Page images


THOU art no lingerer in monarch's hall;
A joy thou art and a wealth to all!
A bearer of hope unto land and sea :
Sunbeam, what gift has the world like thee?

Thou art walking the billows, and Ocean smiles;
Thou hast touch'd with glory his thousand isles,
Thou hast lit up the ships and the feathery foam,
And gladden'd the sailor like words from home.

To the solemn depths of the forest shades
Thou art streaming on thro' their green arcades,
And the quiv'ring leaves that have caught thy

Like fire-flies glance to the pools below.
I look'd on the mountains; a vapour lay
Folding their heights in its dark array:
Thou brakest forth,-and the mist became
A crown and a mantle of living flame.

I look'd on the peasant's lowly cot;
Something of sadness had wrapt the spot,
But a gleam of thee on its lattice fell,
And it laugh'd into beauty at that bright spell.

To the earth's wild places a guest thou art,
Flushing the waste like the rose's heart;
And thou scornest not from thy pomp to shed
A tender smile on the ruin's head.



Thou tak'st through the dim church-aisle thy way,
And its pillars from twilight flash forth to day,
And its high pale tombs with their trophies old
Are bath'd in a flood as of molten gold.

And thou turnest not from the humblest grave,
Where a flower to sighing winds may wave;
Thou scatterest its gloom like the dreams of rest,
Thou sleepest in love on its grassy breast.

Sunbeam of summer! oh, what is like thee?
Hope of the wilderness, joy of the sea!-
One thing is like thee to mortals given :
The faith touching all things with hues of heaven.



WHEN spring to woods and wastes around
Brought bloom and joy again,

The murder'd traveller's bones were found
Far down a narrow glen.

The fragrant birch above him hung
Her tassels in the sky;

And many a vernal blossom sprung,

And nodded careless by.

The red-bird warbled, as he wrought
His hanging nest o'erhead,


And fearless near the fatal spot
Her young the partridge led.

But there was weeping far away;
And gentle eyes for him,

With watching many an anxious day,
Were sorrowful and dim.

They little knew, who lov'd him so,
The fearful death he met,
When shouting o'er the desert snow,
Unarm'd and hard beset ;-

Nor how, when round the frosty pole
The Northern dawn was red,
The mountain wolf and wild cat stole
To banquet on the dead.

Nor how, when strangers found his bones,
They dress'd the hasty bier,

And mark'd his grave with nameless stones,
Unmoisten'd by a tear.

But long they look'd and fear'd and wept
Within his distant home;

And dream'd and started as they slept,
For joy that he was come.

So long they look'd,-but never spied
His welcome step again,

Nor knew the fearful death he died
Far down that narrow glen.




He pass'd unquestion'd through the camp,
Their heads the soldiers bent
In silent reverence, or begg'd

A blessing, as he went;
And so the Hermit pass'd along,
And reach'd the royal tent.

King Henry sat in his tent alone,
The map before him lay:
Fresh conquests he was planning there
To grace the future day.

King Henry lifted up his eyes
The intruder to behold;

With reverence he the Hermit saw,
For the holy man was old;

His look was gentle as a saint's,
And yet his eye was bold.

"Repent thee, Henry, of the wrongs

Which thou hast done this land!
O king, repent in time; for know
The judgment is at hand.

I have past forty years of peace
Beside the river Blaise ;

But what a weight of woe hast thou
Laid on my latter days!


I used to see along the stream
The white sail sailing down,
That wafted food in better times
To yonder peaceful town.

Henry, I never now behold

The white sail sailing down:
Famine, Disease, and Death, and thou,
Destroy the wretched town.

I used to hear the traveller's voice,
As here he pass'd along;

Or maiden as she loiter'd home,
Singing her even-song.

No traveller's voice may now be heard,—
In fear he hastens by;
But I have heard the village maid
In vain for succour cry.

I used to see the youths row down,
And watch the dripping oar,

As pleasantly their viol's tones
Came soften'd to the shore.

King Henry, many a blacken'd corpse
I now see floating down;
Thou bloody man, repent in time,
And leave this leaguer'd town."

"I shall go on," King Henry cried, "And conquer this good land;


« PreviousContinue »