图书图片
PDF
ePub

While with congratulations and with prayers
He entertained the Angel unawares,
Robert, the Jester, bursting through the crowd,
Into their presence rushed, and cried aloud,
“I am the King! Look, and behold in me
Robert, your brother, King of Sicily!
This man, who wears my semblance to your eyes,
Is an impostor in a King's disguise.
Do you not know me? does no voice within
Answer my cry,

and

say we are akin?The Pope in silence, but with troubled mien, Gazed at the Angel's countenance serene ; The Emperor, laughing, said, “ It is strange sport To keep a madman for thy Fool at court ?” And the poor, baffled Jester in disgrace Was hustled back among the populace.

In solemn state the Holy Week went by,
And Easter Sunday gleamed upon the sky;
The presence of the Angel, with its light,
Before the sun rose, made the city bright,
And with new fervour filled the hearts of men,
Who felt that Christ, indeed, had risen again.
Even the Jester, on his bed of straw,
With haggard eyes the unwonted splendour saw,
He felt within a power unfelt before,
And, kneeling humbly on his chamber floor,
He heard the rustling garments of the Lord
Sweep through the silent air, ascending heavenward.

And now the visit ending, and once more
Valmond returning to the Danube's shore,
Homeward the Angel journeyed, and again
The land was made resplendent with his train,
Flashing along the towns of Italy
Unto Salerno, and from there by sea.

And when once more within Palermo's wall,
And, seated on the throne in his great hall,
He heard the Angelus from convent towers,
As if the better world conversed with ours,
He beckoned to King Robert to draw nigher,
And with a gesture bade the rest retire ;
And when they were alone, the Angel said,
“ Art thou the King ?” Then bowing down his head,
King Robert crossed both hands upon his breast,
And meekly answered him : “ Thou knowest best !
My sins as scarlet are ; let me go hence,
And in some cloister's school of penitence,
Across those stones, that pave the way to heaven,
Walk barefoot, till my guilty soul is shriven !”
The Angel smiled, and from his radiant face
A holy light illumined all the place,
And through the open window, loud and clear,
They heard the monks chant in the chapel near,
Above the stir and tumult of the street:
He has put down the mighty from their seat,
And has exalted them of low degree !”
And through the chant a second inelody
Rose like the throbbing of a single string :
"I am an Angel, and thou art the King !"
King Robert, who was standing near the throne,
Lifted his eyes, and lo! he was alone!
But all apparelled as in days of old,
With ermine mantle and with cloth of gold;
And when his courtiers came, they found him there
Kneeling upon the floor, absorbed in silent prayer.

DE ON THE

The High Tide Coast

OF LINCOLNSHIRE.

(1571.)
JEAN INGELOW.

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.”

say

Men 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 pewits 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,

Farre 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 Lightfoot,
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 Lightfoot,

Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,
Jetty, to the milking shed.”
If it be long, ay, 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 green ; And lo! the great bell farre and wide, Was heard in all the country side That Saturday, at eventide.

The swanherds 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 Mablethorpe,

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 ?

« 上一页继续 »