Графични страници
PDF файл

Unwitting' of his colours, be had slain The father of his worshipped IsAbelle!

They met once more;—and Is A Belle was

changed As much as if a lapse of years had past: She was so thin, so pale, and her dim eye Had wept away its luxury of blue. She had cut of) her sunny hair, and wore A robe of black, with a white crucifix:— It told her destiny—her youth was vowed To Heaven. And in the convent of the isle That day she was to enter, Roland stood Like marble, cold, and pale, and motionless: The heavy sweat upon his brow was all His sign of life. At length he snatched the

scarf That Isabbllb had tied around his neck, And gave it her,—and prayed that she would

wave Its white folds from the lattice of her cell At each pale rising of the evening-star, That he might know she lived. They parted:

—Never Those lovers met again! But Roland built A tower beside the Rhine, and there hedwelt. And every evening saw the white scarf waved, And heard the vesper-hymn of Isabelle Float in deep sweetness o'er the silent river. One evening, and he did not see the scarf,— He watched and watched in vain; at length

his hope Grew desperate, and he prayed his Isabei.lk Might have forgotten him: — but midnight

came, And with it came the convent's henvy bell, Tolling for a departed soul; and then He knew that Isabbllb was dead! Next day They laid her in her grave; and the moon

rose Upon a mourner weeping there:—that tomb Was Roland's death-bed!



The n»VADi!HE was taken from some faint recollection of a tale I had cither read or heard; and meeting with the word "Bayadere" many years after recalled it to my memory as a subject ciqnisilely poetical. I have been since told it was a pnem of Goethe's. This poem has never been to my knowledge translated; and, being ignorant of the German language, I am unable to say whether the tale conforms to the original or not.

There were seventy pillars around the hall,

Of wreathed gold was each capital,

And the roof was fretted with amber, and gems,

Such as light kingly diadems;

The floor was marble, white as the snow

Ere its purencss is stained by its fall below:

In the midst played a fountain, whose starry

showers Fell like beams on the radiant flowers, Whose colours were gleaming, as every one Burnt from the kisses just caught from the

sun; And vases sent forth their silvery clouds. Like those which the face of the young

moon shrouds, But sweet as the breath of the twilight-hour When the dew awakens the rose's power. At the end of the hall was a sun-bright throne, Rich with every glorious stone; And the purple canopy overhead Wns like the shade o'er the dayfall shed; And the couch beneath was of buds half

blown, lined with the blooms of the rainbow's zone; And round, like festoons, a vine was rolled, Whose leaf was of emerald, whose fruit was

of gold. But though graced as for a festival, There was something sad in that stately hall: There floated the breath of the harp and

flute,— But the sweetest of every music is mute: There arc flowers of light, and spiced per- •

fume,— But there wants the sweetest of breath and

of bloom: And the hall is lone, and the hall is drear, For the smiling of woman shincth not here. With urns of odour o'er him weeping, Upon the couch a youth is sleeping: His radiant hair is bound with stars, Such as shine on the brow of night, Filling the dome with dinntond-rays, Only than bis own curls less bright. And such a brow, and such an eye As fit a young divinity; A brow like twilight's darkening line, An eye like morning's first sunshine, Now glancing through the veil of dreams As sudden light at daybreak streams. And richer than the mingled shade By gem, and gold, and purple made, His orient wings closed o'er his head; Like that bird's, bright with every dye, Whose home, as Persian bards have said, Is fixed in scented Araby. Some dream is passing o'er him now— A sudden flush is on his brow; And from his lip come murmured words, Low, but sweet as the light lute-chords When o'er its strings the night-winds glide To woo the roses by its side. He, the fair boy-god, whose nest Is in the water-lily's breast; He of the mnny-arrowed bow, Of the joys that come and go Like the leaves, and of the sighs Like the winds of summer-skies. Blushes like the birds of spring, Soon seen and soon vanishing; He of hopes, and he of fears, He of smiles, and he of tears—

Young C.oweo, he lias brought
A sweet drenni of coloured thought,
One of love and woman's power,
To Mandalla's sleeping hour.

Joyless and dark was his jewelled throne, When Mandalla awakened and found him

alone. He drank the perfume that around him swept, 'Twin not sweet as the sigh he drank ns he

slept; There was music, but where was the voice

at whose thrill Every pulse in his veins was throbbing still V And dim was the home of his native star While the light of woman and love was afar; And lips of the rosebud, and violet eyes Are the sunniest flowers in Paradise. He veiled the light of his glorious race In a mortal's form and n mortal's face, And 'mid earth's loveliest sought for one Who might dwell in his hall and share in

his throne.

The loorie brought to his cinnamon-nest The bee from the midst of its honey-quest, And open the leaves of the lotus lay To welcome the noon of the summer-day. It was glory, and light, and beauty all, When Mwiiu.i.v closed his wing in Bengal. He stood in the midst of a stately square, As the waves of the sea rolled the thousands

there; Their gathering was round the gorgeous car Where sat in his triumph the Subadar; For his sabre was red with the blood of the

slain, And his proudest foes were slaves in his chain; And the sound of the trumpet, the sound of

his name. Rose in shouts from the crowd as onwards

he came. With gems and gold on eaoh ataghan, A thousand warriors led the van, Mounted on steeds black as the night, But with foam and with stirrup gleaming in

light; And another thousand came in their rear, On white horses, armed with bow and spear, With quivers of gold on each shoulder laid, And with crimson belt for each crooked

blade. Then followed the foot-ranks,—their turbans

showed Like flashes of light from a mountain-cloud, For white were the turbans as winter-snow. And death-black the foreheads that darkened

below; Scarlet and white was each soldier's vest. And each bore a lion of gold on his breast, For this was the chosen band that bore The lion-standard,—it floated o'er Their ranks like morning; at every wave Of that purple banner, the trumpets gave

A martial salute to the radiant fold

That bore the lion-king wrought in gold

And last the elephant came, whose town

Held the lord of this pomp and power:

And round that chariot of his pride,

Like chains of white sea-pearls,

Or braids inwove of summer-flowers.

Glided fair dancing-girls;

And as the rose-leaves fall to earth.

Their light feet touched the ground,—

But for the zone of silver bells

You had not beard a sound,

As, scattering flowers o'er the way,

Whirled round the beautiful array.

But there was one who 'mid them shone

A planet lovely and alone,

A rose, one flower amid many,

But still the loveliest of any:

Though fair her arm as the moonlight.

Others might raise an arm as white;

Though light her feet as music's fall.

Others might be as musical;

But where were such dark eyes as hers?

So tender, yet withal so bright,

As the dark orbs had in their smile

Mingled the light of day and night.

And where wns that wild grace which shed

A loveliness o'er every tread,

A beauty shining through the whole,

Something which spoke of heart and souL

The Almas had passed lightly on,

The armed ranks, the crowd, were gone.

Yet gazed Mandalla on the square

As she he sought still glided there,—

Oh that fond look, whose eyeballs strain.

And will not know its look is vain!

At length he turned,—his silent mood

Sought that impassioned solitude.

The Eden of young hearts, when first

Love in its loneliness is nurst.

He sat him by a little fount;

A tulip-tree grew by its side,

A lily with its silver towers

Floated in silence on the tide;

And far round a banana-tree

Extended its green sanctuary;

And the long grass, which was his seat,

With every motion grew more sweet,

Yielding a more voluptuous scent

At every blade his pressure bent.

And there he lingered, till the sky

Lost somewhat of its brilliancy.

And crimson shadows rolled on the west,

And raised the moon her diamond-crest,

And came a freshness on the trees,

Harbinger of the evening-breeze,

When a sweet far sound of song.

Borne by the breath of flowers along,

A mingling of the voice and lute.

Such as the wind-harp, when it makea

Its pleasant music to the gale

Which kisses first the chords it breaks.

He followed whore the echo led.

Till in a cypress-grove he found

A funeral train, that round a grave

Poured forth their sorrows' wailing sound: And by the tomb a choir of girls,

With measured steps and mournful notes,

And snow-white robes, while on the air,

Unbound their wreaths, each dark curl floats,

Faced ronnd and sang to her who slept

Calm, wjiile their young eyes o'er her wept.

And she, that loveliest one, is here,

The morning's radiant Bayadere:

A darker light in her dark eyes,—

For tears are there,—a paler brow

Changed but to charm the morning's smile,

Less sparkling, but more touching now.

And first her sweet lip prest the flute,

A nightingale waked by the rose,

And when that honey-breath was mute.

Was heard her low song's plaintive close,

Wailing for the young blossom's fall,

The last, the most beloved of all.

As died in gushing tears the lay,

The band of mourners passed away:

They left their wreaths upon the tomb,

As fading leaves and long perfume

Of her were emblems; and unbound

Many a cage's gilded round,

And set the prisoners free, as none

Were left to love now she was gone.

And azure wings spread on the air,

And songs, rejoicing songs, were heard;

Bat, pining, as forgotten now,

Lingered one solitary bird:

A beantiful and pearl-white dove,

Alone in its remembering love.

It was a strange and lovely thing

To mark the drooping of its wing,

And how into the grave it prcst.

Till soiled the dark earth-stain its breast;

And darker ns the night-shades grew,

Sadder became its wailing coo,

As if it missed the hand that bore.

As the cool twilight came, its store

Of seeds and flowers.—There wns one

Who, like that dove, was lingering lone,—

The Bayadere: her part had been

Only the hired mourner's part;

Hut she had given what none might buy,—

The precious sorrow of the heart.

She wooed the white dove to her breast,

It sought at once its place of rest:

Hound it she threw her raven-hair,—

It seemed to love the gentle snare,

And its soft beak was raised to sip

The honey-dew of her red lip.

Her dark eyes filled with tears, to feel

The gentle creature closer steal

Into her heart with soft caress,

As it would thank her tenderness;

To her 'twas strange and sweet to be

Beloved in such fond purity,

And sighed Mandalla to think that sin

Could dwell no fair a shrine within.

-Oli. grief to think that she is one

Who like the breeze is wooed and won!

Yet sure it were a task for love

To come like dew of the night from above

I |hhi her heart, and wash away.

Like dust from the flowers, its stain of clay,

And win her bnck in her tears to Heaven Pure, loved, and humble, and forgiven: Yes! freed from the soil of her earthly thrall, Her smile shall light up my starry "hall!"

The moonlight is on a little bower, With wall and with roof of leaf and of flower, Built of that green and holy tree Which heeds not how rude the storm mnybe. Like a bridal canopy overhead The jasmines their slender wreathings spread, One with stars as ivory white, The other with clusters of amber light; Rose-trees four grew by the wall, Beautiful each, .hut different all: One with that pure bat crimson flush That marks the maiden's first love-blush; By its side grew another one, Pale as the snow of the funeral stone; The next was rich with the damask dye Of a monarch's purple drapery; And the last had leaves like those leaves of

gold Worked on that drapery's royal fold. And there were four vases, with blossoms

filled, Like censers of incense, their fragrance distilled; Lilies, heaped like the pearls of the sea, Peeped from their large leaves' security; Hyacinths with their graceful bells, Where the spirit of odour dwells Like the spirit of music in ocean-shells: And tulips, with every colour that shines In the radiant gems of Serendib's mines; One tulip was found in every wreath, That one most scorched by the summer's

breath, Whose passionate leaves with their ruby glow Hide the heart that lies burning and black

below. And there, beneath the flowered shade By a pink acacia made, Manualla lay, and by his side, With eye, and breath, and blush that vied With the star and with the flower In their own and loveliest hour, Was that fair Bayadere, the dove Yet nestling in her long black hair: She has now more than that to love, And the loved one sat by her there. And by the sweet acacia-porch They drank the softness of the breeze.— Oh more than lovely are love's dreams, 'Mid lights and blooms and airs like these! And sometimes she would leave his side, And like a spirit round him glide: A light shawl now wreathed round her brow, Now waving from her hand of snow, Now zoned around her graceful waist, And now like fetters round her placed; And then, (lung suddenly aside, Her many curls, instead, unbound, Wnved in fantastic braids, till loosed, Her long dark tresses swept the ground:

Then, changing from the soft slow step,

Her white feet bounded on the wind

Like gleaming silver, and her hair

Like a dark banner swept behind:

Or with her sweet voice, sweet like a bird's

When it pours forth its first song in spring,

The one like an echo to the other,

She answered the sigh of her soft lute-string,

And with eyes that darkened in gentlest tears,

Like the dewy light in the dark-eyed dove,

Would she sing those sorrowing songs that

breathe Some history of unhappy love. Yes, thou art mine! Manoalla said,— I have lighted up love in thy youthful heart; I taught thee its tendcrnes8,now I must teach Its faith, its grief, and its gloomier part; And then, from thy earth-stains purified. In my star and my hall sbalt thou reign my


It was an evening soft and fair, As surely those in Eden are, When, bearing spoils of leaf and flower, Entered the Bayadere her bower: Her love lay sleeping, as she thought, And playfully a bunch she caught Of azure hyacinth-bells, and o'er His face she let the blossoms fall: "Why I am jealous of thy dreams, Awaken at thy Aza's call." No answer came from him whose tone Had been the echo of her own. She spoke again,.—no words came forth; She clasped his hand,—she raised his head,— One wild, loud scream, she sank beside, As pale, as cold, almost as dead!

By the Ganges raised, for the morning-sun To shed his earliest beams upon, Is a funeral pile,—around it stand Priests and the hired mourners' band. But who is she that so wildly prays To share the couch and light the blaze? Mandalli's love, while scornful eye And chilling jeers mock her agony: An Alma girl! oh shame, deep shame, To Brahma's race and Brahma's name! Unmarked, unpitied, she turned nside, For a moment her bursting tears to hide. None thought of the Bayadere, till the fire Blazed redly and fiercely the funeral pyre; Then like a thought she darted by, And sprang on the burning pile to die!

"Now thou art mine! away, away To my own bright star, to my home of day!" A dear voice sighed, as he bore her along Gently as spring-breezes bear the song, "Thy love and thy faith have won for thee The breath of immortality. Maid of earth, M Indai.l t is free to call Aza the queen of his heart and hall!"


Thero is no home like the home of oar tnfucy. Do remembrances like those of oar yootb; ikt old trees whose topmast-boughs we have climbed, the hedge containing that prize a birds n«t, the fairy-tale we heard by the fireside, are tbisr* of deep and serious interest in maturity. Tit heart, crushed or hardened by iu intercoarte with the world, turns with affectionate delimit to its early dreams. How I pity those whose childhood has been unhappy! to them one of tk sweetest springs of feeling has' been utterly denied, the most green and beautiful part rf life laid waste. But to those whose spring bai been what spring should ever be, fresh, buojjst, and gladsome, whose cup has not been poisosrd at the first draught, how delicious is recollection! they truly know tie pleasures of memory.

There is not

A valley of more quiet happiness.
Bosomed in greener trees, or with a riTer
Clearer than thine, Glidksmur! There are

huge hills Like harriers by thy side, where the tall

pine Stands stately as a warrior in his prime. Mixed with low gnarled oaks, whose yellow

leaves Are bound with ruby tendrils,emerald shoots. And the wild blossoms of the honeysuckle; And even more impervious grows the brier. Covered with thorns and roses, mingled like Pleasures and pains, but shedding richly

forth Its fragrance on the air; and by its side The wilding broom as sweet, which gratefully Flings its long tresses like a maiden's hair Waving in yellow beonty. The red deer Crouches in safety in its secret lair; The sapphire, bird's-eye, and blue violets. Mix with white daisies in the grass beneath; And in the boughs above the woodlark builds. And makes sweet music to the morning;

while All day the stock-dove's melancholy note* Wail plaintively—the only sounds beside The hum of the wild bees around some trunk. Of an old moss-clad oak, in which is reared Their honey-palace. Where the forest ends. Stretches a wide brown heath, till the blue

sky Becomes its boundary; there the only growth Are straggling thickets of the white-flowered

thorn And yellow furze: beyond are the grassfields, And of yet fresher verdure the young

wheat;— These border round the village. The bright

river Bounds like an arrow by, buoyant as youth Rejoicing in its strength. On the left side. Half hidden by the aged trees that time Has spared as honouring their sanctity. The old gray church is seen: its mosay walls And ivy-covered windows tell how long

It has been sacred. There is a lone path Winding beside yon hill: no neighb'ring

height Commanda so wide a view; the ancient

spire, The cottage*, their gardens, and the heath, Spread far beyond, are in the prospect seen By glimpses as the greenwood-screen gives

wayOne is now tracing it, who gazes round As each look were his last. The anxious gasp That drinks the air as every breath brought

health; The hurried step, yet lingering at times, As fearful all it felt were but a dream— How much they tell of deep and inward

feeling! That stranger is worn down with toil and

pain, His sinewy frame is wasted, and his brow Is darkened with long suffering; yet he is Oh more than happy!—he has reached his

home, And Ronald is a wanderer no more. How often in that fair romantic land Where he had been a soldier, he had turned From the rich groves of Spain, to think upon The oak and pine; tnrned from the spicy air, To sicken for his own fresh mountain -breeze; And loved the night, for then familiar things, The moon and stars, were visible, and looked As they had always done, and shed sweet

tears To think that he might see them shine again Over his own Gladbsmvik! That silver moon, In all her perfect beauty, is now rising; The purple billows of the west have yet A shadowy glory; all beside is calm, And tender and serene—a quiet light. Which suited well the melancholy joy Of Ronald's heart. At every step the light Played o'er some old remembrance; now

the ray Dimpled the crystal river; now the church Had all its windows glittering from beneath The curtaining ivy. Near and more near he

drew— His heartbeat quick, for the next step will be Upon his father's threshold! Rut he paused— He heard a sweet and sacred sound—they

joined In the accustomed psalm, and then they said The words of God, and, last of nil, a prayer More solemn, and more touching. He conld

hear Low sobs as it was uttered. They did pray His safety, his return, his happiness; And ere they ended he was in their arms! The wind rose up, nnd o'er the calm blue sky The tempest gathered, and the heavy rain Beat on the casement; but they pressed

them round The blazing hearth, and sat while Ronald

spoke Of the fierce battle; and all answered him With wonder, and with telling how they wept

During his absence, how they numbered o'er The days for his return. Thrice hallowed

shrine Of the heart's intercourse, our own fireside! I do remember in my early youth I parted from its circle; how I pined With happy recollections—they to mo Were sickness and deep sorrow: how I

thought Of the strange tale, the laugh, the gentle

smile Rreathingnf love,that whilcd the night away. The hour of absence past, I was again With those who loved me. What a beauty

dwelt In each accustomed face! what music hung On each familiar voice! We circled in Our meeting ring of happiness. If e'er This life has bliss, I knew and felt it then!

Rut there was one Ronald remembered not, Yet 'twas a creature beautiful as Hope, With eyes blue as the harebell when the dew Sparkles upon its azure leaves; a cheek Fresh as a mountain-rose, but delicate As rainbow-colours, and as changeful too. The orphan Ellen, have you then forgot Your laughing playmate? Ronald would

have clasped The maiden to his heart, but she shrank

back: A crimson blush and tearful lids belied Her light tone, as she bade him not forget So soon his former friends. But the next morn Were other tears than those sweet ones that

come Of the full heart's o'erflowings. He was

given, The loved, the wanderer, to their prayers

at last; Rut he was now so changed, there was no

trace Left of his former self; the glow of health, Of youth, was gone, and in his sallow cheek And faded eye decay sat visible ;— All felt that he was sinking to the grave. He wandered like a ghost around; would

lean, For hours, and watch the river; or would lie Beneath some aged tree, and hear the birds Singing so cheerfully; and with faint step Would sometimes try the mountain-side. He

loved To look upon the setting sun, and mark The twilight's dim approach. He said he was Most happy that all through his life one wish Had still been present to his soul—the wish That he might breathe his native nir again;— That prayer was granted, for he died at home.

One wept for him when other eyes were dry,

Treasured his name in silence and in tears, Till her young heart's impassioned solitude

« ПредишнаНапред »