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LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

49

"Prince! thy father's deeds are told,
In the bower and in the bold !
Where the goatherd's lay is sung,
Where the minstrel's barp is strung!
-Foes are on thy native sea

Give our bards a tale of thee !"
And the prince came arın'd, like a leader's son,
And the bended Bow and the voice passid on.

“ Mother! stay thou not thy boy!
He must learn the battle's joy.
Sister! bring the sword and spear,
Give thy brother words of cheer!
Maiden ! bid thy lover part,

Britain calls the strong in heart !"
And the bended Bow and the voice pass'd ón,
And the bards made song for a battle won.

HE NEVER SMILED AGAIN. *

It is recorded of Henry the First, that after the death of his son, Prioce William, who perished in a shipwreck off the coast of Normandy, he was never seen to smile.

The bark that held a prince went down,

The sweeping waves rolld on;
And what was England's glorious crown

To him that wept a son?
He lived--for life may long be borne

Ere sorrow break its chain ;-
Why comes not death to those who mourn?

- He never smiled again!
There stood proud forms around his throne,

The stately and the brave,
But which could fill the place of one,

That one beneath the wave?

* Originally published in the Literar" Gazette. VOL. 1

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LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

Before himn pass'd the young and fair,

In pleasure's reckless train,
But seas dash'd o'er his son's bright hair-

-He never smiled again!
He sat where festal bowls went round;

He heard the minstrel sing,
He saw the tourney's victor crown'd,

Amidst the knightly ring :
A murmur of the restless deep

Was blent with every strain,
A voice of winds that would not sleep-

-He never smiled again!
Hearts, in that time, closed o'er the trace

Of vows once fondly pour'd,
And strangers took the kinsman's place

At many a joyous board;
Graves, which true love had bathed with tears,

Were left to Heaven's bright rain,
Fresh hopes were born for other years

-He never smiled again!

a

COEUR-DE-LION AT THE BIER OF HIS

FATHER.

The body of Henry the Second lay in state in the abbey church of Fontevraud, where it was visited by Richard Ceur-de-Lion, wbo, on heholding it, was struck with horror and remorse, and bitterly reproached himself for that rebellious conduct which had been the means of bringiog his father to an untimely grave.

TORCHES were blazing clear,

Hymns pealing deep and slow,
Where a king lay stately on his bier,

In the church of Fontevraud.
Banners of battle o'er him hung,

And warriors slept beneath,
And light, as Noon's broad light, was flung

On the settled face of death.

LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

51

On the settled face of death
A strong and ruddy glare,
Though dimni'd at times by the censer's breath,

Yet it fell still brightest there :
As if each deeply-furrow'd trace

Of earthly years to show,-
-Alas! that sceptred mortal's race

Had surely closed in wo!
The marble floor was swept

By many a long dark stole,
As the kneeling priests round bim that slept,

Sang mass for the parted soul;
And solemn were the strains they pour'd

Through the stillness of the night,
With the cross above, and the crown and sword,

And the silent king in sight.
There was heard a heavy clang,

As of steel-girt men the tread,
And the tombs and the hollow pavement rang

With a sounding thrill of dread;
And the holy chant was hush'd awhile,

As, by the torch's flame,
A gleam of arms, up the sweeping aisle,

With a mail-clad leader came.
He came with haughty look,

An eagle-glance and clear,
But his proud heart through its breast-plate shook,

When he stood beside the bier!
He stood there still with a drooping brow,

And clasp'd hands o'er it raised; -
For his father lay before bim low,

It was Coeur-de-Lion gazed !
And silently he strove

With the workings of his breast,
---But there's more in late repentant love

Than steel may keep suppress'd!
And his tears brake forth, at last, like rain
-Men held their breath in

awe,
For his face was seen by his warrior-train,

And he reck'd not that they saw.
He look'd upon the dead,

And sorrow seem'd to lie,
A weight of sorrow, ev'n like lead,

Pale on the fast-shut eye.

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LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

He stoop'd—and kiss'd the frozen cheek,

And ihe heavy hand of clay,
Till bursting words--yet all too weak-

Gave his soul's passion way.
“ Oh, father! is it vain,

This late remorse and deep?
Speak to me, father! once again,

I weep-behold, I weep!
Alas! my guilty pride and ire !

Were but this work undone,
I would give England's crown, my sire !
To hear thee bless thy son.

Speak to me! mighty grief.
Ere now the dust hath stirr'd !
Hear me, but hear me !-father, chief,

My king! I must be heard !
--Hush'd, husb'd-how is it that I call,

And that thou answereșt not?
When was it thus ?wo, wo for all
The love my soul forgot!

Thy silver hairs I see,
So still, so sadly bright!
And father, father! but for me,

They had not been so white !
I bore thee down, high heart! at last,

No longer couldst thou strive ;
Oh! for one moment of the past,

To kneel and say— Forgive!'
“Thou wert the noblest king,

On royal throne e'er seen;
And thou didst wear, in knightly ring,

Of all, the stateliest mien ;
And thou didst prove, where spears are proved

In war, the bravest heart
Oh! ever the renown'd and loved

Thou wert--and there thou art !
“ Thou that my boyhood's guide
Didst take fond joy to be !
The times I've sported at thy side,

And climb'd thy parent-knee !
And there before the blessed shrine,

My sire! I see thee lie,
How will that sad still face of thine

Look on me till I die!":

LAYS OF MANY LANDS.

53

THE VASSAL’S LAMENT FOR THE

FALLEN TREE.

" Here (at Brereton in Cheshire) is one thing incredibly strange, but attested, as I myself have heard, by many persons, and commonly believed. Before any heir of this family, dies, there are seen, in a lake adjoining, the bodies of trees swimming on the water for several days."

Camden's Britannia.

Yes! I have seen the ancient oak

On the dark deep water cast,
And it was not felld by the woodman's stroke

Or the rush of the sweeping blast ;
For the axe might never touch that tree,
And she air was still as a summer sea.
I saw it fall, as falls a chief

By an arrow in the fight,
And the old woods 'shook, io their loftiest leaf

At the crashing of its might !
And the startled deer to their coverts drew,
And the spray of the lake as a fountain's flew !
'Tis falln ! but think thou not I weep

For the forest's pride olerthrown ;
An old man's tears lie far too deep,

To be pour'd for this alone !
But by that sign too well I know,
That a youthful head must soon be low !
A youthful head, with its shining hair,

And its bright quick-flashing eye--
-Well may I weep! for the hoy is fair,

Too fair a thing to die!
But on his brow the mark is set
Ob! could my life redeem him yet!
He bounded by me as I gazed

Alone on the fatal sign,
And it seem'd like sunshine when he raised

His joyous glance to mine!
With a stag's fleet step he bounded by,
So full of life--but be must die !

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