The Troubadour; Catalogue of Pictures, and Historical Sketches/Ballad

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For works with similar titles, see Ballad.


BALLAD.

He raised the golden cup from the board,
    It sparkled with purple wealth,
He kist the brim her lip had prest,
    And drank to his ladye's health.

Ladye, to-night I pledge thy name,
    To-morrow thou shalt pledge mine;
Ever the smile of beauty should light
    The victor's blood-red wine.

There are some flowers of brightest bloom
    Amid thy beautiful hair,
Give me those roses, they shall be
    The favour I will wear.


For ere their colour is wholly gone,
    Or the breath of their sweetness fled,
They shall be placed in thy curls again,
    But dy'd of a deeper red.

The warrior rode forth in the morning light,
    And beside his snow-white plume
Were the roses wet with the sparkling dew,
    Like pearls on their crimson bloom.

The maiden stood on her highest tower,
    And watch'd her knight depart;
She dash'd the tear aside, but her hand
    Might not still her beating heart.

All day she watch'd the distant clouds

    Float on the distant air,

A crucifix upon her neck,
    And on her lips a prayer.

The sun went down, and twilight came
    With her banner of pearlin grey,
And then afar she saw a band
    Wind down the vale their way.

They came like victors, for high o'er their ranks
    Were their crimson colours borne;
And a stranger penon droop'd beneath,
    But that was bow'd and torn:

But she saw no white steed first in the ranks,
    No rider that spurr'd before;
But the evening shadows were closing fast,
    And she could see no more.


She turn'd from her watch on the lonely tower
    In haste to reach the hall,
And as she sprang down the winding stair
    She heard the drawbridge fall.

A hundred harps their welcome rung,
    Then paused as if in fear;
The ladye enter'd the hall, and saw
    Her true knight stretch'd on his bier!