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February 26, 2008
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Than strength of nerve or sinew, or the sway
Of magic potent over sun and star,
Is love, though oft to agony distrest,
And though his favourite seat be feeble woman's breast.
Das ist das Loos des Schönen auf der Erde!
"THE LADY ARABELLA," as she has been frequently entitled, was descended from Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII. and consequently allied by birth to Elizabeth, as well as James I. This affinity to the throne proved the misfortune of her life, as the jealousies which it constantly excited in her royal relatives, who were anxious to prevent her marrying, shut her out from the enjoyment of that domestic happiness which her heart appears to have so fervently desired. By a secret, but early discovered union with William Seymour, son of Lord Beauchamp, she alarmed the cabinet of James, and the wedded lovers were immediately placed in separate confinement. From this they found means to concert a romantic plan of escape; and having won over a female attendant, by whose assistance she was disguised in male attire, Arabella, though faint from recent sickness and suffering, stole out in the night, and at last reached an appointed spot, where a boat and servants were in waiting. She embarked; and, at break of day, a French vessel, engaged to receive her, was discovered and gained. As Seymour, however, had not yet arrived, she was desirous that the vessel should lie at anchor for him; but this wish was overruled by her companions, who, contrary to her entreaties, hoisted sail, "which," says D'Israeli, "occasioned so fatal a termination
And is not love in vain,
Torture enough without a living tomb?
Fermossi al fin il cor che balzò tanto.
'TWAS but a dream!—I saw the stag leap free,
Under the boughs where early birds were singing,
I stood, o'ershadow'd by the greenwood tree,
And heard, it seemed, a sudden bugle ringing
Far thro' a royal forest: then the fawn
Shot, like a gleam of light, from grassy lawn
To secret covert; and the smooth turf shook,
And lilies quiver'd by the glade's lone brook,
'Tis past!—I wake,
A captive, and alone, and far from thee,
My love and friend! Yet fostering, for thy sake,
A quenchless hope of happiness to be;
And feeling still my woman's spirit strong,
In the deep faith which lifts from earthly wrong,
A heavenward glance. I know, I know our love
Shall yet call gentle angels from above,
By its undying fervour; and prevail,
Sending a breath, as of the spring's first gale,
Thro' hearts now cold; and, raising its bright face,
With a free gush of sunny tears erase
The characters of anguish; in this trust,
I bear, I strive, I bow not to the dust,
That I may bring thee back no faded form,
No bosom chill'd and blighted by the storm,
But all my youth's first treasures, when we meet,
Making past sorrow, by communion, sweet.
And thou too art in bonds!—yet droop thou not,
Oh, my belov'd!—there is one hopeless lot,
But one, and that not ours. Beside the dead
There sits the grief that mantles up its head,
Loathing the laughter and proud pomp of light,
When darkness, from the vainly-doting sight,
Covers its beautiful!¹ If thou wert gone
To the grave's bosom, with thy radiant brow,—
If thy deep-thrilling voice, with that low tone
Of earnest tenderness, which now, ev'n now,
Seems floating thro' my soul, were music taken
For ever from this world,—oh! thus forsaken,
Could I bear on?—thou liv'st, thou liv'st, thou'rt mine!
With this glad thought I make my heart a shrine,
And by the lamp which quenchless there shall burn,
Sit, a lone watcher for the day's return.
And lo! the joy that cometh with the morning,
Brightly victorious o'er the hours of care!
I have not watch'd in vain, serenely scorning
The wild and busy whispers of despair!
Thou hast sent tidings, as of heaven.—I wait
The hour, the sign, for blessed flight to thee.
Oh! for the skylark's wing that seeks its mate
As a star shoots!—but on the breezy sea
We shall meet soon.—To think of such an hour!
Will not my heart, o'erburden'd by its bliss,
Faint and give way within me, as a flower
Borne down and perishing by noontide's kiss?
Yet shall I fear that lot?—the perfect rest,
The full deep joy of dying on thy breast,
After long-suffering won? So rich a close
Too seldom crowns with peace affection's woes.
Sunset!—I tell each moment—from the skies
The last red splendour floats along my wall,
Like a king's banner!—Now it melts, it dies!
I see one star—I hear—'twas not the call,
Th' expected voice; my quick heart throbb'd too soon.
I must keep vigil till yon rising moon
Shower down less golden light. Beneath her beam
Thro' my lone lattice pour'd, I sit and dream
Of summer-lands afar, where holy love,
Under the vine, or in the citron-grove,
May breathe from terror.
Now the night grows deep,
And silent as its clouds, and full of sleep.
I hear my veins beat.—Hark! a bell's slow chime.
My heart strikes with it.—Yet again—'tis time!
A step!—a voice!—or but a rising breeze?
Hark!—haste!—I come, to meet thee on the seas.
Now never more, oh! never, in the worth
Of its pure cause, let sorrowing love on earth
Trust fondly—never more!—the hope is crush'd
That lit my life, the voice within me hush'd
That spoke sweet oracles; and I return
To lay my youth, as in a burial-urn,
Where sunshine may not find it.—All is lost!
No tempest met our barks—no billow toss'd;
Yet were they sever'd, ev'n as we must be,
That so have lov'd, so striven our hearts to free
From their close-coiling fate! In vain—in vain!
The dark links meet, and clasp themselves again,
And press out life.—Upon the deck I stood,
And a white sail came gliding o'er the flood,
Like some proud bird of ocean; then mine eye
Strained out, one moment earlier to descry
The form it ached for, and the bark's career
Seem'd slow to that fond yearning: It drew near,
I will not sink!
Thou, thou hast rent the heavy chain that bound thee;
And this shall be my strength—the joy to think
That thou mayst wander with heaven's breath around thee,
And all the laughing sky! This thought shall yet
Shine o'er my heart, a radiant amulet,
Guarding it from despair. Thy bonds are broken,
And unto me, I know, thy true love's token
Shall one day be deliverance, tho' the years
Lie dim between, o'erhung with mists of tears.
My friend, my friend! where art thou? Day by day,
Gliding, like some dark mournful stream, away,
My silent youth flows from me. Spring, the while,
Comes and rains beauty on the kindling boughs
Round hall and hamlet; Summer, with her smile,
Fills the green forest;—young hearts breathe their vows;
Brothers long parted meet; fair children rise
Round the glad board; Hope laughs from loving eyes:
All this is in the world!—These joys lie sown,
The dew of every path—On one alone
Their freshness may not fall—the stricken deer,
Dying of thirst with all the waters near.
Ye are from dingle and fresh glade, ye flowers!
By some kind hand to cheer my dungeon sent;
O'er you the oak shed down the summer showers,
And the lark's nest was where your bright cups bent,
There went a swift bird singing past my cell—
O Love and Freedom! ye are lovely things!
With you the peasant on the hills may dwell,
And by the streams; but I—the blood of kings,
A proud, unmingling river, thro' my veins
Flows in lone brightness,—and its gifts are chains!
Kings!—I had silent visions of deep bliss,
Leaving their thrones far distant, and for this
Dost thou forget me, Seymour? I am prov'd
So long, so sternly! Seymour, my belov'd!
There are such tales of holy marvels done
By strong affection, of deliverance won
Thro' its prevailing power! Are these things told
Till the young weep with rapture, and the old
Wonder, yet dare not doubt,—and thou, oh! thou,
Dost thou forget me in my hope's decay?—
Thou canst not!—thro' the silent night, ev'n now,
I, that need prayer so much, awake and pray
Still first for thee.—Oh! gentle, gentle friend!
How shall I bear this anguish to the end?
Aid!—comes there yet no aid?—the voice of blood
Passes Heaven's gate, ev'n ere the crimson flood
Thou hast forsaken me! I feel, I know,
There would be rescue if this were not so.
Thou'rt at the chase, thou'rt at the festive board,
Thou'rt where the red wine free and high is pour'd,
Thou'rt where the dancers meet!—a magic glass
Is set within my soul, and proud shapes pass,
Flushing it o'er with pomp from bower and hall;—
I see one shadow, stateliest there of all,—
Death!—what, is death a lock'd and treasur'd thing,
Guarded by swords of fire?² a hidden spring,
A fabled fruit, that I should thus endure,
As if the world within me held no cure?
Wherefore not spread free wings—Heaven, Heaven! controul
These thoughts—they rush—I look into my soul
As down a gulph, and tremble at th' array
Of fierce forms crowding it! Give strength to pray,
So shall their dark host pass.
The storm is still'd.
Father in Heaven! Thou, only thou, canst sound
The heart's great deep, with floods of anguish fill'd,
For human line too fearfully profound.
Therefore, forgive, my Father! if Thy child,
Rock'd on its heaving darkness, hath grown wild,
And sinn'd in her despair! It well may be,
That Thou wouldst lead my spirit back to Thee,
By the crush'd hope too long on this world pour'd,
The stricken love which hath perchance ador'd
A mortal in Thy place! Now let me strive
With Thy strong arm no more! Forgive, forgive!
Take me to peace!
And peace at last is nigh:
A sign is on my brow, a token sent
Th' o'erwearied dust, from home: no breeze flits by,
But calls me with a strange sweet whisper, blent
Of many mysteries.
Hark! the warning tone
Deepens—its word is Death. Alone, alone,
And sad in youth, but chasten'd, I depart,
Bowing to heaven. Yet, yet my woman's heart
Shall wake a spirit and a power to bless,
Ev'n in this hour's o'ershadowing fearfulness,
Thee, its first love!—oh! tender still, and true!
Be it forgotten if mine anguish threw
Drops from its bitter fountain on thy name,
Tho' but a moment.
Now, with fainting frame,
With soul just lingering on the flight begun,
To bind for thee its last dim thoughts in one,
I bless thee! Peace be on thy noble head,
Years of bright fame, when I am with the dead!
I bid this prayer survive me, and retain
Its might, again to bless thee, and again!
Thou hast been gather'd into my dark fate
Too much; too long, for my sake, desolate
Fear!—I'm a Greek, and how should I fear death?
A slave, and wherefore should I dread my freedom?
I will not live degraded.
COME from the woods with the citron-flowers,
Come with your lyres for the festal hours,
Maids of bright Scio! They came, and the breeze
Bore their sweet songs o'er the Grecian seas;—
They came, and Eudora stood rob'd and crown'd,
The bride of the morn, with her train around.
Founded on a circumstance related in the Second Series of the Curiosities of Literature, and forming part of a picture in the "Painted Biography" there described.
Jewels flash'd out from her braided hair,
Like starry dews midst the roses there;
Pearls on her bosom quivering shone,
Heav'd by her heart thro' its golden zone;
But a brow, as those gems of the ocean pale,
Gleam'd from beneath her transparent veil;
Changeful and faint was her fair cheek's hue,
Tho' clear as a flower which the light looks through;
And the glance of her dark resplendent eye,
For the aspect of woman at times too high,
Lay floating in mists, which the troubled stream
Of the soul sent up o'er its fervid beam.
She look'd on the vine at her father's door,
Like one that is leaving his native shore;
She hung o'er the myrtle once call'd her own,
As it greenly wav'd by the threshold stone;
She turn'd—and her mother's gaze brought back
Each hue of her childhood's faded track.
Why do I weep?—to leave the vine
Whose clusters o'er me bend,—
The myrtle—yet, oh I call it mine!—
The flowers I lov'd to tend.
A thousand thoughts of all things dear,
Like shadows o'er me sweep,
I leave my sunny childhood here,
Oh, therefore let me weep!
I leave thee, sister! we have play'd
Thro' many a joyous hour,
Where the silvery green of the olive shade
Hung dim o'er fount and bower.
Yes, thou and I, by stream, by shore,
In song, in prayer, in sleep,
Have been as we may be no more—
Kind sister, let me weep!
I leave thee, father! Eve's bright moon
Must now light other feet,
With the gather'd grapes, and the lyre in tune,
Thy homeward step to greet.
Thou in whose voice, to bless thy child,
Lay tones of love so deep,
Whose eye o'er all my youth hath smiled—
I leave thee! let me weep!
Mother! I leave thee I on thy breast,
Pouring out joy and wo,
I have found that holy place of rest
Still changeless,—yet I go!
Lips, that have lull'd me with your strain,
Eyes, that have watch'd my sleep!
Will earth give love like yours again?
Sweet mother! let me weep!
And like a slight young tree, that throws
The weight of rain from its drooping boughs,
They are moving onward, the bridal throng,
Ye may track their way by the swells of song;
Ye may catch thro' the foliage their white robes' gleam,
Like a swan midst the reeds of a shadowy stream.
Their arms bear up garlands, their gliding tread
Is over the deep-vein'd violet's bed;
They have light leaves around them, blue skies above,
An arch for the triumph of youth and love!
Still and sweet was the home that stood
In the flowering depths of a Grecian wood,
With the soft green light o'er its low roof spread,
As if from the glow of an emerald shed,
Pouring thro' lime-leaves that mingled on high,
Asleep in the silence of noon's clear sky.
Citrons amidst their dark foliage glow'd,
Making a gleam round the lone abode;
Laurels o'erhung it, whose faintest shiver
Scatter'd out rays like a glancing river;
Stars of the jasmine its pillars crown'd,
Vine-stalks its lattice and walls had bound,
And brightly before it a fountain's play
Flung showers thro' a thicket of glossy bay,
To a cypress which rose in that flashing rain,
Like one tall shaft of some fallen fane.
And thither Ianthis had brought his bride,
And the guests were met by that fountain-side;
Hush! be still!—was that no more
Than the murmur from the shore?
Silence!—did thick rain-drops beat
On the grass like trampling feet?—
Fling down the goblet, and draw the sword!
The groves are filled with a pirate-horde!
The youths from the banquet to battle sprang,
The woods with the shriek of the maiden rang;
Under the golden-fruited boughs
There were flashing poniards, and darkening brows,
Footsteps, o'er garland and lyre that fled;
And the dying soon on a greensward bed.
Eudora, Eudora! thou dost not fly!—
She saw but Ianthis before her lie,
With the blood from his breast in a gushing flow,
Like a child's large tears in its hour of wo,
And a gathering film in his lifted eye,
That sought his young bride out mournfully.—
She knelt down beside him, her arms she wound,
Like tendrils, his drooping neck around,
As if the passion of that fond grasp
Might chain in life with its ivy-clasp.
Gloomy lay the shore that night,
When the moon, with sleeping light,
Bath'd each purple Sciote hill,—
Gloomy lay the shore, and still.
O'er the wave no gay guitar
Sent its floating music far;
No glad sound of dancing feet
Woke, the starry hours to greet.
But a voice of mortal wo,
In its changes wild or low,
Thro' the midnight's blue repose,
From the sea-beat rocks arose,
To rest?—the waves tremble!—what piercing cry
Bursts from the heart of the ship on high?
What light through the heavens, in a sudden spire,
Shoots from the deck up? Fire! 'tis fire!
Proudly she stands, like an Indian bride
On the pyre with the holy dead beside;
But a shriek from her mother hath caught her ear,
As the flames to her marriage-robe draw near,
And starting, she spreads her pale arms in vain
To the form they must never infold again.
One moment more, and her hands are clasp'd,
Fallen is the torch they had wildly grasp'd,
Originally published, as well as several other of these Records, in the New Monthly Magazine.
Werner Stauffacher, one of the three confederates of the field of Grutli, had been alarmed by the envy with which the Austrian Bailiff, Landenberg, had noticed the appearance of wealth and comfort which distinguished his dwelling. It was not, however, until roused by the entreaties of his wife, a woman who seems to have been of an heroic spirit, that he was induced to deliberate with his friends upon the measures by which Switzerland was finally delivered.
Nor look nor tone revealeth aught
Save woman's quietness of thought;
And yet around her is a light
Of inward majesty and might.
Wer solch ein herz an seinen Busen drückt,
Der kann fur herd und hof mit freuden fechten.
IT was the time when children bound to meet
Their father's homeward step from field or hill,
And when the herd's returning bells are sweet
In the Swiss valleys, and the lakes grow still,
And the last note of that wild horn swells by,
Which haunts the exile's heart with melody.
And lovely smil'd full many an Alpine home,
Touch'd with the crimson of the dying hour,
Which lit its low roof by the torrent's foam,
And pierced its lattice thro' the vine-hung bower;
But one, the loveliest o'er the land that rose,
Then first look'd mournful in its green repose.
For Werner sat beneath the linden-tree,
That sent its lulling whispers through his door,
Ev'n as man sits whose heart alone would be
With some deep care, and thus can find no more
Th' accustom'd joy in all which evening brings,
Gathering a household with her quiet wings.
His wife stood hush'd before him,—sad, yet mild
In her beseeching mien;—he mark'd it not.
The silvery laughter of his bright-hair'd child
Rang from the greensward round the shelter'd spot,
But seem'd unheard; until at last the boy
Rais'd from his heap'd up flowers a glance of joy,
And met his father's face: but then a change
Pass'd swiftly o'er the brow of infant glee,
And a quick sense of something dimly strange
Brought him from play to stand beside the knee
So often climb'd, and lift his loving eyes
That shone through clouds of sorrowful surprise.
Then the proud bosom of the strong man shook;
But tenderly his babe's fair mother laid
Her hand on his, and with a pleading look,
Thro' tears half quivering, o'er him bent, and said,
"What grief, dear friend, hath made thy heart its prey,
That thou shouldst turn thee from our love away?
"It is too sad to see thee thus, my friend!
Mark'st thou the wonder on thy boy's fair brow,
Missing the smile from thine? Oh! cheer thee! bend
To his soft arms, unseal thy thoughts e'en now!
Thou dost not kindly to withhold the share
Of tried affection in thy secret care."
He looked up into that sweet earnest face,
But sternly, mournfully: not yet the band
Was loosen'd from his soul; its inmost place
Not yet unveil'd by love's o'ermastering hand.
"Speak low!" he cried, and pointed where on high
The white Alps glitter'd thro' the solemn sky:
"We must speak low amidst our ancient hills
And their free torrents; for the days are come
When tyranny lies couch'd by forest-rills,
And meets the shepherd in his mountain-home.
Go, pour the wine of our own grapes in fear,
Keep silence by the hearth! its foes are near.
"The envy of th' oppressor's eye hath been
Upon my heritage. I sit to-night
Under my household tree, if not serene,
Yet with the faces best-belov'd in sight:
To-morrow eve may find me chain'd, and thee—
How can I bear the boy's young smiles to see?"
The bright blood left that youthful mother's cheek;
Back on the linden-stem she lean'd her form,
And her lip trembled, as it strove to speak,
Like a frail harp-string, shaken by the storm.
'Twas but a moment, and the faintness pass'd,
And the free Alpine spirit woke at last.
And she, that ever thro' her home had mov'd
With the meek thoughtfulness and quiet smile
Of woman, calmly loving and belov'd,
And timid in her happiness the while,
Stood brightly forth, and stedfastly, that hour,
Her clear glance kindling into sudden power.
Ay, pale she stood, but with an eye of light,
And took her fair child to her holy breast,
And lifted her soft voice, that gather'd might
As it found language:—"Are we thus oppress'd?
Then must we rise upon our mountain-sod,
And man must arm, and woman call on God!
"I know what thou wouldst do,—and be it done!
Thy soul is darken'd with its fears for me.
Trust me to Heaven, my husband!—this, thy son,
The babe whom I have born thee, must be free!
And the sweet memory of our pleasant hearth
May well give strength—if aught be strong on earth.
"Thou hast been brooding o'er the silent dread
Of my desponding tears; now lift once more,
My hunter of the hills! thy stately head,
And let thine eagle glance my joy restore!
I can bear all, but seeing thee subdued,—
Take to thee back thine own undaunted mood.
"Go forth beside the waters, and along
The chamois-paths, and thro' the forests go;
And tell, in burning words, thy tale of wrong
To the brave hearts that midst the hamlets glow.
God shall be with thee, my belov'd!—Away!
Bless but thy child, and leave me,—I can pray!"
He sprang up like a warrior-youth awaking
To clarion-sounds upon the ringing air;
He caught her to his breast, while proud tears breaking
From his dark eyes, fell o'er her braided hair,—
And "Worthy art thou," was his joyous cry,
"That man for thee should gird himself to die.
"My bride, my wife, the mother of my child!
Now shall thy name be armour to my heart;
And this our land, by chains no more defiled,
Be taught of thee to choose the better part!
I go—thy spirit on my words shall dwell,
Thy gentle voice shall stir the Alps—Farewell!"
And thus they parted, by the quiet lake,
In the clear starlight: he, the strength to rouse
Of the free hills; she, thoughtful for his sake,
To rock her child beneath the whispering boughs
Singing its blue, half-curtain'd eyes to sleep,
With a low hymn, amidst the stillness deep.
Properzia Rossi, a celebrated female sculptor of Bologna, possessed also of talents for poetry and music, died in consequence of an unrequited attachment.—A painting by Ducis, represents her showing her last work, a basso-relievo of Ariadne, to a Roman Knight, the object of her affection, who regards it with indifference.
—Tell me no more, no more
Of my soul's lofty gifts! Are they not vain
To quench its haunting thirst for happiness?
Have I not lov'd, and striven, and fail'd to bind
One true heart unto me, whereon my own
Might find a resting-place, a home for all
Its burden of affections? I depart,
Unknown, tho' Fame goes with me; I must leave
The earth unknown. Yet it may be that death
Shall give my name a power to win such tears
As would have made life precious.
ONE dream of passion and of beauty more!
And in its bright fulfilment let me pour
My soul away! Let earth retain a trace
Of that which lit my being, tho' its race
Might have been loftier far.—Yet one more dream!
From my deep spirit one victorious gleam
It comes,—the power
Within me born, flows back; my fruitless dower
That could not win me love. Yet once again
I greet it proudly, with its rushing train
Of glorious images:—they throng—they press—
A sudden joy lights up my loneliness,—
I shall not perish all!
The bright work grows
Beneath my hand, unfolding, as a rose,
Leaf after leaf, to beauty; line by line,
I fix my thought, heart, soul, to burn, to shine,
Thro' the pale marble's veins. It grows—and now
I give my own life's history to thy brow,
Forsaken Ariadne! thou shalt wear
My form, my lineaments; but oh! more fair,
Touch'd into lovelier being by the glow
Which in me dwells, as by the summer-light
All things are glorified. From thee my wo
Shall yet look beautiful to meet his sight,
Now fair thou art,
Thou form, whose life is of my burning heart!
Yet all the vision that within me wrought,
I cannot make thee! Oh! I might have given
Birth to creations of far nobler thought,
I might have kindled, with the fire of heaven,
Things not of such as die! But I have been
Too much alone; a heart whereon to lean,
With all these deep affections, that o'erflow
My aching soul, and find no shore below;
An eye to be my star, a voice to bring
Hope o'er my path, like sounds that breathe of spring,
These are denied me—dreamt of still in vain,—
Therefore my brief aspirings from the chain,
Are ever but as some wild fitful song,
Rising triumphantly, to die ere long
In dirge-like echoes.
Yet the world will see
Little of this, my parting world, in thee,
Thou shalt have fame! Oh, mockery! give the reed
From storms a shelter,—give the drooping vine
Something round which its tendrils may entwine,—
Give the parch'd flower a rain-drop, and the meed
Of love's kind words to woman! Worthless fame!
That in his bosom wins not for my name
Th' abiding-place it ask'd! Yet how my heart,
In its own fairy world of song and art,
Once beat for praise!—Are those high longings o'er?
That which I have been can I be no more?—
Never, oh! never more; tho' still thy sky
Be blue as then, my glorious Italy!
And tho' the music, whose rich breathings fill
Thine air with soul, be wandering past me still,
And tho' the mantle of thy sunlight streams,
Unchang'd on forms, instinct with poet-dreams;
The Baron Von Der Wart, accused, though it is believed unjustly, as an accomplice in the assassination of the Emperor Albert, was bound alive on the wheel, and attended by his wife Gertrude, throughout his last agonizing hours, with the most heroic devotedness. Her own sufferings, with those of her unfortunate husband, are most affectingly described in a letter which she afterwards addressed to a female friend, and which was published some years ago, at Haarlem, in a book entitled Gertrude Von Der Wart, or Fidelity unto Death.
Dark lowers our fate,
And terrible the storm that gathers o'er us;
But nothing, till that latest agony
Which severs thee from nature, shall unloose
This fix'd and sacred hold. In thy dark prison-house,
In the terrific face of armed law,
Yea, on the scaffold, if it needs must be,
I never will forsake thee.
HER hands were clasp'd, her dark eyes rais'd,
The breeze threw back her hair;
Up to the fearful wheel she gaz'd—
All that she lov'd was there.
"And bid me not depart," she cried,
"My Rudolph, say not so!
This is no time to quit thy side,
Peace, peace! I cannot go.
Hath the world aught for me to fear,
When death is on thy brow?
The world! what means it?—mine is here—
I will not leave thee now.
"I have been with thee in thine hour
Of glory and of bliss;
Doubt not its memory's living power
To strengthen me thro' this!
And were not these high words to flow
From woman's breaking heart?
Thro' all that night of bitterest wo
She bore her lofty part;
But oh! with such a glazing eye,
With such a curdling cheek—
Love, love! of mortal agony,
Thou, only thou shouldst speak!
The wind rose high,—but with it rose
Her voice, that he might hear:
Perchance that dark hour brought repose
To happy bosoms near;
She wiped the death-damps from his brow,
With her pale hands and soft,
Whose touch upon the lute-chords low,
Had still'd his heart so oft.
She spread her mantle o'er his breast,
She bath'd his lips with dew,
And on his cheek such kisses press'd
As hope and joy ne'er knew.
Oh! lovely are ye, Love and Faith,
Enduring to the last!
She had her meed—one smile in death—
And his worn spirit pass'd.
The young forgot the lessons they had learnt,
And lov'd when they should hate,—like thee, Imelda!⁴
Passa la bella Donna, e par che dorma.
WE have the myrtle's breath around us here,
Amidst the fallen pillars;—this hath been
Some Naiad's lane of old. How brightly clear,
Flinging a vein of silver o'er the scene,
Up thro' the shadowy grass, the fountain wells,
And music with it, gushing from beneath
The ivied altar!—that sweet murmur tells
The rich wild flowers no tale of wo or death;
Sad is that legend's truth.—A fair girl met
One whom she lov'd, by this lone temple's spring,
Just as the sun behind the pine-grove set,
And eve's low voice in whispers woke, to bring
All wanderers home. They stood, that gentle pair,
With the blue heaven of Italy above,
And citron-odours dying on the air,
And light leaves trembling round, and early love
Deep in each breast.—What reck'd their souls of strife
Between their fathers? Unto them young life
Spread out the treasures of its vernal years;
And if they wept, they wept far other tears
But change came o'er the scene, A hurrying tread
Broke on the whispery shades. Imelda knew
The footstep of her brother's wrath, and fled
Up where the cedars make yon avenue
Dim with green twilight: pausing there, she caught—
Was it the clash of swords?—a swift dark thought
Struck down her lip's rich crimson as it pass'd,
And from her eye the sunny sparkle took
One moment with its fearfulness, and shook
Her slight frame fiercely, as a stormy blast
Might rock the rose. Once more, and yet once more,
She still'd her heart to listen,—all was o'er;
Sweet summer winds alone were heard to sigh,
Bearing the nightingale's deep spirit by.
Du Heilige! rufe dein Kind zurück!
Ich habe genossen das irdische Glück,
Ich habe gelebt und geliebet.
THE woods—oh! solemn are the boundless woods
Of the great Western World, when day declines,
And louder sounds the roll of distant floods,
More deep the rustling of the ancient pines;
When dimness gathers on the stilly air,
And mystery seems o'er every leaf to brood,
Awful it is for human heart to bear
The might and burden of the solitude!
Founded on incidents related in an American work, "Sketches of Connecticut."
Yet, in that hour, midst those green wastes, there sate
One young and fair; and oh! how desolate!
But undismay'd; while sank the crimson light,
And the high cedars darken'd with the night.
Alone she sate: tho' many lay around,
They, pale and silent on the bloody ground,
Were sever'd from her need and from her wo,
Far as Death severs Life. O'er that wild spot
Combat had rag'd, and brought the valiant low,
And left them, with the history of their lot,
Unto the forest oaks. A fearful scene
For her whose home of other days had been
Midst the fair halls of England! but the love
Which fill'd her soul was strong to cast out fear,
And by its might upborne all else above,
She shrank not—mark'd not that the dead were near.
Now light, of richer hue
Than the moon sheds, came flushing mist and dew;
The pines grew red with morning; fresh winds play'd,
Bright-colour'd birds with splendour cross'd the shade,
Flitting on flower-like wings; glad murmurs broke
From reed, and spray, and leaf, the living strings
Of earth's Eolian lyre, whose music woke
Into young life and joy all happy things.
And she too woke from that long dreamless trance,
The widow'd Edith: fearfully her glance
And life return'd,
Life, but with all its memories of the dead,
To Edith's heart; and well the sufferer learn'd
Her task of meek endurance, well she wore
The chasten'd grief that humbly can adore,
Midst blinding tears. But unto that old pair,
Ev'n as a breath of spring's awakening air,
Her presence was; or as a sweet wild tune
Bringing back tender thoughts, which all too soon
Depart with childhood. Sadly they had seen
A daughter to the land of spirits go,
And ever from that time her fading mien,
And voice, like winds of summer, soft and low,
Had haunted their dim years; but Edith's face
Now look'd in holy sweetness from her place,
And they again seem'd parents. Oh! the joy,
The rich, deep blessedness—tho' earth's alloy,
Fear, that still bodes, be there—of pouring forth
The heart's whole power of love, its wealth and worth
"Thou'rt passing from the lake's green side,
And the hunter's heath away;
For the time of flowers, for the summer's pride,
Daughter! thou canst not stay.
Thou'rt journeying to thy spirit's home,
Where the skies are ever clear;
The corn-month's golden hours will come,
But they shall not find thee here.
And we shall miss thy voice, my bird!
Under our whispering pine;
Music shall midst the leaves be heard,
But not a song like thine.
A breeze that roves o'er stream and hill,
Telling of winter gone,
Hath such sweet falls—yet caught we still
A farewell in its tone.
But thou, my bright one! thou shalt be
Where farewell sounds are o'er;
Thou, in the eyes thou lov'st, shalt see
No fear of parting more.
The mossy grave thy tears have wet,
And the wind's wild moanings by,
Thou with thy kindred shalt forget,
Midst flowers—not such as die.
The shadow from thy brow shall melt,
The sorrow from thy strain,
But where thine earthly smile hath dwelt,
Our hearts shall thirst in vain.
Dim will our cabin be, and lone,
When thou, its light, art fled;
Yet hath thy step the pathway shown
Unto the happy dead.
And we will follow thee, our guide!
And join that shining band;
Thou'rt passing from the lake's green side—
Go to the better land!"
The song had ceas'd—the listeners caught no breath,
That lovely sleep had melted into death.
What deep wounds ever clos'd without a scar?
The heart's bleed longest, and but heal to wear
That which disfigures it.
ROYAL in splendour went down the day
On the plain where an Indian city lay,
With its crown of domes o'er the forest high,
Red as if fused in the burning sky,
And its deep groves pierced by the rays which made
A bright stream's way thro' each long arcade,
Till the pillar'd vaults of the Banian stood,
Like torch-lit aisles midst the solemn wood,
From a tale in Forbes's Oriental Memoirs.
And the plantain glitter'd with leaves of gold,
As a tree midst the genii-gardens old,
And the cypress lifted a blazing spire,
And the stems of the cocoas were shafts of fire.
Many a white pagoda's gleam
Slept lovely round upon lake and stream,
Broken alone by the lotus-flowers,
As they caught the glow of the sun's last hours,
Like rosy wine in their cups, and shed
Its glory forth on their crystal bed.
Many a graceful Hindoo maid,
With the water-vase from the palmy shade,
Came gliding light as the desert's roe,
Down marble steps to the tanks below;
And a cool sweet plashing was ever heard,
As the molten glass of the wave was stirr'd;
And a murmur, thrilling the scented air,
Told where the Bramin bow'd in prayer.
There wandered a noble Moslem boy
Thro' the scene of beauty in breathless joy;
He gazed where the stately city rose
Like a pageant of clouds in its red repose;
He turn'd where birds thro' the gorgeous gloom
Of the woods went glancing on starry plume;
He track'd the brink of the shining lake,
By the tall canes feathered in tuft and brake,
Till the path he chose, in its mazes wound
To the very heart of the holy ground.
And there lay the water, as if enshrin'd
In a rocky urn from the sun and wind,
Bearing the hues of the grove on high,
Far down thro' its dark still purity.
The flood beyond, to the fiery west
Spread out like a metal-mirror's breast,
But that lone bay, in its dimness deep,
Seem'd made for the swimmer's joyous leap,
Like a falcon's glance on the wide blue sky,
Was the kindling flash of the boy's glad eye,
Like a sea-bird's flight to the foaming wave,
From the shadowy bank was the bound he gave;
Dashing the spray-drops, cold and white,
O'er the glossy leaves in his young delight,
And bowing his locks to the waters clear—
Alas! he dreamt not that fate was near.
His mother look'd from her tent the while,
O'er heaven and earth with a quiet smile:
She, on her way unto Mecca's fane,
Had stay'd the march of her pilgrim-train,
Calmly to linger a few brief hours,
In the Bramin city's glorious bowers;
For the pomp of the forest, the wave's bright fall,
The red gold of sunset—she lov'd them all.
The moon rose dear in the splendour given
To the deep-blue night of an Indian heaven;
The boy from the high-arch'd woods came back—
Oh! what had he met in his lonely track?
The serpent's glance, thro' the long reeds bright?
The arrowy spring of the tiger's might?
No!—yet as one by a conflict worn,
With his graceful hair all soil'd and torn,
And a gloom on the lids of his darken'd eye,
And a gash on his bosom—he came to die!
He look'd for the face to his young heart sweet,
And found it, and sank at his mother's feet.
"Speak to me!—whence doth the swift blood run?
What hath befall'n thee, my child, my son?"
The mist of death on his brow lay pale,
But his voice just linger'd to breathe the tale,
Murmuring faintly of wrongs and scorn,
And wounds from the children of Brahma born:
A change came o'er his wandering look—
The mother shriek'd not then, nor shook:
Breathless she knelt in her son's young blood,
Rending her mantle to staunch its flood;
But it rush'd like a river which none may stay,
Bearing a flower to the deep away.
That which our love to the earth would chain,
Fearfully striving with Heaven in vain,
That which fades from us, while yet we hold,
Clasp'd to our bosoms, its mortal mould,
Was fleeting before her, afar and fast;
One moment—the soul from the face had pass'd!
Are there no words for that common wo?
—Ask of the thousands, its depths that know!
She bow'd down mutely o'er her dead—
They that stood round her watch'd in dread;
They watch'd—she knew not they were by—
Her soul sat veil'd in its agony.
On the silent lip she press'd no kiss,
Too stern was the grasp of her pangs for this;
She shed no tear as her face bent low,
O'er the shining hair of the lifeless brow;
And what deep change, what work of power,
Was wrought on her secret soul that hour?
How rose the lonely one?—She rose
Like a prophetess from dark repose!
And proudly flung from her face the veil,
And shook the hair from her forehead pale,
And 'midst her wondering handmaids stood,
With the sudden glance of a dauntless mood.
Ay, lifting up to the midnight sky
A brow in its regal passion high,
With a close and rigid grasp she press'd
The blood-stain'd robe to her heaving breast,
And said—"Not yet—not yet I weep,
Not yet my spirit shall sink or sleep,
And away in the train of the dead she turn'd,
The strength of her step was the heart that burn'd;
And the Bramin groves in the starlight smil'd,
As the mother pass'd with her slaughter'd child.
Hark! a wild sound of the desert's horn
Thro' the woods round the Indian city borne,
A peal of the cymbal and tambour afar—
War! 'tis the gathering of Moslem war!
The Bramin look'd from the leaguer'd towers—
He saw the wild archer amidst his bowers;
And the lake that flash'd through the plantain shade,
As the light of the lances along it play'd;
There stood one tent from the rest apart—
That was the place of a wounded heart.
—Oh! deep is a wounded heart, and strong
A voice that cries against mighty wrong;
And full of death, as a hot wind's blight,
Doth the ire of a crush'd affection light.
Maimuna from realm to realm had pass'd,
And her tale had rung like a trumpet's blast.
There had been words from her pale lips pour'd,
Each one a spell to unsheath the sword.
The Tartar had sprung from his steed to hear,
And the dark chief of Araby grasp'd his spear,
Till a chain of long lances begirt the wall,
And a vow was recorded that doom'd its fall.
Vain, bitter glory!—the gift of grief,
That lights up vengeance to find relief,
Transient and faithless! it cannot fill
So the deep void of the heart, nor still
The yearning left by a broken tie,
That haunted fever of which we die!
Sickening she turn'd from her sad renown,
As a king in death might reject his crown;
The bright sun set in his pomp and pride,
As on that eve when the fair boy died;
She gazed from her couch, and a softness fell
O'er her weary heart with the day's farewell;
She spoke, and her voice in its dying tone
Had an echo of feelings that long seem'd flown.
She murmur'd a low sweet cradle song,
Strange midst the din of a warrior throng,
A song of the time when her boy's young cheek
Had glow'd on her breast in its slumber meek;
And the temples fell, tho' the spirit pass'd,
That stay'd not for victory's voice at last;
When the day was won for the martyr-dead,
For the broken heart, and the bright blood shed.
Thro' the gates of the vanquish'd the Tartar steed
Bore in the avenger with foaming speed;
Free swept the flame thro' the idol-fanes,
And the streams glow'd red, as from warrior-veins,
And the sword of the Moslem, let loose to slay,
Like the panther leapt on its flying prey,
Palace and tower on that plain were left,
Like fallen trees by the lightning cleft;
The wild vine mantled the stately square,
The Rajah's throne was the serpent's lair,
And the jungle grass o'er the altar sprung—
This was the work of one deep heart wrung!
—There is but one place in the world,
Thither where he lies buried!
There, there is all that still remains of him,
That single spot is the whole earth to me.
Alas! our young affections run to waste,
Or water but the desert.
THERE went a warrior's funeral thro' the night,
A waving of tall plumes, a ruddy light
Of torches, fitfully and wildly thrown
From the high woods, along the sweeping Rhone,
Far down the waters. Heavily and dead,
Under the moaning trees the horse-hoofs tread
One spring-morn rose,
And found, within that tomb's proud shadow laid—
Oh! not as midst the vineyards, to repose
From the fierce noon—a dark-hair'd peasant maid:
Who could reveal her story?—That still face
Had once been fair; for on the clear arch'd brow,
And the curv'd lips, there lingered yet such grace
As sculpture gives its dreams; and long and low
The deep black lashes, o'er the half-shut eye—
For death was on its lids—fell mournfully.
But the cold cheek was sunk, the raven hair
Dimm'd, the slight form all wasted, as by care.
Whence came that early blight?—Her kindred's place
Was not amidst the high De Couci race;
Yet there her shrine had been!—She grasp'd a wreath—
The tomb's last garland!—This was love in death!
An Indian woman, driven to despair by her husband's desertion of her for another wife, entered a canoe with her children, and rowed it down the Mississippi towards a cataract. Her voice was heard from the shore singing a mournful death-song, until overpowered by the sound of the waters in which she perished. The tale is related in Long's Expedition to the source of St Peter's River.
DOWN a broad river of the western wilds,
Piercing thick forest glooms, a light canoe
Swept with the current: fearful was the speed
Of the frail bark, as by a tempest's wing
Borne leaf-like on to where the mist of spray
Rose with the cataract's thunder.—Yet within,
Proudly, and dauntlessly, and all alone,
Save that a babe lay sleeping at her breast,
A woman stood: upon her Indian brow
Roll swiftly to the Spirit's land, thou mighty stream and free!
Father of ancient waters,⁵ roll! and bear our lives with thee!
The weary bird that storms have toss'd, would seek the sunshine's calm,
And the deer that hath the arrow's hurt, flies to the woods of balm.
Roll on!—my warrior's eye hath look'd upon another's face,
And mine hath faded from his soul, as fades a moonbeam's trace;
The voice that spoke of other days is hush'd within his breast,
But mine its lonely music haunts, and will not let me rest;
It sings a low and mournful song of gladness that is gone,
I cannot live without that light.—Father of waves! roll on!
Will he not miss the bounding step that met him from the chase?
The heart of love that made his home an ever sunny place?
Some blessed fount amidst the woods of that bright land must flow,
Whose waters from my soul may lave the memory of this wo;
Some gentle wind mast whisper there, whose breath may waft away
The burden of the heavy night, the sadness of the day.
And thou, my babe! tho' born, like me, for woman's weary lot,
Smile!—to that wasting of the heart, my own! I leave thee not;
She bears thee to the glorious bowers where none are heard to weep,
And where th' unkind one hath no power again to trouble sleep;
And where the soul shall find its youth, as wakening from a dream,—
One moment, and that realm is ours—On, on, dark rolling stream!
Jeanne d'Arc avait eu la joie de voir à Chalons quelques amis de son enfance. Une joie plus ineffable encore l'attendait à Rheims, au sein de son triomphe: Jacques d'Arc, son père y se trouva, aussitot que de troupes de Charles VII. y furent entreés; et comme les deux frères de notre Héroine l'avaient accompagnés, elle se vit, pour un instant au milieu de sa famille, dans les bras d'un père vertueux. Vie de Jeanne d'Arc.
Thou hast a charmed cup, O Fame!
A draught that mantles high,
And seems to lift tills earth-born frame
Away! to me—a woman—bring
Sweet waters from affection's spring.
THAT was a joyous day in Rheims of old,
When peal on peal of mighty music roll'd
Forth from her throng'd cathedral; while around,
A multitude, whose billows made no sound,
Chain'd to a hush of wonder, tho' elate
With victory, listen'd at their temple's gate.
The rites are done.
Now let the dome with trumpet-notes be shaken,
And bid the echoes of the tombs awaken,
And come thou forth, that Heaven's rejoicing sun
Oh! never did thine eye
Thro' the green haunts of happy infancy
Wander again, Joanne!—too much of fame
Had shed its radiance on thy peasant-name;
And bought alone by gifts beyond all price,
The trusting heart's repose, the paradise
Of home with all its loves, doth fate allow
The crown of glory unto woman's brow.
To die for what we love!—Oh! there is power
In the true heart, and pride, and joy, for this;
It is to live without the vanish'd light
That strength is needed.
Così trapassa al trapassar d'un Giorno
Della vita mortal il fiore e'l verde.
ALONG the star-lit Seine went music swelling,
Till the air thrill'd with its exulting mirth;
Proudly it floated, even as if no dwelling
For cares or stricken hearts were found on earth;
And a glad sound the measure lightly beat,
A happy chime of many dancing feet,
For in a palace of the land that night,
Lamps, and fresh roses, and green leaves were hung,
And from the painted walls a stream of light
On flying forms beneath soft splendour flung:
But loveliest far amidst the revel's pride
Was one, the lady from the Danube-side.⁷
Pauline, the meekly bright!—tho' now no more
Her clear eye flash'd with youth's all tameless glee,
Yet something holier than its dayspring wore,
There in soft rest lay beautiful to see;
A charm with graver, tenderer, sweetness fraught—
The blending of deep love and matron thought.
Thro' the gay throng she moved, serenely fair,
And such calm joy as fills a moonlight sky,
Sate on her brow beneath its graceful hair,
As her young daughter in the dance went by,
With the fleet step of one that yet hath known
Smiles and kind voices in this world alone.
Lurk'd there no secret boding in her breast?
Did no faint whisper warn of evil nigh?
Such oft awake when most the heart seems blest
Midst the light laughter of festivity:
Whence come those tones!—Alas! enough we know,
To mingle fear with all triumphal show!
Who spoke of evil, when young feet were flying
In fairy rings around the echoing hall?
Soft airs thro' braided locks in perfume sighing,
Glad pulses beating unto music's call?
Silence!—the minstrels pause—and hark! a sound,
A strange quick rustling which their notes had drown'd!
And lo! a light upon the dancers breaking—
Not such their clear and silvery lamps had shed!
From the gay dream of revelry awaking,
One moment holds them still in breathless dread;
And forth they rush—chased by sword and spear—
To the green coverts of the garden-bowers;
A gorgeous masque of pageantry and fear,
Startling the birds and trampling down the flowers:
While from the dome behind, red sparkles driven
Pierce the dark stillness of the midnight heaven.
And where is she, Pauline?—the hurrying throng
Have swept her onward, as a stormy blast
Might sweep some faint o'erwearied bird along?—
Till now the threshold of that death is past,
And free she stands beneath the starry skies,
Calling her child—but no sweet voice replies.
"Bertha! where art thou?—Speak, oh! speak, my own!"
Alas! unconscious of her pangs the while,
The gentle girl, in fear's cold grasp alone,
Powerless hath sunk within the blazing pile;
A young bright form, deck'd gloriously for death,
With flowers all shrinking from the flame's fierce breath!
But oh! thy strength, deep love!—there is no power
To stay the mother from that rolling grave,
Tho' fast on high the fiery volumes tower,
And forth, like banners, from each lattice wave
Back, back she rushes thro' a host combined—
Mighty is anguish, with affection twined!
And what bold step may follow, midst the roar
Of the red billows, o'er their prey that rise?
None!—Courage there stood still—and never more
Did those fair forms emerge on human eyes!
Freshly and cloudlessly the morning broke
On that sad palace, midst its pleasure-shades;
Its painted rooks had sunk—yet black with smoke
And lonely stood its marble colonnades:
But yester-eve their shafts with wreaths were bound—
Now lay the scene one shrivell'd scroll around!
And bore the ruins no recording trace
Of all that woman's heart had dared and done?
Yes! there were gems to mark its mortal place,
That forth from dust and ashes dimly shone!
Those had the mother on her gentle breast,
Worn round her child's fair image, there at rest.
And they were all!—the tender and the true
Left this alone her sacrifice to prove,
Hallowing the spot where mirth once lightly flew,
To deep, lone, chasten'd thoughts of grief and love.
Oh! we have need of patient faith below,
To clear away the mysteries of such wo!
Juana, mother of the Emperor Charles V., upon the death of her husband, Philip the Handsome of Austria, who had treated her with uniform neglect, had his body laid upon a bed of state in a magnificent dress, and being possessed with the idea that it would revive, watched it for a length of time incessantly, waiting for the moment of returning life
It is but dust thou look'st upon. This love,
This wild and passionate idolatry,
What doth it in the shadow of the grave?
Gather it back within thy lonely heart,
So must it ever end: too much we give
Unto the things that perish.
THE night-wind shook the tapestry round an ancient palace-room,
And torches, as it rose and fell, waved thro' the gorgeous gloom,
And o'er a shadowy regal couch threw fitful gleams and red,
Where a woman with long raven hair sat watching by the dead.
Pale shone the features of the dead, yet glorious still to see,
Like a hunter or a chief struck down while his heart and step were free;
No shroud he wore, no robe of death, but there majestic lay,
Proudly and sadly glittering in royalty's array.
But she that with the dark hair watch'd by the cold slumberer's side,
On her wan cheek no beauty dwelt, and in her garb no pride;
Only her full impassion'd eyes as o'er that clay she bent,
A wildness and a tenderness in strange resplendence blent.
And as the swift thoughts cross'd her soul, like shadows of a cloud,
Amidst the silent room of death, the dreamer spoke aloud;
"They told me this was death, but well I knew it could not be;
Fairest and stateliest of the earth! who spoke death for thee?
They would have wrapt the funeral shroud thy gallant form around,
But I forbade—and there thou art, a monarch, rob'd and crown'd!
"With all thy bright locks gleaming still, their coronal beneath,
And thy brow so proudly beautiful—who said that this was death?
"I know thou hast not lov'd me yet; I am not fair like thee,
The very glance of whose clear eye threw round a light of glee!
A frail and drooping form is mine—a cold unsmiling cheek,
Oh! I have but a woman's heart, wherewith thy heart to seek.
"But when thou wak'st, my prince, my lord! and hear'st how I have kept
A lonely vigil by thy side, and o'er thee pray'd and wept;
"And thou wilt smile—my own, my own, shall be the sunny smile,
Which brightly fell, and joyously, on all but me erewhile!
No more in vain affection's thirst my weary soul shall pine—
Oh! years of hope deferr'd were paid by one fond glance of thine!
"Thou'lt meet me with that radiant look when thou comest from the chase,
For me, for me, in festal halls it shall kindle o'er thy face!
"But wake! my heart within me burns, yet once more to rejoice
In the sound to which it ever leap'd, the music of thy voice:
Awake! I sit in solitude, that thy first look and tone,
And the gladness of thine opening eyes may all be mine alone."
In the still chambers of the dust, thus pour'd forth day by day,
The passion of that loving dream from a troubled soul found way,
And slowly broke the fearful truth upon the watcher's breast,
And they bore away the royal dead with requiems to his rest,
With banners and with knightly plumes all waving in the wind—
But a woman's broken heart was left in its lone despair behind.
A fearful gift upon thy heart is laid,
Woman!—a power to suffer and to love,
Therefore thou so canst pity.
WILDLY and mournfully the Indian drum
On the deep hush of moonlight forests broke;—
"Sing us a death-song, for thine hour is come,"—
So the red warriors to their captive spoke.
Still, and amidst those dusky forms alone,
A youth, a fair-hair'd youth of England stood,
Like a king's son; tho' from his cheek had flown
The mantling crimson of the island-blood,
And his press'd lips look'd marble:—Fiercely bright,
And high around him, blaz'd the fires of night,
She had sat gazing on the victim long,
Until the pity of her soul grew strong;
And, by its passion's deepening fervour sway'd,
Ev'n to the stake she rush'd, and gently laid
His bright head on her bosom, and around
His form her slender arms to shield it wound
"He shall not die!"—the gloomy forest thrill'd
To that sweet sound. A sudden wonder fell
On the fierce throng; and heart and hand were still'd,
Struck down, as by the whisper of a spell.
They gaz'd,—their dark souls bow'd before the maid,
She of the dancing step in wood and glade!
And, as her cheek flush'd thro' its olive hue,
As her black tresses to the night-wind flew,
Something o'ermaster'd them from that young mien—
Something of heaven, in silence felt and seen;
And seeming, to their child-like faith, a token
That the Great Spirit by her voice had spoken.
They loos'd the bonds that held their captive's breath;
From his pale lips they took the cup of death;
They quench'd the brand beneath the cypress tree;
"Away," they cried, "young stranger, thou art free!"
——Art thou then desolate?
Of friends, of hopes forsaken?—Come to me!
I am thine own.—Have trusted hearts prov'd false?
Flatterers deceiv'd thee? Wanderer, come to me!
Why didst thou ever leave me? Know'st thou all
I would have borne, and call'd it joy to bear,
For thy sake? Know'st thou that thy voice had power
To shake me with a thrill of happiness
By one kind tone?—to fill mine eyes with tears
Of yearning love? And thou—oh! thou didst throw
That crush'd affection back upon my heart;—
Yet come to me!—it died not.
SHE knelt in prayer. A stream of sunset fell
Thro' the stain'd window of her lonely cell,
And with its rich, deep, melancholy glow
Flushing' her cheek and pale Madonna-brow,
Ere long a cell,
A rock-hewn chapel rose, a cross of stone
Gleam'd thro' the dark trees o'er a sparkling well,
And a sweet voice, of rich, yet mournful tone,
Told the Calabrian wilds, that duly there
Costanza lifted her sad heart in prayer.
And now 'twas prayer's own hour. That voice again
Thro' the dim foliage sent its heavenly strain,
That made the cypress quiver where it stood
In day's last crimson soaring from the wood
Like spiry flame. But as the bright sun set,
Other and wilder sounds in tumult met
And all was chang'd within the still retreat,
Costanza's home:—there enter'd hurrying feet,
Dark looks of shame and sorrow; mail-clad men,
Stern fugitives from that wild battle-glen,
Scaring the ringdoves from the porch-roof, bore
A wounded warrior in: the rocky floor
Gave back deep echoes to his clanging sword,
As there they laid their leader, and implor'd
The sweet saint's prayers to heal him; then for flight,
Thro' the wide forest and the mantling night,
Sped breathlessly again.—They pass'd—but he,
The stateliest of a host—alas! to see
At last faint gleams
Of memory dawn'd upon the cloud of dreams,
And feebly lifting, as a child, his head,
And gazing round him from his leafy bed,
He murmur'd forth, "Where am I? What soft strain
Pass'd, like a breeze, across my burning brain?
But then Costanza rais'd the shadowy veil
From her dark locks and features brightly pale,
And stood before him with a smile—oh! ne'er
Did aught that smiled so much of sadness wear—
And said, "Cesario! look on me; I live
To say my heart hath bled, and can forgive.
I loved thee with such worship such deep trust
As should be Heaven's alone—and Heaven is just!
I bless thee—be at peace!"
Who should it be?—Where shouldst thou look for kindness?
When we are sick where can we turn for succour,
When we are wretched where can we complain;
And when the world looks odd and surly on us,
Where can we go to meet a warmer eye
With such sure confidence as to a mother?
"MY child, my child, thou leav'st me!—I shall hear
The gentle voice no more that blest mine ear
With its first utterance; I shall miss the sound
Of thy light step amidst the flowers around,
Originally published in the Literary Souvenir for 1828.
And thy soft-breathing hymn at twilight's close,
And thy "Good-night" at parting for repose.
Under the vine-leaves I shall sit alone,
And the low breeze will have a mournful tone
Amidst their tendrils, while I think of thee,
My child! and thou, along the moonlight sea,
With a soft sadness haply in thy glance,
Shalt watch thine own, thy pleasant land of France,
Fading to air.—Yet blessings with thee go!
Love guard thee, gentlest! and the exile's wo
From thy young heart be far!—And sorrow not
For me, sweet daughter! in my lonely lot,
God shall be with me.—Now farewell, farewell!
Thou that hast been what words may never tell
Unto thy mother's bosom, since the days
When thou wert pillow'd there, and wont to raise
In sudden laughter thence thy loving eye
That still sought mine:—those moments are gone by,
Thou too must go, my flower!—Yet with thee dwell
The peace of God!—One, one more gaze—farewell!"
This was a mother's parting with her child,
A young meek Bride on whom fair fortune smil'd,
And wooed her with a voice of love away
From childhood's home; yet there, with fond delay
She linger'd on the threshold, heard the note
Of her caged bird thro trellis'd rose-leaves float,
And fell upon her mother's neck, and wept,
Whilst old remembrances, that long had slept,
Gush'd o'er her soul, and many a vanish'd day,
As in one picture traced, before her lay.
But the farewell was said; and on the deep,
When its breast heav'd in sunset's golden sleep,
With a calm'd heart, young Madeline ere long
Pour'd forth her own sweet solemn vesper-song,
Breathing of home: thro' stillness heard afar,
And duly rising with the first pale star,
That voice was on the waters; till at last
The sounding ocean-solitudes were pass'd,
"This tomb is in the garden of Charlottenburgh, near Berlin. It was not without surprise that I came suddenly, among trees, upon a fair white Doric temple. I might, and should have deemed it a mere adornment of the grounds, but the cypress and the willow declare it a habitation of the dead. Upon a sarcophagus of white marble lay a sheet, and the outline of the human form was plainly visible beneath its folds. The person with me reverently turned back, and displayed the statue of his Queen. It is a portrait-statue recumbent, said to be a perfect resemblance—not as in death, but when she lived to bless and be blessed. Nothing can be more calm and kind than the expression of her features. The hands are folded on the bosom; the limbs are sufficiently crossed to show the repose of life.—Here the King brings her children annually, to offer garlands at her grave. These hang in withered mournfulness above this living image of their departed mother."—SHERER's Notes and Reflections during a Ramble in Germany.
In sweet pride upon that insult keen
She smiled; then drooping mute and broken-hearted,
To the cold comfort of the grave departed.
IT stands where northern willows weep,
A temple fair and lone;
Soft shadows o'er its marble sweep,
From cypress-branches thrown;
While silently around it spread,
Thou feel'st the presence of the dead.
And what within is richly shrined?
A sculptur'd woman's form,
Lovely in perfect rest reclined,
As one beyond the storm:
Yet not of death, but slumber, lies
The solemn sweetness on those eyes.
The folded hands, the calm pure face,
The mantle's quiet flow,
The gentle, yet majestic grace,
Throned on the matron brow;
These, in that scene of tender gloom,
With a still glory robe the tomb.
There stands an eagle, at the feet
Of the fair image wrought;
A kingly emblem—nor unmeet
To wake yet deeper thought:
She whose high heart finds rest below,
Was royal in her birth and wo.
There are pale garlands hung above,
Of dying scent and hue;—
She was a mother—in her love
How Sorrowfully true!
Oh! hallow'd long be every leaf,
The record of her children's grief!
She saw their birthright's warrior-crown
Of olden glory spoil'd,
The standard of their sires borne down,
The shield's bright blazon soiled:
She met the tempest meekly brave,
Then turn'd, o'erwearied, to the grave.
She slumber'd; but it came—it came,
Her land's redeeming hour,
With the glad shout, and signal-flame,
Sent on from tower to tower!
Fast thro' the realm a spirit moved—
'Twas hers, the lofty and the loved.
Then was her name a note that rung
To rouse bold hearts from sleep,
Her memory, as a banner flung
Forth by the Baltic deep;
Her grief, a bitter vial pour'd
To sanctify th' avenger's sword.
And the crown'd eagle spread again
His pinion to the sun;
And the strong land shook off its chain—
So was the triumph won!
But wo for earth, where sorrow's tone
Still blends with victory's!—She was gone!*
Originally published in the Monthly Magazine.
On the road-side between Penrith and Appleby, stands a small pillar, with this inscription:—"This pillar was erected in the year 1656, by Ann, Countess Dowager of Pembroke, for a memorial of her last parting, in this place, with her good and pious mother, Margaret, Countess Dowager of Cumberland, on the 2d April, 1616."—See Notes to the "Pleasures of Memory."
Hast thou, thro' Eden's wild-wood vales pursued
Each mountain-scene, magnificently rude,
Nor with attention's lifted eye, revered
That modest stone, by pious Pembroke rear'd,
Which still records, beyond the pencil's power,
The silent sorrows of a parting hour?
MOTHER and child! whose blending tears
Have sanctified the place,
Where, to the love of many years,
Was given one last embrace;
Oh! ye have shrin'd a spell of power,
Deep in your record of that hour!
A spell to waken solemn thought,
A still, small under-tone,
That calls back days of childhood, fraught
With many a treasure gone;
And smites, perchance, the hidden source,
Tho' long untroubled—of remorse.
For who, that gazes on the stone
Which marks your parting spot,
Who but a mother's love hath known,
The one love changing not?
Alas! and haply learn'd its worth
First with the sound of "Earth to earth?"
But thou, high-hearted daughter! thou,
O'er whose bright, honour'd head,
Blessings and tears of holiest flow,
Ev'n here were fondly shed,
Thou from the passion of thy grief,
In its full burst, couldst draw relief.
For oh! tho' painful be th' excess,
The might wherewith it swells,
In nature's fount no bitterness
Of nature's mingling, dwells;
And thou hadst not, by wrong or pride,
Poison'd the free and healthful tide.
But didst thou meet the face no more,
Which thy young heart first knew?
And all—was all in this world o'er,
With ties thus close and true?
It was!—On earth no other eye
Could give thee back thine infancy.
No other voice could pierce the maze
Where deep within thy breast,
The sounds and dreams of other days,
With memory lay at rest;
No other smile to thee could bring
A gladd'ning, like the breath of spring.
Yet, while thy place of weeping still .
Its lone memorial keeps,
While on thy name, midst wood and hill,
The quiet sunshine sleeps,
And touches, in each graven line,
Of reverential thought a sign;
Can I, while yet these tokens wear
The impress of the dead,
Think of the love embodied there,
As of a vision fled?
A perish'd thing, the joy and flower
And glory of one earthly hour?
Not so!—I will not bow me so,
To thoughts that breathe despair!
A loftier faith we need below,
Life's farewell words to bear.
Mother and child!—Your tears are past—
Surely your hearts have met at last!
"Ne me plaignez pas—si vous saviez
Combien de peines ce tombeau m'a epargnées!"
I stood beside thy lowly grave;—
Spring-odours breath'd around,
And music, in the river-wave,
Pass'd with a lulling sound.
Extrinsic interest has lately attached to the fine scenery of Woodstock, near Kilkenny, on account of its having been the last residence of the author of Psyche. Her grave is one of many in the church-yard of the village. The river runs smoothly by. The ruins of an ancient abbey that have been partially converted into a church, reverently throw their mantle of tender shadow over it.—Tales by the O'Hara Family.
All happy things that love the sun
In the bright air glanc'd by,
And a glad murmur seem'd to run
Thro' the soft azure sky.
Fresh leaves were on the ivy-bough
That fring'd the ruins near;
Young voices were abroad—but thou
Their sweetness couldst not hear.
And mournful grew my heart for thee,
Thou in whose woman's mind
The ray that brightens earth and sea,
The light of song was shrined.
Mournful, that thou wert slumbering low,
With a dread curtain drawn
Between thee and the golden glow
Of this world's vernal dawn.
Parted from all the song and bloom
Thou wouldst have lov'd so well,
To thee the sunshine round thy tomb
Was but a broken spell.
The bird, the insect on the wing,
In their bright reckless play,
Might feel the flush and life of spring,—
And thou wert pass'd away!
But then, ev'n then, a nobler thought
O'er my vain sadness came;
Th' immortal spirit woke, and wrought
Within my thrilling frame.
Surely on lovelier things, I said,
Thou must have look'd ere now,
Than all that round our pathway shed
Odours and hues below.
The shadows of the tomb are here,
Yet beautiful is earth!
What seest thou then where no dim fear,
No haunting dream hath birth?
Here a vain love to passing flowers
Thou gav'st—but where thou art,
The sway is not with changeful hours,
There love and death must part.
Thou hast left sorrow in thy song,
A voice not loud, but deep!
The glorious bowers of earth among,
How often didst thou weep!
Where couldst thou fix on mortal ground
Thy tender thoughts and high?—
Now peace the woman's heart hath found,
And joy the poet's eye.
When darkness, from the vainly-doting sight,
Covers its beautiful!
"Wheresoever you are, or in what state soever you be, it sufficeth me you are mine. Rachel wept, and would not be comforted, because her children were no more. And that, indeed, is the remediless sorrow, and none else!"—From a letter of Arabella Stuart's to her husband.—See Curiosities of Literature.
Death!—what, is death a lock'd and treasur'd thing,
Guarded by swords of fire?
"And if you remember of old, I dare die. —Consider what the world would conceive, if I should be violently enforced to do it."—Fragments of her Letters.
And her lovely thoughts from their cells found way,
In the sudden flow of a plaintive lay.
A Greek Bride, on leaving her father's house, takes leave of her friends and relatives frequently in extemporaneous verse.—See Fauriel's Chants Populaires de la Grèce Moderne.
And lov'd when they should hate—like thee, Imelda.
The tale of Imelda is related in Sismondi's Histoire des Republiques Italienne. Vol iii, p. 443.
Father of ancient waters, roll!
"Father of waters," the Indian name for the Mississippi.
And to the Fairy's fountain in the glade.
A beautiful fountain near Domremi, believed to be haunted by fairies, and a favourite resort of Jeanne d'Arc in her childhood.
But loveliest far amidst the revel's pride,
Was she, the Lady from the Danube-side.
The Princess Pauline Schwartzenberg. The story of her fate is beautifully related in L'Allemagne. Vol. iii. p. 336.
Where's the coward that would not dare
To fight for such a land?
THE stately Homes of England,
How beautiful they stand!
Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
O'er all the pleasant land.
The deer across their greensward bound
Thro' shade and sunny gleam,
And the swan glides past them with the sound
Of some rejoicing stream.
The merry Homes of England!
Around their hearths by night,
What gladsome looks of household love
Meet, in the ruddy light!
There woman's voice flows forth in song,
Or childhood's tale is told,
Or lips move tunefully along
Some glorious page of old.
The blessed Homes of England!
How softly on their bowers
Is laid the holy quietness
That breathes from Sabbath-hours!
Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime
Floats thro' their woods at morn;
All other sounds, in that still time,
Of breeze and leaf are born
The Cottage Homes of England!
By thousands on her plains,
They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,
And round the hamlet-fanes.
Thro' glowing orchards forth they peep,
Each from its nook of leaves,
And fearless there the lowly sleep,
As the bird beneath their eaves.
The free, fair Homes of England!
Long, long, in hut and hall,
May hearts of native proof be rear'd
To guard each hallow'd wall!
And green for ever be the groves,
And bright the flowery sod,
Where first the child's glad spirit loves
Its country and its God!*
Originally published in Blackwood's Magazine.
—I have dreamt thou wert
A captive in thy hopelessness; afar
From the sweet home of thy young infancy,
Whose image unto thee is as a dream
Of fire and slaughter; I can see thee wasting,
Sick for thy native air.
THE champions had come from their fields of war,
Over the crests of the billows far,
They had brought back the spoils of a hundred shores
Where the deep had foam'd to their flashing oars.
They sat at their feast round the Norse-king's board,
By the glare of the torch-light the mead was pour'd,
The hearth was heap'd with the pine-boughs high,
And it flung a red radiance on shields thrown by.
The Scalds had chaunted in Runic rhyme,
Their songs of the sword and the olden time,
And a solemn thrill, as the harp-chords rung,
Had breath'd from the walls where the bright spears hung.
But the swell was gone from the quivering string,
They had summon'd a softer voice to sing,
And a captive girl, at the warriors' call,
Stood forth in the midst of that frowning hall.
Lonely she stood:—in her mournful eyes
Lay the clear midnight of southern skies,
And the drooping fringe of their lashes low,
Half veil'd a depth of unfathom'd wo.
Stately she stood—tho' her fragile frame
Seem'd struck with the blight of some inward flame,
And her proud pale brow had a shade of scorn,
Under the waves of her dark hair worn.
And a deep flush pass'd, like a crimson haze,
O'er her marble cheek by the pine-fire's blaze;
No soft hue caught from the south-wind's breath,
But a token of fever, at strife with death.
She had been torn from her home away,
With her long locks crown'd for her bridal day,
And brought to die of the burning dreams
That haunt the exile by foreign streams.
They bade her sing of her distant land—
She held its lyre with a trembling hand,
Till the spirit its blue skies had given her, woke,
And the stream of her voice into music broke.
Faint was the strain, in its first wild flow,
Troubled its murmur, and sad, and low;
But it swell'd into deeper power ere long,
As the breeze that swept over her soul grew strong.
"They bid me sing of thee, mine own, my sunny land! of thee!
Am I not parted from thy shores by the mournful-sounding sea?
Doth not thy shadow wrap my soul?—in silence let me die,
In a voiceless dream of thy silvery founts, and thy pure deep sapphire sky;
How should thy lyre give here its wealth of buried sweetness forth?
Its tones, of summer's breathings born, to the wild winds of the north?
"Yet thus it shall be once, once more!—my spirit shall awake,
And thro' the mists of death shine out, my country! for thy sake!
"There are blue heavens—far hence, far hence! but oh! their glorious blue!
Its very night is beautiful, with the hyacinth's deep hue!
It is above my own fair land, and round my laughing home,
And arching o'er my vintage-hills, they hang their cloudless dome,
And making all the waves as gems, that melt along the shore,
And steeping happy hearts in joy—that now is mine no more.
"And there are haunts in that green land—oh! who may dream or tell,
Of all the shaded loveliness it hides in grot and dell!
By fountains flinging rainbow-spray on dark and glossy leaves,
And bowers wherein the forest-dove her nest untroubled weaves;
The myrtle dwells there, sending round the richness of its breath,
And the violets gleam like amethysts, from the dewy moss beneath.
"And there are floating sounds that fill the skies thro' night and day,
Sweet sounds! the soul to hear them faints in dreams of heaven away!
They wander thro' the olive-woods, and o'er the shining seas,
They mingle with the orange-scents that load the sleepy breeze;
"I may not thus depart—farewell! yet no, my country! no!
Is not love stronger than the grave? I feel it must be so!
My fleeting spirit shall o'ersweep the mountains and the main,
And in thy tender starlight rove, and thro' thy woods again.
Its passion deepens—it prevails!—I break my chain—I come
To dwell a viewless thing, yet blest—in thy sweet air, my home!"
And her pale arms dropp'd the ringing lyre,
There came a mist o'er her eye's wild fire,
And her dark rich tresses, in many a fold,
Loos'd from their braids, down her bosom roll'd.
For her head sank back on the rugged wall,—
A silence fell o'er the warrior's hall;
She had pour'd out her soul with her song's last tone;
The lyre was broken, the minstrel gone!
"Ivan le Terrible, etant dejà devenu vieux, assiégoit Novogorod. Les Boyards, le voyant affoibli, lui démandèrent s'il ne voulait pas donner le commandement de l'assaut à son fils. Sa fureur fut si grande à cette proposition, que rien ne put l'appaiser; son fils se prosterna à ses pieds; il le repoussa avec un coup d'une telle violence, que deux jours après le malheureux en mourut. Le père, alors au desespoir, devint indifferent à la guerre comme au pouvoir, et ne survécut que peu de mois à son fils."—Dix Annees d' Exil, par MADAME DE STAEL
Gieb diesen Todten mir heraus. Ich muss
Ihn wieder haben! […]
[…] Trostlose allmacht,
Die nicht einmal in Gräber ihren arm
Verlängern, eine kleine Ubereilung
Mit Menschenleben nicht verbessern kann!
HE sat in silence on the ground,
The old and haughty Czar;
Lonely, tho' princes girt him round,
And leaders of the war:
He had cast his jewell'd sabre,
That many a field had won,
To the earth beside his youthful dead,
His fair and first-born son.
With a robe of ermine for its bed,
Was laid that form of clay,
Where the light a stormy sunset shed,
Thro' the rich tent made way:
And a sad and solemn beauty
On the pallid face came down,
Which the Lord of nations mutely watch'd,
In the dust, with his renown.
Low tones at last of wo and fear
From his full bosom broke;—
A mournful thing it was to hear
How then the proud man spoke!
The voice that thro' the combat
Had shouted far and high,
Came forth in strange, dull, hollow tones,
Burden'd with agony.
"There is no crimson on thy cheek,
And on thy lip no breath,
I call thee, and thou dost not speak—
They tell me this is death!
And fearful things are whispering
That I the deed have done.—
For the honour of thy father's name,
Look up, look up, my son!
"Well might I know death's hue and mien,
But on thine aspect, boy!
What, till this moment, have I seen,
Save pride and tameless joy?
Swiftest thou wert to battle,
And bravest there of all—
How could I think a warrior's frame
Thus like a flower should fall?
"I will not bear that still, cold look—
Rise up, thou fierce and free!
Wake as the storm wakes! I will brook
All, save this calm, from thee!
Lift brightly up, and proudly,
Once more thy kindling eyes!
Hath my word lost its power on earth?
I say to thee, arise!
"Didst thou not know I lov'd thee well?
Thou didst not! and art gone
In bitterness of soul, to dwell
Where man must dwell alone.
Come back, young fiery, spirit!
If but one hour, to learn
The secrets of the folded heart,
That seem'd to thee so stern.
"Thou wert the first, the first fair child,
That in mine arms I press'd;
Thou wert the bright one, that hast smil'd
Like summer on my breast!
I reared thee as an eagle,
To the chase thy steps I led,
I bore thee on my battle-horse,
I look upon thee—dead!
"Lay down my warlike banners here,
Never again to wave,
And bury my red sword and spear,
Chiefs! in my first-born's grave!
And leave me!—I have conquer'd,
I have slain—my work is done!
Whom have I slain?—ye answer not—
Thou too art mute, my son!"
And thus his wild lament was pour'd
Thro' the dark resounding night,
And the battle knew no more his sword,
Nor the foaming steed his might.
He heard strange voices moaning
In every wind that sigh'd;
From the searching stars of heaven he shrank—
Humbly the conqueror died.*
Originally published in the Literary Souvenir for 1827.
Thy cheek too swiftly flushes; o'er thine eye
The lights and shadows come and go too fast,
Thy tears gush forth too soon, and in thy voice
Are sounds of tenderness too passionate
For peace on earth; oh! therefore, child of song!
'Tis well thou shouldst depart.
A SOUND of music, from amidst the hills,
Came suddenly, and died; a fitful sound
Of mirth, soon lost in wail.—Again it rose,
And sank in mournfulness.—There sat a bard,
By a blue stream of Erin, where it swept
Flashing thro' rock and wood; the sunset's light
Was on his wavy silver-gleaming hair,
And the wind's whisper in the mountain-ash.
Founded on a circumstance related of the Irish Bard, in the "Percy Anecdotes of Imagination."
Whose clusters droop'd above. His head was bow'd
His hand was on his harp, yet thence its touch
Had drawn but broken strains; and many stood,
Waiting around, in silent earnestness,
Th' unchaining of his soul, the gush of song:
Many, and graceful forms! yet one alone,
Seem'd present to his dream; and she indeed,
With her pale virgin brow, and changeful cheek,
And the clear starlight of her serious eyes,
Lovely amidst the flowing of dark locks
And pallid braiding flowers, was beautiful,
Ev'n painfully!—a creature to behold
With trembling midst our joy, lest aught unseen
Should waft the vision from us, leaving earth
Too dim without its brightness!—Did such fear
O'ershadow, in that hour, the gifted one,
By his own rushing stream?—Once more he gaz'd
Upon the radiant girl, and yet once more
From the deep chords his wandering
A few short festive notes, an opening strain
Voice of the grave!
I hear thy thrilling call;
It comes in the dash of the foaming wave,
In the sear leaf's trembling fall!
In the shiver of the tree,
I hear thee, O thou voice!
And I would thy warning were but for me,
That my spirit might rejoice.
But thou art sent
For the sad earth's young and fair,
For the graceful heads that have not bent
To the wintry hand of care!
Long have I striven
With my deep foreboding soul,
But the full tide now its bounds hath riven,
And darkly on must roll.
There's a young brow smiling near,
With a bridal white-rose wreath,—
Unto me it smiles from a flowery bier,
Touch'd solemnly by death!
Fair art thou, Morna!
The sadness of thine eye
Is beautiful as silvery clouds
On the dark-blue summer sky!
Silence and dust
On thy sunny lips must lie,
Make not the strength of love thy trust,
A stronger yet is nigh!
No strain of festal flow
That my hand for thee hath tried,
But into dirge-notes wild and low,
Its ringing tones have died.
Young art thou, Morna!
Yet on thy gentle head,
Like heavy dew on the lily's leaves,
A spirit hath been shed!
Yet shall I weep?
I know that in thy breast
There swells a fount of song too deep,
Too powerful for thy rest!
And the bitterness I know,
And the chill of this world's breath—
Go, all undimm'd, in thy glory go!
Young and crown'd bride of death!
Take hence to heaven
Thy holy thoughts and bright,
And soaring hopes, that were not given
For the touch of mortal blight!
There was a burst of tears around the bard:
All wept but one, and she serenely stood,
With her clear brow and dark religious eye,
Rais'd to the first faint star above the hills,
And cloudless; though it might be that her cheek
Was paler than before.—So Morna heard
The minstrel's prophecy.
And spring return'd,
Bringing the earth her lovely things again,
All, save the loveliest far! A voice, a smile,
A young sweet spirit gone.
If there be but one spot upon thy name,
One eye thou fear'st to meet, one human voice
Whose tones thou shrink'st from—Woman! veil thy face,
And bow thy head—and die!
THOU seest her pictured with her shining hair,
(Famed were those tresses in Provençal song,)
Half braided, half o'er cheek and bosom fair
Let loose, and pouring sunny waves along
Her gorgeous vest. A child's light hand
Midst the rich curls, and oh! how meekly loving
Its earnest looks are lifted to the face,
Which bends to meet its lip in laughing grace!
Her lord, in very weariness of life,
Girt on his sword for scenes of distant strife;
One sunny morn,
With alms before her castle gate she stood,
Midst peasant-groups; when breathless and o'erworn,
And shrouded in long weeds of widowhood,
Isaure had pray'd for that lost mother; wept
O'er her stain'd memory, while the happy slept
In the hush'd midnight; stood with mournful gaze
Before you picture's smile of other days,
But never breath'd in human ear the name
Which weigh'd her being to the earth with shame.
Her child bent o'er her—call'd her—'twas too late—
Dead lay the wanderer at her own proud gate!
The joy of Courts, the star of knight and bard,—
How didst thou fall, O bright-hair'd Ermengarde!
O good old man! how well in thee appears
The constant service of the antique world!
Thou art not for the fashion of these times.
FALL'N was the House of Giafar; and its name,
The high romantic name of Barmecide,
A sound forbidden on its own bright shores,
By the swift Tygris' wave. Stern Haroun's wrath,
Sweeping the mighty with their fame away,
Had so pass'd sentence: but man's chainless heart
Hides that within its depths, which never yet
Th' oppressor's thought could reach.
Where Giafar's halls, beneath the burning sun,
Spread out in ruin lay. The songs had ceas'd;
The lights, the perfumes, and the genii-tales,
Had ceas'd; the guests were gone. Yet still one voice
Was there—the fountain's; thro' those eastern courts,
Over the broken marble and the grass,
Its low clear music shedding mournfully.
And still another voice!—an aged man,
Yet with a dark and fervent eye beneath
His silvery hair, came, day by day, and sate
On a white column's fragment; and drew forth,
From the forsaken walls and dim arcades,
A tone that shook them with its answering thrill
To his deep accents. Many a glorious tale
He told that sad yet stately solitude,
Pouring his memory's fulness o'er its gloom,
Like waters in the waste; and calling up,
"And shall I not rejoice to go, when the noble and the brave,
With the glory on their brows, are gone before me to the grave?
What is there left to look on now, what brightness in the land?—
I hold in scorn the faded world, that wants their princely band!
"My chiefs! my chiefs! the old man comes, that in your halls was nurs'd,
That follow'd you to many a fight, where flash'd your sabres first;
That bore your children in his arms, your name upon his heart—
Oh! must the music of that name with him from earth depart?
"It shall not be!—a thousand tongues, tho' human voice were still,
With that high sound the living air triumphantly shall fill;
The wind's free flight shall bear it on, as wandering seeds are sown,
And the starry midnight whisper it, with a deep and thrilling tone.
"For it is not as a flower whose scent with the dropping leaves expires,
And it is not as a household lamp, that a breath should quench its fires;
It is written on our battle-fields with the writing of the sword,
It hath left upon our desert-sands a light in blessings pour'd.
"The founts, the many gushing founts, which to the wild ye gave,
Of you, my chiefs, shall sing aloud, as they pour a joyous wave;
And the groves, with whose deep lovely gloom ye hung the pilgrim's way,
Shall send from all their sighing leaves your praises on the day.
"The very walls your bounty rear'd, for the stranger's homeless head,
Shall find a murmur to record your tale, my glorious dead!
Tho' the grass be where ye feasted once, where lute and cittern rung,
And the serpent in your palaces lie coil'd amidst its young.
"It is enough! mine eye no more of joy or splendour sees,
I leave your name in lofty faith, to the skies and to the breeze!
I go, since earth her flower hath lost, to join the bright and fair,
And call the grave a kingly house, for ye, my chiefs, are there!"
But while the old man sang, a mist of tears
O'er Haroun's eyes had gathered, and a thought—
Oh! many a sudden and remorseful thought
Of his youth's once-lov'd friends, the martyr'd race,
O'erflowed his softening heart.—Live, live!" he cried,
"Thou faithful unto death! live on, and still
Speak of thy lords; they were a princely band!"
Weep not for those whom the veil of the tomb,
In life's early morning, hath hid from our eyes,
Ere sin threw a yell o'er the spirit's young bloom,
Or earth had profan'd what was born for the skies.
I MADE a mountain-brook my guide,
Thro' a wild Spanish glen,
And wandered, on its grassy side,
Far from the homes of men.
It lured me with a singing tone,
And many a sunny glance,
To a green spot of beauty lone,
A haunt for old romance.
Suggested by a scene beautifully described in the "Recollections of the Peninsula."
A dim and deeply-bosom'd grove
Of many an aged tree,
Such as the shadowy violets love,
The fawn and forest-bee.
The darkness of the chestnut bough
There on the waters lay,
The bright stream reverently below,
Check'd its exulting play;
And bore a music all subdued,
And led a silvery sheen,
On thro' the breathing solitude
Of that rich leafy scene.
For something viewlessly around
Of solemn influence dwelt,
In the soft gloom, and whispery sound,
Not to be told, but felt:
While sending forth a quiet gleam
Across the wood's repose,
And o'er the twilight of the stream,
A lowly chapel rose.
A pathway to that still retreat
Thro' many a myrtle wound,
And there a sight—how strangely sweet!
My steps in wonder bound.
For on a brilliant bed of flowers,
Even at the threshold made,
As if to sleep thro' sultry hours,
A young fair child was laid.
To sleep?—oh! ne'er on childhood's eye,
And silken lashes press'd,
Did the warm living slumber lie,
With such a weight of rest!
Yet still a tender crimson glow
Its cheek's pure marble dyed—
'Twas but the light's faint streaming flow
Thro' roses heap'd beside.
I stoop'd—the smooth round arm was chill,
The soft lip's breath was fled,
And the bright ringlets hung so still—
The lovely child was dead!
"Alas!" I cried, "fair faded thing!
Thou hast wrung bitter tears,
And thou hast left a wo, to cling
Round yearning hearts for years!"
But then a voice came sweet and low—
I turn'd, and near me sate
A woman with a mourner's brow,
Pale, yet not desolate.
And in her still, clear, matron face,
All solemnly serene,
A shadow'd image I could trace
Of that young slumberer's mien.
"Stranger! thou pitiest me," she said,
With lips that faintly smiled,
"As here I watch beside my dead,
My fair and precious child.
"But know, the time-worn heart may be
By pangs in this world riven,
Keener than theirs who yield, like me,
An angel thus to Heaven!"
The prisoned thrush may brook the cage,
The captive eagle dies for rage.
'TWAS a trumpet's pealing sound!
And the knight look'd down from the Paynim's tower,
And a Christian host, in its pride and power,
Thro' the pass beneath him wound.
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease! let them hear the captive's voice—be still!
"I knew 'twas a trumpet's note!
And I see my brethren's lances gleam,
And their pennons wave by the mountain stream,
And their plumes to the glad wind float!
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease! let them hear the captive's voice—be still!
"I am here, with my heavy chain!
And I look on a torrent sweeping by,
And an eagle rushing to the sky,
And a host, to its battle-plain!
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease I let them hear the captive's voice—be still!
"Must I pine in my fetters here?
With the wild wave's foam, and the free bird's flight,
And the tall spears glancing on my sight,
And the trumpet in mine ear?
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease! let them hear the captive's voice—be still!
"They are gone! they have all pass'd by!
They in whose wars I had borne my part,
They that I lov'd with a brother's heart,
They have left me here to die!
Sound again, clarion? Clarion pour thy blast!
Sound! for the captive's dream of hope is past."
Louis, Emperor of Germany, having put his brother, the Palsgrave Rodolphus, under the ban of the empire, (in the 12th century,) that unfortunate Prince fled to England, where he died in neglect and poverty. "After his decease, his mother, Matilda, privately invited his children to return to Germany; and by her mediation, during a season of festivity, when Louis kept wassail in the Castle of Heidelberg, the family of his brother presented themselves before him in the garb of suppliants, imploring pity and forgiveness. To this appeal the victor softened. —Miss BENGER'S Memoirs of the Queen of Bohemia."
THE Kaiser feasted in his hall,
The red wine mantled high;
Banners were trembling on the wall,
To the peals of minstrelsy:
And many a gleam and sparkle came
From the armour hung around,
As it caught the glance of the torch's flame,
Or the hearth with pine-boughs crown'd.
Why fell there silence on the chord
Beneath the harper's hand?
And suddenly, from that rich board,
Why rose the wassail-band?
She led them ev'n to the Kaiser's place,
And still before him stood;
Till, with strange wonder, o'er his face
Flush'd the proud warrior-blood:
And "Speak, my mother! speak!" he cried,
"Wherefore this mourning vest?
And the clinging children by thy side,
In weeds of sadness drest?"
"Well may a mourning vest be mine,
And theirs, my son, my son!
Look on the features of thy line
In each fair little one!
"And where is he, thy brother, where?
He, in thy home that grew,
And smiling, with his sunny hair,
Ever to greet thee flew?
How would his arms thy neck entwine,
His fond lips press thy brow!
My son! oh, call these orphans thine—
Thou hast no brother now!
"What! from their gentle eyes doth nought
Speak of thy childhood's hours,
And smite thee with a tender thought
Of thy dead father's towers?
"Well didst thou love him then, and he
Still at thy side was seen!
How is it that such things can be,
As the' they ne'er had been?
Evil was this world's breath, which came
Between the good and brave!
Now must the tears of grief and shame
Be offer'd to the grave.
"And let them, let them there be pour'd!
Tho' all unfelt below,
Thine own wrung heart, to love restor'd,
Shall soften as they flow.
His eye was dimm'd—the strong man shook
With feelings long suppress'd;
Up in his arms the boys he took,
And strain'd them to his breast.
And a shout from all in the royal hall
Burst forth to hail the sight;
And eyes were wet, midst the brave that met
At the Kaiser's feast that night.
SHE sat, where on each wind that sigh'd,
The citron's breath went by,
While the red gold of eventide
Burn'd in th' Italian sky.
Her bower was one where daylight's close
Full oft sweet laughter found,
As thence the voice of childhood rose
To the high vineyards round.
But still and thoughtful, at her knee,
Her children stood that hour,
Their bursts of song and dancing glee,
Hush'd as by words of power.
With bright, fix'd, wondering eyes, that gaz'd
Up to their mother's face,
With brows thro' parted ringlets rais'd,
They stood in silent grace.
While she—yet something o'er her look
Of mournfulness was spread—
Forth from a poet's magic book,
The glorious numbers read;
The proud undying lay, which pour'd
Its light on evil years;
His of the gifted pen and sword,*
The triumph—and the tears.
It is scarcely necessary to recall the well-known Italian saying, that Tasso with his sword and pen was superior to all men.
She read of fair Erminia's flight,
Which Venice once might hear
Sung on her glittering seas at night,
By many a Gondolier;
Of him she read, who broke the charm
That wrapt the myrtle grove;
Of Godfrey's deeds, of Tancred's arm,
That slew his Paynim love.
Young cheeks around that bright page glow'd,
Young holy hearts were stirr'd;
And the meek tears of woman flow'd
Fast o'er each burning word.
And sounds of breeze, and fount, and leaf,
Came sweet, each pause between;
When a strange voice of sudden grief
Burst on the gentle scene.
The mother turn'd—a way-worn man,
In pilgrim-garb stood nigh,
Of stately mien, yet wild and wan,
Of proud yet mournful eye.
But drops which would not stay for pride,
From that dark eye gush'd free,
As pressing his pale brow, he cried,
"Forgotten! ev'n by thee!
"Am I so changed?—and yet we two
Oft hand in hand have play'd;—
This brow hath been all bath'd in dew,
From wreaths which thou hast made;
We have knelt down and said one prayer,
And sung one vesper-strain;
My soul is dim with clouds of care—
Tell me those words again!
"Life hath been heavy on my head,
I come a stricken deer,
Bearing the heart, midst crowds that bled,
To bleed in stillness here."—
She gaz'd—till thoughts that long had slept,
Shook all her thrilling frame—
She fell upon his neck and wept,
Murmuring her brother's name.
Her brother's name!—and who was he,
The weary one, th' unknown,
That came, the bitter world to flee,
A stranger to his own?—
He was the bard of gifts divine
To sway the souls of men;
He of the song for Salem's shrine,
He of the sword and pen!
Yet speak to me! I have outwatch'd the stars,
And gaz'd o'er heaven in vain, in search of thee.
Speak to me! I have wander'd o'er the earth,
And never found thy likeness.—Speak to me!
This once—once more!
"THOU'RT gone!—thou'rt slumbering low,
With the sounding seas above thee;
It is but a restless wo,
But a haunting dream to love thee!
Thrice the glad swan has sung,
To greet the spring-time hours,
Since thine oar at parting flung
The white spray up in showers.
'Twas Ulla's voice—alone she stood
In the Iceland summer night,
Far gazing o'er a glassy flood,
From a dark rock's beetling height.
"I know thou hast thy bed
Where the sea-weed's coil hath bound thee;
The storm sweeps o'er thy head,
But the depths are hush'd around thee.
What wind shall point the way
To the chambers where thou'rt lying?
Come to me thence, and say
If thou thought'st on me in dying?
She listened—'twas the wind's low moan,
'Twas the ripple of the wave,
'Twas the wakening ospray's cry alone,
As it started from its cave.
"I know each fearful spell
Of the ancient Runic lay,
Whose mutter'd words compel
The tempest to obey.
But I adjure not thee
By magic sign or song,
My voice shall stir the sea
By love,—the deep, the strong!
By the might of woman's tears, by the passion of her sighs,
Come to me from the ocean's dead—by the vows we pledg'd—arise!"
Again she gaz'd with an eager glance,
Wandering and wildly bright;—
She saw but the sparkling waters dance
To the arrowy northern light.
"By the slow and struggling death
Of hope that loath'd to part,
By the fierce and withering breath
Of despair on youth's high heart;
By the weight of gloom which clings
To the mantle of the night,
By the heavy dawn which brings
Nought lovely to the sight,
By all that from my weary soul thou hast wrung of grief and fear,
Come to me from the ocean's dead—awake, arise, appear!"
Was it her yearning spirit's dream,
Or did a pale form rise,
And o'er the hush'd wave glide and gleam,
With bright, still, mournful eyes?
"Have the depths heard?—they have!
My voice prevails—thou'rt there,
Dim from thy watery grave,
Oh! thou that wert so fair!
Yet take me to thy rest!
There dwells no fear with love;
Let me slumber on thy breast,
While the billow rolls above!
Where the long-lost things lie hid, where the bright ones have their home,
We will sleep among the ocean's dead—stay for me, stay!—I come!"
There was a sullen plunge below,
A flashing on the main,
And the wave shut o'er that wild heart's wo,
Shut—and grew still again.
THINE is a strain to read among the hills,
The old and full of voices;—by the source
Of some free stream, whose gladdening presence fills
The solitude with sound; for in its course
Even such is thy deep song, that seems a part
Of those high scenes, a fountain from their heart.
Or its calm spirit fitly may be taken
To the still breast, in sunny garden-bowers
Where vernal winds each tree's low tones awaken,
And bud and bell with changes mark the hours.
There let thy thoughts be with me, while the day
Sinks with a golden and serene decay.
Or by some hearth where happy faces meet,
When night hath hush'd the woods, with all their birds,
There, from some gentle voice, that lay were sweet
As antique music, link'd with household words.
While, in pleased murmurs, woman's lip might move,
And the rais'd eye of childhood shine in love.
Or where the shadows of dark solemn yews
Brood silently o'er some lone burial-ground,
Thy verse hath power that brightly might diffuse
A breath, a kindling, as of spring, around;
From its own glow of hope and courage high,
And steadfast faith's victorious constancy.
True bard, and holy!—thou art ev'n as one
Who, by some secret gift of soul or eye,
In every spot beneath the smiling sun,
Sees where the springs of living waters lie:
Unseen awhile they sleep—till, touch'd by thee,
Bright healthful waves flow forth to each glad wanderer free.
The Emperor Albert of Hapsburgh, who was assassinated by his nephew, afterwards called John the Parricide, was left to die by the way-side, and only supported in his last moments by a female peasant, who happened to be passing.
A MONARCH on his death-bed lay—
Did censers waft perfume,
And soft lamps pour their silvery ray,
Thro' his proud chamber's gloom?
He lay upon a greensward bed,
Beneath a darkening sky—
A lone tree waving o'er his head,
A swift stream rolling by.
Had he then fall'n as warriors fall,
Where spear strikes fire with spear?
Was there a banner for his pall,
A buckler for his bier?
Not so;—nor cloven shields nor helms
Had strewn the bloody sod,
Where he, the helpless lord of realms,
Yielded his soul to God.
Were there not friends with words of cheer,
And princely vassals nigh?
And priests, the crucifix to rear
Before the glazing eye?
A peasant girl that royal head
Upon her bosom laid,
And, shrinking not for woman's dread,
The face of death survey'd.
Alone she sat:—from hill and wood
Red sank the mournful sun;
Fast gush'd the fount of noble blood,
Treason its worst had done!
With her long hair she vainly press'd
The wounds to staunch their tide—
Unknown, on that meek humble breast,
Imperial Albert died!
Umile in tanta gloria.—PETRARCH.
IF it be sad to speak of treasures gone,
Of sainted genius called too soon away,
Of light, from this world taken, while it shone
Yet kindling onward to the perfect day;
How shall our grief, if mournful these things be,
Flow forth, oh, Thou of many gifts! for thee?
Hath not thy voice been here amongst us heard?
And that deep soul of gentleness and power,
Have we not felt its breath in every word,
Wont from thy lip, as Hermon's dew, to shower?
Yes! in our hearts thy fervent thoughts have burn'd,
Of Heaven they were, and thither have return'd.
How shall we mourn thee?—With a lofty trust,
Our life's immortal birthright from above!
With a glad faith, whose eye, to track the just,
Thro' shades and mysteries lifts a glance of love,
And yet can weep!—for nature thus deplores
The friend that leaves us, tho' for happier shores.
And one high tone of triumph o'er thy bier,
One strain of solemn rapture be allow'd!
Thou, that rejoicing on thy mid career,
Not to decay, but unto death, hast bow'd;
In those bright regions of the rising sun,
Where victory ne'er a crown like thine had won.
Praise! for yet one more name with power endow'd,
To cheer and guide us, onward as we press;
Yet one more image, on the heart bestow'd,
To dwell there, beautiful in holiness!
Thine, Heber, thine! whose memory from the dead,
Shines as the star which to the Saviour led.
"WHY wouldst thou leave me, oh! gentle child?
Thy home on the mountain is bleak and wild,
A straw-roof'd cabin with lowly wall—
Mine is a fair and a pillar'd hall,
Where many an image of marble gleams,
And the sunshine of picture for ever streams."
"Oh! green is the turf where my brothers play,
Thro' the long bright hours of the summer-day,
They find the red cup-moss where they climb,
And they chase the bee o'er the scented thyme,
And the rocks where the heath-flower blooms they know—
Lady, kind lady! oh! let me go."
"Content thee, boy! in my bower to dwell,
Here are sweet sounds which thou lovest well;
Flutes on the air in the stilly noon,
Harps which the wandering breezes tune;
And the silvery wood-note of many a bird,
Whose voice was ne'er in thy mountains heard."
"Oh! my mother sings, at the twilight's fall,
A song of the hills far more sweet than all;
She sings it under our own green tree,
To the babe half slumbering on her knee;
I dreamt last night of that music low—
Lady, kind lady! oh! let me go."
"Thy mother is gone from her cares to rest,
She hath taken the babe on her quiet breast;
Thou wouldst meet her footstep, my boy, no more,
Nor hear her song at the cabin door.
Come thou with me to the vineyards nigh,
And we'll pluck the grapes of the richest dye."
"Is my mother gone from her home away?—
But I know that my brothers are there at play.
I know they are gathering the fox-glove's bell,
Or the long fern-leaves by the sparkling well,
Or they launch their boats where the bright streams flow,—
Lady, kind lady! oh! let me go."
"Fair child, thy brothers are wanderers now,
They sport no more on the mountain's brow,
They have left the fern by the spring's green side,
And the streams where the fairy barks were tried.
Be thou at peace in thy brighter lot,
For thy cabin-home is a lonely spot."
"Are they gone, all gone from the sunny hill?—
But the bird and the blue-fly rove o'er it still;
And the red-deer bound in their gladness free,
And the heath is bent by the singing bee,
And the waters leap, and the fresh winds blow,—
Lady, kind lady! oh! let me go."
I called on dreams and visions, to disclose
That which is veil'd from waking thought; conjured
Eternity, as men constrain a ghost
To appear and answer.
ANSWER me, burning stars of night!
Where is the spirit gone,
That past the reach of human sight,
As a swift breeze hath flown?—
And the stars answer'd me—"We roll
In light and power on high;
But, of the never-dying soul,
Ask that which cannot die."
Oh! many-toned and chainless wind!
Thou art a wanderer free;
Tell me if thou its place canst find,
Far over mount and sea?—
And the wind murmur'd in reply,
"The blue deep I have cross'd,
And met its barks and billows high,
But not what thou hast lost."
Ye clouds that gorgeously repose
Around the setting sun,
Answer! have yea home for those
Whose earthly race is run?
The bright clouds answer'd—"We depart,
We vanish from the sky;
Ask what is deathless in thy heart,
For that which cannot die."
Speak then, thou voice of God within,
Thou of the deep low tone!
Answer me, thro' life's restless din,
Where is the spirit flown?—
And the voice answered—"Be thou still!
Enough to know is given;
Clouds, winds, and stars their part fulfil,
Thine is to trust in Heaven."
Charles Theodore Körner, the celebrated young German poet and soldier, was killed in a skirmish with a detachment of French troops, on the 20th of August, 1813, a few hours after the composition of his popular piece, "The Sword-song." He was buried at the village of Wöbbelin in Mecklenburgh, under a beautiful oak, in a recess of which he had frequently deposited verses composed by him while campaigning in its vicinity. The monument erected to his memory is of cast iron, and the upper part is wrought into a lyre and sword, a favourite emblem of Körner's, from which one of his works had been entitled. Near the grave of the poet is that of his only sister, who died of grief for his loss, having only survived him long enough to complete his portrait, and a drawing of his burial-place. Over the gate of the cemetery is engraved one of his own lines:
"Vergiss die treuen Tödten nicht."
Forget not the faithful dead.
See Richardson's translation of Körner' s Life and Works, and Downes's Letters from Mecklenburgh.
GREEN wave the oak for ever o'er thy rest,
Thou that beneath its crowning foliage sleepest,
And, in the stillness of thy country's breast,
Thy place of memory, as an altar keepest;
Brightly thy spirit o'er her hills was pour'd,
Thou of the Lyre and Sword!
Rest, bard! rest, soldier!—by the father's hand
Here shall the child of after-years be led,
With his wreath-offering silently to stand,
In the hush'd presence of the glorious dead.
Soldiers and bard! for thou thy path hast trod
With freedom and with God.
The oak wav'd proudly o'er thy burial-rite,
On thy crown'd bier to slumber warriors bore thee,
And with true hearts thy brethren of the fight
Wept as they vail'd their drooping banners o'er thee.
And the deep guns with rolling peal gave token,
That Lyre and Sword were broken.
Thou hast a hero's tomb:—a lowlier bed
Is hers, the gentle girl beside thee lying,
The gentle girl, that bow'd her fair young head,
When thou wert gone, in silent sorrow dying.
Brother, true friend! the tender and the brave—
She pined to share thy grave.
Fame was thy gift from others;—but for her,
To whom the wide world held that only spot,
She lov'd thee!—lovely in your lives ye were,
And in your early deaths divided not.
Thou hast thine oak, thy trophy:—what hath she?—
Her own blest place by thee!
It was thy spirit, brother! which had made
The bright earth glorious to her thoughtful eye,
Since first in childhood midst the vines ye play'd,
And sent glad singing thro' the free blue sky.
Ye were but two—and when that spirit pass'd,
Wo to the one, the last!
Wo, yet not long!—She linger'd but to trace :
Thine image from the image in her breast,
Once, once again to see that buried face
But smile upon her, ere she went to rest.
Too sad a smile! its living light was o'er,
It answer'd hers no more.
The earth grew silent when thy voice departed,
The home too lonely whence thy step had fled;
What then was left for her, the faithful-hearted?
Death, death, to still the yearning for the
Softly she perish'd:—be the Flower deplor'd
Here with the Lyre and Sword!
Have ye not met ere now?—so let those trust
That meet for moments but to part for years,
That weep, watch, pray, to hold back dust from dust,
That love, where love is but a fount of tears.
Brother, sweet sister! peace around ye dwell—
Lyre, Sword, and Flower, farewell!*
The following lines recently addressed to the author of the above, by the venerable father of Körner, who, with the mother, still survives the "Lyre, Sword, and Flower" here commemorated, may not be uninteresting to the German reader.
Wohllaut tönt aus der Ferne von freundlichen Lüften getragen,
Schmeichelt mit lindernder Kraft sich in der Trauernden Ohr,
Stärkt den erhebenden Glauben an solcher seelen Verwandschaft,
Die zum Tempel die brust nur für das Würdige weihn.
Aus dem Lande zu dem sich stets der gefeyerte Jungling
Hingezogen gefühlt, wird ihm cin glänzender Lohn.
Heil dem Brittischen Volke, wenn ihm das Deutsche nicht fremd ist!
Uber Länder und Meer reichen sich beyde die Hand.
To this sweet place for quiet. Every tree,
And bush, and fragrant flower, and hilly path,
And thymy mound that flings unto the winds
Its morning incense, is my friend.
THERE were thick leaves above me and around,
And low sweet sighs, like those of childhood's sleep,
Amidst their dimness, and a fitful sound
As of soft showers on water;—dark and deep
Lay the oak shadows o'er the turf, so still,
They seem'd but pictur'd glooms: a hidden rill
Made music, such as haunts us in a dream,
Under the fern-tufts; and a tender gleam
Of soft green light, as by the glow-worm shed,
Came pouring thro' the woven beech-boughs down,
And steep'd the magic page wherein I read
Of royal chivalry and old renown,
A tale of Palestine.* —Meanwhile the bee
Swept past me with a tone of summer hours,
A drowsy bugle, wafting thoughts of flowers,
Blue skies and amber sunshine: brightly free,
On filmy wings the purple dragon-fly
Shot glancing like a fairy javelin by;
And a sweet voice of sorrow told the dell
Where sat the lone wood-pigeon:
But ere long,
All sense of these things faded, as the spell
Breathing from that high gorgeous tale grew strong
On my chain'd soul:—'twas not the leaves I heard—
A Syrian wind the Lion-banner stirr'd,
The Talisman—Tales of the Crusaders.
Thro' its proud floating folds:—'twas not the brook,
Singing in secret thro' its grassy glen—
A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen
Peal'd from the desert's lonely heart, and shook,
The burning air.—Like clouds when winds are high,
O'er glittering sands flew steeds of Araby,
And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear
Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear,
Shadow'd by graceful palm-trees. Then the shout
Of merry England's joy swell'd freely out,
Sent thro' an Eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue;
And harps were there—I heard their sounding strings,:
As the waste echoed to the mirth of kings.—
The bright masque faded.—Unto life's worn track,
What call'd me from its flood of glory, back?
A voice of happy childhood!—and they pass'd,
Banner, and harp, and Paynim trumpet's blast;
Yet might I scarce bewail the splendours gone,
My heart so leap'd to that sweet laughter's tone.
His very heart athirst
To gaze at nature in her green array,
Upon the ship's tall side he stands, possess'd
With visions prompted by intense desire;
Fair fields appear below, such as he left
Far distant, such as he would die to find—
He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more.
THE hollow dash of waves!—the ceaseless roar!—
Silence, ye billows!—vex my soul no more.
There's a spring in the woods by my sunny home,
Afar from the dark sea's tossing foam;
Oh! the fall of that fountain is sweet to hear,
As a song from the shore to the sailor's ear!
And the sparkle which up to the sun it throws,
Thro' the feathery fern and the olive boughs,
And the gleam on its path as it steals away
Into deeper shades from the sultry day,
And the large water-lilies that o'er its bed
Their pearly leaves to the soft light spread,
They haunt me! I dream of that bright spring's flow,
I thirst for its rills, like a wounded roe!
Be still thou sea-bird, with thy clanging cry!
My spirit sickens, as thy wing sweeps by.
Know ye my home, with the lulling sound
Of leaves from the lime and the chestnut round?
Know ye it, brethren! where bower'd it lies,
Under the purple of southern skies?
With the streamy gold of the sun that shines
In thro' the cloud of its clustering vines,
And the summer-breath of the myrtle-flowers;
Borne from the mountains in dewy hours,
The heavy rolling surge! the rocking mast!
Hush! give my dream's deep music way, thou blast!
Oh! the glad sounds of the joyous earth!
The notes of the singing cicala's mirth,
The murmurs that live in the mountain pines,
The sighing of reeds as the day declines,
The wings flitting home thro' the crimson glow
That steeps the woods when the sun is low,
The voice of the night-bird that sends a thrill
To the heart of the leaves when the winds are still—
I hear them!—around me they rise, they swell,
They call back my spirit with Hope to dwell,
They come with a breath from the fresh spring-time,
And waken my youth in its hour of prime.
The white foam dashes high—away, away!
Shroud my green land no more, thou blinding spray!
It is there!—down the mountains I see the sweep
Of the chestnut forests, the rich and deep,
With the burden and glory of flowers that they bear,
Floating upborne on the blue summer-air,
And the light pouring thro' them in tender gleams,
And the flashing forth of a thousand streams!—
Hold me not, brethren! I go, I go,
To the hills of my youth, where the myrtles blow,
To the depths of the woods, where the shadows rest,
Massy and still, on the greensward's breast,
To the rocks that resound with the water's play—
I hear the sweet laugh of my fount—give way!
Give way!—the booming surge, the tempest's roar,
The sea-bird's wail, shall vex my soul no more.
Der rasche Kampf verewigt einen Mann:
Er falle gleich, so preiset ihn das Lied.
Allein die Thränen, die unendlichen
Der überbliebnen, der verlass'nen Frau,
Zahlt keine Nachwelt.
WARRIOR! whose image on thy tomb,
With shield and crested head,
Sleeps proudly in the purple gloom
By the stain'd window shed;
The records of thy name and race
Have faded from the stone,
Yet, thro' a cloud of years I trace
What thou hast been and done.
A banner, from its flashing spear
Flung out o'er many a fight,
A war-cry ringing far and clear,
And strong to turn the flight;
An arm that bravely bore the lance
On for the holy shrine;
A haughty heart and a kingly glance—
Chief! were not these things thine:
A lofty place where leaders sate
Around the council-board;
In festive halls a chair of state
When the blood-red wine was pour'd;
A name that drew a prouder tone
From herald, harp, and bard;—
Surely these things were all thine own,
So hadst thou thy reward.
Woman! whose sculptur'd form at rest
By the armed knight is laid,
With meek hands folded o'er a breast
In matron robes array'd;
What was thy tale?—Oh! gentle mate
Of him, the bold and free,
Bound unto his victorious fate,
What bard hath sung of thee?
He wooed a bright and burning star—
Thine was the void, the gloom,
The straining eye that follow'd far
His fast receding plume;
The heart-sick listening while his steed
Sent echoes on the breeze;
The pang—but when did Fame take heed
Of griefs obscure as these?
Thy silent and secluded hours
Thro' many a lonely day,
While bending o'er thy broider'd flowers,
With spirit far away;
Thy weeping midnight prayers for him
Who fought on Syrian plains,
Thy watchings till the torch grew dim—
These fill no minstrel strains.
A still, sad life was thine!—long years
With tasks unguerdon'd fraught,
Deep, quiet love, submissive tears,
Vigils of anxious thought;
Prayer at the cross in fervour pour'd,
Alms to the pilgrim given—
Oh! happy, happier than thy lord,
In that lone path to heaven!
Look now abroad—another race has fill'd
Those populous borders—wide the wood recedes,
And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are till'd;
The land is full of harvests and green meads.
THE breaking waves dash'd high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches toss'd;
And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moor'd their bark
On the wild New-England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame:
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;—
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea!
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.
The ocean-eagle soar'd
From his nest by the white wave's foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roar'd—
This was their welcome home!
There were men with hoary hair,
Amidst that pilgrim band;—
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?
There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.
What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?—
They sought a faith's pure shrine!
Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod!
They have left unstain'd what there they found—
Freedom to worship God.
And slight, withal, may be the things which bring
Back on the heart the weight which it would fling
Aside for ever;—it may be a sound—
A tone of music—summer's breath, or spring—
A flower—a leaf—the ocean—which may wound—
Striking th' electric chain wherewith we are darkly bound.
THE power that dwelleth in sweet sounds to waken
Vague yearnings, like the sailor's for the shore,
And dim remembrances, whose hue seems taken
From some bright former state, our own no more
Is not this all a mystery?—Who shall say
Whence are those thoughts, and whither tends their way?
The sudden images of vanish'd things,
That o'er the spirit flash, we know not why;
Tones from some broken harp's deserted strings,
Warm sunset hues of summers long gone by,
A rippling wave—the dashing of an oar—
A flower scent floating past our parents' door;
A word—scarce noted in its hour perchance,
Yet back returning with a plaintive tone;
A smile—a sunny or a mournful glance,
Full of sweet meanings now from this world flown;
Are not these mysteries when to life they start,
And press vain tears in gushes from the heart?
And the far wanderings of the soul in dreams,
Calling up shrouded faces from the dead,
And with them bringing soft or solemn gleams,
Familiar objects brightly to o'erspread;
And wakening buried love, or joy, or fear,—
These are night's mysteries—who shall make them clear?
And the strange inborn sense of coming ill,
That ofttimes whispers to the haunted breast,
In a low tone which nought can drown or still,
Midst feasts and melodies a secret guest;
Whence doth that murmur wake, that shadow fall?
Why shakes the spirit thus?—'tis mystery all!
Darkly we move—we press upon the brink
Haply of viewless worlds, and know it not;
Yes! it may be, that nearer than we think,
Are those whom death has parted from our lot!
Fearfully, wondrously, our souls are made—
Let us walk humbly on, but undismay'd!
Humbly— for knowledge strives in vain to feel
Her way amidst these marvels of the mind;
Yet undismay'd—for do they not reveal
Th' immortal being with our dust entwin'd?—
So let us deem! and e'en the tears they wake
Shall then be blest, for that high nature's sake.
Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth—the wise—the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre.
AND shrink ye from the way
To the spirit's distant shore?—
Earth's mightiest men, in arm'd array,
Are thither gone before.
The warrior kings, whose banner
Flew far as eagles fly,
They are gone where swords avail them not,
From the feast of victory.
And the seers who sat of yore
By orient palm or wave,
They have pass'd with all their starry lore—
Can ye still fear the grave?
We fear! we fear!—the sunshine
Is joyous to behold,
And we reck not of the buried kings,
Nor the awful seers of old.
Ye shrink!—the bards whose lays
Have made your deep hearts burn,
They have left the sun, and the voice of praise,
For the land whence none return.
And the beautiful, whose record
Is the verse that cannot die,
They too are gone, with their glorious bloom,
From the love of human eye.
Would ye not join that throng
Of the earth's departed flowers,
And the masters of the mighty song
In their far and fadeless bowers?
Those songs are high and holy,
But they vanquish not our fear;
Not from our path those flowers are gone—
We fain would linger here!
Linger then yet awhile,
As the last leaves on the bough!—
Ye have lov'd the light of many a smile,
That is taken from you now.
There have been sweet singing voices
In your walks that now are still,
There are seats left void in your earthly homes,
Which none again may fill.
Soft eyes are seen no more,
That made spring-time in your heart;
Kindred and friends are gone before—
And ye still fear to part?
We fear not now, we fear not!
Though the way thro' darkness bends;
Our souls are strong to follow them,
Our own familiar friends!
IT wav'd not thro' an Eastern sky,
Beside a fount of Araby;
It was not fann'd by southern breeze
In some green isle of Indian seas,
Nor did its graceful shadow sleep
O'er stream of Afric, lone and deep.
But fair the exil'd Palm-tree grew
Midst foliage of no kindred hue;
Thro' the laburnum's dropping gold
Rose the light shaft of orient mould,
And Europe's violets, faintly sweet,
Purpled the moss-beds at its feet.
This incident is, I think, recorded by De Lille, in his poem of "Les Jardins."
Strange look'd it there!—the willow stream'd
Where silvery waters near it gleam'd;
The lime-bough lured the honey-bee
To murmur by the Desert's Tree,
And showers of snowy roses made
A lustre in its fan-like shade.
There came an eve of festal hours—
Rich music fill'd that garden's bowers:
Lamps, that from flowering branches hung,
On sparks of dew soft colours flung,
And bright forms glanc'd—a fairy show—
Under the blossoms to and fro.
But one, a lone one, midst the throng,
Seem'd reckless all of dance or song:
He was a youth of dusky mien,
Whereon the Indian sun had been,
Of crested brow, and long black hair—
A stranger, like the Palm-tree there.
And slowly, sadly, mov'd his plumes,
Glittering athwart the leafy glooms:
He pass'd the pale green olives by,
Nor won the chestnut-flowers his eye;
But when to that sole Palm he came,
Then shot a rapture through his frame!
To him, to him, its rustling spoke,
The silence of his soul it broke!
It whisper'd of his own bright isle,
That lit the ocean with a smile;
Aye, to his ear that native tone
Had something of the sea-wave's moan!
His mother's cabin home, that lay
Where feathery cocoas fring'd the bay;
The dashing of his brethren's oar,
The conch-note heard along the shore;—
All thro' his wakening bosom swept:
He clasp'd his country's Tree and wept!
Oh! scorn him not!—the strength, whereby
The patriot girds himself to die,
Th' unconquerable power, which fills
The freeman battling on his hills,
These have one fountain deep and clear—
The same whence gush'd that child-like tear!
THOU sleepest—but when wilt thou wake, fair child?—
When the fawn awakes in the forest wild?
When the lark's wing mounts with the breeze of morn?
When the first rich breath of the rose is born?—
Lovely thou sleepest, yet something lies
Too deep and still on thy soft-seal'd eyes,
Mournful, tho' sweet, is thy rest to see—
When will the hour of thy rising be?
Not when the fawn wakes, not when the lark
On the crimson cloud of the morn floats dark—
Thou'rt gone from us, bright one!—that thou shouldst die,
And life be left to the butterfly!*
Thou'rt gone, as a dew-drop is swept from the bough—
Oh! for the world where thy home is now!
How may we love but in doubt and fear,
How may we anchor our fond hearts here,
How should e'en joy but a trembler be,
Beautiful dust! when we look on thee?
A butterfly as if resting on a flower, is sculptured on the monument.
THOU art no lingerer in monarch's hall,
A joy thou art, and a wealth to all!
A bearer of hope unto land and sea—
Sunbeam! what gift hath the world like thee?
Thou art walking the billows, and ocean smiles—
Thou hast touch'd with glory his thousand isles;
Thou hast lit up the ships, and the feathery foam,
And gladden'd the sailor, like words from home.
To the solemn depths of the forest shades,
Thou art streaming on thro' their green arcades,
And the quivering leaves that have caught thy glow,
Like fire-flies glance to the pools below.
I look'd on the mountains—a vapour lay
Folding their heights in its dark array:
Thou brakest forth—and the mist became
A crown and a mantle of living flame.
I look'd on the peasant's lowly cot—
Something of sadness had wrapt the spot;—
But a gleam of thee on its lattice fell,
And it laugh'd into beauty at that bright spell.
To the earth's wild places a guest thou art,
Flushing the waste like the rose's heart;
And thou scornest not from thy pomp to shed
A tender smile on the ruin's head.
Thou tak'st thro' the dim church-aisle thy way,
And its pillars from twilight flash forth to day,
And its high pale tombs, with their trophies old,
Are bath'd in a flood as of molten gold.
And thou turnest not from the humblest grave,
Where a flower to the sighing winds may wave;
Thou scatterest its gloom like the dreams of rest,
Thou sleepest in love on its grassy breast.
Sunbeam of summer! oh! what is like thee?
Hope of the wilderness, joy of the sea!—
One thing is like thee to mortals given,
The faith touching all things with hues of Heaven!
Thou giv'st me flowers, thou giv'st me songs;—bring back
The love that I have lost!
WHAT wak'st thou, Spring?—sweet voices in the woods,
And reed-like echoes, that have long been mute;
Thou bringest back, to fill the solitudes,
The lark's dear pipe, the cuckoo's viewless flute,
Whose tone seems breathing mournfulness or glee,
Ev'n as our hearts may be.
And the leaves greet thee, Spring!—the joyous leaves,
Whose tremblings gladden many a copse and glade,
Where each young spray a rosy flush receives,
When thy south-wind hath pierc'd the whispery shade,
And happy murmurs, running thro' the grass,
Tell that thy footsteps pass.
And the bright waters—they too hear thy call,
Spring, the awakener! thou hast burst their sleep!
Amidst the hollows of the rocks their fall
Makes melody, and in the forests deep,
Where sudden sparkles and blue gleams betray
Their windings to the day.
And flowers—the fairy-peopled world of flowers!
Thou from the dust hast set that glory free,
Colouring the cowslip with the sunny hours,
And pencilling the wood-anemone;
Silent they seem—yet each to thoughtful eye
Glows with mute poesy.
But what awak'st thou in the heart, O, Spring!
The human heart, with all its dreams and sighs?
Thou that giv'st back so many a buried thing,
Restorer of forgotten harmonies!
Fresh songs and scents break forth where'er thou art,
What wak'st thou in the heart?
Too much, oh! there too much!—we know not well
Wherefore it should be thus, yet rous'd by thee,
What fond strange yearnings, from the soul's deep cell,
Gush for the faces we no more may see!
How are we haunted, in thy wind's low tone,
By voices that are gone!
Looks of familiar love, that never more,
Never on earth, our aching eyes shall meet,
Past words of welcome to our household door,
And vanish'd smiles, and sounds of parted feet—
Spring! midst the murmurs of thy flowering trees,
Why, why reviv'st thou these?
Vain longings for the dead!—why come they back
With thy young birds, and leaves, and living blooms?
Oh! is it not, that from thine earthly track
Hope to thy world may look beyond the tombs?
Yes! gentle spring; no sorrow dims thine air,
Breath'd by our lov'd ones there!
THE hills all glow'd with a festive light;
For the royal city rejoic'd by night:
There were lamps hung forth upon tower and tree,
Banners were lifted and streaming free;
Every tall pillar was wreath'd with fire,
Like a shooting meteor was every spire;
And the outline of many a dome on high
Was traced, as in stars, on the clear dark sky.
I pass'd thro' the streets; there were throngs on throngs—
Like sounds of the deep were their mingled songs;
There was music forth from each palace borne—
A peal of the cymbal, the harp, and horn;
Didst thou meet not a mourner for all the slain?
Thousands lie dead on their battle-plain!
Gallant and true were the hearts that fell—
Grief in the homes they have left must dwell;
Grief o'er the aspect of childhood spread,
And bowing the beauty of woman's head:
Didst thou hear, midst the songs, not one tender moan,
For the many brave to their slumbers gone?
I saw not the face of a weeper there—
Too strong, perchance, was the bright lamp's glare!
I heard not a wail midst the joyous crowd—
The music of victory was all too loud!
Turn then away from life's pageants, turn,
If its deep story thy heart would learn!
Ever too bright is that outward show,
Dazzling the eyes till they see not wo.
But lift the proud mantle which hides from thy view
The things thou shouldst gaze on, the sad and true;
Nor fear to survey what its folds conceal—
So must thy spirit he taught to feel!
There blend the ties that strengthen
Our hearts in hours of grief,
The silver links that lengthen
Joy's visits when most brief.
BY the soft green light in the woody glade,
On the banks of moss where thy childhood play'd;
By the household tree thro which thine eye
First look'd in love to the summer-sky;
By the dewy gleam, by the very breath
Of the primrose tufts in the grass beneath,
Upon thy heart there is laid a spell,
Holy and precious—oh! guard it well!
By the sleepy ripple of the stream,
Which hath lull'd thee into many a dream;
By the shiver of the ivy-leaves
To the wind of morn at thy casement-eaves,
By the bees' deep murmur in the limes,
By the music of the Sabbath-chimes,
By every sound of thy native shade,
Stronger and dearer the spell is made.
By the gathering round the winter hearth,
When twilight call'd unto household mirth;
By the fairy tale or the legend old
In that ring of happy faces told,
By the quiet hour when hearts unite
In the parting prayer and the kind "Good-night;"
By the smiling eye and the loving tone,
Over thy life has the spell been thrown.
And bless that gift!—it hath gentle might,
A guardian power and a guiding light.
Yes! when thy heart in its pride would stray
From the pure first loves of its youth away;
When the sullying breath of the world would come
O'er the flowers it brought from its childhood's home;
Think thou again of the woody glade,
And the sound by the rustling ivy made,
Think of the tree at thy father's door,
And the kindly spell shall have power once more!
Roma, Roma, Roma!
Non è più come era prima.
ROME, Rome! thou art no more
As thou hast been!
On thy seven hills of yore
Thou satst a queen.
Thou hadst thy triumphs then
Purpling the street,
Leaders and sceptred men
Bow'd at thy feet.
They that thy mantle wore,
As gods were seen—
Rome, Rome! thou art no more
As thou hast been!
Rome! thine imperial brow
Never shall rise:
What hast thou left thee now?—
Thou hast thy skies!
Blue, deeply blue, they are,
Veiling thy wastes afar
With colour'd light.
Thou hast the sunset's glow,
Rome, for thy dower,
Flushing tall cypress-bough,
Temple and tower!
And all sweet sounds are thine,
Lovely to hear,
While night, o'er tomb and shrine,
Rests darkly clear.
Many a solemn hymn,
By starlight sung,
Sweeps thro' the arches dim,
Thy wrecks among.
Many a flute's low swell,
On thy soft air
Lingers, and loves to dwell
With summer there.
Thou hast the South's rich gift
Of sudden song,
A charmed fountain, swift,
Joyous, and strong.
Thou hast fair forms that move
With queenly tread;
Thou hast proud fanes above
Thy mighty dead.
Yet wears thy Tiber's shore
A mournful mien:—
Rome, Rome! thou art no more
As thou hast been!
THE sea-bird's wing, o'er ocean's breast
Shoots like a glancing star,
While the red radiance of the west
Spreads kindling fast and far;
And yet that splendour wins thee not,—
Thy still and thoughtful eye
Dwells but on one dark distant spot
Of all the main and sky.
Look round thee!—o'er the slumbering deep
A solemn glory broods;
A fire hath touch'd the beacon-steep,
And all the golden woods:
A softening thought of human cares,
A feeling link'd to earth!
Is not yon speck a bark, which bears
The lov'd of many a hearth?
Oh! do not Hope, and Grief, and Fear,
Crowd her frail world even now,
And manhood's prayer and woman's tear,
Follow her venturous prow?
Bright are the floating clouds above,
The glittering seas below;
But we are bound by cords of love
To kindred weal and wo.
BIRDS, joyous birds of the wandering wing!
Whence is it ye come with the flowers of spring?
—"We come from the shores of the green old Nile,
From the land Where the roses of Sharon smile,
From the palms that wave thro' the Indian sky,
From the myrrh-trees of glowing Araby.
"We have swept o'er cities in song renown'd—
Silent they lie, with the deserts round!
We have cross'd proud rivers, whose tide hath roll'd
All dark with the warrior-blood of old;
And each worn wing hath regain'd its home,
Under peasant's roof-tree, or monarch's dome."
And what have ye found in the monarch's dome,
Since last ye travers'd the blue sea's foam?
—"We have found a change, we have found a pall,
And a gloom o'ershadowing the banquet's hall,
And a mark on the floor as of life-drops spilt,—
Nought looks the same save the nest we built!"
Oh! joyous birds, it hath still been so;
Thro' the halls of kings doth the tempest go!
But the huts of the hamlet lie still and deep,
And the hills o'er their quiet a vigil keep.
Say what have ye found in the peasant's cot,
Since last ye parted from that sweet spot?
"A change we have found there—and many a change!
Faces and footsteps and all things strange!
Gone are the heads of the silvery hair,
And the young that were, have a brow of care,
And the place is hush'd where the children play'd,—
Nought looks the same, sake the nest we made!"
Sad is your tale of the beautiful earth,
Birds that o'ersweep it in power and mirth!
Yet thro' the wastes of the trackless air,
Ye have a Guide, and shall we despair?
Ye over desert and deep have pass'd,—
So may we reach our bright home at last!
THEY grew in beauty, side by side,
They fill'd one home with glee;—
Their graves are sever'd, far and wide,
By mount, and stream, and sea.
The same fond mother bent at night
O'er each fair sleeping brow;
She had each folded flower in sight,—
Where are those dreamers now?
One, midst the forests of the west,
By a dark stream is laid—
The Indian knows his place of rest,
Far in the cedar shade.
The sea, the blue lone sea, hath one,
He lies where pearls lie deep;
He was the lov'd of all, yet none
O'er his low bed may weep.
One sleeps where southern vines are drest
Above the noble slain:
He wrapt his colours round, his breast,
On a blood-red field of Spain.
And one—o'er her the myrtle showers
Its leaves, by soft winds fann'd;
She faded midst Italian flowers,—
The last of that bright band.
And parted thus they rest, who play'd
Beneath the same green tree;
Whose voices mingled as they pray'd
Around one parent knee!
They that with smiles lit up the hall,
And cheer'd with song the hearth,—
Alas! for love, if thou wert all,
And nought beyond, oh, earth!
A short time before the death of Mozart, a stranger of remarkable appearance, and dressed in deep mourning, called at his house, and requested him to prepare a requiem, in his best style, for the funeral of a distinguished person. The sensitive imagination of the composer immediately seized upon the circumstance as an omen of his own fate; and the nervous anxiety with which he laboured to fulfil the task, had the effect of realizing his impression. He died within a few days after completing this magnificent piece of music, which was performed at his interment.
These birds of Paradise but long to flee
Back to their native mansion.
A REQUIEM!—and for whom?
For beauty in its bloom?
For valour fall'n—a broken rose or sword?
A dirge for king or chief,
With pomp of stately grief,
Banner, and torch, and waving plume deplor'd?
Not so, it is not so!
The warning voice I know,
From other worlds a strange mysterious tone;
A solemn funeral air
It call'd me to prepare,
And my heart answer'd secretly—my own!
One more then, one more strain,
In links of joy and pain
Mighty the troubled spirit to inthral!
And let me breathe my dower
Of passion and of power
Full into that deep lay—the last of all!
The last!—and I must go
From this bright world below,
This realm of sunshine, ringing with sweet sound!
Must leave its festal skies,
With all their melodies,
That ever in my breast glad echoes found!
Yet have I known it long:
Too restless and too strong
Within this clay hath been th' o'ermastering flame;
Swift thoughts, that came and went,
Like torrents o'er me sent,
Have shaken, as a reed, my thrilling frame.
Like perfumes on the wind,
Which none may stay or bind,
The beautiful comes floating thro' my soul;
I strive with yearnings vain,
The spirit to detain
Of the deep harmonies that past me roll!
Therefore disturbing dreams
Trouble the secret streams
And founts of music that o'erflow my breast;
Something far more divine
Than may on earth be mine,
Haunts my worn heart, and will not let me rest.
Shall I then fear the tone
That breathes from worlds unknown?—
Surely these feverish aspirations there
Shall grasp their full desire,
And this unsettled fire,
Burn calmly, brightly, in immortal air.
One more then, one more strain,
To earthly joy and pain
A rich, and deep, and passionate farewell!
I pour each fervent thought
With fear, hope, trembling, fraught,
Into the notes that o'er my dust shall swell.
THOU thing of years departed!
What ages have gone by,
Since here the mournful seal was set
By love and agony!
Temple and tower have moulder'd,
Empires from earth have pass'd,—
And woman's heart hath left a trace
Those glories to outlast!
The impression of a woman's form, with an infant clasped to the bosom, found at the uncovering of Herculaneum.
And childhood's fragile image
Thus fearfully enshrin'd,
Survives the proud memorials rear'd
By conquerors of mankind.
Babe! wert thou brightly slumbering
Upon thy mother's breast,
When suddenly the fiery tomb
Shut round each gentle guest?
A strange dark fate o'ertook you,
Fair babe and loving heart!
One moment of a thousand pangs—
Yet better than to part!
Haply of that fond bosom,
On ashes here impress'd,
Thou wert the only treasure, child!
Whereon a hope might rest.
Perchance all vainly lavish'd,
Its other love had been,
And where it trusted, nought remain'd
But thorns on which to lean.
Far better then to perish,
Thy form within its clasp,
Than live and lose thee, precious one!
From that impassion'd grasp.
Oh! I could pass all relics
Left by the pomps of old,
To gaze on this rude monument,
Cast in affection's mould.
Love, human love! what art thou?
Thy print upon the dust
Outlives the cities of renown
Wherein the mighty trust!
Immortal, oh! immortal
Thou art, whose earthly glow
Hath given these ashes holiness—
It must, it must be so!
Go to the forest-shade,
Seek thou the well-known glade,
Where, heavy with sweet dew, the violets lie,
Gleaming thro' moss-tufts deep,
Like dark eyes fill'd with sleep,
And bath'd in hues of summer's midnight sky.
Bring me their buds, to shed
Around my dying bed,
Fain would I stay with thee—
Alas! this may not be;
Yet bring me still the gifts of happier hours!
Go where the fountain's breast
Catches in glassy rest
The dim green light that pours thro' laurel bowers.
I know how softly bright,
Steep'd in that tender light,
The water-lilies tremble there ev'n now;
Go to the pure stream's edge,
And from its whisp'ring sedge,
Bring me those flowers to cool my fever'd brow!
Then, as in Hope's young days,
Track thou the antique maze
Of the rich garden to its grassy mound;
There is a lone white rose,
Shedding, in sudden snows,
Its faint leaves o'er the emerald turf around.
Well know'st thou that fair tree—
A murmur of the bee
Dwells ever in the honey'd lime above;
Bring me one pearly flower
Of all its clustering shower—
For on that spot we first reveal'd our love.
Gather one woodbine bough,
Then, from the lattice low,
Of the bower'd cottage which I bade thee mark,
When by the hamlet last,
Thro' dim wood-lanes we pass'd,
While dews were glancing to the glow-worm's spark.
Haste! to my pillow bear
Those fragrant things and fair;
My hand no more may bind them up at eve,
Yet shall their odour soft
One bright dream round me waft
Of life, youth, summer,—all that I must leave!
And oh! if thou would'st ask
Wherefore thy steps I task,
The grove, the stream, the hamlet-vale to trace;
'Tis that some thought of me,
When I am gone, may be
The spirit bound to each familiar place.
I bid mine image dwell,
(Oh! break not thou the spell!)
In the deep wood, and by the fountain-side;
Thou must not, my belov'd!
Rove where we two have rov'd,
Forgetting her that in her spring-time died!
——Give me but
Something whereunto I may bind my heart;
Something to love, to rest upon, to clasp
Affection's tendrils round.
WOULDST thou wear the gift of immortal bloom?
Wouldst thou smile in scorn at the shadowy tomb?
Drink of this cup! it is richly fraught
With balm from the gardens of genii brought;
Drink, and the spoiler shall pass thee by,
When the young all scatter'd like rose-leaves lie.
And would not the youth of my soul be gone,
If the lov'd had left me, one by one?
Take back the cup that may never bless,
The gift that would make me brotherless!
How should I live, with no kindred eye
To reflect mine immortality?
Wouldst thou have empire, by sign or spell,
Over the mighty in air that dwell?
Wouldst thou call the spirits of shore and steep
To fetch thee jewels from ocean's deep?
Wave but this rod, and a viewless band
Slaves to thy will, shall around thee stand.
And would not fear, at my coming then,
Hush every voice in the homes of men?
Would not bright eyes in my presence quail?
Young cheeks with a nameless thrill turn pale?
No gift be mine that aside would turn
The human love for whose founts I yearn!
Wouldst thou then read thro' the hearts of those
Upon whose faith thou hast sought repose?
Wear this rich gem! it is charm'd to show
When a change comes over affection's glow;
Look on its flushing or fading hue,
And learn if the trusted be false or true!
Keep, keep the gem, that I still may trust,
Tho' my heart's wealth be but pour'd on dust!
Let not a doubt in my soul have place,
To dim the light of a lov'd one's face;
Leave to the earth its warm sunny smile—
That glory would pass could I look on guile!
Say then what boon of my power shall be
Favour'd of spirits! pour'd forth on thee?
Thou scornest the treasures of wave and mine,
Thou wilt not drink of the cup divine,
Thou art fain with a mortal's lot to rest—
Answer me! how may I grace it best?
Oh! give me no sway o'er the powers unseen,
But a human heart where my own may lean!
A friend, one tender and faithful friend,
Whose thoughts' free current with mine may blend,
And leaving not either on earth alone,
Bid the bright calm close of our lives be one!
WHEN will ye think of me, my friends?
When will ye think of me?—
When the last red light, the farewell of day,
From the rock and the river is passing away,
When the air with a deep'ning hush is fraught,
And the heart grows burden'd with tender thought—
Then let it be!
When will ye think of me, kind friends?
When will ye think of me?—
When the rose of the rich midsummer time
Is fill'd with the hues of its glorious prime;
When ye gather its bloom, as in bright hours fled,
From the walks where my footsteps no more may tread;
Then let it be!
When will ye think of me, sweet friends?
When will ye think of me?
When the sudden tears o'erflow your eye
At the sound of some olden melody;
When ye hear the voice of a mountain stream,
When ye feel the charm of a poet's dream;
Then let it be!
Thus let my memory be with you, friends!
Thus ever think of me!
Kindly and gently, but as of one
For whom 'tis well to be fled and gone;
As of a bird from a chain unbound,
As of a wanderer whose home is found;—
So let it be.