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Tingle with inward dread. Aghast, he eyes
pp. 167, 168.
A posthumous miracle of Father Lesley, a Scottish capuchin, related to his being buried on a hill haunted by these unearthly cries of hounds and huntsmen. After his sainted relics had been deposited there, the noise was never heard more. The reader will find this, and other miracles, recorded in the life of Father Bonaventura, which is written in the choicest Italian.
THE WILD HUNTSMAN.
The Wildgrave winds his bugle-horn,
To horse, to horse! halloo, halloo! His fiery courser snuffs the morn,
And thronging serfs their lord pursue.
The eager pack, from couples freed,
Dash through the bush, the brier, the brake; While answering hound, and horn, and steed,
The mountain echoes startling wake.
The beams of God's own hallow'd day
· Had painted yonder spire with gold, And, calling sinful man to pray,
Loud, long, and deep the bell had tollid: But still the Wildgrave onward rides;
Halloo, halloo! and, hark again! When, spurring from opposing sides,
Two Stranger Horsemen join the train.
Who was each Stranger, left and right,
Well may I guess, but dare not tell; The right-hand steed was silver white,
The left, the swarthy hue of hell.
[Published (1796) with William and Helen, and entitled “ The Chace."1
The right-hand Horseman, young and fair,
His smile was like the morn of May; The left, from eye of tawny glare,
Shot midnight lightning's lurid ray.
He waved his huntsman's cap on high,
Cried, “Welcome, welcome, noble lord ! What sport can earth, or sea, or sky,
To match the princely chase, afford !"
“ Cease thy loud bugle's changing knell,”
Cried the fair youth, with silver voice; “ And for devotion's choral swell,
Exchange the rude unhallow'd noise.
“ To-day the ill-omen'd chase forbear,
Yon bell yet summons to the fane ; To-day the Warning Spirit hear,
To-morrow thou mayst mourn in vain."
“ Away, and sweep the glades along!"
The 'Sable Hunter hoarse replies; “To muttering monks leave matin-song,
And bells, and books, and mysteries.”
The Wildgrave spurr'd his ardent steed,
And, lanching forward with a bound, Who, for thy drowsy priestlike rede,
Would leave the jovial horn and hound ? “ Hence, if our manly sport offend !
With pious fools go chant and pray: Well hast thou spoke, my dark-brow'd friend,
Halloo, halloo! and, hark away!"
The Wildgrave spurr'd his courser light,
O’er moss and moor, o'er holt and hill; And on the left, and on the right,
Each Stranger Horseman follow'd still.
Up springs, from yonder tangled thorn,
A stag more white than mountain snow; And louder rung the Wildgrave's horn,
“ Hark forward, forward! holla, ho!"
A heedless wretch has cross'd the way;
He gasps, the thundering hoofs below; But, live who can, or die who may,
Still, "Forward, forward !" on they go.
See, where yon simple fences meet,
A field with autumn's blessings crown'd; See, prostrate at the Wildgrave's feet,
A husbandman with toil embrown'd:
“O mercy, mercy, noble lord !
Spare the poor's pittance," was his cry, “ Earn’d by the sweat these brows have pour'd,
In scorching hour of fierce July.”—
Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads,
The left still cheering to the prey; The impetuous Earl no warning heeds,
But furious holds the onward way.
“ Away, thou hound! so basely born,
Or dread the scourge's echoing blow !"Then loudly rung his bugle horn,
“ Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!"
So said, so done :- A single bound
Clears the poor labourer's humble pale; Wild follows man, and horse, and hound,
Like dark December's stormy gale.
And man and horse, and hound and horn,
Destructive sweep the field along; While, joying o'er the wasted corn,
Fell Famine marks the maddening throng.
Again uproused, the timorous prey
Scours moss and moor, and holt and hill; Hard run, he feels his strength decay,
And trusts for life his simple skill.
Too dangerous solitude appear'd;
He seeks the shelter of the crowd; Amid the flock's domestic herd
His harmless head he hopes to shroud.
O'er moss and moor, and holt and hill,
His track the steady blood-hounds trace; O'er moss and moor, unwearied still,
The furious Earl pursues the chase.
Full lowly did the herdsman fall ;
“O spare, thou noble Baron, spare These herds, a widow's little all;
These flocks, an orphan's fleecy care!”—
Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads,
The left still cheering to the prey ; The Earl nor prayer nor pity heeds,
But furious keeps the onward way.