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Ere she hath reached yon rustic Shed

Hung with late-flowering woodbine spread

Along the walls and overhead,

The fragrance of the breathing flowers

Revives a memory of those hours

When here, in this remote Alcove,

(While from the pendant woodbine came

Like odours, sweet as if the same)

A fondly anxious Mother strove

To teach her salutary fears

And mysteries above her years.

— Yes, she is soothed: — an Image faint —

And yet not faint — a presence bright

Returns to her; — 'tis that blessed Saint

Who with mild looks and language mild

Instructed here her darling Child,

While yet a prattler on the knee,

To worship in simplicity

The invisible God, and take for guide

The faith reformed and purified.

'Tis flown — the vision, and the sense Of that beguiling influence!

"But oh! thou Angel from above,
Thou Spirit of maternal love,
That stood'st before my eyes, more clear
Than Ghosts are fabled to appear
Sent upon embassies of fear;
As thou thy presence hast to me
Vouchsafed — in radiant ministry
Descend on Francis: — through the air
Of this sad earth to him repair,
Speak to him with a voice, and say,
"That he must cast despair away!"

Then from within the embowered retreat
Where she had found a grateful seat
Perturbed she issues. — She will go;
Herself will follow to the war,
And clasp her Father's knees; —ah, no!
She meets the insuperable bar,
The injunction by her Brother laid;
His parting charge — but ill obeyed!
That interdicted all debate,
All prayer for this cause or for that;

All efforts that would turn aside

The headstrong current of their fate:

Her duty is to stand and waits

In resignation to abide

The shock, And Finally Secure


— She knows, she feels it, and is cheared;
At least her present pangs are checked.

— And now an ancient Man appeared,
Approaching her with grave respect.
Down the smooth walk which then she trod
He paced along the silent sod,

And greeting her thus gently spake,
"An old Man's privilege I take;
Dark is the time — a woeful day!
Dear daughter of affliction, say
How can I serve you? point the way."

"Rights have you, and may well be. bold:
You with my Father have grown old
In friendship; — go — from him—from me —
Strive to avert this misery.
This would I beg; but on my mind
A passive stillness is enjoined.

— If prudence offer help or aid,
On you is no restriction laid;
You not forbidden to recline
With hope upon the Will Divine."

"Hope" said the Sufferer's zealous Friend,
"Must not forsake us till the end. —
In Craven's wilds is many a den,
To shelter persecuted men:
Far under ground is many a cave,
Where they might lie as in the grave,
Until this storm hath ceased to rave;
Or let them cross the River Tweed,
And be at once from peril freed!"

— " Ah tempt me not!" she faintly sighed; "I will not counsel nor exhort, — With my condition satisfied; But you at least, may make report Of what befalls; — be this your task — This may be done; — 'tis all I ask!"

She spake — and from the Lady's sight The Sire, unconscious of his age,

Departed promptly as a Page
Bound on some errand of delight.
— The noble Francis — wise as brave,
Thought he, may have the skill to save:With hopes in tenderness concealed,
Unarmed he followed to the field.
Him will I seek: the insurgent Powers
Are now besieging Barnard's Towers, —"Grant that the Moon which shines this night
May guide them in a prudent flight!"

But quick the turns of chance and change,
And knowledge has a narrow range;
Whence idle fears, and needless pain,
And wishes blind, and efforts vain. —
Their flight the fair Moon may not see;
For, from mid-heaven, already she
Hath witnessed their captivity.
She saw the desperate assault
Upon that hostile Castle made; —
But dark and dismal is the Vault
Where Norton and his Sons are laid!
Disastrous issue! — He had said

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