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THE WREATH.

| The heart's vain struggle to create
An Eden not for mortal state.

TALB OP TAK MOORISH BARD.

The earliest beauty of the rose,

Love, who shall say that thou art not Waking from moonlight repose,

The dearest blessing of our lot? In morning-air and dew to steep

Yet, not the less, who may deny
The blush of her voluptuous sleep: . Life has no sorrow like thy sigh?
This was her cheek; and for her eye, A fairy-gift, and none may know
Gaze thou upon the midnight-sky,

Or will it work to weal or woe.
And choose its fairest star, the one
Thou deemst most lovely and most lone;
Her lip, oh! never flower of spring

Spite of the differing race and creed, Had smile of such sweet blandishing. Their fathers had been friends in need;

And, all unconsciously at first,

Love in its infancy was nursed; Ay, beautiful she was as light

Companions from their earliest years, • Descending on the darken'd sight:

Unknown the hopes, the doubts, the fears,
But these were not the spells that gave That haunt young passion's early hour,
LEILA the heart for her charmed slave; Spared but to come with deadlier power,
But all those sweetest gifts that win, With deeper sorrow, worse unrest,
Like sunshine, instant entrance in ;

When'once love stood in both confest.
Those gentle words and acts that bind
In love our nature with our kind.

The ground she trod, the air she breathed,

The blossoms in her dark hair wreathed, She dwelt within a palace fair

Her smile, her voice, to Mirza's eyes
Such as in fairy-gardens are;

More precious seem'd than Paradise.
There grew her father's cypress-tree,
No other monument had he.
He bade that never funeral stone

Yet was the silence sweet unbroken
Should tell of glory overthrown,-

By vows in which young love is spoken. What could it say, but foreign sky

But when the heart has but one dream
Had seen the exile pine and die?

For midnight-gloom or noontide-beam,
And one, at least, knows well what power

Is ruling, words will find their hour;
The maiden grew beside the tomb; Though after growth of grief and pain,
Perhaps 't was that which touch'd her bloom May wish those words unsaid again.
With somewhat of more mournful shade
Than seems for youth's first budding made.
It was her favourite haunt, she felt

'T was sunset, and the glorious heaven As there her all of memory dwelt.

To Leila's cheek and eye seem'd given; Alone, a stranger in the land

The one like evening-crimson bright, Which was her home, the only band The other fill'd with such clear light, Between her and her native tongue

That, as she bent her o'er the strings, Was when her native songs she sung.

Catching music's wanderings,
Look'd she well some Peri fair,

Born and being of the air.
LEILA, thou wert not of our name; Waked the guitar beneath her hand
Thy Christian creed, thy Spanish race,

To ballad of her Spanish land;
To us were sorrow, guilt, and shame, Sad, but yet suiting twilight pale,
No earthly beauty might efface.

When surely tenderest thoughts prevail.
Yet, lovely Infidel, thou art
A treasure clinging to my heart:
A very boy, I yet recall

SONG. The dark light of thine eye's charm'd thrall; Beneath thy worshipp'd cypress leant, MAIDEN, fling from thy braided hair And flowers with thy breathing blent, The red rose-bud that is wreathed there; Ledo pure, less beautiful than thou,

For be who planted the parent-tree I see thee; and I hear thee now

Is now what soon that blossom will be. Singing sweet to the twilight dimCould it be sin ?—thy vesper-hymn.

Maiden, fling from thy neck of snow

The chain where the Eastern rabies glow; Burnt a sweet light in that fair shrine, For he who gave thee that jewell'd chain At once too carthly, too divine;

| Lies in his wounds on the battle-plain.

Maiden, fling thou aside thy late,

They had not met, since to the maid
Be its chords, as thy own hopes, mute; His first rash vow of love was said;
For he who first taught thy lips that strain But heard we how, by penance, prayer,
Never will listen its music again.

She strove to wash away the sin,
That ever Infidel had share

A Christian maiden's breast within:
Give those roses to strew on his grave, And there perchance were other tears
That chain for a mass for the soul of the brave, Than those which flow'd from holy fears.
And teach that lute, thou widow'd dove, I know not what vain dream had sprung
A dirge for the fall of thy warrior-love. In MIRZA. Is it that despair,

Ere the last veil aside is flung,

Unable its own words to bear, Alas! that ever, LEILA said,

Will borrow from hope's charmed tongue? The fond should mourn above the dead, To her a wreath he bid me take Thus all too early desolate,

Such as in our fair garden wake Without one hope or wish from fate; Love's hopes and fears,-.oh! suiting well Save death, what can the maiden crave Such gentle messages to tell. Who weeps above her lover's gravel That wreath I to the lady brought; Darken'd her eyes with tearful dew, I found her in her hall alone, Wore her soft cheek yet softer hue ; So changed, your sculptors never wrought And Mirza who had leand the while, A form in monumental stone Feeding upon her voice and smile,

So cold, so pale. The large dark eye Felt as if all that fate could bring

Shone strangely o'er the marble cheek; Were written on that moment's wing. The lips were parted, yet no sigh One moment he is at her knee:

Seem'd there of breathing life to speak; “So, LEILA, wouldst thou weep for me?”. The picture at whose feet she knelt, Started she, as at lightning-gleam,-- The maiden Mother and her Child, “O, MIRZA, this I did not dream.

The hues which on that canvass dwelt,
Moslem and Moor, may Spanish maid With more of human likeness smiled.
Hearken such words as thou hast said 2 Awful the face, however fair,
My father's blood, my father's creed, When death's dark call is written there.
Now help me in my hour of need!”

I gave the wreath, I named his name,
One moment the heart's weakness came,

Written in crimson on her brow,
Still knelt he at the maiden's feet, The very blossoms caught the glow;
Still sought he those dear eyes to meet. Or grew they bright but from the fall
“Cruel, and is there nothing due

Of tears that lit their coronal? To love so fervid and so true?”

The next, the dark eye's suddden rain, As with conflicting thought oppress'd, The cheek's red colour page'd again, She droop'd her head upon his breast; All earthly feelings with them died; Watch'a he the tears on her pale face, Slowly she laid the gift aside. When started she from that embrace. When will my soul forget the look “I know the weakness of my heart:

With which one single stem she took Mirza, in vain, for we must part.

From out the wreath ?-a tulip flower; Farewell, and henceforth I will be

But, touch'd as by some withering power, Vow'd to my God and prayers for thee." The painted leaves were drooping round

The rich but burning heart they bound.

She spoke,--oh! never music's tone He strove to speak, but she was gone, Hath sadder sweeter cadence known:He stood within the grove alone,

“With jarring creed, and hostile line, And from that hour they met no more:

And heart with fate at enmity,
But what to either might restore

This wasting flower is emblem mine,
Or peace or hope; the gulf between, 'T is faded, it hath but to die.”
They must forget what they had been.
Forget-oh! never yet hath love
Successfully with memory strove.

I took thosc leaves of faded bloom
I then was Mirza's page; and strange To MIRZA; 't was of both the doom.
It was to me to watch the change

He died the first of the battle-line, That over him like magic wronght.

When red blood dims the sabre's shine ; Apart from all, in silent thought

He died the early death of the brave, He would pass hours; and then his mood, And the place of the battle was that of his As wearied of such solitude,

grave. Alter'd to gaiety; that mirth,

She died as dies a breath of song Desperate an if it knew its birth,

Borne on the winds of evening along; Was like an earth-flame's sudden breath, She fell as falls the rose in spring, Sprung from the ruin'd soil beneath.

The fairest are ever most perishing.

Yet lingers that tale of sorrow and love. There stood a lorn and blasted tree,
Of the Christian maid and her Moslem love;l As heaven and earth were its foes,
A tale to be told in the twilight-hour, And beneath was a piled-up mound of stones.
For the beauty's tears in her lonely bower. Whence a rude gray cross arose.

dead,

And lo! said the ancient servitor,

It is here thy father is laid; Rose the last minstrel; he was one

No mass has bless'd the lowly grave Well the eye loves to look upon.

Which his humblest follower made. Slight but tall, the gallant knight Had the martial step he had used in fight; I would have wander'd through every land Dark and rich curl'd the auburn hair

| Where his gallant name was known,
O'er a brow, like the ocean by moonlight, fair ; To have pray'd a mass for the soul of the
His island-colour was on his cheek,
Enough of youth in its health to speak;

And a monumental stone.
But shaded it was with manly brown,
From much of toil and of peril known:

But I knew thy father had a son,
Frank was his courtesy, and sweet

To whom the task would be dear; The smile he wore at fair lady's feet;

Young knight, I kept the warrior's grave Yet haughty his step, and his mien was high · For thee, and thou art here. Half softness, half fire his falcon-eye. England, fair England, hath earth or sea, Sir WALTER grasp'd the old man's hand, Land of hearth and home, aught to liken

But spoke he never a word ;-with thee!

So still it was, that the fall of tears

On his mailed vest was heard.

Oh! the heart has all too many tears;

But none are like those that wait

On the blighted love, the loneliness
SIR WALTER MANNY AT HIS
FATHER'S TOMB.

Of the young orphan's fate.

He call’d to mind when for knighthood's THE ENGLISI KNIGHT'S BALLAD.

badge

He knelt at Edward's throne;
On! show me the grave where my father | How many stood by a parent's side,

is laid,

But he stood there alone!
Show his lowly grave to me;
A hundred pieces of broad red gold,

He thought how often his heart had pined, Old man, shall thy guerdon be.

When his was the victor's name;

Thrice desolate, strangers might give, With torch in hand, and bared head,

But could not share his fame. The old man led the way; And cold and shrill pass’d the midnight-wind Down he knelt in silent prayer Through his hair of silvery gray. . On the grave where his father slept;

And many the tears, and bitter the thoughts, A stately knight follow'd his steps,

As the warrior his vigil kept.
And his form was tall and proud;
But his step fell soft, and his helm was off, | And he built a little chapel there;
And his head on his bosom bow'd.

And bade the death bell toll,

And prayers be said, and mass be sung, They pass'd through the cathedral-aisles,

| For the weal of the warrior's soul. Whose sculptured walls declare

Years pass'd, and ever Sir WALTER was first
The deeds of many a noble knight;
DE MANNY's name was not there.

Where warlike deeds were done;
But who would not look for the gallant knight

In the leal and loyal son.
They pase'd next a low and humble church,

Scarce seen amid the gloom;
There was many a grave, yet not even there

Sooth to say, the sight was fair,
Had his father found a tomb.

When the lady unbound from her raven-hair

The Golden Violet. O praise ! They traversed a bleak and barren heath, Dear thou art to the poet's lays.

Till they came to a gloomy wood, Many a flash from each dark eye pasa'd, Where the dark trees droop'd, and the dark Many a ininstrel’s pulse throbb'd fast.

grass grew,

As she held forth the flower. As cursed with the sight of blood.

Tås dream is past, hush'd in my lute, To blend in one each varying tone
At least, to my awaking, mute;

The midnight-wind hath ever known. Past that fair garden and glad hall, One saith that tale of battle-brand And she the lady queen of all.

Io all too rude for my weak hand; Leave we her power to those who deign Another, too much sorrow flings One moment to my idle strain :

Its pining cadence o'er my strings. Let each one at their pleasure bet

So much to win, so much to lose, The prize-the Golden Violet.

No marvel if I fear to choose.
Could I choose where it might belong, How can I tell of battle-field,
'Mid phantoms but of mine own song? I never listed brand to wield;

Or dark ambition's pathway try,
In truth I never look'd so high;

Or stern revenge, or hatred fell,
My task is ended; it may seem

Of what I know not, can I tell ? But vain regret for morning-dream,

I soar not on such lofty wings, To say how sad a look is cast

My late has not so many strings ; Over the line we know the last.

Its dower is but an humble dower, The weary hind at setting sun

And I who call upon its aid, Rejoices over labour done,

My power is but a woman's power, The hunter at the ended chase,

Of softness and of sadness made. The ship above its anchoring-place,

In all its changes my own heart The pilgrim o'er his pilgrimage,

Must give the colour, have its part. The reader o'er the closing page;

If that I know myself wbat keys All, for end is to them repose.

Yield to my hand their sympathies, The poet's lot is not with those :

I should say it is those whose tone His hour in Paradise is a'er;

Is woman's love and sorrow's own; He stands on earth, and takes his share

Such notes as float upon the gale, Of shadows closing round him more,

When twilight, tender nurse and pale, The feverish hope, the freezing caro;

Brings soothing airs and silver dew And he must read in other eyes,

The panting roses to renew; Or if his spirit's sacrifice

Feelings whose truth is all their worth, Sball brighten, touch'd with heaven's own

Thoughts which have had their pensive birth fire,

When lilies hang their heads and die, Or in its ashes dark expire.

Eve's lesson of mortality. Then even worse,- what art thou, fame?

Such lute, and with such humble wreath A various and doubtful claim

As suits frail string and trembling breath, One grants and one denies; what none

Such, gentle reader, wooes thee nowCan wholly quite agree upon.

Oh! o'er it bend with yielding brow: A dubious and uncertain path

Read thon it when some soften'd mood At least the modern minstrel hath;

Is on thy hour of solitude; How may he tell, where none agree,

And tender memory, sadden'd thought, What may fame's actual passport be?

On the world's harsher cares have wrought.
Bethink thee, kindly look and word

Will fall like sunshine o'er each chord;
For me, in sooth, not mine the lute That, light as is such boon to thee,
On its own powers to rely ;

'T is more than summer's noon to me; But its chords with all wills to suit, That, if such meed my suit hath won, It were an easier task to try

I shall not mourn my task is done.

POETICAL SKETCHES OF MODERN PICTURES.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY. The terrace was beneath, and the pale moon

Shone o'er the couch which she had press'd BY SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE.

at noon,

Soft-lingering o'er some minstrel's love-lora LADY, thy lofty brow is fair,

page, Beauty's sign and seal are there;

Alas, tears are the poet's heritage!
And thy lip is like the roke
Closing round the bee's repose;
And thine eye is like a star,

She flung her on that couch, but not for But blue as the sapphires' are.

sleep; Beautiful patrician! thou

No, it was only that the wind might steep Wearest on thy stately brow

Her fever'd lip in its delicious dew: All that suits a noble race,

Her brow was burning, and aside she threw All of high-born maiden's grace,

Her cap and plume, and, loosen'd from its Who is there could look on thee

fold, And doubt thy nobility ?

Came o'er her neck and face a shower of gold,
A thousand curls. It was a solitude

Made for young hearts in love's first dreamRound thee satin robe is flung,

ing mood :Pearls upon thy neck are hung,

Beneath the garden lay, filld with rose-trees And upon thy arm of snow

Whose sighings came like passion on the Rubies like red sun-gists glow ;

breeze, Yet thou wearest pearl and gem

Two graceful statues of the Parian stone As thou hadst forgotten them.

So finely shaped, that as the moonlight shone 'Tis a step, but made to tread

The breath of life seem'd to their beauty O’er Persian web, or flower's head,

given, Soft hand that might only move

But less the life of earth than that of heaven. In the broider'd silken glove,

'Twas Psyche and her Boy-god, so divine Cheek unused to rader air

They turn'd the terrace to an idol-shrine, Than what hot-house-rose might bear,

With its white vases and their summer-share One whom nature only meant

Of flowers,like altars raised to that sweet pair. To be queen of the tournament,Courtly fete, and lighted hall,-Grace and ornament of all!

And there the maiden leant, still in her ear The whisper dwelt of that young cavalier; It was no fancy, he had named the name Of love, and at that thought her cheek grev

flame : JULIET AFTER THE MASQUERADE. It was the first time her young ear had heard

A lover's burning sigh, or silver word; BY THOMSON.

Her thoughts were all confusion, but most

sweet,Sub left the festival, for it seem'd dim Her heart beat high, but pleasant was its Now that her eye no longer dwelt on him, And sought her chamber, – gazed (then She murmur'd over many a snatch of song

turn'd away) That might to her own feelings now belong; Upon a mirror that before her lay,

She thought upon old histories she had read, Half fearing, half believing her sweet face And placed herself in each high heroine's Would surely claim within his memory

stead, place.

Then woke her lute,-oh! there is little The hour was late, and that night her light

known foot

of music's power till aided by love's own. Had been the constant echo of the lute; And this is happiness: oh! love will last Yet sought she not her pillow, the cool air When all that made it happiness is past, Came from the casement, and it lured her when all its hopes are as the glittering toys

Time present offers, time to come destroys,

there.

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