British Women Romantic Poets Project

Records of Woman: with Other Poems : electronic version.

Hemans, Felicia Dorothea Browne, 1793-1835.



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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. no. 50


-- Managing Editor
Charlotte Payne
-- Founding Editor
Nancy Kushigian

Records of woman : with other poems.

Hemans, Felicia Dorothea Browne, 1793-1835.



-- by
Felicia Hemans.

William Blackwood Edinburgh T. Cadell London 1828

This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis, Kohler I:553. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:553mf.

All poems, line groups, and lines are represented. All material originally typeset has been preserved with the exception of original prose line breaks and line-end hyphens (except in headings and title pages), lines of poetry divided due to length of line, running heads, signature markings, smallcaps, and decorative typographical elements. Page numbers and page breaks have been preserved. The long "s" is displayed as a standard "s". Pencilled annotations and other damage to the text have not been preserved.

February 26, 2008

Charlotte Payne
-- ed.

  • Proofed and entered final corrections.




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    Page [iii]



    [View Larger Image]

    [Title Page]

    RECORDS OF WOMAN:
    WITH OTHER POEMS.

    BY
    FELICIA HEMANS.

                    ——Mightier far
            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.


    WORDSWORTH.

                 Das ist das Loos des Schönen auf der Erde!


    SCHILLER.
    WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH:
    AND T. CADELL, LONDON.
    MDCCCXXVIII.
    Page [iv]



    Page [v]

    TO
    MRS. JOANNA BAILLIE,
    THIS VOLUME,
    AS A SLIGHT TOKEN OF
    GRATEFUL RESPECT AND ADMIRATION,
    IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED,
    BY
    THE AUTHOR.


    Page [vi]


    Page [vii]

    CONTENTS.



    Page [1]

    RECORDS OF WOMAN.


    Page [2]


    Page [3]

    ARABELLA STUART.

    "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


    Page 4

    to this romantic adventure. Seymour, indeed, had escaped from the Tower;—he reached the wharf, and found his confidential man waiting with a boat, and arrived at Lee. The time passed; the waves were rising; Arabella was not there; but in the distance he descried a vessel. Hiring a fisherman to take him on board, he discovered, to his grief, on hailing it, that it was not the French ship charged with his Arabella; in despair and confusion he found another ship from Newcastle, which for a large sum altered its course, and landed him in Flanders."—Arabella, meantime, whilst imploring her attendants to linger, and earnestly looking out for the expected boat of her husband, was overtaken in Calais Roads by a vessel in the King's service, and brought back to a captivity, under the suffering of which her mind and constitution gradually sank.— "What passed in that dreadful imprisonment, cannot perhaps be recovered for authentic history,—but enough is known; that her mind grew impaired, that she finally lost her reason, and, if the duration of her imprisonment was short, that it was only terminated by her death. Some effusions, often begun and never ended, written and erased, incoherent and rational, yet remain among her papers."— D'ISRAELI'S Curiosities of Literature. The following poem, meant as some record of her fate, and the imagined fluctuations of her thoughts and feelings, is supposed to commence during the time of her first imprisonment, whilst her mind was yet buoyed up by the consciousness of Seymour's affection, and the cherished hope of eventual deliverance.


    Page 5

    ARABELLA STUART.

                                    And is not love in vain,
                Torture enough without a living tomb?


    BYRON.

                 Fermossi al fin il cor che balzò tanto.


    PINDEMONTE.

    I.

    '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,


    Page 6

    And young leaves trembled, as, in fleet career,
    A princely hand, with horn, and hound, and spear,
    Like a rich masque swept forth. I saw the dance
    Of their white plumes, that bore a silvery glance
    Into the deep wood's heart; and all pass'd by,
    Save one—I met the smile of one clear eye,
    Flashing out joy to mine.—Yes, thou wert there,
    Seymour! a soft wind blew the clustering hair
    Back from thy gallant brow, as thou didst rein
    Thy courser, turning from that gorgeous train,
    And fling, methought, thy hunting-spear away,
    And, lightly graceful in thy green array,
    Bound to my side; and we, that met and parted,
        Ever in dread of some dark watchful power,
    Won back to childhood's trust, and, fearless-hearted,
        Blent the glad fulness of our thoughts that hour,
    Ev'n like the mingling of sweet streams, beneath
    Dim woven leaves, and midst the floating breath
    Of hidden forest flowers.


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    II.

                        '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.


    Page 8

    III.

    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.


    Page 9

    IV.

    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.


    Page 10

    V.

    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.


    Page 11

    VI.

    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,


    Page 12

    Fraught with our foes!—What boots it to recall
    The strife, the tears? Once more a prison-wall
    Shuts the green hills and woodlands from my sight,
    And joyous glance of waters to the light,
    And thee, my Seymour, thee!

                                    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.


    Page 13

    VII.

    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.

    VIII.

    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,


    Page 14

    Quivering to breeze and rain-drop, like the sheen
    Of twilight stars. On you Heaven's eye hath been,
    Thro' the leaves, pouring its dark sultry blue
    Into your glowing hearts; the bee to you
    Hath murmur'd, and the rill.—My soul grows faint
    With passionate yearning, as its quick dreams paint
    Your haunts by dell and stream,—the green, the free,
    The full of all sweet sound,—the shut from me!

    IX.

    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


    Page 15

    I am cast under their triumphal car,
    An insect to be crush'd.—Oh! Heaven is far,—
    Earth pitiless!

    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


    Page 16

    Sinks thro' the greensward!—is there not a cry
    From the wrung heart, of power, thro' agony,
    To pierce the clouds? Hear, Mercy! hear me! None
    That bleed and weep beneath the smiling sun,
    Have heavier cause!—yet hear!—my soul grows dark—
    Who hears the last shriek from the sinking bark,
    On the mid seas, and with the storm alone,
    And bearing to th' abyss, unseen, unknown,
    Its freight of human hearts?—th' o'ermastering wave!
    Who shall tell how it rush'd—and none to save?

    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,—


    Page 17

    Thine!—What dost thou amidst the bright and fair,
    Whispering light words, and mocking my despair?
    It is not well of thee!—my love was more
    Than fiery song may breathe, deep thought explore,
    And there thou smilest, while my heart is dying,
    With all its blighted hopes around it lying;
    Ev'n thou, on whom they hung their last green leaf—
    Yet smile, smile on! too bright art thou for grief!

    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.


    Page 18

                                    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.


    Page 19

                                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


    Page 20

    Hath been thine exiled youth; but now take back,
    From dying hands, thy freedom, and re-track
    (After a few kind tears for her whose days
    Went out in dreams of thee) the sunny ways
    Of hope, and find thou happiness! Yet send,
    Ev'n then, in silent hours a thought, dear friend!
    Down to my voiceless chamber; for thy love
    Hath been to me all gifts of earth above,
    Tho' bought with burning tears! It is the sting
    Of death to leave that vainly-precious thing
    In this cold world! What were it then, if thou,
    With thy fond eyes, wert gazing on me now?
    Too keen a pang!—Farewell! and yet once more,
    Farewell!—the passion of long years I pour
    Into that word: thou hear'st not,—but the wo
    And fervour of its tones may one day flow
    To thy heart's holy place; there let them dwell—
    We shall o'ersweep the grave to meet—Farewell!


    Page 21

    THE BRIDE OF THE GREEK ISLE.*

            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.


    Sardanapalus.

    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.


    [Note *:]

    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.


    Page 22

    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.


    Page 23

    Oh! hush the song, and let her tears
    Flow to the dream of her early years!
    Holy and pure are the drops that fall
    When the young bride goes from her father's hall;
    She goes unto love yet untried and new,
    She parts from love which hath still been true;
    Mute be the song and the choral strain,
    Till her heart's deep well-spring is clear again!
    She wept on her mother's faithful breast,
    Like a babe that sobs itself to rest;
    She wept—yet laid her hand awhile
    In his that waited her dawning smile,
    Her soul's affianced, nor cherish'd less
    For the gush of nature's tenderness!
    She lifted her graceful head at last—
    The choking swell of her heart was past;
    And her lovely thoughts from their cells found way
    In the sudden flow of a plaintive lay.³


    Page 24

    THE BRIDE'S FAREWELL.

    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!


    Page 25

    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,


    Page 26

    Once more she wept. But a changeful thing
    Is the human heart, as a mountain spring,
    That works its way, thro' the torrent's foam,
    To the bright pool near it, the lily's home!
    It is well!—the cloud, on her soul that lay,
    Hath melted in glittering drops away.
    Wake again, mingle, sweet flute and lyre!
    She turns to her lover, she leaves her sire.
    Mother! on earth it must still be so,
    Thou rearest the lovely to see them go!

    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!


    Page 27

    II.

    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;


    Page 28

    They lifted the veil from Eudora's face,
    It smiled out softly in pensive grace,
    With lips of love, and a brow serene,
    Meet for the soul of the deep wood-scene.—
    Bring wine, bring odours!—the board is spread—
    Bring roses! a chaplet for every head!
    The wine-cups foam'd, and the rose was shower'd
    On the young and fair from the world embower'd,
    The sun look'd not on them in that sweet shade,
    The winds amid scented boughs were laid;
    But there came by fits, thro' some wavy tree,
    A sound and a gleam of the moaning sea.

        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!


    Page 29

        Thro' the dim olives their sabres shine;—
        Now must the red blood stream for wine!

    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.


    Page 30

    But they tore her thence in her wild despair,
    The sea's fierce rovers—they left him there;
    They left to the fountain a dark-red vein,
    And on the wet violets a pile of slain,
    And a hush of fear thro' the summer-grove,—
    So clos'd the triumph of youth and love!

    III.

        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,


    Page 31

        As Eudora's mother stood
        Gazing o'er th' Egean flood,
        With a fix'd and straining eye—
        Oh! was the spoilers' vessel nigh?
        Yes! there, becalm'd in silent sleep,
        Dark and alone on a breathless deep,
        On a sea of molten silver dark,
        Brooding it frown'd that evil bark!
        There its broad pennon a shadow east,
        Moveless and black from the tall still mast,
        And the heavy sound of its flapping sail,
        Idly and vainly wooed the gale.
        Hush'd was all else—had ocean's breast
        Rock'd e'en Eudora that hour to rest?

    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!


    Page 32

    There are wild forms hurrying to and fro,
    Seen darkly clear on that lurid glow;
    There are shout, and signal-gun, and call,
    And the dashing of water,—but fruitless all!
    Man may not fetter, nor ocean tame
    The might and wrath of the rushing flame!
    It hath twined the mast like a glittering snake,
    That coils up a tree from a dusky brake;
    It hath touch'd the sails, and their canvass rolls
    Away from its breath into shrivell'd scrolls;
    It hath taken the flag's high place in air,
    And redden'd the stars with its wavy glare,
    And sent out bright arrows, and soar'd in glee,
    To a burning mount midst the moonlight sea.
    The swimmers are plunging from stern and prow—
    Eudora, Eudora! where, where art thou?
    The slave and his master alike are gone.—
    Mother! who stands on the deck alone?
    The child of thy bosom!—and lo! a brand
    Blazing up high in her lifted hand!

    Page 33

    And her veil flung back, and her free dark hair
    Sway'd by the flames as they rock and flare,
    And her fragile form to its loftiest height
    Dilated, as if by the spirit's might,
    And her eye with an eagle-gladness fraught,—
    Oh! could this work be of woman wrought?
    Yes! 'twas her deed!—by that haughty smile
    It was her's!—She hath kindled her funeral pile!
    Never might shame on that bright head be,
    Her blood was the Greek's, and hath made her free.

    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,


    Page 34

    Her sinking knee unto Heaven is bow'd,
    And her last look rais'd thro' the smoke's dim shroud,
    And her lips as in prayer for her pardon move—
    Now the night gathers o'er youth and love!*


    [Note *:]

    Originally published, as well as several other of these Records, in the New Monthly Magazine.


    Page [35]

    THE SWITZER'S WIFE.

    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.


    Page [36]


    Page 37

    THE SWITZER'S WIFE.

                    Nor look nor tone revealeth aught
                    Save woman's quietness of thought;
                    And yet around her is a light
                    Of inward majesty and might.


    M. J. J.

             Wer solch ein herz an seinen Busen drückt,
             Der kann fur herd und hof mit freuden fechten.


    WILLHOLM TELL.

    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.


    Page 38

    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,


    Page 39

    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."


    Page 40

    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?"


    Page 41

    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!


    Page 42

    "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!"


    Page 43

    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.


    Page [44]


    Page [45]

    PROPERZIA ROSSI.

    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.


    Page [46]


    Page 47

    PROPERZIA ROSSI.

                    —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.

    I.

    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


    Page 48

    Ere I depart! For thee alone, for thee!
    May this last work, this farewell triumph be,
    Thou, lov'd so vainly! I would leave enshrined
    Something immortal of my heart and mind,
    That yet may speak to thee when I am gone,
    Shaking thine inmost bosom with a tone
    Of lost affection;—something that may prove
    What she hath been, whose melancholy love
    On thee was lavish'd; silent pang and tear,
    And fervent song, that gush'd when none were near,
    And dream by night, and weary thought by day,
    Stealing the brightness from her life away,—
    While thou—Awake! not yet within me die,
    Under the burden and the agony
    Of this vain tenderness,—my spirit, wake!
    Ev'n for thy sorrowful affection's sake,
    Live! in thy work breathe out!—that he may yet,
    Feeling sad mastery there, perchance regret
    Thine unrequited gift.


    Page 49

    II.

                            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,


    Page 50

    When I am pass'd away. Thou art the mould
    Wherein I pour the fervent thoughts, th' untold,
    The self-consuming! Speak to him of me,
    Thou, the deserted by the lonely sea,
    With the soft sadness of thine earnest eye,
    Speak to him, lorn one! deeply, mournfully,
    Of all my love and grief! Oh! could I throw
    Into thy frame a voice, a sweet, and low,
    And thrilling voice of song! when he came nigh,
    To send the passion of its melody
    Thro' his pierc'd bosom—on its tones to bear
    My life's deep feeling, as the southern air
    Wafts the faint myrtle's breath,—to rise, to swell,
    To sink away in accents of farewell,
    Winning but one, one gush of tears, whose flow
    Surely my parted spirit yet might know,
    If love be strong as death!


    Page 51

    III.

                            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.


    Page 52

    IV.

                            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;


    Page 53

    Never, oh! never more! Where'er I move,
    The shadow of this broken-hearted love
    Is on me and around! Too well they know,
        Whose life is all within, too soon and well,
    When there the blight hath settled;—but I go
        Under the silent wings of peace to dwell;
    From the slow wasting, from the lonely pain,
    The inward burning of those words—"in vain,"
        Sear'd on the heart—I go. 'Twill soon be past.
    Sunshine, and song, and bright Italian heaven,
        And thou, oh! thou, on whom my spirit cast
    Unvalued wealth,—who know'st not what was given
    In that devotedness,—the sad, and deep,
    And unrepaid—farewell! If I could weep
    Once, only once, belov'd one! on thy breast,
    Pouring my heart forth ere I sink to rest!
    But that were happiness, and unto me
    Earth's gift is fame. Yet I was form'd to be
    So richly blest! With thee to watch the sky,
    Speaking not, feeling but that thou wert nigh;

    Page 54

    With thee to listen, while the tones of song
    Swept ev'n as part of our sweet air along,
    To listen silently;—with thee to gaze
    On forms, the deified of olden days,
    This had been joy enough;—and hour by hour,
    From its glad well-springs drinking life and power,
    How had my spirit soar'd, and made its fame
        A glory for thy brow!—Dreams, dreams!—the fire
    Burns faint within me. Yet I leave my name—
        As a deep thrill may linger on the lyre
    When its full chords are hush'd—awhile to live,
    And one day haply in thy heart revive
    Sad thoughts of me:—I leave it, with a sound,
    A spell o'er memory, mournfully profound,
    I leave it, on my country's air to dwell,—
    Say proudly yet—"Twas her's who lov'd me well!"


    Page [55]

    GERTRUDE,
    OR FIDELITY TILL DEATH.

    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.


    Page 56

    GERTRUDE,
    OR FIDELITY TILL 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.


    JOANNA BAILLIE.

    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.


    Page 57

    The night was round her clear and cold,
        The holy heaven above,
    Its pale stars watching to behold
        The might of earthly love.

    "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!


    Page 58

    And thou, mine honour'd love and true,
        Bear on, bear nobly on!
    We have the blessed heaven in view,
        Whose rest shall soon be won."

    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;


    Page 59

    While she sat striving with despair
        Beside his tortured form,
    And pouring her deep soul in prayer
        Forth on the rushing storm.

    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.


    Page 60

    While ev'n as o'er a martyr's grave
        She knelt on that sad spot,
    And, weeping, bless'd the God who gave
        Strength to forsake it not!


    Page 61

    IMELDA.

                            ——Sometimes
            The young forgot the lessons they had learnt,
            And lov'd when they should hate,—like thee, Imelda!


    Italy, a Poem.

             Passa la bella Donna, e par che dorma.


    TASSO.

    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;


    Page 62

    Yet once the wave was darken'd, and a stain
    Lay deep, and heavy drops—but not of rain—
    On the dim violets by its marble bed,
    And the pale shining water-lily's head.

    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


    Page 63

    Than the cold world wrings forth. They stood, that hour,
    Speaking of hope, while tree, and fount, and flower,
    And star, just gleaming thro' the cypress boughs,
    Seem'd holy things, as records of their vows.

    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.


    Page 64

    That night Imelda's voice was in the song,
    Lovely it floated thro' the festive throng,
    Peopling her father's halls. That fatal night
    Her eye look'd starry in its dazzling light,
    And her cheek glow'd with beauty's flushing dyes,
    Like a rich cloud of eve in southern skies,
    A burning, ruby cloud. There were, whose gaze
    Follow'd her form beneath the clear lamp's blaze,
    And marvell'd at its radiance. But a few
    Beheld the brightness of that feverish hue,
    With something of dim fear; and in that glance
        Found strange and sudden tokens of unrest,
    Startling to meet amidst the mazy dance,
        Where thought, if present, an unbidden guest,
    Comes not unmask'd. Howe'er this were, the time
    Sped as it speeds with joy, and grief, and crime
    Alike: and when the banquet's hall was left
    Unto its garlands of their bloom bereft,
    When trembling stars look'd silvery in their wane,
    And heavy flowers yet slumber'd, once again

    Page 65

    There stole a footstep, fleet, and light, and lone,
    Thro' the dim cedar shade; the step of one
    That started at a leaf, of one that fled,
    Of one that panted with some secret dread:—
    What did Imelda there? She sought the scene
    Where love so late with youth and hope had been;
    Bodings were on her soul—a shuddering thrill
    Ran thro' each vein, when first the Naiad's rill
    Met her with melody—sweet sounds and low;
    We hear them yet, they live along its flow—
    Her voice is music lost! The fountain-side
    She gain'd—the wave flash'd forth—'twas darkly dyed
    Ev'n as from warrior-hearts; and on its edge,
        Amidst the fern, and flowers, and moss-tufts deep,
    There lay, as lull'd by stream and rustling sedge,
        A youth, a graceful youth. "Oh! dost thou sleep?
    "Azzo!" she cried, "my Azzo! is this rest?"
    But then her low tones falter'd:—"On thy breast

    Page 66

    Is the stain,—yes, 'tis blood!—and that cold cheek—
    That moveless lip!—thou dost not slumber?—speak,
    Speak, Azzo, my belov'd!—no sound—no breath—
    What hath come thus between our spirits?—Death!
    Death?—I but dream—I dream!"—and there she stood,
    A faint, frail trembler, gazing first on blood,
    With her fair arm around yon cypress thrown,
    Her form sustain'd by that dark stem alone,
    And fading fast, like spell-struck maid of old,
    Into white waves dissolving, clear and cold;
    When from the grass her dimm'd eye caught a gleam—
    'Twas where a sword lay shiver'd by the stream,—
    Her brother's sword!—she knew it; and she knew
    'Twas with a venom'd point that weapon slew!
    Wo for young love! But love is strong. There came
    Strength upon woman's fragile heart and frame,

    Page 67

    There came swift courage! On the dewy ground
    She knelt, with all her dark hair floating round,
    Like a long silken stole; she knelt, and press'd
    Her lips of glowing life to Azzo's breast,
    Drawing the poison forth. A strange, sad sight!
    Pale death, and fearless love, and solemn night!—
    So the moon saw them last.
                            The morn came singing
        Thro' the green forests of the Appenines,
    With all her joyous birds their free flight winging,
        And steps and voices out amongst the vines.
    What found that day-spring here? Two fair forms laid
    Like sculptured sleepers; from the myrtle shade
    Casting a gleam of beauty o'er the wave,
    Still, mournful, sweet. Were such things for the grave?
    Could it be so indeed? That radiant girl,
    Deck'd as for bridal hours!—long braids of pearl

    Page 68

    Amidst her shadowy locks were faintly shining,
        As tears might shine, with melancholy light;
    And there was gold her slender waist entwining;
        And her pale graceful arms—how sadly bright!
    And fiery gems upon her breast were lying,
    And round her marble brow red roses dying.—
    But she died first!—the violet's hue had spread
        O'er her sweet eyelids with repose oppress'd,
    She had bow'd heavily her gentle head,
        And, on the youth's hush'd bosom, sunk to rest.
    So slept they well!—the poison's work was done;
    Love with true heart had striven—but Death had won.


    Page 69

    EDITH,
    A TALE OF THE WOODS.*

             Du Heilige! rufe dein Kind zurück!
             Ich habe genossen das irdische Glück,
             Ich habe gelebt und geliebet.


    WALLENSTEIN.

    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!


    [Note *:]

    Founded on incidents related in an American work, "Sketches of Connecticut."


    Page 70

    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.


    Page 71

    Of him alone she thought, whose languid head
        Faintly upon her, wedded bosom fell;
    Memory of aught but him on earth was fled,
        While heavily she felt his life-blood well
    Fast o'er her garments forth, and vainly bound
    With her torn robe and hair the streaming wound,
    Yet hoped, still hoped!—Oh! from such hope how long.
        Affection wooes the whispers that deceive,
    Ev'n when the pressure of dismay grows strong,
        And we, that weep, watch, tremble, ne'er believe
    The blow indeed can fall! So bow'd she there,
    Over the dying, while unconscious prayer
    Fill all her soul. Now pour'd the moonlight down,
    Veining the pine-stems thro' the foliage brown,
    And fire-flies, kindling up the leafy place,
    Cast fitful radiance o'er the warrior's face,
    Whereby she caught its changes: to her eye,
        The eye that faded look'd through gathering haze,
    Whence love, o'ermastering mortal agony,
        Lifted a long deep melancholy gaze,

    Page 72

    When voice was not: that fond sad meaning pass'd—
    She knew the fulness of her wo at last!
    One shriek the forests heard,—and mute she lay,
    And cold; yet clasping still the precious clay
    To her scarce-heaving breast. O Love and Death!
    Ye have sad meetings on this changeful earth,
    Many and sad! but airs of heavenly breath
    Shall melt the links which bind you, for your birth
    Is far apart.

                                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


    Page 73

    Fell, as in doubt, on faces dark and strange,
    And dusky forms. A sudden sense of change
    Flash'd o'er her spirit, ev'n ere memory swept
    The tide of anguish back with thoughts that slept;
    Yet half instinctively she rose, and spread
    Her arms as 'twere for something lost or fled,
    Then faintly sank again. The forest-bough,
    With all its whispers, wav'd not o'er her now,—
    Where was she? Midst the people of the wild,
        By the red hunter's fire: an aged chief,
    Whose home look'd sad—for therein play'd no child—
        Had borne her, in the stillness of her grief,
    To that lone cabin of the woods; and there,
    Won by a form so desolately fair,
    Or touch'd with thoughts from some past sorrow sprung,
    O'er her low couch an Indian matron hung,
    While in grave silence, yet with earnest eye,
    The ancient warrior of the waste stood by,
    Bending in watchfulness his proud grey head,
        And leaning on his bow.


    Page 74

                                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


    Page 75

    Of strong affection, in one healthful flow,
    On something all its own!—that kindly glow,
    Which to shut inward is consuming pain,
    Gives the glad soul its flowering time again,
    When, like the sunshine, freed.—And gentle cares
    Th' adopted Edith meekly gave for theirs
    Who lov'd her thus:—her spirit dwelt, the while,
    With the departed, and her patient smile
    Spoke of farewells to earth;—yet still she pray'd,
    Ev'n o'er her soldier's lowly grave, for aid
    One purpose to fulfil, to leave one trace
    Brightly recording that her dwelling-place
    Had been among the wilds; for well she knew
    The secret whisper of her bosom true,
    Which warn'd her hence.
                                And now, by many a word
    Link'd unto moments when the heart was stirr'd,
    By the sweet mournfulness of many a hymn,
    Sung when the woods at eve grew hush'd and dim,

    Page 76

    By the persuasion of her fervent eye,
    All eloquent with child-like piety,
    By the still beauty of her life, she strove
    To win for heaven, and heaven-born truth, the love
    Pour'd out on her so freely.—Nor in vain
    Was that soft-breathing influence to enchain
    The soul in gentle bonds: by slow degrees
    Light follow'd on, as when a summer breeze
    Parts the deep masses of the forest shade
    And lets the sunbeam through:—her voice was made
    Ev'n such a breeze; and she, a lowly guide,
    By faith and sorrow rais'd and purified,
    So to the Cross her Indian fosterers led,
    Until their prayers were one. When morning spread
    O'er the blue lake, and when the sunset's glow
    Touch'd into golden bronze the cypress-bough,
    And when the quiet of the Sabbath time
    Sank on her heart, tho' no melodious chime
    Waken'd the wilderness, their prayers were one.
    —Now might she pass in hope, her work was done.

    Page 77

    And she was passing from the woods away;
    The broken flower of England might not stay
    Amidst those alien shades; her eye was bright
    Ev'n yet with something of a starry light,
    But her form wasted, and her fair young cheek
    Wore oft and patiently a fatal streak,
    A rose whose root was death. The parting sigh
    Of autumn thro' the forests had gone by,
    And the rich maple o'er her wanderings lone
    Its crimson leaves in many a shower had strown,
    Flushing the air; and winter's blast had been
    Amidst the pines; and now a softer green
    Fring'd their dark boughs; for spring again had come,
    The sunny spring! but Edith to her home
    Was journeying fast. Alas! we think it sad
    To part with life, when all the earth looks glad
    In her young lovely things, when voices break
    Into sweet sounds, and leaves and blossoms wake:
    Is it not brighter then, in that far clime
    Where graves are not, nor blights of changeful time,

    Page 78

    If here such glory dwell with passing blooms,
    Such golden sunshine rest around the tombs?
    So thought the dying one. 'Twas early day,
    And sounds and odours with the breezes play,
    Whispering of spring-time, thro' the cabin-door,
    Unto her couch life's farewell sweetness bore;
    Then with a look where all her hope awoke,
    "My father!"—to the grey-hair'd chief she spoke—
    "Know'st thou that I depart?"—"I know, I know,"
    He answer'd mournfully, "that thou must go
    To thy belov'd, my daughter!"—"Sorrow not
        For me, kind mother!" with meek smiles once more
    She murmur'd in low tones; "one happy lot
        Awaits, us, friends! upon the better shore;
    For we have pray'd together in one trust,
    And lifted our frail spirits from the dust,
    To God, who gave them. Lay me by mine own,
    Under the cedar-shade: where he is gone
    Thither I go. There will my sisters be,
    And the dead parents, lisping at whose knee

    Page 79

    My childhood's prayer was learn'd,—the Saviour's prayer
    Which now ye know,—and I shall meet you there,
    Father, and gentle mother!—ye have bound
    The bruised reed, and mercy shall be found
    By Mercy's children."—From the matron's eye
    Dropp'd tears, her sole and passionate reply;
    But Edith felt them not; for now a sleep,
    Solemnly beautiful, a stillness deep,
    Fell on her settled face. Then, sad and slow,
    And mantling up his stately head in wo,
    "Thou'rt passing hence," he sang, that warrior old,
    In sounds like those by plaintive waters roll'd.

        "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.


    Page 80

        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.


    Page 81

        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!"


    Page 82

    The song had ceas'd—the listeners caught no breath,
    That lovely sleep had melted into death.


    Page 83

    THE INDIAN CITY.*

            What deep wounds ever clos'd without a scar?
            The heart's bleed longest, and but heal to wear
            That which disfigures it.


    Childe Harold.

    I.

    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,


    [Note *:]

    From a tale in Forbes's Oriental Memoirs.


    Page 84

    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.


    Page 85

    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,


    Page 86

    For the stag athirst from the noontide chase,
    For all free things of the wild-wood's race.

    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.


    Page 87

    II.

    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:


    Page 88

    This was the doom for a Moslem found
    With foot profane on their holy ground,
    This was for sullying the pure waves free
    Unto them alone—'twas their God's decree.

    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!


    Page 89

    The boy had breathed, in his dreaming rest,
    Like a low-voiced dove, on her gentle breast;
    He had stood, when she sorrow'd, beside her knee,
    Painfully stilling his quick heart's glee;
    He had kiss'd from her cheek the widow's tears,
    With the loving lip of his infant years;
    He had smil'd o'er her path like a bright spring-day—
    Now in his blood on the earth he lay!
    Murder'd!—Alas! and we love so well
    In a world where anguish like this can dwell!

    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;


    Page 90

    She look'd but into the half-shut eye,
    With a gaze that found there no reply,
    And shrieking, mantled her head from sight,
    And fell, struck down by her sorrow's might!

    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,


    Page 91

    Not till yon city, in ruins rent,
    Be piled for its victim's monument.
    —Cover his dust! bear it on before!
    It shall visit those temple-gates once more."

    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.

    III.

    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;


    Page 92

    And the canes that shook as if winds were high,
    When the fiery steed of the waste swept by;
    And the camp as it lay, like a billowy sea,
    Wide round the sheltering Banian tree.

    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.


    Page 93

    Back with the dust of her son she came,
    When her voice had kindled that lightning flame;
    She came in the might of a queenly foe,
    Banner, and javelin, and bended bow;
    But a deeper power on her forehead sate—
    There sought the warrior his star of fate;
    Her eye's wild flash through the tented line
    Was hail'd as a spirit and a sign,
    And the faintest tone from her lip was caught,
    As a Sybil's breath of prophetic thought.

    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;


    Page 94

    Slowly the strength of the walls gave way—
    She wither'd faster, from day to day.
    All the proud sounds of that banner'd plain,
    To stay the flight of her soul were vain;
    Like an eagle caged, it had striven, and worn
    The frail dust ne'er for such conflicts born,
    Till the bars were rent, and the hour was come
    For its fearful rushing thro' darkness home.

    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;


    Page 95

    But something which breathed from that mournful strain
    Sent a fitful gust o'er her soul again,
    And starting as if from a dream, she cried—
    "Give him proud burial at my side!
    There, by yon lake, where the palm-boughs wave,
    When the temples are fallen, make there our grave."

    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,


    Page 96

    Till a city of ruin begirt the shade,
    Where the boy and his mother at rest were laid.

    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!


    Page 97

    THE PEASANT GIRL OF THE RHONE.

            —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.


    COLERIDGE'S Wallenstein.

            Alas! our young affections run to waste,
            Or water but the desert.


    Childe Harold.

    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


    Page 98

    In muffled sounds upon the greensward fell,
    As chieftains pass'd; and solemnly the swell
    Of the deep requiem, o'er the gleaming river
    Borne with the gale, and with the leaves low shiver,
    Floated and died. Proud mourners there, yet pale,
        Wore man's mute anguish sternly;—but of one
    Oh! who shall speak? What words his brow unveil?
        A father following to the grave his son!
    That is no grief to picture! Sad and slow,
        Thro' the wood-shadows moved the knightly train,
    With youth's fair form upon the bier laid low,
        Fair even when found, amidst the bloody slain,
    Stretch'd by its broken lance. They reached the lone
        Baronial chapel, where the forest gloom
    Fell heaviest, for the massy boughs had grown
        Into thick archways, as to vault the tomb.
    Stately they trod the hollow ringing aisle,
    A strange deep echo shuddered thro' the pile,
    Till crested heads at last, in silence bent
    Round the De Coucis' antique monument,

    Page 99

    When dust to dust was given:—and Aymer slept
        Beneath the drooping banners of his line,
    Whose broidered folds the Syrian wind had swept
        Proudly and oft o'er fields of Palestine:
    So the sad rite was clos'd.—The sculptor gave
    Trophies, ere long, to deck that lordly grave,
    And the pale image of a youth, arrayed
    As warriors are for fight, but calmly laid
        In slumber on his shield.—Then all was done,
    All still, around the dead.—His name was heard
    Perchance when wine-cups flow'd, and hearts were stirr'd
        By some old song, or tale of battle won,
    Told round the hearth: but in his father's breast
    Manhood's high passions woke again, and press'd
    On to their mark; and in his friend's clear eye
    There dwelt no shadow of a dream gone by;
    And with the brethren of his fields, the feast
    Was gay as when the voice whose sounds, had ceas'd

    Page 100

    Mingled with theirs.—Ev'n thus life's rushing tide
    Bears back affection from the grave's dark side:
    Alas! to think of this!—the heart's void place
        Filled up so soon!—so like a summer-cloud,
    All that we lov'd to pass and leave no trace!—
        He lay forgotten in his early shroud.
    Forgotten?—not of all!—the sunny smile
    Glancing in play o'er that proud lip erewhile,
    And the dark locks whose breezy waving threw
    A gladness round, whene'er their shade withdrew
    From the bright brow; and all the sweetness lying
        Within that eagle-eye's jet radiance deep,
    And all the music with that young voice dying,
        Whose joyous echoes made the quick heart leap
    As at a hunter's bugle—these things lived
    Still in one breast, whose silent love survived
    The pomps of kindred sorrow.—Day by day,
    On Aymer's tomb fresh flowers in garlands lay,
    Thro' the dim lane soft summer-odours breathing,
    And all the pale sepulchral trophies wreathing,

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    And with a flush of deeper brilliance glowing
    In the rich light, like molten rubies flowing
    Thro' storied windows down. The violet there
    Might speak of love—a secret love and lowly,
    And the rose image all things fleet and fair,
    And the faint passion-flower, the sad and holy,
    Tell of diviner hopes. But whose light hand,
    As for an altar, wove the radiant band?
    Whose gentle nurture brought, from hidden dells,
    That gem-like wealth of blossoms and sweet bells,
    To blush thro' every season?—Blight and chill
    Might touch the changing woods, but duly still,
    For years, those gorgeous coronals renewed,
        And brightly clasping marble spear and helm,
    Even thro' mid-winter, filled the solitude
        With a strange smile, a glow of summer's realm.
    Surely some fond and fervent heart was pouring
    Its youth's vain worship on the dust, adoring
    In lone devotedness!


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                                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!


    Page [103]

    INDIAN WOMAN'S DEATH-SONG.

    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.


    Page 104

    INDIAN WOMAN'S DEATH-SONG.

    Non, je ne puis vivre avec un coeur brisé. Il faut que je retrouve la joie, et que je m'unisse aux esprits libres de l'air.
    Bride of Messina,
    Translated by MADAME DE STAEL.
    Let not my child be a girl, for very sad is the life of a woman.
    The Prairie.

    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


    Page 105

    Sat a strange gladness, and her dark hair wav'd
    As if triumphantly. She press'd her child,
    In its bright slumber, to her beating heart,
    And lifted her sweet voice, that rose awhile
    Above the sound of waters, high and clear,
    Wafting a wild proud strain, her song of death.

    Roll swiftly to the Spirit's land, thou mighty stream and free!
    Father of ancient waters, 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;


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    My shadow comes not o'er his path, my whisper to his dream,
    He flings away the broken reed—roll swifter yet, thou stream!

    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?


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    The hand that spread the hunter's board, and deck'd his couch of yore?—
    He will not!—roll, dark foaming stream, on to the better shore!

    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;


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    Too bright a thing art thou to pine in aching love away,
    Thy mother bears thee far, young Fawn! from sorrow and decay.

    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!


    Page [109]

    JOAN OF ARC, IN RHEIMS.

    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.


    Page 110

    JOAN OF ARC, IN RHEIMS.

            Thou hast a charmed cup, O Fame!
                A draught that mantles high,
            And seems to lift tills earth-born frame
                Above mortality:
            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.


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    And what was done within?—within, the light
        Thro' the rich gloom of pictured windows flowing,
    Tinged with soft awfulness a stately sight,
        The chivalry of France, their proud heads bowing
    In martial vassalage!—while midst that ring,
    And shadow'd by ancestral tombs, a king
    Receiv'd his birthright's crown. For this, the hymn
        Swell'd out like rushing waters, and the day
    With the sweet censer's misty breath grew dim,
        As thro' long aisles it floated o'er th' array
    Of arms and sweeping stoles. But who, alone
    And unapproach'd, beside the altar-stone,
    With the white banner, forth like sunshine streaming,
    And the gold helm, thro' clouds of fragrance gleaming,
    Silent and radiant stood?—the helm was rais'd,
    And the fair face reveal'd, that upward gaz'd,
        Intensely worshipping:—a still, clear face,
    Youthful, but brightly solemn!—Woman's cheek
    And brow were there, in deep devotion meek,
        Yet glorified with inspiration's trace

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    On its pure paleness; while, enthron'd above,
    The pictur'd virgin, with her smile of love,
    Seem'd bending o'er her votaress.—That slight form!
    Was that the leader thro' the battle storm?
    Had the soft light in that adoring eye,
    Guided the warrior where the swords flash'd high?
    'Twas so, even so!—and thou, the shepherd's child,
    Joanne, the lowly dreamer of the wild!
    Never before, and never since that hour,
    Hath woman, mantled with victorious power,
    Stood forth as thou beside the shrine didst stand,
    Holy amidst the knighthood of the land;
    And beautiful with joy and with renown,
    Lift thy white banner o'er the olden crown,
    Ransom'd for France by thee!

                                    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


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    May give thee welcome from thine own blue skies,
        Daughter of victory!—A triumphant strain,
    A proud rich stream of warlike melodies,
        Gush'd thro' the portals of the antique fane,
    And forth she came.—Then rose a nation's sound—
    Oh! what a power to bid the quick heart bound,
    The wind bears onward with the stormy cheer
    Man gives to glory on her high career!
    Is there indeed such power?—far deeper dwells
    In one kind household voice, to reach the cells
    Whence happiness flows forth!—The shouts that fill'd
    The hollow heaven tempestuously, were still'd
    One moment; and in that brief pause, the tone,
    As of a breeze that o'er her home had blown,
    Sank on the bright maid's heart.—"Joanne!"—Who spoke
        Like those whose childhood with her childhood grew
    Under one roof?—"Joanne!"—that murmur broke
        With sounds of weeping forth!—She turn'd—she knew

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    Beside her, mark'd from all the thousands there,
    In the calm beauty of his silver hair,
    The stately shepherd; and the youth, whose joy
    From his dark eye flash'd proudly; and the boy,
    The youngest-born, that ever lov'd her best:
    "Father! and ye, my brothers!"—On the breast
    Of that grey sire she sank—and swiftly back,
    Ev'n in an instant, to their native track
    Her free thoughts flowed.—She saw the pomp no more.—
    The plumes, the banners:—to her cabin-door,
    And to the Fairy's fountain in the glade,
    Where her young sisters by her side had play'd,
    And to her hamlet's chapel, where it rose
    Hallowing the forest unto deep repose,
    Her spirit turn'd.—The very wood-note, sung
        In early spring-time by the bird, which dwelt
    Where o'er her father's roof the beech-leaves hung,
        Was in her heart; a music heard and felt,

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    Winning her back to nature.—She unbound
        The helm of many battles from her head,
    And, with her bright locks bow'd to sweep the ground,
        Lifting her voice up, wept for joy, and said,—
    "Bless me, my father, bless me! and with thee,
    To the still cabin and the beechen-tree,
    Let me return!"

                                    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.


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    PAULINE.

            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.


    TASSO.

    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,


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    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.

    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.


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    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;


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    The wild fierce lustre grows—then bursts a cry—
    Fire! thro' the hall and round it gathering—fly!

    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.


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    "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!


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    Was one brief meeting theirs, one wild farewell?
    And died they heart to heart?—Oh! who can tell?

    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.


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    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!


    Page [123]

    JUANA.

    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


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    JUANA.

                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.


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    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;


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    She spoke to him who could not hear, and cried, "Thou yet wilt wake,
    And learn my watchings and my tears, belov'd one! for thy sake.

    "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?


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    Silence hath been upon thy lips, and stillness round thee long,
    But the hopeful spirit in my breast is all undimm'd and strong.

    "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;


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    How in one long deep dream of thee my nights and days have past,
    Surely that humble, patient love must win back love at last!

    "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!


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    Thou'lt reck no more tho' beauty's gift mine aspect may not bless;
    In thy kind eyes this deep, deep love, shall give me loveliness.

    "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,


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    Until the shadows of the grave had swept o'er every grace,
    Left midst the awfulness of death on the princely form and face.

    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.


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    THE AMERICAN FOREST GIRL.

                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,


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    Rocking beneath the cedars to and fro,
    As the wind pass'd, and with a fitful glow
    Lighting the victim's face:—But who could tell
    Of what within his secret heart befel,
    Known but to heaven that hour?—Perchance a thought
    Of his far home then so intensely wrought,
    That its full image, pictured to his eye
    On the dark ground of mortal agony,
    Rose clear as day!—and he might see the band,
    Of his young sisters wandering hand in hand,
    Where the laburnums droop'd; or haply binding
    The jasmine, up the door's low pillars winding;
    Or, as day clos'd upon their gentle mirth,
    Gathering with braided hair, around the hearth
    Where sat their mother;—and that mother's face
    Its grave sweet smile yet wearing in the place
    Where so it ever smiled!—Perchance the prayer
    Learn'd at her knee came back on his despair;

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    The blessing from her voice, the very tone
    Of her "Good-night" might breathe from boyhood gone!—
    He started and look'd up:—thick cypress boughs
        Full of strange sound, wav'd o'er him, darkly red
    In the broad stormy firelight;—savage brows,
        With tall plumes crested and wild hues o'erspread,
    Girt him like feverish phantoms; and pale stars
    Look'd thro' the branches as thro' dungeon bars,
    Shedding no hope.—He knew, he felt his doom—
    Oh! what a tale to shadow with its gloom
    That happy ball in England!—Idle fear!
    Would the winds tell it?—Who might dream or hear
    The secret of the forests?—To the stake
        They bound him; and that proud young soldier strove
    His father's spirit in his breast to wake,
        Trusting to die in silence! He, the love
    Of many hearts!—the fondly rear'd,—the fair,
    Gladdening all eyes to see!—And fetter'd there

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    He stood beside his death-pyre, and the brand
    Flamed up to light it, in the chieftain's hand.
    He thought upon his God.—Hush! hark!—a cry
    Breaks on the stern and dread solemnity,—
    A step hath pierc'd the ring!—Who dares intrude
    On the dark hunters in their vengeful mood?—
    A girl—a young slight girl—a fawn-like child
    Of green Savannas and the leafy wild,
    Springing unmark'd till then, as some lone flower,
    Happy because the sunshine is its dower;
    Yet one that knew how early tears are shed,—
    For hers had mourn'd a playmate brother dead.

    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


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    Like close Liannes; then rais'd her glittering eye
    And clear-toned voice that said, "He shall not die!"

    "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!"


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    COSTANZA.

                    ——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,


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    While o'er her long hair's flowing jet it threw
    Bright waves of gold—the autumn forest's hue—
    Seem'd all a vision's mist of glory, spread
    By painting's touch around some holy head,
    Virgin's or fairest martyr's. In her eye,
    Which glanced as dark clear water to the sky,
    What solemn fervour lived! And yet what wo,
    Lay like some buried thing, still seen below
    The glassy tide! Oh! he that could reveal
    What life had taught that chasten'd heart to feel,
    Might speak indeed of woman's blighted years,
    And wasted love, and vainly bitter tears!
    But she had told her griefs to heaven alone,
    And of the gentle saint no more was known,
    Than that she fled the world's cold breath, and made
    A temple of the pine and chestnut shade,
    Filling its depths with soul, whene'er her hymn
    Rose thro' each murmur of the green, and dim,
    And ancient solitude; where hidden streams
    Went moaning thro' the grass, like sounds in dreams,

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    Music for weary hearts! Midst leaves and flowers
    She dwelt, and knew all secrets of their powers,
    All nature's balms, wherewith her gliding tread
    To the sick peasant on his lowly bed,
    Came, and brought hope; while scarce of mortal birth
    He deem'd the pale fair form, that held on earth
    Communion but with grief.

                            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


    Page 139

    The floating song. Strange sounds!—the trumpet's peal,
    Made hollow by the rocks; the clash of steel,
    The rallying war-cry.—In the mountain-pass,
    There had been combat; blood was on the grass,
    Banners had strewn the waters; chiefs lay dying,
    And the pine-branches crash'd before the flying.

    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


    Page 140

    What mothers' eyes have watch'd in rosy sleep
    Till joy, for very fulness, turn'd to weep,
    Thus changed!—a fearful thing! His golden crest
    Was shiver'd, and the bright scarf on his breast—
    Some costly love-gift—rent:—but what of these?
    There were the clustering raven—locks—the breeze
    As it came in thro' lime and myrtle flowers,
    Might scarcely lift them—steep'd in bloody showers
    So heavily upon the pallid clay
    Of the damp cheek they hung! the eyes' dark ray—
    Where was it?—and the lips!—they gasp'd apart,
    With their light curve, as from the chisel's art,
    Still proudly beautiful! but that white hue—
    Was it not death's?—that stillness—that cold dew
    On the scarr'd forehead? No! his spirit broke
    From its deep trance ere long, yet but awoke
    To wander in wild dreams; and there he lay,
    By the fierce fever as a green reed shaken,
    The haughty chief of thousands—the forsaken

    Page 141

    Of all save one!—She fled not. Day by day—
    Such hours are woman's birthright—she, unknown,
    Kept watch beside him, fearless and alone;
    Binding his wounds, and oft in silence laving
    His brow with tears that mourn'd the strong man's raving.
    He felt them not, nor mark'd the light veil'd form
    Still hovering nigh; yet sometimes, when that storm
        Of frenzy sank, her voice, in tones as low
    As a young mother's by the cradle singing,
    Would sooth him with sweet aves, gently bringing
        Moments of slumber, when the fiery glow
    Ebb'd from his hollow cheek.

                            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?


    Page 142

    Back from my youth it floated, with a tone
    Of life's first music, and a thought of one—
    Where is she now? and where the gauds of pride
    Whose hollow splendour lured me from her side?
    All lost!—and this is death!—I cannot die
    Without forgiveness from that mournful eye!
    Away! the earth hath lost her. Was she born
    To brook abandonment, to strive with scorn?
    My first, my holiest love!—her broken heart
    Lies low, and I—unpardon'd I depart."

    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!"


    Page 143

                            But o'er his frame
    Too fast the strong tide rush'd—the sudden shame,
    The joy, th' amaze!—he bow'd his head—it fell
    On the wrong'd bosom which had lov'd so well;
    And love still perfect, gave him refuge there,—
    His last faint breath just wav'd her floating hair.


    Page 144

    MADELINE.
    A DOMESTIC TALE.*

            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?


    JOANNA BAILLIE.

    "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,


    [Note *:]

    Originally published in the Literary Souvenir for 1828.


    Page 145

    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!"


    Page 146

    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,


    Page 147

    And the bright land was reach'd, the youthful world
    That glows along the West: the sails were furl'd
    In its clear sunshine, and the gentle bride
    Look'd on the home that promis'd hearts untried
    A bower of bliss to come.—Alas! we trace
    The map of our own paths, and long ere years
    With their dull steps the brilliant lines efface,
    On sweeps the storm, and blots them out with tears.
    That home was darken'd soon: the summer breeze
    Welcom'd with death the wanderers from the seas,
    Death unto one, and anguish how forlorn!
    To her, that widow'd in her marriage-morn,
    Sat in her voiceless dwelling, whence with him,
        Her bosom's first belov'd, her friend and guide,
    Joy had gone forth, and left the green earth dim,
        As from the sun shut out on every side,
    By the dose veil of misery!—Oh! but ill,
        When with rich hopes o'erfraught, the young high heart
        Bears its first blow!—it knows not yet the part
    Which life will teach—to suffer and be still,

    Page 148

    And with submissive love to count the flowers
    Which yet are spared, and thro' the future hours
    To send no busy dream!—She had not learn'd
    Of sorrow till that hour, and therefore turn'd,
    In weariness from life: then came th' unrest,
    The heart-sick yearning of the exile's breast,
    The haunting sounds of voices far away,
    And household steps; until at last she lay
    On her lone couch of sickness, lost in dreams
    Of the gay vineyards and blue-rushing streams
    In her own sunny land, and murmuring oft
    Familiar names, in accents wild, yet soft,
    To strangers round that bed, who knew not aught
    Of the deep spells wherewith each word was fraught
    To strangers?—Oh! could strangers raise the head
    Gently as hers was rais'd?—did strangers shed
    The kindly tears which bath'd that feverish brow
    And wasted cheek with half unconscious flow?
    Something was there, that thro' the lingering night
    Outwatches patiently the taper's light,

    Page 149

    Something that faints not thro' the day's distress,
    That fears not toil, that knows not weariness;
    Love, true and perfect love!—Whence came that power,
    Uprearing thro' the storm the drooping flower?
    Whence?—who can ask?—the wild delirium pass'd,
    And from her eyes the spirit look'd at last
    Into her mother's face, and wakening knew
    The brow's calm grace, the hair's dear silvery hue,
    The kind sweet smile of old!—and had she come,
    Thus in life's evening, from her distant home,
    To save her child?—Ev'n so—nor yet in vain:
    In that young heart a light sprung up again,
    And lovely still, with so much love to give,
    Seem'd this fair world, tho' faded; still to live
    Was not to pine forsaken. On the breast
    That rock'd her childhood, sinking in soft rest,
    "Sweet mother, gentlest mother! can it be?"
    The lorn one cried, "and do I look on thee?
    Take back thy wanderer from this fatal shore,
    Peace shall be ours beneath our vines once more."


    Page [150]

    THE QUEEN OF PRUSSIA'S TOMB.

    "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.


    Page 151

    THE QUEEN OF PRUSSIA'S TOMB.

            In sweet pride upon that insult keen
            She smiled; then drooping mute and broken-hearted,
            To the cold comfort of the grave departed.


    MILMAN.

    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.


    Page 152

    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.


    Page 153

    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.


    Page 154

    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!*


    [Note *:]

    Originally published in the Monthly Magazine.


    Page [155]

    THE MEMORIAL PILLAR.

    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."


    Page 156

    THE MEMORIAL PILLAR.

            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?


    ROGERS.

    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!


    Page 157

    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.


    Page 158

    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.


    Page 159

    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!


    Page 160

    THE GRAVE OF A POETESS.*

             "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.


    [Note *:]

    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.


    Page 161

    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.


    Page 162

    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.


    Page 163

    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.


    Page [164]


    Page [165]

    NOTES
    TO
    RECORDS OF WOMAN.

    Note 1, page 8, lines 6 and 7.

             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.

    Note 2, page 17, lines 9 and 10.

         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.


    Page 166

    Note 3, page 23, lines 17 and 18.

         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.

    Note 4, page 61, line 3.

         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.

    Note 5, page 105, line 8.

             Father of ancient waters, roll!

    "Father of waters," the Indian name for the Mississippi.

    Note 6, page 114, line 11.

             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.

    Note 7, page 117, lines 5 and 6.

             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.


    Page [167]

    MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.


    Page [168]


    Page [169]

    MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.

    THE HOMES OF ENGLAND.

            Where's the coward that would not dare
            To fight for such a land?


    Marmion.

    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.


    Page 170

    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


    Page 171

    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!*


    [Note *:]

    Originally published in Blackwood's Magazine.


    Page 172

    THE SICILIAN CAPTIVE.

                    —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.


    L. E. L.

    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.


    Page 173

    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.


    Page 174

    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.


    Page 175

    "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!


    Page 176

    That I may make thee known, with all the beauty and the light,
    And the glory never more to bless thy daughter's yearning sight!
    Thy woods shall whisper in my song, thy bright streams warble by,
    Thy soul flow o'er my lips again—yet once, my Sicily!

    "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.


    Page 177

    "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;


    Page 178

    Lute, voice, and bird, are blending there;—it were a bliss to die,
    As dies a leaf, thy groves among, my flowery Sicily!

    "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!"


    Page 179

    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!


    Page [180]

    IVAN THE CZAR.

    "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


    Page 181

    IVAN THE CZAR.

             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!


    SCHILLER.

    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.


    Page 182

    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.


    Page 183

    "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?


    Page 184

    "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.


    Page 185

    "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!"


    Page 186

    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.*


    [Note *:]

    Originally published in the Literary Souvenir for 1827.


    Page 187

    CAROLAN'S PROPHECY.*

            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.


    [Note *:]

    Founded on a circumstance related of the Irish Bard, in the "Percy Anecdotes of Imagination."


    Page 188

    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


    Page 189

    Of bridal melody, soon dashed with grief,
    As if some wailing spirit in the strings
    Met and o'ermaster'd him: but yielding then
    To the strong prophet-impulse, mournfully,
    Like moaning waters, o'er the harp he pour'd
    The trouble of his haunted soul, and sang—

                        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!


    Page 190

            They hear the wind's low sigh,
                And the river sweeping free,
            And the green reeds murmuring heavily,
                And the woods—but they hear not thee!

                        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!


    Page 191

            And thy voice comes like the sound
                Of a sweet and hidden rill,
            That makes the dim woods tuneful round—
                But soon it must be still!

                        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!


    Page 192

            And the glance is thine which sees
                Thro' nature's awful heart—
            But bright things go with the summer-breeze,
                And thou too, must depart!

                        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!


    Page 193

            Might we follow in thy track,
                This parting should not be!
            But the spring shall give us violets back,
                And every flower but thee!

    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.


    Page 194

    THE LADY OF THE CASTLE.

    From the "Portrait Gallery," an unfinished Poem.

            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!


    Page 195

    Yet that bright lady's eye methinks hath less
    Of deep, and still, aud pensive tenderness,
    Than might beseem a mother's;—on her brow
        Something too much there sits of native scorn,
    And her smile kindles with a conscious glow,
        As from the thought of sovereign beauty born.
    —These may be dreams—but how shall woman tell
    Of woman's shame, and not with tears?—She fell!
    That mother left that child!—went hurrying by
    Its cradle—haply, not without a sigh,
    Haply one moment o'er its rest serene
    She hung—hut no! it could not thus have been,
    For she went on!—forsook her home, her hearth,
    All pure affection, all sweet household mirth,
    To live a gaudy and dishonour'd thing,
    Sharing in guilt the splendours of a king.

    Her lord, in very weariness of life,
    Girt on his sword for scenes of distant strife;


    Page 196

    He reck'd no more of glory—grief and shame
    Crush'd out his fiery nature, and his name
    Died silently. A shadow o'er his halls
    Crept year by year; the minstrel pass'd their walls;
    The warder's horn hung mute;—meantime the child,
    On whose first flowering thoughts no parent smiled,
    A gentle girl, and yet deep-hearted, grew
    Into sad youth; for well, too well, she knew
    Her mother's tale! Its memory made the sky
    Seem all too joyous for her shrinking eye;
    Check'd on her lip the flow of song, which fain
    Would there have linger'd; flush'd her cheek to pain
    If met by sudden glance; and gave a tone
    Of sorrow, as for something lovely gone,
    Ev'n to the spring's glad voice. Her own was low,
    And plaintive—oh! there lie such depths of wo
    In a young blighted spirit! Manhood rears
    A haughty brow, and age has done with tears;
    But youth bows down to misery, in amaze
    At the dark cloud o'ermantling its fresh days,—

    Page 197

    And thus it was with her. A mournful sight
        In one so fair—for she indeed was fair—
    Not with her mother's dazzling eyes of light,
         Hers were more shadowy, full of thought and prayer,
    And with long lashes o'er a white-rose cheek,
    Drooping in gloom, yet tender still and meek,
    Still that fond child's—and oh! the brow above,
    So pale and pure! so form'd for holy love
    To gaze upon in silence!—but she felt
    That love was not for her, tho' hearts would melt
    Where'er she mov'd, and reverence mutely given
    Went with her; and low prayers, that call'd on Heaven
    To bless the young Isaure.

                                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,


    Page 198

    A stranger thro' them broke:—the orphan maid
    With her sweet voice, and proffer'd hand of aid,
    Turn'd to give welcome; but a wild sad look
    Met hers; a gaze that all her spirit shook;
    And that pale woman, suddenly subdued
    By some strong passion in its gushing mood,
    Knelt at her feet, and bath'd them with such tears
    As rain the hoarded agonies of years
    From the heart's urn.; and with her white lips pressed
    The ground they trod; then, burying in her vest
    Her brow's deep flush, sobb'd out—"Oh! undefiled!
    I am thy mother—spurn me not, my child!"

    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.


    Page 199

    What marvel if the anguish, the surprise,
    The dark remembrances, the alter'd guise,
    Awhile o'erpower'd her?—from the weeper's touch
    She shrank—'twas but a moment—yet too much
    For that all humbled one; its mortal stroke
    Came down like lightning, and her full heart broke
    At once in silence. Heavily and prone
    She sank, while, o'er her castle's threshold-stone,
    Those long fair tresses—they still brightly wore
    Their early pride, tho' bound with pearls no more—
    Bursting their fillet, in sad beauty roll'd,
    And swept the dust with coils of wavy gold.

    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!


    Page 200

    THE MOURNER FOR THE BARMECIDES.

            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.


    As You Like It.

    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.


    Page 201

                        'Twas desolate
    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,


    Page 202

    By song or high recital of their deeds,
    Bright solemn shadows of its vanish'd race
    To people their own halls: with these alone,
    In all this rich and breathing world, his thoughts
    Held still unbroken converse. He had been
    Rear'd in this lordly dwelling, and was now
    The ivy of its ruins; unto which
    His fading life seem'd bound. Day roll'd on day
    And from that scene the loneliness was fled;
    For crowds around the grey-hair'd chronicler
    Met as men meet, within whose anxious hearts
    Feat' with deep feeling strives; till, as a breeze
    Wanders thro' forest-branches, and is met
    By one quick sound and shiver of the leaves,
    The spirit of his passionate lament,
    As thro' their stricken souls it pass'd, awoke
    One echoing murmur.—But this might not be
    Under a despot's rule, and summon'd thence,
    The dreamer stood before the Caliph's throne:
    Sentenced to death he stood, and deeply pale,

    Page 203

    And with his white lips rigidly compress'd;
    Till, in submissive tones, he ask'd to speak
    Once more, ere thrust from earth's fair sunshine forth.
    Was it to sue for grace?—his burning heart
    Sprang, with a sudden lightning, to his eye,
    And he was changed!—and thus, in rapid words,
    Th' o'ermastering thoughts, more strong than death found way.

    "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!


    Page 204

    "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.


    Page 205

    "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.


    Page 206

    "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!"


    Page 207

    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!"


    Page 208

    THE SPANISH CHAPEL.*

            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.


    MOORE.

    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.


    [Note *:]

    Suggested by a scene beautifully described in the "Recollections of the Peninsula."


    Page 209

    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:


    Page 210

    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!


    Page 211

    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.


    Page 212

    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!"


    Page 213

    THE CAPTIVE KNIGHT.

            The prisoned thrush may brook the cage,
            The captive eagle dies for rage.


    Lady of the Lake.

        '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!


    Page 214

        "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."


    Page [215]

    THE KAISER'S FEAST.

    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."


    Page 216

    THE KAISER'S FEAST.

    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?


    Page 217

    The strings were hush'd—the knights made way
        For the queenly mother's tread,
    As up the hall, in dark array,
        Two fair-hair'd boys she led.

    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!


    Page 218

    Tho' grief awhile within their eyes
        Hath tamed the dancing glee,
    Yet there thine own quick spirit lies—
        Thy brother's children see!

    "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?


    Page 219

    Kind was thy boyish heart and true,
        When rear'd together there,
    Thro' the old woods like fawns ye flew—
        Where is thy brother—where?

    "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.


    Page 220

    Oh! death is mighty to make peace;
        Now bid his work be done!
    So many an inward strife shall cease—
        Take, take these babes, my son!"

    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.


    Page 221

    TASSO AND HIS SISTER.

    "Devant vous est Sorrente; là démeuroit la soeur de Tasse, quand il vint en pélérin demander à cette obscure amie, un asyle contre l'injustice des princes,—Ses longues douleurs avaient presque egaré sa raison; il ne lui restoit plus que son génie."—Corinne.

    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.


    Page 222

    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.


    [Note *:]

    It is scarcely necessary to recall the well-known Italian saying, that Tasso with his sword and pen was superior to all men.


    Page 223

    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.


    Page 224

    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!


    Page 225

    "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!


    Page 226

    ULLA, OR THE ADJURATION.

            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!


    Manfred.

    "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.


    Page 227

    There's a shadow of the grave on thy hearth and round thy home;
    Come to me from the ocean's dead!—thou'rt surely of them—come!"

            '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?


    Page 228

    I will not shrink to see thee with a bloodless lip and cheek—
    Come to me from the ocean's dead!—thou'rt surely of them—speak!"

            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!


    Page 229

    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,


    Page 230

    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!


    Page 231

    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.


    Page 232

    TO WORDSWORTH.

    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.


    Page 233

    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.


    Page 234

    A MONARCH'S DEATH-BED.

    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.


    Page 235

    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.


    Page 236

    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!


    Page 237

    TO THE MEMORY OF HEBER.

                     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.


    Page 238

    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.

    ST. ASAPH, Sept. 1826.

    Page 239

    THE ADOPTED CHILD.

    "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."


    Page 240

    "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."


    Page 241

    "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."


    Page 242

    INVOCATION.

            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.


    WORDSWORTH.

    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."


    Page 243

    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."


    Page 244

    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."


    Page [245]

    KÖRNER AND HIS SISTER.

    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.


    Page 246

    KÖRNER AND HIS SISTER.

    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.


    Page 247

    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!


    Page 248

    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!


    Page 249

    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!*


    [Note *:]

    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.


    Theodor Korner's Vater.


    Page 250

    AN HOUR OF ROMANCE.

                                    ——I come
            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.


    BARRY CORNWALL.

    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


    Page 251

    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,


    [Note *:]

    The Talisman—Tales of the Crusaders.


    Page 252

    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.


    Page 253

    A VOYAGER'S DREAM OF LAND.

                            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.


    COWPER.

    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!


    Page 254

    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,


    Page 255

    And the fire-fly's glance thro' the darkening shades,
    Like shooting stars in the forest-glades,
    And the scent of the citron at eve's dim fall—
    Speak! have ye known, have ye felt them all?

    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.


    Page 256

    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.


    Page 257

    THE EFFIGIES.

             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.


    GOETHE.

    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.


    Page 258

    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.


    Page 259

    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?


    Page 260

    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!


    Page 261

    THE LANDING OF THE PILGRIM
    FATHERS IN NEW ENGLAND.

            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.


    BRYANT.

    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.


    Page 262

    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!


    Page 263

        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.


    Page 264

    THE SPIRIT'S MYSTERIES.

            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.


    Childe Harold.

    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?


    Page 265

    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?


    Page 266

    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.


    Page 267

    THE DEPARTED.

                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.


    BRYANT.

    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.


    Page 268

    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.


    Page 269

    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.


    Page 270

    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!


    Page 271

    THE PALM-TREE.*

    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.


    [Note *:]

    This incident is, I think, recorded by De Lille, in his poem of "Les Jardins."


    Page 272

    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.


    Page 273

    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!


    Page 274

    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!


    Page 275

    THE CHILD'S LAST SLEEP.

    SUGGESTED BY A MONUMENT OF CHANTREY'S.

    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—


    Page 276

    Grief with vain passionate tears hath wet
    The hair, shedding gleams from thy pale brow yet;
    Love with sad kisses, unfelt, hath press'd
    Thy meek-dropt eyelids and quiet breast;
    And the glad spring, calling out bird and bee,
    Shall colour all blossoms, fair child! but thee.

    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?


    [Note *:]

    A butterfly as if resting on a flower, is sculptured on the monument.


    Page 277

    THE SUNBEAM.

    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.


    Page 278

    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.


    Page 279

    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!


    Page 280

    BREATHINGS OF SPRING.

            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.


    Page 281

    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?


    Page 282

    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!


    Page 283

    THE ILLUMINATED CITY.

    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;


    Page 284

    The forests heard it, the mountains rang,
    The hamlets woke to its haughty clang;
    Rich and victorious was every tone,
    Telling the land of her foes o'erthrown.

    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!


    Page 285

    Mighty it roll'd on the winds afar,
    Shaking the streets like a conqueror's car;
    Thro' torches and streamers its flood swept by—
    How could I listen for moan or sigh?

    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!


    Page 286

    THE SPELLS OF HOME.

                There blend the ties that strengthen
                    Our hearts in hours of grief,
                The silver links that lengthen
                    Joy's visits when most brief.


    BERNARD BARTON.

    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!


    Page 287

    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.


    Page 288

    It hath led the freeman forth to stand
    In the mountain-battles of his land;
    It hath brought the wanderer o'er the seas
    To die on the hills of his own fresh breeze;
    And back to the gates of his father's hall,
    It hath led the weeping prodigal.

    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!


    Page 289

    ROMAN GIRL'S SONG.

             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.


    Page 290

    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,
        Gloriously bright!
    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!


    Page 291

    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.


    Page 292

    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!


    Page 293

    THE DISTANT SHIP.

    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:


    Page 294

    A thousand gorgeous clouds on high
        Burn with the amber light;—
    What spell, from that rich pageantry,
        Chains down thy gazing sight?

    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.


    Page 295

    Therefore, amidst this wide array
        Of glorious things and fair,
    My soul is on that bark's lone way
        For human hearts are there.


    Page 296

    THE BIRDS OF PASSAGE.

    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."


    Page 297

    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!"


    Page 298

    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!


    Page 299

    THE GRAVES OF A HOUSEHOLD.

    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.


    Page 300

    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!


    Page 301

    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!


    Page [302]

    MOZART'S REQUIEM.

    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.


    Page 303

    MOZART'S REQUIEM.

            These birds of Paradise but long to flee
            Back to their native mansion.


    Prophecy of Dante.

            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!


    Page 304

            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.


    Page 305

            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.


    Page 306

            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.


    Page 307

    THE IMAGE IN LAVA.*

    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!


    [Note *:]

    The impression of a woman's form, with an infant clasped to the bosom, found at the uncovering of Herculaneum.


    Page 308

    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.


    Page 309

    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!


    Page 310

    Immortal, oh! immortal
        Thou art, whose earthly glow
    Hath given these ashes holiness—
        It must, it must be so!


    Page 311

    THE LAST WISH.

    "Well may I weep to leave this world—thee—all these beautiful woods, and plains, and hills."
    Lights and Shadows.

            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,


    Page 312

    A breath of May, and of the wood's repose;
            For I in sooth depart,
            With a reluctant heart,
    That fain would linger where the bright sun glows.

            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!


    Page 313

            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.


    Page 314

            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!


    Page 315

    FAIRY FAVOURS.

                ——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?


    Page 316

    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!


    Page 317

    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!


    Page 318

    A PARTING SONG.

    "Oh! mes Amis, rappelez vous quelquefois mes vers; mon ame y est empreinte."—CORINNE.

    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!


    Page 319

    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!


    Page 320

    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.

    THE END.

    EDINBURGH: PRINTED BY JOHN JOHNSTONE.