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At length spoke the bride, while she trembled-"I pray,
Sir knight, that your helmet aside you would lay,
And deign to partake of our cheer."

The lady is silent-the stranger complies,
And his visor he slowly unclosed-
Oh, God! what a sight met fair Imogene's eyes!
What words can express her dismay and surprise,
When a skeleton's head was exposed!

All present then uttered a terrified shout,
All turned 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 addressed Imogene :

"Behold me, thou false one! behold me!" he cried,-
"Behold thy 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!"

This saying, his arms round the lady he wound,
While fair Imogene shrieked with dismay :
Then sunk with his prey through the wide-yawning ground,
Nor ever again was fair Imogene 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,
There Imogene suffers the pain of her crime,

And mourns her deplorable doom.

At midnight, four times in each year, does her sprite,
When mortals in slumber are bound,

Arrayed in her bridal apparel of white,
Appear in the hall with her skeleton knight,
And shriek as he whirls her around.

While they drink out of sculls newly torn from the
Dancing round them pale spectres are seen:

Their liquor is blood, and this horrible stave
They howl, "To the health of Alonzo the brave,
And his consort, the false Imogene."


44. THE OWL.-Anonymous.

There sat an owl in an old oak-tree,
Whooping very merrily;

He was considering, as well he might,
Ways and means for a supper that night:
He looked about with a solemn scowl,
Yet very happy was the owl,

For in the hollow of that oak-tree,

There sat his wife, and his children three.
She was singing one to rest,
Another under her downy breast,

'Gan trying his voice to learn her song;
The third (a hungry owl was he)
Peeped slyly out of the old oak-tree,

And peered for his dad, and said "You're long;"
But he hooted for joy when he presently saw
His sire with a full-grown mouse in his claw.
Oh what a supper they had that night!
All was feasting and delight;

Who most can chatter, or cram, they strive
They were the merriest owls alive.

What then did the old owl do?

Ah! Not so gay was his next to-whoo!
It was very sadly said,

For after his children had gone to bed,
Strange wild fears perplexed his head.—
He did not sleep with his children three,
For, truly a gentleman owl was he,
Who would not on his wife intrude,
When she was nursing her infant brood;
So not to invade the nursery,

He slept outside the hollow tree.

So when he awoke at the fall of the dew,
He called his wife with a loud to-whoo;
"Awake, dear wife, it is evening gray,
And our joys live from the death of day."
He called once more, and he shuddered when
No voice replied to his again;

Yet still unwilling to believe,

That evil's raven wing was spread,

Hovering over his guiltless head,

And shutting out joy from his hollow tree, "Ha-ha-they play me a trick," quoth he,

"They will not speak,-well, well, at night They'll talk enough, I'll take a flight."

But still he went not, in, nor out,

But hopped uneasily about.

What then did the father owl?

He sat still, until below

He heard cries of pain and wo.

And saw his wife and children three,
In a young boy's captivity.

He followed them with noiseless wing,
Not a cry once uttering.

They went to a mansion tall,

He sat in a window of the hall,

Where he could see

His bewildered family;

And he heard the hall with laughter ring,

When the boy said, "Blind they'll learn to sing:"
And he heard the shriek, when the hot steel pin
Through their eyeballs was thrust in !

He felt it all! Their agony

Was echoed by his frantic cry,

His scream rose up with a mighty swell,
And wild on the boy's fierce heart it fell;
It quailed him, as he shuddering said,
"Lo! the little birds are dead."-

But the father owl!

He tore his breast in his despair,

And flew he knew not, recked not, where!
Ah! away, away went the father owl,

With his wild stare and deathly scowl.

He had got a strange wild stare,

For he thought he saw them ever there,

And he screamed as they screamed when he saw them fall Dead on the floor of the marble hall.

-Why is the crowd so great to-day,

And why do the people shout "huzza ?”

And why is yonder felon given

Alone to feed the birds of heaven?

Had he no friend, now all is done,

To give his corse a grave ?-Not one!
Night has fallen. What means that cry?

It descends from the gibbet high-
There sits on its top a lonely owl
With a staring eye, and a dismal scowl;
And he screams aloud, "Revenge is sweet!".
His mortal foe is at his feet!

45. THE MAID OF THE INN.-Southey.

Who is she, the poor maniac, whose wildly-fixed eyes
Seem a heart overcharged to express!
She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs;
She never complains, but her silence implies
The composure of settled distress.

No aid, no compassion the maniac will seek;
Cold and hunger awake not her care;

Through the rags do the winds of the winter blow bleak
On her poor withered bosom, half bare; and her cheek
Has the deadly pale hue of despair.

Yet cheerful and happy, nor distant the day,
Poor Mary, the maniac, has been;

The traveler remembers, who journeyed this way,
No damsel so lovely, no damsel so gay,

As Mary, the maid of the inn.

Her cheerful address filled the guests with delight,
As she welcomed them in with a smile;
Her heart was a stranger to childish affright,
And Mary would walk by the abbey at night,

When the wind whistled down the dark aisle.

She loved, and young Richard had settled the day,
And she hoped to be happy for life;
But Richard was idle and worthless, and they
Who knew her, would pity poor Mary, and say
That she was too good for his wife.

"Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was the night, And fast were the windows and door;

Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright,
And, smoking in silence, with tranquil delight,
They listened to hear the wind roar.

""Tis pleasant," cried one, "seated by the fireside, To hear the wind whistle without."

"A fine night for the abbey," his comrade replied, "Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried, Who should wander the ruins about.

I myself, like a schoolboy, should tremble to hear
The hoarse ivy shake over my

And could fancy I saw, half persuaded by fear,
Some ugly old abbot's white spirit appear,

For this wind might awaken the dead."

"I'll wager a dinner," the other one cried,
"That Mary would venture there now."
"Then wager and lose," with a sneer he replied,
"I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side,
And faint if she saw a white cow."

"Will Mary this charge on her courage allow?" His companion exclaimed with a smile;

"I shall win, for I know she will venture there now, And earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough From the alder that grows in the aisle."

With fearless good humor did Mary comply,
And her way to the abbey she bent;

The night it was dark, and the wind it was high,
And as hollowly howling it swept through the sky,
She shivered with cold as she went.

O'er the path, so well known, still proceeded the maid, Where the abbey rose dim on the sight;

Through the gateway she entered, she felt not afraid, Yet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their shade Seemed to deepen the gloom of the night.

All around her was silent, save when the rude blast
Howled dismally round the old pile;

Over weed-covered fragments still fearless she passed,
And arrived at the innermost ruin at last,

Where the alder-tree grows in the aisle.

Well pleased did she reach it, and quickly drew near,
And hastily gathered the bough-

When the sound of a voice seemed to rise on her ear-
She paused, and she listened, all eager to hear,
And her heart panted fearfully now!

The wind blew, the hoarse ivy shook over her head ;She listened;-naught else could she hear.

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