Page images
[ocr errors]

My First, that was so fresh and fair,

Hath faded-faded from thy face;

And pale Decay hath left no trace Of bloom and beauty there.

And round that virgin heart of thine

My Second winds his cold caress;

That virgin heart, whose tenderness Was Passion's purest shrine.

Roses are springing on thy clay ;

And there my Whole, obscurely bright,

Still shows his little lamp by night, And hides it still by day.

Aptly it decks that cypress bower,

For even thus thy faith was proved, Most clearly seen, most fondly loved, In Sorrow's darkest hour.


When my First flings down o'er tower and town

Its sad and solemn veil,
When the tempests sweep o'er the angry deep

And the stars are ghastly pale,
And the gaunt wolves howl to the answering owl

In the pause of the fitful gale,

My Second will come to his ancient home

From his dark and narrow bed;
His warrior heel is cased in steel,

But ye cannot bear its tread;
And the beaming brand is in his hand,

But'ye need not fear the dead.

Through battle and blast his bark had past,

O'er many a stormy tide;
He bad burst in twain the tyrant's chain,

He had won the beauteous bride;
From tbe field of fame unscathed he came,

And by my Whole he died.



Up, up, Lord Raymond, to the fight !

Gird on thy bow of yew !
And see thy javelin's point be bright,

Thy falchion's temper true;
For over the hill and over the vale
My First is pouring its iron hail.

No craven be! yet beaten back

From the field of death he fled;
My Second yawned upon his track,

The lion's lonely bed;
He smote the Monarch in his lair, .
And buried his rage and anguish there.

At dawn and dusk my Whole goes forth

On the ladder's topmost round;
He looks to the south, he looks to the north,

He bids the bugle sound;
But many a cheerless moon must wane,
Ere his exiled lord return again.


MORNING is beaming o'er brake and bower,
Hark! to the chimes from yonder tower,
Call ye my First from her chamber now,
With her snowy veil and her jewelled brow.

Lo! where my Second, in gallant array,
Leads from his stable her beautiful bay,
Looking for her, as he curvets by,
With an arching neck, and a glancing eye.

Spread is the banquet, and studied the song;
Ranged in meet order the menial throng,
Jerome is ready with book and stole,
And the maidens fling flowers, but where is my Whole?

Look to the hill, is he climbing its side ?
Look to the stream—is he crossing its tide ?
Out on him false one! he comes not yet-
Larly, forget him, yea, scorn and forget.

[ocr errors]


My First was dark o'er earth and air,

As dark as she could be;
The stars that gemmed her ebon hair

Were only two or three;
King Cole saw twice as many there

As you or I could see.

“ Away, King Cole!” mine hostess said;

“Flagon and flask are dry; Your nag is neighing in the shed,

For he knows a storm is nigh :" She set my Second on his head,

And she set it all awry.

He stood upright upon his legs;

Long life to good King Cole! . With wine and cinnamon, ale and eggs,

He filled a silver bowl; He drained the draught to the very dregs,

And he called that draught-my Whole.

« PreviousContinue »