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ROSALIND AND HELEN,

A MODERN ECLOGUE.

ADVERTISEMENT TO ROSALIND AND HELEX, ác

Nanos, Dec. 20, 212 THE story of Rosalind and Helen is undoubtedly not an arrange in the b est style of poetry. It is in no degree calculated to excite pros t atan : 2012 by interesting the affections and amusing the imagination, it awaler a Creative melancholy favourable to the reception of more important impresa , P A in the reader all that the writer experienced in the capita. I 16-21. mysel, as I wrote, to the impulse of the feelings which mould we area of inst and this impulse determined the pauses of a measure will cry pretends to regular, inasmuch as it corresponds with and expresses me tears of the imaginations which inspire it.

I do not know which of the few scattered poems I left in Englass » be selected by my bookseller to add to this collection. One, which I sett fra Itzy, was writve after a day's excursion among those lovely mountains who Bur u nas ont the retreat, and where is now the sepulchre, of Petrarch. If any is et t's condemn the insertion of the introductory ines, which image foute wurden relief of a state of deep despondency by the radiant visions de red by this son burst of an Italian sunrise in autumn, on the highest peak of these dezz

a ins, I can only offer as my excuse that they were not erasers at the request of a dear friend with whom added years of intercourse only add to my appreterson its vaise, and who would have had more right than any one to come. La ste tas not been able to extinguish in me the very power of delineating sadress.

SCENE.—The Shore of the Lake of Como.
ROSALIND, HELEN, and her Child.

HELEX
COME hither, my sweet Rosalind.

'Tis long since thou and I have met :
And yet methinks it were unkind

Those moments to forget.
Come, sit by me. I see thee stand
By this lone lake, in this far land,
Thy loose hair in the light wind flying,

Thy sweet voice to each tone of even
United, and thine eyes replying

To the hues of yon fair heaven.
Come, gentle friend : wilt sit by me,
And be as thou wert wont to be

Ere we were disunited ?
None doth behold us now: the power
That led us forth at this lone hour

Will be but ill requited
If thou depart in scorn : oh! come
And talk of our abandoned home.
Remember, this is Italy,
And we are exiles. Talk with me

Of that our land, whose wilds and floods,
Barren and dark although they be,

Were dearer than these chesnut woods;
Those heathy paths, that inland stream,
And the blue mountains, shapes which seem
Like wrecks of childhood's sunny dream :
Which that we have abandoned now
Weighs on the heart like that remorse

Which altered friendship leaves. I seek
No more our youthful intercourse :

That cannot be. Rosalind, speak,
Speak to me! Leave me not !-- When morn did come,
When evening fell upon our common home,
When for one hour we parted—Do not frown;

I would not chide thee, though thy faith is broken.

But turn to me. Oh! by this cherished token
Of woven hair, which thou wilt not disown,
Turn, as 'twere but the memory of me,
And not my scorned self, who prayed to thee.

ROSALIND.
Is it a dream, or do I see
And hear frail Helen? I would flee

Thy tainting touch ; but former years

Arise, and bring forbidden tears;
And my o'erburthened memory
Seeks yet its lost repose in thee.
I share thy crime. I cannot choose

But weep for thee; mine own strange grief
But seldom stoops to such relief :
Nor ever did I love thee less,
Though mourning o'er thy wickedness
Even with a sister's woe. I knew

What to the evil world is due,
And therefore sternly did refuse

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To link me with the infamy.
Of one so lost as Helen. Now,

Bewildered by my dire despair,
Wondering I blush and weep that thou

Shouldst love me still—thou only :-There,
Let us sit on that grey stone,
Till our mournful talk be done.

HELEN.
Alas! not there ; I cannot bear

The murmur of this lake to hear.

A sound from there, Rosalind dear,
Which never yet I heard elsewhere
But in our native land, recurs,
Even here where now we meet. It stirs
Too much of suffocating sorrow!

In the dell of yon dark chesnut wood
Is a stone seat, a solitude

Less like our own :—The ghost of Peace
Will not desert this spot. To-morrow,

If thy kind feelings should not cease,
We may sit here.

ROSALIND.

Thou lead, my sweet,
And I will follow.

HENRY.

'Tis Fenici's seat
Where you are going ?- This is not the way,

Mamma ; it leads behind those trees that grow
Close to the little river.

HELEN,

Yes, I know;
I was bewildered. Kiss me and be gay,
Dear boy; why do you sob ?

HENRY.

I do not know :
But it might break any one's heart to see
You and the lady cry so bitterly.

HELEN.
It is a gentle child, my friend. Go home,
Henry, and play with Lilla till I come.
We only cried with joy to see each other ;

We are quite merry now.-Good night.
VOL. I.

The boy Listed a sudden look upon his mother;

And, in the gleam of forced and hollow joy
Which lightened o'er her face, laughed with the glee
Of light and unsuspecting infancy,

And whispered in her ear, “Bring home with you
That sweet strange lady-friend." Then off he flew;
But stopped, and beckoned with a meaning smile,

Where the road turned. Pale Rosalind the while, Hiding her face, stood weeping silently.

In silence then they took the way
Beneath the forest's solitude.
It was a vast and antique wood

Through which they took their way;
And the gray shades of evening
O'er that green wilderness did fling

Still deeper solitude.
Pursuing still the path that wound
The vast and knotted trees around,
Through which slow shades were wandering,

To a deep lawny dell they came,
To a stone seat beside a spring ;

O'er which the columned wood did frame
A roofless temple, like the fane
Where, ere new creeds could faith obtain,
Man's early race once knelt beneath

The overhanging deity.
O'er this fair fountain hung the sky,

Now spangled with rare stars. The snake,
The pale snake, that with eager breath

Creeps here his noontide thirst to slake,
Is beaming with many a mingled hue
Shed from yon dome's eternal blue,
When he floats on that dark and lucid flood

In the light of his own loveliness;
And the birds that in the fountain dip
Their plumes, with fearless fellowship,
Above and round him wheel and hover.

The fitful wind is heard to stir
One solitary leaf on high ;

The chirping of the grasshopper

Fills every pause. There is emotion

In all that dwells at noontide here :
Then through the intricate wild wood

A maze of life and light and motion
Is woven. But there is stillness now;
Gloom, and the trance of Nature now.
The snake is in his cave asleep ;
The birds are on the branches dreaming :

Only the shadows creep;
Only the glow-worm is gleaming ;
Only the owls and the nightingales
Wake in this dell when daylight fails,
And grey shades gather in the woods ;-

And the owls have all fled far away
In a merrier glen to hoot and play,
For the moon is veiled and sleeping now.
The accustomed nightingale still broods

On her accustomed bough;
But she is mute, for her false mate
Has fled and left her desolate.

This silent spot tradition old

Had peopled with the spectral dead. For the roots of the speaker's hair felt cold And stiff, as with tremulous lips he told

That a hellish shape at midnight led The ghost of a youth with hoary hair, And sate on the seat beside him there,

Till a naked child came wandering by,
When the fiend would change to a lady fair.
A fearful tale! The truth was worse :

For here a sister and a brother
Had solemnized a monstrous curse,
Meeting in this fair solitude :
For beneath yon very sky

Had they resigned to one another
Body and soul. The multitude,
Tracking them to the secret wood,
Tore limb from limb their innocent child,

And stabbed and trampled on its mother ;
But the youth, for God's most holy grace,
A priest saved to burn in the market-place.

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