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'Tis a wild tale—and sad, too, an the sigh That young lips breathe when Love's first
dreamiogs fly; When blights and cankerworms, and chilling
showers, Come withering o'er the warm heart's passion-flowers. Love! gentlest spirit! I do tell of thee,— Of all thy thousand hopes, thy many fears, Thy morning-blushes.nnd thy evening-tears; What thou hast ever been, and still wilt be,— Life's best, but most betraying witchery!
It is a night of summer,—and the sea Sleeps, like a child, in mute tranquillity. Soft o'er the deep-blue wave the moonlight
breaks; Gleaming, from out the white clouds of its
zone, Like beauty's changeful smile, when that it
seeks Some face it loves, yet fears to dwell upon. The waves arc motionless, save where the oar, Light as Love's anger, and as quickly gone, Has broken in upon their azure sleep. Odours are on the air:—the gale has been Wandering in groves where the rich roses
weep,— Where orange, citron, and the soft limeflowers Shed forth their fragrance to night's dewy
hours. Afar the distant city meets the gaze, Where tower and turret in the pale light shine, Seen like the monuments of other daysMonuments Time half shadows, half displays. And there are many, who, with witching song And wild guitar's soul-thrilling melody, Or the lute's melting music, float along O'er the blue waters, still and silently. That night had Naples sent her best display Of young and gallant, beautiful and gay.
There was a bark a little way apart From all the rest, and there two lovers
leant:— One with a blushing cheek nnd beating heart, And bashful glance, upon the sea-wave bent; She might not meet the gaze the other sent Upon her beauty;—but the half-breathed
sighs, The deepening colour, timid smiling eyes, Told that she listened Love's sweet flatteries.
Then they were silent:—words arc little ai: To Love, whose deepest vows are ever made By the heart's heat alone. Oh, silence ii Love's own peculiar eloquence of bliss !— Music swept past:—it was a simple tone; But it has wakened heartfelt sympathies;— It has brought into life things past and gone: Has wakened all those secret memories. That may be smothered, hut that still will be Present within thy soul, young Itomt.ii! The notes had roused an answering chord
within: In other days, that song her vesper-byms
had been. Her altered look is pale: that dewy eye Almost belies the smile her rich lips wear;— That smile is mocked by a scarce-breathisj
sigh, Which tells of silent and suppressed careTells that the life is withering with despsir. More irksome from its unsunned silentneu— A festering wound the spirit pines to bear; A galling chain, whose pressure will intrude. Fettering Mirth's step, and Pleasure's lightest mood.
Where are her thoughts thus wandering?
—A spot. Now distant far, is pictured on her mind.— A chesnut shadowing a low white cot. With rose and jasmine round the rasemest
twined. Mixed with the myrtle-tree's luxuriant blind. Alone, (oh! should such solitude he here?) An aged form beneath the shade reclined. Whose eye glanced round the scene;—and
then a tear Told that she missed one in her heart
enshrined. Then came remembrances of other times. When eve oped her rich bowers for the pale
day; When the faint, distant tones of convent
chimes Were answered by the lute and ve«per-Uv: When the fond mother blest her gentle child. And for her welfare prayed the Virgin mild
And she has left the aged one to steep Her nightly couch with tears for that lot
child,— The Rosw.ik,— who left her nge to weep. When thnt the tempter llntlered her aid
wiled Her steps awoy, from her own home beguiled
She started np in agony:—her eye Met Manfrhdi's. Softly he spoke, and smiled; Memory is past, and thought and feeling lie Lost in one dream—all thrown on one wild die. They floated o'er the waters, till the moon Look'd from the blue sky in her zenithnoon,— Till each glad bark at length had sought
the shore, And the waves echoed to the lute no more;— Then sought their gay palazzo, where the ray Of lamps shed light only less bright than
day; And there they feasted till the morn did fling Her blushes o'er their mirth and revelling. And life was as a tale of faerie,— As when some Eastern genie rears bright
bowers, And spreads the green turf and the coloured
flowers; And calls upon the earth, the sea, the sky, To yield their treasures for some gentle
queen, Whose reign is over the enchanted scene. And Rosalib had pledged a magic cup— The maddening cup of pleasure and of love! There was for her one only star above!— She bent in passionate idolatry Before her heart's sole idol—Manfhkdi!
'Tis night again—a soft and summernight;— A deep-blue heaven, white clouds, moon
and starlight;— So calm, so beautiful, that human eye Might weep to look on such a tranquil sky:— A night just formed for Hope's first dream
of bliss, Or for Love's yet more perfect happiness!
The moon is o'er a grove of cypress-trees. Weeping, like mourners, in the plaining
breeze; Echoing the music of a rill, whose song Glided so sweetly, but so sad, along.
There is a little chapel in the shade. Where many a pilgrim has knelt down and
prayed To the sweet saint, whose portrait, o'er the
shrine. The painter's skill has made all but divine. It was a pale, a melancholy face,— A cheek which bore the trace of frequent
tears, And worn by grief,—though grief might
not efface The seal that beauty set in happier years; And such a smile as on the brow appears Of one whose earthly thoughts, long since
Past this life's joys and sorrows, hopes and
fears— The worldly dreams o'er which the many
brood;— The heart-beat hushed in mild and chastened
mood. It was the image of the maid who wept Those precious tears that heal and purify. Love yet upon her lip his station kept, But Heaven and heavenly thoughts were in
her eye. One knelt before the shrine, with check as
pale As was the cold white marble. Can this he The young—the loved—the happy Rosamb? Alas! alas! hers is a common tale:— She trusted, as youth ever has believed:— She heard Love's vows—confided—was deceived!
Oh, Love! thy essence is thy purity! Breathe one unhallowed breath upon thy
flame, And it is gone for ever,—and but leaves A sullied vase—its pure light lost in shame!
And Rosalie was loved,—not with that pure And holy passion which can age endure; But loved with wild and self - consuming
fires,— A torch which glares—and scorches—and
expires. A little while her dream of bliss remained,— A little while Love's wings were left
unchained. But change came o'er the trusted Manfhkdi: His heart forgot its vowed idolatry; And his forgotten love was left to brood O'er wrongs and ruin in her solitude!
How very desolate that brenst must be, Whose only joyance is in memory! And what must woman suffer, thus betrayed !— Her heart's most warm and precious feelings
made But things wherewith to wound: that heart —
so weak, So soft—laid open to the vulture's beak! Its sweet revealings given up to scorn Itburnstobear, and yet that must be borne! And, sorer still, that bitterer emotion, To know the shrine which had our soul's
devotion Is that of a false deity!—to look Upon the eyes we worshipped, and brook Their cold reply ! Yet these arc all for her!— The rude world's ontcast,and love's wanderer! Alas! that love, which is so sweet a thing, Should ever cause guilt, grief, or suffering! Yet she upon whose face the sunbeams fallThat dark-eyed girl—had felt their bitterest thrall!
She thought npon her love; and there was
not In pRKgion's record one green sunny spot— It had been all a madness and a dream, The shadow of a flower on the stream, Which seems, but is not; and then memory
turned To her lone mother. How her bosom burned With sweet and bitter thoughts! There
might be rest— The wounded dove will flee into her nest— That mother's arms might fold her child
again. The cold world scorn, the cruel smite in vain, And falsehood be remembered no more, In that calm shelter:—and she might weep
o'er Her faults and find forgiveness. Had not she To whom she knelt found pardon in the eyes Of Heaven, in offering for sacrifice A broken heart? And might not pardon be Also for her? She looked up to the face Of that pale saint; and in that gentle brow, Which seemed to hold communion with her
thought, There was a smile which gave hope energy. She prayed one deep, wild prayer,—that she
might gain The home she hoped; — then sought that
A flnsh of beauty is upon the sky— Eve's last warm blushes—like the crimson dye The maiden wears, when first her dark eyes
meet The graceful lover's, sighing at her feet. And there were sounds of music on the breeze, And perfume shaken from the citron-trees; While the dark chesnuts caught a golden ray On their green leaves, the last bright gift
of day; And peasants dancing gaily in the shade To the soft mandolin, whose light notes made An echo fit to the glad voices singing. The twilight-spirit his sweet urn is flinging Of dew upon the lime and orange-stems, And giving to the rose pearl-diadems.
There is a pilgrim by that old gray tree, With head upon her hand bent mournfully; And looking round upon each lovely thing. And breathing the sweet air, as they could
bring To her no beauty and no solacing. Tis Rosalif.! Her prayer was not in vain. The truant-child has sought her home again!
It must be worth a life of toil and cBre,— Worth those dark chains the wenried one
must hear Who toils np fortnnc's steep,—all that ran
wring The worn-out bosom with lone sufl'cring,—
Worth restlessness,oppression.goading fears.
around;— She heard some voices'sweet familiar sound. There were some changed and some remembered things; There were girls, whom she left in their first
springs, Now blushed into full beauty; there was one Whom she loved tenderly in days now gone! She was not dancing gaily with the rest: A rose-cheeked child within her arms was
prest; And it had twined its small hands in the hair That clustered o'er its mother's brow: as fair As buds in spring. She gave her laughing
dove To one who clasped it with a father's love; And if a painter's eye had sought a scene Of love in its most perfect loveliness— Of childhood, and of wedded happiness,— He would have painted the sweet Maitklmi! But Rosalib shrank from them, and she
strayed Through a small grove of cypresses, whose
shade Hung o'er a burying-ground, where the low
stone And the gray cross recorded those now gone! There waa a grave just closed. Not one
seemed near. To pay the tribute of one long—last tear! How very desolate must that one he Whose more than grave has not a memory!
Then Rosalib thought on her mother's
"Re.— Just such her end would be with her away No child the last cold death-pang to assuage— No child by her neglected tomb to pray! She asked—and like a hope from Heaven it
came!— To hear them answer with a stranger's name.
She reached her mother's cottage; by that gate She thought how her once lover woat to wait
To till her honied tales; and then she
thought On all the utter ruin he had wrought! The moon shone brightly, as it used to do Ere youth, and hope, and love, had been
untrue; But it shone o'er the desolate! The flowers Were dead; the faded jessamine, unbound, Trailed, like a heavy weed, upon the ground; Ami fell the moonlight vainly over trees, Which had not even one rose, — although
the breeze, Almost as if in mockery, had brought Sweet tones it from the nightingale had
She entered in the cottage. None were
there! The hearth was dark,—the walls looked cold
and bare! All—all spoke poverty and suffering! All—all was changed! and but one only thing Kept its old place! Rosalie's mandolin Hung on the wall, where it had ever been. There was one other room,—and Rosalie Sought for her mother there. A heavy flame Gleamed from a dying lamp; a cold air came Damp from the broken casement. There
one lay. Like marble seen hut by the moonlight-ray! And Rosalie drew near. One withered hand Was stretched, as it would reach a wretched
stand Where some cold water stood ! And by the bed She knelt—and gazed—and saw her mother—
A LK.GKN0 OF THE RUINS.
Oh, Heaven! the deep fidelity of love!
Where, like a courser stnrting from the spur,
boughs O'er gray stones marking long - forgotten
graves. A convent once stood here; and yet remain Relics of other times, pillars and walls, Worn away and discoloured, yet so hung With wreaths of ivy that the work of ruin Is scarcely visible. How like this is To the ao false exterior of the world! Outside all looks so fresh and beautiful; Hut mildew, rot. and worm, work on beneath, Until the heart is utterly decayed. .There is one grave distinguished from the
rest, But only by a natural monument:—
A thousand deep-blue violets hnve grown
remain. Hut the rich breathing of their leaves is
past ;— Like woman, they have lost their loveliest
gift, When yielding to the fiery hour of passion: The violet-breath of love is purity.
On the shore opposite a tower stands In ruins, with a mourning-robe of moss Hung on the gray and shattered walls, which
fling A shadow on the waters; it comes o'er The waves, all bright with sunshine, like
the gloom Adversity throws on the heart's young
I saw the river on a summer-eve: The sun was setting over fields of corn,— 'Twas like a golden sea;—and on the left Were vineyards, whence the grapes shone
forth like gems, Rubies.and lighted amber; and thence spread A wide heath covered with thick furze, whose
flowers, So brigh t.arc like the pleasures of this world, Beautiful in the distance, but, once gained. Little worth, piercing through the thorns
which grow Around them ever. Wilder and more steep The bnnks upon the river's other side: Tall pines rose up like warriors; the wild
rose Was there in all its luxury of bloom, Sown by the wind, nursed by the dew and
sun: And on the steeps were crosses gray and old, Which told the fate of some poor traveller. The dells were filled with dwarfed oaks and
firs; And on the heights, which mastered all the
rest, Were castles, tenanted now by the owl, The spider's garrison: there is not one Without some strange old legend of the days When love was life and death,- -when lady's
glove Or sunny curl were banners of the battle.— My history is of the tower which looks Upon the little inland.
Lord Herbert sat him in his hall: the hearth Was blazing as it mocked the storm without With its red cheerfulness: the dark hounds
lay Around the fire; and the old knight had
. doffed His hunting-cloak, and listened to the lute And song of the fair girl who at his knee \V siH seated. In the April-hour of life, When showers are led by rainbows, and the
heart Is all bloom and green leaves, wasIsABELLE: A band of pearls, white like the brow o'er
which They past, kept the bright curls from off (he
forehead; thence They wandered to her feet—a golden shower. She had that changing colour on the cheek Which speaks the heart so well; those deepblue eyes, Like summer's darkest sky, but not so glad— They were too passionate for happiness. Light was within her eyes, bloom on her
cheek, Her song had raised the spirit of her race Upon her eloquent brow. She had just told Of the young Roland's deeds.—how he had
stood Against a host and conquered; when there
came A pilgrim to the hall—and never yet Had stranger asked for shelter and in vain! The board was spread, the Rhenish flask
was drained; Again they gathered round the hearth, again The maiden raised her song; and at its
close,— "I would give worlds," she said, "to see
this chief, This gallant Roland! I could deem him all A man must honour and a woman love!" "Lady! I pray thee not recall those words, For I am Roland!" From his face he threw The hood and pilgrim's cloak,—and a young
knight Knelt before Isabellk!
They loved ; — they were beloved. Oh,
happiness! I have said all that can be said of bliss, In saying that they loved. The young heart
has Such store of wealth in its own fresh wild
pulse; And it is love that works the mind, and
brings Its treasure to the light. I did love once— Loved as youth — woman — genius loves; , though now
My heart is chilled and sear, and taught
to wear That falsest of false things—a mask of smiles; Yet every pulse throbs at the memory Of that which has been! Love is like the
glass, That throws its own rich colour over all. And makes all beautiful. The morning looks
Its very loveliest, when the fresh air
Has tinged the cheek we love with iU glad
red; And the hot noon flits by most rapidly. When dearest eyes gaze with us on the page Bearing the poet's words of love : and then The twilight-walk, when the linked anas
can feel The beating of the heart; upon the air There is a music never heard but once,— A light the eyes can never see again; Each star has its own prophecy of hope. And every song and tale that breathe of lore Seem echoes of the heart.
And time past hy— As time will ever pass, when Love has lent His rainbow-plumes to aid his flight—and
spring Had wedded with the summer, when a steed Stood at Lord Herbert's gate,—and 1m
Had wept farewell to Roland, and had gives Her blue scarf for his colours. He was gone To raise his vassals, for Lord Herbert'!
towers Were menaced with a siege; and he had
sworn By Is A Belle's white hand that he would
claim Its beauty only as a conqueror's prize. Autumn was on the woods, when the bine
Rhine Grew red with blood: — Lord Herbert's
banner flies, And gallant is the bearing of his ranks. But where is he who said that he would ride At his right hand to battle?—Roland!
where— Oh! where is Roland?
Isabellk has watched Day after doy, night after night, in vain. Till she has wept in hopelessness,and thought Upon old histories, and said with them, "There is no hope in man's fidelity!" Isabellk stood upon her lonely tower; And, as the evening-star rose up, she saw An armed train bearing her father's banner In triumph to the castle. Down she flew To greet the victors :—they had reached the
hall Before herself. What saw the maiden there? A bier!—her father laid upon that bier! Roland was kneeling by the side, his fare Bowed on his hands and hid ;—but Isabellk Knew the dark curling hair and stately form, And threw her on his breast. He shrank away As she were death, or sickness, or despair. "isabellb! it was I who slew thy father!" She fell almost a corpse upon the body. It was too true! With all a lover's speed, Koi.and had sought the thickest of the fight; He gained the field just as the crush began;—