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GEORGE THE TRILLER.
Hast waked the livelong night?” • My dreams foreshow my children's woe, Ernst bold and Albrecht bright.
“ From the dark glades of forest shades
There rushed a raging boar,
His crooked tusks uptore.”
Of phantoms haunting sleep!”
Hath vowed a vengeance deep.
And scornful answer spake : • Kunz, wisdom learn, nor strive to burn
The fish within their lake.'
“See, o'er the plain, with all his train,
My lord to Leipzig riding;
My dream is sure betiding.”
“ The warder waits before the gates,
The castle rock is steep,
Thy children safely sleep.”
'Tis night's full noon, fair shines the moon
On Altenburg's old halls,
Rest on the ivied walls.
Within their tower the midnight hour
Has wrapt the babes in sleep, With unclosed eyes their mother lies
To listen and to weep.
What sudden sound is stirring round?
What clang thrills on her ear? Is it the breeze amid the trees
Re-echoing her fear?
Swift from her bed, in sudden dread,
She to her lattice flies :
Behold a ladder rise :
And from yon tower, her children's bower,
Lo! giant Kunz descending ! Ernst, in his clasp of iron grasp,
His cries with hers is blending. “Oh! hear my prayer, my children spare,
The sum shall be restored ;
Thou know'st how true my lord.”
With mocking grace he bowed his face :
“Lady, my greetings take; Thy lord may learn how I can burn The fish within their lake."
Oh! double fright, a second knight
Upon the ladder frail,
A child uplifts his wail !
Would she had wings! She wildly springs
To rouse her slumbering train; Bolted without her door so stout
Resists her efforts vain !
No mortal ear her calls can hear,
The robbers laugh below;
Or mark her hour of woe.
A cry below, “Oh! let me go,
I am no prince's brother;
Restore me to my mother !”
With anguish sore she shakes the door ;
Once more Sir Kunz is rearing His giant head. His errand sped
She sees him reappearing.
Her second child in terror wild
Is struggling in his hold; Entreaties vain she pours again,
Still laughs the robber bold. “I greet thee well, the Elector tell
How Kunz his counsel takes, And let him learn that I can burn
The fish within their lakes."
“Swift, swift, good steed, death 's on thy speed,
Gain Isenburg ere morn ;
We laugh the Prince to scorn.
Will safely hold the boys,
Our hold upon his joys.
“But hark! but hark! how through the dark
The castle bell is tolling, From tower and town, o'er wood and down,
The like alarm notes rolling.
“ The peal rings out ! echoes the shout!
All Saxony's astir ;
Through the lone wood of fir.”
Far on before, of men a score
Prince Ernest bore still sleeping; Thundering as fast, Kunz came the last,
Carrying young Albrecht weeping. The clanging bell with distant swell
Dies on the morning air, Bohemia's ground another bound
Will reach, and safety there.
The morn's fresh beam lights a cool stream,
Charger and knight are weary,
He meets with accents cheery.
“ Sir Konrad good, be mild of mood,
A fearsome giant thou !
To cool my throbbing brow!”
He soothes the worn-out child,
For woodland berries wild.
A deep-toned bark! A figure dark,
Smoke-grimed and sun-embrowned, Comes through the wood in wondering mood,
And by his side a hound.
“Oh, to my aid, I am betrayed,
The Elector's son forlorn,
From out my bed these men of dread
Have this night hither borne !”
“ Peace, if thou 'rt wise,” the false groom cries,
And aims a murderous blow;
Must lay young Albrecht low.
The woodman's pole along,
Pledges redress from wrong.
Loud the hound's note as at the throat
Of the false groom he flies;
“Off hands, base churl,” he cries.
The robber lord with mighty sword,
Mailed limbs of giant strength,
Save his pole's timber length,
Unequal fight! Yet for the right
The woodman holds the field;
His pole full stoutly wields.
And lo! his comrades true,
Burst on Sir Konrad's view.
His horse's rein he grasps amain
Into his selle to spring,
Has caught, his weapons ring.
His frightened steed with wildest speed
Careers with many a bound;