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And what were Raymond's dreams that night ¥ The morning's gift of crimson lip-lit Waked not his sleep, for his |inle cheek Did not of aught like slumber speak; Though not upon a morn like this Should Raymond turn to aught but bliss. To-day, when Eva will be prcst, Ere evening, to his throbbing breast,— To-day, when all his own will be That cheer'd his long captivity. Care to the wind of heaven was flung As the young knight to stirrup sprung.
He reach'd the castle; save one, all Rush'd to his welcome in the hnll. He gazed, but there no Eva came, Scarce his low voice named Eva's name!
"Our Eva, she is far away Amid the young, the fair, the gay. At Toulouse, now the bright resort Of beauty and the Minstrel-Court; For this time it is hers to set The victor's brow with violet. Her father,—but you're worn and pale,— Come, the wine-cup will aid my tale." The greeting of the elder knight, The cheerful board, the vintage bright. Not all could chase from Raymond's soul The cloud that o'er its gladness stole; And soon, pretending toil, lie sought A solitude for lonely thought.— 'Tis strange how much of vanity Almost unconsciously will be With our best feelings mix'd, and now But that, what shadows Raymond's brow?
_He had dcem'd a declining flower, Pining in solitary bower. He should find Eva, sad and lone,— He sought the cage, the bird had flown. With burnish'd plume, nnd careless Ming, A follower of the sunny Spring. He pictured her the first of nil In masque, and dance, nnd festival,— With check at its own praises burning, And eyes but on adorers turning, The lady of the tournament, For whose bright sake the lance was sent; While minstrels borrow'd from her mime The beauty which they paid by fame: Beloved! not even his hot brain Dared whisper,—loving too again.
But the next morn, and Raymond bent His steps to that fair Parliament, While pride nnd hasty anger strove
Against his me ry and his love.
But leave we him awhile to rave Against the faith which, like the wave,
By every grain of sand can ho
And where is Eva '( on her cheek
Wearied, for ill the heart may bear
And Eva listcu'd :— music's pouer
Bat hear its voice when hopes depart,
Like swallows, flying from the heart
On which the summer's late decline
Has set a sadness and a sign;
When friends whose commune once we sought
For every bosom-wish and thought,
Have given in our hour of need
Such a support as gives the reed,—
When we have seen the green grass grow
Over what once was life below;
How deeply will the spirit feel
The lute, the song's sweet-voiced appeal;
And how the heart drink in their sighs
As echoes they from Paradise.
'Tis done: the last bright gem is set In Eva's sparkling coronet; A soil on her rich veil appears,— Unsuiting here—and is it tears!
Her father met her, he was proud To lead his daughter through the crowd, And see the many eyes that gazed. Then mark the blush their gazing raised; And for his sake, she forced away The clouds that on her forehead lay, The sob rose in her throat, 'twas all, The tears swam, but they dared not fall; And the pale lip put on a smile, Alas it was.too sad for guile!
A beautiful and festal day Shone summer-bright o'er the array, And purple banners, work'd in gold, And azure pennons spread their fold O'er the rich awnings which were round The galleries that hemm'd in the ground, The green and open space, where met The Minstrels of the Violet; And two or three old stately trees Soften'd the sun, screen'd from the breeze. And there came many a lovely dame, With cheek of rose, and eye of flame; And many a radiant nrm was raised. Whose rubies in the sunshine blazed; And many a white veil swept the air Only than whnt they hid less fair; And placed at his own beauty's feet Found many a youthful knight his seat. And flung his jewell'd cap aside, And wore his scarf with gayer pride, And whispcr'd soft and gallant things, And bade the bards' imaginings Whenever love awoke the tone, With their sweet passion plead his own.
Beneath an azure canopy, Blue as the sweep of April's sky. Upon a snowy couch reclined Like a white cloud before the wind. Leant Eva :—there was many a tent More royal, more magnificent,
With purple, gold, and crimson swelling.
Alas for her whom cv'ry eye Worshipp'd like a divinity! Alas for her whose ear was fill'd With flatteries like sweet woods distill'd! Alas for Eva! bloom and beam, Music and mirth, came like a dream. In which she mingled not,—apart From all in heaviness of heart. There were soft tales pour'd in her ear. She look'd on many a cavalier, Wander'd her eye round the glad scene. It was as if they had not been ;— To ear, eye, heart, there only came Her Raymond's image, Raymond's name!
There is a flower, a snow-white flower. Fragile as if n morning-shower Would end its being, and the earth Forget to what'it gave a birth; And it looks innocent and pale, Slight as the least force could avail To pluck it from its bed, and yet Tts root in depth and strength is set. The July-sun, the autumn-rain, Beaton its slender stalk in vain;— Around it spreads, despite of care, Till the whole garden is its share; And other plants must fade and fall Beneath its deep and deadly thrall. This is Love's emblem; it is must In all unconsciousness at first, Too slight, too fair, to wake distrust; No sign how that an after-hour Will rue and weep its fatal power. "I'was thus with Eva; she had dream'd Of love as his first likeness seem'd A sweet thought o'er which she might brood, The treasure of her solitude; But tidings of young Raymond's fate Wakcn'd her from her dream too late, Even her timid love could be The ruling star of destiny. And when a calmer mood prcvail'd O'er that whose joy her father hail d. Too well he saw how day by day Some other emblem of decay Came on her lip, and o'er her brow. Which only she would disallow; The cheek the lightest word could flush Not with health's rose, but the heart's gush Of feverish noxiousness; he caught At the least hope, and vainly sought
By change, by pleasure, to dispel
The trumpets peal'd their latCBt round, Stole from the flutes a softer sound, Swcll'd the. harp to each master's hand, As onward came the minstrel-band! And many a bright cheek grew more bright, And many a dark eye ilash'd with light, As bent the minstrel o'er his lute. And urged the lover's plaining suit, Or swept a louder chord, and gave Some glorious history of the brave,
At last from 'mid the crowd one came, Unknown himself, unknown his name, Both knight and bard,—the stranger wore The garb of a young Troubadour; His dark green mantle, loosely flung, Conceal'd the form o'er which it hung; And his cap, with its shadowy plume, Hid his face by its raven gloom. Little did Eva's careless eye Dream that it wander'd Raymond by, Though his first tone thrill'd every vein, It only made her turn ngain, Forget the scene, the song, and dwell But on what memory felt too well.
THE SONG OF THE TROUBADOUR.
In some valley low and lone,
Where I was the only one
Of the human dwellers there,
Would I dream away my care:
I'd forget how in the world
Snakes lay amid roses curl'd,
I'd forget my once distress
For young Love's insidiousness.
False foes, and yet falser friends,
Seeming but for their own ends;
Pleasures known but by their wingg,
Yet remembcr'd by their stings;
Gold's decrease, and health's decay,
I will fly like these away,
To some lovely solitude,
Where the nightingale's young brood
Lives amid the shrine of leaves,
Which the wild rose round them weaves,
And my dwelling shall be made
Underneath the beech-tree's shade.
Twining ivy for the walls
Over which the jasmine falls,
Like a tapestry work'd with gold
And pearls around each emerald fold:
And my couches shall be set
With the purple violet,
And the white ones too, inside
Each a blush to suit a bride.
That flower which of all that live,
Lovers, should be those who give,
Primroses, for each appears
Pale and wet with many tears.
Alas tears and pallid cheek
All too often love bespeak!
There the gildcrose should fling
Silver treasures to the spring,
And the bright laburnum's tresses
Seeking the young wind's caresses;
In the midst an azure lake,
Where no oar e'er dips to break
The clear bed of its blue rest,
Where the halcyon builds her nest;
And amid the sedges green,
And the water-flag's thick screen,
The solitary swan resides;
And the bright kingfisher hides,
With its colours rich like those
Which the bird of India shows.—
Once I thought that I would seek
Some fair creature, young and meek,
Whose most gentle smile would bless
My too utter loneliness;
But I then remember'd all
I had suflci'd from Love's thrall,
And I thought I'd not again
I Intel' in the lion's den;
But, with my wrung heart now free,
So I thought I still will be.
Love is like a kingly dome.
Yet too often sorrow's home;
Sometimes smiles, but oftener tears,
Jealousies, and hopes, and fears,
A sweet liquor sparkling up,
But drank from a poison'd cup.
Would you guard your heart from care
Love must never enter there.
I will dwell with summer-flowers,
Fit friends for the summer-hours,
My companions honey-bees,
And birds, and buds, and leaves, and trees,
And the dew of the twilight,
And the thousand stars of night:
I will cherish that sweet gift,
The least earthly one now left
Of the gems of Paradise,
Poesy's delicious sighs.
Ill may that soft spirit bear
Crowds' or cities' healthless air;
Was not her sweet breathing meant
To echo the low murmur sent
By the flowers, and by the rill,
When all save the wind is still?
As if to tell of those fair things
High thoughts, pure imaginings,
That recall how bright, how fair.
In our other state we were.
And at last, when I have spent
A calm life in mild content,
May my spirit pass away
As the early leaves decay:
Spring shakes her gay coronal,
One sweet breath, and then they fall.
Only let the red-breast bring
Moss to strew me with, and sing
One low mournful dirge to tell I have bid the world farewell.
And praise rang forth, the prize is won,
That day the feast spread gay and bright In honour of the youthful knight, And it was Eva's fairy-hand Met Raymond's in the saraband, And it was Eva's ear that heard Many a low and love-tuned word.— And life seera'd as a sunny stream, And hope awaked as from a dream; But what has minstrel left to tell When love has not an obstacle? My lute is hush'd, and mute its chords, The heart and happiness have no words!
My tale is told, the glad sunshine
And fortunes stamp'd with the pale aign
Back to the summer-hill again! 'When first I thought upon this strain, And music rose upon the air, I look'd below, and, gnther'd there, Rode soldiers with their breast - plates
glancing. Helmets nnd snow-white feathers dancing. And trumpets nl whose martial sound Prouder the wnr-horse trod the ground, And waved their flag with many a name Of battles and each battle-fame. And as I mark'd the gallant line Pass through the green lane's serpentine, And as I saw the boughs give way Before the crimson pennons' play; To other days my fancy went, Call'd up the stirring tournament, The dark-eyed maiden who for years Kept the vows seal'd by parting tears. While he who own'd her plighted hand Was fighting in the Holy Land. The youthful knight with his gay crest, His ladye's scarf upon a breast Whose truth was kept, come life, come
death,— Alas! has modern love such faith? I thought how in the moonlit hour The minstrel hymn'd his maiden's bower. His helm and sword changed for the luteAmi one sweet song to urge his suit. Floated around me moated hall, And donjon-keep, nnd frowning wall; I saw the marshall'd hosts advance, I gazed on banner, brand, and hiiiee; The murmur of a low song came Bearing one only worshipp'd name; And ray next song, I said, should be A tale of gonc-by chivalry.
My task is done, the tale is told. The lute drops from my wearied hold; Spreads no green earth, no summer-sky To raise fresh visions for my eye,
The hour is dark, the winter-rain
My father, though no more thine ear
My page is wet with bitter tears,—
When happiness and I would wait
On summer-evenings by the gate,
And keep o'er the green fields our watch
The first sound of thy step to catch,
Then run for the first kiss, and word,—
An unkind one I never heard.
But these are pleasant memories,
And later years have none like these:
They came with griefs, and pains, and
cares, All that the heart breaks while it bears; Desolate as I feel alone I should not weep that thou art gone. Alas! the tears that still will fall Are selfish in their fond recall;— If ever tears could win from Heaven A loved one, and yet be forgiven, Mine surely might; I may not tell The agony of my farewell! A single tear I had not shed,— 'Twas the first time I mourn'd the dead;— It was my heaviest loss, my worst,— My father!—and was thine the first!
Farewell! in ray heart is n spot Where other griefs and cares come not, Hnllow'd by love, by memory kept, And deeply honour'd, deeply wept. My own dead father, time may bring Chance, change, upon his rainbow-wing, But never will thy name depart The household-god of thy child's heart, Until thy orphan-girl may share The grave where her best feelings are. Never, dear father, love can be, Like the dear love I had for thee!
THE GOLDEN VIOLET.
To-morrow, to-morrow, thou loveliest May, To-morrow will rise up thy first-born day; Bride of the summer, child of the spring. To-morrow the year will its favourite bring: The roses will know thee, and fling back
their vest, While the nightingale sings him to sleep on
their breast; The blossoms, in welcomes, will open to meet On the light boughs thy breath, in the soft
grass thy feet. To-morrow the dew will have virtue to shed O'er the cheek of the maiden its loveliest red; To-morrow a glory will brighten the earth, While the spirit of beauty rejoicing has
Farewell to thee, April, a gentle farewell,
Thou hast saved the young rose in its emerald cell;
Sweet nurse, thou hast mingled thy sunshine and showers,
Like kisses and tears, on thy children, the flowers.
As a hope, when fulfill'd, to sweet memory turns,
We shall think of thy clouds as the odorous urns,
Whence colour, and freshness, and fragrance were wept;
Wc shall think of thy rainbows, their promise is kept.