« AnteriorContinuar »
Ever the marvel among us that one | Millions of musket-bullets, and thou should be left alive,
sands of cannon-balls — Ever the day with its traitorous death But ever upon the topmost roof our ban from the loopholes around,
ner of England blew. Ever the night with its coffinless corpse to be laid in the ground,
VII. Heat like the mouth of a hell, or a del. ge of cataract skies,
Hark cannonade, fusillade ! is it true Stench of old offal decaying, and infinite what was told by the scout ? torment of flies,
Outram and Havelock breaking their Thoughts of the breezes of May blowing way thro' the fell mutineers! over an English field,
Surely the pibroch of Europe is ringing Cholera, scurvy, and fever, the wound again in our ears!
that would not be heal'd, All on a sudden the garrison utter a juLopping away of the limb by the pitiful bilant shout, pitiless knife,
Havelock's glorious Highlanders answer Torture and trouble in vain, -- for it with conquering cheers,
never could save us a life, Forth from their holes and their hidings Valor of delicate women who tended the our women and children come out, hospital bed,
Blessing the wholesome white faces of Horror of women in travail among the Havelock's good fusileers, dying and dead,
| Kissing the war-harden'd hand of the Grief for our perishing children, and Highlander wet with their tears! never a moment for grief,
Dance to the pibroch !- saved ! we are Toil and ineffable weariness, faltering I saved ! — is it you ? is it you? hopes of relief,
Saved by the valor of Havelock, saved Havelock baffled, or beaten, or butcher'd by the blessing of Heaven ! for all that we knew -
“ Hold it for fifteen days !” we have Then day and night, day and night, com- held it for eighty-seven!
ing down on the still-shatter'd And ever aloft on the palace roof the old walls
banner of England blew.
THE LOVER'S TALE.
The original preface to “The Lover's Tale" states that it was composed in my pineteenth year. Two only of the three parts then written were printed, when, feeling the imperfection of the poem, I withdrew it froin the press. One of my friends, however, who, boy-like, admired the boy's work, distributed among our common associates of that hour some copies of these two parts, without my knowledge, without the omissions and amendments which I had in contenplation, and marred by the many misprints of the compositor. Seeing that these two marts have of late been mercilessly pirated, and that what I had deened scarce worthy to live is not allowed to die. may I not be pardoned if I suffer the whole poem at last to come into the light. accompanied with a reprint of the sequel, - a work of my mature life, -- "The Golden Supper”:
Julian, whose consin and foster-sister, Camilla, has been wedded to his friend and rival, Lionel, endeavors to narrate the story of his own love for her, and the strange sequel. He speaks (in Parts II. and III.) of having been haunted by visious and the sound of bells, tolling for a funeral, and at last ringing for a marriage ; but he breaks away, overcome, as he approaches the Event, and a witness to it completes the tale.
That air which pleased her first. I feel
thy breath ; HERE far away, seen from the topmost I come, great Mistress of the ear and eye: cliff,
Thy breath is of the pine wood ; and Filling with purple gloom the vacancies tho' years Between the tufted hills, the sloping seas Have hollow'd out a deep and stormy Hung in mid-heaven, and half way down strait rare sails,
Betwixt the native land of Love and White as white clouds, floated from sky me, to sky.
Breathe but a little on me, and the sail Oh! pleasant breast of waters, quiet bay, Will draw me to the rising of the sun, Like to a quiet mind in the loud world, The lucid chainbers of the morning star, Where the chafed breakers of the outer And East of Life.
sea Sank powerless, as anger falls aside
Permit me, friend, I prithee, And withers on the breast of peacefull To pass my hand across my brows, and love ;
muse Thou didst receive the growth of pines On those dear hills, that never more will that fledged
meet The hills that watched thee, as Love The sight that throbs and aches beneath watcheth Love,
my touch, In thine own essence, and delight thyself As tho' there beat a heart in either eye ; To make it wholly thine on sunny days. For when the outer lights are darken di Keep thou thy name of “Lover's Bay."| thus, See, sirs,
The memory's vision hath a keener edge. Even now the Goddess of the Past, that It grows upon me now - the semicircle takes
Of dark blue waters and the narrow The heart, and sometimes touches but fringe one string
Of curving beach - its wreaths of dripThat quivers, and is silent, and some ping green times
Its pale pink shells — the summer-house Sweeps suddenly all its half-moulder'd| aloft chords
That open'd on the pines with doors of To some old melody, begins to play
A mountain nest --- the pleasure-boat Will govern a whole life from birth to that rock'd
death, Light green with its own shadow, keel Careless of all things else, led on with to keel,
light Upon the dappled dimplings of the wave, In trances and in visions : look at them, That blanch'd upon its side.
You lose yourself in utter ignorance ;
O Love, O Hope! You cannot find their depth ; for they They come, they crowd upon me all at go back,
| And farther back, and still withdraw Moved from the cloud of unforgotten themselves things,
Quite into the deep soul, that evermore That sometimes on the horizon of the Fresh springing from her fountains in mind
the brain, Lies folded, often sweeps athwart in Still pouring thro', floods with redunstorm --
dant life Flash upon flash they lighten thro' me Her narrow portals.
Of dewy dawning and the ainber eyes
Trust me, long ago When thou and I, Camilla, thou and I | I should have died, if it were possible Were borne about the bay or safely To die in gazing on that perfectness moor'd
Which I do bear within me: I had Beneath a low-brow'd cavern, where the died, tide
But from my farthest lapse, my latest Plash'd, sapping its worn ribs ; and all ebb, without
Thine image, like a charm of light and The slowly ridging rollers on the cliffs
strength ('lash'd, calling to each other, and thro' Upon the waters, push'd me back again the arch
on these deserted sands of barren life. Down those loud waters, like a setting Tho' from the deep vault where the star,
heart of Hope Mixt with the gorgeous west the light. Fell into dust, and crumbled in the house shone,
darkAnd silver-smiling Venus ere she fell Forgetting how to render beautiful Would often loiter in her balmy blue, Her countenance with quick and healthTo crown it with herself.
ful blood –
Thou didst not sway me upward ; could Here, too, my love I perish Waver'd at anchor with me, when day While thou, a meteor of the sepulchre, hung
Didst swathe thyself all round Hope's From his mid-dome in Heaven's airy quiet urn halls;
Forever? He, that saith it, hath o'erGleams of the water-circles, as they stept broke,
The slippery footing of his narrow wit, Flicker'd like doubtful smiles about her And fall'n away from judgment. Thou lips,
art light, Quiver'd a flying glory on her hair, To which my spirit leaneth all her flowLeapt like a passing thought across her eyes;
| And length of days, and immortality And mine with one that will not pass, Of thought, and freshness ever sell-retill earth
new'd. And heaven pass too, dwelt on my For Time and Grief abode too long with heaven, a face
Life. Most starry-fair, but kindled from within | And, like all other friends i' the world, As 't were with dawn. She was dark- / at last haired, dark-eyed :
They grew aweary of her fellowship : Oh, such dark eyes! a single glance of So Time and Grief did beckon unto them
And Death drew nigh and beat the doors | And first of love, tho' every turn and of Life;
depth But thou didst sit alone in the inner Between is clearer in my life than all house,
Its present flow. Ye know not what A wakeful portress, and didst parle with ye ask. Death,
How should the broad and open flower “This is a charmed dwelling which I tell hold”;
What sort of bud it was, when, prest So Death gave back, and would no fur together ther come.
In its green sheath, close-lapt in silken Yet is my life nor in the present time,
folds, Nor in the present place. To me alone, It seem'd to keep its sweetness to itself, Push'd from his chair of regal heritage, Yet was not the less sweet for that it The Present is the vassal of the Past :
seem'd ? So that, in that I have lived, do I live, For young Life knows not when young And cannot die, and am, in having been, Life was born, A portion of the pleasant yesterday, But takes it all for granted : neither Thrust forward on to-day and out of
Warm in the heart, his cradle, can reA body journeying onward, sick with member toil,
Love in the womb, but resteth satisfied, The weight as if of age upon my limbs, Looking on her that brought him to the The grasp of hopeless grief about my light : heart,
| Or as men know not when they fall And all the senses weaken'd, save in that, Which long ago they had glean'd and Into delicious dreams, our other life, garner'd up
So know I not when I began to love. Into the granaries of memory - | This is my sum of knowledge - that my The clear brow, bulwark of the precious
Grew with myself – say rather, was my Chink'd as you see, and seam'd-and growth, all the while
My inward sap, the hold I have on earth, The light soul twines and mingles with My outward circling air wherewith I the growths
breathe, Of vigorous early days, attracted, won, Which vet upholds iny life, and evermore Married, made one with, molten into all is to me daily life and daily death : The beautiful in Past of act or place, For how should I have lived and not And like the all-enduring camel, driven
have loved ? Far from the diamond fountain by the Can ye take off the sweetness from the palms,
flower, Who toils across the middle moon-lit The color and the sweetness from the nights,
rose, Or when the white heats of the blinding And place them by themselves; or set noons
apart Beat from the concave sand; yet in him Their motions and their brightness from keeps
the stars, A draught of that sweet fountain that And then point out the flower or the he loves,
star? To stay his feet from falling, and his Or build a wall betwixt my life and love, spirit
And tell me where I am ? 'Tis even From bitterness of death.
In that I live I love; because I love Ye ask me, friends, | I live : whate'er is fountain to the one When I began to love. How should I Is fountain to the other; and whene'er tell you ?
Our God unknits the riddle of the one, Or from the after-fulness of my heart, There is no shade or foļd of mystery Flow back again unto my slender spring | Swathing the other.
Many, many years. The careful burden of our tender years (For they seem many and my most of life, Trembled upon the other. He that And well I could have linger'd in that
Her life, to me delightedly fulfill'd So unproportion'd to thedwelling-place), All loving-kindnesses, all offices In the May dews of childhood, opposite of watchful care and trembling tenderThe flush and dawn of youth, we lived
He waked for both : he pray'd for both : A part, alone together on those hills.
Dreaming of both : nor was his love the Before he saw my day my father died, less And he was happy that he saw it not; Because it was divided, and shot forth But I and the first daisy on his grave Boughs on each side, laden with wholeFrom the same clay came into light at some shade, once.
Wherein we nested sleeping or awake, As Love and I do number equal years, And sang aloud the matin-song of life. So she, my love, is of an age with me. How like each other was the birth of She was my foster-sister : on one arm each !
The Maxen ringlets of our infancies On the same morning, almost the same Wander'd, the while we rested : one hour,
soft lap Under the selfsame aspect of the stars, Pillow'd us both : a common light of (0 falsehood of all starcraft !) we were eyes bom.
Was on us as we lay : our baby lips, How like each other was the birth of Kissing one bosom, ever drew from each!
thence The sister of my mother -- she that bore The stream of life, one stream, one life, Camilla close beneath her beating heart, one blood, Which to the imprison'd spirit of the One sustenance, which, still as thought child,
grew large, With its true-touched pulses in the flow Still larger moulding all the house of And hourly visitation of the blood,
thought, Sent notes of preparation manifold, Made all our tastes and fancies like, And mellow'd echoes of the outer perhaps -world
All — all but one; and strange to me, My mother's sister, mother of my love, I and sweet, Who had a twofold claim upon my heart, Sweet thro' strange years to know that One twofold mightier than the other whatsoe'er was,
Our general mother meant for me alone, In giving so much beauty to the world, Our mutual mother dealt to both of And so much wealth as God had charged
us: her with -
So what was earliest mine in earliest life, Loathing to put it from herself forever, I shared with her in whom myself reLeft her own life with it ; and dying mains.
thus, Crown'd with her highest act the placid As was our childhood, so our infancy, face
They tell me, was a very miracle And breathless body of her good deeds Of fellow-feeling and communion. past.
They tell me that we would not be
alone So we were born, so orphan'd. She We cried when we were parted; when I was motherless
wept, And I without a father. So from each Her smile lit up the rainbow on my Of those two pillars which from earth tears, uphold
Staid on the cloud of sorrow; that we Our childhood, one had fallen away, and loved
| The sound of one another's voices more