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Her shape was all that thought can form

Of elegance and grace,
While heaven the beauties of her mind

Reflected in her face.
“My daughter, lay aside thy fears !"

Again the abbess cried :
“ The Danish spoiler comes not here !"

Again the virgin sighed.
The abbess saw,—the abbess knew,

'T was love that shook her breast; And thus, in accent soft and mild,

The mournful fair addrest.

“ My daughter dear! as to thy friend,

Be all thy cares confest:
I see 't is love disturbs thy mind,

And wish to give thee rest.
“ Yet hark !—I hear the vesper-bell !

It summons us to prayer;
Which duty done, with needful food

Thy wasted strength repair.”
But now the sympathising Muse,

Of Edwy's hap shall tell ;
And what, amidst his nightly walk,

That gallant youth befell.-
Fast journeying by the bank of Esk,

He took his lonely way;
And now through showers of driving rain,

His erring footsteps stray.
At length from far, a glimmering light,

Trembling among the trees,
And entering soon a moss-built hut,

A holy man he sees. —

“ O father! deign a luckless youth

This night with thee to shield; I am no robber, though my arm

This deadly weapon wield.”
“ I fear no robber, stranger! here,

For I have nought to lose;
And thou may'st safely during night

In this poor cell repose :
“ And thou art welcome to my hut,”

The holy man he cried ; “ Still welcome here, is he whom fate

Has left without a guide. “Whence, and what art thou, gentle youth ?”

The noble Edwy said, “ I go to rouse Earl Osrick's power,

And seek Lord Redwald's aid. “My father is a wealthy Lord,

Who now with Alfred stays; And me he left to guard his seat,

Whilst he his duty pays.
“ But, vain the trust !- in dead of night

The devastator came;
And o'er each neighbouring castle threw

War's all-destructive flame.
“ To shun its rage, at early dawn

I with my sister fled;
And Whitby Abbey now affords

A shelter to her head :
“ Whilst I, to hasten promised aids,

Range wildly through the night, And with impatient heart expect

The morning's friendly light.”

So Edwy spake; and wondering, gazed

Upon his hermit host:
For in his form beam'd manly grace,

Unchilled by age's frost !
The hermit sighing, thus he said,

“ Know - there was once a day, This tale of thine would fire my heart,

And bid me join thy way. “ But luckless love dejects my soul,

And casts my spirits down; Thou see'st the wretch of woman's pride,

Of follies not my own! “ I once, amid my Sovereign's train,

Ranked a distinguished youth; But blighted is my former fame,

By sorrow's cankering tooth.
“ When Ethelred the crown did hold,

I to this district came,
And then a fair and matchless maid

First woke in me a flame.

“ Her father was a noble Lord,

Of an illustrious race, Who joined to rustic honesty

The court's transcendent grace.

“ 'Twas then I told my artless tale,

By love alone inspired;
For never was my manly speech

In flattering guise attired. “ At first she heard, or seemed to hear,

The tender voice of love;
But soon — the ficklest of her sex,

Did she deceitful prove !

“ She drove me, scornful, from her sight

Rejected and disdained :
In vain did words for pity plead!

In vain my looks complained !
“ How could the breast that pity filled,

Ever relentless be!
How could the face that smiled on all,

Have ever frowns for me!
“ Since that drear hour, within this cell

I live, recluse from man ;
And twice ten months have passed, since I

The hermit's life began.”

“O, stain to honour!” Edwy cried ;

“ 0, foul disgrace to arms! What, — when thy country claims thy aid,

And shakes with war's alarms

Canst thou, inglorious! here remain,

And strive thyself to hide; Assume the monkish coward life,

All for a woman's pride?"

With louder voice, and warmer look,

His hermit host rejoined “ Think'st thou, vain youth ! the chains of fear

Could here a warrior bind ? “ Know, then, thou see'st Hermanrick here!

Well versed in war's alarms ;
A name not once unknown to fame,

Nor unrenowned in arms.

O, Athelgiva !-yet too dear!

Did I thy danger know, Yet would I fly to thy relief,

And crush the invading foe.”

With flustered cheek, young Edwy turned

At Athelgiva's name ; And, “ gracious powers ! it must be he !"

He cried ; " it is the same! “ I know full well, I have not now

More of thy tale to learn ; "T was heard this morn, ere from the wave

You could the sun discern.
“ My sister loves thee, gallant youth!

By all the saints on high!
She wept last night, when thy hard fate

She told, with many a sigh.
“ Forgive her, then, and in her cause,

Thy limbs with steel enfold !
Was it not Ardolph's daughter, say,

Who late thy heart did hold?”
“ It was-it was !" Hermanrick cried :

“ I heard her brother's name; T is said, he was a gallant youth

Who fought abroad for fame.”

Then Edwy sprang to his embrace,

And clasped him to his breast ; “ And thou shalt be my brother too !"

He said - and looked the rest.

“ But now let honour fill thy mind,

Be love's high laws obeyed ;'T is Athelgiva claims thy sword,

'T is she demands thy aid !

“She, with impatient anxious heart,

Expects my quick return ; And, till again she sees me safe,

The hapless maid will mourn.

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