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YES, lady! I can ne'er forget,
That once in other years we met;
Thy memory may perchance recall
A festal eve, a rose-wreathed hall,
Its tapers' blaze, its mirrors' glance,
Its melting song, its ringing dance ;-
Why, in thy dream of virgin joy,
Shouldst thou recall a pallid boy?
Thine eye had other forms to seek,
Why rest upon his bashful cheek?
With other tones thy heart was stirred,
Why waste on him a gentle word?
We parted, lady, all night long
Thine ear to thrill with dance and song, -
And I to weep that I was born
A thing thou scarce wouldst deign to scorn.
And, lady! now that years have past,
My bark has reached the shore at last;
The gales that filled her ocean wing
Have chilled and shrunk thy hasty spring,
eye to eye, and brow to brow,
I stand before thy presence now; —
Thy lip is smoothed, thy voice is sweet,
Thy warm hand offered when we meet.
Nay, lady! 't is not now for me
To droop the lid or bend the knee.
I seek thee, oh, thou dost not shun;
I speak, thou listenest like a nun;
I ask thy smile, thy lip uncurls,
Too liberal of its flashing pearls;
Thy tears, thy lashes sink again,
My Hebe turns to Magdalen!
O changing youth! that evening hour
Look down on ours, -the bud-the flower;
Thine faded in its virgin soil,
And mine was nursed in tears and toil;
Thy leaves were withering, one by one,
While mine were opening to the sun;-
Which now can meet the cold and storm,
With freshest leaf and hardiest form?
Ay, lady! that once haughty glance
Still wanders through the glittering dance,
And asks in vain from others' pride,
The charity thine own denied ;
And as thy fickle lips could learn
To smile and praise, — that used to spurn, So the last offering on thy shrine
Shall be this flattering lay of mine!
"QUI VIVE!" The sentry's musket rings,
The channelled bayonet gleams;
High o'er him, like a raven's wings
The broad tri-colored banner flings
Its shadow, rustling as it swings
Pale in the moonlight beams;
Pass on! while steel-clad sentries keep
Their vigil o'er the monarch's sleep,
Thy bare, unguarded breast
Asks not the unbroken, bristling zone
That girds yon sceptred trembler's throne ;-
Pass on, and take thy rest!
.، Qui vive!" How oft the midnight air
That startling cry has borne!
How oft the evening breeze has fanned
The banner of this haughty land,
O'er mountain snow and desert sand,
Ere yet its folds were torn!
Through Jena's carnage flying red,
Or tossing o'er Marengo's dead,
Or curling on the towers
Where Austria's eagle quivers yet,
And suns the ruffled plumage, wet
With battle's crimson showers!
"Qui vive!" And is the sentry's cry,-
The sleepless soldier's hand,-
Are these, -the painted folds that fly
And lift their emblems, printed high,
On morning mist and sunset sky,—
The guardians of a land?
No! If the patriot's pulses sleep,
How vain the watch that hirelings keep,
The idle flag that waves,
When Conquest, with his iron heel,
Treads down the standards and the steel
That belt the soil of slaves!