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A cloven shield, and broken spear,
The finger wander'd o'er,
Then rested on a sable bier,
Distain'd with drops of gore.

In ghastly writhes her mouth so wide
And black the Sorceress throws,

'And be those signs, my child (she cried), Fulfill'd on Wolfwold's foes.

'A happier spell I now shall try;
Attend, my child, attend,

And mark what flames from altar high,
And lowly floor ascend.

'If of the rose's softest red

The blaze shines forth to view, Then Wolfwold lives-but hell forbid The glimmering flame of blue !'

The witch then raised her haggard arm, And waved her wand on high;

And, while she spoke the mutter'd charm,
Dark lightning fill'd her eye.

Fair Ulla's knee swift smote the ground;
Her hands aloft were spread,
And every joint, as marble bound,
Felt horror's darkest dread.

Her lips, erewhile so like the rose,
Were now as violet pale,
And, trembling in convulsive throes,
Express'd o'erwhelming ail.

Her eyes, erewhile so starry bright,
Where living lustre shone,

Were now transform'd to sightless white,
Like eyes of lifeless stone.

And soon the dreadful spell was o'er,

And, glimmering to the view,
The quivering flame rose through the floor,
A flame of ghastly blue.

Behind the altar's livid fire,

Low from the inmost cave,
Young Wolfwold rose in pale attire,
The vestments of the grave.

His eye to Ulla's eye he rear'd,
His cheek was wan as clay,
And half cut through his hand appear'd
That beckon'd her away.

Fair Ulla saw the woful shade;
Her heart struck at her side,
And burst-low bow'd her listless head,
And down she sunk, and died.



THE dews of summer night did fall,
The moon (sweet regent of the sky)
Silver'd the walls of Cumnor Hall,

And many an oak that grew thereby.
Now nought was heard beneath the skies
(The sounds of busy life were still),
Save an unhappy lady's sighs,

That issued from that lonely pile.
'Leicester (she cried), is this thy love,
That thou so oft hast sworn to me,
To leave me in this lonely grove,
Immured in shameful privity?

'No more thou comest with lover's speed, Thy once beloved bride to see; But be she alive, or be she dead,

I fear (stern earl) 's the same to thee. 'Not so the usage I received,

When happy in my father's hall;
No faithless husband then me grieved,
No chilling fears did me appal.

'I rose up with the cheerful morn,

No lark more blithe, no flower more gay; And, like the bird that haunts the thorn, So merrily sung the livelong day. "If that my beauty is but small,

Among court ladies all despised, Why didst thou rend it from that hall Where, scornful earl, it well was prized?

And when you to me first made suit, How fair I was you oft would say ! And, proud of conquest, pluck'd the fruit; Then left the blossom to decay. 'Yes, now neglected and despised,

The rose is pale-the lily's deadBut he that once their charms so prized

Is sure the cause those charms are fled. 'For know, when sickening grief doth prey, And tender love's repaid with scorn, The sweetest beauty will decay

What floweret can endure the storm? 'At court, I'm told, is beauty's throne, Where every lady's passing rare; That eastern flowers that shame the sun Are not so glowing, not so fair.

6 Then, earl, why didst thou leave the bed
Where roses and where lilies vie,
To seek a primrose, whose pale shades
Must sicken when those gaudes are by?
''Mong rural beauties I was one,

Among the fields wild flowers are fair;
Some country swain might me have won,
And thought my beauty passing rare.
'But, Leicester (or I much am wrong),

Or 'tis not beauty lures thy vows
Rather ambition's gilded crown

Makes thee forget thy humble spouse.

6 Then, Leicester, why, again I plead (The injured surely may repine), Why didst thou wed a country maid,

When some fair princess might be thine? 'Why didst thou praise my humble charms, And, oh! then leave them to decay? Why didst thou win me to thy arms,

Then leave to mourn the livelong day?
'The village maidens of the plain
Salute me lowly as they go;
Envious they mark my silken train,
Nor think a countess can have woe.
'The simple nymphs, they little know

How far more happy's their estate-
To smile for joy—than sigh for woe-
To be content-than to be great.
'How far less bless'd am I than them!
Daily to pine and waste with care!
Like the poor plant, that from its stem
Divided, feels the chilling air.

'Nor, cruel earl, can I enjoy

The humble charms of solitude!
Your minions proud my peace destroy,
By sullen frowns or pratings rude.
Last night, as sad I chanced to stray,
The village death-bell smote my ear;
They wink'd aside, and seem'd to say,
Countess, prepare-thy end is near.
And now, while happy peasants sleep,
Here I sit lonely and forlorn :
No one to soothe me as I weep,

Save Philomel on yonder thorn.

'My spirits flag-my hopes decay

Still that dread death-bell smites my ear; And many a boding seems to say,

Countess, prepare-thy end is near.'
Thus sore and sad that lady grieved,

In Cumnor Hall so lone and drear;
And many a heartfelt sigh she heaved,
And let fall many a bitter tear.
And ere the dawn of day appear'd,

In Cumnor Hall so lone and drear,
Full many a piercing scream was heard,
And many a cry of mortal fear.

The death-bell thrice was heard to ring,
An aerial voice was heard to call,
And thrice the raven flapp'd its wing

Around the towers of Cumnor Hall.
The mastiff howl'd at village door,

The oaks were shatter'd on the green; Woe was the hour-for, never more

That hapless countess e'er was seen.

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