Page images
PDF

again looked for the entreated explanation ; but it came not. Rowena, indeed, had she desired, had not the power to speak it; and yielding to his anguish, he passionately reiterated his inquiry.

Rowena spoke not; she advanced one step, and motioning her lover to follow her, she silently pointed to the name of Rosalie!

The effect of this action, however, upon Heathcote, was that of mere surprise ; he looked, indeed, at the name for an instant, but his eyes quickly reverted to his companion, in unconscious wonder, and seemed to await some explanation.

Rowena was confused even in the midst of her overpowering emotions, she felt that some mystery hung over her, and perplexed with doubt, quietly demanded, “Know you that name?”

“ Most certainly, I do,” returned her lover, in a tone of unmixed surprise ; “it is your sister's.”

“And who placed it there ?"

His astonishment but increased, it was indeed without limit: “Not I, most certainly.”

“Mr. Heathcote,” said Rowena, with a voice almost choked by emotion, “I saw you carve it.”

He paused, and seemed struck with some sudden recollection. “The R and 0,” he quickly replied ; "are undoubtedly mine, but had I finished the word, that tree would have borne Rowena's name: the remaining letters are not mine.”

Rowena could no longer disguise her delight: the full assurance of her happiness burst on her mind in a tide of joyful transport: she could not control her feelings, and looking round for some support for her weakness, she was not unwillingly clasped to his bosom, now the everlasting resting-place of all her joy and sorrow.

Still the mystery of the engraven name was unexplained; but a few days' patience served to clear it up. On the fourth day after the reconciliation of the lovers, a rustic swain, whom the liveliness and beauty of the merry Rosalie had captivated, came to make his proposals in due form. Whether it was that his impertinent interference at the “ trysting-tree” had offended her, or that in person he did not stand a comparison with her sister's lover, history sayeth not; but certain it is, that he did not find favour in her sight, and was accordingly dismissed. Two months from the time of which we are speaking, Rowena became Mrs. Heathcote; and Rosalie, having lost the companion of her childhood, is, at this present time of writing, considerably in want of a companion for life.

BRING BACK THE CHAIN!

BY THE HONORABLE MRS. NORTON.

It was an aged man, who stood

Beside the blue Atlantic sea ; They cast his fetters by the flood,

And hailed the time-worn Captive free !
From his indignant eye there flashed

A gleam his better nature gave,
And while his tyrants shrunk abashed,

Thus spoke the spirit-stricken slave :

[ocr errors]

. 11. “ Bring back the chain, whose weight so long

These tortured limbs have vainly borne; The word of Freedom from your tongue,

My weary ear rejects with scorn! 'Tis true, there was — there was a time,

I sighed, I panted to be free; And, pining for my sunny clime,

Bowed down my stubborn knee.

III.

Then I have stretched my yearning arms,

And shook in wrath my bitter chain ;Then, when the magic word had charms,

I groaned for liberty in vain!
That freedom ye, at length, bestow,

And bid me bless my envied fate :
Ye tell me I am free to go —
Where?-I am desolate!

IV.
“The boundless hope--the spring of joy,

Felt when the spirit's strength is young ; Which slavery only can alloy,

The mockeries to which I clung, The eyes, whose fond and sunny ray

Made life's dull lamp less dimly burn, The tones I pined for, day by day,

Can ye bid them return?

v. “ Bring back the chain! its clanking sound

Hath then a power beyond your own; It brings young visions smiling round,

Too fondly loved — too early flown! It brings me days, when these dim eyes

Gazed o'er the wild and swelling sea, Counting how many suns must rise

Ere one might hail me free!

[ocr errors]

“ Bring back the chain ! that I may think

'T is that which weighs my spirit so; And, gazing on each galling link,

Dream as I dreamt- of bitter woe! My days are gone ;-of hope, of youth,

These traces now alone remain ; (Hoarded with sorrow's sacred truth)

Tears—and my iron chain !

VII.

“ Freedom ! though doomed in pain to live,

The freedom of the soul is mine; But all of slavery you could give,

Around my steps must ever twine. Raise up the head which age hath bent;

Renew the hopes that childhood gave ; Bid all return kind heaven once lent,

Till then-I am a Slave!”

« PreviousContinue »