Page images
PDF
EPUB

In its throne of light!
Sorrow never paineth
Nor a care attaineth,
To that blessed height.

BALLAD.

It was not in the winter
Our loving lot was cast ;
It was the time of roses,
We plucked them as we passed !

That churlish season never frowned
On early lovers yet!
0, no — the world was newly crowned
With flowers when first we met.

’T was twilight, and I bade you go,
But still you held me fast;
It was the time of roses, —
We plucked them as we passed !

THE ROMANCE OF COLOGNE. 'T is even — on the pleasant banks of Rhine The thrush is singing and the dove is cooing : A youth and maiden on the turf recline Alone — and he is wooing. Yet woos in vain, for to the voice of love No kindly sympathy the maid discovers, Though round them both, and in the air above, The tender spirit hovers.

Untouched by lovely Nature and her laws,
The more he pleads, more coyly she represses ;
Her lips denies, and now her hand withdraws,
Rejecting his addresses.
Fair is she as the dreams young poets weave,
Bright eyes and dainty lips and tresses curly,
In outward loveliness a child of Eve,
But cold as nymph of Lurley.
The more Love tries her pity to engross,
The more she chills him with a strange behavior;
Now tells her beads, now gazes on the Cross
And image of the Saviour.
Forth goes the lover with a farewell moan,
As from the presence of a thing unhuman; -
0, what upholy spell hath turned to store
The young warm heart of woman !

* * * *
'T is midnight — and the moonbeam, cold and wan,
On bower and river quietly is sleeping,
And o'er the corse of a self-murdered man
The maiden fair is weeping.
In vain she looks into his glassy eyes,
No pressure answers to her hands so pressing;
In her fond arms impassively he lies,
Clay-cold to her caressing.
Despairing, stunned, by her eternal loss,
She flies to succor that may best beseem her;
But, lo! a frowning figure veils the Cross,
And hides the blest Redeemer !
With stern right hand it stretches forth a scroll,
Wherein she reads, in melancholy letters,

The cruel, fatal pact that placed her soul
And her young heart in fetters.
“Wretch! sinner! renegade to truth and God!
Thy holy faith for human love to barter ! ”
No more she hears, but on the bloody sod
Sinks, Bigotry's last martyr!
And side by side the hapless lovers lie;
Tell me, harsh priest ! by yonder tragic token,
What part hath God in such a bond, whereby
Or hearts or vows are broken ?

THE KEY.

A MOORISH ROMANCE.

“ On the east coast, towards Tunis, the Moors still preserve the keys of their ancestors' houses in Spain ; to which country they still express the hopes of one day returning, and again planting the Crescent on the ancient walls of the Alhambra." - Scott's TRAVELS IN MOROCCO AND ALGIERS,

“Is Spain cloven in such a manner as to want closing?” – Sancho PANZA.

The Moor leans on his cushion,
With the pipe between his lips ;
And still at frequent intervals
The sweet sherbét he sips ;
But, spite of lulling vapor
And the sober cooling cup,
The spirit of the swarthy Moor
Is fiercely kindling up!
One hand is on his pistol,
On its ornamented stock,
While his finger feels the trigger
And is busy with the lock -

The other seeks his ataghan,
And clasps its jewelled hilt —
0! much of gore in days of yore
That crooked blade has split !
His brows are knit, his eyes of jet
In vivid blackness roll,
And gleam with fatal flashes
Like the fire-damp of the coal;
His jaws are set, and through his teeth
He draws a savage breath,
As if about to raise the shout
Of Victory or Death!
For why? the last Zebeck that came
And moored within the mole
Such tidings unto Tunis brought
As stir his very soul —
The cruel jar of civil war,
The sad and stormy reign,
That blackens like a thunder-cloud
The sunny land of Spain !
No strife of glorious Chivalry,
For honor’s gain or loss,
Nor yet that ancient rivalry,
The Crescent with the Cross.
No charge of gallant Paladins
On Moslems stern and stanch;
But Christians shedding Christian blood
Beneath the olive's branch !
A war of horrid parricide,
And brother killing brother ;
Yea, like to "dogs and sons of dogs,"
That worry one another.

But let them bite and tear and fight;
The more the Kaffers slay,
The sooner Hagar's swarming sons
Shall make the land a prey !
The sooner shall the Moor behold
The Alhambra’s pile again,
And those who pined in Barbary
Shall shout for joy in Spain;
The sooner shall the Crescent wave
On dear Granada's walls,
And proud Mohammed Ali sit
Within his father's halls !
" Alla-il-alla !” tiger-like
Up springs the swarthy Moor,
And, with a wide and hasty stride,
Steps o'er the marble floor;
Across the hall, till from the wall.
Where such quaint patterns be,
With eager hand he snatches down
An old and massive key!
A massive key of curious shape,
And dark with dirt and rust,
And well three weary centuries
The metal might incrust!
For since the king Boabdil fell
Before the native stock,
That ancient key, so quaint to see,
Hath never been in lock.
Brought over by the Saracens
Who fled across the main,
A token of the secret hope
Of going back again;

« PreviousContinue »