In vain all the Knights to the Underwald wooed her,
Tho' brightest of maidens, the proudest was she;
Brave chieftains they sought, and young minstrels they sued her,
But worthy were none of the high-born Ladye.
"Whosoever I wed," said this maid, so excelling,
"That Knight must the conqueror of conquerors be;
"He must place me in halls fit for monarchs to dwell in:--
"None else shall be Lord of the high-born Ladye!
Thus spoke the proud damsel, with scorn looking round her
On Knights and on Nobles of highest degree;
Who humbly and hopelessly left as they found her,
And worshipt at distance the high-born Ladye.
At length came a Knight, from a far land to woo her,
With plumes on his helm like the foam of the sea;
His visor was down--but, with voice that thrilled thro her,
He whispered his vows to the high-born Ladye.
"Proud maiden! I come with high spousals to grace thee,
"In me the great conqueror of conquerors see;
"Enthroned in a hall fit for monarchs I'll place thee,
"And mine, thou'rt for ever, thou high-born Ladye!"
The maiden she smiled, and in jewels arrayed her,
Of thrones and tiaras already dreamt she;
And proud was the step, as her bridegroom conveyed her
In pomp to his home, of that highborn Ladye.
"But whither," she, starting, exclaims, "have you, led me?
"Here's naught but a tomb and a dark cypress tree;
"Is this the bright palace in which thou wouldst wed me?"
With scorn in her glance said the high-born Ladye.
"Tis the home," he replied, "of earth's loftiest creatures"--
Then lifted his helm for the fair one to see;
But she sunk on the ground--'twas a skeleton's features
And Death was the Lord of the high-born Ladye!