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THEODRIC:

A DOMESTIC TALE,

4

THEODRIC.

*T'was sunset, and the Ranz des Vaches was sung,
And lights were o’er th' Helvetian mountains flung,
That gave the glacier tops their richest glow,
And tinged the lakes like molten gold below;
Warmth flush'd the wonted regions of the storm,
Where, Phenix-like, you saw the eagle's form
That high in Heaven's vermilion wheeld and
soar'd,

[roar'd Woods nearer frown'd, and cataracts dash'd and From heights browsed by the bounding bouquetin; Herds tinkling roam'd the long-drawn vales be

tween, And hamlets glitter'd white, and gardens flourish'd

green: 'Twas transport to inhale the bright sweet air ! The mountain-bee was revelling in its glare, And roving with his minstrelsy across The scented wild weeds, and enamelld moss. Earth's features so harmoniously were link'd, She seem’d one great glad form, with life instinct, That felt Heaven's ardent breath, and smiled

below Its flush of love, with consentaneous glow.

A Gothic church was near; the spot around Was beautiful, ev'n though sepulchral ground;

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For there nor yew nor cypress spread their gloom,
But roses blossom’d by each rustic tomb.
Amidst them one of spotless marble shone
A maiden's gravemand 'twas inscribed thereon,
That young and loved she died whose dust was
there :

[fair!
Yes,” said my comrade, “ young she died, and
Grace form'd her, and the soul of gladness play'd
Once in the blue eyes of that mountain-maid:
Her fingers witch'd the chords they pass'd along,
And her lips seem’d to kiss the soul in song:
Yet weo'd, and worshipp'd as she was, till few
Aspired to hope, 'twas sadly, strangely true,
That heart, the martyr of its fondness, burn'd
And died of love that could not be return'd.

Her father dwelt where yonder Castle shines O'er clustering trees and terrace-mantling vines : As gay as ever, the laburnum's pride Waves o’er each walk where she was wont to

glide, And still the garden whence she graced her brow, As lovely blooms, though trode by strangers now. How oft, from yonder window o'er the lake, Her song of wild Helvetian swell and shake Has made the rudest fisher bend his ear, And rest enchanted on his oar to hear ! Thus bright, accomplish'd, spirited, and bland, Well-born, and wealthy for that simple land, Why had no gallant native youth the art To win so warm-so exquisite a heart?

She, 'midst these rocks inspired with feelings strong
By mountain-freedom-music-fancy-song,
Herself descended from the brave in arms,
And conscious of romance-inspiring charms,
Dreamt of Heroic beings; hoped to find
Some extant spirit of chivalric kind ;
And scorning wealth, look'd cold ev'n on the claim
Of manly worth, that lack'd the wreath of fame.

Her younger brother, sixteen summers old,
And much her likeness both in mind and mould,
Had gone, poor boy ! in soldiership to shine,
And bore an Austrian banner on the Rhine.
'Twas when, alas ! our Empire's evil star
Shed all the plagues, without the pride of war;
When patriots bled, and bitterer anguish cross'd
Our brave, to die in battles foully lost.
The youth wrote home the rout of many a day:
Yet still he said, and still with truth could say,
One corps had ever made a valiant stand,
The corps in which he served,—THEODRIC's band.
His fame, forgotten chief ! is now gone by,
Eclipsed by brighter orbs in Glory's sky;
Yet once it shone, and veterans, when they show
Our fields of battle twenty years ago,
Will tell you feats his small brigade perform’d,
In charges noħly faced and trenches storm'd.
Time was, when songs were chanted to his fame,
And soldiers loved the march that bore his name
The zeal of martial hearts was at his call,
And that Helvetian's, UDOLPHI's, most of all.

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