« PoprzedniaDalej »
gate the poor were waiting ; looking through the iron grating, with that terror in the eye that is only seen in those, who, amid their wants and woes, hear the sound of doors that close, and feet that pass them by: grown familiar with disfavour, grown familiar with the saviour of the bread by which men die ! But to-day,they knew not why,- like the gate of Paradise seemed the Convent-gate to rise ; like a sacrament divine seemed to them the bread and wine.
In his heart the Monk was praying, thinking of the homeless poor, what they suffer and endure; what we see not, what we sie; and the inward Voice was saying,
“Whatsoever thing thou doest to the least of mine and lowest, that thou doest unto me!” 6. Unto Me!” But had the Vision come to him in beggar's clothing, come a mendicant imploring, would he then have knelt adoring, or have listened with derision, and have turned away with loathing?
Thus his conscience put the question, full of troublesome suggestion, as, at length, with hurried pace, towards his cell he turned his face; and beheld the Convent bright with a supernatural light,-like a luminous cloud expanding over floor and wall and ceiling. But he paused, with awe-struck feeling. at the threshold of his door; for the Vision still was standing as he left it there before ; when the Convent-bell appalling, from its belfry calling, calling, summoned him to feed the poor. Through the long hour intervening, it had waited his return ; and he felt his bosom burn, comprehending all the meaning, when the Blessed Vision said, “ Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled !" XXXVIII–CEUR DE LION AT THE BIER OF HIS FATHER.
Where a king lay stately on his bier in the cburch of Fontevrault.
And light as noon's broad light was Aung on the settled face of death :
On the settled face of death a strong and ruddy glare,
Though dimmed at times by the censer's breath, yet it fell still brightest there ; As if each deeply furrowed trace of earthly years to show,
Alas! that sceptred mortal's race had surely closed in woe !
The marble floor was swept by many a long dark stole,
As the kneeling priests, round him that slept, sang mass for the parted soul ; And solemn were the strains they poured through the stillness of the night,
With the cross above, and the crown and sword, and the silent king in sight.
There was heard a heavy clang, as of steel-girt men the tread,
And the tombs and hollow pavement rang with a sounding thrill of dread; And the holy chant was hushed awhile, as by the torch's flame,
A gleam of arms up the sweeping aisle with a mail-clad leader came.
He came with haughty look, on eagle glance and clear ;
But his proud heart through its breast-plate shook when he stood beside the bier ! He stood there still with a drooping brow, and clasped hands o'er it raised ;
For his father lay before him low, it was Caur de Lion gazed !
And silently he strove with the workings of his breast ;
But there's more in late repentant love than steel may keep suppressed ! And his tears brake forth at last like rain,—men held their breath in awe,
For his face seen by his warrior-train, and he recked not that they saw.
He looked upon the dead, and sorrow seemed to lie,
A weight of sorrow, even like lead, pale on the fast-shut eye.
Till bursting words—yet all too weak-gave his soul's passion way.
" Oh father! is it vain, this late remorse and deep ?
Speak to me, father! occe again, I weep,-behold, I weep! Alas! my guilty pride and ire! were but this work undone,
I would give England's crown, my sire! tho hear thee bless thy son.
“Speak to me! mighty grief ere now the dust hath stirred !
Hear me, but hear me !—father, chief, my king! I must be heard ! Hushed, hushed,-how is it that I call, and that thou answerest not?
When was it thus, woe, woe for all the love my soul forgot!
Thy silver hairs I see, so still, so sadly bright!
And father, father! but for me, they had not been so white !
Oh, for one moment of the past, to kneel and say,—forgive !"
“ Thou wert the noblest king on royal thorne ere seen;
And thou didst wear in knightly ring, of all, the stateliest mien;
Oh, ever the renowned and loved thou wert,—and there thou art !
“ Though that my boyhood's guide didst take fond joy to be !
The times I've sported at thy side, and climbed thy parent knee ! And there before the blessed shrine, my sire! I see thee lie,
How will that sad still face of thine look on me till I die!"
XXXIX.—THE FALL OF D'ASSAS.
LONE, through gloomy forest shades, a Soldier went by night,
No moon-beam pierced the dusky glades, no star shed guiding light. Yet, on his vigil's midnight round, the youth all cheerly passed ; Unchecked by aught of boding sound, that muttered in the blast.
Where were his thoughts that lonely hour ?—In his far home perchange-
Hark! yet again !—and from his hand, what grasp hath wrenched the blade ?
Still at the bayonet's point he stood, and strong to meet the blow;
DOUGLAS JERROLD'S MAGAZINE,
Oh, pleasant are fair Cheviot's hills, with velvet verdure spread,
And so it was for many a day !- but change with time will come ;
On Egypt's arid wastes of sand the sheperd now is lying :
At length, upon his wearied eyes, the mists of slumber come,
'Mid moaning men, and dying men, the drummer kept his way,
Could then his direful doom foretell !
his battle-axe the swing.