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"Oh, hush these suspicions," Fair Imo- | All pleasure and laughter were hush'd at
"Offensive to love and to me;
For if you be living, or if you be dead,
I swear by the Virgin that none in your stead
Shall husband of Imogine be.
"If e'er I, by lust or by wealth led aside, Forget my Alonzo the Brave,
The dogs, as they eyed him, drew back in affright;
The lights in the chamber burn'd blue!
His presence all bosoms appear'd to dismay;
The guests sat in silence and fear;
At length spake the bride-while she
trembled "I pray,
God grant that, to punish my falsehood Sir Knight, that your helmet aside you
Your ghost at the marriage may sit by my side,
May tax me with perjury, claim me as bride,
And bear me away to the grave!"
To Palestine hasten'd the hero so bold;
His love she lamented him sore,
But scarce had a twelvemonth elapsed,
A baron, all cover'd with jewels and gold,
Arrived at Fair Imogine's door.
His treasures, his presents, his spacious domain,
Soon made her untrue to her vows; He dazzled her eyes, he bewilder'd her brain,
He caught her affections, so light and so vain,
And carried her home as his spouse.
And now had the marriage been bless'd by the priest,
The revelry now was begun,
The tables they groan'd with the weight of the feast,
Nor yet had the laughter and merriment ceased,
When the bell at the castle toll'd one.
And deign to partake of our cheer."
The lady is silent; the stranger complies, His visor he slowly unclosed;
O God! what a sight met fair Imogine's eyes! What words can express her dismay and surprise
When a skeleton's head was exposed!
All present then utter'd a terrified shout,
All turn'd with disgust from the scene; The worms they crept in, and the worms they crept out,
And sported his eyes and his temples about,
While the spectre address'd Imogine.
"Behold me, thou false one, behold me!" he cried,
"Remember Alonzo the Brave! God grants that, to punish thy falsehood and pride,
My ghost at thy marriage should sit by thy side,
Should tax thee with perjury, claim thee as bride,
And bear thee away to the grave!”
Thus saying, his arms round the lady he wound,
While loudly she shriek'd in dismay; Then sunk with his prey through the wideyawning ground,
Nor ever again was Fair Imogine found, Or the spectre that bore her away.
Not long lived the baron, and none, since that time,
To inhabit the castle presume, For chronicles tell that, by order sublime,
His visor was closed, and gigantic his There Imogine suffers the pain of her
His armor was sable to view;
And mourns her deplorable doom.
At midnight, four times in each year, does She prophesy'd, that late or soon,
When mortals in slumber are bound, Array'd in her bridal apparel of white, Appear in the hall with the skeleton knight,
And shriek as he whirls her around.
While they drink out of skulls newly torn from the grave,
Dancing round them the spectres are
Their liquor is blood, and this horrible
They howl: "To the health of Alonzo the Brave,
And his consort, the Fair Imogine!"
MATTHEW GREGORY LEWIS.
"Of brownys and of bogilis full is this buke."GAWIN DOUGLAS.
WHEN chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neebors neebors meet,
As market-days are wearing late,
An' folks begin to tak' the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' gettin' fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
This truth fand honest Tam O'Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonny lasses).
O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise,
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
That at the Lord's house, ev'n on Sunday,
Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday.
Thou would be found deep drown'd in
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.
Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen'd sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises !
But to our tale :-Ae market night,
Tam had got planted unco right;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely;
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony ;
Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither;
They had been fou for weeks thegither!
The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter;
And ay the ale was growing better:
The landlady and Tam grew gracious;
Wi' favors secret, sweet, and precious;
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus.
The storm without might rair and rustle-
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.
Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himself amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
O'er a' the ills of life victorious.
But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white-then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.
Nae man can tether time or tide;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling show'rs rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd;
Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd;
That night, a child might understand,
The De'il had business on his hand.
Weel mounted on his gray mare, Meg,
A better never lifted leg,
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire, .
Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet;
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots son-
Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares ;
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Where ghaists and houlets nightly cry.-
By this time he was cross the foord
Where in the snaw the chapman smoor'd;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Where drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane;
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
Where hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Where Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll;
When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze;
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing;
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae we'll face the devil!
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he cared nae deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood right sair astonish'd,
'Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillon brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels:
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge;
He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.-
Coffins stood round, like open presses ;
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some devilish cantrip slight
Each in its cauld hand held a light—
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murderer's banes in gibbet airns;
Twa span-lang, wee unchristen'd bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi' bluid red-rusted;
Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted;
A garter, which a babe had strangled ;
A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The gray hairs yet stack to the heft:
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which ev'n to name wad be unlawfu’.
As Tammie glowr'd, amazed, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious:
The piper loud and louder blew;
The dancers quick and quicker flew ;
They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they
"Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark!
Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,
A' plump and strapping, in their teens ;
Been snaw-white seventeen-hunder linen,
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush, o' guid blue hair,
I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o' the bonnie burdies!
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags, wad spean a foal,
Lowping an' flinging on a cummock,
I wonder didna turn thy stomach.
But Tam kenn'd what was what fu' braw-
There was a winsome wench and walie,
That night enlisted in the core
(Lang after kenn'd on Carrick shore;
For mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd mony a bonnie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country-side in fear).
Her cutty sark, o' Paisley harn,
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie.-
Ah! little kenn'd thy reverend grannie, That sark she coft for her wee Nannie, Wi' twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches), Wad ever graced a dance of witches!
But here my muse her wing maun cour;
Sic flights are far beyond her pow'r;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang
(A souple jade she was and strang),
And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'd,
And thought his very een enrich'd;
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidged fu' fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and
'Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason a' thegither,
And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.
As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie's mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi' mony an eldritch screech and hollow.
Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin'!
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin'!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin'!
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
Now do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane of the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they darena cross!
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle-
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail:
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.
Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, Ilk man and mother's son, take heed:
Whene'er to drink you are inclined,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think! ye may buy the joys o'er dear-
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.
THE FORSAKEN MERMAN.
Come, dear children, let us away;
Down and away below!
Now my brothers call from the bay,
Now the great winds shorewards blow,
Now the salt tides seawards flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
Children dear, let us away!
This way, this way!
Call her once before you go-
Call once yet,
In a voice that she will know:
Children's voices should be dear
(Call once more) to a mother's ear;
Children's voices, wild with pain-
Surely she will come again!
Call her once, and come away;
This way, this way!
'Mother dear, we cannot stay!'
The wild white horses foam and fret.
Come, dear children, come away down!
Call no more.
One last look at the white-walled town, And the little gray church on the windy shore ;
She will not come! though you call all day; Come away, come away!
Children dear, was it yesterday
We heard the sweet bells over the bay?
In the caverns where we lay,
Through the surf and through the swell,
The far-off sound of a silver bell?
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,
Where the winds are all asleep;
Where the spent lights quiver and gleam,
Where the salt weed sways in the stream,
Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round,
Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground;
Where the sea-snakes coil and twine,
Dry their mail, and bask in the brine;