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Maiden, fling thou aside thy lute,
Giro those roses to strew on his grave,
Aus! that ever, Leila said, The fond should mourn above the dead, Thus all too early desolate. Without one hope or wish from fate; Save death, what can the maiden crave Who weeps above her lover's grave?— Darken'd her eyes with tearful dew, Wore her soft cheek yet softer hue; And Mirza who had lean'd the while, Feeding upon her voice and smile, Felt as if all that fate could bring Were written on that moment's wing. One moment he is at her knee: "So, Leila, wouldst thou weep for me?" Started she, as at lightning-gleam,— "O, Mirza, this I did not dream. Moslem and Moor, may Spanish maid Hearken such words as thou hast said? My father's blood, my father's creed, Now help me in ray hour of need!"
Still knelt he at the maiden's feet, Still sought he those dear eyes to meet. "Cruel, and is there nothing due To love so fervid and so true?" As with conflicting thought oppress'd, She droop'd her head upon his breast; Watch'd he the tears on her pale face, When started she from that embrace. "1 know the weakness of ray heart: Mirza, in vain, for we must part. Farewell, and henceforth I will be Vow'd to my God and prayers for thee."
He strove to speak, but she was gone, He stood within the grove alone, And from that hour they met no more: But what to cither might restore Or peace or hope; the gulf between, They must forget what they had been. Forget—oh! never yet hath love Successfully with memory strove. I then was Mihza's page; and strange It was to me to watch the change That over him like magic wrought. Apart from all, in silent thought He would pass hours; and then his mood. As wearied of such solitude, Alter'd to gaiety; that mirth, Desperate as if it knew its birth, Was like an earlh-flainc's sudden breath, Sprung from the ruin'd soil beneath.
They had not met, since to the maid His first rash vow of love was said; But heard we how, by penance, prayer, She strove to wash away the sin, That ever Infidel had share A Christian maiden's breast within: And there perchance were other tears Than those which flow'd from holy fears. I know not what vain dream had sprung In Mirza. Is it that despair, Ere the last veil aside is flung, Unable its own words to bear, Will borrow from hope's charmed tongne? To her a wreath he bid me take Such as in our fair garden wake Love's hopes and fears,—oh! suiting well Such gentle messages to tell. That wreath I to the lady brought; I found her in her hall alone, So changed, your sculptors never wrought A form in monumental stone So cold, so pale. ' The large dark eye Shone strangely o'er the marble cheek; The lips were parted, yet no sigh Seem'd there of breathing life to speak; The picture at whose feet she knelt, The maiden Mother and her Child, The hues which on that canvass dwelt, With more of human likeness smiled. Awful the face, however fair, When death's dark call is written there. I gave the wreath, I named his name, One moment the heart's weakness came, Written in crimson on her brow. The very blossoms caught the glow; Or grew they bright but from the fall Of tears that lit their coronal? The next, the dark eye's suddden rain, The cheek's red colour pass'd again. All earthly feelings with them died; Slowly she laid the gift aside. When will my soul forget the look With which one single stem she took From out the wreath?—a tulip flower; But, touch'd as by some withering power, The painted leaves were drooping round The rich but burning heart they bound. She spoke,—oh! never music's tone Hath sadder sweeter cadence known:— "With jarring creed, and hostile line, And heart with fate at enmity, This wasting flower is emblem mine, 'T is faded, it hath but to die."
I took those leaves of faded bloom
Yet lingers that talc of sorrow and love,
Rose the last minstrel; he was one Well the eye loves to look upon. Slight but tall, the gallant knight Had the martial step he had used in fight; Dark and rich rurl'd the auburn hair 0'erabrow,like the ocean by moonlight,fair; His island-colour was on his cheek, Enough of youth in its health to speak; But shaded it was with manly brown, From much of toil and of peril known: Frank was his courtesy, and sweet The smile he wore at fair lady's feet; Yethaughty his step, and his mien was high Half softness, half fire his falcon-eye. England, fair England, hath earth or sea. Land of hearth and home, aught to liken , with thee!
SIR WALTER MANNY AT HIS FATHER'S TOMB.
THB ENGLISH Knight's 1IU.I.\T>.
Oh! show me the grave where my father is laid,
Show his lowly grave to me;
Old man, shall thy guerdon be.
With torch in hand, and bared head,
The old man led the way; And cold and shrill pass'd the midnight-wind
Through his hair of silvery gray.
A stately knight fnllow'd his steps.
Bnt his step fell soft, and his helm was off.
They pass'd through the cathedral-aisles,
The deeds of many a noble knight;
They pass'd next a low and humble church,
Scarce seen amid the gloom; There was many a grave, yet not even there
Had his father found a tomb.
They traversed a bleak and barren heath, Till they came to a gloomy wood.
Where the dark trees droop'd, and the dark grass grew. As cursed with the sight of blood.
There stood a lorn and blasted tree,
And beneath was a piled-up mound of stones.
And lo! said the ancient servitor,
It is here thy father is laid;
Which his humblest follower made.
I would have wander'd through every land Where his gallant name was known.
To have pray'd a mass for the soul of the dead, And a monumental stone.
But I knew thy father had a son.
To whom the task would be dear; Young knight, I kept the warrior's grave . For thee, and thou art here.
Sir Walter grasp'd the old man's hand.
But spoke he never a word;—
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
Of the young orphan's fate.
He call'd to mind when for knighthood i badge
He knelt at Eoward's throne; How many stood by a parent's side,
But he stood there alone!
He thought how often his heart had pinrd.
When his was the victor's name; Thrice desolate, strangers might give.
But could not share his fame.
Down he knelt in silent prayer
On the grave where his father slept;
And many the tears, and bitter the thoughts. As the warrior his vigil kept.
And he built a little chapel there;
And bade the deathbell toll. And prayers be said, and mass be sung.
For the weal of the warrior's soul.
Years pass'd, and ever Sir Walter was first Where warlike deeds were done;
But who would not look for the gallant knight In the leal and loyal son.
Sooth to say, the sight was fair,
When the lady unbound from her raven-hair
The Golden Violet. O praise!
Dear thou art to the poet's lays.
Many a Hash from each dark eye pass'd.
Many a minstrel's pulse throhb'd fast.
As she held forth the flower.
The dream is past, hush'd is my lute,
At least, to my awaking, mute;
Past that fair garden and glad hall,
And she the lady queen of all.
Leave we her power to those who deign
One moment to my idle strain:
Let each one at their pleasure set
The prize—the Golden Violet.
Could I choose where it might belong,
'Mid phantoms but of mine own song?
My task is ended; it may seem Rut vain regret for morning-dream, To say how sad a look is cast Over the line we know the last. The weary hind at setting sun Rejoices over labour done, The hunter at the ended chase, The ship above its anchoring-placc, The pilgrim o'er his pilgrimage, The reader o'er the closing page; All, for end is to them repose. The poet's lot is not with those: His hour in Paradise is o'er; He stands on earth, and takes his share Of shadows closing round him more, The feverish hope, the freezing caro; And lie must read in other eyes, Or if his spirit's sacrifice Shall brighten, touch'd with heaven's own
fire, Or in its ashes dark expire. Then even worse,—what art thou, fame? A various* and doubtful claim One grants and one denies; what none Can wholly quite agree upon. A dubious and uncertain path At least the modern minstrel hath; How may he tell, where none agree, What may fame's actual passport be?
For me, in sooth, not mine the lute On its own powers to rely; But its chords with all wills to suit, It were an easier task to try
To blend in one each varying tone
The midnight-wind hath ever known.
One saith that tale of battle-brnnd
Is all too rude for my weak hand;
Another, too much sorrow flings
Its pining cadence o'er my strings.
So much to win, so much to lose,
No marvel if I fear to choose.
How can I tell of battle-field,
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.
Of what I know not, can I tell?
I soar not on such lofty wings,
My lute has not so many strings;
Its dower is but an humble dower,
And I who call upon its aid,
My power is but a woman's power,
Of softness and of sadness made.
In all its changes my own henrt
Must give the colour, have its part.
If that I know myself what keys
Yield to my hand their sympathies,
I should say it is those whose tone
Is woman's love and sorrow's own;
Such notes as float upon the gale,
When twilight, tender nurse nnd pale,
Brings soothing airs and silver dew
The panting roses to renew;
Feelings whose truth is all their worth,
Thoughts which have had their pensive birth
When lilies hang their heads and die,
Eve's lesson of mortality.
Such lute, and with such humble wreath
As suits frail string and trembling breath,
Such, gentle reader, wooes thee now—
Oh! o'er it bend with yielding brow:
Bead thou it when some soften'd mood
Is on thy hour of solitude;
And tender memory, sadden'd thought,
On the world's harsher cares have wrought
Rethink thee, kindly look and word
Will fall like sunshine o'er each chord;
That, light as is such boon to thee,
'T is more than summer's noon to me;
That, if such Au.il my suit hath won,
I shall not mourn my task is done.
POETICAL SKETCHES OF MODERN PICTURES.
PORTRAIT OF A LADY.
■Y SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE.
Lady, thy lofty brow is fair,
Round thee satin robe is flung, Pearls upon thy neck are hung, And upon thy arm of Know Rubies like red sun-gifts glow; Yet thou wearest pearl and gem As thou hadst forgotten them.— 'Tis a step, but made to tread O'er Persian web, or flower's head,— Soft hand that might only move In the broider'd silken glove,— Cheek unused to ruder air Than what hot-house-rose might bear,Onc whom nature only meant To be queen of the tournament,— Courtly fete, and lighted hall,— Grace and ornament of all!
JULIET AFTER THE MASQUERADE.
She left the festival, for it seem'd dim Now that her eye no longer dwelt on him, And sought her chamber, — gazed (then
turn'd away) Upon a mirror that before her lay, Half fearing, half believing her sweet face Would surely claim within his memory
place. The hour was late, and that night her light
foot Had been the constant echo of the lute; Yet sought she not her pillow, the cool air Came from the casement, and it lured her
The terrace was beneath, and the pale Shone o'er the couch which she had press's*
at noon, Soft-lingering o'er some minstrel'a love-lorn
page,— Alas, tears are the poet's heritage!
She flung her on that couch, bat not for
sleep; No, it was only that the wind might steep Her fevcr'd lip in its delicious dew: Her brow was burning, and aside she threw Her cap and plume, and, looscn'd from its
fold. 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 dream
ing mood:— Beneath the garden lay, fill'd with rose-trees Whose sighings came like passion on the
breeze. Two graceful statues of the Parian stone So finely shaped, that as the moonlight shone The breath of life seem'd to their beaut;
given, But less the life of earth than that of heaves. Twas Psychb and her Boy-god, so divine They turn'd the terrace to an idol-shrine. With its white vases and their summer-share Of flowers,like altars raised to that sweet pair.
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 grew
flame: It was the first time her young ear had heard A lover's burning sigh, or silver word; Her thoughts were all confusion, but most
sweet,— Her heart beat high, but pleasant was its
beat. She murmur'd over many a snatch of song That might to her own feelings now belong; She thought upon old histories she had read. And placed herself in each high heroine's
stead, Then woke her lute,—oh! there is little
known Of music's power till aided by love's own. And this is happiness: oh! love will last When all that .made it happiness is past,— When all its hopes are as the glittering toys Time present offers, time to come destroys,—