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164

THE LAST TREE OF THE FOREST.

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-Hush ! did a breeze through the armour sigh?

Did the folds of the banner shake?
Not so !- from the tomb's dark mystery

There seemed a voice to break!
He had heard that voice bid clarions blow,

He had caught its last blessing's breath
'Twas the same! but its awful sweetness now

Had an undertone of Death !
And it said, "The sword hath conquered kings,

And the spear through realms hath passed,
But the cross alone, of all these things,

Might avail me at the last."

THE LAST TREE OF THE FOREST.

Whisper, thou Tree, thou lonely Tree,

One, where a thousand stood !
Well might proud tales be told by thee,

Last of the solemn Wood!

Dwells there no voice amidst thy boughs,

With leaves yet darkly green?
Stillness is round, and moontide glows

Tell us what thou hast seen.
“ I have seen the forest-shadows lie

Where now men reap the corn;
I have seen the kingly chase rush by,

Through the deep glades at morn.
" With the glance of many a gallant spear,

And the wave of many a plume,
And the bounding of a hundred deer
It hath lit

the woodland's gloom.
“I have seen the knight and his train ride past

With his banner borne on high ;
D'er all my leaves there was brightness cast

From his gleaning panoply.

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THE LAST TREE OF THE FOREST.

165

“ The pilgrim at my feet hath laid

His palm-branch 'midst the flowers, Antold his beads, and meekly pray'd,

Kneeling at Vesper-hours,
" And the merry men of wild and glen,

In the green array they wore,
Have feasted here with the red wine's cheer,

And the hunter's song, of yore.
“ And the minstrel, resting in my shade,

Hath made the forest ring With the lordly tales of the

high Crusade, Once loved by chief and king. « But now the noble forms are gone,

That walk'd the earth of old : The soft wind hath a mournful tone,

The sunny light looks cold.
“There is no glory left us now,

Like the glory with the dead :-
I would that where they slumber low,

My latest leaves were shed.”
Oh! thou dark Tree, thou lonely Tree,

That mournest for the Past!
A peasant's home in thy shades I see,

Embower'd from every blast.
A lovely and a mirthful sound

Of laughter meets mine ear;
For the poor man's children sport around

On the turf with nought to fear.
And roses lend that cabin's wall

A happy summer-glow;
And the open door stands free to all,

For it recks not of a foe.
And the village-bells are on the breeze

That stirs thy leaf, dark Tree!
How can I mourn, amidst things like these,

For the stormy Past with thee?

166 THE QUEEN OF PRUSSIA'S TOMB.

THE QUEEN OF PRUSSIA'S TOMB.

"Courage was cast about her like a dress

Of solemn comeliness;
A gathered mind and an untroubled face

Did give her dangers grace."
It stands where northern willows weep

A temple fair and lone;
Soft shadows o'er its marble sweep,

From cypress branches thrown;
While silently around it spread,
Thou feel'st the presence of the dead.
And what within is richly sbrined :-

A sculptured woman's form,
Lovely in perfect rest reclined,

As one beyond the storm;
Yet not of death, but slumber, lies
The solemn sweetness on those eyes.
The folded hands, the calm pure face,

The mantle's quiet flow,
The gentle, yet majestic grace,

Throned on the matron brow :
These, in that scene of tender gloom,
With a still glory robe the tomb.
There stands an eagle, at the feet

Of the fair image wrought-
A kingly emblein-nor unmeet

To wake yet deeper thought :
She, whose high heart finds rest below,
Was royal in her birth and wo.
There are pale garlands hung above

Of dying scent and hue ;
She was a mother-in her love

How sorrowfully true!
Oh ! hallowed long be every leaf,
The record of her children's grief!
She saw their birthright's warrior.crown

of olden glory spoiled,
The standard of their sires bore down-

The shield's bright blazon soiled:

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THE DESERTED HOUSE.

167

She met the tempest meekly brave,
Then turned, o'erwearied, to the grave.
She slumbered; but it came it came,

Her land's redeeming, bour,
With the glad shout and signal-flame,

Sent on from tower to tower :
Fast through the land a spirit moved
'Twas her's, the lofty and the loved.
Then was her name a word that rung

To rouse bold hearts from sleep;
Her mernory, as a banner flung

Forth by the Baltic deep;
Her grief, a bitter vial poured
To sanctify the Avenger's sword.
And the proud eagle spread again

Its pinion to the sun ;
And the strong land shook off its chain-

So was the triumph won !
But wo for earth! where Sorrow's tone
Still blends with Victory's—she was gone!

THE DESERTED HOUSE.

Gloom is upon thy lonely hearth,
O silent house ! once fill'd with mirth;
Sorrow is in the breezy sound
Of thy all poplars whispering round.
The shadow of departed hours
Hangs dim upon thine early flowers ;
Even in thy sunshine seems to brood
Something more deep than solitude.
Fair art thou, fair to stranger's gaze,
Mine own sweet home of other days!
My children's birth-place! yet, for me,
It is too much to look on thee!

168

THE DESERTED HOUSE.

Too much! for all about thee spread,
I feel the memory of the dead,
And almost linger for the feet
That never more my step shall meet.
The looks, the smiles, all vanish'd now,
Follow me where thy roses blow;
The echoes of kind household words
Are with me midst thy singing.birds;
Till my heart dies, it dies away
In yearnings for what might not stay ;
For love which ne'er deceived thy trust,
For all which went with “ dust to dust! "
What now is left me but to raise
From thee, lorn spot! my spirit's gaze,
To lift, through tears, my straining eye,
Up to my Father's house on high?
Oh, many are the mansions there,*
But not in one hath grief a share !
No haunting shades from things gone by
May there o'ersweep th' unchanging sky.
And they are there, whose long-lov'd mien
In earthly home no more is seen;
Whose places, where they smiling sate,
Are left unto us desolate.
We miss them when the board is spread,
We miss them when the prayer is said,
Upon our dreams their dying eyes
In still and mournful fondness rise.
But they are where these lougings vain
Trouble no more the heart and brain;
The sadness of this aching love
Dims not our Father's house above.
Ye are at rest, and I in tears.*
Ye dwellers of immortal spheres !
Under the poplar boughs I stand,
And mourn the broken household band.

*“In my Father's house are many mansions."'--See John, chap. xir.

From an ancient Hebrew dirge, “ Mourn for the mourner, and not for the dead; for he is at rest and we in tears."

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