Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

was

Rest, wanderer, rest! 'The flowers are gently for his bleak Norwegian hills—for the

closing, As the sun sinks beyond the the rosy west ;

galley and the sword, with which his foreThe groves scarce tremble in their mute rejo. fathers had never failed to win the pleasing:

sures denied by their inclement climate ; Then rest-oh! rest.

nay, at times, when he contrasted her

gentle smiles with the frowns of his imRest, wanderer, rest! Old Ocean, steeped in slumbers,

perious mistress, his memory would reHeaves slow and regular his tranquil breast;

vert to. Ulla. Yet gratitude compelled The winds chaunt lullabies in softest numbers; him to bury these feelings in his inmost Then rest-oh! rest.

heart; and, perchance, he might have

wasted years in uncomplaining durance, Long ere this strain had ceased, the de. had not the keen eye of Druda soon marlighted Harold Harrung lay buried in ked the change in his demeanour. One profound repose ; and the duration of his morning, as he wandered forth alone, slumber was such as nature rieeded after chance led him to the bower which hé suflerings like his. But when he roused had first entered on his arrival in that himself at length, new prodigies burst enchanted land ; and in secret he gave upon his view. His resting-place was no vent to the despondency that long had longer on the verdant sward, but on a soft weighed upon his soul.-“Why—oh ! and stately couch, strewed with the richest why,” exclaimed the young

hero, skins and sables. The apartment in my life preserved for this? Better it were which he lay far exceeded in magnificence to have died that inglorious death among aught that he before had looked on, though my brave companions, than thus to linger he had ere now led his daring band to out dull years of dishonourable ease, spoil the fairest palaces of the south. Yet whilst my banner shall never more be his eye scarcely glanced for a moment on dreaded on the sea, and the bold Norsethe various splendours of the scene; for men have even now almost forgotten the before him stood at length revealed the name of him who was once their foremost queen of all those fair delights which had leader, where danger was to be braved, surrounded him within the last few hours. and glory won !". He ceased for a bitOf the loftiest stature among women, butter laugh rang loudly in his ear-and, formed in the most exquisite proportions- turning, he beheld the sorceress, Druda. beautiful as Freya herself, yet with more of Her countenance was calm, though pale, majesty and command in her air than would for those distortions of passion which bebecome the deity of love-the mighty Dru- tray the anguish of mortals, when afflicda was beheld by Harold with those senti- tion falls heavily upon them, were undents of admiration and reverence, un- worthy the daughter of Balder , yet was mingled with fear, which the sea-kings of there something

in her painful sınile that old ever felt toward those goddesses who caused the blood of the hitherto undaunted deigned to cross their mortal path. Hum. Harold to curdle with him.-"Son of the bly, yet not timidly, he told his tale, and sea !” exclaimed the sorceress, in a slow gave his thanks. But when he learned, and solemn tone, “ I have tried thee, with from her reply, which was uttered with a all thy boasted merit, but I find thou art dignity that scorned concealment, and felt but as other men. Like them, the idle no shame at such a revelation, that she recompence of fame or power is dearer to the mighty mistress of the northern realms, thee than a woman's constant love. When sprung from the union of the awful Balder first, for you she sacrifices all beside, ye with an earth-born maid-had stooped to vow eternal gratitude and love, but the love a mortal—that she had rescued him prize grows palling on the appetite ere from destruction, and led him to this para- long, and then, for the merest trifle-nay, dise of sweets, to share her love and throne in the mere thirst of variety itself-ye --what marvel if the warrior, in the tri- leave her to pine without a sigh. But uinph of the moment, forgot his country, this is weakness. Let others lanient their his fame, and Ulla herself?

lovers' treachery, my part is to revenge. Months rolled away; and the brave Go then—I will aid thy flight : go to thy sea-king, who had once deemed each mo. native land. Be again the leader of a ment wasted that was not spent in the robber-band, the boasted lord of the unforay or on the wave, still lingered in the tamed elements. Thy friends, no doubt, thrall of the enchantress. Yet, though will greet thee well, and marvel when the beauty and the wisdom of Druda could they hear thy tale, and scoff at Druda's well beguile the hours, he felt at length weakness. Nay, perhaps, some maid, how irksome a life of indolence and soli- proud of her blue eyes and faxen ringlets, tude must ever be. The flowers grew will hail thy coming with ready smileless fragrant; the lovely prospects lost will scoff at the enchantress, whose magic their charms; and Harold sighed in secret arts could not, for a few brief days, retain

the heart she rules and moulds at will. even enquired for since his return. Others Yet tremble, Harold ! for thou returnest thought that the loss of his brave crew,who not alone. In the battle on the deep had all perished, as he told them, by shipat the festal meeting-in the bridal hour, wreck, preyed keenly on his heart, and if such shall come--I will be near thee. made him unwilling any more to risk the Hence, then, wretched ingrate! Lol lives of gallant men under the guidance of with this wand I dissipate the illusions my

so unfortunate a chief. But many days senseless love had raised for thee." She passed by, and still no change was obserywaved the figured staff that she held in able in the demeanour of the hero. her right hand ; and in a moment, forests At length there came an aged man over plains, and rivers faded from the eyes of the hills from the south, the father of Ulla. the astonished hero. They stood upon He had learned at last, in his distant hills, the pathless fields of ice; the bitter air the tidings of Harold's unexpected return; benumbed his limbs; and, in the expecand never did more welcome tidings reach tation that she had' borne him there to the old man's ear; for the giant Gruthioff perish, he turned towards her, to speak a formerly rejected suitor of the lovely his defiance of the utinost her power could Ulla, presuming on her lover's lengthened effect.

absence and supposed death, had threatShe saw his intention, and interrupted ened to destroy her father's hall, and seize him.-“ No, Harold-no! To kill thee her person, unless she instantly consented here were poor revenge ! Begone to thy to requite his passion, The hoary Sweno home, and her thou pinest for; be again told his tale to the silent Harold, and urggreat and glorious as before ;—but, in thy ed him to hasten and deliver his love from hour of greatest bliss, expect my coming. the violence of a detested rival. In the Yet, ere thou goest, take with thee one eagerness of his recital, he neglected to regift--one token of Druda's inextinguish- mark the cold and gloomy air of the able love !" She grasped his hand vio- young hero ; but, when all was told, he lently, and a mortal coldness thrilled looked in vain for the glance of anger and through every vein.-" There !” she ex- resolved revenge which become a lover, claimed, as she slowly loosed her hold, when he hears that any one has dared tu " it is done ! And now, for a season, offer insult to his mistress. The old man's fare thee well! But, remember, that no blood boiled high, and he broke out into mortal may henceforth touch that frozen bitter reproaches,-“ What !” he exhand and live. Stretch it not forth when claimed, " has the bold Harold no reply thy friends in rapture come to greet thee; to my request ? Has his heart growi when thy love hangs on the neck of her cold, or his arm weak? Is his love too long lost one, twine-it not in her soft flow- little, or his fear too much, that he dares ing

hair-for all shall die who feel its pres- not brave the wrath of Gruthioff? Thanks sure.-Harold of the frozen hand! once

generous warrior, high-souled lover, more farewell !" Once more she waved thanks! The despised Sweno will return her wand; and, in a moment, the young to his halls—will lift alone his feeble arm, hero stood again on the threshold of his in defence of his wronged child. Weak long-abandoned home.

though it be, it will be stronger than that When the friends of Haruld Harrung of a traitor to his friend and love. But learned his sudden appearance, and came how-uh ! how will my poor Ulla endure in throngs to welcome home their long, to hear that he, whom she had mourned lost leader, they found a changed and as dead, so fondly and so long, lives to moody man. His right hand ever buried desert, to prove unworthy of her !" in the folds of his mantle, his brow fur The unhappy warrior could restrain rowed with an expression of settled grief, himself no longer. In uncontrollable they saw that he no longer heard w th envy emotion, he cast himself at the old man's the triumphs and conquests of his rivals, feet." Father !” he cried, “ or felt disposed to embark in those daring conquered. Harold cannot bear the name enterprises by which he formerly eclipsed of coward. He cannot suffer her he so the fame of the boldest of his compeers. fondly loves to deem her affections are Alone in his desolate halls, to which he bestowed on an undeserving caitiff. Fano longer bade his well pleased guests, ther, I will summon all my band; I will Harold Harrung dwelt from day to day, away this night, and rescue her or die. till men began to deem him mad. Nothing Yet, oh! if you should live to curse the less than distraction, they said, could hour when Harold came to aid your child, make so brave a hero alike forget his glory remember by what powers you enforced and his love; and they knew not what his coming, and hate hiin not, though he most to marvel at-his refusal to lead their bring desolation on thy house, and rouse expeditions, or his indifference to his be- the ire of a far more fearful enemy than trothed bride, whom he had not visited or Gruthioff.”

you have

The old man smiled through his tears, into his prostrate body. At that moment, at the disastrous anticipations of the chief. the remembrance of the fatal gift of DruOnce delivered from the dreal of Gru- da flashed on his mind. Then, collecting thioff, he saw not how calamity could his remaining strength, and baring his reach him. Yet the cloud of settled grief right hand, he sprang up, and arrested still rested on the soul of Harold, as he the arm of Gruthioff, in mid-descent, with summoned his devoted followers to pre a strong grasp. The giant stood for an pire for an immediate expedition. In instant motionless, as if struck by lightdelight, that their brave chief had at length ning, or changed to stone, and then fell awakened from his slothful lethargy, all dead without a groan-so suddenly had were soon prepared ; and the little band the spirit passed away. Harold beheld set forward at a rapid pace toward the his fall, but nothing more : for then all abode of Sweno, which lay some score perception failed him, and, when his senof miles toward the south. The morn ces returned, the fond arm of Ulla was ing was dawning when they reached it; supporting his neck, and he rested on a yet they came almost too late. The couch spread in her father's hall. troops of Gruthioff had surrounded the The events of the day were soon narcasile on all sides, and were on the point rated. The heroic band had well revenof breaking in ; they had already fired the ged the treachery practised against their adjacent buildings. Like the lightning, master, scarce one of the troops of GruHarold and his band dashed from the thioff had escaped life; and his death, eminence on which they stood. The gi- as Harold found, was solely attributed to gantic Gruthioff called his followers to the severe wound he received during the draw off from the attack, and form them- combat. But these tidings were scarcely selves into a compact body to repel the uttered, ere the young hero felt his weakcoming enemy. They thus afforded the ness again return, and, for some hours new defenders of the castle an opportunity more, he lay insensible to all around him. of entering it; but Harold, fired by the The wound of Harold was so dangerous sight of his audacious rival, thought only as seemingly to baffle for a time the few of an immediate conflict. He marshalled remedies of those simple times, but the liis brave band in line, and prepared 10 unceasing cares of Ulla were at length give the order to set on. But the giant at crowned with the desired result, and the ihis moment stept forth before his troops. warrior's health and strength rapidly re

-“ Harold Harrung !” he shouted, at turned. But he could not, day after day, the full pitch of his sonorous voice," this view the lovely form of the maid bending is our quarrel ; let us try it alone, I defy over his couch, or see her anxious eye thee here to mortal combat. Be Ulla his resting in eloquent tenderness on his counwho conquers:

tenance, to trace if any expression of pain Burning with passion, the undaunted still lingered there ; and that form, too, hero promptly acquiesced in the chal- somewhat wasted of its graceful roundlenge of his gigantic foe. In vain Sweno ness; and that eye, too, somewhat dimand his other friends reminded him of the med, from the effects of ceaseless watchprodigious size and strength of Gruthioff, ing ;-he could not mark all this, and not so far exceeding all men beside. Their fondly, passionately love her, who had remonstrances were unheard or unheeded, rescued him from death. The threats of and he rushed forward to encounter the the enchantress, though not forgotten, he challenger, midway between the hostile forced to bear a less terrible interpretaforces. The combat was furious and tion; and, with returning health, he cralong. The activity of Harold enabled ved of her father the precious gift of Ulhim to avoid the deadly blows of Gru- la's hand, and but for the deadly power thioff, and the giant grew almost exhaust- with which Druda had endowed him ; ed by his unavailing efforts. Then the Harold had been perfectly happy. bold sea-king ceased to act wholly on the It was in the centre of his hail, amid a defensive, lie began in turn to press hard crowd of friends and vassals, that Sweno upon his foe, and at last succeeded in prepared the simple marriage ceremony wounding him severely. Then it was of those times. The noble Harold, with that the armour-bearer of Gruthioff, all a bridegroom's exultation, and the seeing the danger of his master, drew an trembling yet pleased Ulla stood before arrow from his bow, and pierced Harold him. Harrung through the side. He fell in “ Son !” cried the old man, in a glad stantly ;

and his followers, shouting though interrupted voice, “ stretch forth treachery, pressed forward to avenge him. thy right hand, and take her's, whom, all But, ere they could reach the spot where priceless as she is, thou well deservest. he lay, Harold beheld his giant foe wave Why dost thou bury it thus in the folds of high his sword, and prepare to plunge it thy vest ?”

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

“ Father, pardon me!” replied the Why droops my lord,” whispered the youth ;

this

morning, as I donned my faithful attendant, “ thus on his nuptial
marriage-garment, my blade slipped from night? Oh! rouse thyself, bold Harold !
its sheath, and cut deeply into my hand : for the eyes of many are upon thee in won,
the blood as yet is hardly staunched.- der and in scorn ; and jests are muttered
Nay, Ulla !” as he saw her countenance round the board such as become not thy
grow paler, “ it is but a slight wound, and honour, nor the purity of her whom thou
not worth thy care. Meanwhile, thou hast wedded.”
wilt not scorn to clasp this other hand.” “ Herda,” exclaimed the chief, as if

He knelt before her as he spoke, and unconscious that ought had been addressed
pressed her's laughingly to his lips; but, to him—" Herda, look out towards the
as again he raised his head, he saw dis- north, and tell me what thou see'st
tinctly, at the back of Ulla, the enchant- there."
ress Ďruda, standing, and pointing to her He went, and soon returned.-" No-
with a mocking smile. With a loud cry, thing, my lord, but the red and purple
he sank senseless on the ground.

meteors chasing each other athwart the
All was consternation among the crowd. cope of heaven. The night is still and
They raised him and strove to bare his fair. Oh! shame on this unmanly sad-
wounded hand, deeming that loss of blood ness! Awake! awake-ere your name
had caused his swoon : but it was solded becomes a by-word.”
in his breast with a firmness that rendered The eye of Harold flashed fiercely on
all their endeavours useless. The struggle his friend; but it was only for a moment.
however recalled Harold to life.

He

- Thou art right, my faithful Herdathrew an anxious and terrified glance thou art right; I will be a man, and defy around him; but nothing now appeared fate.-Ulla, dearest, lo your chamber. to confirm his fears. Half believing that Come, friends," he cried, advancing to the dreadful appearance was an allusion the board, “ who will pledge highest to created by his fancy, he advanced to con my toast? - To him who shall sail his sole the weeping Ulla. Weakness, he galley farthest, and bring back the richest feigned, resulting from his long confine- spoil from distant lands, when spring shall ment, had caused this sudden faintness— aga n smile upon our northern shores.'— overpowered, as he had been, with excess Call Eric-Eric the bard,” he added, as of joy, on finding that his dear Ulla was with loud acclamations all drained their at length his bride. But his still startled goblets to the bottom—“ he who made the eye and quivering lip belied the explana. song of triumph what time I ravaged the tion as he gave it; and Sweno would wil. wide seas of Britain.” lingly have deferred the celebration of the The bard—an old, grey-headed man, nuptials till a more fitting season, but that but with an eye of fire-came forward at he feared the assembled guests might deem the call, and,

in a deep, melodious voice, such delay an inhospitable pretext for chaunted forth the following strains :avoiding the evening banquet. He gave command, therefore, that the festival should O'er the deep, o'er the deep, proceed. But Harold strove in vain to

As our dragon-standards sweep,

And our bark springs the wild waves nerve himself as became his part in the

through,
ceremonies; and he, who had risen that Let the coward merchauts quail,
morning all ecstacy and hope, now stood

As in misty wreaths our sail,
the saddest and most silent man in all that

Flying on before the gale,

Meets their view,
thronged assemblage.

Far away, far away,
Ulla, scarcely less melancholy, and

Lies each guardian port or bay,
agitated by a thousand undefined fears, Yet landward the breeze fairly blows;
shrank from his side, when she found that And they flee : till on their track
her fond words and looks seemed only to

Fleeter comes our fierce attack ;

Then, like hunted wolves turn back
augment his despondency. Meanwhile,
the banquet was set forth; the wine flow-

We have met, we have met !
ed high in a thousand goblets; and

But each gallant Northman yet Sweno strove, by anxious attention to his For a moment must scarce draw breath : guests, to veil the strangeness of his son

Hark! bold Harold gives the word
in-'aw's deportinent.

Lo! he leaps the first on board,
By degrees, the

Waying wide his fatal sword,
strong wine began to do its office. The

Dealing death! merriment of the revellers grew loud and

We have won, we have won ! violent; and they crowned their full cups Soon the desperate strife is done ; with oft-repeated healths to the bold Hå O'er the wreck the dark waters close; rold and his beauteous bride. In the The hoarse tumult of the fray,

Into silence melts away! midst of the loud din, Herda, his most

And, like lions gorged with prey, favoured follower and friend, stole to the

We repose side of his chief.

On their foes.

[ocr errors]

Then around-come around!

For it murmur'd so sad, and its lay Let each wine-cup high be crowned ;

So painfully hung on the ear, Chaunt the praise of the bold sea-king; That I well could lave wish'd it away, Or, in gentler accents, tell

Or its beauties forbade to appear : Of the fame of those who fell,

Its music was pensive and low,
While the dirge the wild waves swell,

And mournfully dull was the theme
As we sing,

That rose, spirit-like, from its flow,

And seemed like some dark dying dream. The last notes of the song, and the ap. plauding shouts that followed it, had died Jt told of the storms that had raged

On its bosom, now still and serene, away, and Harold sought the bridal-cham

Where the sun-beam was sportive engaged ber. There pure and lovely as the moon In play with its waters so green; beams that streamed through the rude of the woes that its tempests had caused,windows of the apartment, he found his of the corses beneath and I paused, beloved Ulla. He advanced to fold her

And my tear was no longer delay'd; in his embrace, but, suddenly a fearful Ah, tempter deceitful !" I cried,

" Thou art even more cruel than fair! cry rang in his ear-a shadow darkened

" Those smooth waves oft ruthless divide, in the flood of moonlight-and Druda

" And gulph thefrail bark they should bear!" stood before him, - Child of Odin !” she exclaimed, I left, with such thoughts in my heart

behold, I break no promises.”-It was I deem'd would have burst it in twain, the same bitter voice and smile with which For the scene, whlch should pleasure impart,

Had wafted me billows of pain ; she had bid him farewell on the frozen

“Oh ! pleasure," I thought, " like the wave deserts of the north ; and Harold felt that of the ocean, seems charming and still; all was lost." Child of Odin !" she “ But tempts to its ravening grave. went on," I swore to be with you in your As we launch on its tide of delight,

"The fairest delights of the will !" marriage-hour. Lo! I am here to add

'Tis all beauty and safety to view; to its delights! But, methinks,”—and But the charms which so lovely invite, she seized the half-lifeless Ulla as she Oft cause us the voyage to rue. spoke, --" methinks your faith this morning was not fairly plighted.” With irre. As we sail further on, the smooth sea sistable force, she dragged the right hand And the joys it gave, frighten'd, Aee ; of the hero from his breast, and folded it And its prospects no longer delude; in that of Ulla.—" Thus—thus, fond The storms passion blows threaten down, lovers! I unite ye!”

Or satiety's dark gloomy calm

Clothes the air with one vast dreadful frown, At the touch of his fatal hand, Ulla That threatens some aireful harm :sank dead at her husband's feet. He Oh, mariner! shorten thy sail, stood, with fixed and stony eye, incapable

Ere thou sink in the fathomless deep,
And, with useless sorrow,

bewail of speech or motion, gazing on that form,

The fate which thy reason must weep ! so beautiful in death! But the fell en

R. JARMAN. chantress did not long permit him to remain.”

“ Away! away !" she cried; “ thou canst not choose but follow me Unconscious and unresisting, he went

natural History. forth with her from that fatal chamber, and followed her quick footsteps to the

ANECDOTES OF A TAMED PANTHER. shore. There a tall ship appeared wait

The following interesting anecdotes of ing their approach ; the crew stood ready this inhabitant of the forest is related by at each oar and sail—and strange, indeed, Mrs. Bowdich, in the last number of the that crew! for the chief beheld the eyes Magazine of Natural History, from which of those, whom he had deemed long dead it is here extracted, and we think the acamid the arctic frosts, gleaming on him

count tends greatly to do away with the with supernatural light.

opinion that naturalists have formed of Aboard ! aboard !” shouted the this animals untameable ferocity and infiendish enchantress. A wild laugh arose

satiable thirst for blood. from those fearful mariners, as Harold, in

“He and another were found when very desperate madness, leaped upon the deck. young, in the forest, apparantly deserted He was seen no more in Norway.

by their mother. They were taken to the Mon. Mag. king of Ashantee, in whose palace they

lived several weeks, when my hero, being

much larger than his companion, suffoSTANZAS.

cated him in a fit of romping, and was

then sent to Mr. Hutchison, the resident I gazed on the fair jewell'd tide, in beauty soft gliding along,

left by Mr. Bowdich at Coomassie. This And I look d, till I sorrow'd and sigli’d,

gentleman, observing that the animal was To think on the woe of its song ;

very docile, took pains to tame him, and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »