

From Tarnau in Galicia

     To Jaun Bazar she came,

To eat the bread of infamy

     And take the wage of shame.



She held a dozen men to heel--

     Rich spoil of war was hers,

In hose and gown and ring and chain,

     From twenty mariners,

And, by Port Law, that week, men called

     Her Salem Hardieker's.



But seamen learnt--what landsmen know--

     That neither gifts nor gain

Can hold a winking Light o' Love

     Or Fancy's flight restrain,

When Anne of Austria rolled her eyes

     On Hans the blue-eyed Dane.



Since Life is strife, and strife means knife,

     From Howrah to the Bay,

And he may die before the dawn

     Who liquored out the day,

In Fultah Fishers boarding-house

     We woo while yet we may.



But cold was Hans the blue-eyed Dane,

     Bull-throated, bare of arm,

And laughter shook the chest beneath

     The maid Ultruda's charm--

The little silver crucifix

     That keeps a man from harm.



"You speak to Salem Hardieker,

     You was his girl, I know.

I ship mineselfs to-morrow, see,

     Und round the Skaw we go,

South, down the Cattegat, by Hjelm,

     To Besser in Saro."



When love rejected turns to hate,

     All ill betide the man.

"You speak to Salem Hardieker"--

     She spoke as woman can.

A scream--a sob--"He called me--names!"

     And then the fray began.



An oath from Salem Hardieker,

     A shriek upon the stairs,

A dance of shadows on the wall,

     A knife-thrust unawares--

And Hans came down, as cattle drop,

     Across the broken chairs.



In Anne of Austria's trembling hands

     The weary head fell low

"I ship mineselfs to-morrow, straight

     For Besser in Saro;

Und there Ultruda comes to me

     At Easter, und I go



"South, down the Cattegat--What's here?

     There--are--no--lights--to--guide!"

The mutter ceased, the spirit passed,

     And Anne of Austria cried

In Fultah Fisher's boarding-house

     When Hans the mighty died.



Thus slew they Hans the blue-eyed Dane,

     Bull-throated, bare of arm,

But Anne of Austria looted first

     The maid Ultruda's charm--

The little silver crucifix

     That keeps a man from harm.



[Illustration: 0162]



THE FALL OF JOCK GILLESPIE


|This fell when dinner-time was done--

     'Twixt the first an' the second rub--

That oor mon Jock cam' hame again

     To his rooms ahint the Club.



An' syne he laughed, an' syne he sang,

     An' syne we thocht him fou,

An' syne he trumped his partner's trick,

     An' garred his partner rue.



-----Rudyard Kipling.

Then up and spake an elder mon,

     That held the Spade its Ace--

"God save the lad! Whence comes the licht

     That wimples on his face?"



An' Jock he sniggered, an' Jock he smiled,

     An' ower the card-brim wunk:--

"I'm a' too fresh fra' the stirrup-peg,

     May be that I am drunk."



"There's whusky brewed in Galashiels,

     An' L. L. L. forbye;

But never liquor lit the low

     That keeks fra' oot your eye.



"There's a thrid o' hair on your dress-coat

          breast,

     Aboon the heart a wee?"

"Oh! that is fra' the lang-haired Skye

     That slobbers ower me."



"Oh! lang-haired Sky es are lovin' beasts,

     An' terrier dogs are fair,

But never yet was terrier born,

     Wi' ell-lang gowden hair!



"There's a smirch o' pouther on your breast,

     Below the left lappel?"

"Oh! that is fra' my auld cigar,

     Whenas the stump-end fell."



"Mon Jock, ye smoke the Trichi coarse,

     For ye are short o' cash,

An' best Havannahs couldna leave

     Sae white an' pure an ash.



"This nicht ye stopped a story braid,

     An' stopped it wi' a curse--

Last nicht ye told that tale yoursel,

     An' capped it wi' a worse!



"Oh! we're no fou! Oh! we're no fou!

     But plainly we can ken

Ye're failin', failin', fra' the band

     O' cantie single men!"



An' it fell when _sirris_-shaws were sere,

     An' the nichts were lang and mirk,

In braw new breeks, wi' a gowden ring,

     Oor Jockie gaed to the Kirk.

---Rudyard Kipling.



SOLDIER, SOLDIER

[Illustration: 9165]


|Soldier, soldier come from the wars,

Why don't you march with my true love?"

"We're fresh from off the ship an' Vs maybe

          give the slip,

An' you'd best go look for a new love."

          New love! True love!

          Best go look for a new love,

          The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better

               dry your eyes,

          An' you'd best go look for a new love.



"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,

What did you see o' my true love?"

"I seed him serve the Queen in a suit o' rifle-

          green,

An' you'd best go look for a new love."



"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,

Did you see no more o' my true love?"

"I seed 'im runnin' by when the shots begun

          to fly--

But you'd best go look for a new love."



"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,

Did aught take 'arm to my true love?"

"I couldn't see the fight, for the smoke it lay

          so white--

An' you'd best go look for a new love."



"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,

I'll up an' tend to my true love!"

"E's lying on the dead with a bullet through 'is 'ead,

          An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,



I'll down an' die with my true love!"

"The pit we dug 'll 'ide 'im an' the twenty men

          beside 'im--

An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,



Do you bring no sign from my true love?"

"I bring a lock of hair that'e alius used to

          wear,

An' you'd best go look for a new love."



"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,

O then I know it's true I've lost my true love!"

"An' I tell you truth again--when you've lost

          the feel o' pain

You'd best take me for your true love."

          True love! New love!

          Best take'im for a new love,

          The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better

               dry your eyes,

          An' you'd best take'im for your true love.

---Rudyard Kipling.



BALLAD OF EAST AND WEST


|Oh, _East is East, and West is West, and never

          the twain shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great

          Judgment Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor

          Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong men stand face to face, tho they

          come from the ends of the earth!_



Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the

          Borderside,

And he has lifted the Colonel's mare that is the

          Colonel's pride:

He has lifted her out of the stable-door between

          the dawn and the day,

And turned the calkins upon her feet, and

          ridden her far away.

Then up and spoke the Colonel's son that led a

          troop of the Guides:

"Is there never a man of all my men can say

          where Kamal hides?99

Then up and spoke Mahommed Khan, the son of

          the Ressaldar:

"If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye

          know where his pickets are.

At dusk he harries the Abazai--at dawn he is

          into Bonair,

But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place

          to fare,

So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird

          can fly,

By the favour of God ye may cut him off ere

          he win to the Tongue of Jagai.

But if he be past the Tongue of Jagai, right

          swiftly turn ye then,

For the length and the breadth of that grisly

          plain is sown with Kamal's men.

There is rock to the left, and rock to the right,

          and low lean thorn between,

And ye may hear a breech-bolt snick where

          never a man is seen."



The Colonel's son has taken a horse, and a raw

          rough dun was he,

With the mouth of a bell and the heart of Hell

          and the head of the gallows-tree.

The Colonel's son to the Fort has won, they bid

          him stay to eat--

Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits

          not long at his meat.

He's up and away from Fort Bukloh as fast as

          he can fly,

Till he was aware of his father's mare in the

          gut of the Tongue of Jagai,

Till he was aware of his father's mare with

          Kamal upon her back,

And when he could spy the white of her eye,

          he made the pistol crack.

He has fired once, he has fired twice, but the

          whistling ball went wide.

"Ye shoot like a soldier," Kamal said. "Show

          now if ye can ride."

It's up and over the Tongue of Jagai, as blown

          dust-devils go,

The dun he fled like a stag of ten, but the mare

          like a barren doe.

The dun he leaned against the bit and slugged

          his head above,

But the red mare played with the snaffle-bars,

          as a maiden plays with a glove.



There was rock to the left, and rock to the right,

          and low lean thorn between,

And thrice he heard a breech-bolt snick tho'

          never a man was seen.

They have ridden the low moon out of the

          sky, their hoofs drum up the dawn,

The dun he went like a wounded bull, but the

          mare like a new-roused fawn.

The dun he fell at a water-course--in a woful

          heap fell he,

And Kamal has turned the red mare back, and

          pulled the rider free.

He has knocked the pistol out of his hand--

          small room was there to strive,

"'Twas only by favour of mine," quoth he,

          "ye rode so long alive:

There was not a rock for twenty mile, there

          was not a clump of tree,

But covered a man of my own men with his

          rifle cocked on his knee.

If I had raised my bridle-hand, as I have held it

          low,

The little jackals that flee so fast were feasting

          all in a row:

If I had bowed my head on my breast, as I

          have held it high,

The kite that whistles above us now were

          gorged till she could not fly."



Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "Do good

          to bird and beast,

But count who come for the broken meats before

          thou makest a feast.

If there should follow a thousand swords to

          carry my bones away,

Belike the price of a jackal's meal were more

          than a thief could pay.

They will feed their horse on the standing crop,

          their men on the garnered grain,

The thatch of the byres will serve their fires

          when all the cattle are slain.

But if thou thinkest the price be fair,--thy

          brethren wait to sup,

The hound is kin to the jackal-spawn,--howl,

          dog, and call them up!

And if thou thinkest the price be high, in steer

          and gear and stack,

Give me my father's mare again, and I'll fight

          my own way back!"

Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him

          upon his feet.

"No talk shall be of dogs," said he, "when

          wolf and grey wolf meet.

May I eat dirt if thou hast hurt of me in deed or

          breath;

What dam of lances brought thee forth to jest at

          the dawn with Death?"



Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "I hold

          by the blood of my clan:

Take up the mare for my father's gift--by God,

          she has carried a man!"

The red mare ran to the Colonel's son, and

          nuzzled against his breast;

"We be two strong men," said Kamal then,

          "but she loveth the younger best.

So she shall go with a lifter's dower, my

          turquoise studded rein,

My broidered saddle and saddle-cloth, and silver

          stirrups twain."

The Colonel's son a pistol drew and held it

          muzzle-end,

"Ye have taken the one from a foe," said he;

          "will ye take the mate from a friend?"

"A gift for a gift," said Kamal straight; "a

          limb for the risk of a limb.

Thy father has sent his son to me, I'll send my

          son to him!"

With that he whistled his only son, that dropped

          from a mountain-crest--

He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he

          looked like a lance in rest.

"Now here is thy master," Kamal said, "who

          leads a troop of the Guides,

And thou must ride at his left side as shield on

          shoulder rides.



Till Death or I cut loose the tie, at camp and

          board and bed,

Thy life is his--thy fate it is to guard him with

          thy head.

So, thou must eat the White Queen's meat, and

          all her foes are thine,

And thou must harry thy fathers hold for the

          peace of the Border-line,

And thou must make a trooper tough and hack

          thy way to power--

Belike they will raise thee to Ressaldar when I

          am hanged in Peshawur,"



They have looked each other between the eyes,

          and there they found no fault,

They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-

          Blood, on leavened bread and salt:

They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-

          Blood on fire and fresh-cut sod,

On the hilt and the haft of the Kyber knife, and

          the Wondrous Names of God.

The Colonel's son he rides the mare and Kamal's

          boy the dun,

And two have come back to Fort Bukloh where

          there went forth but one.

And when they drew to the Quarter-Guard, full

          twenty swords flew clear--

There was not a man but carried his feud with

          the blood of the mountaineer.



"Ha' done! ha' done!" said the Colonel's son.

          "Put up the steel at your sides!

Last night ye had struck at a Border thief--to-

          night'tis a man of the Guides!"



_Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never

          the twain shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great

          Judgment Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor

          Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong men stand face to face, tho they

          come from the ends of the earth_

----Rudyard Kipling.



[Illustration: 0175]



THE LADY OF SEVILLA


_In the city of Sevilla,

     Years and years ago--

Dwelt a lady in a villa

     Years and years ago._

"Magdalene," _Revelations of Peter Brown_,

by J. F. Waller.



|In the city of Sevilla,

     Years and years ago,

Lived a lady in a villa,

     Ah,'twas long ago.



And her lips were cherries ripe

     Years and years ago,

And her eyes were like the night

     Long ago.

[Illustration: 0176]

All the gallants of Sevilla,

     Years and years ago,

Loved the lady of the villa,

     Ah,'twas long ago.

But their foolish hearts were broken,

     Years and years ago,

For she scorned their true love tokens

          Long ago.



Far away from fair Sevilla,

     Years and years ago;

Far from city, town, and villa,

     Ah,'twas long ago.



Sailed a ship across the ocean

     Years and years ago,

And the lady's heart was broken,

     Years and years ago.

----Gratiana Chanter.



[Illustration: 0177]



IRISH BALLADS



THE BATTLE OF THE BOYNE


|July the first of a morning fair

     In seventeen ninety famous,

King William did- his men prepare

     To fight with false King Shamus.

King James he pitched his tents between

     The lines for to retire;

But King William threw his bomb-balls in

     And set them all on fire.

Thereat revenge the Irish vowed

     Upon King William's forces,

And vehemently with cries did crowd

     To check their forward courses.

A ball from out their batteries Hew

     As our King he faced their fire;

His shoulder-knot away it shot,

     Quoth he, "Pray come no nigher!"



Then straight his officers he did call,

     Saying, "Gentlemen, mind your station,

And prove your valour one and all

     Before this Irish nation.

My brazen walls let no man break,

     And your subtle foes you'll scatter;

Let us show them to-day good English play,

     As we go over the water."



Then horse and foot we marched amain,

     Resolved their ranks to batter;

But the brave Duke Schomberg he was slain,

     As we went over the water.

Then King William cried, "Feel no dismay

     At the losing of one commander,

For God shall be our king to-day,

     And I'll be general under."

Then stoutly we Boyne river crossed

     To give the Irish battle;

Our cannon to his dreadful cost

     Like thunder-claps did rattle.

In majestic mien our Prince rode o'er,

     The stream ran red with slaughter

As with blow and shout we put to rout

     Our enemies over the water.

----Anon. Adapted by A. P. Graves.



[Illustration: 0181]



SHULE AGRA

[Illustration: 9182]


|His hair was black, his eye was blue,

His arm was stout, his word was true;

I wish in my heart I was with you.

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun! *

Shule, shule, shule agra! **

Only death can ease my woe,

Since the lad of my heart from me did go,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!



'Tis oft I sat on my true love's knee,

Many a fond story he told to me,

He told me things that ne'er shall be,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun.

Shule, shule, shule agra!

Only death can ease my woe,

Since the lad of my heart from me did go,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!



               * Farewell, my darling. ** Come, come, my love!

I sold my rock, * I sold my reel; **

When my flax was spun, I sold my wheel,

To buy my love a sword of steel,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!

Shule, shule, shule agra!

Only death can ease my woe,

Since the lad of my heart from me did go,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun.



But when King James was forced to flee,

The Wild Geesef spread their wings to sea,

And bore mabouchal *** far from me,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!

Shule, shule, shule agra!

Only death can ease my woe,

Since the lad of my heart from me did go,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!



I saw them sail from Brandon Hill,

Then down I sat and cried my fill,

That every tear would turn a mill,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!

Shule, shule, shule agra!

Only death can ease my woe,

Since the lad of my heart from me did go,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!



               * _Two parts of Irish spinning wheel.

               ** Irish Jacobites who joined the French army when the

               cause of James II. was lost.

               *** My boy._

I wish the King would return to reign,

And bring my true love back again;

I wish, and wish, but I wish in vain,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!

Shule, shule, shule agra!

Only death can ease my woe,

Since the lad of my heart from me did go,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!



Ill dye my petticoat, I'll dye it red, *

And round the world I'll beg my bread,

Till I find my love alive or dead,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!,

Shule, shule, shule agra!

Only death can ease my woe,

Since the lad of my heart from me did go,

     Go-thee-thu, mavourneen slaun!

---Anon. Adapted by A. P. Graves.



THE NIGHT BEFORE LARRY WAS STRETCHED


|The night before Larry was stretched,

     The boys they all paid him a visit;

A bit in their sacks too they fetched,

     They sweated their duds till they riz it;

               * Beggars of those days were required by the law to wear red petticoats.

For Larry was always the lad,

     When a friend was condemned to the squeezer,

But he'd fence all the togs that he had

     Just to help the poor boy to a sneezer,

          And moisten his gob 'fore he died.



"'Pon my conscience, dear Larry," says I,

"I'm sorry to see you in trouble,

Your life's cheerful noggin run dry,

     And yourself going off like its bubble."

"Hould your tongue in that matter," says he;

     "For the neckcloth I don't care a button,

And by this time to-morrow you'll see

     Your Larry will be dead as mutton:

          All for what?'Kase his courage was good."



The boys they came crowding in fast;

     They drew their stools close round about him.

Six glims round his coffin they placed;

     He couldn't be well waked without 'em.

I axed if he was fit for to die,

     Without having duly repented?

Says Larry, "That's all in my eye,

     And all by the clergy invented

          To make a fat bit for themselves."



Then the cards being called for, they played,

Till Larry found one of them cheated.

Quick! he made a hard rap at his head,--

The lad being easily heated.

"So ye chates me because I'm in grief;

     O, is that, by the Holy, the rason?

Soon I'll give you to know, you d-d thief,

     That you're cracking your jokes out of sason,

          And scuttle your nob with my fist."



Then in came the priest with his book,

     He spoke him so smooth and so civil,

Larry tipped him a Kilmainham look,

     And pitched his big wig to the divil.

Then raising a little his head

     To get a sweet drop of the bottle,

And pitiful sighing, he said,

     "O, the hemp will be soon round my throttle,

          And choke my poor windpipe to death!"



So mournful these last words he spoke,

     We all vented our tears in a shower;

For my part I thought my heart broke

     To see him cut down like a flower.

On his travels we watched him next day -9

          O, the hangman, I thought I could kill him!

Not one word did our poor Larry say,

     Nor changed till he came to "King William."

          Och, my dear, thin his colour turned

               white.



When he came to the nubbling chit,

     He was tucked up so neat and so pretty;

The rumbler jogged off with his feet,

     And he died with his face to the city.

He kicked, too, but that was all pride,

     For soon you might see 'twas all over;

And as soon as the noose was untied,

     Then at darky we waked him in clover,

          And sent him to take a ground sweat.



THE PATRIOT MOTHER


|Come, tell us the name of the rebelly crew,

Who lifted the pike on the Curragh with you

Come, tell us the treason, and then you'll be free,

Or right quickly you'll swing from the high

          gallows tree."



''_Alarma! Alanna!_ the shadow of shame

Has never yet fallen upon one of your name,

And oh! may the food from my bosom you

          drew,

In your veins turn to poison, if _you_ turn untrue.



"The foul words--oh! let them not blacken

          your tongue,

That would prove to your friends and your

          country a wrong,

Or the curse of a mother, so bitter and dread,

With the wrath of the Lord--may they fall on

          your head!



"I have no one but you in the whole world

          wide,

Yet false to your pledge, you'd ne'er stand at

          my side:

If a traitor you liv'd, you'd be farther away

From my heart than, if true, you were wrapp'd

          in the clay.



"Oh! deeper and darker the mourning would be,

For your falsehood so base, than your death

          proud and free,

Dearer, far dearer than ever to me,

My darling, you'll be on the brave gallows tree.



"'Tis holy, agra, from the bravest and best--

Go! go! from my heart, and be join'd with

          the rest,

_Alanna, machree! O Alanita, machree!_

Sure a 'stag' * and a traitor you never will be."

There's no look of a traitor upon the young brow

That's raised to the tempters so haughtily now;

No traitor e'er held up the firm head so high--

No traitor e'er show'd such a proud flashing eye.

On the high gallows tree! on the brave gallows

          tree!

Where smil'd leaves and blossoms, his sad doom

          met he!

But it never bore blossom so pure or so fair,

As the heart of the martyr that hangs from it

          there.



               * "_Stag_," an informer.



THE LAKE OF COOLFIN


|To the Lake of Coolfin the companions soon came,

And the first man they met was the keeper of

          game:--

"Turn back Willy Leonard, return back again;

There is deep and false water in the Lake of

          Coolfin!"



Young Willy plunged in, and he swam the lake

          round;

He swam to an island--'twas soft marshy ground:

"O, comrade, dear comrade, do not venture in;

There is deep and false water in the Lake of

          Coolfin!"



'Twas early that morning his sister arose;

And up to her mother's bed-chamber she goes:--

"O, I dreamed a sad dream about Willy last

          night;

He was dressed in a shroud--in a shroud of

          snow-white!"



'Twas early that morning his mother came there;

She was wringing her hands--she was tearing

          her hair.

O, woful the hour your dear Willy plunged in:--

There is deep and false water in the Lake of

          Coolfin!



And I saw a fair maid, standing fast by the shore;

Her face it was pale--she was weeping full sore;

In deep anguish she gazed where young Willy

          plunged in:--

Ah! there's deep and false water in the Lake of

          Coolfin!

               _Old Ballad. Recomposed by_ P. W. Joyce.



BY THAT LAKE, WHOSE GLOOMY SHORE


|By that Lake, whose gloomy shore

Skylark never warbles o'er,

Where the cliff hangs high and steep,

Young Saint Kevin stole to sleep.

"Here, at least," he calmly said,

"Woman ne'er shall find my bed."

Ah! the good Saint little knew

What that wily sex can do.



'Twas from Kathleen's eyes he flew,--

Eyes of most unholy blue!

She had lov'd him well and long,

Wish'd him hers, nor thought it wrong.

Wheresoe'er the Saint would fly,

Still he heard her light foot nigh;

East or west, where'er he turn'd,

Still her eyes before him burn'd.



On the bold cliff's bosom cast,

Tranquil now he sleeps at last;

Dreams of heav'n, nor thinks that e'er

Woman's smile can haunt him there.

But nor earth nor heaven is free

From her power, if fond she be:

Even now, while calm he sleeps,

Kathleen o'er him leans and weeps.



Fearless she had track'd his feet

To this rocky, wild retreat;

And when morning met his view,

Her mild glances met it too.

Ah, your Saints have cruel hearts!

Sternly from his bed he starts,

And with rude, repulsive shock,

Hurls her from the beetling rock.



Glendalough, thy gloomy wave

Soon was gentle Kathleen's grave!

Soon the Saint (yet ah! too late,)

Felt her love, and mourn'd her fate.

When he said, "Heav'n rest her soul!"

Round the Lake light music stole;

And her ghost was seen to glide,

Smiling o'er the fatal tide.

----T. Moore.



THE HIGH-BORN LADY


|In vain all the knights of the Underwald woo'd

          her,

     Though brightest of maidens, the proudest

          was she;

Brave chieftains they sought, and young minstrels

          they sued her,

     But worthy were none of the high-born ladye.



"Whomsoever I wed," said this maid, so

          excelling,

     "That knight must the conqu'ror of con-

          querors be;

He must place me in halls fit for monarchs to

          dwell in;--

     None else shall be Lord of the high-born

          ladye!"



Thus spoke the proud damsel, with scorn looking

          round her

     On knights and on nobles of highest degree,

Who humbly and hopelessly left as they found her,

     And worshipp'd at distance the high-born

          ladye.



At length came a knight, from a far land to woo

          her,

     With plumes on his helm like the foam of the

          sea;

His vizor was down--but, with voice that thrill'd

          through her,

     He whisper'd his vows to the high-born ladye.



"Proud maiden! I come with high spousals to

          grace thee;

     In me the great conqu'ror of conquerors see;

Enthron'd in a hall fit for monarch s I'll place

          thee,

     And mine thou'st for ever, thou high-born

          ladye!"



The maiden she smiled, and in jewels array'd her,

     Of thrones and tiaras already dreamed she;

And proud was the step, as her bridegroom

          convey'd her

     In pomp to his home, of that high-born ladye.



"But whither," she, starting, exclaims, "have

          you led me?

     Here's nought but a tomb and a dark cypress

          tree;

Is _this_ the bright palace in which thou would'st

          wed me?"

     With scorn in her glance said the high-born

          ladye.



"'Tis the home," he replied, "of earth's

          loftiest creatures"--

     Then lifted his helm for the fair one to see;

But she sunk on the ground--'twas a skeleton's

          features,

     And Death was the lord of the high-born

          ladye!

----T. Moore.



THE MAIDEN CITY


|Where Foyle his swelling waters

     Rolls northward to the main,

There, queen of Erin's daughters,

     Fair Derry fixed her reign;

A holy temple crowned her,?

     And commerce graced her street,

A rampart wall was round her,

     The river at her feet;

And here she sat alone, boys,

     And, looking from the hill,

Vowed the Maiden on her throne, boys,

     Should be a Maiden still.



From Antrim crossing over,

     In famous eighty-eight,

A plumed and belted lover

     Came to the Ferry Gate.

She summoned to defend her

     Our sires,--a beardless race,--

They shouted, No surrender!

     And slammed it in his face.

Then in a quiet tone, boys,

     They told him 'twas their will

That the Maiden on her throne, boys,

     Should be a Maiden still.



Next, crushing all before him,

     A kingly wooer came;

(The royal banner o'er him

     Blushed crimson deep for shame;)

He showed the Pope's commission,

     Nor dreamed to be refused;

She pitied his condition,

     But begged to stand excused.

In short, the fact is known, boys,

     She chased him from the hill,

For the Maiden on the throne, boys,

     Would be a Maiden still.



On our brave sires descending,

     'Twas then the tempest broke,

Their peaceful dwellings rending,

     'Mid blood and flame and smoke.

That hallowed grave-yard yonder,

     Swells with the slaughtered dead,--

O brothers, pause and ponder!

     It was for us they bled;

And while their gifts we own, boys,

     The fane that tops the hill,

O, the Maiden on her throne, boys,

     Shall be a Maiden still!



Nor wily tongue shall move us,

     Nor tyrant arm affright;

We'll look to One above us,

     Who ne'er forsook the right;

Who will may crouch and tender

     The birthright of the free,

But, brothers, No surrender,

     No compromise for me!

We want no barrier stone, boys,

     No gates to guard the hill,

Yet the Maiden on her throne, boys,

     Shall be a Maiden still.

----Charlotte Elizabeth (_Tonna_).



SIR TURLOUGH; OR, THE CHURCHYARD BRIDE

[Illustration: 0196]


|The bride, she bound her golden hair--

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And her step was light as the breezy air

When it bends the morning flowers so fair,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



And oh, but her eyes they danc'd so bright,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

As she longed for the dawn of to-morrow's

          light,

Her bridal vows of love to plight,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The bridegroom is come with youthful brow,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

To receive from his Eva her virgin vow;

"Why tarries the bride of my bosom now?"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



A cry! a cry!'twas her maidens spoke,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

"Your bride is asleep--she has not awoke,

And the sleep she sleeps will never be broke,"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



Sir Turlough sank down with a heavy moan,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And his cheek became like the marble stone--

"Oh, the pulse of my heart is for ever gone!"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The keen is loud, it comes again,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And rises sad from the funeral train,

As in sorrow it winds along the plain,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



And oh, but the plumes of white were fair,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

When they flutter'd all mournful in the air

As rose the hymn of the requiem prayer,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



There is a voice that but one can hear,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And it softly pours from behind the bier,

Its note of death on Sir Turlough's ear,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The keen is loud, but that voice is low,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And it sings its song of sorrow slow,

And names young Turlough's name with woe,,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



Now the grave is closed, and the mass is said,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And the bride she sleeps in her lonely bed,

The fairest corpse among the dead,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The wreaths of virgin-white are laid,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

By virgin hands o'er the spotless maid;

And the flowers are strewn, but they soon

          will fade,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"Oh! go not yet--not yet away,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Let us feel that _life_ is near our clay,"

The long-departed seem to say,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



But the tramp and voices of _life_ are gone,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And beneath each cold forgotten stone,

The mouldering dead sleep all alone,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



But who is he who lingereth yet?

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

The fresh green sod with his tears is wet,

And his heart in that bridal grave is set,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



Oh, who but Sir Turlough, the young and

          brave,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Should bend him o'er that bridal grave,

And to his death-bound Eva rave,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"Weep not--weep not," said a lady fair,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

"Should youth and valour thus despair,

And pour their vows to the empty air?"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



There's charmed music upon her tongue,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Such beauty--bright and warm and young--

Was never seen the maids among,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



A laughing light, a tender grace,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Sparkled in beauty around her face,

That grief from mortal heart might chase,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"The maid for whom thy salt tears fall,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Thy grief or love can ne'er recall;

She rests beneath that grassy pall,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"My heart it strangely cleaves to thee,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And now that thy plighted love is free,

Give its unbroken pledge to me,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy."



The charm is strong upon Turlough's eye,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

His faithless tears are already dry,.

And his yielding heart has ceased to sigh,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"To thee," the charmed chief replied,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

"I pledge that love o'er my buried bride!

[Illustration: 0201]

Oh! come, and in Turlough's hall abide,"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



Again the funeral voice came o'er

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

The passing breeze, as it wailed before,

And streams of mournful music bore,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"If I to thy youthful heart am dear,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

One month from hence thou wilt meet me here

Where lay thy bridal, Eva's bier,"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



He pressed her lips as the words were spoken;

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And his _banshee's_ wail--now far and broken--

Murmur'd "Death," as he gave the token,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"Adieu! adieu!" said this lady bright,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And she slowly passed like a thing of light,

Or a morning cloud, from Sir Turlough's sight,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



Now Sir Turlough has death in every vein,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And there's fear and grief o'er his wide domain,

And gold for those who will calm his brain,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"Come, haste thee, leech, right swiftly ride,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Sir Turlough the brave, Green Truagha's

          pride,

Has pledged his love to the churchyard bride,"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The leech groaned loud, "Come, tell me this,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

By all thy hopes of weal and bliss,

Has Sir Turlough given the fatal kiss?"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"The banshee's cry is loud and long,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

At eve she weeps her funeral song,

And it floats on the twilight breeze along,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"Then the fatal kiss is given;--the last,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Of Turlough's race and name is past,

His doom is seal'd, his die is cast,"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



"Leech, say not that thy skill is vain,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Oh, calm the power of his frenzied brain,

And half his lands thou shalt retain,"

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The leech has fail'd, and the hoary priest,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

With pious shrift his soul releas'd,

And the smoke is high of his funeral feast.

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The Shanachies now are assembled all,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And the songs of praise, in Sir Turlough's hall,

To the sorrowing harp's dark music fall,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



And there is trophy, banner, and plume,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

And the pomp of death, with its darkest gloom,

O'ershadows the Irish chieftain's tomb,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.



The month is clos'd, and Green Truagha's pride,

     Killeevy, O Killeevy!

Is married to death--and, side by side,

He slumbers now with his churchyard bride,

     By the bonnie green woods of Killeevy.

----W. Carleton,



[Illustration: 0204]



THE VIRGIN MARY'S BANK


|The evening star rose beauteous above the

          fading day,

As to the lone and silent beach the Virgin came

          to pray,

And hill and wave shone brightly in the moon-

          light's mellow fall;

But the bank of green where Mary knelt was

          brightest of them all.



Slow moving o'er the waters, a gallant bark

          appear'd,

And her joyous crew look'd from the deck as to

          the land she near'd;

To the calm and shelter'd haven she floated like

          a swan,

And her wings of snow o'er the waves below

          in pride and beauty shone.



The master saw our Lady as he stood upon the

          prow,

And mark'd the whiteness of her robe and the

          radiance of her brow;

Her arms were folded gracefully upon her stain-

          less breast,

And her eyes look'd up among the stars to Him

          her soul lov'd best.



He show'd her to his sailors, and he hail'd her

          with a cheer,

And on the kneeling Virgin they gazed with

          laugh and jeer;

[Illustration: 0206]

And madly swore, a form so fair they never saw

          before;

And they curs'd the faint and lagging breeze

          that kept them from the shore.



The ocean from its bosom shook off the moon-

          light sheen,

And up its wrathful billows rose to vindicate

          their Queen;

And a cloud came o'er the heavens, and a dark-

          ness o'er the land,

And the scoffing crew beheld no more that Lady

          on the strand.



Out burst the pealing thunder, and the light'ning

          leap'd about,

And rushing with his watery war, the tempest

          gave a shout,

And that vessel from a mountain wave came

          down with thund'ring shock,

And her timbers flew like scatter'd spray on

          Inchidony's rock.



Then loud from all that guilty crew one shriek

          rose wild and high.

But the angry surge swept over them and

          hush'd their gurgling cry;

And with a hoarse exulting tone the tempest

          passed away,

And down, still chafing from their strife, the

          indignant waters lay.



When the calm and purple morning shone out

          on high Dunmore,

Full many a mangled corpse was seen on Inchi-

          dony's shore;

And to this day the fisherman shows where the

          scoffers sank,

And still he calls that hillock green, "the

          Virgin Mary's bank."

----J. J. Callanan.



CAROLAN AND BRIDGET CRUISE


|True love can ne'er forget;

Fondly as when we met,

Dearest, I love thee yet,

          My darling one!"



Thus sung a minstrel gray,

His sweet impassion'd lay,

Down by the ocean's spray,

          At set of sun;

But wither'd was the minstrel's sight,

Morn to him was dark as night,

Yet his heart was full of light;

          As he his lay begun.



"True love can ne'er forget;

Fondly as when we met,

Dearest, I love thee yet,

          My darling one!

Long years are past and o'er,

Since from this fatal shore,

Cold hearts and cold winds bore

          My love from me."



Scarcely the minstrel spoke,

When quick, with flashing stroke,

A boat's light oar the silence broke

          O'er the sea;



Soon upon her native strand

Doth a lovely lady land,

While the minstrel's love-taught hand

          Did o'er his wild harp run--

"True love can ne'er forget;

Fondly as when we met,

Dearest, I love thee yet,

          My darling one!"

Where the minstrel sat alone,

There, that lady fair hath gone,

Within his hand she placed her own,--

          The bard dropp'd on his knee;



From his lips soft blessings came,

He kiss'd her hand with truest flame,

In trembling tones he named--her name,

          Though he could not see.

But oh! the touch the bard could tell

Of that dear hand, remember'd well,--

Ah! by many a secret spell

          Can true love find her own!

For true love can ne'er forget,

Fondly as when they met,

He loved his lady yet,--

          His darling one. ----S. Lover.



[Illustration: 0210]



THE O'KAVANAGH

I.


|The Saxons had met, and the banquet was

          spread,

And the wine in fleet circles the jubilee led;

And the banners that hung round the festal that

          night,

Seemed brighter by far than when lifted in fight.



II.

In came the O'Kavanagh, fair as the morn,

When earth to new beauty and vigour is born;

They shrank from his glance like the waves

          from the prow,

For nature's nobility sat on his brow.



III.

Attended alone by his vassal and bard;

No trumpet to herald--no clansmen to guard--

He came not attended by steed or by steel:

No danger he knew, for no fear did he feel.



IV.

In eye and on lip his high confidence smiled--

So proud, yet so knightly--so gallant, yet mild;

He moved like a god through the light of that

          hall,

And a smile, full of courtliness, proffered to all.



V.

"Come pledge us, lord chieftain! come pledge

          us!" they cried;

Unsuspectingly free to the pledge he replied;

And this was the peace-branch O'Kavanagh

          bore--

"The friendships to come, not the feuds that

          are o'er."



[Illustration: 0212]

VI.

But, minstrel! why cometh a change o'er thy

          theme?

Why sing of red battle--what dream dost thou

          dream?

Ha! "Treason"'s the cry, and "Revenge" is

          the call!

As the swords of the Saxon surrounded the

          hall.



VII.

A kingdom for Angelo's mind! to portray

Green Erin's undaunted avenger, that day;

The far-flashing sword, and the death-darting

          eye,

Like some comet commissioned with wrath from

          the sky.



VIII.

Through the ranks of the Saxon he hewed his

          red way--

Through lances, and sabres, and hostile array;

And, mounting his charger, he left them to tell

The tale of that feast, and its bloody farewell!



IX.

And now on the Saxons his clansmen advance,

With a shout from each heart, and a soul in each

          lance.

He rushed, like a storm, o'er the night-covered

          heath,

And swept through their ranks, like the angel of

          death.



Then hurrah! for thy glory, young chieftain,

          hurrah!

Oh! had we such lightning-souled heroes to-

          day,

Again would our "Sunburst" * expand in the

          gale,

And freedom exult o'er the green Innisfail.


----J. A. Shea.



               * Irish national banner.

[Illustration: 0215]



THE BRIDAL OF MALAHIDE


|The joy-bells are ringing

     In gay Malahide,

The fresh wind is singing

     Along the sea-side;

The maids are assembling

     With garlands of flowers,

And the harpstrings are trembling

     In all the glad bowers.



Swell, swell the gay measure!

     Roll trumpet and drum!

'Mid greetings of pleasure

     In splendour they come!

The chancel is ready,

     The portal stands wide

For the lord and the lady,

     The bridegroom and bride.



What years, ere the latter,

     Of earthly delight

The future shall scatter

     O'er them in its flight!

What blissful caresses

     Shall fortune bestow,

Ere those dark-flowing tresses

     Fall white as the snow!



Before the high altar

     Young Maud stands array'd;

With accents that falter

     Her promise is made--

From mother and father

     For ever to part,

For him and no other

     To treasure her heart.



The words are repeated,

     The bridal is done,

The rite is completed--

     The two, they are one;

The vow, it is spoken

     All pure from the heart,

That must not be broken

     Till life shall depart.



Hark!'mid the gay clangour

     That compass'd their car,

Loud accents in anger

     Come mingling afar!

The foe's on the border,

     His weapons resound

Where the lines in disorder

     Unguarded are found.



As wakes the good shepherd,

     The watchful and bold,

When the ounce or the leopard

     Is seen in the fold,

So rises already

     The chief in his mail,

While the new-married lady

     Looks fainting and pale.



"Son, husband, and brother,

     Arise to the strife,

For the sister and mother,

     For children and wife!

O'er hill and o'er hollow,

     O'er mountain and plain,

Up, true men, and follow!

     Let dastards remain!"



Far rah! to the battle!

     They form into line--

The shields, how they rattle!

     The spears, how they shine!

Soon, soon shall the foeitian

     His treachery rue--

On, burgher and yeoman,

     To die or to do!



The eve is declining

     In lone Malahide,

The maidens are twining

     Gay wreaths for the bride!

She marks them unheeding--

     Her heart is afar,

Where the clansmen are bleeding

     For her in the war.



Hark! loud from the mountain

          'Tis Victory's cry!

     O'er woodland and fountain

It rings to the sky!

     The foe has retreated!

He flies to the shore;

     The spoiler's defeated--

The combat is o'er!



     With foreheads unruffled

The conquerors come--

     But why have they muffled

The lance and the drum?

What form do they carry

     Aloft on his shield?

And where does he tarry,

     The lord of the field?



Ye saw him at morning

     How gallant and gay!

In bridal adorning,

     The star of the day:

Now weep for the lover--

     His triumph is sped,

His hope it is over!

     The chieftain is dead!



But O for the maiden

     Who mourns for that chief,

With heart overladen

     And rending with grief!

She sinks on the meadow

     In one morning-tide,

A wife and a widow,

     A maid and a bride!



Ye maidens attending,

     Forbear to condole!

Your comfort is rending

     The depths of her soul.

True--true,'twas a story

     For ages of pride;

He died in his glory--

     But, oh, he _has_ died!



The war-cloak she raises

     All mournfully now,

And steadfastly gazes

     Upon the cold brow.

That glance may for ever

     Unalter'd remain,

But the bridegroom will never

     Return it again!



The dead-bells are tolling

     In sad Malahide,

The death-wail is rolling

     Along the sea-side;

The crowds, heavy-hearted,

     Withdraw from the green,

For the sun has departed

     That brighten'd the scene!



Even yet in that valley,

     Though years have roll'd by,

When through the wild sally

     The sea-breezes sigh,

The peasant, with sorrow,

     Beholds in the shade

The tomb where the morrow

     Saw Hussy convey'd.



How scant was the warning,

     How briefly reveal'd,

Before on that morning

     Death's chalice was fill'd!

The hero who drunk it

     There moulders in gloom,

And the form of Maud Plunket

     Weeps over his tomb.



The stranger who wanders

     Along the lone vale

Still sighs while he ponders

     On that heavy tale:

"Thus passes each pleasure

     That earth can supply--

Thus joy has its measure--

     We live but to die!"

----Gerald Griffin.



CAOCH, THE PIPER


|One winter's day long, long ago,

     When I was a little fellow,

A piper wandered to our door,

     Gray-headed, blind, and yellow.

And O how glad was my young heart,

     Though earth and sky looked dreary,

To see the stranger and his dog,

     Poor Pinch and Caoch O'Leary!



And when he stowed away his bag

     Crossbarred with green and yellow,

I thought and said, "In Ireland's ground,

     There's not so fine a fellow."

And Fineen Burke and Shane Magee,

     And Eily, Kate, and Mary,

Rushed in with panting haste to see

     And welcome Caoch O'Leary.



O, God be with those happy times,

     O, God be with my childhood,

When I, bare-headed, roamed all day

     Bird-nesting in the wild wood!

I'll not forget those sunny hours

     However years may vary;

I'll not forget my early friends,

     Nor honest Caoch O'Leary.



Poor Caoch and Pinch slept well that night,

     And in the morning early

He called me up to hear him play

     "The wind that shakes the barley."

And then he stroked my flaxen hair,

     And cried, "God mark my deary!"

And how I wept when he said, "Farewell,

     And think of Caoch O'Leary!"



And seasons came and went, and still

     Old Caoch was not forgotten,

Although I thought him dead and gone,

     And in the cold clay rotten;

And often when I walked and danced

     With Eily, Kate, and Mary,

We spoke of childhood's rosy hours,

     And prayed for Caoch O'Leary.



Well--twenty summers had gone past,

     And June's red sun was sinking,

When I, a man, sat by my door,

     Of twenty sad things thinking.

A little dog came up the way,

     His gait was slow and weary,

And at his tail a lame man limped,

     'Twas Pinch and Caoch O'Leary.



Old Caoch! but ah! how woe-begone!

     His form is bowed and bending,

His fleshless hands are stiff and wan,

     Ay, time is even blending

The colours on his threadbare bag,

     And Pinch is twice as hairy

And thin-spare as when first I saw

     Himself and Caoch O'Leary.



"God's blessing here!" the wanderer cried,

     "Far, far be hell, black viper;

Does anybody hereabouts

     Remember Caoch, the piper?"

With swelling heart I grasped his hand;

     The old man murmured, "Deary,

Are you the silken-headed child

     That loved poor Caoch O'Leary?"



[Illustration: 0224]

"Yes, yes!" I said. The wanderer wept

     As if his heart was breaking;

"And where, _avic machree_" * he said,

     "Is all the merry-making

I found here twenty years ago?"

     "My tale," I sighed, "might weary:

Enough to say, there's none but me

     To welcome Caoch O'Leary."



"_Vo, vo, vo!_" the old man cried,

     And wrung his hands in sorrow;

"Pray lead me in, _astore machree_,

     And I'll _go home_ to-morrow.

My peace is made, I'll calmly leave

     This world so cold and dreary,

And you shall keep my pipes and dog,

     And pray for Caoch O'Leary."



With Pinch I watched his bed that night;

     Next day his wish was granted,--

He died, and Father James was brought,

     And the requiem mass was chanted.

The neighbours came;--we dug his grave,

     Near Eily, Kate, and Mary,

And there he sleeps his last sweet sleep,--

     God rest you, Caoch O'Leary!

J. Keegan.



               * _Vic ma chree_, Son of my heart.

[Illustration: 0226]



THE FAIRY THORN


|Get up, our Anna dear, from the weary

          spinning-wheel;

     For your father's on the hill, and your mother

          is asleep:

Come up above the crags, and we'll dance a

          highland reel

               Around the fairy thorn on the steep."

At Anna Grace's door 'twas thus the maidens

          cried,

     Three merry maidens fair in kirtles of the

          green;

And Anna laid the rock and the weary wheel

          aside,

               The fairest of the four, I ween.



They're glancing through the glimmer of the

          quiet eve,

     Away in milky wavings of neck and ankle bare;

The heavy sliding stream in its sleepy song they

          leave,

               And the crags in the ghostly air;



And linking hand in hand, and singing as they go,

     The maids along the hill-side have ta'en their

          fearless way,

Till they come to where the rowan-trees in lonely

          beauty grow

               Beside the Fairy Hawthorn gray.



The Hawthorn stands between the ashes tall and

          slim,

     Like matron with her twin grand-daughters at

          her knee;

The rowan-berries cluster o'er her low head

          gray and dim

               In ruddy kisses sweet to see.



The merry "maidens four have ranged them in a

          row,

     Between each lovely couple a stately rowan

          stem,

And away in mazes wavy, like skimming birds

          they go,

               Oh never carolled bird like them!



But solemn is the silence of the silvery haze

     That drinks away their voices in echoless re-

          pose,

And dreamily the evening has stilled the haunted

          braes,

               And dreamier the gloaming grows.



And sinking one by one, like lark notes from

          the sky

     When the falcon's shadow saileth across the

          open shaw,

Are hushed the maiden's voices, as cowering

     down they lie

               In the flutter of their sudden awe.



For, from the air above, and the grassy ground

          beneath,

     And from the mountain-ashes and the old

          Whitethorn between,

A power of faint enchantment doth through

          their beings breathe,

               And they sink down together on the

               green.



They sink together silent, and stealing side by

          side,

     They fling their lovely arms o'er their drooping

          necks so fair,

Then vainly strive again their naked arms to hide,

               For their shrinking necks again are bare.



Thus clasped and prostrate all, with their heads

          together bowed,

     Soft o'er their bosoms' beating--the only

          human sound--

They hear the silky footsteps of the silent fairy

          crowd,

               Like a river in the air, gliding round.



No scream can any raise, no prayer can any say,

     But wild, wild, the terror of the speechless

          three--

For they feel fair Anna Grace drawn silently

          away,

               By whom they dare not look to see.



They feel their tresses twine with her parting

          locks of gold,

     And the curls elastic falling, as her head with-

          draws;

They feel her sliding arms from their tranced

          arms unfold,

               But they may not look to see the cause:



For heavy on their senses the faint enchantment

          lies

     Through all that night of anguish and perilous

          amaze;

And neither fear nor wonder can ope their

          quivering eyes,

               Or their limbs from the cold ground raise,



Till out of night the earth has rolled her dewy

          side,

     With every haunted mountain and streamy

          vale below;

When, as the mist dissolves in the yellow

          morning tide,

               The maidens' trance dissolveth so.



Then fly the ghastly three as swiftly as they may,

     And tell their tale of sorrow to anxious

          friends in vain--

They pined away and died within the year and

          day,

               And ne'er was Anna Grace seen again.

---Sir S. Ferguson.



THE BATTLE OF ARDNOCHER

[Illustration: 9231]


|On the eve of St Laurence, at the cross of

          Glenfad,

Both of chieftains and bonaghts what a muster

          we had,

Thick as bees, round the heather, on the side

          of Slieve Bloom,

To the try sting they gather by the light of the

          moon.



For the Butler from Ormond with a hosting he

          came,

And harried Moycashel with havoc and flame,

Not a hoof or a hayrick, nor corn blade to feed

          on,

Had he left in the wide land, right up to

          Dunbreedon.



Then gathered MacGeoghegan, the high prince

          of Donore,

With O'Connor from Croghan, and O'Dempsys

          _galore_;

And, my soul, how we shouted, as dash'd in

          with their men,

Bold MacCoghlan from Clara, O'Mulloy from

          the glen.



And not long did we loiter where the four

          _toghers_ * met,

But his saddle each tightened, and his spurs

          closer set,

By the skylight that flashes all their red burn-

          ings back,

And by black gore and ashes fast the rievers

          we track.

'Till we came to Ardnocher, and its steep slope

          we gain,

And stretch'd there, beneath us, saw their host

          in the plain;

And high shouted our leader ('twas the brave

          William Roe)--

"By the red hand of Nial,'tis the Sassenach

          foe!

"Now, low level your spears, grasp each battle-

          axe firm,

And for God and our Ladye strike ye downright

          and stern;

               * Roads.

For our homes and our altars charge ye stead-

          fast and true,

And our watchword be vengeance, and Lamb

          _Dearg Aboo!_" *



Oh, then down like a torrent with a _farrah_ we

          swept,

And full stout was the Saxon who his saddle-

          tree kept;

For we dash'd thro' their horsemen till they

          reel'd from the stroke,

And their spears, like dry twigs, with our axes

          we broke.



With our plunder we found them, our fleet

          garrons and kine,

And each chalice and cruet they had snatch'd

          from God's shrine.

But a red debt we paid them, the Sassenach

          raiders,

As we scatter'd their spearmen, slew chieftains

          and leaders.



In the Pale there is weeping and watchings in

          vain.

De Lacy and D'Alton, can ye reckon your slain?

Where's your chieftain, fierce Nangle? Has

          De Netterville fled?

Ask the Molingar eagles, whom their carcasses

          fed.



               * The red hand for ever.

Ho! ye riders from Ormond, will ye brag in

          your hall,

How your lord was struck down with his mail'd

          knights and all?

Swim at midnight the Shannon, beard the wolf

          in his den,

Ere you ride to Moycashel on a foray again!

----A. G. Geoghegan.



FONTENOY


|Thrice at the huts of Fontenoy the English

          column failed,

And twice the lines of St Antoine the Dutch in

          vain assailed;

For town and slope were filled with fort and

          flanking battery,

And well they swept the English ranks and

          Dutch auxiliary.

As vainly, through De Baari's wood, the British

          soldiers burst,

The French artillery drove them back, diminished

          and dispersed.

The bloody Duke of Cumberland beheld with

          anxious eye,

And ordered up his last reserve, his latest chance

          to try.



On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, how fast his generals

          ride!

And mustering come his chosen troops, like

          clouds at eventide.



Six thousand English veterans in stately column

          tread,

Their cannon blaze in front and flank, Lord Hay

          is at their head;

Steady they step a-down the slope--steady they

          climb the hill--

Steady they load--steady they fire, moving right

          onward still,

Betwixt the wood and Fontenoy, as though a

          furnace blast,

Through rampart, trench, and palisade, and

          bullets showering fast;

And on the open plain above they rose, and

          kept their course,

With ready fire and grim resolve, that mocked

          at hostile force.

Past Fontenoy, past Fontenoy, while thinner

          grow their ranks,

They break, as broke the Zuyder Zee through

          Holland's ocean banks.



More idly than the summer flies French tirailleurs

          rush round;

As stubble to the lava tide, French squadrons

          strew the ground;

Bomb-shell, and grape, and round shot tore, still

          on they marched and fired--

Fast, from each volley, grenadier and voltigeur

          retired.

"Push on, my household cavalry," King Louis

          madly cried:

To death they rush, but rude their shock--not

          unavenged they died.

On through the camp the column trod--King

          Louis turns his rein *,

"Not yet, my liege," Saxe interposed, "the

          Irish troops remain;"

And Fontenoy, famed Fontenoy, had been a

          Waterloo,

Were not these exiles ready then, fresh,

          vehement, and true.



"Lord Clare," he says, "you have your wish,

          there are your Saxon foes;"

The marshal almost smiles to see, so furiously

          he goes!

How fierce the look these exiles wear, who're

          wont to be so gay!

The treasured wrongs of fifty years are in their

          hearts to-day--

The treaty broken, ere the ink wherewith 'twas

          writ could dry,

Their plundered homes, their ruined shrines,

          their women's parting cry,

Their priesthood hunted down like wolves, their

          country overthrown--

Each looks as if revenge for all rested on him

          alone.

On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, nor ever yet else-

          where,

Rushed on to fight a nobler band than these

          proud exiles were.



O'Brien's voice is hoarse with joy, as, halting, he

          commands,

"Fix bayonets--charge." Like mountain storm,

          rush on these fiery bands!

Thin is the English column now, and faint their

          volleys grow,

Yet, mustering all the strength they have, they

          make a gallant show.

They dress their ranks upon the hill to face that

          battle-wind--

Their bayonets the breakers' foam; like rocks,

          the men behind!

One volley crashes from their line, when, through

          the surging smoke,

With empty guns clutched in their hands, the

          headlong Irish broke.

On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, hark to that fierce

          huzza!

"Revenge! remember Limerick! dash down

          the Sassenach."



Like lions leaping at a fold, when mad with

          hunger's pang,

Right up against the English line the Irish exiles

          sprang:

Bright was their steel,'tis bloody now, their

          guns are filled with gore;

Through shattered ranks, and severed files, and

          trampled flags they tore;

The English strove with desperate strength,

          paused, rallied, staggered, fled--

The green hill-side is matted close with dying

          and with dead.

Across the plain and far away passed on that

          hideous wrack,

While cavalier and fantassin dash in upon their

          track.

On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, like eagles in the

          sun,

With bloody plumes the Irish stand--the field

          is fought and won!

---T. Davis.



[Illustration: 0239]



THE SACK OF BALTIMORE


|The summer sun is falling soft an Carbery's

          hundred isles--

The summer's sun is gleaming still through

          Gabriel's rough defiles--

Old Innisherkin's crumbled fane looks like a

          moulting bird;

And in a calm and sleepy swell the ocean tide is

          heard:

The hookers lie upon the beach; the children

          cease their play;

The gossips leave the little inn; the households

          kneel to pray--

And full of love, and peace, and rest--its daily

          labour o'er--

Upon that cosy creek there lay the town of

          Baltimore.



A deeper rest, a starry trance, has come with

          midnight there;

No sound, except that throbbing wave, in earth,

          or sea, or air,

The massive capes, and ruined towers, seem

          conscious of the calm;

The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing

          heavy balm.

So still the night, these two long barques, round

          Dunashad that glide

Must trust their oars--methinks not few--

          against the ebbing tide--

Oh! some sweet mission of true love must urge

          them to the shore--

They bring some lover to his bride, who sighs

          in Baltimore!



All, all asleep within each roof along that rocky

          street,

And these must be the lover's friends, with

          gently gliding feet--

A stifled gasp! a dreamy noise! "The roof is in

          a flame!"

From out their beds, and to their doors, rush

          maid, and sire, and dame--

And meet, upon the threshold stone, the gleam-

          ing sabre's fall,

And o'er each black and bearded face the white

          or crimson shawl--

The yell of "Allah!" breaks above the prayer,

          and shriek, and roar--

Oh, blessed God! the Algerine is lord of

          Baltimore!



Then flung the youth his naked hand against the

          shearing sword;

Then sprung the mother on the brand with which

          her son was gor'd;

Then sunk the grandsire on the floor, his grand-

          babes clutching wild;

Then fled the maiden moaning faint, and nestled

          with the child:

But see, yon pirate strangled lies, and crushed

          with splashing heel,

While o'er him in an Irish hand there sweeps his

          Syrian steel--

Though virtue sink, and courage fail, and misers

          yield their store,

There's _one_ hearth well avengèd in the sack of

          Baltimore!



Midsummer morn, in woodland nigh, the birds

          began to sing--

They see not now the milking maids--deserted

          is the spring!

Midsummer day--this gallant rides from distant

          Bandon's town--

These hookers crossed from stormy Skull, that

          skiff from Affadown;

They only found the smoking walls, with

          neighbours' blood besprent,

And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile

          they wildly went--

Then dash'd to sea, and passed Cape Clear, and

          saw five leagues before

The pirate-galleys vanishing that ravaged Balti-

          more!-

Oh! some must tug the galley's oar, and some

          must tend the steed--

This boy will bear a Scheik's chibouk, and that

          a Bey's jerreed.

Oh! some are for the arsenals, by beauteous

          Dardanelles;

And some are in the caravan to Mecca's sandy

          dells.

The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen

          for the Dey--

She's safe--she's dead--she stabb'd him in the

          midst of his Serai;

And when, to die a death of fire, that noble maid

          they bore,

She only smiled--O'Driscoll's child--she

          thought of Baltimore.



     Tis two long years since sunk the town be-

          neath that bloody band,

And all around its trampled hearths a larger

          concourse stand,

Where, high upon a gallows-tree, a yelling

          wretch is seen--

'Tis Hackett of Dungarvan--he who steered the

          Algerine!

He fell amid a sullen shout, with scarce a pass-

          ing prayer,

For he had slain the kith and kin of many a

          hundred there--

Some muttered of MacMurchadh, who brought

          the Norman o'er--

Some cursed him with Iscariot, that day in

          Baltimore.

-T. Davis.



THE BALLAD OF THE BIER THAT CONQUERED


|Land which the Norman would make his own!

(Thus sang the Bard'mid a host o'erthrown,

While their white cheeks some on the clench'd

          hand propp'd,

And from some the life-blood unheeded dropp'd)

There are men in thee that refuse to die,

Though they scorn to live, while a foe stands

          nigh!



I.

O'Donnell lay sick with a grievous wound:

     The leech had left him; the priest had come;

The clan sat weeping upon the ground,

     Their banner furl'd, and their minstrels dumb.

II.

Then spake O'Donnell, the King: "Although

My hour draws nigh, and my dolours grow;

And although my sins I have now confess'd,

And desire in the Land, my charge, to rest,

Yet leave this realm, nor will I nor can,

While a stranger treads on her, child or man.



III.

"I will languish no longer a sick King here:

My bed is grievous; build up my Bier.

The white robe a King wears over me throw;

Bear me forth to the field where he camps--

          your foe,

With the yellow torches and dirges low.

The heralds have brought his challenge and fled;

The answer they bore not I bear instead.

My people shall fight, my pain in sight,

And I shall sleep well when their wrong stands

          right."



IV.

Then the clan rose up from the ground, and gave

          ear,

And they fell'd great oak-trees and built a Bier;

Its plumes from the eagle's wing were shed,

And the wine-black samite above it spread

Inwov'n with sad emblems and texts divine,

And the braided bud of Tirconnell's pine,

And all that is meet for the great and brave

When past are the measured years God gave,

And a voice cries "Come" from the waiting

          grave.



V.

When the Bier was ready they laid him thereon;

And the army forth bare him with wail and

          moan:

With wail by the sea-lakes and rock-abysses;

With moan through the vapour-trail'd wilder-

     nesses;

And men sore wounded themselves drew nigh

And said, "We will go with our King and

          die;"

And women wept as the pomp pass'd by.

The yellow torches far off were seen;

No war-note peal'd through the gorges green;

But the black pines echo'd the mourners' keen.



VI.

What said the Invader, that pomp in sight?

     "They sue for the pity they shall not win."

But the sick King sat on his Bier upright,

And said, "So well! I shall sleep to-night:--

     Rest here my couch, and my peace begin."



VII.

Then the war-cry sounded--"Lamb-dearg

          Aboo!"

     And the whole clan rush'd to the battle plain:

They were thrice driven back, but they closed

          anew

     That an end might come to their King's

          great pain.

'Twas a nation, not army, that onward rush'd,

'Twas a nation's blood from their wounds that

          gush'd:

Bare-bosom'd they fought, and with joy were

          slain;

Till evening their blood fell fast like rain;

But a shout swelled up o'er the setting sun,

And O'Donnell died, for the field was won.



So they buried their King upon Aileach's shore;

And in peace he slept;--O'Donnell More.

----Aubrey de Vere.



THE BALLAD OF "BONNY PORTMORE"

or, the Wicked Revenge.


I.


|Shall I breathe it? Hush!'twas dark:--

     Silence!--few could understand:--

          Needful deeds are done--not told.

In your ear a whisper! Hark!

     'Twas a sworn, unwavering band

          Marching through the midnight cold;

Rang the frost plain, stiff and stark:

          By us, blind, the river rolled.



II.

Silence! we were silent then:

     Shall we boast and brag to-day?

          Just deeds, blabbed, have found their price!

Snow made dumb the trusty glen;

     Now and then a starry ray

          Showed the floating rafts of ice:

Worked our oath in heart and brain:

          Twice we halted:--only twice.



III.

When we reached the city wall

     On their posts the warders slept:

          By the moat the rushes plained:

Hush! I tell you part, not all!

     Through the water-weeds we crept;

          Soon the sleepers' tower was gained.

My sister's son a tear let fall--

          Righteous deeds by tears are stained.



IV.

Round us lay a sleeping city:--

     Had they wakened, we had died:

          Innocence sleeps well, they say.

Pirates, traitors, base banditti,

     Blood upon their hands undried,

          'Mid their spoils asleep they lay!

Murderers! Justice murders pity!

          Night had brought their Judgment Day!



V.

In the castle, here and there,

     'Twixt us and the dawning East

          Flashed a light, or sank by fits:

"Patience, brothers! sin it were

     Lords to startle at their feast,

          Sin to scare the dancers' wits!"

Patient long in forest lair

          The listening, fire-eyed tiger sits!



VI.

O the loud flames upward springing!

     O that first fierce yell within,

          And, without, that stormy laughter!

Like rooks across a sunset winging,

     Dark they dashed through glare and din,

          Under rain of beam and rafter!

O that death-shriek heavenward ringing!

          O that wondrous silence after!



[Illustration: 0250]

The fire-glare showed,'mid glaze and blister,

     A boy's cheek wet with tears.'Twas base!

That boy was first-born of my sister;

     Yet I smote him on the face!



Ah! but when the poplars quiver

     In the hot noon, cold o'erhead,

Sometimes with a spasm I shiver;

     Sometimes round me gaze with dread.

Ah! and when the silver willow

     Whitens in the moonlight gale,

From my hectic, grassy pillow,

     I hear, sometimes, that infant's wail!

--Aubrey de Vere.



[Illustration: 0251]



A BALLAD OF SARSFIELD;

or, The Bursting of the Guns.


|Sarsfield rode out the Dutch to rout,

     And to take and break their cannon;

To mass went he at half-past three,

     And at four he cross'd the Shannon.



Tirconnel slept. In dream his thoughts

     Old fields of victory ran on;

And the chieftains of Thomond in Limerick's

          towers

     Slept well by the banks of Shannon.

He rode ten miles and he cross'd the ford,

     And couch'd in the wood and waited;

Till, left and right, on march'd in sight

     That host which the true men hated.



"Charge!" Sarsfield cried; and the green hill-

          side,

     As they charged, replied in thunder;

They rode o'er the plain and they rode o'er the

          slain,

     And the rebel, rout lay under!



He burn'd the gear the knaves held dear,--

     For his King he fought, not plunder;

With powder he cramm'd the guns, and ramm'd

     Their mouths the red soil under.



The spark flash'd out--like a nation's shout

     The sound into heaven ascended;

The hosts of the sky made to earth reply,

     And the thunders twain were blended!



Sarsfield rode out the Dutch to rout,

     And to take and break their cannon;--

A century after, Sarsfield's laughter

     Was echoed from Dungannon.

----Aubrey de Vere.



A BALLAD OF ATHLONE;

or, How they broke down the Bridge


|Does any man dream that a Gael can fear?--

     Of a thousand deeds let him learn but one!

The Shannon swept onward, broad and clear,

     Between the leaguers and worn Athlone.



"Break down the bridge!"--Six warriors rushed

     Through the storm of shot and the storm of

          shell:

With late, but certain, victory flushed

     The grim Dutch gunners eyed them well.



They wrenched at the planks 'mid a hail of fire:

     They fell in death, their work half done:

The bridge stood fast; and nigh and nigher

     The foe swarmed darkly, densely on.



"O who for Erin will strike a stroke?

     Who hurl yon planks where the waters roar?"

Six warriors forth from their comrades broke,

     And flung them upon that bridge once more.



Again at the rocking planks they dashed;

     And four dropped dead; and two remained:

The huge beams groaned, and the arch down

          crashed;--

     Two stalwart swimmers the margin gained.



St Ruth in his stirrups stood up, and cried,

     "I have seen no deed like that in France!"

With a toss of his head Sarsfield replied,

     "They had luck, the dogs!'Twas a merry

          chance!"

O many a year upon Shannon's side,

     They sang upon moor and they sang upon

     Of the twain that breasted that raging tide,

     And the ten that shook bloody hands with

          Death!

          heath

----Aubrey de Vere,



LOVE'S WARNING

[Illustration: 0255]


|A fair lady once, with her young lover walked,

     Gillyflower, gentle rosemary;

Through a garden, and sweetly they laughed

          and they talked,

     While the dews fell over the mulberry tree.

She gave him a rose--while he sighed for a kiss,

     Gillyflower, gentle rosemary;

Quoth he, as he took it, "I kiss thee in this,"

     While the dews fall over the mulberry tree.



She gave him a lily less white than her breast,

     Gillyflower, gentle rosemary;

Quoth he, "'Twill remind me of one I love best,"

     While the dews fall over the mulberry tree.

[Illustration: 9256]

She gave him a two faces under a hood,

     Gillyflower, gentle rosemary;

"How blest you could make me," quoth he,

          "if you would,"

     While the dews fall over the mulberry tree.

She saw a forget-me-not flower in the grass,

     Gillyflower, gentle rosemary;

Ah! why did the lady that little flower pass?

     While the dews fell over the mulberry tree.

The young lover saw that she passed it, and

          sigh'd,

     Gillyflower, gentle rosemary;

They say his heart broke, and he certainly died,

     While the dews fell over the mulberry tree.



Now all you fair ladies, take warning by this,

     Gillyflower, gentle rosemary;

And never refuse your young lovers a kiss,

     While the dews fall over the mulberry tree.

----Ed. Kenealy.



[Illustration: 0257]



THE OLD STORY

... Old as the universe, yet not outworn."--_The Island_.


|He came across the meadow-pass,

     That summer-eve of eves,

The sunlight streamed along the grass,

     And glanced amid the leaves;

And from the shrubbery below,

     And from the garden trees,

He heard the thrushes' music flow,

     And humming of the bees;

The garden-gate was swung apart--

     The space was brief between;

But there, for throbbing of his heart,

     He paused perforce to lean.



He leaned upon the garden-gate;

     He looked, and scarce he breathed

Within the little porch she sate,

     With woodbine overwreathed;

Her eyes upon her work were bent,

     Unconscious who was nigh;

But oft the needle slowly went,

     And oft did idle lie;

And ever to her lips arose

     Sweet fragments faintly sung,

But ever, ere the notes could close,

     She hushed them on her tongue.



Her fancies as they come and go,

     Her pure face speaks the while,

For now it is a flitting glow,

     And now a breaking smile;

And now it is a graver shade

     When holier thoughts are there--

An Angel's pinion might be stayed

     To see a sight so fair;

But still they hid her looks of light,

     Those downcast eyelids pale--

Two lovely clouds so silken white,

     Two lovelier stars that veil.



The sun at length his burning edge

     Had rested on the hill,

And save one thrush from out the hedge,

     Both bower and grove were still.

The sun had almost bade farewell;

     But one reluctant ray

Still loved within that porch to dwell,

     As charmed there to stay--

It stole aslant the pear-tree bough,

     And through the woodbine fringe,

And kissed the maiden's neck and brow,

     And bathed her in its tinge.



"Oh! beauty of my heart," he said,

     "Oh! darling, darling mine,

Was ever light of evening shed

     On loveliness like thine?

Why should I ever leave this spot,

     But gaze until I die?"

A moment from that bursting thought

     She felt his footstep nigh.

One sudden, lifted glance--but one,

     A tremor and a start,

So gently was their greeting done

     That who would guess their heart?



Long, long the sun had sunken down,

     And all his golden trail

Had died away to lines of brown,

     In duskier hues that fail.

[Illustration: 0260]



Googlt

The grasshopper was chirping shrill--

     No other living sound

Accompanied the tiny rill

     That gurgled under ground--

No other living sound, unless

     Some spirit bent to hear

Low words of human tenderness,

     And mingling whispers near.



The stars, like pallid gems at first,

     Deep in the liquid sky,

Now forth upon the darkness burst,

     Sole kings and lights on high;

In splendour myriad-fold, supreme--

     No rival moonlight strove,

Nor lovelier e'er was Hesper's beam,

     Nor more majestic Jove.

But what if hearts there beat that night

     That recked not of the skies,

Or only felt their imaged light

     In one another's eyes.



And if two worlds of hidden thought

     And fostered passion met,

Which, passing human language, sought

     And found an utterance yet;

And if they trembled like to flowers

     That droop across a stream,

The while the silent starry hours

     Glide o'er them like a dream;

And if, when came the parting time,

     They faltered still and clung;

What is it all?--in ancient rhyme

     Ten thousand times besung--

That part of Paradise which man

     Without the portal knows--

Which hath been since the world began,

     And shall be till its close.

----J. O'Hagan.



THE BROTHERS: HENRY AND JOHN SHEARS


|Tis midnight; falls the lamp-light dull and sickly

     On a pale and anxious crowd,

Through the court, and round the judges,

          thronging thickly,

     With prayers none dare to speak aloud.

Two youths, two noble youths, stand prisoners

          at the bar--

     You can see them through the gloom--

In pride of life and manhood's beauty, there

          they are

     Awaiting their death doom.



All eyes an earnest watch on them are keeping,

     Some, sobbing, turn away,

And the strongest men can hardly see for weeping,

     So noble and so loved were they.

Their hands are locked together, those young

          brothers,

     As before the judge they stand--

They feel not the deep grief that moves the

          others;

     For they die for Fatherland.



They are pale, but it is not fear that whitens

     On each proud high brow;

For the triumph of the martyr's glory brightens

     Around them even now.

They sought to free their land from thrall of

          stranger,--

     Was it treason? Let them die;

But their blood will cry to heaven--the Avenger

     Yet will hearken from on high.



Before them, shrinking, cowering, scarcely

          human,

     The base informer bends,

Who, Judas-like, could sell the blood of true

          men,

     While he clasped their hands as friends.

Ay, could fondle the young children of his victim,

     Break bread with his young wife,

At the moment that, for gold, his perjured dictum

     Sold the husband and the father's life.



There is silence in the midnight--eyes arekeeping

     Troubled watch, till forth the jury come;

There is silence in the midnight--eyes are

          weeping--

     "Guilty!" is the fatal uttered doom,--

For a moment o'er the brothers' noble faces

     Came a shadow sad to see,

Then silently they rose up in their places,

     And embraced each other fervently.



Oh! the rudest heart might tremble at such sorrow,

     The rudest cheek might blanch at such a scene;

Twice the judge essayed to speak the word--

          to-morrow--

     Twice faltered, as a woman he had been.

To-morrow!--Fain the elder would have spoken,

     Prayed for respite, tho' it is not death he fears;

But thoughts of home and wife his heart hath

          broken,

     And his words are stopped by tears.



But the youngest--Oh! he speaks out bold and

          clearly:--

     "I have no ties of children or of wife;

Let me die--but spare the brother, who more

          dearly

     Is loved by me than life."

Pale martyrs,ye may cease; your days are numbered;

     Next noon your sun of life goes down;

One day between the sentence and the scaffold--

     One day between the torture and the crown!



A hymn of joy is rising from creation;

     Bright the azure of the glorious summer sky;

But human hearts weep sore in lamentation,

     For the brothers are led forth to die.

Aye; guard them with your cannon and your

          lances--

     So of old came martyrs to the stake;

Aye; guard them--see the people's flashing

          glances,

     For those noble two are dying for their sake.

Yet none spring forth their bonds to sever--

     Ah! methinks, had I been there,

I'd have dared a thousand deaths ere ever

     The sword should touch their hair.

It falls!--there is a shriek of lamentation

     From the weeping crowd around;

They're stilled--the noblest hearts within the

          nation--

     The noblest heads lie bleeding on the ground.

Years have passed since that fatal scene of dying,

     Yet life-like to this day

In their coffins still those severed heads are lying,

     Kept by angels from decay.

Oh! they preach to us, those still and pallid

          features--

     Those pale lips yet implore us from their graves

To strive for our birthright as God's creatures,

     Or die, if we can but live as slaves.

----Speranza (Lady Wilde).



[Illustration: 0266]



THE WITCH-BRIDE


|A fair witch crept to a young man's side,

And he kiss'd her and took her for his bride.



But a Shape came in at the dead of night,

And fill'd the room with snowy light.



And he saw how in his arms there lay

A thing more frightful than mouth may say.



And he rose in haste, and follow'd the Shape

Till morning crown'd an eastern cape.



And he girded himself and follow'd still,

When sunset sainted the western hill.



But, mocking and thwarting, clung to his side,

Weary day!--the foul Witch-Bride

----Wm. Allingham.



[Illustration: 0267]



THE MILKMAID

[Illustration: 0268]


|O where are you going so early? he said;

Good luck go with you, my pretty maid;

To tell you my mind Im half afraid,

     But I wish I were your sweetheart.

          When the morning sun is shining low,

          And the cocks in every farmyard crow,

               I'll carry your pail,

               O'er hill and dale,

          And I'll go with you a-milking.

I'm going a-milking, sir, says she,

Through the dew, and across the lea;

You ne'er would even yourself to me,

     Or take me for your sweetheart.

          When the morning sun, &c.



Now give me your milking-stool awhile,

To carry it down to yonder stile;

I'm wishing every step a mile,

     And myself your only sweetheart.

          When the morning sun, &c.



O, here's the stile in-under the tree,

And there's the path in the grass for me,

And I thank you kindly, sir, says she,

     And wish you a better sweetheart.

          When the morning sun, &c.



Now give me your milking-pail, says he,

And while were going across the lea,

Pray reckon your master's cows to me,

     Although I'm not your sweetheart.

          When the morning sun, &c.



Two of them red, and two of them white,

Two of them yellow and silky bright,

She told him her master's cows aright,

     Though he was not her sweetheart.

          When the morning sun, &c.



She sat and milk'd in the morning sun,

And when her milking was over and done,

She found him waiting, all as one

     As if he were her sweetheart.

          When the morning sun, &c.



He freely offer'd his heart and hand;

Now she has a farm at her command,

And cows of her own to graze the land;

     Success to all true sweethearts!

          When the morning sun is shining low,

          And the cocks in every farmyard crow,

               I'll carry your pail

               O'er hill and dale,

          And I'll go with you a-milking,

---Wm. Allingham.



THE NOBLEMAN'S WEDDING


|I once was guest at a Nobleman's wedding;

     Fair was the Bride, but she scarce had been

          kind,

And now in our mirth, she had tears nigh the

          shedding;

     Her former true lover still runs in her mind.



Attired like a minstrel, her former true lover

     Takes up his harp, and runs over the strings;

And there among strangers, his grief to discover,

     A fair maiden's falsehood he bitterly sings.



"Now here is the token of gold that was broken;

Seven long years it was kept for your sake;

You gave it to me as a true lover's token;

     No longer I'll wear it, asleep or awake."



She sat in her place by the head of the table,

     The words of his ditty she mark'd them right

          well;

To sit any longer this bride was not able,

     So down at the bridegrooms feet she fell.

"O one, one request, my lord, one and no other,

     O this one request will you grant it to me?

To lie for this night in the arms of my mother,

     And ever, and ever thereafter with thee."

Her one, one request it was granted her fairly;

     Pale were her cheeks as she went up to bed;

     And the very next morning, early, early,

     They rose and they found this young bride

          was dead.

The bridegroom ran quickly, he held her, he

          kiss'd her,

He spoke loud and low, and listen'd full fain;

     He call'd on her waiting-maids round to assist

          her,

     But nothing could bring the lost breath back

          again.

O carry her softly! the grave is made ready;

     At head and at foot plant a laurel-bush green;

For she was a young and a sweet noble lady,

     The fairest young bride that I ever have seen.

---Wm. Allingham.



St. Margaret's Eve

|I built my castle upon the sea-side,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

Half on the land and half in the tide,

               _Love me true!_



Within was silk, without was stone,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

It lacks a queen, and that alone.

               _Love me true!_



The gray old harper sung to me,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

"Beware of the Damsel of the Sea!"

               _Love me true!_



Saint Margaret's Eve it did befall,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

The tide came creeping up the wall.

               _Love me true!_



I open'd my gate; who there should stand--

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

But a fair lady, with a cup in her hand.

               _Love me true!_



The cup was gold, and full of wine,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

"Drink," said the lady, "and I will be thine."

               _Love me true!_



"Enter my castle, lady fair,"

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

"You shall be queen of all that's there."

               _Love me true!_



99 A gray old harper sung to me,"

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

"'Beware of the Damsel of the Sea!'"

               _Love me true!_



19 In hall he harpeth many a year,"

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

"And we will sit his song to hear."

               _Love me true!_



991 love thee deep, I love thee true,"

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

"But ah! I know not how to woo."

               _Love me true!_



Down dash'd the cup, with a sudden shock,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

The wine like blood ran over the rock.

               _Love me true!_



She said no word, but shriek'd aloud,

The waves roll so gaily O,

And vanish'd away from where she stood.

               _Love me true!_



I lock'd and barr'd my castle door,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

Three summer days I grieved sore.

               _Love me true!_



For myself a day and night,

     _The waves roll so gaily O_,

And two to moan that lady bright.

               _Love me true!_



----Wm. Allingham.



THE MAIDS OF ELFIN-MERE


|When the spinning-room was here,

Came Three Damsels, clothed in white,

With their spindles every night;

One and two and three fair Maidens,

Spinning to a pulsing cadence,

Singing songs of Elfin-Mere,

Till the eleventh hour was toll'd,

Then departed through the wold.

_Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow_.



Three white Lilies, calm and clear,

And they were loved by every one;

Most of all, the Pastor's Son,

Listening to their gentle singing,

Felt his heart go from him, clinging

To these Maids of Elfin-Mere;

Sued each night to make them stay,

Sadden'd when they went away.

_Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow_.



Hands that shook with love and fear

Dared put back the village clock,--

Flew the spindle, turn'd the rock,

Flow'd the song with subtle rounding,

Till the false "eleven" was sounding;

Then these Maids of Elfin-Mere

Swiftly, softly left the room,

Like three doves on snowy plume.

_Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow_.



One that night who wander'd near

Heard lamentings by the shore,

Saw at dawn three stains of gore

In the waters fade and dwindle.

Nevermore with song and spindle

Saw we Maids of Elfin-Mere.

The Pastor's Son did pine and die;

Because true love should never lie.

_Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow_.

----Wm. Allingham.



THE FAITHLESS KNIGHT


|It is a careless pretty may, down by yon river-

          side;

Her face, the whole world's pleasure, she gladly

          hath espied;

And tossing back her golden hair, her singing

          echoes wide;

When gaily to the grassy shore a youthful

          knight doth ride.



And vaulting from his courser, that stoops the

          head to drink,

And greeting well this Maiden fair, by running

          waters brink,

He throws about her slender neck a chain of

          costly link:

Too courteous he for glamourie, as any may

          might think.



All through the flowery meadows, in the

          summer evening warm,

The rippling river murmurs low, the dancing

          midges swarm;

But far away the pretty may, nor makes the

          least alarm,

Sits firm on lofty saddle-bow, within the young

          knight's arm.



Now months are come, and months are gone,

          with sunshine, breeze, and rain;

The song on grassy river-shore you shall not

          hear again;

The proud knight spurs at tournament, in

          Germany or Spain,

Or sues in silken bow'r to melt some lady's

          high disdain.



And thus in idle hour he dreams--"I've

          wander'd east and west;

I've whisper'd love in many an ear, in earnest or

          in jest;

That summer day--that pretty may--perhaps

          she loved me best?

I recollect her face, methinks, more often than

          the rest."

----Wm Allingham.



MICHAEL DWYER


|At length brave Michael Dwyer and his un-

          daunted men

Were hunted o'er the mountains, and tracked

          into the glen;

The stealthy soldiers followed, with ready blade

          and ball,

And swore to trap the outlaw that night in wild

          Emall.



They prowled about the valley, and toward the

          dawn of day

Discovered where the faithful and fearless

          heroes lay;

Around the little cottage they formed into a ring,

And called out "Michael Dwyer! Surrender to

          the King!"



Thus answered Michael Dwyer--"Into this

          house we came

Unasked by those who own it; they cannot be

          to blame;

Then let those guiltless people, unquestioned,

          pass you through;

And when they've passed in safety, I'll tell you

          what we'll do."



'Twas done. "And now," said Dwyer, "your

          work you may begin;

You are a hundred outside--we're only four

          within;

We've heard your haughty summons, and this

          is our reply--

We're true United Irishmen--we'll fight until

          we die."



Then burst the war's red lightning, then poured

          the leaden rain;

The hills around re-echoed the thunder peals

          again;

The soldiers falling round him brave Dwyer

          sees with pride;

But, ah! one gallant comrade is wounded by his

          side.



Yet there are three remaining, good battle still

          to do;

Their hands are strong and steady, their aim is

          quick and true--

But hark that furious shouting the savage

          soldiers raise!

The house is fired around them!--the roof is in

          a blaze!



And brighter every moment the lurid flame arose,

     And louder swelled the laughter and cheering

          of their foes;

Then spake the brave M'Alister, the weak and

          wounded man--

"You can escape, my comrades, and this shall

          be your plan.



"Place in my hands a musket, then lie upon the

          floor,

I'll stand before the soldiers, and open wide the

          door;

They'll pour into my bosom the fire of their array,

Then, while their guns are empty, dash through

          them, and away!"



He stood before his foemen, revealed amidst

          the flame;

From out their levelled pieces the wished-for

          volley came;

Up sprang the three survivors, for whom the

          hero died,

But only Michael Dwyer burst through the

          ranks outside.



He baffled his pursuers, who followed like the

          wind,

And swam the River Slaney, and left them far

          behind;

But many a scarlet soldier he promised soon

          should fall

For those, his gallant comrades, who died in

          wild Emall.

----T. D. Sullivan.



[Illustration: 0281]



RANDALL M'DONALD


|The lady of Antrim rose with the morn,

     And donn'd her grandest gear;

And her heart beat fast, when a sounding horn

     Announced a suitor near;

Hers was a heart so full of pride,

     That love had little room,

Good faith, I would not wish me such bride,

     For all her beautiful bloom.



One suitor there came from the Scottish shore,

     Long, and lithe, and grim,

And a younger one from Dunluce hoar,

     And the lady inclined to him.

"But hearken ye, nobles both," she said,

     As soon as they sat to dine--

"The hand must prove its chieftainry,

     That putteth a ring on mine.



"But not in the lists with armed hands,

     Must this devoir be done,

Yet he who wins my broad, broad lands

     Their lady may count as won.

Ye both were born upon the shore,--

     Were bred upon the sea,

Now let me see you ply the oar,

     For the land you love--and me!



"The chief that first can reach the strand

     May mount at morn and ride,

And his long day's ride shall bound his land,

     And I will be his bride!"

M'Quillan felt hope in every vein

     As the bold, bright lady spoke--

And McDonald glanced over his rival again,

     And bow'd with a bargeman's stroke.



'Tis summer upon the Antrim shore--

     The shore of shores it is--

Where the white old rocks deep caves arch o'er,

     Unfathom'd by man I wis--

Where the basalt breast of our isle flings back

     The Scandinavian surge,

To howl through its native Scaggerack,

     Chanting the Viking's dirge.



'Tis summer--the long white lines of foam

     Roll lazily to the beach,

And man and maid from every home

     Their eyes o'er the waters stretch.

On Glenarm's lofty battlements

     Sitteth the lady fair,

And the warm west wind blows softly

     Through the links of her golden hair.



The boats in the distant offing

     Are marshaird prow to prow;

The boatmen cease their scoffing,

     And bend to the rowlocks now;

Like glory-guided steeds they start--

     Away o'er the waves they bound;

Each rower can hear the beating heart

     Of his brother boatman sound.



Nearer! nearer! on they come,

     Row, McDonald, row!

For Antrim's princely castle home,

     Its lands, and its lady, row!

The chief that first can grasp the strand

     May mount at morn and ride,

And his long day's ride shall bound his land,

     And she shall be his bride!



He saw his rival gain apace,

     He felt the spray in his wake--

He thought of her who watch'd the race

     Most dear for her dowry sake!

Then he drew his skein from out its sheath,

     And lopt off his left hand,

And pale and fierce, as a chief in death,

     He hurl'd it to the strand!



"The chief that first can grasp the strand,

     May mount at morn and ride;"

Oh, fleet is the steed which the bloody hand,

     Through Antrim's glens doth guide!

And legends tell that the proud ladye

     Would fain have been unbann'd,

For the chieftain who proved his chieftainry

     Lorded both wife and land.

-----T. D. M'Gee.



[Illustration: 0285]



THE DEMON OF THE GIBBET


|There was no west, there was no east,

     No star abroad for eyes to see;

And Norman spurred his jaded beast

     Hard by the terrible gallows-tree.



"O, Norman, haste across this waste,--

     For something seems to follow me!"

"Cheer up, dear Maud, for, thanked be God,

     We nigh have passed the gallows-tree!"



He kissed her lip: then--spur and whip!

     And fast they fled across the lea!

But vain the heel, and rowel steel,--

     For something leaped from the gallows-tree!



"Give me your cloak, your knightly cloak,

     That wrapped you oft beyond the sea!

The wind is bold, my bones are old,

     And I am cold on the gallows-tree."



"O holy God! O dearest Maud,

     Quick, quick, some prayers--the best that be!

A bony hand my neck has spanned,

     And tears my knightly cloak from me!"



"Give me your wine,--the red, red wine,

     That in the flask hangs by your knee!

Ten summers burst on me accurst,

     And I'm athirst on the gallows-tree!"



"O Maud, my life, my loving wife!

     Have you no prayer to set us free?

My belt unclasps,--a demon grasps,

     And drags my wine-flask from my knee!"

"Give me your bride, your bonnie bride,

     That left her nest with you to flee!

O she hath flown to be my own,

     For I'm alone on the gallows-tree!"

"Cling closer, Maud, and trust in God!

     Cling close!--Ah, heaven, she slips from me!"

A prayer, a groan, and he alone

     Rode on that night from the gallows-tree.

---Fitz-James O'Brien.



KILBRANNON

[Illustration: 9287]


|My love, braid up thy golden locks,

     And don thy silken shoon,

We'll sit upon Kilbrannon's rocks,

     Where shines the silvery moon;

And bring thy little babe with thee,

     For his dear father's sake,

The lands where he'll be lord to see,

     By lone Kilbrannon lake."

She's braided up her golden locks,

     She's donned her silken shoon,

And they're away to Kilbrannon's rocks

     By the cold light of the moon;

Sir Hubert he took both wife and child

     Upon that night of woe,

And hurled them over the rocks so wild,

     To the lake's blue depths below.



And he has married another may,

     With the locks of ebonie,

And her looks are sweet, and her heart is gay,

     Yet a woeful wight is he;

He wakes the woods with his bugle horn,

     But his heart is heavy and sore;

And he ever shuns those crags forlorn

     By lone Kilbrannon shore.



For down in the lake the dead won't rest,

     That vengeful murdered one;

With her little babe at her pulseless breast,

     She walks the waters lone;

And she calls at night her murderer's name,

     And will call for evermore,

Till the huge rocks melt in doomsday flame,

     By wild Kilbrannon shore.

----R. D. Joyce.



THE GREEN DOVE AND THE RAVEN


|There was a dove with wings of green,

     Glistening o'er so radiantly,

With head of blue and golden sheen,

     All sad and wearily

Sitting two red blooms between

     On lovely Barna's wild-wood tree.



There was a letter 'neath its wing,

     Written by a fair ladye,

Safely bound with silken string

     So light and daintily,

And in that letter was a ring,

     On lovely Barna's wild-wood tree.



There was a raven, black and drear,

     Stained with blood all loathsomely,

Perched upon the branches near,

     Croaking mournfully,

And he said, "O dove, what bring'st thou here

     To lovely Barna's wild-wood tree?"



"I'm coming from a ladye gay,

     To the young heir of sweet Glenore,

His ring returned, it is to say

     She'll never love him more,--

Alas the hour! alas the day! --

     By murmuring Funcheon's fairy shore."



"O dove, outspread thy wings of green;

     I'll guide thee many a wild-wood o'er;

I'll bring thee where I last have seen

     The young heir of Glenore,

Beneath the forest's sunless screen,

     By murmuring Funcheon's fairy shore."



O'er many a long mile did they flee,

     The dove, the raven stained with gore,

And found beneath the murderer's tree

     The young heir of Glenore,--

A bloody, ghastly corpse was he,

     By murmuring Funcheon's fairy shore.



"Go back, go back, thou weary dove,--

     To the cruel maid tell o'er and o'er,

He's death's and mine, her hate or love

     Can never reach him more--

To his ice-cold heart in Molagga's grove,

     By murmuring Funcheon's fairy shore."

----R. D. Joyce.



MANNIX THE COINER


|Mannix the coiner and Neville the Piper--

     Rebels and outlaws, jolly as thrushes;

They lived in a lane where they had a great

          reign

     Of piping and coining, and drinking like

          fishes.

Neville he swore, with wild fury,

     That Mannix should share with him half the

          prog;

Then Mannix jump'd up, in a hurry,

     And sent off the wife for a gallon of grog.

"Well done!" said the piper; "Play up!" said

          the coiner,

     "We've gold in our pockets and grog on the

          brain;

The _law_ and the gallows are made in the

          palace,

     While we, who defy them, rejoice in the

          lane!"



When the grog was brought in, they soon

          _swiggd_ it,

     And Neville then _rasp'd_ up another gay tune,

And bold Mannix merrily jigg'd it,

     As brisk as a bee in the meadows of June.

"Well done!" said the piper--"Play up!" said

          the coiner,

     "We are the _boys_ that can _live everywhere!_

Life, without fun, is like spring without sun--

     So we'll _flash_ it away, and the devil may care!



"Those guineas--whoever may take'em--

     Are but flying tokens to worldly fools lent,

And I am the _boy_ that can make'em,

     As bright as e'er came from the Sassenach

          mint!"

"Well done!" said the piper--"Play up!" said

          the coiner,

     "My _golden character_ I'll always maintain!

And, compared with the schemers who rule and

          befool us,

     We're real honest men and good _boys_ in the

          lane!"



Then Mannix put fire to his grisset,

     And out of his mould he shook many a _shiner_,

But ere he had time to impress it,

     In _roll'd_ the peelers and snaffled the coiner,

So there was an end to the piping and coining,

     And a ruction was kick'd up, but no one was

          slain,--

"I'm done!" said the coiner--"Cheer up," said

          the piper,

     "Fortune will favour the brave in the lane."



"We have you, at last!" cried the peelers,

     "Tho' many a day we have chased you in vain!"

"Then," said Mannix, "your dungeons and jailors

     May all be high hang'd--and farewell to the

          lane!"

Then off ran the coiner, and loud laughed the

          piper,

     As his friend disappear'd thro' night's darkness

          and rain,

Like a shaft from a quiver, he plung'd o'er the

          river,

     And left the bold peelers befool'd in the lane.

----M. Hogan.



[Illustration: 0293]



MY MAURIA NI MILLEÔN


|Will you come where golden furze I mow,

     My Mauria ni Milleôn?"

     'To bind for you I'd gladly go,

     My Bliss on Earth, mine own.

To chapel, too, I would repair,

Though not to aid my soul in prayer,

But just to gazé with rapture where

     You stand, _mo buchal baun_" *



"Will you rove the garden glades with me,

     O Flower of Maids, alone?"

"What wondrous scenes therein to see,

     My Bliss on Earth, mine own?"

"The apples from green boughs to strike,

To watch the trout leap from the lake,

And caress a pretty _cailin_ **  like

     My Mauria ni Milleôn.



"Will you seek with me the dim church aisle,

     O Mauria ni Milleôn?"

"What pleasant scenes to see the while,

     My Bliss on Earth, mine own?"

"We'd list the chanting voice and prayer

Of foreign pastor preaching there,

O, we'd finish the marriage with my fair

     White Flower of Maids alone."



               * _Mo buchal baun_, my fair boy. ** _Cailin_, maiden.

She sought the dim church aisle with me,

     My Bliss on Earth, most fair!

She sought the dim church aisle with me,

     O grief! O burning care!

[Illustration: 0295]

I plunged my glittering, keen-edged blade

In the bosom of that loving maid,

Till gushed her heart's blood, warm and red,

     Down on the cold ground there.



"Alas! what deed is this you do?

     My Bliss on Earth, _mo store!_ *

What woful deed is this you do,

     O  youth whom I adore?

Ah, spare our child and me, my love,

And the seven lands of earth I'll rove

Ere cause of grief to you I prove

     For ever--ever more."



I bore her to the mountain peak,

     The Flower of Maids, so lone!

I bore her to the mountain bleak,

     My thousand woes, _mo vrone._ **

I cast my _cota_ *** round her there,

And,'mid the murky mists of air,

I fled with bleeding feet and bare

     From Mauria ni Milleon.

---Anon. Translated by G. Sigerson.



               * _Mo store_, my treasure. ** _Mo vrone_, my grief.

               *** _Cota_, the long frieze great-coat of the peasantry.



THE LADYE'S ROCK


|A faery dwells in a cove by the sea,

Stately as maiden of high degree;

     And ever and aye by night and by day

She carols a melody clear and free.



Many a stout and stalwart knight

She has tempted over the waters bright:

     With dance and with song she has led them

          along

To the deadly realms of endless night.



And it befell one noontide hour

(Dark was the sky with a glooming shower!)

     A gallant knight his troth did plight

To a fair ladye in a lonely tower.



"Sir Knight, Sir Knight!" said the proud

          ladye,

"Haste to the faery who dwells by the sea;

     And tryst at the Scar with the evening star--

So shall I prove thy love to me."



He mounted his charger, and gallop'd away

By down and valley and cove and bay:

     He chaunted a song as he cantered along

By the dismal coast at close of day.



The wind blew fresh and the foam ran high;

Naught he heard but the seamew's cry,

     Till he came to the cave by the crisping wave

Where the billow lies calm and the breezes die.



There, over the sea-weed and over the shells

And the tufted glens and the heathery dells,

     O'er cave and dale, in the twilight pale,

The blissful melody floats and swells.



The knight grew faint as he ambled along,

And his heart beat high to the charmed song;

     Never thought he of the lorn ladye

As he tript the pebbles and shells among.



The Faery stood in a curve of the sand,

And she waved to the Knight with her delicate

          hand,

     And on to a light on the waters bright

She pointed afar with her silvery wand.



(Her tresses are dark as the tangle that lies

In the calm blue deep at the red sunrise,

     And they never have rest on her beautiful

          breast,

That heaves and falls as the melody sighs.)



The fickle Knight follow'd her pearl-white feet,

For his bosom was thrill'd with the roundel sweet;

     She stept on the sea with frolic and glee,

And he spurr'd his charger dark and fleet.



A meadow it seem'd, the bright green sea,

It seem'd a level and flowery lea;

     Nor foam nor spray was dash'd away,

As the good steed over the tide did flee.



On to an isle of purple light

The Faery led him with rapid flight;

     She waved her hand, she poised her wand,

And the billows roll'd over the faithless Knight.



[Illustration: 0299]



Ah, what will become of the sweet ladye

Who prays for her lover on bended knee

     By the pointed Scar that looms afar

O'er tarn and turret and winding lea?



She heard a hoof-pace faint and far,

As she pored on the pallid evening star.

     Through the distant dell arose and fell

The clattering hoofs of a steed of war.



She sprang to her feet; she clomb the Scar;

And watch'd for the galloping steed of war,

     As the sound came near both loud and clear

From the wood lying under the evening star.



Lo, to the tarn a horseman sped;

Pale was his face and his eyes were dead;

     He lifted his spear as he gallop'd anear,

And on and on the phantom fled!



O wildly cried the lorn ladye,

And tore her tresses that floated free,

     Then madly leapt to the tarn that slept

Under the cliff by the winding lea.



And oft when the sad pale evening star

Touches the tip of the rifted Scar,

     A maiden's cry comes shuddering by,

And wakes the echoings near and far.

---E. J. Armstrong.



THE WRECK OFF MIZEN-HEAD

I.


|O, who could lie a-snoring

     Or who carousing be

While such a storm is roaring

     And raving o'er the sea?...

A Ship to death is drifting.

Faint hands in prayer uplifting,

With hearts in anguish failing,

The wives and mothers, wailing,

     Look out from cliff and lea;

And beacon-fires are glowing,

And, fierce and fiercer growing,

The sleety blasts are blowing

     O'er rock and roof and tree.

Come out from giddy dances

And songs and vain romances

And idle dreams and trances,

     And man the boat with me.



II.

"Come down while thunders deaden

     The minute-guns afar,

And the lightnings as they redden

     Make pale the signal's star;

Come down where waves are leaping

And the stricken folk stand weeping,

Our gallant boat uncover,

And through the wet sand shove her,

     And speed her o'er the bar;

For though she's but a light one,

For such a sea a slight one,

She's a trim one and a tight one,

     And where to-night is he

Whose yearning would not waken

To help the lives forsaken?

Come down with hearts unshaken,

     And brave the deep with me!"



III.

So Guy the ever-daring

     One fierce September night,

While beacon-fires were flaring

     Along the Mizen's height--

As I, from pastimes shrinking,

Of Rose's scorn was thinking--

Cried, all at once upspringing

'Mid dance and mirth and singing

     And games and laughters light;

And Hugh the eager-hearted

Out to the portal darted,

And Wolfe and Wilfred started

     And Donald, Ralph, and I;

And, prayers and sweet imploring

From maiden lips ignoring,

With spirits wildly soaring

     We faced the seas and sky.



IV.

As down the beach descending

     We drave the quivering boat,

A gleam of moonlight, rending

     The darkness, showed afloat

The labouring Vessel, shattered,

With tackle rent and tattered,

Amid the tempest heaving,

Her course to ruin cleaving;

     Then fast the surf we smote,

And, boldly toward her steering,

Still Guy our courage cheering,

The deadly breakers clearing,

     We strained across the tide;

And on,'mid lightnings gleaming,--

The winds about us screaming,

The rain in rivers streaming,--

     We struggled to her side.



V.

The Vessel still to seaward

     Came drifting down the bay,

And, steering into leeward

     In surf and rain and spray,

Athwart her sides we floated;

And there on deck we noted,

With faces outward gazing,

Their piteous hands upraising

     As all forlorn they lay,

A helpless band together

(Like birds in wintry weather

With feather pressed to feather

     Close huddled from the blast);

A moment, weirdly flashing,

We saw them,'mid the lashing

Of billows wildly dashing

     O'er bulwark, deck and mast.



VI.

Four times we all but touched her,

     Four times adrift were flung,

The fifth I sprang and clutched her,

     And leech-like there I clung;

And thus to Guy's enclasping,

With one arm tightly grasping,

Those famished forms I lowered,

Till, well-nigh overpowered,

     I trembled where I hung.

Then Guy and Wilfred, straining,

New strength from victory gaining,

Drew down the last remaining,

     Till all were safely stowed;

And shoreward with our treasure,

All pain transformed to pleasure,

With oars in mirthful measure

     At break of dawn we rowed.



VII.

Ay, well do I remember

     The morning stormy-bright

That dawn of wild September,

     As through the breakers white

We rowed the brave boat laden

With man and babe and maiden,

While o'er the sandy spaces,

The dawn-beams on their faces,

     Looked out with straining sight

The crowd that there had waited,

Each heart with anguish freighted,

As slow the storm abated

     Along the Brittas strand;

And how they cheered us, rending

The winds, as slow ascending,

Beneath our burthens bending,

     We waded to the land;



VIII.

And when the last was landed,

     And homeward faint and cold

We turned, how, eager-handed,

     (Guy leading as of old),

High on their shoulders proudly

They set me, cheering loudly,

And bore me on, declaring

The triumph of my daring;--

     And how my love I told

That eve amid the gloaming

To Rose as we were roaming

Where Aughrim stream was foaming,

     And how she smiled and sighed,

And,'mid the sunset's splendour,

Laying her white hand slender

In mine in love's surrender,

     My prayer no more denied.

----G. F. Savage-Armstrong.



[Illustration: 0306]

The Sailor Girl

[Illustration: 9307]

|When the Wild Geese were flying to Flanders

          away,

I clung to my Desmond beseeching him stay,

But the stern trumpet sounded the summons to

          sea,

And afar the ship bore him, _Mabouchal machree_.*

And first he sent letters, and then he sent none,

And three times into prison I dreamt he was

          thrown;

So I shore my long tresses, and stain'd my face

          brown,

And went for a sailor from Limerick Town.

               * My heart's own boy.

Oh! the ropes cut my fingers, but steadfast I

          strove,

Till I reached the Low Country in search of my

          love.

There I heard how at Namur his heart was so

          high,

That they carried him captive, refusing to fly.

With that to King William himself I was

          brought,

And his mercy for Desmond with tears I be-

          sought.

He considered my story, then smiling, says he,

"The young Irish rebel for your sake is free.

"Bring the varlet before us. Now, Desmond

          O'Hea,

Myself has decided your sentence to-day.

You must marry your sailor with bell, book, and

          ring,

And here is her dowry," cried William the King!

----A. P. Graves.



[Illustration: 0308]



JOHNNY COX


|As in the good ship Annabel

     We coasted off Corfu,

A sudden storm upon us fell,

     And tore our timbers true

     And rent our sails in two.



Our top-mast tumbled by the board,

     Our mizeh-mast as well;

Through flapping canvas, scourging cord,

     Above like our death-bell--

     We hear the thunder knell.



"Now cut away!" our Captain cries,

     "And like a cork she floats;"

But axe in hand, with scowling eyes,

     Set teeth and cursing throats,

     The Lascars loose the boats.



When Johnny Cox, who lay below,

     From off his fever-bed,

Comes staggering up, a ghastly show

     As if from out the dead,

     And drives them back in dread.



"What! quit your posts, ye cowards all?

     Here's ballast then for you!"

With that he heaves a cannon-ball

     Full crash the cutler through,

     And saves the ship and crew.



But he, our hero, ere the rocks

     We rounded, drooped and died;

And we should lower you, Johnny Cox,

     Lamenting o'er the side--

     Into the moaning tide.

----A. P. Graves.



A SONG OF THE EXMOOR HUNT


|Awake, arise! The south wind sighs,

     Beneath a cloudy curtain

Old Sol is snoozing in the skies,

     There's scent to-day for certain.

And down deep o'er Slowley Steep

     The harbourer swears he shall drop, boys,

On brow, bay, bay and tray,

     Tray and three on top, boys!



Look up, a stream of sporting pink

     Along the ridge is rushing,

Morn's ashen cheek you'd almost think

     To rosy red was blushing;

But few, few, so smart of hue

     And spick and span from the shop, boys,

Shall stick to-day to brow, bay,

     Tray and three on top, boys!



What ho! the tufters on a find

     Are turning to the nor'ard.

Hark back! hark back!'tis but a hind!

     The stag himself! Hark for'ard!

O'er hedge, spine, sedge and rhine,

     Full cry we course and hop, boys,

Behind brow, bay and tray,

     Tray and three on top, boys!



Past Dunster towers and Wootton bowers,

     Up Cutcombe Crest he's gliding.

Here, roadster friends, your fun it ends,

     We've done with arm-chair riding,

And full sail, head to tail,

     Down Dunkery side we drop, boys,

On brow, bay, bay, and tray,

     Tray and three on top, boys!



We've chucked a City swell to the pig

     In his mixen at Cloutsham Corner;

We've hung our artist by his wig,

     Like Absalom, in Horner,

Till hard pressed by all our best

     From Boscombe Head full flop, boys,

Goes brow, bay, bay and tray,

     Tray and three on top, boys!



A boat! a boat! the Weirmen float,

     And after him go racing;

But see! to shore he heads once more,

     His foes with fury facing.

And back, back! he hurls the pack,

     Or heaves them, neck and crop, boys,

Till now, now, down goes brow,

     Bay, tray, and three on top, boys!



Yet only five of all the hive

     That set on foot the sport, boys,

Rode straight and true the whole hunt thro'

     And mingled at the mort, boys!

Now name, name those sons of fame,

     Who'll match them nearer and farther?

Jim Scarlett, Bissett, and Basset were there,

     With Parson Jack Russell and Arthur.

----A. P. Graves.



THE SONG OF THE GHOST


|When all were dreaming but Pastheen Power,

A light came streaming beneath her bower,

A heavy foot at her door delayed,

A heavy hand on the latch was laid.



"Now who dare venture at this dark hour,

Unbid to enter my maiden bower?"

"Dear Pastheen, open the door to me,

And your true lover you'll surely see."



"My true lover, so tall and brave,

Lives exiled over the angry wave."

"Your true love's body lies on the bier,

His faithful spirit is with you here."



[Illustration: 0313]

"His look was cheerful, his voice was gay;

Your speech is fearful, your face is grey;

And sad and sunken your eye of blue,

But Patrick, Patrick, alas!'tis you."



Ere dawn was breaking she heard below

The two cocks shaking their wings to crow.

"O hush you, hush you, both red and grey,

Or you will hurry my love away.



"O hush your crowing, both grey and red,

Or he'll be going to join the dead;

O cease from calling his ghost to mould,

And I'll come crowning your combs with gold."



When all were dreaming but Pastheen Power,

A light went streaming from out her bower,

And on the morrow when they awoke,

They knew that sorrow her heart had broke.

---A. P. Graves.



A SEA STORY


|Silence.--A while ago

     Shrieks went up piercingly;

But now is the ship gone down;

     Good ship, well manned, was she.

There's a raft that's a chance of life for one,

     This day upon the sea.



A chance for one of two;

     Young, strong, are he and he,

Just in the manhood prime,

     The comelier, verily,

For the wrestle with wind and weather

          and wave,

     In the life upon the sea.



One of them has a wife

     And little children three;

Two that can toddle and lisp;

     And a suckling on the knee.

Naked they'll go and hunger sore,

     If he be lost at sea.



One has a dream of home,

     A dream that well may be;

He never has breathed it yet;

     She never has known it, she:

But some one will be sick at heart,

     If he be lost at sea.



"Wife and kids and home!"--

     Wife, kids nor home has he!--

"Give us a chance, Bill!" Then,

     "All right, Jem!" Quietly

A man gives up his life for a man,

     This day upon the sea.

----E. H. Hickey.



GEOFFREY BARRON

[Illustration: 9316]


|Geoffrey Barron of Clonmel

     Dies the traitor's death.

Hark the toll of the death-bell!

     Pray! the chimes saith.

Freton has set his ring

     And the ink is dry

On the warrant that shall bring

     Geoffrey Barron to die.



Many an one in Limerick Street,

     With a pale face

Passes, and with hurrying feet

     By the market-place.

There the scaffold blurs the sun:

     And when noon is high

That most shameful hill upon,

     Geoffrey Barron shall die.



O were Owen Roe but here

     That's stark in his grave,

He should smite with sword and spear

     Every crop-ear knave,

Ululu! but Owen's dead!

     And the hour is nigh

When shall fall the comeliest head,

     For Geoffrey Barron must die.



He stood up a six-foot man,

     Strong as an oak:

Down his neck gold love-locks ran

Strength and manhood in his smile,

     On a grass-green cloak.

     Laughter in his eye:

Noble, without wile or guile,

     Geoffrey Barron must die.



When they led him to the place

     Where the General stood

'Mid his crop-ears, lank of face,

     Godly men of blood;

Prayed the dying man, "A boon!

     Mine own house is nigh,

Let me rest there till the noon,

     When Geoffrey Barron shall die."



Clocks had struck three-quarters chime,

     When he went in:

All the bells rang out noon-time

     With great shock and din,

When the old house-door flew wide,

     And in noon-day's eye,

All in splendour like a bride,

     Came Geoffrey Barron to die.



Taffeta as white as milk

     Made all his suit:

Threads of silver in the silk

     Trailed like moonlight through't.

Silver cap and white feather;

     Stepping proud and high,

In his shoon of white leather,

     Came Geoffrey Barron to die.



Then the Roundhead General said,

     Fingering his sword:

"Art thou coming to be wed

     Like a heathen lord?

Go! thy bride the scaffold is:

     Give her sigh for sigh,

Breath for breath and kiss for kiss!

     For Geoffrey Barron must die."



But he laughed out as he ran

     Up the black steps:

"Never happier bridegroom man

     With his wife's lips!

If for some mortal woman's sake

     In silks should go I,

I shall for Heaven the same pains take:

     Now Geoffrey Barron must die."



"Sweet death," he laughed, "that I have

          wooed

     On many a stiff field,

Sweet are the eyes below the hood

     To my glad eyes revealed!

Sweet death that leads us home to Christ,

     Whose leal man am I!

And sweet the altar and the priest,

     Now Geoffrey Barron must die!"



He kissed the Cross on his breast,

     Then smiled with rapt eyes

As they beheld the vision blest

     Of Christ in Paradise.

O many die for God and the green!

     But never an one saw I

Go out with such a bridegroom mien

     As Geoffrey Barron to die!

----K. Tynan (Hinkson).



FATHER GILLIGAN

[Illustration: 9320]


|The old priest Peter Gilligan

     Was weary night and day,

For half his flock were in their beds,

     Or under green sods lay.



Once while he nodded on a chair,

     At the moth-hour of eve,

Another poor man sent for him,

     And he began to grieve.



"I have no rest, nor joy, nor peace,

     For people die and die;"

And after cried he, "God forgive!

     My body spake, not I!"



And then, half-lying on the chair,

     He knelt, prayed, fell asleep;

And the moth-hour went from the fields,

     And stars began to peep.



They slowly into millions grew,

     And leaves shook in the wind;

And God covered the world with shade,

     And whispered to mankind.



Upon the time of sparrow chirp

     When the moths came once more,

The old priest Peter Gilligan

     Stood upright on the floor.



"_Mavrone, mavrone!_ the man has died,

     While I slept on the chair;"

He roused his horse out of its sleep,

     And rode with little care.



He rode now as he never rode,

     By rocky lane and fen;

The sick man's wife opened the door:

     "Father! you come again!"



"And is the poor man dead?" he cried.

     "He died an hour ago."

The old priest Peter Gilligan

     In grief swayed to and fro.



"When you were gone he turned and died,

     As merry as a bird."

The old priest Peter Gilligan

     He knelt him at that word.



"He who hath made the night of stars

     For souls who tire and bleed,

Sent one of His great angels down

     To help me in my need.



"He who is wrapped in purple robes,

     With planets in his care,

Had pity on the least of things

     Asleep upon a chair."

----W. B. Yeats.



[Illustration: 0322]





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