« PreviousContinue »
I gazed upon that lifeless form, So late with hope and fancy warm; That pallid brow, that eye of jet, Where lustre seems to linger yet ; Where sparkled through an auburn tress The last dim light of loveliness, Whose trembling ray was only seen, To bid us sigh for what had been. Alas! I said, my wavering soul, Was torn from woman's weak control; But when, amid the evening's gloom, I looked on Laura's early tomb; And thought on her, so bright and fair, That slumbered in oblivion there; That calm resolve I could not keep, And then I wept, -as now I weep.
THE CONFESSION OF DON CARLOS.
IMITATED FROM THE SPANISH.
OH TELL not me of broken vow-
I speak a firmer passion now;
Oh! tell not me of shattered chain-
The link shall never burst again ;
My soul is fix'd as firmly here
As the red Sun in his career;
As Victory on Mina's crest,
Or Tenderness in Rosa's breast,
Then do not tell me, while we part,
Of fickle flame, and roving heart;
While Youth shall bow at Beauty's shrine,
That flame shall glow—that heart be thine.
Then wherefore dost thou bid me tell
The fate thy malice knows so well ?
I may not disobey thee !-Yes !
Thou bidst me,—and I will confess :-
See how adoringly I kneel-
Hear how my folly 1 reveal ;
My folly !—chide me if thou wilt,
Thou shalt not—canst not call it-guilt.
And when my faithlessness is told,
Ere thou hast time to play the scold,
I'll haste the fond rebuke to check,
And lean upon thy snowy neck,
Play with its glossy auburn hair,
And hide the blush of falsehood there.
Inez, the innocent and young,
First shared my heart, and waked my sony;
We were both harmless, and untaught
To love as fashionables ought ;
With all the modesty of youth,
We talk'd of constancy and truth;
Grew fond of Music, and the Moon,
And wander'd on the nights of June,
To sit beneath the chestnut-tree,
While the lonely stars shone mellowly,
Shedding a pale and dancing beam
On the wave of Guadalquivir's stream.
And aye we talk'd of faith and feelings,
With no distrustings, no concealings;
And aye we joy'd in stolen glances,
And sigh'd and blush'd, and read romances.
Our love was ardent and sincere, -
And lasted, Rosa-half a year!
And then the maid grew fickle-hearted,
Married Don Josè--so we parted.
At twenty-one, I've often heard,
My bashfulness was quite absurd;
For, with a squeamishness uncommon,
I fear'd to love a married woman.
Fair Leonora's laughing eye Again awaked my song and sigh: A gay intriguing dame was she; And fifty Dons of high degree, That came and went as they were bid, Dubb'd her the Beauty of Madrid. Alas! what constant pains I took To merit one approving look : I courted Valor--and the Muse, Wrote challenges—and billet-doux ; Paid for Sherbet and Serenade, Fenced with Pegru and Alvarade; Fought at the Bull-fights like a hero, Studied small-talk,—and the Bolero ; Play'd the guitar—and play'd the fool; This out of tune—that out of rule. I oft at midnight wander'd out, Wrapt up in love—and my capote, To muse on beauty—and the skies, Cold winds—and Lenora's eyes. Alas! when all my gains were told, I'd caught a Tartar—and a cold. And yet perchance that lovely brow Had still detain'd my captive vow; That clear blue eye's enchanting roll Had still enthrall’d my yielding soul; But suddenly a vision bright Came o'er me in a veil of light, And burst the bond whose fetters bound me, And brake the spell that hung around me,
Recall’d the heart that madly roved,
And bade me love, and be beloved.
Who was it brake the chain and spell?
Dark-eyed Castilian !-thou canst tell!
And am I faithless ?—wo the while,
What vow but melts at Rosa's smile?
For broken vows, and faith betrayed,
The guilt is thine, Castilian maid !
The tale is told and I am gone -
Think of me, loved and only one,
When none on earth shall care beside
How Carlos lived, or loved, or died !
Thy love on earth shall be to me
A bird upon a leafless treem
A bark upon a hopeless wave-
A lily on a tombless grave-
A cheering hope-a living ray,
To light me on a weary way.
And thus is Love's Confession done ;
Give me thy parting benison;
And ere I rise from bended knee,
To wander o’er a foreign sea,
Alone and friendless,--ere I don
My pilgrim's hat, and sandal shoon-
Dark-eyed Castilian! let me win
Forgiveness sweet for venial sin;
Let lonely sighs and dreams of thee,
Be penance for my perjury.