Puslapio vaizdai






IN hay-tide, through the day new-born,
Across the meads we come ;

Our hauberks brush the blossomed corn
A furlong short of home.

Ere yet the gables we behold

Forth flasheth the red sun,

And smites our fallow helms and cold
Though all the fight be done.

In this last mead of mowing-grass

Sweet doth the clover smell, Crushed neath our feet red with the pass Where hell was blent with hell.

And now the willowy stream is nigh,
Down wend we to the ford;

No shafts across its fishes fly,

Nor flasheth there a sword.

But lo! what gleameth on the bank

Across the water wan,

As when our blood the mouse-ear drank And red the river ran?

Nay, hasten to the ripple clear,
Look at the grass beyond!
Lo ye the dainty band and dear
Of maidens fair and fond!

Lo how they needs must take the stream!
The water hides their feet;

On fair kind arms the gold doth gleam,
And midst the ford we meet.

Up through the garden two and two,
And on the flowers we drip;
Their wet feet kiss the morning dew
As lip lies close to lip.

Here now we sing; here now we stay:
By these gray walls we tell

The love that lived from out the fray,
The love that fought and fell.



'Tis over the hill and over the dale
Men ride from the city fast and far,
If they may have a soothfast tale,
True tidings of the host of war.

And first they hap on men-at-arms,

All clad in steel from head to foot : Now tell true tale of the new-come harms,

And the gathered hosts of the mountain-root.

Fair sirs, from murder-carles we flee,

Whose fashion is as the mountain-trolls'; No man can tell how many they be,

And the voice of their host as the thunder rolls.

They were weary men at the ending of day,
But they spurred nor stayed for longer word.
Now ye, O merchants, whither away?

What do ye there with the helm and the sword?

O we must fight for life and gear,

For our beasts are spent and our wains are stayed,
And the host of the Mountain-men draws near,
That maketh all the world afraid.

They left the chapmen on the hill,

And through the eve and through the night

They rode to have true tidings still,

And were there on the way when the dawn was bright.

O damsels fair, what do ye then

To loiter thus upon the way,

And have no fear of the Mountain-men,

The host of the carles that strip and slay?

O riders weary with the road,

Come eat and drink on the grass hereby !

And lay you down in a fair abode

Till the mid-day sun is broad and high;

Then unto you shall we come aback,

And lead you forth to the Mountain-men, To note their plenty and their lack,

And have true tidings there and then.

'Tis over the hill and over the dale

They ride from the mountain fast and far; And now have they learned a soothfast tale, True tidings of the host of war.

It was summer-tide and the Month of Hay,
And men and maids must fare afield;
But we saw the place where the bow-staves lay,
And the hall was hung with spear and shield.

When the moon was high we drank in the hall,
And they drank to the guests and were kind and blithe,
And they said: Come back when the chestnuts fall,
And the wine-carts wend across the hythe.

Come oft and o'er again, they said;

Wander your ways; but we abide For all the world in the little stead;

For wise are we, though the world be wide.

Yea, come in arms if ye will, they said;
And despite your host shall we abide

For life or death in the little stead;

For wise are we, though the world be wide.

The Hon. Roden Noel.


RODEN BERKEley WriothesLEY NOEL was the son of the first Earl of Gainsborough (second creation) by his fourth marriage, that with Lady Frances Jocelyn, daughter of the Earl of Roden. He was born on the 27th of August, 1834. At the age of twelve he went to Harrow, where he remained for two years; and then to a private tutor, the Rev. Charles Harbin, at Hindon, Wiltshire. Here he stayed for more than five years, forming that taste for philosophy, which persisted through his life-time and powerfully influenced his genius as a poet. Of few writers can it be said so truly that the child was father to the man, or that the scenes in which they lived, the predilections for one form of nature or another they were led to cherish, have so deeply penetrated the fibre and the marrow of their art. It is therefore of importance, in the case of Roden Noel, to dwell upon the several phases of his early life. His childhood was passed at Exton Park, Rutlandshire, Lord Gainsborough's seat; and impressions from that time may be traced in the opening of "A Modern Faust," and the poem addressed "To my Mother." He also visited his grandfather Lord Roden's Irish place at Tollymore. The influence of beautiful wild Irish scenery, and the memory of Irish legends are observable in much of his most fascinating descriptive

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