« PreviousContinue »
At length, by Peter's arm sustained,
With weary pace is drawing nighThe Woman rises from the ground
He sees the Ass — and nothing living "Oh, mercy, something must be done,
Had ever such a fit of joy “My little Rachael, you must run,
As hath this little orphan Boy, Some willing neighbour must be found.
For he has no misgiving! “Make haste — my little Rachael - do,
Towards the gentle Ass he springs, “ The first you meet with — bid him come, And up about his neck be climbs; “ Ask him to lend his horse to-night
In loving words he talks to him, " And this good Man, whom Heaven requite, He kisses, kisses face and limb, – “Will help to bring the body home.”
He kisses him a thousand times! Away goes Rachael weeping loud; –
This Peter sees, while in the shade An Infant waked by her distress,
He stood beside the cottage-door; Makes in the house a piteous cry;
And Peter Bell, the ruffian wild, And Peter hears the Mother sigh,
Sobs loud, he sobs even like a child, Seven are they, and all fatherless!"
“Oh! God, I can endure no more! And now is Peter taught to feel
- Here ends my Tale:— for in a trice That man's heart is a holy thing;
“History of the renowned Prince Arthur and his Knighu of the Round Table;" for the rest the Author is answerable: the goddess appearing to rise out of the full-blown flower, was suggested by the beautiful work of ancient art, once in
cluded among the Townley Marbles, and now in the British
Arrived a neighbour with his horse ; And Nature, through a world of death,
Peter went forth with him straightway; Breathes into him a second breath,
And, with due care, ere break of day, More searching than the breath of spring
Together they brought back the Corse. Upon a stone the Woman sits
And many years did this poor Ass, In agony of silent grief
Whom once it was my luck to see From his own thoughts did Peter start;
Cropping the shrubs of Leming-Lane, He longs to press her to his heart,
Help by his labour to maintain From love that cannot find relief.
The Widow and her family. But roused, as if through every limb
And Peter Bell, who, till that night, Had passed a sudden shock of dread,
Had been the wildest of his clan, The Mother o'er the threshold flies,
Forsook his crimes, renounced his folly, And up the cottage stairs she hies,
And, after ten months' melancholy,
Became a good and honest man.
THE EGYPTIAN MAID;
THE ROMANCE OF THE WATER LILY. There, self-involved, does Peter sit Until no sign of life he makes, As if his mind were sinking deep Through years that have been long asleep!
(For the names and persons in the following poem, see the The trance is past away – he wakes, —
only it may be proper to add, that the Lotus, with the bus or He lifts his head - and sees the Ass Yet standing in the clear moonshine ; “When shall I be as good as thou ? “Oh! would, poor beast, that I had now
Museum.) "A heart but half as good as thine!"
WHILE Merlin paced the Cornish sands, But He — who deviously hath sought
Forth-looking toward the Rocks of Scilly, His Father through the lonesome woods,
The pleased Enchanter was aware Hath sought, proclaiming to the ear
Of a bright Ship that seemed to hang in air, Of night his inward grief and fear
Yet was she work of mortal hands, lle comes escaped from fields and floods ; And took from
*°n her name — THE WATER LILY.
The Lily Boats no longer! - She hath perished.
T: Soft was the wind, that landward blew ;
Grieve for her, - She deserves no less; And, as the Moon, o'er some dark hill ascendant, So like, yet so unlike, a living Creature ! Grows from a little edge of light
No heart had she, no busy brain; To a full orb, this Pinnace bright
Though loved, she could not love again; Became, as nearer to the Coast she drew,
Though pitied, feel her own distress; More glorious, with spread sail and streaming pendant. Nor aught that troubles us, the fools of Nature.
l'pon this winged Shape so fair
Yet is there cause for gushing tears; Sage Merlin gazed with admiration :
So richly was this Galley laden; Her lineaments, thought he, surpass
A fairer than Herself she bore, Aught that was ever shown in magic glass ;
And, in her struggles, cast ashore; Was ever built with patient care;
A lovely One, who nothing hears 28 Or, at a touch, set forth with wondrous transformation. Of wind or wave - a meek and guileless Maiden.
But Ocean under magic heaves,
“What boots,” continued she, “to mourn?
"My pearly Boat, a shining Light,
Then, Merlin! for a rapid flight
And Nina heard a sweeter voice
Go, in thy enterprise rejoice!
“The very swiftest of thy Cars
So cheered she left that Island bleak, Must, when my part is done, be ready;
A bare rock of the Scilly cluster; Meanwhile, for further guidance, look
And, as they traversed the smooth brine, Into thy own prophetic book;
The self-illumined Brigantine And, if that fail, consult the Stars
Shed, on the Slumberer's cold wan cheek To learn thy course; farewell ! be prompt and steady.” And pallid brow, a melancholy lustre,
No quest was hers of vague desire,
Once more did gentle Nina lift Of tortured hope and purpose shaken ;
The Princess, passive to all changes : Following the margin of a bay,
The Car received her; then up-went She spied the lonely Cast-away,
Into the ethereal element Unmarred, unstripped of her attire,
The Birds with progress smooth and swift But with closed eyes, — of breath and bloom forsaken. As thought, when through bright regions memory
Then Nina, stooping down, embraced,
And in the pearly shallop placed,
Sage Merlin, at the Slumberer's side,
From rich pavilions spreading wide,
The turmoil hushed, celestial springs
And that soft rustling of invisible wings
Awe-stricken stood both Knights and Dames
Last lingering look of clay, that tames
!1 liappiness is blighted.
"Alas! and I have caused this woe;
Abashed, Sir Dinas turned away;
Though he, devoutest of all Champions, ere
He reached that ebon car, the bier And his dear daughter on a Knight bestow
Whereon diffused like snow the Damsel lay, Whom I should choose for love and matchless labours. Full thrice had crossed himself in meek composure.
“Her birth was heathen, but a fence
And worship, seemed a recompense
Imagine (but ye Saints! who can?)
And all the thoughts that lengthened out a span
“Ask not for whom, O) champions true !
What patient confidence was here!
And softly touched; but, to his princely cheer
" The tomb," said Merlin, "may not close Upon her yet, earth hide her beauty ; Not froward to thy sovereign will Esteem me, Liege! if I, whose skill Waited her hither, interpose l'o check this pious haste of erring duty.
Next, disencumbered of his harp,
With love too true, a love with pangs too shard,
Not so Sir Launcelot; - from Heaven's grace In silence watched the gentle strife
Of Nature leading back to life;
Then eased his Soul at length by praise When his touch failed. — Next came Sir Galahad ; of God, and Heaven's pure Qeeen — the blissful Mary
He paused, and stood entranced by that still face Whose features he had seen in noontide vision.
Then said he, " Take her to thy heart,
Sir Galahad! a treasure that God giveth, For late, as near a murmuring stream
Bound by indissoluble ties to thee He rested ’mid an arbour green and shady
Through mortal change and immortality; Nina, the good Enchantress, shed,
Be happy and unenvied, thou who art A light around his mossy bed;
A goodly Knight that hath no Peer that liveth !" And, at her call, a waking dream
Not long the nuptials were delayed; Prefigured to his sense the Egyptian Lady.
And sage tradition still rehearses
The pomp, the glory of that hour
And Angels carolled these far-echoed verses -
Who shrinks not from alliance
Of evil with good Powers,
And mocks whom he adores.
A Ship to Christ devoted
From the Land of Nile did go; The marvel of the PERILOUS SEAT,
Alas! the bright Ship floated, Which whosoe'er approached of strength was shorn,
An Idol at her Prow. "Though King or Knight the most renowned in story.
By magic domination, He touched with hesitating hand,
The Heaven-permitted vent And lo! those Birds, far-famed through Love's
Of purblind mortal passion, dominions,
Was wrought her punishment. The Swans, in triumph, clap their wings;
The Flower, the Form within it, And their necks play, involved in rings,
What served they in her need? Like sinless snakes in Eden's happy land ;
Her port she could not win it, Mine is she," cried the Knight ; — again they clap
Nor from mishap be freed. ped their pinions.
The tempest overcame her, “Mine was she - mine she is, though dead,
And she was seen no more ; And to her name my soul shall cleave in sorrow ;"
But gently gently blame her, Whereat, a tender twilight streak
She cast a Pearl ashore. Of colour dawned upon the Damsel's cheek;
The Maid to Jesu hearkened, And her lips, quickening with uncertain red,
And kept to him her faith, Seemed from each other a faint warmth to borrow.
Till sense in death was darkened,
Or sleep akin to death.
But Angels round her pillow
Kept watch, a viewless band; Allowed a soft and flower-like breath,
And, billow favouring billow, Precursor to a timid sigh,
She reached the destined strand: "To lifted eyelids, and a doubtful shining.
Blest Pair! whate'er befall you,
Your faith in Him approve In silence did King Arthur gaze
Who from frail earth can call yo Upon the signs that pass away or tarry ;
To bowers of endless love!