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And so my heart's despair
Looks for thee ere the firstling smoke hath curl'd;
While the wrapt earth is at her morning prayer;
Ere yet she putteth on her workday air,
And robes her for the world,
When the sun-burst is o'er,
But never once I dare
Then that lost form appears,
So with Promethean moan,
In widowhood renew'd I learn to grieve;
Blest with one only thought, that I alone
Can fade—that thou thro' years shalt still shine on
In beauty—as in beauty art thou gone,
Thou morn that knew no eve,
In beauty art thou gone;
THE DYING MINSTREL.
By Mary Ann Browse.
Slowly and sadly, day by day,
As a fountain drieth she faded away.
Seldomer walk'd she the oak-trees among,
Less and less frequent became her song.
She would sit for hours, with her silent gaze
Fix'd on the harp that had brought such praise
And fame to her in her happier days.
Sometimes her voice breathed in silvery words,
And her hand stray'd carelessly over the chords,
Making uncertain melody,
Broken and wild as the wind-harp's sigh.
She had come from her own delicious clime, With its vineyards and groves of the chesnut and lime; From the flowers that bask'd 'neath unbounded skies, Various and bright as the rainbow's dyes; From the tongues that praised her, the hearts that adored,From the valleys and hills that her first songs heard. She was lured from her land of sunshine and smiles, By the meteor hope, that so many beguiles. And now she was dying!—dying afar, With clouded hopes, and an altered star; And her couch by strangers' hands was spread, And unknown steps were around her bed. She fear'd not death—she knew it must come, But she thought 'twould be sweet to die at home; But, alas! she knew that her wish was vain, And she never must see her dear land again!
'Twas a summer-sunset, and that soft hour On the minstrel's soul had ever most power; And she pray'd she might leave the feverish hearth, And again in the calm light of even go forth. They led her out by the darkening sea, And she thought of her own bright Italy, And turn'd her eyes o'er the twilight wave, Towards the spot where she wish'd so much for a grave. She took her harp,—o'er each trembling string Her fingers soon were wandering;
Drawing forth note by note at first,
Careless of what the strain might be,
Into a sweet wild symphony:
While a tear was straying down her cheek,
And then her song no more was weak;
And there came an unearthly light o'er her eye,
But the song died away—and with it, too,
Down by the woods, where the blooming purple heather
Chaunting some old ballad, some wild and artless measure;
Or reading about Rosalind among the forest boughs:
In the golden age of courting, when the minutes, wing'd
with pleasure, Flew lightly at the whispering of lovers' fervent vows.
And sometimes on the page such a glorious light would
glisten— Such a flash from out the ether of a bright and purer sphere— That we closed the book with wonder, and sat us down to
listen, For we thought that angel voices were singing to us near.
Glimpses of a golden future, tender memories of the past, Hopes of deep and solemn import, from their spirit-home
above— Slightly veiled from our seeing by the glory round them
cast— Come like mirror'd shapes before us when the soul is fill'd
And the light which love had kindled had shed its halo
round us As we gazed upon the woodland with its old majestic trees, Mid the depth of nature's stillness how its silken fetters
bound us, And the secrets of the future were whisper'd 'mong the
Not the noblest strain of music pealing through the solemn
aisles, Till the old cathedral towers seem to vibrate with the spell, Fills the spirit with such rapture, or the fancy so beguiles, As the music of love's making on the chords it knows so
Years have flown—for youth is fleeting—love is like a
stranger guest; Yet the memory of its glory melts like music on our souls; Wits may sneer and fools deride it, pointing with a courtly
jestBut the passions of the morning manhood's calmer noon
THE QUARRY MAN.
The sun has seen him all day long,
With the sweat upon his brow, Tearing, with sinewy arm and strong,
Huge blocks from their beds below!
Little he knows, or seeks to ken,
Of all the great world beside; Who wields the sword, or who the pen,
Or if tyrants realms divide.
No need hath he of dainties rare,
Or of costly pampering wines; His lips are kiss'd by fragrant air,
On the rude rock where he dines.
That ruddy child, besmeared o'er With blackberries ripe, hathcome
With his frugal meal across the moor, From a lowly cottage home.
Again he seeks the ponderous rock,
And he strikes with giant might: The work of ages feels the shock,
And it rushes into light!
His time is measured by the sun—
Now he hails its western ray; Another hard day's toil is done,
And he whistles on his way.
Cheerly along the lone green lane,
He hears his children's voice again,