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In the shiver of the tree,
I hear thee, O thou voice ! And I would thy warning were but for me,
That my spirit might rejoice.
But thou art sent For the sad earth's young and fair, For the graceful heads that have not bent
To the wintry hand of care !
And the river sweeping free,
And the woods — but they hear not thee!
Long have I striven
And darkly on must roll.
With a bridal white rose wreath-
Touch'd solemnly by death!
Fair art thou, Morna!
On the dark blue summer sky!
Of a sweet and hidden rill, That makes the dim woods tuneful round
But soon it must be still !
Silence and dust
A stronger yet is nigh!
That my hand for thee hath tried, But into dirge notes wild and low
Its ringing tones have died.
Young art thou, Morna!
A spirit hath been shed!
Through nature's awful heart-
And thou too must depart!
Yet shall I weep?
Too powerful for thy rest!
And the chill of this world's breathGo, all undimm'd, in thy glory go!
Young and crown'd bride of death!
Take hence to heaven
For the touch of mortal blight !
Might we follow in thy track,
This parting should not be !
And every flower but thee!
There was a burst of tears around the bard :
And spring return'd,
THE LADY OF THE CASTLE.
FROM THE “PORTRAIT GALLERY,” AN UNFINISHED POEM.
If there be but one spot upon thy name,
Thou seest her pictured with her shining hair,
(Famed were those tresses in Provençal song) Half braided, half o'er cheek and bosom fair
Let loose, and pouring sunny waves along Her
gorgeous vest. A child's light hand is roving 'Midst the rich curls; and, oh! how meekly loving
Its earnest looks are lifted to the face
Something too much there sits of native scorn, And her smile kindles with a conscious glow,
As from the thought of sovereign beauty born. These
be dreams — but how shall woman tell Of woman's shame, and not with tears ? - She fell. That mother left that child !-- went hurrying by Its cradle-haply not without a sigh, Haply one moment o'er its rest serene She hung - but no! it could not thus have been, For she went on !- forsook her home, her hearth, All pure affection, all sweet household mirth, To live a gaudy and dishonour'd thing, Sharing in guilt the splendours of a king. Her lord, in very weariness of life, Girt on his sword for scenes of distant strife; He reck'd no more of glory :-grief and shame Crush'd out his fiery nature, and his name Died silently. A shadow o'er his halls Crept year by year; the minstrel pass'd their walls; The warder's horn hung mute :--mean time the child On whose first flowery thoughts no parent smiled, A gentle girl, and yet deep-hearted, grew Into sad youth; for well, too well, she knew Her mother's tale! Its memory made the sky Seem all too joyous for her shrinking eye; Check'd on her lip the flow of song, which fain Would there have linger'd; flush'd her cheek to pain,
If met by sudden glance; and gave a tone
In one so fair for she indeed was fair-
One sunny morn With alms before her castle gate she stood, 'Midst peasant groups; when, breathless and o'erworn,
And shrouded in long weeds of widowhood, A stranger through them broke :--the orphan maid, With her sweet voice and proffer'd hand of aid, Turn'd to give welcome; but a wild sad look Met hers-a gaze that all her spirit shook ;