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INTRODUCTION TO THE TALE OF THE

DARK LADIE.

O LEAVE the lily on its stem;
O leave the rose upon

the

spray; O leave the elder bloom, fair maids !

And listen to my lay.

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A cypress and a myrtle-bough
This morn around my harp you twined,
Because it fashioned mournfully

Its murmurs in the wind.

And now a tale of love and woe,
A woful tale of love I sing:
Hark, gentle maiden ! hark, it sighs

And trembles on the string.

But most, my own dear Genevieve,
It sighs and trembles most for thee!
O come and hear the cruel wrongs,

Befell the Dark Ladie !*

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And now once more, a tale of woe,
A woful tale of love I sing ;
For thee, my Genevieve, it sighs,

And trembles on the string.

* Here followed the stanzas, afterwards published sepa. rately under the title “Love," (see this vol. p. 122,) and after them came the other three stanzas printed above ; the whole forming the introduction to the intended Dark Ladie, of which all that exists is to be found at p. 127.Late Ed.

When last I sang the cruel scorn,
That crazed this bold and lovely knight,
And how he roamed the mountain-woods,

Nor rested day or night;

I promised thee a sister tale, of man's perfidious cruelty ; Come, then, and hear what cruel wrong

Befell the Dark Ladie.

THE BALLAD OF THE DARK LADIE.

А

FRAGMENT

BENEATH yon birch with silver bark,

And boughs so pendulous and fair, The brook falls scattered down the rock, And all is

mossy

there!

And there upon the moss she sits,
The Dark Ladie in silent pain ;
The heavy tear is in her eye,

And drops and swells again.

Three times she sends her little page
Up the castled mountain's breast,
If he might find the Knight that wears

The Griffin for his crest.

The sun was sloping down the sky, And she had lingered there all day, Counting moments, dreaming fears

O! wherefore can he stay ?

She hears a rustling o'er the brook,

She sees far off a swinging bough! “ 'Tis he! 'Tis my betrothed Knight!

Lord Falkland, it is Thou !"

She springs, she clasps him round the neck,
She sobs a thousand hopes and fears;
Her kisses glowing on his cheeks

She quenches with her tears.

“My friends with rude ungentle words
They scoff and bid me fly to thee!
O give me shelter in thy breast !

O shield and shelter me!

“My Henry, I have given thee much,
I gave what I can ne'er recall,
I gave my heart, I gave my peace,
O Heaven! I

gave

thee all !”

The Knight made answer to the Maid, While to his heart he held her hand, “Nine castles hath my noble sire,

None statelier in the land :

“ The fairest one shall be my love's,
The fairest castle of the nine !
Wait only till the stars peep out,

The fairest shall be thine

“Wait only till the band of eve

Hath wholly closed yon western bars,
And through the dark we two will steal

Beneath the twinkling stars !”—

« The dark ? the dark ? No! not the dark ? The twinkling stars! How, Henry? How? O God ! 'twas in the eye of noon

He pledged his sacred vow!

“And in the eye of noon, my love
Shall lead me from my mother's door,
Sweet boys and girls all clothed in white

Strewing flow'rs before :

But first the nodding minstrels go
With music meet for lordly bowers,
The children next in snow-white vests,

Strewing buds and flowers !

“ And then my love and I shall pace, My jet black hair in pearly braids, Between our comely bachelors

And blushing bridal maids !"

LEWTI,

OR THE CIRCASSIAN LOVE-CHAUNT.

AT midnight by the stream I roved,

To forget the form I loved. Image of Lewti! from my mind Depart; for Lewti is not kind.

The Moon was high, the moonlight gleam

And the shadow of a star Heaved upon Tamaha's stream ;

But the rock shone brighter far,

The rock half sheltered from my view
By pendent boughs of tressy yew-
So shines my Lewti's forehead fair,

Gleaming through her sable hair,
Image of Lewti! from my mind
Depart; for Lewti is not kind.
I saw a cloud of palest hue,

Onward to the moon it passed;
S:ill brighter and more bright it grew,
With floating colors not a few,

Till it reached the moon at last:
Then the cloud was wholly bright,
With a rich and amber light!
And so with many a hope I seek,

And with such joy I find my Lewti; And even so my pale, wan cheek,

Drinks in as deep a flush of beauty ! Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind, If Lewti never will be kind.

The little cloud-it floats away,

Away it goes; away so soon?
Alas! it has no power to stay ;
Its hues are dim, its hues are gray-

Away it passes from the moon!
How mournfully it seems to fly,

Ever fading more and more, To joyless regions of the sky,

And now 'tis whiter than before ! As white as my poor cheek will be,

When Lewti! on my couch I lie, A dying man for love of thee. Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind And yet, thou did'st not look unkind.

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