Puslapio vaizdai

Then high from the ground did the grim monster lift The loud-screaming maid like a blast;

And he sped through the air like a meteor swift, While the clouds, wand'ring by him, did fearfully drift To the right and the left as he pass'd.

Now suddenly sloping his hurricane flight,
With an eddying whirl he descends;

The air all below him becomes black as night,
And the ground where he treads, as if mov'd with affright,
Like the surge of the Caspian bends.

"I am here!" said the Fiend, and he thundering knock'd At the gates of a mountainous cave;

The gates open flew, as by magic unlock'd,

While the peaks of the mount, reeling to and fro, rock'd Like an island of ice on the wave.

"Oh, mercy!" cried Ellen, and swoon'd in his arms, But the PAINT-KING, he scoff'd at her pain;

Prithee, love," said the monster, "what mean these alarms?"

She hears not, she sees not the terrible charms,
That work her to horror again.

She opens her lids, but no longer her eyes
Behold the fair youth she would woo;
Now appears the PAINT-KING in his natural guise ;
His face, like a palette of villainous dyes,
Black and white, red and yellow, and blue.

On the skull of a Titan, that Heaven defied,

Sat the fiend, like the grim Giant Gog, While aloft to his mouth a huge pipe he applied, Twice as big as the Eddystone Lighthouse, descried As it looms through an easterly fog.

And anon, as he puff'd the vast volumes, were seen In horrid festoons on the wall,

Legs and arms, heads and bodies emerging between, Like the drawing-room grim of the Scotch Sawney Beane,

By the Devil dress'd out for a Ball.

"Ah me!” cried the damsel, and fell at his feet; "Must I hang on these walls to be dried ?"

Oh, no!" said the fiend, while he sprung from his seat, "A far nobler fortune thy person shall meet; "Into paint will I grind thee, my bride!"

Then, seizing the maid by her dark auburn hair,
An oil jug he plung'd her within ;

Seven days, seven nights, with the shrieks of despair,
Did Ellen in torment convulse the dun air,

All cover'd with oil to the chin.

On the morn of the eighth on a huge sable stone

Then Ellen, all reeking, he laid;

With a rock for his muller he crush'd every bone, But, though ground to jelly, still, still did she groan; For life had forsook not the maid.

Now reaching his palette, with masterly care

Each tint on its surface he spread;

The blue of her eyes, and the brown of her hair, And the pearl and the white of her forehead so fair, And her lips' and her cheeks' rosy red.

Then, stamping his foot, did the monster exclaim,
"Now I brave, cruel Fairy, thy scorn!"
When lo! from a chasm wide-yawning there came
A light tiny chariot of rose-colour'd flame,
By a team of ten glow-worms upborne.

Enthron'd in the midst of an emerald bright,
Fair Geraldine sat without peer;

Her robe was a gleam of the first blush of light,
And her mantle the fleece of a noon-cloud white,
And a beam of the moon was her spear.

In an accent that stole on the still charmed air
Like the first gentle language of Eve,

Thus spake from her chariot the Fairy so fair;
"I come at thy call, but, Oh Paint-King, beware,
"Beware if again you deceive."

""Tis true," said the monster, "thou queen of my heart, "Thy portrait I oft have essay'd;

"Yet ne'er to the canvas could I with my art "The least of thy wonderful beauties impart; "And my failure with scorn you repaid.

"Now I swear by the light of the Comet-King's tail !" And he tower'd with pride as he spoke, "If again with these magical colours I fail, "The crater of Etna shall hence be my jail, "And my food shall be sulphur and smoke.

"But if I succeed, then, oh, fair Geraldine!
"Thy promise with justice I claim,

"And thou, queen of Fairies, shalt ever be mine,
"The bride of my bed, and thy portrait divine
"Shall fill all the earth with my fame."

He spake; when, behold, the fair Geraldine's form
On the canvas enchantingly glow'd;

His touches they flew like the leaves in a storm;
And the pure pearly white and the carnation warm
Contending in harmony flow'd.

And now did the portrait a twin-sister seem

To the figure of Geraldine fair;

With the same sweet expression did faithfully teem Each muscle, each feature; in short not a gleam Was lost of her beautiful hair.

"Twas the Fairy herself! but, alas, her blue eyes

Still a pupil did ruefully lack;

And who shall describe the terrific surprise

That seiz'd the Paint-King, when, behold, he descries Not a speck on his palette of black!

"I am lost!" said the Fiend, and he shook like a leaf;

When, casting his eyes to the ground,

He saw the lost pupils of Ellen with grief

In the jaws of a mouse, and the sly little thief
Whisk away from his sight with a bound.

"I am lost!" said the Fiend, and he fell like a stone; Then, rising, the Fairy in ire

With a touch of her finger she loosen'd her zone, (While the limbs on the wall gave a terrible groan,) And she swelled to a column of fire.


spear now a thunder-bolt flash'd in the air, And sulphur the vault fill'd around:

She smote the grim monster; and now by the hair
High-lifting, she hurl'd him in speechless despair
Down the depths of the chasm profound.

Then over the picture thrice waving her spear,
"Come forth!" said the good Geraldine;
When, behold, from the canvas descending appear
Fair Ellen, in person more lovely than e'er,
With grace more than ever divine!

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