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Advance! The fatal word is given ;
A sob goes swelling through the crowd ; He lifts his trembling hands to Heaven;
His voice is mournful, deep, and loud.
Oh, God !—I sought but to be free!
If the deep bondage of this land May centre all its ills on me,
Then let me perish where I stand ! The blood of many a kingly sire,
Has reddened on my native sod; The light of many a martyr's fire
Has sent its life-smoke up to God! And I, her son, was it a crime
To seize the chains that mar her breast, And scatter back the wrongs that Time
Has rusted round her emerald crest ?
Springs to his arms: “I go-I go!
What power shall part us two again? Yes, fold us closer--closer, love
In me thou has told Ireland yet;
Native to us. Thy eyes are wet-
Its holy anguish pleads for me-
To perish looking on that sea ?” Breathless she gazed into his face,
And lifted from her heart the childRelieved from her too fond embrace,
The boy looked up and softly smiled. The convict turned. They should not know
How close the tears rose to his eyes— How sweet the love-how deep the woe,
Brought to his soul by this surprise.
A crime! While Ireland in her chains
Against oppression toils and strives, Each ruddy drop within my veins,
Though vital with a thousand lives, Let forth by this too willing hand
If that could rend one link apart,
The old wine of a broken heart.
And what am I? A convict slave!
Will bear me to a felon's grave. “ Onward !” The guards file slowly past;
His pulse beats, like a muffled knell, As dead leaves in the wintry blast,
His lifted hands unlocked and fell
“ Advance !" Again that dread command
Rolls, trumpet-like, along the shore, Guarded by England's soldier band
They leave old Ireland evermore. · They stood together on that gloomy deck,
Straining each gaze to catch another sight Of that dim shore that, like a cloudy speck,
Lay dark and sombre in the morning light. Ah, it was very mournful. All around
The weltering sea heaved with a hollow moan, And from the hold arose the dreary sound
Of smothered tears and many a broken groan; For that old battered prison-ship was full,
And freighted deep with misery and tears,
She reeled and trembled as with human fears.
Their eyes turned shoreward with a dreary gaze,
And there lay Ireland mourning in the haze.
“Oh for a grave beneath my native sod!"
“I ask but this—but this, Almighty God!”
But hark! A tumult in the crowd
Murmurs of anguish and surprise ; For onward like a drifting cloud,
That from a tempest wildly flies-The wife appears! A little child
Lies struggling in her firm embrace,
In terror to her pallid face.
Nor feels the moist wind wander through The golden splendor of her hair,
That shades those eyes of burning blue Nor heeds the boy, but firmer girds
His cries and struggles to her heart. She utters neither groan nor words,
But, with white cheek and lips apart, Moves slowly through the brcathless throng,
That yields, with sympathy profound, A passage as she glides along,
In search of that brave outward bound.
As if the heavens themselves had heard,
The passion of that cry, The moaning deep was fiercely stirred;
The waves rose white and high.
The clouds in one broad thunder fold,
Swept blackly through the air, Like a great pall of death unrolled
By angels answering there.
The convict sees her on the strand,
With one great pang of more than joy, He turns upon the soldiers band : “ Stop! Yonder are my wife and boy !" Then, like a panther from its glade,
He braves the bayonet's deadly clash, And Alings aside each gleaming blade
With a fierce bound and lightning dash. She sees him. Like a wounded doe,
Al wild with bliss and mad with pain,
Blacker and blacker glooms the front of heaven,
And in its wrath sweeps the recoiling sea, Hither and yon the angry waves are driven,
Like routed war steeds, rushing to be free. In mad battalions, with their white manes streaming,
They trample down the bosom of the deep; Sharp, fiery lances through the clouds are gleaming,
And strike the waters where they foam and leap.
And then was torn that inky cloud,
With storms of lurid rain ;
It comes! it comes ! that rushing mountain now,
And lifts the shuddering vessel on its breast, Quick, vivid flashes curl around her prow,
And wreathe the masts with many a fiery crest.
A plunge, a quick recoil, one fearful cry!
That clinging group go downward with the shock.
And heaven's artillery thundered loud
Above the heaving main.
Retreating in their ire,
Great cataracts of fire.
The tortured vessel plunges madly on;
Her guards are broken, and her strength is gone.
The helpless crew are swept from where they clung,
Her tattered canvas to the storm is flung.
She reels and toils toward the rocky shore,
Like fiery arrows piercing through the roar.
Girds in the unconscious boy and pallid wife,
Hope comes with death, and slavery with life.
'Tis over—from behind that parted cloud
The frightened moon sheds down a timid gleam. With the white foam around her, like a shroud,
Through which her golden locks all dimly stream,
Folded upon the marble of her breast,
As if he lay caressing and caressed.
With his cold face half veiled beneath her hair,
Cast to her side hy a relenting wave,
The Irish Patriot filled an Irish Grave.
MY LITTLE GODSON.
I had just gone to housekeeping in the dear old man- | an occasion when the place he loved as well as I did, our sion where my husband was born. We had been two home, was to be displayed to such guests, and a thousyears abroad and this was really the commencement of land fancies, some of which I approved, some I could our home life. The old mansion with its antique furni- hardly avoid laughing at, were suggested by him for its ture, the fine old forest trees that overshadowed it, the adornment. “Don't you think, Eve," he asked, " if we lawn glowing with flowers, the distant river, all these were to collect a lot of glow-worms off the lawn, and made up our little paradise. There was but one thing put them here in this little plot where the flower-beds wanting, and that we never spoke of. Vane and I were are, in front of the drawing-room windows; they would : alone in the old house. There was room enough for a stay and look so pretty at night among the flowers – dozen children, but we were childless. This was the let us get some to-night!" It was impossible for me to only shadow, that fell across our threshold when we keep my countenance at this proposition, and he looked passed over it.
disappointed—even a little vexed. “How dare you We had hardly got settled when a letter came from laugh at me, you little monster; I'm sure it would be Cousin Selina, who had been married the same year charming; it would look like the valley of diamonds ! with ourselves, saying that we might expect them im--but you're always thwarting me; I hate your sensible mediately, on a visit of some weeks. Her husband was people who have no imaginations ;-no-don't put your one of the most splendid fellows in the world, and she arm though mine, and look up in that coaxing way! I the most perfect little beauty you ever set eyes on. don't like you, I won't kiss you; this is the third time
How proud and how happy I felt at the idea of to-day I have seen you smile when I suggested an imreceiving these dear guests; of showing them, and doing provement; you thought I didn't see you, but I did, them the honors, of my beloved old Woodlands. Break- and I won't bear it any longer!” I drew my arın fast was hardly concluded, when Vane hurried on my quickly from his, turned my back and bent my head, su garden-hat, and with his old boyish impetuosity in all that my hat quite concealed my face from him; he campe that interested him, or concerned those he loved, drew up and stole his arm softly round me and tried to raise me out to inspect the grounds, and see what arrange- my head, but I resisted, and kept my face averted, ments or improvements could be made to add to their though it was difficult for me to conceal my laughter. beauty. In truth, it seemed difficult. Fortunately the “What, you're sulky, too ?—there, I'll forgive you this spring was particularly fine and advanced, and already once, Eve, do you hear ?—come, we'll make friends ;many of the earlier roses had anticipated June, and by Jove, I believe the little minx thinks I'm to beg her were, with a variety of other summer flowers, bursting pardon! Well, then, I will, I do, Eve; I'll never do it into luxuriant bloom.
again-never, never any more—will that do, or must I Still, Van" thought, art must help nature a little on go down on my knees ?” I could hold out no longer, and burst into a fit of merry laughter; he joined me, finally dosed; the respiration became deeper, the lips calling me a spoilt tyrant, a little take-in, who would parted, showing a gleam of pearly teeth, and she slept. make anybody believe I was a dove, instead of the The door opened softly, and Reginald entered; at a fiercest hen that ever pecked her unhappy mate into a sign from me, he stole to the bedside and looked at her: condition of the most abject slavery.
oh, what depths of unutterable tenderness spoke through The great glow-worm question being disposed of, we his eyes as he gazed on the fair young face of his went into the house to decide upon what arrangements wife. should there be made for the coming guests.
She seemed conscious of his presence. A smile broke The time appointed brought Selina and Reginald. over her slumber, and her lips half-syllabled his name. The former was naturally fatigued from her journey, With a cordial good-night, and anticipations of a though well and in excellent spirits. What sunshine happy morrow, we parted, and I rejoined Vane in the Ler bright face brought into the house as she entered it! | drawing-room. “So, this is Woodlands at last !” she said as she looked In the inorning, I sent to know how Selina had passed] round; "it's the nicest place I ever saw in my life; the night, after the fatigues of her journey: she has how glad I am to find myself here in it, and with you, never had a better, was the satisfactory reply; and I you two dears !" and she looked from one to the other had hardly arrived in the breakfast-room, before down of us, holding out to each a little white hand, and gaz- she came, radiant as the May morning, with a little ing through eyes humid with affection. “How well blue-ribboned coquettish apology for a cap, half containyou look, my Evelyn, and how happy! Reginald, looking, without concealing, her sunny hair. Kissing me at her, and tell me if she isn't the loveliest creature you gleefully, and telling me how well she was, and how ever saw in your life! You needn't blush--you are, happy and how hopeful, she passed through the open and it makes me so happy to see it, that I should like French window on to the broad woodbine-garlanded to tell you so every time I look at you ?"
verandah, followed by Fay-Fay, ever faithful, fond, and When did a happier party sit down round a dinner- fat; a little sobered by age, but still with energy enough table than the one that day assembled at Woodlands ? | left to scainper and bark veliemently at nothing at all, My husband was in one of those fits of wild frolicsome when he found himself out in the open air. There she spirits that came over him occasionally; a thousand stood, enivrée-I can find no English word to express it fantastic fancies, glowing descriptions, brilliant sallies, — with happiness, with sunshine, with bird-music, with curious stories, perfect imitations, flowed forth in end- the breath of the wind through the trees-elm and maless succession; and we, delighted, laughed and listen- ple, and horse-chestnut-and ed, never wearied, though it had gone on till morning;
“The lime, the summer-house of murmurous wings," for even in the most entire freedom of Vane’s gaiety,
with there was always a finesse, a point, a somewhat refined,
" The one warm gust, full-fed with perfume" that prevented its ever becoming overpowering, as mere animal spirits hardly ever fail to do.
of honeysuckle, hawthorn, mignionette, hyacinth-all It required some exertion of Reginald's authority to Spring's wealth of sweetest odors. What a happy induce Selina to retire to her room at a reasonable hour time it was—what a happy, bright, blessed time! Ah, after the fatigues of her journey, so unwilling was she well, it is something to have known it-something to to break up the party. However, I joined in his exhor- have one sunny island in life's dark sea to rest the tations, and we carried the point. I accompanied her to memory upon; for I hold that even when the happiness her apartment, but she was too excited to go to bed at we once possessed has fled, the recollection of it, instead once, as I wished her to do. She wandered about the of darkening by contrast the present, helps to take us room, examining the pictures, the ornaments; sat down, out of it, and gives us many hours of relief; not pergot up again, laughed, clapped her hands, kissed me haps at first, but later, when time has cast a bridge over with childlike veheinence, patted my cheeks; while I, the abyss that yawned between happiness and misery, laughing and chiding, gazed on her beaming brown and softened with his own quiet half tints the gorgeous eyes, her glowing cheeks, the dimples coming and going glories of the one, and the black and ghastly glooms of about her rosy mouth, and thought I had never seen a the other. creature so beautiful. At last I succeeded in calming Vane and Reginald, who had been paying a matutinal her and inducing her to go to rest.
| visit to the stables, came in, and we all sat down to "I will," she said, “if you'll sit by me till I'm breakfast—a breakfast with fresh eggs, laid by my own asleep. I promised, and she then lay down, I sitting pet fancy hens, game, golden, Polish, Spanish, all sorts beside the bed watching, as a mother watches her child. of fine ladies of hens; preserved fruits made by ElizaAt first she moved restlessly, stretching and throwing beth, my old nursery-maid, now promoted to the rank her arms about outside the coverlet; occasionally speak- of house-keeper; hot home-made rolls; cream and buting and smiling at me, but finding I only shook my head ter from my pretty thoroughbred Alderney cows—finein reply, she at last resigned herself to sleep; the little limbed, large-eyed, gentle creatures, that waited of a rosy-white hands were folded, palm to palm, beneath morning for the handful of salt with which I was wont her warm cheek; the dark eyes that had wandered to regale them; honey from the beehives ranged along ‘about so restlessly, settled; the fringed lids drooped, the south wall in the kitchen garden, and early strawraised themselves languidly, fell again, trembled, and berries from the beds planted in front of them. Selina,
who was not the least ashamed of having a good appe- I won't speak such fancies !-he is now as proud and tite, no less than Reginald, enjoyed our “ home pro- happy as I am. Oh, Evelyn, at times I think I have duce ;" and we lounged, loitering and talking long and too much felicity." pleasantly over the meal.
“Dearest, this very fear ought to help to reassure Then we strolled forth into the garden; not one you: you are so intensely conscious of and grateful of my particular pet flowers escaping Selina's notice : for the happiness God sends you; you do not accept visited the dove-cotes, whose inhabitants I had so it as a right-you esteem it so entirely as a gratuity, immed, that, whenever I appeared, they flocked round, make so good a use of it, are so anxious to communi. perching on my head, my arm, my shoulders ; and ended cate whatever portion of it you can, to others, that the survey with a peep into the stables. Then, fearing I know no one who need feel fewer misgivings on the io fatigue Selina, I took her into the house, and we sat subject." iogether in the morning-room, chatting over a thousand “You think so—I will try to hope it. Oh, indeed, pleasant topics till the hour came for us to drive indeed I am grateful for such happiness! there is not a out in the carriage.
morning or a night of my life that I do not thank God There was a natural grace and graciousness about for it from my inmost soul, and pray that I may not be Selina's manner-& child-like confidence that I never spoiled by it, and rendered unfit to bear adversity, if saw any one capable of resisting; and this it was which He thought fit ever to send it to me. I pray, only, that rendered her visit so delightful.
it may not be sent through those I love; that I fear I Selina soon fell into the habit of passing a certain am too weak to bear!" portion of the morning in her own sitting-room, some-l “Let us talk," said I, “ of my second cousin, in whom times alone, sometimes with Reginald, Vane, and I, who I am doubly interested, having a claim on both your had free and constant access to the sanctum—a privi- | and Reginald's side.". lege which our own habits and our knowledge of hers, “Yes, and godmother too, of course; and namesake. prevented our ever abusing. Not unfrequently, how - You really are the most convenient friend in the world," ever, she used to ask me to go there, to consult with she went on, with her silvery laugh; "for you are her on some little point of daily interest, to read, or to ready to fill up every office that friendship can impose. sing with her: often I read aloud while she worked, You'll have no sinecure, my poor Evie! here comes and this was what generally best pleased her,
somebody!” and the cap was hurried, with every The arrival of some new books was the signal for the appearance of guilty haste, into the work-basket, as commencement of a sort of series of these “morning Vane knocked at the door. entertainments," which were occasionally shared by “What have you two been conspiring about ?" he Vane and Reginalu:
asked, as his quick eye noted a certain embarrassment One day, I was reading from a volume of poems which on both our faces; “Selina looks the most guilty: come had just appeared from the pen of a new and unknown Eve, turn State's evidence, and save your country and writer. Selina was, in general, the most attentive of your kindred from her machinations; I'm sure it must auditors, but on this occasion, I, happening to raise my be something atrocious; I never saw such a diabolical oyes from the book-and turning them on her, perceived countenance in my life. I have been a great fool to she was sitting, her hands on her lap, buried in a pro- allow you to associate with her; I will do so no longer; found reverie, and evidently unconscious of anything come away, instantly, before the work of corruption is : beyond the subject of her own thoughts. I finished the further advanced." And drawing my arm through his, y passage, and then, somewhat mischievously, asked her he led me out of the room-turning back at the door to opinion on it; she started, “I beg your pardon, dear shake his head, tragically, at Selina, whom we left child,” she said, with her own frank smile, “but-for- bathed in blushes. give me I was thinking of something else;" she A happy month flew by at Woodlands, which brought paused, then dropping her eyes, she added in a lower us into inidsuminer, and then it was settled that we tone, while the eloquent blood rose to her very temples should accompany our guests home. --" if you knew of what I was thinking you would not At daybreak on one morning, I was called to Selina's wonder at my inattention." I went and sat down on room: by the bed sat Reginald, haggard with emotion, the sofa by her side, and put my arm round her waist, his elbows on his knees, his head resting on his hands. • Tell me, Selina, of what you were thinking; may I “Evelyn, dear,” said Selina, “take Reginald with you; at know ?" She raised the lid of a work-basket that keep him till—till you are sent for." I kissed her stood beside her, and took out—a tiny cap--worked brow; and silently laying my hand on Reginald's and laced, and frilled, and with blushing, bashful shoulder, le rose and followed me passively as a child. triumph, held it up on the tips of her fingers :
| I led him to the drawing-room, and there he flung him“ Darling!” I exclaimed, “how glad I am!-are you selt on a sofa, and burying his face among the pillows, very happy ?"
sobbed till every nerve of his manly frame shook like “Oh, so happy! so proud! I have wished for this so the weakest of woman's. long—at least, it seemed long; I have dreamt of it, and I knew how vain it was to speak to him then, and I telt jealous of every young inother; and Reginald wished let the paroxysm pass: he became calmer, and though it as much as I; and—it was foolishi, unjust, absurd, I my own heart beat nervously, though my ear was set to know, but I could not help it sometimes I fancied-no, catch every sound, and I could hardly command the tremor of my voice, I strove to appear confident and at “May I kiss it ?" ease, and talked to him of Selina and of his child with | “Kiss it ! Lord love yon, yes, sir-Do danger !" every appearance of assurance and security. A hurried Reginald performed the operation with evidently as step on the stairs ! we both sprang forward to the door much alarm as pleasure, and then stood contemplating to hear the blessed announcement that all was well, and the infant with a mixture of pride and wonder that was that Selina was the mother of a noble boy! “Nor at once touching and ludicrous beyond expression. I may go to her !" Reginald exclaimed, turning to me: | Then, evidently without having at all made clear lijs “Not yet;" he returned to the sofa, and sat down. own impressions on the subject of his son's aspect, he "Evelyn," he said, his face an April sky of tears and returned to the bedside, and sat silently holding his sunshine, “help me to thank God for all this." We wife's hand in his own. knelt down, side by side; a prayer, repeated in firmSelina had resolved from the first to nurse the child accent, seemed to rise from the very inmost recesses of herself, a duty to which, as she was remarkably healthy, my soul; while Reginald, with bowed head and crossed neither her physician nor Reginald objected. The child hands, now and then uttered a deep “ Amen!” As we was brought to her, and I noted the difference of the rose from our knees, Vane, who had more faith in my earliest impressions of father and mother. She never for management of Reginald than in his own, entered. a moment doubted of the perfection of the little being;
"Now," I said, “if Reginald will keep quiet, I will I believe she thought its redness constituted one of its go and see if he may greet his son and heir.” He pro-chief charms; she hugged it, without the least alarm mised, and I proceeded to Selina's chamber; ere I that it would crumble to pieces in her grasp ; she kissed, reached it, the shrill cry that struck upon my ear made and siniled, and wept over it, studying its features, its my heart leap with a strange emotion : who has not hair, its little helpless, half-open hands; seeking to find felt this, at that first actual evidence of the existence of it like Reginald ; and then looking forth from the pre& new human creature, the sudden presence of another sent into a vista leading through short-coats, the first mortal, as yet strange and unknown even to the expect- utterance of “Papa," the first tottering steps, the rockant and adoring hearts of the authors of its being? what | ing-horse, the pony, school-days, at which she winced a must she have felt, when that cry first told her she was little, but consoled herself with an assurance of prizes the mother of a living child! Oh, I almost envied and distinctions; college, with increasing honors, and her!
then a manhood like its father's. Whether, during that Selina was much excited when I entered ; tears and first day of maternity, she arrived at being a grandsmiles passed in succession over her face; she would mother, I cannot positively state, but I think it highly talk rapidly, calling her child by names of the most probable that that prospect was at least glanced at in her impassioned tenderness; and it was only on my assuring speculations, as after her first excitement over, she lay, her that I would not let her husband come till she was calm and happy, a half-smile on her sweet lips, and her calm and silent, that she strove to regain tranquillity. large brown eyes, now wandering about the room, now Then I sought Reginaid, and, leaving him by her bed- fixed in deep abstraction. side, turned to contemplate more at leisure the little Selina's recovery was rapid, and day by day her adoheir, who had ceased to exert his lungs, and lay, dis-ration for her child seemed to increase. As its beauty playing only a little red face and hands in the midst of began to develop, Reginald's paternal pride and affec. much muslin and flannel, on the nurse's knee. Of tion grew proportionately, and he ceased to regard his course she assured me it was one of the finest specimens son as a strange and dangerous piece of mechanism, of new-born humanity that had ever come under her which he did not comprehend, and feared to injure by a wide-spread experience; and I really believe it might touch. have been; though mine not being at that period at all! In due time, there was a grand christening; and then extensive, I was content to take her word for it, and to we left our little godson, and returned home. gaze at the little, soft, half-formed, soulless face, with. The winter passed by, quietly and uneventfully, and working mouth and half-closed eyes, wondering the the spring brought the period for our second visit to while what might be its sensations, and if, as yet, a dawn the Audleys. of anything beyond the consciousness of mere physical As we drove up the avenue, which led to their pleasexistence had gleamed on its spirit.
ant country-house, the sound of our wheels, brought While thus speculating, the father came to look at his out its beloved inhabitants to greet us; there on the son; "There's a lovely boy, sir !” exclaimed the nurse, steps stood Selina, looking, as I fancied, a shade less as he bent over it.
girlish, a little more matronly, than last year, but ever Reginald seemed reassured by the assertion; it bright and beautiful as the morning; and Reginald with did not appear quite to have struck him in that light his boy in his arrns. There indeed was a metamorphobefore.
sis ; instead of the helpless bundle in long clothes, was “You think it's a fine child, nurse ?” he asked, half l a noble, sturdy, infant Hercules, with such limbs, such a doubtfully, half hopefully; “isn't it very red ?” he sug complexion, such glorious eyes—his mother's—such gested, timidly.
clustering golden curls. As I advanced to kiss him, he "Red, sir! of course it is; all healthy children are looked at me intently for a moment, clinging tight to red at first : I should think it was red! a love, a beauty, his father; then relenting, his face relaxed, and he it was!"
offered his lips to my embrace, but decidedly declined