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A ROMANCE OF THE IRON AGE.
"Who's here, beside foul weather?”
KING LEAR. “ Mine enemy's dog, though he had bit me, Should have stood that night against my fire.”
With many a stormy token,-
In short, if the truth were spoken, It 's an ugly night for anywhere,
But an awful one for the Brocken!
For oh! to stop
On that mountain top, After the dews of evening drop,
Is always a dreary frolicThen what must it be when nature groans, And the very mountain murmurs and moans
As if it writhed with the cholic-
In a region so diabolic!
A place where he whom we call old Scratch,
Gives midnight concerts and sermons,
The musical, mystical Germans !
However it ’s quite
As wild a night
Since the Demon-Dance was morriced-
growling, As if a thousand wolves were prowling
About in the old BLACK FOREST !
Madly, sadly, the Tempest raves
Like the billows that roar
On a gusty shore Mourning over the mariners' graves
Nay, more like a frantic lamentation
From a howling set
Of demons met
Badly, madly, the vapours fly
At a pace that no pen can paint!
As pale as if she would faint !
The lightning flashes,
The thunder crashes,
Rank and rich,
As from Stygian ditch,
But leaving at once this heroical pitch,
The night is a very bad night in which You wouldn't turn out a dog.
Yet ONE there is abroad in the storm,
And whenever by chance
The moon gets a glance, She spies the Traveller's lonely form,
Walking, leaping, striding along,
As none can do but the super-strong; And flapping his arms to keep him warm, For the breeze from the North is a regular starver,
And to tell the truth,
More keen, in sooth,
Ilowever, no time it is to lag ;
Now weathers a block
Of jutting rock,
Then stooping under a drooping bough,
And sinking down a precipice now,
Keeping his feet the Deuce knows how, In spots whence all creatures would keep aloof, Except the Goat, with his cloven hoof, Who clings to the shallowest ledge as if Ile grew like the weed on the face of the cliff! So down, still down, the Traveller goes, Safe as the Chamois amid his snows, Though fiercer than ever the hurricane blows,
And round him eddy, with whirl and whizz, Tornadoes of hail, and sleet, and rain, Enough to bewilder a weaker brain,
Or blanch any other visage than his, Which spite of lightning, thunder, and hail, The blinding sleet, and the freezing gale,
And the horrid abyss,
If his foot should miss,
His heart is granite—his iron nerve
Feels no convulsive twitches; And as to his foot, it does not swerve, [serve : Tho' the Screech-Owls are flitting about him that
For parrots to Brocken Witches !
Nay, full in his very path he spies
But if his members quiver-
As black as your hat,
It's the cold that makes Him shiver!
So down, still down, through gully and glen,