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The St. James’s Magazine (December, 1865)




WHILE winter snows were falling,
     So glistening and white,
And while the tempest murmur’d
     Across the fields by night,
Within the peasant’s dwelling,
     Beside the peasant’s hearth,
They sat and talk’d together,
     In fellowship and mirth.

Old Hans, in quiet gossip,
     Sits where the oven glows
(What one would list to rather
     Than the strange tales he knows?):
“But is it true, my father?
     And is there treasure still,
Which unto favour’d mortals
     The elves can give at will?”

“Ay, son, when the cock croweth,
     One needs must seize it then!
But if a word thou speakest,
     It vanishes again.”
Then in a silent wonder
     All sat as still as stone,
When lo! a hasty knocking,
     And the door was open thrown.

Then enter’d, spade on shoulder,
     A stripling, snowy white;
A shadow is on his features,
     But in his eyes strange light.
His locks are wild and tangled,
     With melting snowflakes drown’d,
The look is full of sadness
     With which he looks around.

     * Skaltegraveren—signifying the digger after hidden treasures.

“It is so cold without there!
     I am so stiff with cold!
Ha! hear ye not the tempest
     Howling across the wold?
Ah! the cancer was so bitter,
     And the earth as hard as stone;
Oh, help, that I my treasure
     May lift and make my own!”

So pale he stands, and bloody,
     They gaze in fear the while.
“Art thou a treasure-seeker?”
     He nods with pensive smile,
And eagerly leaps upward;
     Then, standing still once more,
Wipes strangely tearful eyelids
     Ere he glimmers through the door.

His spade he quickly shoulder’d,
     And whisper’d, “Follow me!”
And all the household follow’d,
     Palely and silently.
In haste he crept, while midnight
     Chimes solemn, dull, and deep,
Toward the silent churchyard,
     Where the dumb dead men sleep.

Dimly along the darkness
     His lantern glimmereth;
The churchyard gate he opens,
     And gains the place of death.
The wondering peasants follow,
     And quake with cold and fright,
While above the graves gleams ghostly
     The lantern’s fitful light.

They follow, but in horror,
     They, shrinking backward, gaze,
For the treasure gleams before them
     In the faint and yellow rays.
The lantern glimmers dimly,
     And they see with awful eyes
That among the graves below them
     A blood-stain’d coffin lies.

“See!” cried the pallid stripling,
     Wildly and eagerly,
“Here, in the grave’s embraces,
     Lies my dearest treasure—see!
Lo! here, for four long hours,
     Labour’d these arms of mine.
I bleed! the clock strikes midnight!
     Eliza, I am thine!”

“Oh, gracious God of heaven!”
     The peasants cried, “’tis he,
Who, when his sweetheart perish’d,
     Lost reason utterly;
From home outcreeping hither,
     In frenzy he has hied.”
So, pale as snows of winter,
     The fearful peasants cried.

See how he wildly claspeth
     The coffin to his breast!
Hark, how the death-clock chimeth!
     O Jesu, give him rest!
See how the poor wretch quivers;
     “Raise him!” the peasants said.
They drew him from the coffin;
     He smiled—and he was dead!



The St. James’s Magazine (January, 1866)




At Roslock lieth a cavern great,
Where a poisonous dragon dwelt in state,

Who with bloody teeth and a flaming tongue
Munch’d men and women, old and young.

Like torches glimmer’d his eyes each night;
In the mountain he guarded a treasure bright.

Now who will slay this dragon of sin,
And who the treasure will raise and win?

The doughtiest cannot the monster withstand,
But the treasure could free the whole wide land!

So many a knight, both doughty and good,
Has stained the mouth of the den with blood.

And the dragon springeth with claws accurst,
While the champion’s armour and breastplate burst.

Upriseth, upriseth at last a knight,
Who thirsteth his manhood to prove in fight.

White are his locks as the mountain snow,
But his heart is of different hue, I trow.

In armour he standeth erect and hale,
As the glacier glistens his shirt of mail.

Twelve sons once sat at this champion’s side;
Eleven have by the dragon died.

Where was a knight so bold to be found?
The twelfth son play’d with his shield on the ground.

“Though half the world in his den be dead,
The monster escapes not from Winkelred.”

The little boy hears his father’s groan,—
“Till I am big, let the beast alone!

“So will I knock him so much about,
That all my brothers he’ll vomit out!”

The old man smiles in a fierce unrest,
And snatches the little boy to his breast.

“Thy brothers thou’lt look on never more;
But hell has plenty of dragons in store!

“When thou art big, and manly, and tall,
Thou shalt fight with the biggest of them all!”

By Roslock gleameth the dragon bright,
It gleameth by day, it gleameth by night.

In the cavern the monster raises his head;
At the mouth of the cavern stands Winkelred.

“Ah! ah! to battle with me you’d try—
With your sons in my hole do you wish to lie?

“Wouldst raise the treasure which none have seen,
Which a hundred years has buried been?”

With his sword responded the brave old man,—
In the cavern a terrible fight began.

The flesh of the dragon is stung, and stung;
’Mid flames, black darteth his poisonous tongue.

“Truce, champion! cause me no further pain!
And the bones of your sons you shall have again!

“Spare me! spare me! spare me! I pray,
And the treasure bright thou shalt take away!”

As the dragon utter’d the final word,
In his flaming throat plunged the fatal sword.

Over and over the dragon fell dead;
For the treasure dug conquering Winkelred.

It is not silver, it is not gold,
’Tis a spear of iron, wondrous and old.

With the spear returns the champion now—
He has proved his manhood full well, I vow.

Honour’d let the champion be!
He has freed the land from its slavery!

Where the free hand wields that weapon tried,
Chains are broken, and bonds untied.

’Tis a heritage from son to son;
Full often ’tis wielded in Ledinsdrun.

It has wielded been since the days of old,
When ’twas won by Winkelred the bold.

Bravely ’twas wielded by Winkelred,
And ’twas hung above him when he was dead.

Never shall it return to the ground,
While power and freedom on earth are found.



The St. James’s Magazine (February, 1866)




The sky is netted with sable cloud,
     And the Pleiads glimmer pale;
From heaven sweepeth the wind aloud,
     And the pine trees creak in the gale.
In the groves of the gods the wind moans cold
Round Valhalla’s moss-grown pillars old:
         “One time has gone by,
         We sink, we die!”
It startles ghosts from the bloody stone,
And the bones of the sacrificed make a moan.

The Gothic stone mass uprises high,
     Brown in the moon’s pale glance,
Its peaks upreach to the dark-blue sky,
     And around the corpses dance.
From the long blue window a beam creeps fair
To the altar’s crucifix, smiling there:
         “White Christ, thy brow
         Wears victory now!
And soon shall the wild north zone fall down
On thy forehead in lieu of a thorny crown!”

On Norway’s shore King Olaf springs,
     And masses sings on the strand,
From southerly strongholds great he brings
     His monks to the rocky land.
The word of Christ upon swift wings flies,
But Hakon the mighty still denies:
         For the old faith
         Christ he gainsayeth,
And leads the Norsemen in fearless pride—
But Olaf scatters them far and wide.

Loud crows the cock at midnight-tide,
     His son Earl Hakon slays,
And plucking the smoking knife from his side,
     Kneels down in the grave and prays:
“White Christ! harm not our gods divine,
But take this offering of mine!
         Stay Thy strong hand!
         Forsake our land;”
But the owl flaps mildly its gloomy wings,
As on Rota’s bosom it shrieking springs.

High in the air cross-banners wave,
     They gleam along in pride,
The Christian heroes lead Olaf the brave,
     And fortune walks by his side!
Before him they carry the book of the Word,
Around the psalms of the church are heard,
         A cross-handled band
         He holds in his hand,
Before him rumour wanders and cries,
Before him Hakon the mighty flies.

On, on, rides Hakon, a trembling steed,
     Till it halts with white foam wet;
“Though the Norsemen be slaves and deny their creed,
     I will be constant yet!”
With tears his last friend he slaughters, and stains
His robe in the blood of his horse’s veins—
         “Now think me dead,
         That my life has fled,
But, Olaf! the north has champions in store,
And on my side battle Tyr and Thor.”

Gloom and anger are on his face,
     As he creeps up a mountain tall,
And seeks in a cave a hiding-place,
     With Karker * his freed thrall.
With a fire of shavings the cavern glares,
There sit they dumb, and the freedman stares,—
         The one gainsayeth
         The other’s faith;
The freedman eyes Hakon the wan and white;
Then he falls to sleep in the dead of night.

Then the darkness murmurs; at Olaf’s side
     The red god Harmod† stands.
“The gods have trust,—King Olaf’s pride,
     And the Christ shall fall by thy hands!
Freya is weeping tears of gold!
Shall a cross-deck’d robber and thief make bold
         To disturb our land?
         Grip sword in hand!
With the blood of Olaf our altars stain,
And thou in Valhalla’s halls shall reign.”

     * In the original the name is Thormod Karker; i.e., Karker against Thor.
     † The messenger of the gods.

The red shade vanishes while it speaks;
     Up springeth the freedman now,—
“Christ stood before with smiling cheeks,
     And touch’d his blood-stain’d brow.”
“Fright the thunderer’s thunder, thou trembling slave!
Why growest thou chill and cold as the grave?
         Wouldst thou betray
         Thy master?” “Nay!”
The freedman answer’d, in fear and pain;
And the worn-out Hakon slumber’d again.

In his dream smiles Hakon quietly,
     While Karker looks in affright:
“Why saw I him swooning in blood? and why
     Do I feel thus strange to-night?
He is but an outcast, a foe to the land,
So now in his blood will I stain this hand,
         And from Olaf gain
         A golden chain!”
Through the darkness pallidly creeps the churl,
And trembles, and cuts the throat of the Earl!

Loud cry the spies from the mountains near,—
     “Ho, hither! for here is his den!”
Like a rush of wolves in the cave appear
     King Olaf and his men.
They slay the blood-stain’d freedman, while
King Olaf gazes with pensive smile
         On the bloody head
         Of Hakon dead!
“Their doughtiest leader is no more,
And the reign of ignorance is o’er!”

The thunder roars and rolls in the sky,
     Tremble both heaven and earth;
The swarm of the old gods swiftly fly,
     To return no more to the north.
Instead of the altars of sacrifice,
Bloodless churches and cloisters rise.
         But strangely, here
         And there, appear
Memorials huge of the gods who have flown,
A height and gigantic pillars of stone.



The St. James’s Magazine (March, 1866)




WHILE the high gods sported
     Where the salt blue sea,
Near the isle of Ægir,
     Moan’d tumultuously,
Ægir, god of ocean,
     Grasp’d a drinking-horn,
Which a cunning artist
     Did with power adorn.

No snail-shell lying
     In the waters blue,
Was so strangely fashion’d,
     And so fair of hue;
Speck’d with marvellous colours
     Whence lustres break,
And grotesquely twisted,
     Like a speckled snake.

The red winds melting
     In the gold and white,
And the bowl within is
     Spacious and bright;
In the bottom glitters
     A carbuncle green,
And the fair rim sparkles
     Into golden sheen.

The goddesses assembled
     Praised the beauteous cup.
Cried Ægir, “Uove!
     Fill the beaker up!”
With her hair rush-plaited
     Stood the sea-maid sweet,
Blue her beauteous girdle,
     Small her tender feet.

Follow’d by her sister,
     While the great gods smiled,
With her virgin bosoms
     Swelling plump and mild,
While beneath those bosoms
     Her warm heart shook,
Stretching white arms dumbly,
     She the snail-horn took.

Then the young sea-maiden,
     Blushing bright of hue,
Like a swan plunged swiftly
     In the waters blue;
Reappearing quickly
     She upheld the cup,
And with small pearls dewy
     It was brimming up.

Ægir’s great brown fingers
     Gripp’d the horn;—quoth he,
“God Ægir sendeth
     A gift from his green sea;
To the goddess only,
     Of the beauteous throng,
Who is mightiest, greatest,
     Shall the horn belong.”

Then the beech-crown’d Frigga
     In her beauty rose,
And her heavenly glances
     Round the hall she throws:
“Than the earth’s fair mother,
     Odin’s stately queen,
Who is mightier, greater,
     In the god’s demesne?”

Then Gesion stretch’d snowy
     Hands towards the sea
(Never was a maiden
     Fruitful-loin’d as she!):
“Who ploughs the earth, and makes it
     Fruitful as can be?
Drops the rain pure golden,
     Ægir, who but me?”

Then rose Eir, upholding
     Root and glittering knife:
“How have you trembled
     For the hero’s life?
What is land, what valour,
     Without health’s pure shower?
And what can liken
     With my healing power?”

Rota, high and mighty,
     Rose with stately glance,—
All the gods assembled
     Gazed upon her lance:
“Ye of life have prated,
     Powers assembled here;
What stops life’s strong action?
     Rota’s fatal spear.”

Then smiled Freya, tripping
     On her feet snow-white
To the spot where Ægir
     Held the goblet bright:
“Give the horn to Freya!
     Ægir, hour by hour
All the earth is crying,
     ‘Love has greatest power.’”

On his knee she sat her,
     With a fond caress,
From her limbs of beauty
     Floated back her dress;
Round his neck she wound her
     Alabaster arms,
Let him see her bosoms
     In their naked charms.

Ægir grasp’d the goblet,
     Fill’d with flaming fire,
When, lo! soft music
     Broke from Bragi’s lyre!
As the god of ocean
     Listen’d wondering-eyed,
Saw he gentle Ydun*
     At her husband’s side.

     * The holder of the precious fruit whereby the gods continually renewed their immortality.

With her crape-bound forehead,
     And her beauteous waist
Like a slender tendril,
     Sat the dumb and chaste;
Brown her hair’s rich brightness,
     In a knot upbound,
Dewy azure pansies
     In the tresses wound.

She a bowl pure golden
     Held in hand snow-white.
For when Bragi playeth
     On his harp-strings bright,
Hanging fruit grows fragrant,
     Scenting sea and land,
And the fruit drops juicy
     Into Ydun’s hand.

And the mild-eyed goddess,
     With her sweetness wise,
Broke the spell of ever
     Freya’s witching eyes.
“Ydun!” cried Ægir, loudly,
     “To the harp of gold
Sing what wondrous treasure
     Thy pure bowl doth hold!”

With a voice which murmurs
     Like the nightingale,
When unseen it fluteth
     In a leafy dale,
To the harp sang Ydun,
     At the sea-king’s call,
And the wondrous music
     Witch’d the hearts of all.

“Only those small apples,
     Beautiful of hue,
Fresh and sweet and juicy,
     May the gods renew!
Drank they not the juices
     Of this fruit of gold,
Odin would grow hoary,
     Freya worn and old!

“While the harp of Bragi
     Chimes melodiously,
Lo! the ripe fruit droppeth
     From the holy tree;
Strength, and health, and beauty,
     An immortal life,
Only these can give ye!”
Thus sang Bragi’s wife.

And in awe and wonder
     Heark’d the gods the while;
Then, behold, King Ægir
     Pour’d, with eager smile,
In the lap of Ydun
     All the white pearls small.
“Take the gift, O Ydun!
     Mightiest of all!”

“And I ask thee only,
     For this gift I give,
But to sip the juicy
     Fruit whereby we live;
Of my deed and treasure
     Sing a Runic rhyme,
Let it sound in beauty
     Down the tracks of time.”

Gentle Ydun promised;
     With the snowy fair
Pearls she deck’d the foreheads
     Of every goddess there;
Gave the horn to Bragi,
     To be kept for use,
Wet the lips of Ægir
     With immortal juice!

If thereafter Loke,
     With the heart of gall,
Had not stolen darkly
     On the banquet hall,
Then had minstrel Sœmund
     Sang this song of mine;
But the great theme perish’d
     In the less divine.

That the wondrous story
     Should not perish quite,
Did my goddess bid me
     Strike the gold harp bright
Mists of ages vanish,
     Valhal’s glories shine,
And the fruit of Ydun
     Giveth life divine!

                                                                   NEWTON NEVILLE.



Newton Neville in the Press


The Glasgow Sentinel (16 March, 1861 - p.7)


THE WELCOME GUEST. London: Houlston and Wright, Paternoster Row.

As we predicted last month, the ‘Indian Scout,’ which occupies the leading position in the Guest for this current month, is increasing in interest as it proceeds, though who are these interesting creatures—the hero and heroine—cannot yet be clearly made out. The plot is deep, the  characters numerous, the scenery wild and grand—partly Mexican and partly American—so the lovers of these attractions will find the ‘Scout’ more exciting than his quiet predecessor, ‘Prairie Flower.’ Mr. Rowsell supplies three of his agreeable relieving officer’s recollections. Besides the humour and pathos which they contain, an admirable insight is given Scottish readers of the English Poor Law system. Lascelles Wraxall continues to pore over the criminal records of Europe, and gives a sample from those of Berlin, Rouen, and Flanders. ‘Janeta’ is an excellent story of Luther and the Reformation, by Marguerite A. Power. The great event of the 13th century is made to tell very powerfully on the fortunes of an humble couple, who feel its influence, and in their way forward the great Reformer’s work. ‘Drawing the Long Bow’ is a brief history of the manufacture and ancient use of that weapon. In these days when the merits of long or short Enfields are keenly discussed, it will scarcely be credited, we fancy, that a yeoman good was able effectively to send a shaft four or five hundred yards. We agree with the writer in hoping that in the hands of our Volunteers ‘the rifle will become what the long bow was in the hands of our forefathers.’ In the ‘Lady Curll,’ a rhyme for the winter fire, we find the following admirable definition of ‘honour.’ We have a notion that the hero of the day—Major Yelverton—will be of the class described in the last four lines. The man who could give such a description of a ‘gentlewoman,’ as he did, can be nothing else:—

‘The thing we call honour, Wife, differs in men;
In some it is blind as the perilous foam;
But I’d say to our children, again and again,
That the heart of all honour is truth to Home;
That the hopes of pure honour are centred above;
That the crown of man’s honour is wifely love:
But the honour Sir Leonard Curll understood
Was to sin against duty and youth, but be good
To every frothy and fulsome lie
He spoke in the heat of his revelry.’

‘Cœlebs in Search of Relaxation’ gives some smart hits at certain representative men, whom any one may number among their acquaintances. Among others, is the man whose hobby is to be, or who professes to be, on terms of intimacy with actors and actresses, and to say or hint naughty things of the latter. To him and his fellows ‘Cœlebs’ administers the following rebuke:—‘Does Buxton, when he perpetrates those doubtful winks and nods on the mention of the names of respectable actresses, ever reflect that said winks and nods are very serious things? I am afraid not; yet Buxton, who has a good heart, in spite of his nonsense, would turn very pale were he aware of the amount of harm wrought by such silly insinuations. Innocent reputations have been materially injured by men like Buxton, who act from want of common forethought. A dubious shake of the head has ruined many a stainless lady in social estimation. A careless gesture has been the cause of much bitter heartache in hard-working families. Such things spread quickly; there are fools to perpetuate every libel. The worst of the matter is, that men like Buxton (and they are many) are often the indirect thieves of the morality they have the impudence, on no real grounds, to doubt. They laugh over supposed error as if they rather admired it, as a good joke. What is the consequence? A very general false estimate of professional ladies, and—through the weakness of individuals—a proportionate increase of “easy virtue” in the parties libelled. Thus. A helpless young creature, trembling on the verge of temptation, generally feels her strength in exact proportion to the social estimate conceived of her up to that moment. “She will be just as well thought of one way as the other;”—the common (and often too patent) female argument. The probable result is, she takes the bait offered, and is thenceforth a lost woman. Think over this, friend Buxton.’ Another score of articles, all more or less meritorious, make up the contents of the part.



The Morning Advertiser (1 October, 1863 - p.3)

     The St. James’s.—
. . .
“The River” is a song that seeks a tune; the versification is liquid, as becomes the subject, the lines need not long be without appropriate music; they will suit many a good old tune without much arranging. Newton Neville is the author. ...



The Borough of Marylebone Mercury (3 October, 1863 - p.3)

     St. James’s has for some time failed to fulfil the high promise given in its early numbers.
. . .
—From “Love,” by Newton Neville, we extract four lines containing a sentiment worth being acted on by all disappointed lovers.

“Though she may never be mine
Yet my heart at her feet I lay,
Nor seek to pilfer the shrine
At which I silently pray.”



The Illustrated London News (10 October, 1863 - p.18)

. . .
The St. James’s Magazine is remarkably good this month, having several excellent stories and papers of a miscellaneous character, and two songs by a new poet, Mr. Newton Neville, which certainly go far to evince the possession of real lyrical faculty.


[From The Chester Chronicle (24 October, 1863 - p.2).]


The Western Morning News (16 November, 1865 - p.4)

     The St. James’s Magazine opens with Miss Braddon’s new story, “The Lady’s Mile,” of which a tolerably large instalment is given; and contains also the continuation of Mr. Gilbert’s “Village Doctor,” and of the romance “Working in the Dark,” by Paul Féval. A posthumous fragment, by Sir Lascelles Wraxall, is also published in the present number under the title of “A French Hero.” It looks rather like a translation, but if it is not it does not do sufficient credit to its author to make it worth while to have printed it. Mr. Newton Neville’s paper on “Danish Romances” is, however, so far superior to the general run of magazine articles as to call for more than a passing notice. The translations which it includes are especially noticeable—they preserve much of the vigour of the originals, and are by no means destitute of a certain amount of poetical feeling.



And finally ...


The following story appeared in various newspapers: The Morning Post on 7th April, 1864, The Penny Despatch and Irish Weekly Newspaper on the 16th, and The Glasgow Daily Herald on 9th May. This is from The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 9th April, 1864 - p.7:


Of course the problem with finding one duck is the desire to nail the whole flock. With the short-lived Welcome Guest, Buchanan’s change in editorial policy, making everything anonymous, had only one real aim, he could then fill it with as much of his own writing as he wished. Not from ego, I believe, more from idleness. He seems to have followed the same principle when he took over the St. Pauls Magazine in 1872, although there, anonymous poems and articles were joined by work “by the author of ‘St. Abe and His Seven Wives’”, or ‘An Idle Voyager’, or Walter Hutcheson, or B., or T. M. (Thomas Maitland? - a bit cheeky, that), or the old favourite, John Banks. Although I’m not sure whether Buchanan was the de facto editor of The St. James’s Magazine during the period when Newton Neville was in his prime, finding one pseudonym alongside legitimate Buchanans and R.W.B.s makes one question everything that’s anonymous or initialed. But the one (possibly two) which do stand out are Kingswood Clare and Caroline King (sometimes with a middle initial M). Both these poets are very well-represented in The St. James’s Magazine from 1862 to 1864 and then their careers seem to stop. A Caroline King Robertson publishes a book of poetry, Spring, Summer, and Autumn Leaves in 1895 (unavailable in all the usual places), so maybe it’s best to leave her for now, but Kingswood Clare seems to disappear completely. There’s no direct link to Buchanan, of course, or else he’d be displayed on the wall alongside Newton Neville, so all I can do is direct you to the HathiTrust, or the Internet Archive or google books, where you’ll find copies of The St. James’s Magazine. But I will add one of Kingswood Clare’s poems here. Most of his work is short lyrics, useful for filling gaps in pages, but here, for a change, he tries his hand at something longer, in rather a Scottish vein (quack! quack!):


The St. James’s Magazine (September, 1863)



OH! whose is this mansion so old and so grey,
On whose stones are fast spreading the marks of decay—
No dog in the kennel—no gun on the wall—
No groom in the stable—no horse in the stall?

The trees of the avenue, wither’d and spare,
With each blast of the wind howl a dirge of despair;
The raven flaps by, on a lazy black wing,
And croaks as it passes—an ill-omen’d thing.

Grass-grown is the pavement, the terrace, the court,
And rank weeds peep in at the windows in sport;
Close barr’d the chief portal of iron and oak;
The ponderous knocker ne’er echoes a stroke.

Pass ’neath the low archway, and up the broad stair,
The oak-panelled chambers are empty and bare;
The spider’s gray tapestry festoons the door,
And the rats and the mice riot over the floor.

But Death on that threshold his shadow hath cast;
’Tis the lord of the mansion whose spirit hath pass’d;
Yet no tear has been shed—not a mourner is there—
For childless and lone died the lord of Traquhair.

O raise not the pall! let the dull sable gloom
Throw a veil o’er the dust that is claim’d by the tomb;
The Judge sits in heaven: do thou breathe a prayer
For the sin-burden’d soul of the Lord of Traquhair.

The funeral over, the lawyers draw round
To hear the last testament, eagerly found:
Though brief the contents, they the secret reveal,
That the aim of a life-time had sought to conceal.

“I hated my brother—I hated my kin—
And this feeling through life was my shame and my sin;
We both loved one woman—he won her—and I
Swore hatred to him and mankind. When I die,

“If his son shall be living, go seek him, and say,
All my wealth became his when the breath left my clay;
My death will the wrong by compulsion repair,
And I own Robert Stuart as Lord of Traquhair.”

Astonish’d—bewilder’d—each one in surprise
Lifts up to his neighbour his questioning eyes.
“Now where is this Stuart—this long exiled heir
To the title and acres of ancient Traquhair?”

The lawyers rode east, and the lawyers rode west,
Of the fortunate heir to the earldom in quest;
The lawyers rode north, and the lawyers rode south,
To carry the tidings by sure word of mouth.

Now one of the number alone had a clue,—
To the Stuart in heart he had ever been true;
He remember’d the mother, a beautiful bride;
He remember’d the son in his youth and his pride.

“And Stuart is now in the height of his prime!”
He sighed; “what a mighty magician is Time!
Perchance he has children himself, and an heir
Of twenty fair summers to show to Traquhair.”

Then he slack’d not his speed, till near London’s great town,
In a green, quiet suburb he ’lighted him down;
And the heart of the old man beat thickly and fast,
As he thought, “I shall look on the Stuart at last.”

         *          *         *          *

A low-storied villa—upon the white walls
The ivy, entwined with the jessamine, falls,
And frames the wide windows, by which the perfume
Floats in through the curtains that shadow the room.

A tea-table spread, but deserted—a swell
As of two voices blending correctly and well;
A woman’s soft treble, a bass low and sweet,
In an olden Scotch ballad harmoniously meet.

It ceases—and footsteps approaching are heard,
The air to the sound of light laughter is stirr’d;
And the old man’s quick pulses again beating fast,
Assure him he looks on the Stuart at last.

What sees he? A man over whose noble head
The shadows of forty-five summers have sped—
The eye of an eagle—the port of a king—
The arm to which weakness for succour would cling—

The brow of a genius, serene, broad, and high,
Half conceal’d by the brown locks that over it lie;
Whilst the dark curling beard, sweeping down to the breast,
Leaves the charm of a magical smile to be guess’d.

And she! No proud Beauty’s bold splendour is there,
And yet she is womanly, graceful, and fair;
And the earnest blue eye, with its clear glance of truth,
Gives the promise of mind and perpetual youth.

Not yet in her autumn, nor yet in her spring,
She is little in stature, a bonnie wee thing;
And silver threads gleam ’midst the soft hazel hair,
Flung back from that forehead, so candid and fair.

She gathers a bouquet—verbena and rose,
The scarlet geranium and jessamine’s snows;
She holds it up to him—he stoops with a kiss,—
“The flowers are fragrant, but sweeter is this.”

She presses his hand to her lips with a smile,
With the other he smoothes her soft tresses the while;
The lawyer’s eyes glisten’d,—“Now God bless the pair,
They are fit to inherit the name of Traquhair.”

How little they thought what a change in their fate
Enter’d in with the old man who paused at the gate;
That a few fleeting seconds, and they should stand there
As the true Earl and Countess of ancient Traquhair!

The lawyer, in haste, told his errand in brief,
You may guess their surprise, and her wond’ring belief;
She learns for the first time his rank and his birth,
Her own Robert Stuart, her idol on earth.

There’s a smile on her lip, there’s a tear in her eye,
She forgets for a moment a stranger is by;
She drops a low curtsey all playfully there,—
“I am first to salute thee, O Earl of Traquhair!”

Then with a quick impulse she springs to his breast,
And while in his clasp she is lovingly prest,—
“God grant that no change in our love may be wrought
By the rank and the riches these tidings have brought.

“No care for the morrow—no fear for thy health;
For this, oh, how gladly I welcome our wealth!
No more the pale cheek and the hot aching brow—
No tears for my Robin in secret shed now!”

         *          *         *          *

What means all this movement in Castle Traquhair?
What groups of all ages are gathering there?
The lights in the windows, now blazing so bright?
The torches, that glare in the gloom of the night?

There are tramplings of footsteps, and distant hurrahs,
There are bonfires and rockets, wild shouts, glad huzzas;
The wheels! they are coming! loud shouts rend the air,
“Now ten thousand welcomes, thou Earl of Traquhair!”

They alight;—as his tall, noble figure appears,
The wide welkin echoes the tempest of cheers;
Then he lifts out his Countess and clasps her white hand,—
On his ancestral threshold united they stand.

He bares his proud head, and he utters a prayer
Of thanks to the goodness that guided him there.
“‘Judge nought,’ says my motto; a Judge sits in heaven.
Peace be to the dead; be his errors forgiven.

“Oh, clansmen! among you we’ll live and we’ll die.”
Blue flash’d the bright broadswords, and loud rose the cry,—
“Our Countess we’ll love and obey to a man!
All hail! Robert Stuart, the Chief of our Clan!”

Robert Stuart, like one all bewilder’d, had stood,
So fix’d his dark eye, and so absent his mood;
But when she ceased speaking, he bent on one knee,
And his words and his kisses burst warmly and free:—

“My own faithful darling! my dear one! my wife!
Whose love came like sunshine to gladden my life,
After forty years’ loneliness, struggles, and care,
And the deep disappointments that presage despair;—

“I ardently long’d to be loved for myself,
For no possible station, no possible pelf.
Forgive, if one secret at heart I conceal’d
Prom her to whom all else was fully reveal’d.

“Yes, we have been most happy!—so happy, that I
Could at this very moment contentedly die;
But that still I must cherish the wish, fond and wild,
To bless thee again in the face of a child.

“What ease and what honour shall compass thee now!
Rich silk for thy garments, bright gems for thy brow!
My people shall worship the sweet English rose
That beside the Scotch thistle so modestly grows.

“Oh! fitted alike for man’s weal or man’s woe,
What a debt to thy patient long-suffering I owe!
I would choose thee again, were I free as the air,—
Cling close while I bless thee, my Countess Traquhair!”

         *          *         *          *

Once more there is feasting in hut and in hall,
Brown ale and good liquors are flowing for all.
The banner floats gaily ’mid bonfire and shout;
There is hurry and gladness within and without:

For when autumn the earth in her gay tints had drest,
And robed in rich purple her heathery breast,
The Stuart could smile at the birth of an heir
To the Earldom and acres of ancient Traquhair.

                                                                       KINGSWOOD CLARE.



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Harriett Jay


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