Page images

A song of the time when her boy's young cheek Had glow'd on her breast in its slumbers meek; But something which breathed from that mournful

strain Sent a fitful gust o'er her soul again, And starting as if from a dream, she cried “Give him proud burial at my side! There, by yon lake, where the palm-boughs wave, When the temples are fallen, make there our grave."

And the temples fell, though the spirit pass’d,
That stay'd not for victory's voice at last;
When the day was won for the martyr-dead,
For the broken heart, and the bright blood shed.

Thro' the gates of the vanquish'd the Tartar steed
Bore in the avenger with foaming speed;
Free swept the flame through the idol-fanes,
And the streams glow'd red, as from warrior-veins,
And the sword of the Moslem, let loose to slay,
Like the panther leapt on its flying prey,
Till a city of ruin begirt the shade,
Where the boy and his mother at rest were laid.

Palace and tower on that plain were left,
Like fallen trees by the lightning cleft:
The wild vine mantled the stately square,
The Rajah's throne was the serpent's lair,
And the jungle grass o'er the altar sprung-
This was the work of one deep heart wrung!

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

There, there is all that still remains of him,
That single spot is the whole earth to me.

Coleridge's Wallenstein.
Alas! our young affections run to waste,
Or water but the desert.

Childe Harold.

THERE went a warrior's funeral through the night,
A waving of tall plumes, a ruddy light
Of torches, fitfully and wildly thrown
From the high woods, along the sweeping Rhone,
Far down the waters. Heavily and dead,
Under the moaning trees the horse-hoof's tread
In muffled sounds upon the greensward fell,
As chieftains pass'd; and solemnly the swell
Of the deep requiem, o'er the gleaming river
Borne with the gale, and with the leaves' low shiver,
Floated and died. Proud mourners there, yet pale,

Wore man's mute anguish sternly ;- but of one Oh! who shall speak? What words his brow unveil ?

A father following to the grave his son ! That is no grief to picture! Sad and slow,

Through the wood-shadows moved the knightly train, With youth's fair form upon the bier laid low,

Fair even when found, amidst the bloody slain,

Stretch'd by its broken lance. They reach'd the lone

Baronial chapel, where, the forest gloom
Fell heaviest, for the massy boughs had grown

Into thick archways, as to vault the tomb.
Stately they trod the hollow-ringing aisle,
A strange deep echo shudder'd through the pile,
Till crested heads at last, in silence bent
Round the De Coucis' antique monument,
When dust to dust was given :-and Aymer slept

Beneath the drooping banners of his line, Whose broider'd fords the Syrian wind had swept

Proudly and oft o'er fields of Palestine:
So the sad rite was closed. — The sculptor gave
Trophies, ere long, to deck that lordly grave,
And the pale image of a youth, array'd
As warriors are for fight, but calmly laid

In slumber on his shield.— Then all was done, All still, around the dead. His name was heard Perchance when wine-cups flow'd, and hearts were

stirr'd By some old song, or tale of battle won, Told round the hearth: but in his father's breast Manhood's high passions woke again, and press'd On to their mark; and in his friend's clear eye There dwelt no shadow of a dream gone by; And with the brethren of his fields, the feast Was gay as when the voice whose sounds had ceased Mingled with theirs.—Ev'n thus life's rushing tide Bears back affection from the grave's dark side: Alas! to think of this !- the heart's void place

Filld up so soon !—so like a summer-cloud, All that we loved to pass and leave no trace !

He lay forgotten in his early shroud.

Forgotten? - not of all !--the sunny smile
Glancing in play o'er that proud lip erewhile,
And the dark locks whose breezy waving threw
A gladness round, whene'er their shade withdrew
From the bright brow; and all the sweetness lying

Within that eagle-eye's jet radiance deep,
And all the music with that young voice dying,

Whose joyous echoes made the quick heart leap As at a hunter's bugle-- these things lived Still in one breast, whose silent love survived The pomps of kindred sorrow.-Day by day, On Aymer's tomb fresh flowers in garlands lay, Thro' the dim fane soft summer-odours breathing, And all the pale sepulchral trophies wreathing, And with a flush of deeper brilliance glowing In the rich light, like molten rubies flowing Through storied windows down. The violet there Might speak of love- a secret love and lowly, And the rose image all things fleet and fair, And the faint passion-flower, the sad and holy, Tell of diviner hopes. But whose light hand, As for an altar, wove the radiant band ? Whose gentle nurture brought, from hidden dells, That gem-like wealth of blossoms and sweet bells, To blush through every season ?- Blight and chill Might touch the changing woods, but duly still, For years, those gorgeous coronals renew'd,

And brightly clasping marble spear and helm, Even through mid-winter, fill’d the solitude

With a strange smile, a glow of summer's realm. Surely some fond and fervent heart was pouring Its youth's vain worship on the dust, adoring In lone devotedness!

One spring-morn rose, And found, within that tomb's proud shadow laidOh! not as 'midst the vineyards, to repose

From the fierce noon--a dark-hair'd peasant maid: Who could reveal her story?— That still face

Had once been fair; for on the clear arch'd brow, And the curved lip, there linger'd yet such grace

As sculpture gives its dreams; and long and low The deep black lashes, o'er the half-shut eyeFor death was on its lids-fell mournfully. But the cold check was sunk, the raven hair Dimm'd the slight form all wasted, as by care. Whence came that early blight?—Her kindred's place Was not amidst the high De Couci race; Yet there her shrine had been! - She grasp'd a

wreathThe tomb's last garland ! - This was love in death!

« PreviousContinue »