The Lady of the Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 305 pages of information about The Lady of the Lake.
Lord of a barren heritage,
Which his brave sires, from age to age,
By their good swords had held with toil;
His sire had fallen in such turmoil,
And he, God wot, was forced to stand
Oft for his right with blade in hand. 
This morning with Lord Moray’s train
He chased a stalwart stag in vain,
Outstripped his comrades, missed the deer,
Lost his good steed, and wandered here.’


Fain would the Knight in turn require
The name and state of Ellen’s sire. 
Well showed the elder lady’s mien
That courts and cities she had seen;
Ellen, though more her looks displayed
The simple grace of sylvan maid,
In speech and gesture, form and face,
Showed she was come of gentle race. 
’T were strange in ruder rank to find
Such looks, such manners, and such mind. 
Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun gave,
Dame Margaret heard with silence grave;
Or Ellen, innocently gay,
Turned all inquiry light away:—­
’Weird women we! by dale and down
We dwell, afar from tower and town. 
We stem the flood, we ride the blast,
On wandering knights our spells we cast;
While viewless minstrels touch the string,
‘Tis thus our charmed rhymes we sing.’ 
She sung, and still a harp unseen
Filled up the symphony between.



Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er,
     Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking;
Dream of battled fields no more,
     Days of danger, nights of waking. 
In our isle’s enchanted hall,
     Hands unseen thy couch are strewing,
Fairy strains of music fall,
     Every sense in slumber dewing. 
Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er,
Dream of fighting fields no more;
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.

’No rude sound shall reach thine ear,
     Armor’s clang or war-steed champing
Trump nor pibroch summon here
     Mustering clan or squadron tramping. 
Yet the lark’s shrill fife may come
     At the daybreak from the fallow,
And the bittern sound his drum
     Booming from the sedgy shallow. 
Ruder sounds shall none be near,
Guards nor warders challenge here,
Here’s no war-steed’s neigh and champing,
Shouting clans or squadrons stamping.’


She paused,—­then, blushing, led the lay,
To grace the stranger of the day. 
Her mellow notes awhile prolong
The cadence of the flowing song,
Till to her lips in measured frame
The minstrel verse spontaneous came.

Song Continued.

’Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
     While our slumbrous spells assail ye,
Dream not, with the rising sun,
     Bugles here shall sound reveille. 
Sleep! the deer is in his den;
     Sleep! thy hounds are by thee lying;
Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen
How thy gallant steed lay dying. 
Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
Think not of the rising sun,
For at dawning to assail ye
Here no bugles sound reveille.’

Project Gutenberg
The Lady of the Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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