Imágenes de páginas



Now was the noon of night; and all was still,
Save where the centinel paced on his rounds
Humming a broken song. Along the camp
High flames the frequent fire. The warrior Franks,
On the hard earth extended, rest their limbs
Fatigued, their spears lay by them, and the shield
Pillowed * the helmed head : secure they slept,

* Il n'est rien de si doux, pour des cours pleins de gloire,
Que la paisible nuit qui suit une victoire.
Dormir sur un Trophee, est un charmant repos,
Et le champ de bataille est le lict d'un heros.

Scudery. Alaric.

The night after a battle is certainly more agreeable than the night before one. A soldier may use his shield for a pillow, but he must be very ingenious to sleep upon a Trophy.

And busy Fancy in her dream renewed
The fight of yesterday.

But not to JOAN,
But not to her, most wretched, came thy aid,
Soother of sorrrows, Sleep! no more her pulse,
Amid the battle's tumult throbbing fast,
Allow'd no pause for thought. With clasped hands
And fixed eye she sat, the while around
The Spectres of the Days departed rose,
A melancholy train ! upon the gale
The raven's croak was heard ; she started up,
And passing thro' the camp with hasty step
Strode to the field of blood.

The night was calm; Fair as was ever on Chaldea's plain When the pale moon-beams o'er the silvery scene Shone cloudless, whilst the watchful shepherd's eye Survey'd the host of heaven, and mark'd them rise Successive, and successively decay, Lost in the stream of light, as lesser springs

Amid Euphrates' current. The high wall
Cast a deep shadow, and her faltering feet
Stambled o'er broken arms and carcasses;
And sometimes did she hear the heavy groan
Of one yet struggling in the pangs of death.
She reach'd the spot where Theodore had fallin,
Before fort London's gate ; but vainly there
Sought she the youth, on every clay-cold face
Gazing * with such a look as tho' she feard
The thing she sought. Amazement seiz'd the Maid,
For there the victim of his 'vengeful arm,
Knowu by the buckler's blazon'd heraldry,
Salisbury lay dead. So as the Virgin stood
Gazing around the plain, she mark'd a man
Pass slowly on, as burthened. Him to aid
She sped, and soon with unencumber'd speed
O'ertaking, thus bespake: “Stranger ! this weight

* With a dumb silence seeming that it fears
The thing it went about to effectuate.


“ Impedes thy progress. Dost thou bear away “Some slaughter'd friend ? or lives the sufferer “ With many a sore wound gashid ? oh! if he lives,' " I will with earnest prayer petition Heaven “ To shed its healing on him!”

So she said, And as she spake stretched forth her careful hands To ease the burthen.

Warrior !” he replied, Thanks for thy proffered succour: but this man " Lives not, and I with unassisted arm “ Can bear him to the sepulchre. Farewell ! “ The night is far advanced ; thou to the camp • Return : it fits not darkling thus to stray.”

" Conrade !" the Maid exclaim'd, for well she knew His voice :--with that she fell upon his neck And cried, “my Theodore ! but wherefore thus “ Thro' the dead midnight dost thou bear his corse ?"

“ Peace, Maiden !" Conrade cried, “ collect thy soul !

He is but gone before thee to that world “ Whither thou soon must follow ! in the morn, “ Ere yet from Orleans to the war we went, “ He pour'd his tale of sorrow on mine ear. « Lo Conrade where she moves-beloved Maid ! “ Devoted for the realm of France she goes * Abandoning for this the joys of life, Yea-life itself!" yet on my heart her words “ Vibrate. If she must perish in the war, “ I will not live to bear the dreadful thought,

Haply my arm had saved her. “Her unknown guardian. Conrade, if I fall, “ And trust me I have little love of life, “ Bear me in secret from the gory field, “ Lest haply I might meet her wandering eye A mangled corse. She must not know


fate. “ Do this last act of friendship in the flood “ Whelm me : so shall she think of Theodore “ Unangaish'd.” Maiden, I did vow with him - That I would dare the battle by thy side,

I shall go

« AnteriorContinuar »