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To watch the flowing darkness,
The bank is high and steep; One pause - he staggers forward,
And plunges in the deep.
She strives to pierce the blackness,
And looser throws the rein; Her steed must breast the waters
That dash above his mane. How gallantly, how nobly,
He struggles through the foam, And see — in the far distance
Shine out the lights of home!
Up the steep banks he bears her,
And now, they rush again Towards the heights of Bregenz,
That tower above the plain. They reach the gate of Bregenz,
Just as the midnight rings, And out come serf and soldier
To meet the news she brings.
Bregenz is saved! ere daylight
Her battlements are manned; Defiance greets the army
That marches on the land. And if to deeds heroic
Should endless fame be paid, Bregenz does well to honor
The noble Tyrol maid.
Three hundred years are vanished,
And yet upon the hill
To do her honor still.
Sit spinning in the shade, They see in quaint old carving
The Charger and the Maid.
And when, to guard old Bregenz,
By gateway, street, and tower, The warder paces all night long
And calls each passing hour;
“Nine,” « ten,” “ eleven,” he cries aloud,
And then (O crown of Fame !)
He calls the maiden's name!
A WOMAN'S QUESTION. BEFORE I trust my Fate to thee,
Or place my hand in thine,
Color and form to mine,
I break all slighter bonds, nor feel
A shadow of regret:
That holds thy spirit yet?
Does there within thy dimmest dreams
A possible future shine,
Untouched, unshared by mine?
Look deeper still. If thou canst feel
Within thy inmost soul,
While I have staked the whole;
Is there within thy heart a need
That mine cannot fulfil ? One chord that any other hand
Could better wake or still ? Speak now — lest at some future day my whole life wither and
Lives there within thy nature hid
The demon-spirit Change, Shedding a passing glory still
On all things new and strange ? — It may not be thy fault alone – but shield my heart against thy
Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day
And answer to my claim,
Not thou — had been to blame?
save me now.
Nay, answer not, - I dare not hear,
The words would come too late; Yet I would spare thee all remorse,
So, comfort thee, my Fate — Whatever on my heart may fall — remember I would risk it all I
LIFE AND DEATH.
“A Battle, my child,
And the stoutest heart may quail.
And rest not day or night,
In the thickest of the fight.”
“What is Death, father?”
“ The rest, my child,
Says we need fight no more;
Bids the din of the battle cease;
And proclaims an eternal peace.”
“Let me die, father! I tremble, and fear
To yield in that terrible strife!”
“ The crown must be won for Heaven, dear,
In the battle-field of life;
He loveth the weak and small;
And God is over all !”