Gelert by W. Spencer

Letter T.

The spearman heard the bugle sound,

And cheerily smiled the morn;

And many a brach, and many a hound,

Attend Llewellyn's horn.

And still he blew a louder blast,

And gave a louder cheer:

"Come, Gelert! why art thou the last

Llewellyn's horn to hear?

"Oh, where does faithful Gelert roam—

The flower of all his race!

So true, so brave—a lamb at home,

A lion in the chase?"

That day Llewellyn little loved

The chase of hart or hare;

And scant and small the booty proved,

For Gelert was not there.

Unpleased Llewellyn homeward hied,

When, near the portal-seat,

His truant Gelert he espied,

Bounding his lord to greet.

But when he gained the castle-door,

Aghast the chieftain stood;

The hound was smear'd with gouts of gore—

His lips and fangs ran blood!

Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise,

Unused such looks to meet;

His favourite check'd his joyful guise,

And crouch'd and lick'd his feet.

Onward in haste Llewellyn pass'd

(And on went Gelert too),

And still where'er his eyes were cast,

Fresh blood-gouts shock'd his view!

O'erturn'd his infant's bed he found,

The blood-stain'd cover rent,

And all around the walls and ground

With recent blood besprent.

He call'd his child—no voice replied;

He search'd—with terror wild;

Blood! blood! he found on every side,

But nowhere found the child!

"Hell-hound! by thee my child's devour'd!"

The frantic father cried,

And to the hilt his vengeful sword

He plunged in Gelert's side!

His suppliant, as to earth he fell,

No pity could impart;

But still his Gelert's dying yell

Pass'd heavy o'er his heart.

Aroused by Gelert's dying yell,

Some slumberer waken'd nigh:

What words the parent's joy can tell,

To hear his infant cry!

Conceal'd beneath a mangled heap,

His hurried search had miss'd:

All glowing from his rosy sleep,

His cherub boy he kiss'd!

Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread;

But the same couch beneath

Lay a great wolf, all torn and dead—

Tremendous still in death!

Syrian Wolf.

Ah! what was then Llewellyn's pain,

For now the truth was clear;

The gallant hound the wolf had slain

To save Llewellyn's heir.

Vain, vain was all Llewellyn's woe—

"Best of thy kind, adieu!

The frantic deed which laid thee low,

This heart shall ever rue!"

And now a gallant tomb they raise,

With costly sculpture deck'd;

And marbles, storied with his praise,

Poor Gelert's bones protect.

Here never could the spearman pass,

Or forester, unmoved;

Here oft the tear-besprinkled grass

Llewellyn's sorrow proved.

And here he hung his horn and spear;

And oft, as evening fell,

In fancy's piercing sounds would hear

Poor Gelert's dying yell.

W. Spencer.