Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Fitz Traver’s Song
By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
 
’TWAS All-soul’s eve, and Surrey’s heart beat high;
  He heard the midnight bell with anxious start,
Which told the mystic hour, approaching nigh,
  When wise Cornelius promised, by his art,
To show to him the ladye of his heart,        5
  Albeit betwixt them roared the ocean grim;
Yet so the sage had hight to play his part,
  That he should see her form in life and limb,
And mark, if still she loved, and still she thought of him.
 
Dark was the vaulted room of gramarye,        10
  To which the wizard led the gallant knight,
Save that before a mirror, huge and high,
  A hallowed taper shed a glimmering light
On mystic implements of magic might;
  On cross, and character, and talisman,        15
And almagest, and altar, nothing bright:
  For fitful was the lustre, pale and wan,
As watchlight by the bed of some departing man.
 
But soon, within that mirror huge and high,
  Was seen a self-emitted light to gleam;        20
And forms upon its breast the earl ’gan spy,
  Cloudy and indistinct, as feverish dream;
Till, slow arranging, and defined, they seem
  To form a lordly and a lofty room,
Part lighted by a lamp with silver beam,        25
  Placed by a couch of Agra’s silken loom,
And part by moonshine pale, and part was hid in gloom.
 
Fair all the pageant,—but how passing fair
  The slender form which lay on couch of Ind!
O’er her white bosom strayed her hazel hair,        30
  Pale her dear cheek, as if for love she pined;
All in her night-robe loose she lay reclined,
  And, pensive, read from tablet eburnine,
Some strain that seemed her inmost soul to find:—
  That favored strain was Surrey’s raptured line,        35
That fair and lovely form, the Lady Geraldine.
 
Slow rolled the clouds upon the lovely form,
  And swept the goodly vision all away;—
So royal envy rolled the murky storm
  O’er my beloved Master’s glorious day.        40
Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant! Heaven repay
  On thee, and on thy children’s latest line,
The wild caprice of thy despotic sway,
  The gory bridal bed, the plundered shrine,
The murdered Surrey’s blood, the tears of Geraldine!        45
 
 
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