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Title: Richard Coeur de Lion and Blondel
Author: Brontë, Charlotte
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Richard Coeur de Lion and Blondel" ***

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book was produced from a file downloaded from the British
Library)



1833    All that is written in this book, must be in a good,
plain and legible hand.  P.B.



        Richard Coeur de Lion                                      [1]
            and Blondel


    The blush, the light, the gorgeous glow of Eve
    Waned from the radiant chambers of the west;
    Now, twilight's robe, dim, orient shadows weave:
    One star, gleams faintly lustrous, in the east;
    Far down it shines, on the blue Danube's breast,
    As calmly, wavelessly its waters glide
    On to th' appointed regions of their rest,
    The Sea, profound and hoary, waste and wide;
    Whose black'ning billows swell in ever restless pride.

    High o'er the river rose a rocky hill,
    With barren sides, precipitous, and steep:
    There, 'gainst the sunset heav'ns, serene, and still
    Frown'd the dark turrets of a feudal Keep.
    Its folded flag, hung in the air asleep;
    The breathless beauty of the Summer night
    Gave not that Austrian standard, to the sweep                  [2]
    Of fresh'ning Zepyr, or wild Storm-blast's might;
    But motionless, it drooped, in eve's soft, dying light

    In that Stern Fortess, there were arch, and tow'r,
    And Iron-wrought lattice, narrow, deep-embaye'd;
    Where the gloom gather'd thick as night's mid hour
    And round about it, hung a chilling shade,
    Which told of dungeons, where the light ne'er play'd,
    Of prison-walls, of fetter-bolt and chain;
    Of Captives, 'neath a Tyrant's durance laid;
    Never, to view the sun's bright face again;
    Never to breathe the air, of free, wild hill and plain.

    The moon had risen, a host of stars among,
    When, to th' embattled castle walls, drew nigh
    A wand'ring minstrel, from his shoulders hung
    A harp, sweet instrument of melody.
    He paus'd awhile, beneath the turret high,
    Then took his harp, and all the sweet chords swept,            [3]
    Till a sound swell'd beneath the silent sky,
    And holiest music, on the charmed air crept,
    Waked from the magic strings, Where till that hour they slept.

    O! how that wild strain o'er the river swelled,
    And mingled with its gentle murmuring,
    From the true fount of Song divine, it welled;
    Music's own simple undefiled spring;
    Notes rose, and dyed such as the wild birds sing
    In the lone-wood, or the far lonelier sky.
    O! none but Blondel but the minstrel king
    Could waken such transcendant melody;
    Sweet as a fairy's lute, soft as a passing sigh.

    The strain he sung, was some antique romance,
    Some long forgotten song of other years;
    Born in the cloudless clime of sunny France,
    Where Earth, in vernal loveliness appears;
    Where the bright grape distils its purple tears;               [4]
    And clear streams flow, and dim, blue hills arise
    A gleaming crown of snows Each mountain wears;
    And there are cities, 'neath her starry skies,
    As fair as ever blest, with beauty, mortal eyes.


    Blondel's Song.

    The moonlight; sleeps low, on the hills of Provence;
    The stars are all tracking, their paths in the sky:
    How softly, and brightly, their golden orbs glance,
    Where the long shining waves, of the silver Rhone lie

    The tow'rs of De Courcy rise high in the beam,
    From sky to earth trembling, so lustrous and pale,
    Around them there dwells the deep hush of a dream,
    And stilled is the murmur of River, and Gale.

    There are groves in the moonlight, all sparkling with dew,
    There are dim garden-paths, round that Castle of Pride;
    Where the bud of the rose, and the hyacinth blue,              [5]
    Close their leaves, to the balm, of the moist even-tide.

    And long is the alley, dark, bowery, and dim,
    Where sits a white form 'neath a tall chestnut tree
    Which waves its brown branches, all dark'ling and grim,
    O'er the young Rose of Courcy, Sweet Anna Marie.

    And who kneels beside her? A warrior in mail.
    On his helm there's a plume In his hand there's a lance
    And why does the cheek of the lady turn pale?
    Why weeps in her beauty The Flower of Provence?

    She weeps for her lover, this night, are they met
    To breathe a farewell, 'Neath love's own holy star;
    For to-morrow the crest of the young Lavalette,
    Will float highest, and first in the van of the war.


    Thus far sung Blondel, when a sudden tone,
    of quivering harp-strings, on his ear upsprung;
    It sounded, like an echo of his own:
    So faintly, that mysterious music rung,                        [6]
    So sweet, it floated, those dark towers among,
    And seemed to issue from their topmost height;
    Then there were words, in measured cadence sung.
    Now soft and low, then with a master's might,
    Poured forth that varying strain, upon the stilly night

    Who sings? the minstrel knows there is but one,
    Whose voice has music half so rich, and deep
    Whose hand can summon from the harp a tone,
    So thrilling, that it calls from latent sleep
    Heroic thoughts, dims eyes, that seldom weep,
    With tears of extasy, and fires the breast,
    Till listening warriors, from their chargers leap,
    Assume the glittering helm, and nodding crest,
    Unsheathe the ready sword And lay the lance in rest

    But not of war, nor of the battle blast,
    Sung now the kingly harper. No his strain
    Was mournful, as a dream of days long past.                    [7]
    At times it swelled, but quickly died again;
    And oh! the sadness of that wild refrain!
    Suited full well with the lone, solemn hour,
    Too sad for joy, too exquisite for pain,
    It touched the heart Subdued the spirit's power
    Blent with the Danube's moan, and wailed around the tower


    Richard's Song

    Thrice, the great fadeless lights of heaven
    The moon, and the eternal sun
    As God's unchanging law was given,
    Have each their course appointed run.
    Three times the Earth, her mighty way
    Hath measured o'er a shoreless sea;
    While hopeless still from day, to day,
    I've sat in lone captivity;
    Listening the wind, and River's moan,
    Wakening my wild harp's solemn tone,
      And longing to be free.

    Blondel! my heart seems cold, and dead;                        [8]
    My soul, has lost its ancient might;
    The sun of chivalry is fled
    And dark despair's, unholy night
    Above me closes still and deep;
    While wearily each lapsing day
    Leads onward, to the last, long sleep;
    The hour when all shall pass away;
    When King, and Captive, Lord, and Slave
    Must rest unparted, in the grave
      A mass of soulless clay.

    O long I've listened to the sound,
    Of winter's blast, and summer's breeze,
    As their sweet voices sung around,
    Through echoing caves, and wind-waved trees.
    And long I've viewed from prison bars
    Sunset, and dawn, and night, and noon:
    Watched the uprising of the stars,
    Seen the calm advent of the moon:
    But blast and breeze and star, and Sun
    All vainly swept, all vainly shone,                            [9]
      I filled a living tomb.

    God of my fathers! Can it be?
    Must I, the chosen of thy might?
    Whose name alone, brought victory,
    Whose battle cry was God my Right
    Closed, in a Tyrant's dungeon cell,
    Wear out the remnant of my life?
    And never hear again, the swell
    Of high and hot and glorious strife
    Where trumpet's peal, and bugles sing,
    And minstrels sweep the martial string,
      And war, and fame are rife.

    No Blondel! thou wert sent by heaven,
    Thy King, thy Lion-King to free,
    To thee, the high command was given
    To rescue from captivity.
    Haste from the Tyrant Austrian's Hold,
    Cross rapidly the rolling sea,                                [10]
    And go, where dwell the brave, the bold,
    By stream and Hill and green-wood tree.
    Minstrel let merry England, ring
    With tidings of her Lion-King,
      And bring back liberty.


    Such was the lay, the monarch-minstrel sung,
    A few bright moons, waned from the silent heavens
    And Albion, with a shout of Triumph rung;
    As once again her worshipped King, was given
    Back to her breast, his bonds asunder riven
    And the Sweet Empress of the subject Sea
    Sent up her hymn of gratitude to heaven
    Through all her coasts she hailed him crowned and free
    The Champion of God's hosts The pride of liberty.


            Charlotte Brontë
                Dec^br 27^th 1833

Haworth n^r Bradford



Transcriber's note

This text has been transcribed from the author's handwritten
notebook. Spelling, punctuation and capitalisation have been left
as in the manuscript, except for a few ampersands which have been
rendered here as "and". A small number of linebreaks have been
inferred from the metre and rhyme. The folio numbers are indicated
[thus]; a caret ^ signifies a superscripted abbreviation.





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