Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Half pleased and half surprised they seemed,

For in each kindred eye
Love mixed with pity fondly gleamed,

And mournful gravity.
A fear, for them who knew no fear,

On each heart darkly fell;
They view life's future through a tear

Who know the past too well.

The bridegroom bore a royal crown

Amid the shining hair,
That like a golden veil fell down

In tresses soft and fair.
The bearing of the noble child

His princely lineage told,
Beneath that brow so smooth and mild

The blood of warriors rolled.

All coyly went the sweet babe-bride,

Yet oft with simple grace,
She raised, soft-stepping by his side,

Her dark eyes to his face.
And playfellows who loved her well

Crowns of white roses bore,
And lived in after years to tell

The infant bridal o'er.

Then words of import strange and deep

The hoary prelate said, And some had turned

away

to

weep
And many bowed the head.
Their steady gaze those children meek

Upon the old man bent,
As earnestly they seemed to seek

The solemn words' intent.

Calm in the blest simplicity

That never woke to doubt; Calm in the holy purity

Whose presence bars shame out! Then turned they from each troubled brow

And many a downcast eye, And gazed upon each other now

In wondering sympathy;

And nestled close, with looks of love,

Upon the altar's stone :
Such ties as Seraphs bind above

These little ones might own.
And sweetly was the babe-bride's cheek

Against the fair boy pressed,
All reverent, yet so fond and meek,

As kneeling to be blest.

Then smiled they on their grand array

And went forth hand in hand, Well pleased to keep high holiday

Amid that gorgeous band.
Alas! for those that early wed

With such prophetic gloom,
For sadly fell on each young head

The shadow of the tomb !

Scarce had the blossoms died away

Of the rose-wreaths they wore,
When to her mouldering ancestry

The little bride they bore.
Her marriage garlands o'er her bier,

Bedewed with tears, were cast;
And still she smiled as though no fear

O’erclouded her at last.

A life as short, and darker doom.

The gentle boy befel :
He slept not in his father's tomb,

For him was heard no knell !
One stifling pang amid his sleep

And the dark vale was passed !
He woke with those who've ceased to weep,

Whose sun is ne'er o'ercast.

A garland floats around the throne,

Entwined by angel hands,
Of such fair earth-buds, newly blown,

Culled from a thousand lands.
A melody most pure and sweet

Unceasingly they sing,
And blossoms o’er the mercy-seat

The loved babe-angels fling!

I have now to introduce another fair artist into the female gallery of which I am so proud; an artist whose works seem to me to bear the same relation to sculpture that those of Mrs. Acton Tindal do to painting. The poetry of Miss Day is statuesque in its dignity, in its purity, in its repose. Purity is perhaps the distinguishing quality of this fine writer, pervading the conception, the thoughts and the diction. But she must speak for herself. As “The Infant Bridal” might form a sketch for an historical picture, so “Charlotte Corday” is a model, standing ready to be chiselled in Parian stone.

Stately and beautiful and chaste,

Forth went the dauntless maid,
Her blood to yield, her youth to waste,

That carnage might be stayed.
This solemn purpose filled her soul,

There was no room for fear,
She heard the

cry
of
vengeance

roll Prophetic on her ear.

She thought to stem the course of crime

By one appalling deed,
She knew to perish in her prime

Alone would be her meed.
No tremor shook her woman's breast,

No terror blanched her brow,
She spoke, she smiled, she took her rest,

And hidden held her vow.

She mused upon her country's wrong,

Upon the tyrant's guilt,
Her settled purpose grew more strong

As blood was freshly spilt :
What though the fair smooth hand were slight!--

It grasped the sharpened steel; A triumph flashed before her sight

The death that it should deal.

She sought her victim in his den

The tiger in his lair ;
And though she found him feeble then,

There was no thought to spare.
Fast through his dying guilty heart,

That pity yet withstood,
She made her gleaming weapon dart,

And stained her soul with blood.

She bore the buffets and the jeers

Of an infuriate crowd ;
She asked no grace, she showed no fear,

She owned her act aloud.
She only quailed when woman's cries

Bewailed the monster's fate,
Her lips betrayed her soul's surprise

That fiends gained aught but hate.

She justified her deed of blood

In stern, exalted phrase,
As in the judgment-hall she stood

With calm, intrepid gaze.
And when she heard her awful doom,

Before the morn to die,
Her cheek assumed a brighter bloom,

And triumph lit her eye.

She marked a painter's earnest gaze,

She raised to him her face, That he for men in other days

Her raptured mien might trace.
Some bold heroic words she penned

To Him her life who gave,
And as approached her fearful end

Her soul grew yet more brave.

She wore the bonds, the robe of red,

As martyrs wear their crown; She begged no mercy on her head,

She called no curses down;
It was enough that she fulfilled

The work that was decreed ;
It was enough a voice was stilled
That doomed the just to bleed.

« AnteriorContinuar »