Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HAUNTED LAKE: THE IRISH MINSTREL'S LEGEND, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE HAUNTED LAKE: THE IRISH MINSTREL'S LEGEND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Rose up the young moon; back she flung
Last Line: Mid these northern halls, to the meed of fame.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Lakes; Legends, Irish; Pools; Ponds


ROSE up the young moon; back she flung
The veil of clouds that o'er her hung:
Thus would fair maiden fling aside
Her bright curls in their golden pride;
On pass'd she through the sky of blue,
Lovelier as she pass'd it grew;
At last her gentle smiles awake
The silence of the azure lake.
Lighted to silver, waves arise,
As conscious of her radiant eyes.
Hark! floats around its music's tone,
Sweeter than mortal ear hath known:
Such, when the sighing night-wind grieves
Amid the rose's ruby leaves,
Conscious the nightingale is nigh,
That too soon his reluctant wing
Must rival song and rival sigh
To his own fair flower bring;
Such as the lute, touch'd by no hand
Save by an angel's, wakes and weeps;
Such is the sound that now to land
From the charmed water sweeps.
Around the snowy foam-wreaths break,
The spirit band are on the lake.
First, a gay train form'd of the hues
Of morning skies and morning dews:
A saffron-light around them play'd,
As eve's last cloud with them delay'd;
Such tints, when gazing from afar,
The dazed eye sees in midnight star.
They scatter'd flowers, and the stream
Grew like a garden, each small billow
Shining with the crimson gleam
The young rose flung upon its pillow;
And from their hands, and from their hair,
Blossoms and odours fill'd the air;
And some of them bore wreathed shells,
Blush-dyed, from their coral cells,
Whence the gale at twilight brought
The earliest lesson music caught:
And gave they now the sweetest tone,
That unto the sea-born lyre was known;
For they were echoes to the song
That from spirit lips was fleeting,
And the wind bears no charm along
Such as the shell and voices meeting.
On pass'd they to the lulling tune,
Meet pageant for the lady moon.
A louder sweep the music gave:
The chieftain of the charmed wave,
Graceful upon his steed of snow,
Rises from his blue halls below;
And rode he like a victor-knight
Thrice glorious in his arms of light.
But, oh! the look his features bear
Was not what living warriors wear;
The glory of his piercing eye
Was not that of mortality;
Earth's cares may not such calm allow,
Man's toil is written on his brow:
But here the face was passionless,
The holy peace of happiness,
With that grave pity spirits feel
In watching over human weal;
An awful beauty round him shone
But for the good to look upon.
Close by his side a maiden rode,
Like spray her white robe round her flow'd;
No rainbow hues about her clung,
Such as the other maidens flung;
And her hair hath no summer crown,
But its long tresses floating down
Are like a veil of gold which cast
A sunshine to each wave that past.
She was not like the rest: her cheek
Was pale and pure as moonlight snows;
Her lip had only the faint streak
The bee loves in the early rose;
And her dark eye had not the blue
The others had, clear, wild, and bright;
But floating starry, as it drew
Its likeness from the radiant night.
And more she drew my raised eye
Than the bright shadows passing by;
A meeker air, a gentler smile,
A timid tenderness the while,
Held sympathy of heart, and told
The lady was of earthly mould.
Blush'd the first blush of coming day,
Faded the fairy band away.
They pass'd, and only left behind
A lingering fragrance on the wind,
And on the lake their haunted home,
One long white wreath of silver foam.
Heard I in each surrounding vale
What was that mortal maiden's tale.
Last of her race, a lonely flower,
She dwelt within their ruin'd tower.
Orphan without one link to bind
Nature's affection to her kind;
She grew up a neglected child,
As pure, as beautiful, as wild,
As the field flowers which were for years
Her only comrades and compeers.
Time pass'd, and she, to woman grown,
Still, like a wood bird, dwelt alone.
Save that, beside a peasant's hearth,
Tales of the race which gave her birth
Would sometimes win the maiden's ear;
And once, in a worst hour of fear,
When the red fever raged around,
Her place beside the couch was found
Of sickness, and her patient care,
And soothing look, and holy prayer,
And skill in herbs, had power sublime
Upon the sufferer's weary time:
But, saving these, her winter day
Was passed within the ruins gray;
And ever summer noons were spent
Beside the charmed lake, and there
Her voice its silver sweetness sent
To mingle with the air.
Thus time pass'd on. At length, one day
Beside her favourite haunt she lay,
When rush'd some band who wish'd to make
Her prisoner for her beauty's sake.

She saw them ere they gain'd her seat.
Ah! safety may the gain?
Though mountain deer be not more fleet,
Yet here flight is in vain.
The lake -- oh, it is there to save!
She plunges -- is it to a grave?
Moons waned; again is come the night
When sprites are free for earthly sight.
They see the mortal Maiden ride
In honour by the Chieftain's side,
So beautiful, so free from sin,
Worthy was she such boon to win:
The spirit race that floated round
Were not more pure, more stainless found:
Her utmost loveliness and grace
Were sole signs of her human race;
Happy, thus freed from earthly thrall,
She skims the lake, fairest of all.

SCARLET robe 'broider'd with gold;
A turban's snowy but gem-set fold,
And its heron plume fasten'd by diamond clasp;
Rubies red on his dagger-hasp;
Eyes dark as a midnight dream,
yet flashing wild with starry beam;
Swarthy cheek untouch'd by red,
Told far had CLEMENZA'S summons sped:
Since the Moorish bard had brought his claim,
Mid these Northern halls, to the meed of fame.





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net