Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1832/Restormel Castle

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Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1832  (1831) 
by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Restormel Castle, Cornwall


1832-26-Restormel Castle, Cornwall.png


Artist: T. Allom - Engraved by: W. LePetit


It was the last Chief of Restormel,
    He sat within his tower,
Dim burnt the hearth, and pale was the lamp,
    For it was the midnight hour.

It was not the sound of a mortal voice,
    Though it spoke with a mortal word,
Mid the howl of the wind, and the dash of the wave,
    That the Chief of Restormel heard.

He heard a shriek on the midnight wind,
    And he heard a dying groan;
Each gust through the sky, that went hurrying by,
    Brought his murdered brother's moan.

The dark hearth hissed with the falling rain,
    The lamp would burn no more;
But redder and redder the bloodspots grew
    That stained the oaken floor.

Then he knew that the voice of his brother's blood
    Was crying aloud to heaven;
And he knew that the present hour was one
    To the evil spirits given;

And fiendish shapes from the tapestry looked,
    And the lightning glared on the band;
"Come," said a voice, and he felt on his heart
    The touch of an icy hand.

Fearful, they said, was the face of the dead,
    Whom his vassals found next day;
For a clay-cold corse, in his midnight tower,
    The last Chief of Restormel lay.

Restormel Castle was one of the principal residences of the Earls of Cornwall. The above verses are founded on a traditionary story told of its last castellan, or constable.