Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Porhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss ;
Ah, that maternal smile! it answers, “ Yes."

I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu !
But was it such ? It was.

Where thou art gone,
Adieux and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more.
Thy maidens grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wished, I long believed,
And disappointed still, was still deceived;.
By expectation every day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of intant sorrow spent,
I learned at last submission to my lot:
But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.

Where once we dwelt, our name is heard no more ; Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener, Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble-coach, and wrapped In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capped, 'Tis now become a history little known, That once we called the pastoral house our own. Short-lived possession ! but the record fair, That memory keeps of all thy kindness there, Still outlives many a storm that has effaced A thousand other themes less deeply traced.

Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid ; Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, The biscuit or confectionery plum; The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed By thine own hand, till iresh they shone and glowod; All this, and more endearing still than all, Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall, Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks, That humor interposed too often makes ; All this, still legible in memory's page, And still be so to my latest age,

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honors to thee as my numbers may ;
Perhaps a frail 'memorial, but sincere,
Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here.

Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I pricked them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile :)
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart; the

dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might ;
But no! What here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed)
Shoots into port at some well-havened isle,
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile, i
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift ! hast reached the shore
“Where tempests never beat nor billows roar.”
And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
Ot life long since has anchored by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distressed;
Me, howling blasts drive devious, tempest-tossed;
Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and compass lost;
And, day by day, some current's thwarting torca
Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
Yet O, the thought that thou art safe, and he !
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.

My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth :
But higher far my proud pretentions rise ;
The son of parents passed into the skies.
And now, farewell ! Time inrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ;

To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine;
And, while the wings of Fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft;
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.

THE SULIOTE MOTHER.

HEMANS

[So strong was the love of freedom implanted in the breasts of tho Greeks, that it is anthentically related that when the Turkish troops, under Ali Pasha penetrated the mountain passes, the Sulioto women, ascended a rugged peak, and after chanting a song of defianco, throw themselves and their children headlong into an abyss-preferring » frightful death to slavery.]

She stood upon the lofty peak,

Amid the clear, blue sky :
A bitter smile was on her cheek,

And a dark flash in her eye.

"Dost thou see them, boy ?—through the dusky pines
Dost thou see where the foeman's armor shines?
Hast thou caught the gleam of the conqueror's crest ?
My babe that I cradled on my breast !
Wouldst thou spring from thy mother's arms with joy !
That sight hath cost thee a father, boy !"

For in the rocky strait beneath,

Lay Suliote sire and son :
They had heaped high the piles of death,

Before the pass was won.

“They have crossed the torrent, and on they come ;
Woe for the mountain hearth and home!
There, where the hunter laid by his spear,
There, where the lyre hath been sweet to hear,
There, where I sung thee, fair babe, to sleep,
Naught but the blood-stain our trace shall keep !"

/

And now the horn's loud blast was heard,

And now the cymbal's clang,
Till even the upper air was stirred

As cliff and hollow rang.

“Hark! they bring music, my joyous child !
What saith the trumpet to Suli's wild ?
Doth it light thine eye with so quick a fire,
As if at a glance of thine armed sire ?
Still! be thou still! there are brave men low;
Thou wouldst not smile couldst thou see him now."

But nearer came the clash of steel,

And louder swelled the horn,
And further yet the tambour's peal

Through the dark pass was borne.
“ Hear'st thou the sound of their savage mirth ?
Boy! thou wert free when I gave thee birth,
Free, and how cherished, my warrior's son!
He, too, hath blessed thee, as I have done :
Ay, and unchained must his loveil ones be;
Freedom, young Suliote! for thee and me!"

And from the arrowy peak she sprung,

And fast the fair child bore:
A veil upon the wind was flung,

A cry-and all was o'er!

GENEVIEVE.

COLERIDGE.

(Byron has said of the harmonions Tuscan, that it is a softer "Latin, that sounds as if it should be writ on satin." But not ever the most honied sentences of Petrarch exceed in rich melody this matchless piece of versification. Nor is it a mere chime of sweet sounds" sig. nifying nothing." The matter is worthy of the manner. The musi. cal prelnde fitly ushers in the bold dramatic description of the Knight, crazed by love; while the ending is charmingly delicate and tender.)

ALL thoughts, all passions, all delights,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of love.

And feed his sacred flame.

[ocr errors]

Oft in my waking dreams do I

Live o'er again that happy hour
When midway on the mount I lay,

Beside the ruined tower.
The moonshine stealing o'er the scene,

Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there—my hope, my joy,

My own dear Genevieve.
She leaned against the armed man,
The statue

of the armed knight,
She stood and listened to my lay,

Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,

My hope, my joy, my Genevieve!
She loves me best whene'er I sing,

The songs which make her grieve.
I played a soft and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving story
An old, rude song, that suited well

That ruin wild and hoary.
She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew I could not choose

But look upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand,
And that for ten long years 'e wooed

The Lady of the Land.
I told her how he pined,—and ah!

The deep, the low, the pleading tone,
With which I sang an other's love,

I
Interpreted my own.
She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes, and modest grace ;
And she forgave me that I gazed

Too tondly in her face.

But when I told the cruel scorn,

That crazed that bold and loyal knight, And that he crossed the mountain woods,

Nor rested day nor night.

« VorigeDoorgaan »