Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

And what I say next I partly saw

And partly I heard in sooth, And partly since from the murderers'

lips The torture wrung the truth. For now again came the arméd tread

And fast through the hall it fell; But the throng was less ; and ere I saw,

By the voice without I could tell That Robert Stuart had come with them

Who knew that chamber well.

And over the space the Græme strode

dark With his mantle round him flung; And in his eye was a flaming light

But not a word on his tongue.

And forth flowed all the throng like a

sea, And 't was empty space once more; And my eyes sought out the wounded

Queen As I lay behind the door. And I said : “ Dear Lady, leave me here,

For I cannot help you now; But fly while you may, and none shall

reck Of my place here lying low." And she said, “My Catherine, God help

thee !” Then she looked to the distant floor, And clasping her hands, “Oh God help

him," She sobbed, " for we can no more!" But God He knows what help may mean,

If it mean to live or to die; And what sore sorrow and mighty moan On earth it may cost ere yet a throne

Be filled in His house on high. And now the ladies fled with the Queen:

And through the open door The night-wind wailed round the empty And

on the

door.

And Stuart held a torch to the floor,

And he found the thing he sought; And they slashed the plank away with

their swords ; And O God! I fainted not ! And the traitor held his torch in the gan,

All smoking and smouldering; And through the vapor and fire, beneath

In the dark crypt's narrow ring, With a shout that pealed to the room's

high roof They saw their naked King. Half naked he stood, but stood as one

Who yet could do and dare:

[graphic]
[blocks in formation]

And the traitor looked on the King's

spent strength, And said :-“ Have I kept my word ?Yea, King, the mortal pledge that I

gave? No black friar's shrift thy soul shall save,

But the shrift of this red sword !"

With that he smote his King through

the breast; And all they three in that pen Fell on him and stabbed and stabbed him

there Like merciless murderous men.

Then the traitor's brother, Sir Thomas

Hall, Sprang down to work his worst ; And the King caught the second man

by the neck And ilung him above the first. And he smote and trampled them

under him ; And a long month thence they bare All black their throats with the grip of

his hands When the hangman's hand came there. And sore he strove to have had their

knives, But the sharp blades gashed his hands. Oh James ! so armed, thou hadst battled

there Till help had come of thy bands ; And oh! once more thou hadst lield our

throne And ruled thy Scottish lands! But while the King o'er his foes still

raged With a heart that nought could tame, Another man sprang down to the crypt; And with his sword in his hand hard

gripp'd There stood Sir Robert Græme.

Yet seemed it now that Sir Robert

Græme, Ere the King's last breath was o'er, Turned sick at heart with the deadly

sight And would have done no more.

But a cry came from the troop above :

“ If him thou do not slav, The price of his life that thou dost spare

Thy forfeit life shall pay!”
O God! what more did I hear or see,

Or how should I tell the rest?
But there at length our King lay slain

With sixteen wounds in his breast.

O God! and now did a hell boom forth,

And the murderers turned and fled ;Too late, too late, God, did it sound ! And I heard the true men mustering

round, And the cries and the coming tread.

(Now shame on the recreant traitor's

heart Who durst not face his King Till the body unarmed was wearied out

With two-fold combating! Ah! well might the people sing and say,

As oft ye bave heard aright: "O Robert Greme, O Robert Gråme,

But ere they came to the black death

gap Somewise did I creep and steal ; And lo! or ever I swooned away, Through the dusk I saw where the white

face lay In the Pit of Fortune's Wheel.

Aud the frost grew to a furnace-flame

That burnt her visage white.

And evermore as I brought her word,

She bent to her dead King James. And in the cold ear with fire-draw

breath She spoke the traitors' names.

And now, ye Scottish maids who have

heard Dread things of the days grown old,-Even at the last, of true Queen Jane

May somewhat yet be told, And how she dealt for her dear lord's sake

Dire vengeance manifold. 'T was in the Charterhouse of Perth,

In the fair-lit Death-chapelle, That the slain King's corpse on bier was

lain With chant and requiem-knell. And all with royal wealth of balm

Was the body purified : And none could trace on the brow and

lips The death that he had died.

But when the name of Sir Robert Grænı

Was the one she had to give. I ran to hold her up from the floor; For the froth was on her lips, and sore

I feared that she could not live.

And the month of March wore nigh to

its end, And still was the death-pall spread : For she would not bury her slaughtere.

lord Till his slayers all were dead.

In his robes of state he lay asleep

With orb and sceptre in hand ; And by the crown he wore on his throne

Was his kingly forehead spann'd. And, girls, 't was a sweet sad thing to see

How the curling golden hair, As in the day of the poet's youth,

From the King's crown clustered there. And if all had come to pass in the brain

That throbbed beneath those curls, Then Scots had said in the days to come That this their soil was a different home

And a different Scotland, girls!
And the Queen sat by him night and day,

And oft she knelt in prayer,
All wan and pale in the widow's veil

That shrouded her shining hair.
And I had got good help of my hurt :

And only to me some sign
She made; and save the priests that

were there
No face would she see but mine.

And now of their dooms dread tidings

came, And of torments fierce and dire: And nought she spake,-she had ceasel

to speak.But her eyes were a soul on fire. But when I told her the bitter end

Of the stern and just award, She leaned o'er the bier, and thrice

three times She kissed the lips of her lord. And then she said, -- " My King, they are

dead!" And she knelt on the chapel-floor, And whispered low with a strange proud

smile,“James, James, they suffered more! Last she stood up to her queenly height.

But she shook like an autumn leaf, Is though the fire wherein she burned Then left her boir, and all were turneti

To winter of life-long grief. And “0 James!" she

said, -* Ms James !" she said. · Alas for the woful thing, That a pet true and a friend of man. In desperate dars of hale and ban,

Should needs be born a King!” 1851.

And the month of March wore on apace ;

And now fresh couriers fared Still from the country of the Wild Scots

With news of the traitors snared. And still as I told her day by day,

Her pallor changed to sight,

MORRIS

LIST OF REFERENCES

EDITIONS

Poetical Works of William Morris, 11 volumes, Longmans, Green & , 1896–8. The Earthly Paradise, 1 volume, Reeves & Turner, 1890. e Defence of Guenevere, Kelmscott Press, 1892. The Life and Death Jason, Kelmscott Press, 1895. The Earthly Paradise, 8 volumes, 96–7. Poems by the Way, Kelmscott Press, 1891. (The four beautieditions last mentioned are now practically unobtainable.)

BIOGRAPHY

* MACKAIL (J. W.), Life of William Morris, 2 volumes, 1899 (The andard biography). VALLANCE (Aymer), The late William Morris, 96.

* VALLANCE (Aymer), William Morris; IIis Art, his Writings and s Public Life. A Record, 1897. CARY (E. L.), William Morris : Poet,

, aftsman, Socialist, 1902. CLARKE (William), William Morris, A Sketch

the Man; in F. W. Lee's William Morris, Poet, Artist, Socialist -A election from his Writings. See also S.C. Cockerell's History of the elmscott Press, Percy H. Bate's History of the Pre-Raphaelite Moveent, and the other biographical references under Rossetti.

CRITICISM

Cazalis (H.) (“ Jean Lahor "), William Morris et le Mouvement noueau de l'Art décoratif. CHESTERTON (G. K.), Twelve Types: William lorris and his School. CRANE (Walter), William Morris, in Scribner's lagazine, July, 1897. DOWDEN (E.), Transcripts and Studies : Victorian iterature. FORMAN (H. B.), Our Living Poets. HEWLETT (M.), Wilam Morris; in The National Review, August, 1891. * HUBBARD (E.), The Philistine, Vol. IX, No. 4. IIUBBARD (E.), Little Journeys to the Iomes of English Authors. LANG (A.), The Poetry of William Morris; n the Contemporary Review, August, 1882. Lang (A.), William Morris's Poems; in Longman's Magazine, October, 1896. LOVETT (R. M.), Wiliam Morris ; in the Harvard Monthly, 1891; Vol. XII, p. 119. MACKAIL J. W.), William Morris : An address. MYERS (F. W. H.), William Moris and the Meaning of Life; in The Nineteenth Century, January, 1893. NORDLEY (C. H.), Influence of Old Norse Literature upon English Literature. NORTON (C. E.), The Life and Death of Jason ; in The Nation, August 22, 1867. PAYNE (W. M.), in Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature. * SaintsBURY (G.), Corrected Impressions. * Sharp (W.), William Morris : The Man and his Work; in The Atlantic Monthly, December, 1896. Shaw (G. B.), Morris as Actor and Dramatist ; in The Saturday Review, October 10, 1896. Shaw (G. B.), William Morris as a Socialist; in The Daily Chronicle, October 6, 1896. STEDMAX (E. C.).

, Victorian Poets. ** SWINBURNE (A. C.), Essays and Studies : Morris's Life and Death of Jason. Symons (Arthur), Studies in two Literatures. WATTS-Dunton (T.), William Morris ; in The Athenæum, October 10, 1896. WYZEWA (T. de), Ecrivains étrangers. YEATS (W. B.), Ideas of Good and Evil; The happiest of the Poets.

Dawson (W. J.), Makers of Modern English. DAY (L. F.), Decorative Art of William Morris. Galton (A.), Urbana Scripta. OLIPHANT (Margaret), The Victorian Age of Literature. RIEGEL (Julius), Die Quellen von William Morris's Dichtung “ The Earthly Paradise,” Erlanger Bei. träge zur Englischen Philologie. SCUDDER (V. D.), Life of the Spirit in Modern English Poetry. SHARP (Amy), Victorian Poets.

А

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Scott (Temple), A Bibliography of the Works of William Morris. FORMAN (H. B.), The books of Williain Morris.

MORRIS

WINTER WEATHER

So ever together
In the sparkling weather

Moved my banner and lance;
And its laurel trapping,
The steel over-lapping,
The stars saw quiver and dance.

WE rode together
In the winter weather

To the broad mead under the hill ;
Though the skies did shiver
With the cold, the river

Ran, and was never still.
No cloud did darken
The night; we did harken

The hound's bark far away.
It was solemn midnight
In that dread, dread night,

In the years that have pass'd for aye.
Two rode beside me,
My banner did hide me,

As it drooped adow'n from my lance;
With its deep blue trapping,
The mail over-lapping:

My gallant horse did prance.

We met together
In the winter weather

By the town-walls under the hill;
His mail rings came clinking,
They broke on my thinking,

For the night was hush'd and still.

Two rode beside him,
Ilis banner did hide him,
As it drooped down straight from his

lance;
With its blood-red trapping,
The mail over-lapping.

His mighty horse did prance.

« AnteriorContinuar »