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“ Unmanner'd dog! To stop my sport
Vain were thy cant and beggar whine, Though human spirits, of thy sort,
Were tenants of these carrion kine !"
Again he winds his bugle horn,
“ Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!" And through the herd, in ruthless scorn,
He cheers his furious hounds to go.
In heaps the throttled victims fall;
Down sinks their mangled herdsman near; The murderous cries the stag appal,
Again he starts, new-nerved by fear.
With blood besmear'd, and white with foam,
While big the tears of anguish pour, He seeks, amid the forest's gloom,
The humble hermit's hallow'd bower.
But man and horse, and horn and hound,
Fast rattling on his traces go; The sacred chapel rung around
With, “ Hark away! and, holla, ho!"
All mild, amid the rout profane,
The holy hermit pour'd his prayer; • Forbear with blood God's house to stain :
Revere his altar, and forbear!
“The meanest brute has rights to plead,
Which, wrong’d by cruelty, or pride, Draw vengeance on the ruthless head :
Be warp'd at length, and turn aside.”
Still the Fair Horseman anxious pleads;
The Black, wild whooping, points the prey : Alas! the Earl no warning heeds,
But frantic keeps the forward way.
" Holy or not, or right or wrong,
Thy altar, and its rites, I spurn; Not sainted martyr's sacred song,
Not God himself, shall make me turn!"
He spurs his horse, he winds his horn,
“ Hark forward, forward, holla, ho !”— But off, on whirlwind's pinions borne,
The stag, the hut, the hermit, go.
And horse and man, and horn and hound,
And clamour of the chase was gone ; For hoofs, and howls, and bugle sound,
A deadly silence reign'd alone.
Wild gazed the affrighted Earl around;
He strove in vain to wake his horn, In vain to call: for not a sound
Could from his anxious lips be borne.
He listens for his trusty hounds;
No distant baying reach'd his ears: His courser, rooted to the ground,
The quickening spur unmindful bears.
Still dark and darker frown the shades,
Dark as the darkness of the grave; And not a sound the still invades,
Save what a distant torrent gave. ddd
High o'er the sinner's humbled head
At length the solemn silence broke; And, from a cloud of swarthy red,
The awful voice of thunder spoke.
Oppressor of creation fair!
Apostate Spirits' harden'd tool ! Scorner of God! Scourge of the poor!
The measure of thy cup is full.
“Be chased for ever through the wood;
For ever roam the affrighted wild ; And let thy fate instruct the proud,
God's meanest creature is his child."
'Twas hush'd: One flash, of sombre glare,
With yellow tinged the forests brown; Up rose the Wildgrave's bristling hair,
And horror chill'd each nerve and bone.
Cold pour'd the sweat in freezing rill;
A rising wind began to sing ; And louder, louder, louder still,
Brought storm and tempest on its wing.
Earth heard the call;— Her entrails rend;
From yawning rists, with many a yell, Mix'd with sulphureous flames, ascend
The misbegotten dogs of hell.
What ghastly Huntsman next arose,
I guess, but dare not tell ;
His steed the swarthy hue of heil.
The Wildgrave flies o'er bush and thorn,
With many a shriek of helpless woe; Behind him hound, and horse, and horn,
And, “ Hark away, and holla, ho!"
With wild despair's reverted eye,
Close, close behind, he marks the throng, With bloody fangs, and eager cry;
In frantic fear he scours along.–
Still, still shall last the dreadful chase,
Till time itself shall have an end : By day, they scour earth's cavern'd space,
At midnight's witching hour, ascend.
This is the horn, and hound, and horse,
That oft the lated peasant hears; Appall’d, he signs the frequent cross,
When the wild din invades his ears.
The wakeful priest oft drops a tear
For human pride, for human woe, When, at his midnight mass, he hears
The infernal cry of, " Holla, ho!” Vol I. — 25
“The blessings of the evil Genii, which are curses, were upon him.”
Eastern Tale. [1801.]
This ballad was written at the request of MR. LEWIS, to be
inserted in his “ Tales of Wonder."1 It is the third in a series of four ballads, on the subject of Elementary Spirits. The story is, however, partly historical ; for it is recorded, that, during the struggles of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, a Knight-Templar, called Saint-Alban, deserted to the Saracens, and defeated the Christians in many combats, till he was finally routed and slain, in a conflict with King Baldwin, under the walls of Jerusalem.
Bold knights and fair dames, to my harp give an ear,
O see you that castle, so strong and so high?
Published in 1801.