« EdellinenJatka »
When on an idle day, a day of search,
'Mid the old lumber in the gallery,
That moldering chest was noticed, and 'twas said
By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra ;
“Why not remove it from its lurking place ?"
'Twas done as soon as said, but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,
With here and there a pearl, an emerald stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold.
All else had perished-save a wedding ring
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both, “ Ginevra.”
There then she had found a grave !
Within that chest—had she concealed herself,
Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy,
When a spring lock that lay in ambush there,
Fastened her down for ever!
And his Amelia were a matchless pair ;
With equal virtue formed, and equal grace;
The same, distinguished by their sex alone;
Hers the mild lusture of the blooming morn,
And his the radiance of the risen day.
They loved; but such their guileless passion was,
As in the dawn of time informed the heart
Of innocence and undissembling truth.
'Twas friendship heightened by the mutual wish;
The enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow,
Beamed from the mutual eye. Devoting all
To love, each was to each a'dearer self;
Supremely happy in the awakened power
Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades,
Still in harmonious intercourse they lived
The rural day, and talked the flowing heart,
Or sighed, and looked unutterable things.
So passed their life, a clear united stream,
By care unruffled ; till, in evil hour,
The tempest caught them on the tender walk,
Heedless how far, and where its mazes strayed,
While, with each other blest, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden smile around.
Presaging instant fate her bosom heaved
Unwonted sighs, and stealing oft a look
Towards the big gloom, on Celadon her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her disordered cheek.
In vain assuring love, and confidence
In heaven, repressed her fear; it grew, and shook
Her frame near dissolution. He perceived
The unequal conflict, and as angels look
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed,
With love illumined high. “Fear not,” he said,
“Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offense,
And inward storm! He, who yon skies involves
In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft
That wastes at midnight, or the undreaded hour
Of noon, flies harmless; and that very voice,
Which thunders terror through the guilty heart,
With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine.
'Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus
To clasp perfection !" From his void embrace,
(Mysterious heaven!) that moment to the ground,
A blackened corse, was struck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover as he stood,
Pierced by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fixed in all the death of wo?
So, faint resemblance! on the marble tomb,
The well-dissembling mourner stooping stands,
For ever silent, and for ever sad.
Hoarse wintry blasts a solemn requiem sung
To the departed day,
Upon whose bier
The velvet pall of midnight had been flung,
And nature mourned through one wide hemisphere. Silence and darkness held their cheerless sway,
Save in the haunts of riotous excess,
And half the world in dreamy slumbers lay-
Lost in the maze of sweet forgetfulness.
When lo! upon the startled ear,
There broke a sound so dread and drear-
As, like a sudden peal of thunder,
Burst the bands of sleep asunder,
And filled a thousand throbbing hearts with fear.
Hark! the faithful watchman's cry.
Speaks a conflagration nigh !
See! yon glare upon the sky,
Confirms the fearful tale.
The deep-mouthed bells, with rapid tone,
Combine to make the tidings known;
Affrighted silence now has flown,
And sounds of terror fright the chilly gale !
At the first note of this discordant din,
The gallant fireman from his slumber starts ;
Reckless of toil and danger, if he win
The tributary meed of grateful hearts.
From pavement rough, or frozen ground,
His engine's rattling wheels resound,
And soon before his eyes
The lurid flames, with horrid glare,
Mingled with murky vapors rise,
In wreathy folds upon the air,
And veil the frowning skies!
Sudden a shriek assails his heart-
A female shriek, so piercing wild,
As makes his very life-blood start :-
“My child! Almighty God, my child!"
And 'gainst the tottering wall,
The ponderous ladder rears ;
While blazing fragments round him fall,
And crackling sounds assail his ears.
His sinewy arm, with one rude crash,
Hurls to the earth the opposing sash;
And heedless of the startling din,-
Though smoky volumes round him roll,
The mother's shriek has pierced his soul,
See! see! he plunges in!
The admiring crowd, with hopes and fears,
In breathless expectation stands,
When lo! the daring youth appears,
Hailed by a burst of warm, ecstatic cheers,
Bearing the child triumphant in his hands!
There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men ;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell;
But hush! hark !-a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it ?—No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street:
On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet-
But, hark !—That heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat.
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! arm! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar!
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness :
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated—who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise ?
And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering with white lips—“The foe! they come! they
leaves, Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,
Over the unreturning brave,-alas !
Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure, when this fiery mass
Of living valor, rolling on the foe,
And burning with high hope, shall molder cold and low.
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in beauty's circle proudly gay,
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The morn the marshaling in arms,-the day,
Battle's magnificently-stern array !
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent,
The earth is covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent!
THE SAILOR-BOY'S DREAM.- -Dimond.
In slumbers of midnight, the sailor-boy lay;
His hammock swung loose at the sport of the wind; But watch-worn and weary, his cares flew away,
And visions of happiness danced o'er his mind. He dreamt of his home, of his dear native bowers,
And pleasures that waited on life's merry morn; While memory stood sidewise, half covered with flowers,
And restored every rose, but secreted its thorn. Then fancy her magical pinions spread wide,
And bade the young dreamer in ecstacy riseNow far, far behind him the green waters glide,
And the cot of his forefathers blesses his eyes. The jessamin clambers in flower o'er the thatch,
And the swallow sings sweet from her nest in the wall; All trembling with transport, he raises the latch,
And the voices of loved ones reply to his call. A father bends o'er him with looks of delight,
His cheek is impearled with a mother's warm tear, And the lips of the boy in a love-kiss unite
With the lips of the maid whom his bosom holds dear.