Gray towers make me think of thee,
Thou girl of olden minstrelsy,
Young as the sunlight of to-day,
Silent as tasselled boughs in May!
A wind-flower in a world of harm,
A harebell on a turret's arm,
A pearl upon the hilt of fame
Thou wert, fair child of some high name.
The velvet page, the deep-eyed knight,
The heartless falcon, poised for flight,
The dainty steed and graceful hound,
In thee their keenest rapture found.
But for old ballads, and the rhyme
And writ of genius o'er the time
When keeps had newly reared their towers,
The winning scene had not been ours.
O Chivalry! thy age was fair,
When even knaves set out to dare
Their heads for any barbarous crime,
And hate was brave, and love sublime.
The bugle-note I send so far
Across Time's moors to thee, sweet star,
Where stands thy castle in its mist,
Hear, if the wandering breezes list!