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juana, mother of the Emperor Charles V., upon the death of her husband, Philip the Handsome of Austria, who had treated her with uniform neglect, had his body laid upon a bed of state in a magnificent dress, and being possessed with the idea that it would revive, watched it for a length of time incessantly, waiting for the moment of returning life.
It is but dust thou look'st upon. This love,
The night-wind shook the tapestry round an ancient
palace-room, And torches, as it rose and fell, waved through the
gorgeous gloom, And o'er a shadowy regal couch threw fitful gleams
and red, Where a woman with long raven hair sat watching
by the dead.
Pale shone the features of the dead, yet glorious
still to see, Like a hunter or a chief struck down while his
heart and step were free; No shroud he wore, no robe of death, but there
majestic lay, Proudly and sadly glittering in royalty's array.
But she that with the dark hair watch'd by the
cold slumberer's side, On her wan cheek no beauty dwelt, and in her garb
no pride; Only her full impassion d eyes, as o'er that clay she
bent, A wildness and a tenderness in strange resplendence
blent. And as the swift thoughts crossd her soul, like sha
dows of a cloud, Amidst the silent room of death, the dreamer spoke
aloud; She spoke to him who could not hear, and cried,
“ Thou yet wilt wake, And learn my watchings and my tears, beloved one!
for thy sake. “ They told me this was death, but well I knew it
could not be; Fairest and stateliest of the earth, who spoke of death
for thee? They would have wrapt the funeral shroud thy gal
lant form around, But I forbade- and there thou art, a monarch, robed
and crown'd! “With all thy bright locks gleaming still, their coro
nal beneath, And thy brow so proudly beautiful — who said that
this was death? Silence hath been upon thy lips, and stillness round
thee long, But the hopeful spirit in my breast is all undimm'd
“I know thou hast not loved me yet; I am not fair
like thee, The very glance of whose clear eye threw round a
light of glee! A frail and drooping form is mine - a cold unsmi
ling cheek, Oh! I have but a woman's heart, wherewith thy
heart to seek.
“But when thou wak’st, my prince, my lord! and
hear'st how I have kept A lonely vigil by thy side, and o'er thee pray'd and
wept; How in one long deep dream of thee my nights and
days have past, Surely that humble, patient love must win back love
at last! “ And thou wilt smile - my own, my own, shall be
the sunny smile, Which brightly fell, and joyously, on all but me
erewhile ! No more in vain affection's thirst my weary soul
shall pine — Oh! years of hope deferr'd were paid by one fond
glance of thine ! “ Thou'lt meet me with that radiant look when thou
comest from the chase, For me, for me, in festal halls it shall kindle o'er
thy face! Thou’lt reck no more though beauty's gift mine
aspect may not bless; In thy kind eyes this deep, deep love, shall give me
“But wake! my heart within me burns, yet once
more to rejoice In the sound to which it ever leap'd, the music of
thy voice: Awake! I sit in solitude, that thy first look and tone, And the gladness of thine opening eyes, may all be
In the still chambers of the dust, thus pour'd forth
day by day, The passion of that loving dream from a troubled
soul found way, Until the shadows of the grave had swept o'er every
grace, Left 'midst the awfulness of death on the princely
form and face.
And slowly broke the fearful truth upon the watcher's
breast, And they bore away the royal dead with requiems
to his rest, With banners and with knightly plumes all waving
in the wind But a woman's broken heart was left in its lone
THE AMERICAN FOREST GIRL.
A fearful gift upon thy heart is laid,
Wildly and mournfully the Indian drum
On the deep hush of moonlight forests broke ;“Sing us a death-song, for thine hour is come,”.
So the red warriors to their captive spoke. Still, and amidst those dusky forms alone,
A youth, a fair-hair’d youth of England stood, Like a king's son; tho' from his cheek had flown
The mantling crimson of the island-blood, And his press'd lips look'd marble.-- Fiercely bright, And high around him, blazed the fires of night, Rocking beneath the cedars to and fro, As the wind pass'd, and with a fitful glow Lighting the victim's face:- But who could tell Of what within his secret heart befell, Known but to heaven that hour?—Perchance a
thought Of his far home then so intensely wrought, That its full image, pictured to his eye On the dark ground of mortal agony, Rose clear as day!—and he might see the band, Of his young sisters wandering hand in hand, Where the laburnums droop’d; or haply binding The jasmine, up the door's low pillars winding; Or, as day closed upon their gentle mirth, Gathering, with braided hair, around the hearth