Page images
PDF
EPUB

INDIAN WOMAN'S DEATH-SONG.

An Indian woman, driven to despair by her husband's desertion of her for another wife, entered a canoe with her children, and rowed it down the Mississippi toward a cataract. Her voice was heard from the shore singing a mournful death-song, until overpowered by the sound of the waters in which she perished. The tale is related in Long's Expedition to the source of St. Peter's River.

Non, je ne puis vivre avec un cæur brisé. Il faut que je retrouve la joie, et que je m'unisse aux esprits libres de l'air.

Bride of Messina, translated by Madame de Stael.

Lot not my child be a girl, for very sad is the life of a woman.

The Prairie.

Down a broad river of the western wilds,
Piercing thick forest glooms, a light canoe
Swept with the current: fearful was the speed
Of the frail bark, as by a tempest's wing
Borne leaf-like on to where the mist of spray
Rose with the cataract's thunder.— Yet within,
Proudly, and dauntlessly, and all alone,
Save that a babe lay sleeping at her breast,
A woman stood: upon her Indian brow
Sat a strange gladness, and her dark hair waved
As if triumphantly. She press'd her child,
In its bright slumber, to her beating heart,
And lifted her sweet voice, that rose awhile
Above the sound of waters, high and clear,
Wafting a wild proud strain, her song of death.

Roll swiftly to the Spirit's land, thou mighty stream

and free! Father of ancient waters, (5) roll! and bear our lives

with thee! The weary bird that storms have toss'd, would seek

the sunshine's calm, And the deer that hath the arrow's hurt, flies to the

woods of balm.

Roll on! - my warrior's eye hath look'd upon an

other's face, And mine hath faded from his soul, as fades a moon

beam's trace; My shadow comes not o'er his path, my whisper to

his dream, He flings away the broken reed - roll swifter yet,

thou stream!

The voice that spoke of other days is hush'd within

his breast, But mine its lonely music haunts, and will not let

me rest; It sings a low and mournful song of gladness that is

gone, I cannot live without that light-Father of waves!

roll on ! Will he not miss the bounding step that met him

from the chase ? The heart of love that made his home an ever

sunny place? The hand that spread the hunter's board, and deck'd

his couch of yore?He will not !-roll, dark foaming stream, on to the Some blessed fount amidst the woods of that bright

better shore !

land must flow, Whose waters from my soul may lave the memory

of this woe; Some gentle wind must whisper there, whose breath

may waft away The burden of the heavy night, the sadness of the

day.

And thou, my babe! though born, like me, for

woman's weary lot, Smile ! — to that wasting of the heart, my own! I

leave thee not; Too bright a thing art thou to pine in aching love

away: Thy mother bears thee far, young Fawn! from sor

row and decay.

She bears thee to the glorious bowers where none

are heard to weep, And where th' unkind one hath no power again to

trouble sleep; And where the soul shall find its youth, as waken

ing from a dream,One moment, and that realm is ours-On, on, dark

rolling stream!

JOAN OF ARC, IN RHEIMS.

Jeanne d'Arc avait eu la joie de voir à Chalons quelques amis de son enfance. Une joie plus ineffable encore l'attendait à Rheims, au sein de son triomphe: Jacques d'Arc, son père y se trouva, aussitot que les troupes de Charles VII. y furent entrées; et comme les deux frères de notre Héroine l'avaient accompagnés, elle se vit, pour un instant au milieu de sa famille, dans les bras d'un père vertueux. Vie de Jeanne d'Arc.

Thou hast a charmed cup, O Fame!

A draught that mantles high,
And seems to lift this earth-born frame

Above mortality:
Away! to me - a woman — bring
Sweet waters from affection's spring.

That was a joyous day in Rheims of old,
When peal on peal of mighty music rollid
Forth from her throng'd cathedral; while around,
A multitude, whose billows made no sound,
Chain'd to a hush of wonder, though elate
With victory, listen'd at their temple's gate.
And what was done within ?- within, the light

Thro' the rich gloom of pictured windows flowing, Tinged with soft awfulness a stately sight,

The chivalry of France, their proud heads bowing In martial vassalage !— while 'midst that ring, And shadow'd by ancestral tombs, a king Received his birthright's crown. For this, the hymn

Swellid out like rushing waters, and the day With the sweet censer's misty breath grew dim,

As through long aisles it floated o'er th' array

Of arms and sweeping stoles. But who, alone
And unapproach'd, beside the altar-stone,
With the white banner, forth like sunshine streaming,
And the gold helm, through clouds of fragrance gleaming,
Silent and radiant stood ? — the helm was raised,
And the fair face reveal'd that upward gazed

Intensely worshipping :--a still, clear face, Youthful, but brightly solemn!-- Woman's cheek And brow were there, in deep devotion meek,

Yet glorified with inspiration's trace On its pure paleness; while, enthroned above, The pictured Virgin, with her smile of love, Seem'd bending o'er her votaress.— That slight form! Was that the leader through the battle storm? Had the soft light in that adoring eye, Guided the warrior where the swords flash'd high? 'Twas so, even so !—and thou, the shepherd's child, Joanne, the lowly dreamer of the wild ! Never before, and never since that hour, Hath woman, mantled with victorious power, Stood forth as thou beside the shrine didst stand, Holy amidst the knighthood of the land; And beautiful with joy and with renown, Lift thy white banner o'er the olden crown, Ransom'd for France by thee!

The rites are done. Now let the dome with trumpet-notes be shaken, And bid the echoes of the tombs awaken,

And come thou forth, that Heaven's rejoicing sun May give thee welcome from thine own blue skies,

Daughter of victory!-a triumphant strain, A proud rich stream of warlike melodies,

Gush'd through the portals of the antique fane,

« PreviousContinue »