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CEUR DE LION AT THE BIER OF HIS
The body of Henry the Second lay in state in the Abbey-church of Fontevraad, where it was visited by Richard Cæur de Lion, who, on beholding it, was strack with horror and remorse, and reproached himself bitterly for that rebellious conduct which had been the means of bringing his father to an untimely grave.
Torches were blazing clear, hymns pealing deep and slow,
On the settled face of death a strong and ruddy glare,
of the night, With the cross above, and the crown and sword, and the silent
king in sight.
There was heard a heavy clang, as of steel-girt men the tread,
thrill of dread;
He came with haughty look, an eagle-glance and clear,
beside the bier!
He stood there still, with a drooping brow, and clasped hands
o'er it raised; For his father lay before him low-it was Coeur-de-Lion gazed !
And silently he strove with the workings of his breast;
suppressed! And his tears brake forth, at last, like rain, - men held their
breath in awe, For his face was seen by his warrior train, and he recked not
that they saw.
He looked upon the dead, and sorrow seemed to lie,
clay, Till bursting words—yet all too weak-gave his soul's passion
“Oh, father! is it vain, this late remorse and deep?
“ Speak to me:- mighty grief ere now the dust hath stirred; Hear me, but hear me!—father, chief, my king! I must be
heard! Hushed, hushed !-how is it that I call, and that thou answerest
not? When was it thus ?- woe, woe for all the love my soul forgot!
“Thy silver hairs I see—so still, so sadly bright! And, father, father! but for me they had not been so white ! I bore thee down, high heart, at last; no longer couldst thou
strive ;Oh! for one moment of the past, to kneel and say “forgive!'
“ Thou wert the noblest king, on a royal throne e'er seen, And thou didst wear, in knightly ring, of all, the stateliest mien;
And thou didst prove, where spears are proved, in war the bravest
heart Oh! ever the renowned and loved thou wert—and there thou art!
“ Thou that my boyhood's guide didst take fond joy to be! — The times I've sported at thy side, and climbed thy parent
knee! And there before the blessed shrine, my sire, I see thee lie,How will that sad still face of thine look on me till I die!"
New Monthly Magazine.
TO A SKY-LARK.
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.
Æthereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth, where cares abound?
Both with thy nest, upon the dewy ground ?
To the last point of vision, and beyond,
Mount, daring warbler! That love-prompted strain, ("Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond),
Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain! Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege, to sing, All independent of the leafy spring.
Leave to the nightingale the shady wood
A privacy of glorious light is thine,
Of harmony, with rapture more divine.
LINES SUGGESTED BY THE DEATH OF
It was a harp just fit to pour
Its music to the wind and wave;
Who stood himself amid the brave.
The first time that I read his strain
There was a tempest on the sky,
Were like dark ships, and battle cry.
I had forgot my woman's fears
In thinking on my country's fame,
Her colours float o'er blood and flame.
Died the high song, as dies the voice
Of the proud trumpet on the wind;
A gentle twilight-hour behind.
Then paused I o'er some sad, wild notes,
Sweet as the spring-bird's lay withal;
Like stars that darkened in their fall.
Hopes, perishing from too much light,
“ Exhausted by their own excess;" Affections, trusted till they turned,
Like Marah's wave, to bitterness.
And is this, then, the curse that clings
To minstrel hope, to minstrel feeling?
Flings o'er the spirit's high revealing?
It is—it is! tread on thy way,
Be base, be grovelling, soulless, cold, Look not
from the sullen path That leads to this world's idol-gold !
And close thy hand, and close thy heart,
And be thy very soul of clay,
Will worship, cringe to, and obey.
But look thou upon Nature's face,
As the young poet loves to look ; And lean thou where the willow leans,
O’er the low murmur of the brook :
Or worship thou the midnight sky,
In silence, at its moon-lit hour; Or let a single tear confess
The silent spell of music's power :
Or love, or feel, or let thy soul
Be for one moment pure or free; Then shrink away at once from life,
Its path will be no path for thee!
Pour forth thy fervid soul in song
There are some that may praise thy lays; But of all earth's dim vanities, The very
earthliest is praise.
Praise! light and dew of the sweet leaves,
Around the poet's temples hung, How turned to gall, and how profaned
By envious or by idle tongue !
Given by vapid fools, who laud
Only if others do the same; Forgotten even while the breath
Is on the air that bears your name.