An Indian tale in 58 unsigned Spenserians. This American poem is composed somewhat in the manner of Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming, the poet inventing an interesting twist to the "last man" motif: the "Forest King" is a dragon-crested Norwegian who had constructed a city in Florida in pre-Columbian times. In addition to contributing to the Campbell series, The Forest King, inspired by remains found near Tallahassee, also forms part of the series on ruined civilization that was so popular in the 1820s. Robert Southey had previously written about a pre-Columbian European settlement of America in Madoc (1805). The Boston Lyceum survived only from January to November 1827.
Headnote: "Near the present town of Tallahassee, in Florida, the ruins of forts and very considerable cities, roads, and bridges, evidently constructed with great art, are distinctly visible and, connected with these venerable memorials of former grandeur, legends of ancient greatness, unbounded power, conquest and battle are related by those Indians who have dwelt near the spot. The outline of this tale is a fact of oral history; the details are necessarily fictitious. It is easy to trace among the ruins vestiges of terrific destruction — the unsparing havoc of long protracted, but finally triumphant, vengeance; but the actors in this tragic scene have been suggestions of imagination — however imperfectly represented" p. 97.
The handsome Leon, the son of a Viking settler who had married a Natchez woman. is chieftain of the Yamassee. A noble warrior, he has constructed a palace at "Tallahassee, city of the Sun" and now cultivates the arts of peace: "For war's great sacrifice had ceas'd to bleed, | And peaceful love was now the hero's creed" p. 99. But among the city are those whose "thoughts of other days but burned to throw | The gloom of shame o'er all their weak emprise, | Since they had crouch'd beneath prince Leon's destinies" p. 101. The proud Forest Chiefs, though outwardly acquiescing in Prince Leon's rule, inwardly plot revenge.
Among the inhabitants of the palace is Immalie, daughter of the aged prince Oregon: "How lovely was that daughter of the Wild, | How wav'd her hair and spake her soft blue eye" p. 104. When Leon declares his love for her Oregon objects and is banished as an old offender. Immalie consents to wed Leon, and all is peaceful as Oregon gathers his allies for an assault on Tallahassee. But in the event "Oneidas, Hurons, Mohawks" ... "Creeks and Choctaws" desert old Oregon when Leon's fortification prove impregnable: "vainly Indian power | Hurtles frail arrows in impotent ire; | Still frowns unscath'd the Yamassean tower" p. 108. Oregon bides his time, however, and eventually Leon lets down his guard to spend a night with Immalie; the attack comes, with frightful consequences.
Long ere the voice of Albion's sons was heard
'Mid the lone forests of the distant West,
Where the wild winds alone the woodlands stirr'd,
Breathing around the ring-dove's peaceful nest,
And bright flowers bloom'd on nature's virgin breast,
Perfuming heaven — pluck'd by no wayward hand—
The brave Norwegian found a place of rest
Far tow'rd the winter's sun, with his faint band,
In a soft sunny clime and over fruitful land.
The charm and beauty of his forest home
Lull'd memory into slumber soft and still,
For here the wanderer gladly ceas'd to roam,
And rear'd his cottage 'neath the verdant hill;—
Oh, all is peace when man doth curb his will,
And bear resign'd the evils of his lot,
Intent on virtue through all mortal ill;—
Torn from his birth-place, which was not forgot,
Yet Norway's son toil'd on, and griev'd or murmur'd not.
The Indians hover'd round the hamlet rude,
And look'd askance, yet seem'd not to admire;
Nought pass'd unseen the monarch of the wood,
But his cold eye conceal'd his spirit's fire;
Too proud to question, all strange things inspire
The child of nature with emotions high,
And while in chase his strong limbs never tire,
His free soul ranges o'er the glorious sky,
Burning with lofty thoughts that cannot fade or die.
The red man gaz'd and wonder'd and came near
And smok'd his calamut of peace, and Love
Flourish'd uncheck'd by interest or fear
Between the strangers in the piny grove:—
The Natchez came and went, and ever strove
By silent truth to win unbought regard.
Time pass'd as on the pinions of a dove,
And white and red commingled; and the bard
Sung round the banquet board the love that all things shar'd.
Young Leon, son of him who led the way
O'er the dread wave, was chief of Yamassee,
And proud and beautiful as bright-eyed day
And brave and noble as the lion, he;
O'er his high brow his long dark hair wav'd free,
His form was lithe and strong as mountain vine,
And fearless warriors bow'd the stubborn knee,
Aw'd and o'erjoy'd, whene'er his eye divine
Flash'd forth the battle's light or bless'd the holy shrine.
His wild black charger arch'd his neck and neigh'd,
And bent his knee and bow'd his battle breast
When Leon's voice came echoing from the glade;
Yet, at a check, he paus'd in watchful rest
Where maddening foes in fiercest havoc press'd,
When, through the tempest and unearthly roar
Of slaughter, wav'd the chieftain's sable crest;
And on the mighty horse his hero bore,
Like the black steed of death seen on the eternal shore.
Yet kind and gentle was the man of fear,
And mercy's infant voice and pity's sigh
O'ercame proud Leon in his dread career
And turn'd to bloom the lightnings of his eye,
As rainbows beam when storms are on the sky;
None suffer'd unaveng'd — no lying tongue
Blasted fair fame and bade the victim die,—
But penal vengeance on the felon sprung,
And on his branded brow the liar's emblem hung.
Though Valour bore his proud, undaunted part,
Yet Leon's eye beheld all civil wrong;
Dear to the chief the empire of the heart
As trophied conquest with his clarion song;
No fame could spare the oppressor, howe'er strong,
No splendour shield a wanton deed of guilt;
King of the Poor! his fearless chiefs among
None dar'd imbrue his sabre's burnish'd hilt
With guiltless blood, in hate or midnight riot spilt.
Many were Leon's chiefs and high their name
For gallant prowess on the barbed steed;
But slumbers now the terror of their fame,
For war's great sacrifice had ceas'd to bleed,
And peaceful love was now the hero's creed.
To solemnize his brotherhood of soul
Kings were assembling from the hill and mead,
From the far Oregon and snowy pole,
And Leon spread the feast and fill'd the mantling bowl.
The gorgeous glory of the evening sky
Crimson'd with purple hues the mountain wood,
And pour'd o'er earth from sun-light founts on high
Voluptuous radiance in a diamond flood;
Each dew-lipp'd shrub and leaf and floweret stood
Gemm'd with rich jewels of the heavenly flame,
And bright birds flew and sung in rapture's mood,
And wild deer forth with arch'd necks, bounding came,
And drank the rosy air and leapt around their dame.
Round Tallahassee, city of the Sun,
Luxuriant groves and blooming gardens lay,
And happy groups, when twilight shadow'd dun,
Linger'd and watch'd the hallow'd close of day
And thought of friends or lovers far away,
Or sung in mirthful strains their coming bliss;
And the soft, fragrant airs, in dallying play,
Flew o'er the bowers they ever lov'd to kiss,
And then to other world's soar'd gaily on from this.
Now, more than ever, radiant throngs were seen
Of beauty blessing the heart's sacred hour;
And sun-eyed warriors, o'er the meadows green,
Came seeking bliss in true love's vesper bower,
Fearing each step, who fear'd no other power
And blessed hearts were blending all around
Leon's proud palace and embattled tower,
Where sunlight beam'd when glimmering twilight crown'd
The dusky vale and hung o'er all the hilly ground.
Floridian maids! oh, what a magic glance
Gleams from your eyes, where all the heart's light burns
The rich, dark beauty of that countenance,
Which each high thought and passion shows by turns!
Fair cheeks, as cold and still as death's own urns,
May bloom and wither like a pictur'd face,
But the dusk glory of the spirit spurns
The painter's art; no tint can mark the trace
Of the outpouring soul — the heart's ideal grace.
Ye southern flowers! dark with excess of light
On Leon's festal eve, your radiant bloom
Seem'd kindled at the glory of the night,
And shrin'd in heavenly music and perfume;—
Ah! what bright paths lead to the dark, cold tomb!
What gladness lights the cheek when death stands near!
Life's holiest loves and fondest joys illume
The vale of death to show all shapes of fear,
Which to the maddening soul in awful throngs appear.
Amid the shadowy dimness of the scene
Tall warrior forms were moving to and fro,
And wrath and pride, o'ermask'd by looks serene,
Shook many a heart that had not learn'd to bow;
And awful was their tread so sternly slow,
And dread the lightning of their uprais'd eyes,
Where thoughts of other days but burned to throw
The gloom of shame o'er all their weak emprise,
Since they had crouch'd beneath prince Leon's destinies.
Unbounded is thy talismanic power,
O Art! proud genius of the searching mind!
Thou canst achieve that glory in an hour,
Which leaves long centuries of toil behind;
To earth's dull clods — to treacherous wave and wind
Thou canst impart a force to kill or save,
And, like Aeolus, winds in durance bind;—
Oh, think if Heaven this skill so potent gave
To chain the swelling heart and make the soul a slave!
Arm'd with thy power, proud Leon had o'ercome
The forest kings for thousand leagues around;
And haughty spirits ill obey'd their doom,
Thus unto tribute and sore slavery bound;
But few 'mid all in bondage could be found
So rashly daring as to break their yoke,
For Leon's war-cry bore an awful sound,
And when the monarch into anger broke,
Death fell on quailing hearts with every flashing stroke.
Herds of the woods, they long had roam'd where'er
Their simple nature's sovereign will did guide;
Brav'd the wild torrent, chas'd the bounding deer,
Pierc'd the mail'd crocodile, and, in his pride,
Brought down the condor; — but the ebbing tide
Of wayward fortune left them when they dar'd
Prince Leon's warriors, and their bravest died
In the hot strife, and the poor remnant shar'd
The conquer'd's suppliant lot with spirits ill prepar'd.
But treachery and bloodshed and vain oaths
Had madden'd the proud Lord of Yamassee;
And all the faithful heart forever loathes
Conspir'd to swell the tide of victory
Ambition might have left the Indian free,
But justice, long outrag'd, o'ercame all wrath,
And battle rag'd as earth no more shall see,
Till conquest chain'd the faithless race to truth,
And Leon rul'd the West in all the pride of youth.
The feast is spread in Leon's vaulted hall;
The forest kings move on with haughty tread
That spurns the dust and scorns to be the thrall
Of measur'd pace; and every sound hath fled
As that dark throng were phantoms of the Dead;—
Far through the blazing hall the chiefs appear,
Mantled and sandall'd and each high-plum'd head
Bears loftily its woes without a tear,
Though each unwilling guest is but a vassal here.
Silent as vengeance meditating death,
Each chief glides on to his allotted place;
Each hollow arch returns the deep-drawn breath,
The, quivering gasp — the panting of disgrace.
So still the hall, where lords of every race
Meet to adorn the triumph of their host;
What dark revenge can such deep shame efface?
What can redeem the soul of honour lost?
Return, ye warrior dead! fulfil your living boast!
Proud Leon mark'd yet seem'd not to behold
The inward struggle and the lowering brow,
Where the heart's tempest gather'd, fold on fold,
Charg'd with electric fire. "What wait we now,
My fellow warriors of the wildwood? How!
Ye wrong my banquet!" and the dauntless chief
Bade them admire the glory and the show
Which their own tribute wrought — and, for relief,
Gaze on the up-hung bows — memorials of their grief!
The huntsman's spoils — the riches of the wood,
High branching antlers, spotted skins and blue,
And white and crimson plumes — and, from the flood,
Bright colour'd shells, sea-sounding, meet the view,
Varied in every shape and every hue;
And Leon's eye in exultation glows
As when the trumpet of his victory blew,
While fierce despair frowns on his vassal foes,
Too weak to strike alone — too proud to bear their woes.
The lengthening hall is carpetted with fur—
Red torches glare along the embattled walls;
The summer airs in gentle whispers stir
The flaring blaze that shadows where it falls;
On high the warder to his fellow calls,
And the hoarse accents echo through the tower,
And wake in lonely vaults and distant halls
Such death-like moans as warn the approaching hour
Of Fate, that rends away the monarch's pride and power.
First in his honours, in his presence last;
On came the hoary chief of Oregon;
Glory had crown'd him once, but that was past;
His pride still bow'd not, but his hope had flown,
And left him, powerless, in the world alone;
Oh, not alone with thee, his heart's delight!
Thou round the scath'd tree, like a flower full-blown
Did'st cling when winter came with withering blight,
And storm and blast howl'd through the lonely lingering night.
Bright rose of Oregon! how beauty fills
The panting bosom when rever'd old age
Leans on its saintlike loveliness! How thrills
The lone heart, weary of its pilgrimage,
When angel charms in angel acts engage,
And throw the rainbow of delighting love
O'er the dark tempest of life's latest stage,
Faithful to death! oh what can stronger prove
That woman's star-light soul flow'd from the fount above?
How lovely was that daughter of the Wild,
How wav'd her hair and spake her soft blue eye,
How bloom'd her cheek — how sweet she look'd and smil'd,
'Tis not my mood to picture; from the sky
That beauty comes which wings the soul on high;
Kind words and gentle deeds far more adorn
Than charms that dawn and blossom but to die;
Vain is the triumph which but leads to scorn—
Young Immalie was like a dewy spring-time morn!
And she had follow'd where her king-sire led,
Cheering his way with tales of other days,
And waking feelings long since lost or dead,
By arts which woman only knows; rude lays,
Old legends, varied in a thousand ways;
But nature's leaven blends with the holiest things,
And robs high deeds of all their highest praise;
Ill would that maid have borne long wanderings
Had Leon's love not lent her gentle spirit wings.
With brimming cup, uprose Prince Leon now;—
"Lords of the Nations! in this hour of mirth,
When peace and love smile o'er each joyful brow,
And bliss attends the cabin's hail and hearth,
Your true ally craves all he hopes on earth,
The maid of Oregon! his home is lone,
His empire vast; his heart is parch'd with dearth;
Give me a bride to share my bosom's throne—
Give me a Queen — yon bright, yon lov'd and loving one!
"Health to the Bride!" But silent as the grave,
Each stranger chief eyed him of Oregon;
Then each look'd down an felt himself a slave
To the high will and dauntless power of one;
Then spake the sire, in wild, unearthly tone—
"Where be thy captive pledges of our truth,
Lord of the Wild?" — Prince Leon stood alone
'Mid that wild throng who knew no gentle ruth,
But lightuinga rob'd his eye, and proudly spake the youth;
"Thou know'st me not, hoar chief! thy wily tribe:
Thrice pierc'd my sire ere battle blow was dealt,
And Creek and Choctaw kiss'd thy faithless bribe,
E'en when thy stubborn knee in homage knelt;
Thou should'st not draw a bow, or wear a belt
Again, false chief! but years are on thy head,
And vengeance sleeps! I feel as once I felt,
And now would o'er thy age and sorrow spread
The youthful light of love — the charm of years long fled.
"Thou hear'st hoar chief!" — Slow rose the ancient man.
Erect as in his youth, nor dim his eye;
"The oak of thousand years," the chief began,
"Bows not to every wind that hurtles by;
Flowers of my race beneath another sky
Bloom not, wedded to the parent vine,
Flourish unblighted; brothers, let us fly!
Well the dark spirit guards false Leon's shrine,
But his o'erbearing pride shall wed no child of mine."
Prince Leon stamp'd and warriors fill'd his hall,
Dark in their mail'd array. "Mock not the storm,
Or dread the thunderbolt of wrath should fall,"
Cried the stern King of Yamassee — his form
Tow'ring amid his legions. "Crush the worm—
Touch not the talons of the eagle! Go,
Ye are my guests — go safely forth and arm
Your tribes and plot my utter overthrow;
But Immalie abides and shares my weal or wo!"
The banquet-hall is lonely; prints of strife
And rude disorder and wild disarray
Bear witness to a scene with horror rife—
A desperate grappling and a fierce affray;
But silent dawns the orient light of day,
And stillness slumbers upon earth and heaven,
Save when the song-bird pours its roundelay,
Grateful, poor thing for many mercies given,
And pouring forth its praise at dewy morn and even.
O'er the sheen mirror of the dark blue bay,
That murmur'd round the city of the Sun,
Trembled in gleams the gushing blaze of day,
Like heaven's bright gates when paradise is won;
Night's shadows wan'd away o'er woodlands dun,
And quiv'ring dewdrops hung like gems on high,
And the clear air in living currents run,
O'er all the earth and all the rosy sky,
And fill'd the heart with love where'er it murmur'd by.
"Bride of my bosom!" said the the forest lord,
Bending before the first love of his youth,
"Forgive my daring deed — my harsher word!
Thy tauntling sire belied my soul of truth;
Had not thy beauty pleaded, love, in sooth,
He had not pass'd the gates of Yamassee,
But he hath gone in o'er-indulgent ruth,
And thou art mine, whate'er the issue be;
Bride of my heart! my empire centers all in thee."
Daughter of Earth! hast thou e'er felt the might,
The eloquent pleading of strong love, and sought
To quell by reason thy most true delight?
Hast thou long pictur'd in thy mirror'd thought.
The lovely image of the lov'd, and wrought
From golden fancies realms of light and flowers,
And heard stern duty telling thee that ought
Unfilial led to sad repentant hours—
Oh, hast thou fled from love and rapture's rosy bowers?
Blame not sweet Immalie! her heart had long
Found all its pleasures in a distant clime,
And years had flown since she in forest song
Had told her love at the sweet evening time;
She was too pure to dream of sin or crime,
Too blest to feel that love could be unblest,
And every eve her soul had soar'd sublime
To the great Spirit from her inmost breast,
That Leon's path might lead where good men's feet had press'd.
And now, 'mid tears of filial sorrow, shone
The radiant smile of long devoted love;
And the brave chief gaz'd on the lovely one,
As the proud eagle gazes on the dove—
Lord of the air and beauty of the grove!
And Leon felt the galling penance light,
Ne'er 'gainst her sire his warrior skill to prove,
But pass the foes who dar'd him to the fight,
And leave a stain upon his fame's immortal might.
Lord of the Wood! fair maid of Oregon!
Your fate is one — your fortunes are the same;
And grav'd for ever on the eternal throne
Your bridal vows of truth — your blended name;
Sweet is the incense of a virtuous fame,
And sweet the mingling of enamour'd souls;
Be your's all joys the sinless heart may claim
Till — hark! the knell at midnight tolls,
And on the silent air a cry of battle rolls!
Lift high war's banner to the morning gale!
Raise the loud war cry through strong Yamassee!
Legions are thronging from a thousand ways,
And bird and beast from their close coverts flee;
There is no sound of death, but every tree
Hides the sure arrow and the bended bow,
And glaring eyes, O Leon! fixed on the thee
Mid the dark woods, like serpent's, flame and glow,
And battle-axes gleam, instinct to deal the blow.
Look from thy tower with watchful eye and note
Each gate and portal as thy life were in't;
Guard well the draw-bridge and the broad, deep moat,
For ever there the foe hath left his print!
Oh, direful is the Indian's battle dint,
And dark and wily is his hidden path;
Of serpent wiles and snares his brain's a mint—
He brings a fear no other foeman hath,
And worse than hell doth lower the rancour of his wrath.
Time wears apace, and vainly Indian power
Hurtles frail arrows in impotent ire;
Still frowns unscath'd the Yamassean tower,
Its loopholes gleaming with consuming fire;
But hopes of vengeance yet the tribes inspire,
The patient hope that in the Indian's breast
Can never but with some dark deed expire;
Cold famine, danger, perils unexpress'd
He doth endure unchang'd to be in slaughter blest.
A thousand fires blaze on the dark midnight—
Ten thousand forms around them crouch or stand,
And all are weary of the bootless fight
With walls that move not 'neath a mortal hand,
While the red shot sweeps down the naked band
Beneath the ramparts of the frowning tower.—
Quick baffled hatred tir'd of bow and brand,
And curs'd the hoar chief and the banquet hour,
Quailing before the warrior monarch's awful power.
The Oneidas, Hurons, Mohawks — all have fled
The Creeks and Choctaws follow on their way;
The watchfires wane around the unburied dead,
And the fierce Delawares have quit the fray.
"Pause yet!" the hoar chief cries — "awhile, oh, stay!
Abide the last wile of my cunning — now!"
High blaze the council-fires like light of day,
And, 'mid their bright and all-illuming glow,
The leaguing host pass on and through the forest go.
For many a night upon his lonely tower,
Leon had watch'd the foe, and toil and care
And grief, indulg'd through many a midnight hour,
Nature no longer nor his soul could bear;
And on the bosom of his true love there,
In his high tower, repos'd the forest chief,
And Immalie bent o'er her face so fair,
And sought in song that rapture howe'er brief,
Which sooths unquiet sleep and stills the pang of grief.
"Thy head is pillow'd on my bosom now,"
Thus with a dovelike whisper, murmur'd she,
The gentle queen; "and on thy lofty brow,
Where gleams the glory of thy majesty,
I gaze unseen, the worshipper of thee,
Spirit of warrior beauty! those shut eyes,
That read the souls of mighty Yamassee,
Gleaming like stars in late autumnal skies,
Behold me not as thus I bid my worship rise.
"War for my sake — the cruel war of death
Weighs heavy on thy mind, beloved one!
E'en now thou draw'st thy short and hurried breath
As if the slaughtering battle were begun,
And thy lips quiver as the fight were won,
And the loud shout of victory were thine;
Oh, how can I in any thing atone
For all the ills I've wrought thee? how untwine
The serpent maze of thought that wraps thy soul divine?
"Oh, could I shun the battle's fiery bliss,
And wield thy sword — not 'gainst a father, no!
But all thy other foemen — with a kiss,
I would uplift thy banner o'er the foe,
And bear it through red havoc's dreadful glow,
Reckless of all things else, so thou wert near;
For 'tis the nature of true love to know
Nought but the form whose very shadow's dear,
And follow on his path through every mortal fear.
"Sweet slumber seals thine eyelids; would I knew
That peace were in thy heart! thy spirit's eye,
I fear me, never sleeps, but bright and true,
For ever ranges through the earth and sky,
Hovering delighted near its home on high;
Oh, wake not now! why that convulsive start,
As if thou heard'st far-off the battle-cry?
The spell of care lies heavy on thy heart
When will the mournful hours of harrowing fear depart?
"Once more sleep on my bosom, god of war!
Ah, canst thou feel the throbbings of my love?
The dazzling radiance of thy glory's star,
Though brighter far, will not so faithful prove."—
Lo! sudden fires illume yon fir-tree grove,
And swimming shadows, 'mid the musky glare,
In wrathful attitudes, commingling, move;
And hark! a fearful wailing of despair!
"Wake, Leon, wake! the foe in all his might is there!"
Prince Leon sprung — rush'd from the midnight tower,
Left the broad moat, and vaulted on his steed,
And thunder'd on amid an arrowy shower,
Where thousands fought as heaven were their meed;
Before the gale as bows the fragile reed,
So shrunk stern warriors from his charger's shock;
His sabre seem'd with thousand hearts to bleed,
None dar'd in fight that dragon crest to mock,
But on, unscath'd, he rush'd like crushing mountain rock.
His warhorse caught his king's heroic thought,
And seem'd instinct with thousand lives — the air
Bicker'd with poison'd arrows — but he fought,
Like madness vanquishing the heart's despair,
While Leon still, amid the gory glare
Of his proud city, kept his kingly way,
Reeking with blood, like one whose only care
Was now to leave dire trophies of his sway,
Vast hecatombs to burn upon his dying day.
The foe retires — the city's rob'd in flame—
The tower stands dark — the warder hath not fled;
"Where be my warriors of undying fame?"
Cried Leon. "There!" the warder answer'd. "Dead!
All dead, brave spirits yet once more!" he said,
And vanish'd into gloom — the gloom of blood;
But still were heard his courser's thundering tread,
And sabre-strokes far through the gloomy wood,
And shrieks came on the breeze where Leon's empress stood.
With crimson breast and neck of thunder came
The sable charger, bath'd in gory dew;
Feebly he struggled on, 'mid smoke and flame,
And spurn'd the dead with his red hoof as through
The dead and dying, he rush'd on, and drew
Near Leon's tower — then, with a faint low sigh,
He fell and died, yet to his monarch true,
The last light of that eye, whose guiding ray
Had led his rider safe, still gleam'd as in the fray.
Lord of the Wild! thou stood'st amid the blaze
Of thy vast city on that night of doom,
Not as the Gallic chief, in later days,
Stood in the kremlin; mid the glare and gloom
Of fiery seas of blood thou found'st thy tomb
Amid the ruins of thy noble race—
Amid thy slaughter'd foes, and earth lack'd room
For all the dead; their final dwelling place
Was where thy name survives in battle and in chase.
The volum'd flames wane in the morning sun,
And havoc sickens in his feast of gore;
But where is Leon? When his course was done,
No mortal eye beheld the hero more;
No flight was seen on wilderness or shore,
But Immalie had gone and long her sire
Cried vainly for his child. Years linger'd o'er,
And lonely burn'd his cheerless cabin fire,
But she return'd no more to gladden or inspire.
Fame tells strange sounds, upon the battle morn
Were heard on Leon's castellated tower;
Sounds indistinct like those of deep love born,
In lone communion at the midnight hour;
And in the grey dawn, round the lost queen's bower,
Quick as wild flashes from the electric sky,
The deep bay trembled to its farthest shore,
'Tis said, and something shadow'd from on high,
But darkness shrouds the scene — all, all were born to die.