The Lady of the Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Lady of the Lake.

XXXIII.

The hall was cleared,—–­ the stranger’s bed,
Was there of mountain heather spread,
Where oft a hundred guests had lain,
And dreamed their forest sports again. 
But vainly did the heath-flower shed
Its moorland fragrance round his head;
Not Ellen’s spell had lulled to rest
The fever of his troubled breast. 
In broken dreams the image rose
Of varied perils, pains, and woes: 
 His steed now flounders in the brake,
Now sinks his barge upon the lake;
Now leader of a broken host,
His standard falls, his honor’s lost. 
Then,—­from my couch may heavenly might
Chase that worst phantom of the night!—­
Again returned the scenes of youth,
Of confident, undoubting truth;
Again his soul he interchanged
With friends whose hearts were long estranged. 
They come, in dim procession led,
The cold, the faithless, and the dead;
As warm each hand, each brow as gay,
As if they parted yesterday. 
And doubt distracts him at the view,—­
O were his senses false or true? 
Dreamed he of death or broken vow,
Or is it all a vision now?

XXXIV.

At length, with Ellen in a grove
He seemed to walk and speak of love;
She listened with a blush and sigh,
His suit was warm, his hopes were high. 
He sought her yielded hand to clasp,
And a cold gauntlet met his grasp: 
The phantom’s sex was changed and gone,
Upon its head a helmet shone;
Slowly enlarged to giant size,
With darkened cheek and threatening eyes,
The grisly visage, stern and hoar,
To Ellen still a likeness bore.—­
He woke, and, panting with affright,
Recalled the vision of the night. 
The hearth’s decaying brands were red
And deep and dusky lustre shed,
Half showing, half concealing, all
The uncouth trophies of the hall. 
Mid those the stranger fixed his eye
Where that huge falchion hung on high,
And thoughts on thoughts, a countless throng,
Rushed, chasing countless thoughts along,
Until, the giddy whirl to cure,
He rose and sought the moonshine pure.

XXXV.

The wild rose, eglantine, and broom
Wasted around their rich perfume;
The birch-trees wept in fragrant balm;
The aspens slept beneath the calm;
The silver light, with quivering glance,
Played on the water’s still expanse,—­
Wild were the heart whose passion’s sway
Could rage beneath the sober ray! 
He felt its calm, that warrior guest,
While thus he communed with his breast:—­
’Why is it, at each turn I trace
Some memory of that exiled race? 
Can I not mountain maiden spy,
But she must bear the Douglas eye? 
Can I not view a Highland brand,
But it must match the Douglas hand? 
Can I not frame a fevered dream,

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Lady of the Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook