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Ravage for which no knell was heard. We prayed XXVII.
For our departure; wished and wished-nor knew, It was indeed a miserable hour
'Mid that long sickness and those hopes delayed,
That happier days we never more must view.
The parting signal streamed-at last the land withdrew.
But the calm summer season now was past.
On as we drove, the equinoctias deep
And many perished in the whirlwind's sweep.
We gazed with terror on their gloomy sleep, There was a youth whom I had loved so long,
Untaught that soon such anguish must ersue, That when I loved him not I cannot say:
Our hopes such harvest of affliction reap, 'Mid the green mountains many a thoughtless song
That we the mercy of the waves should ru.“: We two had sung, like gladsome birds in May;
We reached the western world, a poor devoted crew. When we began to tire of childish play, We seemed still more and more to prize each other;
The pains and plagues that on our heads came down We talked of marriage and our marriage day; Disease and famine, agony and fear, And I in truth did love him like a brother,
In wood or wilderness, in camp or town,
It would unman the firmest heart to hear.
Husband and children ! one by one, by sword
And ravenous plague, all perished : every tear
Dried up, despairing, desolate, on board What tender vows our last sad kiss delayed !
A British ship I waked, as from a trance restored.” To him we turned :
we had no other aid: Like one revived, upon his neck I wept; And her whom he had loved in joy, he said,
Here paused she of all present thought forlorn, He well could love in grief; his faith he kept ;
Nor voice, nor sound, that moment's pain expressed
Yet nature, with excess of grief o'erborne,
He too was mute; and, ere her weeping ceased,
He rose, and to the ruin's portal went, With daily bread, by constant toil supplied.
And saw the dawn opening the silvery east Three lovely babes had laid upon my breast ;
With rays of promise, north and southward sent;
And soon with crimson fire kindled the firmament.
“O come,” he cried, “come, after weary night The empty loom, cold hearth, and silent wheel,
Of such rough storm, this happy change to view.”
So forth she came, and eastward looked; the sight
Twas a hard change; an evil time was come;
They looked, and saw a lengthening road, and wain
And how to the sea-coast
, with numbers more, we drew. The barrows glistered bright with drops of rain,
"There were we long neglected, and we bore
Whistled the wagoner with merry note,
There, pains which nature could no more support, * Peaceful as this immeasurable plain
With blindness linked, did on my vitals fall; Is now, by beams of dawning light imprest,
And, after many interruptions short In the calm sunshine slept the glittering main; Of hideous sense, I sank, nor step could cral: The very ocean hath its hour of rest.
Cnsought for was the belp that did my lie recal. I too forgot the heavings of my breast.
XLIV. How quiet 'round me ship and ocean were!
Borne to a hospital, I lay with brain
Drowsy and weak, and shattered memory:
I heard my neighbours in their beds complain
Of many things which dever troubled me-
Of feet still bustling round with busy glee,
Of looks where common kindness had no pari,
Of service done with cold formality,
Fretting the ferer round the languid heart,
man start. The mine's dire earthquake, and the pallid host Driven by the bomb's incessant thunder-stroke
These things just serred to stir the slumbering sense, To loathsome vaults, where heart-sick anguish tossed, Nor pain nor pity in my bosom raised. Hope died, and fear itself in agony was lost!
With strength did memory return; and, thence
Dismissed, again on open day I gazed,
At houses, men, and common light, amazed.
The lanes I sought, and, as the sun retired, I seemed transported to another world;
Came where beneath the trees a faggot blazed: A thought resigned with pain, when from the mast The travellers saw me weep, my fate inquired, The impatient mariner the sail unfurled,
And gave me food—and rest, more welcome, more desired. And, whistling, called the wind that hardly curled
Rough potters seemed they, trading soberly
With panniered asses driven from door to door; Was best, could I but shun the spot where man might But life of happier sort set forth to me,
And other joys my fancy to allure
The bag-pipe dinning on the midnight moor And oft I thought (my fancy was so strong)
In barn uplighted; and companions boon, That I, at last, a resting-place had found;
Well met from far with revelry secure • Here will I dwell,' said I, ómy whole life long,
Among the forest glades, while jocund June Roaming the illimitable waters round;
Rolled fast along the sky his warm and genial moon. Here will I live, of all but heaven disowned,
XLVII. And end my days upon the peaceful food.' —
But ill they suited me — those journeys dark To break my dream the vessel reached its bound;
O'er moor and mountain, midnight theft to hatch! And homeless near a thousand homes I stood,
To charm the surly house-dog's faithful bark, And near a thousand tables pined and wanted food.
Or hang on tip-toe at the lifted latch.
The gloomy lantern, and the dim blue match, No help I sought, in sorrow turned adrift,
The black disguise, the warning whistle shrill, Was hopeless, as if cast on some bare rock;
And ear still busy on its nightly watch, Nor moreel to my mouth that day did lift,
Were not for me, brought up in nothing ill: Nor raised my hand at any door to knock.
Besides, on griefs so fresh my thoughts were brooding Ilny where, with his drowsy mates, the cock
still. I'rom the crome-timber of an outhouse hung: Dismally wolled, that night, the city clock!
What could I do, unaided and unblest? Ai morn my sick heart hunger scarcely stung,
My father! gone was every friend of thine:
And kindred of dead husband are at best
With little kindness would to me incline.
Nor was I then for toil or service fit; Was conne, I tried in vain the crowd's resort. My deep-drawn sighs no effort could confine; in deep demir, by tightful wishes stirred,
In open air forgetful would I sit La mar the sea-side I reached a ruined fort;
Whole hours, with idle arms in moping sorrow knit.
Asked him in scorn what business there he had;
Softly he stroked the child, who lay outstretched
Through tears the rising sun I oft have viewed,
Within himself he said — What hearts have we!
True sympathy the sailor's looks expressed,
“ Bad is the world, and hard is the world's law
Ere long, from heaps of turf, before their sight,
I woman stood with quivering lips and pale,
Forthwith the pair passed on; and down they look
His voice with indignation rising high
They saw and heard, and winding with the road
But sickness stopped me in an early stage Their breakfast done, the pair, though loth, must part;
Of my sad journey; and within the wain Wanderers whose course no longer now agrees.
They placed me – there to end life's pilgrimage, She rose and bade farewell! and, while her heart
Unless beneath your roof I may remain:
For I shall never see my father's door again.
“ My life, Heaven knows, hath long been burthensome; And soon she reached a spot o'erhung with trees
But, if I have not meekly suffered, meek And banks of ragged earth; beneath the shade
May my end be! Soon will this voice be dumb: Across the pebbly road a little runnel strayed.
Should child of mine e'er wander hither, speak
Of me, say that the worm is on my cheek.— A cart and horse beside the rivulet stood;
Torn from our hut, that stood beside the sea Chequering the canvas roof the sunbeams shone.
Near Portland lighthouse in a lonesome creek, She saw the carmar bend to scoop the flood
My husband served in sad captivity As the wain fronted her,- wherein lay one,
On shipboard, bound till peace or death should set him
“A sailor's wife I knew a widow's cares, Though even to die near one she most had loved Yet two sweet little ones partook my bed; She could not of herself those wasted limbs have moved. Hope cheered my dreams, and to my daily prayers
Our heavenly Father granted each day's bread;
Till one was found by stroke of violence dead, The soldier's widow learned with honest pain
Whose body near our cottage chanced to lie; And homefelt force of sympathy sincere,
A dire suspicion drove us from our shed; Why thus that worn-out wretch must there sustain
In vain to find a friendly face we try, The jolting road and morning air severe.
Nor could we live together those poor boys and I; The wain pursued its way; and following near In pure compassion she her steps retraced Far as the cottage. “A sad sight is here,”
“For evil tongues made oath how on that day She cried aloud ; and forth ran out in haste
My husband lurked about the neighbourhood; The friends whom she had left but a few minutes past. Now he had fled, and whither none could say,
And he had done the deed in the dark wood
Near his own home!- but he was mild and good; While to the door with eager speed they ran,
Never on earth was gentler creature seen; From her barc straw the woman half upraised He'd not have robbed the raven of its food. Her bony visage -- gaunt and deadly wan;
My husband's loving kindness stood between No pity asking, on the group she gazed
Me and all worldly harms and wrongs however keen." With a dim eye, distracted and amazed; Then sank upon her straw with feeble moan. Fervently cried the housewife — "God be praised, Alas! the thing she told with labouring breath I have a house that I can call my own;
The sailor knew too well. That wickedness Nor shall she perish there, untended and alone !" His hand had wrought; and when, in the hour of death
He saw his wife's lips move his name to bless
With her last words, unable to suppress So in they bear her to the chimney seat,
His anguish, with his heart he ceased to strive; And busily, though yet with fear, untie
And, weeping loud in this extreme distress, Her garments, and, to warm her icy feet
He cried — “Do pity me! That thou shouldst live And chafo her temples, careful hands apply.
I neither ask nor wish — forgive me, but forgive!" Nature reviving, with a deep-drawn sigh She strove, and not in vain, her head to rear; Then said "I thank you all; if I must die,
To tell the change that voice within her wrought The God in heaven my prayers for you will hear;
Nature by sign or sound made no essay;
A sudden joy surprised expiring thought,
Borne gently to a bed, in death she lay;
Yet still while over her the husband bent, Suffering what no endurance could assiiage,
A look was in her face which seemed to say, I was compelled to seek my father's door,
“ Be blest; by sight of thee from heaven was sent Though loth to be a burthen on his age.
Peace to my parting soul, the fulness of content."
Readers already acquainted with my Poems will recognise, in the
following composition, some eight or ten lines, which I have not She slept in peace, — his pulses throbbed and stopped,
scrupled to retain in the places where they originally stood. It is Breathless he gazed upon her face, – then took proper however to add, that they would not have been used else.
where, if I had foreseen the time when I might be induced to publish Her hand in bis, and raised it, but both dropped,
this Tragedy. When on his own he cast a rueful look.
February 28, 1842.
SCENE, road in a Wood.
WALLACE and Lacy.
Lacy. The troop will be impatient; let us hie The soldier's widow lingered in the cot;
Back to our post, and strip the Scottish foray
Of their rich spoil, ere they recross the border.
- Pity that our young chief will have no part Died in his arms; and with those thanks a prayer
In this good service.
Rather let us grieve
That, in the undertaking which has caused
His absence, he hath sought, whate'er his aim, A burtben, now with fortitude sustained,
Companionship with one of crooked ways,
From whose perverted soul can come no good
Lacy. True; and, remembering how the band havi Confirmed of purpose, fearlessly prepared
proved Por act and suffering, to the city straight
That Oswald finds small favour in our sight, He journeyed, and forth with his crime declared : Well may we wonder he has gained such power " And from your doom,” he added, “now I wait, Over our much-loved captain. Nor let it linger long, the murderer's fate."
I have heard
Of some dark deed to which in early life
Lacy. Where he despised alike
Mohammedan and Christian. But enough; (Reader, forgive the intolerable thought)
Let us begone — the band may else be foiled. They hung not :— no one on his form or face
[E.ceune Could gaze, as on a show by idlers sought;
Enter MARMADUKE and WILFRED.
Wil. Be cautious, my dear master!
For such he is -
Your busy fancies, Wilfred,
Wil. You know that you have saved his life.
I know it
That word was hasty.
Fy! no more of it.
Wil. Dear master! gratitude 's a heavy burden
I do more,
By lawless curiosity or chance,
Of the band of
ELEANOR, Wife to ELDRED.
TINE, the Reign of Henry III.
* See Note 3