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For a love more full confess'd;
While a sunset grand, not tender—
Grand—yea, grim as battle-splendour—
Gloweth in the north and west.
Gazing, they ceased love's sweet follies,
While, like smoke of cannon volleys,
While flame-tinted vapours roll'd
Level with the sea, while landwards
Scatter'd clouds, like wine-warp'd standards,
Stream'd in crimson edged with gold.
With that pageant grand before them,
And a young moon rising o'er them,
In a vapoury sky of June,
Stood they with their hands enfolding;
Now a charmed silence holding,
Sweeter than the sweetest tune.
Time had fled—their eyes were wistful,
And the vale all dim and mistful,
And the skyey pageant past;
When the hand that was the stronger,
Keeping gentle hold no longer,
With a tremble tighten'd fast.
Heaved his heart with wild emotion,
As with fluttering, bird-like motion
She took refuge on his breast,
Which its tumult can dissemble,
So to feel the slightest tremble
Of those eyelids 'gainst it press'd.
All its unknown depths of passion,
By that heart of purest fashion,
Trusted with its bark of bliss;
Ah! the frail bark may be buried,
Where its tides of power are hurried,
Foaming o'er some dark abyss.
"What was my sweet Edith dreaming,
With her eyes so sadly gleaming?"
Thus the charmed silence broke:—
"Flashing too, with strange resistance,
Looking into vacant distance?"
It was Edith's lover spoke.
And she raised her eyes all beamy
With a radiance soft and dreamy,
Answering, looking forth again—
"Yonder, where the woods are gloomed,
And the trees like hosts, dark-plumed,
Marshal over hill and plain—
"There I seem'd to see thee waging
Fight unequal, and engaging
Phantom foes that press'd thee round;
Proudly, love, as is thy manner,
Thou didst bear aloft a banner,
And thy brows were brightly crown'd.
"Then I thought of maidens praying,
In old times of ceaseless slaying,
For their lovers in the fight,
With lips sorrow's salt that tasted,
Till their clasped hands grew wasted,
And their cheeks wax'd deathly white.
"Love, thou saidst thought's influence, finer
Than the light, and far diviner,
May be borne by earthly air;
So is strength and succour given,
Circling round from earth and heaven,
When souls pour their life in prayer.
"But the foes were ronnd thee surgent,
And thy need of help grew urgent;
I could shield thee, so it seem'd;
They might trample, wound, and slay me,
But I could no more delay me
Rushing to thee. Thus I dream'd.
"Sudden, then, I saw thee nearing,
And they vanish'd, disappearing
At the clasping of thy hand."
And he answered, "O, my Edith!
Thus thy waking vision readeth—
I thy riddle understand.
"In life's conflict, true and knightly,
Brave, and crown'd with honour brightly,
Hath thy lover seera'd to thee;
For the heart is as its treasures,
And the thing beloved measures
Ever what the love must be.
"Then my Edith did discover,
In the fierce heart of her lover,
War of doubtful issue held;
That her love alone could save him,
Her true heart, believing, gave him
Succour sweet, the strife that quell'd.
"Succour still thy lover needeth;
But, to win thee, O, my Edith!
To thine own pure heights I rose;
Other loves that I have cherish'd
In the heat of youth have perish'd,
For they leagued with these my foes,
"Who in dust must vanquish'd lay me,
Ere they trample, wound, or slay thee—
And her power my Edith knows;
She before whom disappearing
Fled the phantoms, may, unfearing,
On their battle-ground repose."
THE HOMES OF ENGLAND.
A sonnet by Theodore Elbert, a young Swede.
Ayr, there in truth they are, the quiet homes And hallow'd birth-spots of the English race, Scatter'd at will beneath the crag's rude face.
While springs rush round, and near the ocean foams:
What finds he like to these afar who roams?
Tall trees o'ershade them, creepers fondly grace
Lattice and porch, and sweetest flowers embrace Each rock and pathway;—out on stately domes! The offspring of these roofs deserve a land
Thus rich and fair, men may be proud indeed, 'Mid all their history's long and glorious band,
To own the blood of England's peasant seed. Lowly, yet strong, these brown-thatch'd cabins stand,
And such the spirits of the sons they breed.
Another passage from Felix Mildred-s beautiful poem of Leonilda.
But yet more terrible than tempest's breath— More awful and more fraught with anxious fear— Was that dead calm when nature feign'd a death. The deep sea look'd like crystal, and so clear, The crew beheld through fathoms deep appear Bright flashing myriads in their arrowy flight. The ship seem'd rotting in a golden drear Of sunshine; and her asking sails of white Made men breathe fast and full at such a breathless sight.
An awful silence wrought upon the brain,
And tongues grew thirsty with the fear of thirst,
And limbs ached with that wearying prison-pain
Contracted space creates. Some men rehearsed
How they could die—some hearts their fondness nursed—
Some thoughts went home, and paused, and loved, and
Still nature's trance endured! At length a first
Faint breath athwart the oily waters crept;
The answering sails flapp'd life, and on the good ship swept.
When will to-morrow show the promised land?
Alone upon the waves! Oh ! tell us where?
Hope folded oft her wings, and yet oft fann'd
With burning breath the ashes of despair.
Day follows day, but only dawns to bare
That watery waste the heart grows sad to meet.
Soon rebel tongues their fears aloud declare,
Until afar—great God! the land they greet!
And joy began to tingle in their conscious feet.
Like purple gems, they saw an isle unfold
Its sparkling wealth. Around, the sunlit wave
Broke on a fairy shore in crumbling gold.
There unknown flowers and fruits sweet odours gave,
And cluster'd round the entrance of a cave,
All musical with birds of beauteous hue.
'Twas whilst the day from ocean ask'd his grave,
A dying flood of light its glory threw,
And earth, and sea, and sky blush'd wondrous vermil hue.
PLEASURES OF PROMISE.
By S. Laman Blanchakd.
Things may be well to seem that are not well to be,
And thus hath fancy's dream been realised to me.
We deem the distant tide a blue and solid ground;
We seek the green hill's side, and thorns are only found.
Is hope then ever so ?—or is it as a tree,
Whereon fresh blossoms grow, for those that faded be?
Oh, who may think to sail from peril and from snare,
When rocks beneath us fail, and bolts are in the air?
Yet hope the storm can quell with a soft and happy tune,
Or hang December's cell with figures caught from June;
And even unto me there cometh less forlorn,
An impulse from the sea, a promise from the morn.
When summer shadows break, and gentle winds rejoice,
On mountain or on lake ascends a constant voice.
With a hope and with a pride its music woke of old,
And every pulse replied in tales as fondly told.