Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

“Like a cloud big with a May shower,

My soul weeps healing rain
On thee, thou withered flower;
It breathes mute music on thy sleep;

Its odour calms thy brain !
Its light within thy gloomy breast

Spreads like a second youth again.
By mine thy being is to its deep

Possest.

“ The spell is done. How feel you now ?”

“ Better-Quite well,” replied The sleeper,—“What would do You good when suffering and awake?

What cure your head and side ? ”— “ 'Twould kill me what would cure my pain ;

And as I must on earth abide Awhile, yet tempt me not to break

My chain.”

A SONG.

A widow bird sate mourning for her love

Upon a wintry bough ; The frozen wind crept on above,

The freezing stream below.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,

No flower upon the ground, And little motion in the air

Except the mill-wheel's sound.

FRAGMENTS OF AN UNFINISHED DRAMA.

The following fragments are part of a Drama, undertaken for the amusement of the individuals who composed our intimate society, but left unfinished. I have preserved a sketch of the story as far as it had been shadowed in the poet's mind.

An Enchantress, living in one of the islands of the Indian Archipelago, saves the life of a Pirate, a man of savage but noble nature. She becomes enamoured of him; and he, inconstant to his mortal love, for awhile returns her passion; but at length, recalling the memory of her whom he left, and who laments his loss, he escapes from the enchanted island and returns to his lady. His mode of life makes him again go to sea, and the Enchantress seizes the opportunity to bring him, by a spirit-brewed tempest, back to her island.

Scene, before the Cavern of the Indian Enchantress.

The Enchantress comes forth.

ENCHANTRESS.

He came like a dream in the dawn of life,

He fled like a shadow before its noon;
He is gone, and my peace is turned to strife,
And I wander and wane like the weary moon.

O sweet Echo, wake,

And for my sake
Make answer the while my heart shall break!

But my heart has a music which Echo's lips,

Though tender and true, yet can answer not, And the shadow that moves in the soul's eclipse Can return not the kiss by his now forgot ;

Sweet lips ! he who hath

On my desolate path
Cast the darkness of absence, worse than death!

[merged small][ocr errors]

The Enchantress makes her spell : she is answered by a Spirit.

SPIRIT.

Within the silent centre of the earth
My mansion is ; where I have lived insphered
From the beginning, and around my sleep
Have woven all the wondrous imagery
Of this dim spot, which mortals call the world ;
Infinite depths of unknown elements
Massed into one impenetrable mask;
Sheets of immeasurable fire, and veins
Of gold, and stone, and adamantine iron.
And as a veil in which I walk through Heaven
I have wrought mountains, seas, waves, and clouds,
And lastly light, whose interfusion dawns
In the dark space of interstellar air.
A good Spirit, who watches over the Pirate's fate, leads, in a mysterious

the lady of his love to the Enchanted Isle. She is accompanied by a youth, who loves her, but whose passion she returns only with a sisterly affection. The ensuing scene takes place between them on their arrival at

manner,

the Isle.

INDIAN YOUTH AND LADY.

INDIAN.

And if my grief should still be dearer to me
Than all the pleasures in the world beside,
Why would you lighten it?-

LADY.

I offer only That which I seek, some human sympathy In this mysterious island.

INDIAN

Oh! my friend,
My sister, my beloved! What do I say?
My brain is dizzy, and I scarce know whether
I speak to thee or her.

LADY.

Peace, perturbed heart !
I am to thee only as thou to mine,
The passing wind which heals the brow at noon,
And
may

strike cold into the breast at night, Yet cannot linger where it soothes the most, Or long soothe could it linger.

INDIAN.
But you

said

You also loved ?

LADY.

Loved! Oh, I love. Methinks This word of love is fit for all the world, And that for gentle hearts another name Would speak of gentler thoughts than the world owns. I have loved.

INDIAN.

And thou lovest not? If so Young as thou art, thou canst afford to weep.

LADY.

Oh! would that I could claim exemption
From all the bitterness of that sweet name.
I loved, I love, and when I love no more
Let joys and grief perish, and leave despair
To ring the knell of youth.

He stood beside me,
The embodied vision of the brightest dream,
Which like a dawn heralds the day of life ;
The shadow of his

presence

made

my

world
A paradise. All familiar things he touched,
All common words he spoke, became to me
Like forms and sounds of a diviner world.
He was as is the sun in his fierce youth,
As terrible and lovely as a tempest ;

He came, and went, and left me what I am.
Alas! Why must I think how oft we two
Have sat together near the river springs,
Under the green pavilion which the willow
Spreads on the floor of the unbroken fountain,
Strewn by the nurslings that linger there,
Over that islet paved with flowers and moss,
While the musk-rose leaves, like flakes of crimson snow,
Showered on us, and the dove mourned in the pine,
Sad prophetess of sorrows not her own.

INDIAN.

Your breath is like soft music, your words are
The echoes of a voice which on my heart
Sleeps like a melody of early days.
But as you said

LADY.

He was so awful, yet
So beautiful in mystery and terror,
Calming me as the loveliness of heaven
Soothes the unquiet sea :—and yet not so,
For he seemed stormy, and would often seem
A quenchless sun masked in portentous clouds ;
For such his thoughts, and even his actions were ;
But he was not of them, nor they of him,
But as they hid his splendour from the earth.
Some said he was a man of blood and peril,
And steeped in bitter infamy to the lips
More need was there I should be innocent,
More need that I should be most true and kind,
And much more need that there should be found one
To share remorse, and scorn, and solitude,
And all the ills that wait on those who do
The tasks of ruin in the world of life.
He fled, and I have followed him.

« PoprzedniaDalej »