Page images
PDF

Yet how it was she knew not, but that day, There's wont to be, at conscious times like these,
She seem'd to feel too lightly borne away,

An affectation of a bright-eyed ease,
Too much relieved, -too much inclined to draw An air of something quite serene and sure,
A careless joy from every thing she saw,

As if to seem so, were to be secure :
And looking round her with a new-born ege, With this the lovers met, with this they spoke,
As if some tree of knowledge had been nigh, With this they sat down to the self-same book,
To taste of nature, primitive and free,

And Paulo, by degrees, gently embraced And bask at ease in her heart's liberty.

With one permitted arm her lovely waist; Painfully clear those rising thoughts appear'd, And both their cheeks, like peaches on a tree, With something dark at bottom that she fear'd; | Lean'd with a touch together, thrillingly; And turning from the fields her thoughtful look, And o'er the book they hung, and nothing said, She reach'd o'er head, and took her down a book, And every lingering page grew longer as they read. And fell to reading with as fix'à an air,

As thus they sat, and felt with leaps of heart As though she had been wrapt since morning there. Their colour change, they came upon the part

'T was Launcelot of the Lake, a bright romance, Where fond Geneura, with her flame long nurst, That, like a trumpet, made young pulses dance, Smiled upon Launcelot when he kiss'd her first: Yet had a softer note that shook still more ; That touch, at last, through every fibre slid; She had begun it but the day before,

And Paulo turn'd, scarce knowing what he did,
And read with a full heart, half-sweet, half-sad,, Only he felt he could no more dissemble,
How old King Ban was spoild of all he had And kiss'd her, mouth to mouth, all in a tremble.
But one fair castle: how one summer's day Sad were those hearts, and sweet was that long kiss:
With his fair queen and child he went away Sacred be love from sight, whate'er it is.
To ask the great King Arthur for assistance; The world was all forgot, the struggle o'er,
How reaching by himself a hill at distance, Desperate the joy,—That day they read no more.
He turn'd to give his castle a last look,
And saw its far white face : and how a smoke,
As he was looking, burst in volumes forth,
And good King Ban saw all that he was worth,
And his fair castle, burning to the ground,

KOSCIUSKO.
So that his wearied pulse felt over-wound,
And he lay down, and said a prayer apart

'Tis like thy patient valour thus to keep,
For those he loved, and broke his poor old heart. | Great Kosciusko, to the rural shade,
Then read she of the queen with her young child, While freedom's ill-found amulet still is made
How she came up, and nearly had gone wild, Pretence for old aggression, and a heap
And how in journeying on in her despair,

Of selfish mockeries. There, as in the sweep She reach'd a lake and met a lady there,

Of stormier fields, thou earnest with thy blade, Who pitied her, and took the baby sweet

Transform’d, not inly alter'd, to the spade, Into her arms, when lo, with closing feet

Thy never-yielding right to a calm sleep. [wit She sprang up all at once, like bird from brake, Nature,'t would seem, would leave to man's worse And vanish'd with him underneath the lake. The small and noisier parts of this world's frame, The mother's feelings we as well may pass :

And keep the calm green amplitudes of it The fairy of the place that lady was,

Sacred from fopperies and inconstant blame. And Launcelot (so the boy was call'!) became Cities may change, and sovereigns; but 'tis fit, Her inmate, till in search of knightly fame Thou, and the country old, be still the same. He went to Arthur's court, and play'd his part So rarely, and display'd so frank a heart, That what with all his charms of look and limb, The Queen Geneura fell in love with him: And here, with growing interest in her reading,

ARIADNE. The princess, doubly fix'd was now proceeding.

A FRAGMENT. Ready she sat with one hand to turn o'er The leaf, to which her thoughts ran on before, The moist and quiet morn was scarcely breaking, The other propping her white brow, and throwing When Ariadne in her bower was waking; Its ringlets out, under the skylight glowing. Her eyelids still were closing, and she heard So sat she fix'd; and so observed was she

But indistinctly yet a little bird, Of one, who at the door stood tenderly,

That in the leaves o'erhead, waiting the sun, Paulo,-who from a window seeing her

Seem'd answering another distant one. Go straight across the lawn, and guessing where She waked, but stirr'd not, only just to please Had thought she was in tears, and found, that day, Her pillow-nestling cheek ; while the full seas, His usual efforts vain to keep away.

The birds, the leaves, the lulling love o'ernight, « May I come in ?" said he:-it made her start, The happy thought of the returning light, That smiling voice ;-she colour’d, press'd her The sweet, self-will'd content, conspired to keep heart

Her senses lingering in the field of sleep; A moment, as for breath, and then with free And with a little smile she seem'd to say, And usual tone said, “ 1) yes,-certainly."

“ I know my love is near me, and 't is day."

For this I had the light put out; but when
MAHMOUD.

I saw the face, and found a stranger slain,
THERE came a man, making his hasty moan

I knelt and thank'd the sovereign Arbiter, Before the Sultan Mahmoud on his throne,

Whose work I had perform'd through pain and fear; And crying out-"My sorrow is my right,

And then I rose and was refresh'd with food, And I will see the Sultan, and to-night.”

The first time since thy voice had marr'd my soliSorrow," said Mahmoud, “is a reverend thing:

tude." I recognise its right, as king with king; Speak on." "A fiend has got into my house,”

POWER AND GENTLENESS. Exclaim'd the staring man, “ and tortures us: One of thine officers ;-he comes, the abhorr'd, I've thought, at gentle and ungentle hour, And takes possession of my house, my board, Of many an act and giant shape of power; My bed: I bare two daughters and a wife, flife." of the old kings with high exacting looks, And the wild villain comes, and makes me mad with Sceptred and globed; of eagles on their rocks, * Is he there now ?" said Mahmoud. «No; he left with straining feet, and that fierce mouth and drear, The house when I did, of my wits bereft;

Answering the strain with downward drag austere ; And laugh'd me down the street, because I vow'd | Of the rich-headed lion, whose huge frown I'd bring the prince himself to lay him in his shroud. All his great nature, gathering, seems to crown; I'm mad with want-I'm mad with misery, [thee!" Of towers on hills, with foreheads out of sight And I thou Sultan Mahmoud, God cries out for In clouds, or shown us by the thunder's light,

The Sultan comforted the man, and said, Or ghastly prison, that eternally "Go home, and I will send thee wine and bread,” Holds its blind visage out to the lone sea; (For he was poor,) "and other comforts. Go; And of all sunless, subterranean decps And, should the wretch return, let Sultan Mah 'The creature makes, who listens while he sleeps, moud know."

Avarice; and then of those old earthly cones, In three days' time, with haggard eyes and beard, That stride, they say, over heroic bones; And shaken voice, the suitor re-appear'd. sword. | And those stone heaps Egyptian, whose small doors And said, “ He's come.”—Mahmoud said not a Look like low dens under precipitous shores; But rose and took four slaves, each with a sword, And him, great Memnon, that long sitting by And went with the vex'd man. They reach the place, In seeming idleness, with stony eye, And hear a voice, and see a woman's face,

Sang at the morning's touch, like poetry ; That to the window flutter'd in affright:

And then of all the fierce and bitter fruit Go in," said Mahmoud, “and put out the light; Of the proud planting of a tyrannous foot, But tell the females first to leave the room ; Of bruised rights, and flourishing bad men, And when the drunkard follows them, we come." | And virtue wasting heavenwards from a den;

The man went in. There was a cry, and hark ! Brute force, and fury; and the devilish drouth A table falls, the window is struck dark :

Of the fool cannon's ever-gaping mouth; Forth rush the breathless women; and behind And the bride-widowing sword; and the harsh bray With curses comes the fiend in desperate mind. The sneering trumpet sends across the fray; In vain: the sabres soon cut short the strife, flife. And all which lights the people-thinning star And chop the shrieking wretch, and drink his bloody That selfishness invokes,-the horsed war,

* Now light the light,” the Sultan cried aloud. Panting along with many a bloody mane. "Twas done ; he took it in his hand, and bow'd I've thought of all this pride, and all this pain, Over the corpse, and look'd upon the face; And all the insolent plenitudes of power, Then turn'd, and knelt, and to the throne of grace And I declare, by this most quiet hour, Put up a prayer, and from his lips there crept | Which holds in different tasks by the fire-light Some gentle words of pleasure, and he wept. Me and my friends here, this delightful night, In reverent silence the beholders wait,

That power itself has not one half the might Then bring him at his call both wine and meat; Of gentleness. "Tis want to all true wealth ; And when he had refresh'd his noble heart, The uneasy madman's force, to the wise health ; He bade his host be blest, and rose up to depart. Blind downward beating, to the eyes that see;

The man amazed, all mildness now, and tears, Noise to persuasion, doubt to certainty ; Fell at the Sultan's feet with many prayers, The consciousness of strength in enemies, And begg'd him to vouchsafe to tell his slave Who must be strain'd upon, or else they rise; The reason first of that command he gave

The battle to the moon, who all the while, About the light; then, when he saw the face, High out of hearing, passes with her smile; Why he knelt down; and, lastly, how it was The tempest, trampling in his scanty run, That fare so poor as his detain'd him in the place. To the whole globe, that basks about the sun; The Sultan said, with a benignant eye,

Or as all shrieks and clangs, with which a sphere, * Since first I saw thee come, and heard thy cry, Undone and fired, could rake the midnight ear, I could not rid me of a dread, that one

Compared with that vast dumbness nature keeps By whom such daring villanies were done

Throughout her starry deeps,“ Must be some lord of mine, ay, e'en perhaps a son. | Most old, and mild, and awful, and unbroken, Whoe'er he was, I knew my task, but fear'd Which tells a tale of peace beyond whate'er was A father's heart, in case the worst appear'd:

spoken.

THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS.

A HEAVEN UPON EARTH. King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a For there are two heavens, sweet, royal sport,

Both made of love,-one, inconceivable And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the Even by the other, so divine it is; court;

The other, far on this side of the stars, The nobles fill’d the benches, and the ladies in their By men call'd home, when some blest pair are met pride,

As we are now; sometimes in happy talk, And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with Sometimes in silence, each at gentle task one for whom he sigh'd :

Of book, or household need, or meditation, And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crown By summer-moon, or curtain'd fire in frost; ing show,

And by degrees there come,-not always come, Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal | Yet mostly,-other, smaller inmates there, beasts below.

[ jaws; | Cherubic-faced, yet growing like those two, Ramp'd and roar'd the lions, with horrid laughing Their pride and playmates, not without meek fear, They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a Since God sometimes to his own cherubim wind went with their paws;

Takes those sweet cheeks of earth. And so twixtjoy, With wallowing might and stifed roar they rollid | And love, and tears, and whatsoever pain on one another,

Man fitly shares with man, these two grow old; Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thun And if indeed blest thoroughly, they die derous smother ;

In the same spot, and nigh the same good hour, The bloody foam above the bars came whisking And setting suns look heavenly on their grave.

through the air; Said Francis then, « Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there.”

THE RAVENNA PINE FOREST. De Lorge's love o'erheard the king, a beauteous

A LEAVI spot the forest looks at first, lively dame With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which

To one grim shade condemn'd, and sandy thirst,

Chequer'd with thorns, and thistles run to seed, alway seem'd the same;

Or plashy pools half-cover'd with green weed, She thought, the count my lover is brave as brave

Abou! whose sides the swarming insects fry can be;

In the hot sun, a noisome company ; He surely would do wondrous things to show his

But, entering more and more, they quit the sand love of me; King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is

At once, and strike upon a grassy land,

From which the trees as from a carpet rise divine;

In knolls and clumps, in rich varieties. I'll drop my glove to prove his love; great glory

The knights are for a moment forced to rein shall be mine.

Their horses in, which, feeling turf again, She dropp'd her glove to prove his love, then look'd

Thrill, and curvet, and long to be at large at him and smiled;

(wild : He bow'd, and in a moment leap'd among the lions

To scour the space, and give the winds a charge, The leap was quick, return was quick, he has re

Or pulling tight the bridles as they pass,

Dip their warm mouths into the freshening grass : gain’d the place,

But soon in easy rank, from glade to glade, Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in

Proceed they, coasting underneath the shade; the lady's face. “By God!" said Francis, “rightly done!" and

Some bearing to the cool their placid brows,

Some looking upward through the glimmering he rose from where he sat; “No love," quoth he, “ but vanity, sets love a task

Or peering into spots that inwardly [boughs,

Open green glooms, and half-prepared to see like that."

The lady cross it, that, as stories tell,
Ran loud and torn before a knight of hell.

Various the trees and passing foliage here,
AN ANGEL IN THE HOUSE.

Wild pear, and oak, and dusky juniper,
How sweet it were, if without feeble fright, With briony between in trails of white,
Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight,

And ivy, and the suckle's streaky light, An angel came to us, and we could bear

And moss, warm gleaming with a sudden mark, To see him issue from the silent air

Like growths of sunshine left upon the bark; At evening in our room, and bend on ours

And still the pine, flat-topp’d, and dark, and tall, His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers In lordly right predominant o'er all. News of dear friends, and children who have never | Anon the sweet birds, like a sudden throng Been dead indeed,-as we shall know for ever. Of happy children, ring their tangled song Alas! we think not what we daily see

From out the greener trees; and then a cloud About our hearths,-angels, that are to be,

Of cawing rooks breaks o'er them, gathering loud Or may be if they will, and we prepare

Like savages at ships; and then again Their souls and ours to meet in happy air, Nothing is heard but their own stately train, A child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings Or ring-dove that repeats his pensive plea, In unison with ours, breeding its future wings. Or startled gull up-screaming toward the sea.

« PreviousContinue »