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And some wore masks, and some wore hoods,
Some turbans rich, some ouches rare; And some sweet woodbine from the woods,
To bind their undulating hair.
With all gay tints the darksome shade
Grew florid as they passed along, And not a sound their bridles made
But tuned itself to Elfin song.
Their steeds they quit; - the knights advance,
And in quaint order, one by one, Each leads his lady forth to dance,–
The timbrels sound—the charm's begun.
Where'er they trip, where'er they tread,
A daisy or a bluebell springs,
But falls within their charmed rings.
“ The dance lead up, the dance lead down,
The dance lead round our favourite tree; If now one lady wears a frown,
A false and froward shrew is she !
“ There's not a smile we Fays let fall
But swells the tide of human bliss; And if good luck attends our call,
'T is due on such sweet night as this :
“ The dance lead up, the dance lead down,
The dance lead round our favourite tree; If now even Oberon wears a frown,
A false and froward churl is he !"
Thus sing the Fays;-Lord Musgrave hears
Their shrill sweet song, and eager eyes The radiant show, despite the fears
That to his bounding bosom rise.
But soft! the minstrelsy declines ;
The morris ceases, sound the shaums; And quick, whilst many a taper shines,
The heralds rank their airy swarms.
Titania waves her crystal wand,
And underneath the green-wood bower, Tables, and urns, and goblets stand,
Metheglin, nectar, fruit, and flower.
“ To banquet, ho!" the seneschals
Bid the brisk tribes, that, thick as bees At sound of cymbals, to their calls
Consort beneath the leafy trees.
Titania by her king, each knight
Beside his ladye love; the page Behind his scutcheoned lord, - a bright
Equipment on a brilliant stage!
The monarch sits ;-all helms are doffed,
Plumes, scarfs, and mantles cast aside, And to the sound of music soft,
They ply their cups with mickle pride.
Or sparkling mead, or spangling dew,
Or livelier hippocras they sip; And strawberries red, and mulberries blue,
Refresh each elf's luxurious lip.
With “nod, and beck, and wreathed smile,"
They heap their jewelled patines high; Nor want there mirthful airs the while
To crown the festive revelry.
A minstrel dwarf, in silk arrayed,
Lay on a mossy bank, o'er which
The violet spread its perfume rich;
And whilst a page at Oberon's knee
Presented high the wassail-cup, This lay the little bard with glee
From harp of ivory offered up:
“ Health to our Sovereign ! fill, brave boy,
Yon glorious goblet to the brim ! There's joy — in every drop there's joy
That laughs within its charmed rim !
“ 'T was wrought within a wizard's mould,
When signs and spells had happiest power ;Health to our king by wood and wold !
Health to our queen in hall and bower!"
They rise -- the myriads rise, and shrill
The wild wood echoes to their brawl,— “ Health to our king by wold and rill!
Health to our queen in bower and hall !”
A sudden thought fires Musgrave's brain,
So help him all the Powers of Light!-
that goblet bright!
With three brave bounds the lawn he crossed,
The fourth it seats him on his steed;
all around, behind,Leaps to his selle each screaming Fay, “ The charmed cup is fairly tined,
Stretch to the strife,- away! away!"
As in a whirlwind forth they swept,
The green turf trembling as they passed; But, forward still good Musgrave kept,
The shallow stream approaching fast.
A thousand quivers round him rained
Their shafts or ere he reached the shore; But when the farther bank was gained,
This song the passing whirlwind bore:
“Joy to thy banner, bold Sir Knight!
But if yon goblet break or fall,
Farewell the luck of Eden-hall!"
The forest cleared, he winds his horn,
Rock, wood, and wave, return the din;
His gallant Squires come pricking in.
”T is dusk of day; in Eden's towers
A mother o'er her infant bends,
The sound that from the stream ascends.
It comes in murmurs up the stairs,
A low, a sweet, a mellow voice,
And bids the mother's heart rejoice.
Sleep sweetly, babe !" 't was heard to say;
“ But if the goblet break or fall, Farewell thy vantage in the fray!
Farewell the luck of Eden-hall !”–
Though years on years have taken flight,
Good-fortune's still the Musgrave's thrall ; Hail to his vantage in the fight !
All hail the Luck OF EDEN-HALL! Literary Souvenir.
Mostrommi Pombra d'una breve notte
Aminta. Atto I. Sc. I.
Death rode; — the moon-deserted stars on high,
Like radiant tears upon the gloomy brow
As if their little lamps not long could glow; And when the Pale Steed on the earth alighted,
They faded all as with a smile of woe:
And air had been a chaos dark and blighted,
But for the pure rays of one lovely gem, Heaven's solitary child, which seemed excited
By some superior fire, nor died with them Surviving all its sisters, but was left
Sole grace of Night's dishonoured diadem!
At every bound, that giant courser cleft
The reeling earth with adamantine hoof;And, as of all her solid heart bereft,
The earth's dark surface seemed a boundless roof, Crowning vacuity;—for every tread
Of that gigantic steed did ring aloof
With overpowering echo, deep and dread —
That valour's fearless self had learned to fear, And at the terrors of that sound had fled.
His mane, like plumes upon a pall-clad bier, Flowed on the murky air; from either eye
Flashed a red radiance in his stern career,
The only light that bade the darkness fly,
Save the mild beams, whose bright and argent source, Was the unconquered star that would not die.