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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.


Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770)

Elinoure and Juga

ON Rudborne bank two pining maidens sat,

Their tears fast dripping to the water clear;

Each one lamenting for her absent mate,

Who at Saint Alban’s shook the murdering spear.

The nut-brown Elinoure to Juga fair

Did speak acroole, with languishment of eyne,

Like drops of pearly dew, glistened the quivering brine.

Elin.O gentle Juga! hear my sad complaint,

To fight for York, my love is dight in steel;

O may no sanguine stain the white rose paint,

May good Saint Cuthbert watch Sir Robert wele;

Much more than death in phantasy I feel;

See, see! upon the ground he bleeding lies;

Infuse some juice of life, or else my dear love dies.

Juga.Sisters in sorrow, on this daisied bank,

Where melancholy broods, we will lament,

Be wet with morning dew and even dank;

Like levin’d oaks in each the other bent,

Or like forsaken halls of merriment,

Whose ghastly ruins hold the train of fright,

Where deadly ravens bark, and owlets wake the night.

Elin.No more the bagpipe shall awake the morn,

The minstrel-dance, good cheer, and morris-play;

No more the ambling palfrey and the horn

Shall from the lessel rouse the fox away.

I’ll seek the forest all the livelong day;

All night among the graved churchyard will go,

And to the passing sprites relate my tale of woe.

Juga.When murky clouds do hang upon the leme

Of leden moon, in silver mantles dight;

The tripping fairies weave the golden dream

Of happiness, which flieth with the night.

Then (but the saints forbid!) if to a sprite

Sir Richard’s form is lyped, I’ll hold distraught,

His bleeding clay-cold corse, and die each day in thought.

Elin.Ah! woe-lamenting words! what words can shew?

Thou glassy river, on thy bank may bleed

Champions, whose blood will with thy waters flow,

And Rudborne stream be Rudborne stream indeed!

Haste, gentle Juga, trip it o’er the mead

To know, or whether we must wail again,

Or with our fallen knights be mingled on the plain.

So saying, like two lightning-blasted trees,

Or twain of clouds that holdeth stormy rain,

They movèd gently o’er the dewy mees,

To where Saint Alban’s holy shrines remain.

There did they find that both their knights were slain,

Distraught, they wandered to swoll’n Rudborne’s side,

Yellèd their deadly knell, sank in the waves, and died.