Page images

“Piers saw ber-loved her but his breast
“Burnt with a fierce unhallow'd pame,
“He was a free- & welcome guest,
“My Sire esteemed his gallant name;
“ Curse on the hour, wheu first he came,
" It heralded a Sister's shame,
“Poor Emily thy soul was free
"As sining mortals e'er may be,
" "Till that accurst deceiver rent
“Thy bosom's firmest baillement;
“When honor, virtue, reason filed

Away from that poiluted bed,
“O'er which no Parent's prayer was given;
Uńblest by Mau, unblest by Heaven.
“That one unguarded-latal hour
“When passion ruled with burning power,
“ And Gavaston, with flushing eye,
“Gazed proudly on his victory.


“As when some Town that many av hour “Has braved the fierce besiegers power, “Whose walls of strength have long willstood

Its foes 'assault-ils children's blood : “But spite of all the brave have doue "At length the shatter'd City's won, “With a slaughter as red as the setting Sun. “Then is the victor's joyful hour : " He sees at his feel the levell d wäer, “ And spurs his courser o'er the plain,

T'hickly strewn with the gory slain, “Then indeed is bis time of pride, “Crusli'd is the fue u bu laiety detied, “And he alone their force could quet, "He alone had night to fell; “The City deen d impreguable, “And xbus it was thai Piers survey'd, “The helpless ruin he had made. “With demon-glance that darkly lowers, “Wheu brightesi, swetrost, parest towers, " That Earth contains or Heaven ran yald, "Lię swept and withier'd in die tield. "Oh! God-that vne false stop should bring, “So deadly and so deep a sting, “That only one concession made, "How silently and swildly fade“The moral beauties of the niind, "And like the titlul passing wind, “When all absorb'd by Summer beams!

They fade as dim as Madnien's drenmas;

“O'er the lost heart resign their sway, “And all beyond is but decay.


"Time sped away with merry wing,
“Till Winter pass'd and v'er the glade,
“The lovely gills of early Spring,
"Were in their brightest hues array'd ;
" And then the traitors deed was known,
"But 'twas too late, the slave had flown..,
" As bursts upon the startled ear,
"The Alpine torrent wildly crashing,
"So came that tale of grief and lear
“Upon my thrilling hcarı-string dasbing.
“My heart within


"Till fit to burst its narrow cell,
“ And from


blade I drew And swore by all of Earth and Hell; "My hopes in life, my thouglits of Heaven “To strike a full requitiug blow, To live accurst, to die unsbriven, “Should I my dear revenge forego. “But Emily around me clung, "And ironi ly lips a promise wrung,

That for a liine, though briel it were, “I would renounce the hot desire, Of swift requital- and her prayer, “Resuained iny passions Olitward fire. “But in my buson's inmost stai, “They burnt with a destroying heat; "Consumed the lighi and iritling :rain O leelings that I then deemd vaim:

Calcined then w one shapeless locap "Of vengeance--de.dly -- dark und deep.

[ocr errors]


“My Father bow'd before the storm, * 1 saw it in his sinking Torm, “I nark'd itiu his dropping eye, “Now idly bent on vacance; “He dud-stood beside bis-biel, “With thouglats too dep to yield a tear; I mingled in the dark array, "That Lore his lifeless borin away ; “And near the Fathers of our race, We made bis silent resting place.

[ocr errors]

16. "I strove to cheer my Sister's mind, "And fondly deemed that she might find, "A brother's love afford relief, "And soothe her broken spirits grief. “Vain lope, I saw her day by day, “In1 sileni sadness fade away ; “She thank'd me for my kind caress, "Birt with no smile of joyousness, “And though of pain 110 word was spokeni, “Full well I seen'd ber heart was broken. “Last night she breathed her last of Earth, “Beneath the tool that gave her birth. “She press'd my hand and spoke of meeting, “ The friends whose forms were round her fteling; “Wept with maut a biller sigli, Her loss of maiden parily. “Of Piers she spoke but my troubled brain, "Her gentle words could not reiain, “Something she murmur'd of love and Heaven, “And sometbing of bope and being forgiven, " I had jo words--for in that hour, “I seem'd burest of inortal power, “For little deeni'd I that aught so sweet, . “So sad and so early a fate conld meet; “She feeble rose and her tear dimm'd eye, “From poimi to print of Ilie landscape run. "The glowing tinils of the Summer sky, “The latest beams oľ the selling sun. "Sadiy she gazed for too well she knew, "That never again the gentle blue, "Of that sky could on her eyelids beam, “ Vor valley, nor hill, nur mouwtain sli eam; “And though the morrow's loveliest ray, “Might shine on her form yet far away “The spirit would wander pore and free, "Stampal with the seat of eternity. “Her trembling lips essay'd a sound, “But perished ere a passage found. “Yer she seem'd refresh d as the evening's breath, “Stole with a sigh in the chamber of death, “And with it the sad and mournful strain, Of the distant Convent's vesper bell, “And as on her ear its cadence lell "She murmer'd a gentle prayer again. "She press'll her hand on her forehead white, " Which rapidly grew as dark as right, “Though but for an instant it glided v'er, " As a cloudlet passes the noonday sum, "The spirit but struggled a moment more, “ Aud her sorrows were past,


pangs were done,


[ocr errors]

ki know tint bon the night tras spent,

How the nuddening moments went,
"For my blood was like a flaming lide,

As I stood my Sister's couch beside ;
“There was a something in my brain,
""I'wiis more than agony of puiv;
“Of bitter thoughts a gathering throng,
“A deep and burning sense of wrong;
“But just að sumy morn was breaking,
"And all trealidu seem'd awaking,
“I pluck d n rose; a lovely gemi
"Which overbowd its parent steñi;
"And placed it with a bitter šigh,
" And rapid gush uf memory;
“Which made my very cenire thrill,
"Upon that busum cold and still.


ic a "Tvaš mora and at the Castle gate, !My noble war-horse saddled stood, “And in my henri the deadliest hate, "Was craving for the trailor's blood. "Yet once again I turned to see, "Thc forin that was so dear to me, "Abd gnized upon that snowy breast, in Now motionless-a kiss 1 prest

Upon her lips--it was the last, My grithed teats fell thick and fast, "I could not then their flow restrain *Tliey gush'd like flames across my brain. They scotch'd ny soul, they sooth'd me not. "I started wildly fron the spot, "And sprining on my trusty steed, “These lighter feelings quickly fled, “I thought but of one desperate deed, And all beside was siill and dead.

ig: "Ny täle is done-and t am here, ''To claim a vengeance deep and dear; "My treasured though neglected vowz "Shall earn its strict fulfilment now.

20. “And be it so-Sir Ernest--We "Will bear thee goodly company;

With heart and hand, and thon shalt find “That kuight and seri avd peasant hiud;

“Can firmly strike when vengeance calls.
“With morning's light we will away,
“And Deddington's embattled walls,
“Ere night shall sce a fatal fray."


The sun was up, the summoning bara
Saluted well the Summer's morn;
The trumpels soyuded loud and shrill;
The vagsąls came from the distant bill,
The peasants answer their Lord's behest,
To fighi for his young and gallant guesia

They onward came and euch serving mang
Was arm'd with buckler and partizan,
With ashen spear and whitule sisong,
They were in sooib a goodly thrung;
All silently thc matron wept,
As lurth her. sou ļo battle stept,
But the grey-hair'd Man exulting blest
The youth who on to the çoritge prést,
The serf forsook bis coliage side,
With a parling tear for bis lovely bride.

There breaks on the ear a gathering hum,
And the rising sound of a distant drum;
It swells on the wings of the moruing gale,
With the ring of arms and ihç crash of mail,
The warriors dash o'er the yelvet plain,
With the martial trumpets ! echoing strain ;
The courser speeds ou his gallant career,
Bedeck'd with the mantling and frontal spear
The riders they hecd not peril or tuil,
They think but of conquest and coming spoid.


'Twas noon-tide hour and every hand,
That could unsheath a battle brand,
Knights and Serts and Yeomen tall,
Were gather'd before the Castle wall:
Ready to fight and ready to die,
At their noble chieftain's battle-cry.


The knights appear'd, each glittering crést, Surrounted a brave and swelling breast. With ponnon'd lance where beauty's tear, Had left one spot of rust more dear

« PreviousContinue »