4532940Poems — The CombatEliza Gabriella Lewis

His helmet is cloven, his lance shivered lies,
His white plumes are tinged with the battle's red dyes;
In vain his bright corslet—the foe's deadly thrust
Through the links of his mail-covered body hath burst.

Now yield thee, Sir Knight, fair Oneila thy bride!
Her beauty shall cheer me—her domains are wide;
That bright flower of love I would wreath round my soul—
Then yield her, the prize, to thy victor's control.

Faint, faint felt the knight, and his head drooped low,
'Till it bent to the rise of his steel saddle-bow;
The bright sun seemed shaded, and fast o'er the ground
The lengthening shadows were gathering round.

Yield, yield thy Oneila, thine arm, boy, is weak—
The soft down is short on thy fair youthful check;
Young beauty from thee no protection can claim
Fame breathes not one blast at the sound of thy name.

The Heavens were purple with sunset's last glow
As young Theodore turned from his dark-visor'd foe;
He thought of his lordly and far-distant tower—
Of her, his young bride, in her desolate bower;
And his life-blood flowed faster!—Oh! who would defend
His bride, from the arts of his false perjured friend?

"False craven!"—he shouted; dilated his eye,
As he uttered the words of his dread prophecy;—
"Thy bones soon shall whiten on Palestine land;
Nay, think not of home, thou wilt ne'er reach its strand:
The plague is upon thee—I see it—I feel!
Its pangs are far keener than glittering steel;
Onelia, Oneila—to thee, love, I come—
We will rove by the cool-flowing fountains—our home
Is fair, love," he murmured.—In death now recline
The victor and vanquished, in far Palestine.