Page images
PDF
EPUB

And forth she came. - Then rose a nation's sound !
Oh! what a power to bid the quick heart bound,
The wind bears onward with the stormy cheer
Man gives to glory on her high career!
Is there indeed such power ?—far deeper dwells
In one kind household voice, to reach the cells
Whence happiness flow'd forth !—The shouts that fillid
The hollow heaven tempestuously, were still'd
One moment; and in that brief pause, the tone,
As of a breeze that o'er her home had blown,
Sank on the bright maid's heart." Joanne !"-

who spoke
Like those whose childhood with her childhood grew
Under one roof?_" Joanne!” that murmur broke
With sounds of weeping forth !—She turn'd-she

knew Beside her, mark'd from all the thousands there, In the calm beauty of his silver hair, The stately shepherd; and the youth, whose joy From his dark eye flash'd proudly; and the boy, The youngest-born, that ever loved her best; "Father and ye, my brothers !” —On the breast Of that grey sire she sank—and swiftly back, Ev’n in an instant, to their native track Her free thoughts flow'd.—She saw the pomp no

more

The plumes, the banners :- to her cabin-door,
And to the Fairy's fountain in the glade, (6)
Where her young sisters by her side had play'd,
And to her hamlet's chapel, where it rose
Hallowing the forest unto deep repose,
Her spirit turn'd.— The very wood-note, sung

In early spring-time by the bird, which dwelt

Where o'er her father's roof the beach-leaves hung,

Was in her heart; a music heard and felt, Winning her back to nature.-She unbound

The helm of many battles from her head,
And, with her bright locks bow'd to sweep the ground,

Lifting her voice up, wept for joy, and said,
“Bless me, my father, bless me! and with thee,
To the still cabin and the beechen-tree,
Let me return !"

Oh! never did thine eye
Through the green haunts of happy infancy
Wander again, Joanne !- too much of fame
Had shed its radiance on thy peasant name;
And bought alone by gifts beyond all price,
The trusting heart's repose, the paradise
Of home with all its loves, doth fate allow
The crown of glory unto woman's brow.

PAULINE.

To die for what we love!--Oh! there is power
In the true heart, and pride, and joy, for this;
It is to live without the vanish'd light
That strength is needed.
Cosi trapassa al trapassar d'un Giorno
Della vita mortal il fiore e'l verde.

Tasso.

Along the star-lit Seine went music swelling,

Till the air thrill'd with its exulting mirth; Proudly it floated, even as if no dwelling For cares or stricken hearts were found on earth;

Vol. V. 18

And a glad sound the measure lightly beat,
A happy chime of many dancing feet.
For in a palace of the land that night,

Lamps, and fresh roses, and green leaves were hung, And from the painted walls a stream of light

On flying forms beneath soft splendour flung: But loveliest far amidst the revel's pride Was one, the lady from the Danube-side? (7) Pauline, the meekly bright !—though now no more

Her clear eye flash'd with youth's all tameless glee, Yet something holier than its dayspring wore,

There in soft rest lay beautiful to see; A charm with graver, tenderer, sweetness fraughtThe blending of deep love and matron thought. Through the gay throng she moved, serenely fair,

And such calm joy as fills a moonlight sky, Sate on her brow beneath its graceful hair,

As her young daughter in the dance went by, With the fleet step of one that yet hath known Smiles and kind voices in this world alone. Lurk’d there no secret boding in her breast ?

Did no faint whisper warn of evil nigh? Such oft awake when most the heart seems blest

'Midst the light laughter of festivity: Whence come those tones !--Alas! enough we know To mingle fear with all triumphal show! Who spoke of evil, when young feet were flying

In fairy rings around the echoing hall ? Soft airs through braided locks in perfume sighing,

Glad pulses beating unto music's call ? Silence !- the minstrels pause—and hark! a sound, A strange quick rustling which their notes had drown'd! And lo! a light upon the dancers breaking

Not such their clear and silvery lamps had shed ! From the gay dream of revelry awaking,

One moment holds them still in breathless dread; The wild fierce lustre grows—then bursts a cryFire! through the hall and round it gathering—fly!

And forth they rush-as chased by sword and spear

To the green coverts of the garden-bowers; A gorgeous masque of pageantry and fear,

Startling the birds and trampling down the flowers: While from the dome behind, red sparkles driven Pierce the dark stillness of the midnight heaven.

And where is she, Pauline? - the hurrying throng

Have swept her onward, as a stormy blast Might sweep some faint o'erwearied bird along

Till now the threshold of that death is past, And free she stands beneath the starry skies, Calling her child — but no sweet voice replies.

“ Bertha! where art thou !-Speak, oh! speak, my

own !”

Alas! unconscious of her pangs the while, The gentle girl, in fear's cold grasp alone,

Powerless hath sunk within the blazing pile; A young bright form, deck'd gloriously for death, With flowers all shrinking from the flame's fierce

breath!

But oh! thy strength, deep love !- there is no power

To stay the mother from that rolling grave, Though fast on high the fiery volumes tower,

And forth, like banners, from each lattice wave:

Back, back she rushes through a host combined
Mighty is anguish, with affection twined !

And what bold step may follow, 'midst the roar

Of the red billows, o'er their prey that rise? None!-Courage there stood still —and never more

Did those fair forms emerge on human eyes ! Was one brief meeting theirs, one wild farewell And died they heart to heart?-Oh! who can tell?

Freshly and cloudlessly the morning broke

On that sad palace, 'midst its pleasure-shades, Its painted roofs had sunk-yet black with smoke

And lonely stood its marble colonnades; But yester-eve their shafts with wreaths were bound! Now lay the scene one shrivell’d scroll around !

And bore the ruins no recording trace

Of all that woman's heart had dared and done? Yes! there were gems to mark its mortal place,

That forth from dust and ashes dimly shone ! Those had the mother on her gentle breast, Worn round her child's fair image, there at rest.

And they were all the tender and the true

Left this alone her sacrifice to prove, Hallowing the spot where mirth once lightly flew,

To deep, lone, chasten'd thoughts of grief and love. Oh! we have need of patient faith below, To clear away the mysteries of such woe!

« PreviousContinue »