Notes and Queries, Number 45, September 7, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 52 pages of information about Notes and Queries, Number 45, September 7, 1850.


Folk Lore.

The First Mole in Cornwall; a Morality from the Stowe of Morwenna, in the Rocky Land.—­A lonely life for the dark and silent mole!  She glides along her narrow vaults, unconscious of the glad and glorious scenes of earth, and air, and sea!  She was born, as it were, in a grave, and in one long living sepulchre she dwells and dies!  Is not existence to her a kind of doom?  Wherefore is she thus a dark, sad exile from the blessed light of day?  Hearken!  Here, in our own dear Cornwall, the first mole was a lady of the land!  Her abode was in the far west, among the hills of Morwenna, beside the Severn sea.  She was the daughter of a lordly race, the only child of her mother, and the father of the house was dead.  Her name was Alice of the Lea.  Fair was she and comely, tender and tall; and she stood upon the threshold of her youth.  But most of all did men wonder at the glory of her large blue eyes.  They were, to look upon, like the summer waters, when the sea is soft with light!  They were to her mother a joy, and to the maiden herself—­ah! benedicite—­a pride.  She trusted in the loveliness of those eyes, and in her face, and features, and form:  and so it was that the damsel was wont to pass the summer’s day, in the choice of rich apparel, and precious stones, and gold.  Howbeit this was one of the ancient and common customs of those old departed days.  Now, in the fashion of her stateliness, and in the hue and texture of her garments, there was none among the maidens of old Cornwall like Alice of the Lea.  Men sought her far and nigh, but she was to them all, like a form of graven stone, careless and cold.  Her soul was set upon a Granville’s love, fair Sir Bevil of Stowe, the flower of the Cornish chivalry—­that noble gentleman! that valorous knight!  He was her star.  And well might she wait upon his eyes; for he was the garland of the west—­the loyal soldier of a sainted king.  He was that stately Granville who lived a hero-life, and died a warrior’s death!

Now there was signal made of banquet in the halls of Stowe, of wassail, and the dance.  The messengers had sped, and Alice of the Lea would be there.  Robes, precious and many, were unfolded from their rest, and the casket poured forth jewel and gem, that the maiden might stand before the knight victorious!  It was the day—­the hour—­the time.  Her mother sate by her wheel at the hearth.  The page waited in the hall.  She came down in her loveliness into the old oak room, and stood before the mirrored glass.  Her robe was of woven velvet, rich, and glossy, and soft; jewels shone like stars in the midnight of her raven hair, and on her hand there gleamed, afar off, a bright and glorious ring!  She {226} stood—­she gazed upon her own countenance and form, and worshipped!  “Now all good angels succour thee, dear Alice, and bend Sir Bevil’s soul!  Fain am I to see thee a wedded wife, before I die!  I yearn to hold thy children on my knee!  Often shall I pray to-night that the Granville heart may yield!  Thy victory shall be my prayer!”

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Notes and Queries, Number 45, September 7, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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