Miss Flaxman

The moon’s fair face begins to shew
Kissing the distant mountain’s brow,
And ev’ry twinkling star on high,
Peeps from her window in the sky;
Swift along the silver tide
See the little vessel glide;
Now they drop the splashing oar
Now they touch the verdant shore,
Beneath the castle’s shadowy wall
Near the turret brown and tall,
There within a nook obscure
Now the little bark they moor,
No sound is heard along the vale
But the plaintive nightingale
And the water’s gentle flow
Murm’ring thro’ the reeds below.

Thus, spoke Lauretta, lovely maid,
When lo! emerging from the shade
A stranger, like a pilgrim clad
And follow’d by a minstrel lad
Approach’d the lady’s bower so fair
Directed by the taper’s glare.
Across the minstrel’s shoulder hung
A lute, to which he sweetly sung
“Lady, here beneath your window
Two poor weary pilgrims stand,
Seven long years we have been absent
Wand’rers in the Holy Land;
Give us shelter ’till the morning
Sure to pity is not wrong.
He with pray’rs will pay your kind
I, will cheer you with a song.”
Here the fair Lauretta sigh’d,
And bade the gate be open’d wide,
Welcome shall the pilgrim be
Doubly welcome unto me!
And then the lady sigh’d again
As tho’ she felt a secret pain.
For none, of Palestine could sing
But to her heart would mem’ry bring,
A gentle, yet a valiant knight
Who seeking glory in the fight
Had join’d a brave, a christian band
And journey’d to the Holy Land,
Had won the palm of many a field,
Had taught full many a foe to yield.
And soon Lauretta hop’d to see
Her love return with victory;
But yet a tear would dim her eye
And yet her bosom heave a sigh
When any tongue that land should name
Or sing of warriors and their fame.
And now, the younger damsels press
Around the youth in minstrel dress,
While those sedate and grave, did scan,
The pilgrim, venerable man.
But kindly all the maidens vie
In sweet attentive courtesy
Delicious viands, gen’rous wine
Their pow’rful forces soon combine
Rekindling spirits they bestow,
The minstrel’s cheek begins to glow,
No longer weary pale and mute,
He takes his half-forgotten lute;
And softly running o’er the strings
He tries an air then thus he sings:


“Lady will you hear a story
Of a young and gallant knight
How he liv’d in Andalusia
How he woo’d a lady bright.”

“Lovely as the spring’s fair morning
Was the lady of his heart
Goodness all her charms adorning
She was beauty’s better part.”

“Long their hearts had been united
Fortune smil’d upon their love,
But ere yet their vows were plighted
Fate their constancy did prove.”

“Now the ven’trous brave crusaders
Rais’d the Christian banner high,
All the youth of Spain desired
In this cause their arms to try.”

“Often did this lady weeping
Pray her lover to remain
But her timid fond persuasion
Tears and sighs were all in vain;”

“For tho’ each sad drop of sorrow
Cost his manly heart a sigh
He must glory’s footsteps follow
Nor heed the tear in beauty’s eye.”

“Now in distant climes a ranger
Far from his affianc’d bride
Still he seeks the post of danger
St Iago be his guide!”

“Here I might of battles telling
Turn the cheek of beauty pale
But were pity’s self is dwelling
Must I tell so sad a tale?”

“Yes where’er the brave commander
Fights against his sanguine foes
Of his valiant deeds recorded
Still his faithful minstrel goes.”

“Now arrives the fatal morning
All the martial troops are met,
Sun beams gold their rich adorning
Sad and dark that sun will set!”

“Who shall tell the noble daring
Of the Christian youth that day
And the many brave Hidalgo’s
On the dreadful plain that lay!”

“And who shall tell the gentle lady
Fairest sweetest flow’r of Spain
That her noble Don Alonzo
On that fatal day was slain?”

Hold! Minstrel hold! your song give o’er
The lady faints! Ah sing no more!
The frighten’d maidens round her throng
And blame the minstrel and his song.
The pilgrim now before them prest
And clasp’d the fair one to his breast
Then falling lowly at her feet
Calls on her name in accents sweet.
At that lov’d voice the maid revives
She sees her dear Alonzo lives!

Hope’s rosy dawn illumes Lauretta’s cheek
And smiles through tears her heart’s soft transports speak
The pilgrim’s cloak and staff are thrown aside
And the sad maid, becomes a joyful bride.