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Crept year by year; the minstrel pass'd their walls,
The warder's horn hung mute ;-meantime the child
On whose first flowering thoughts no parent smiled,
A gentle girl, and yet deep-hearted, grew
Into sad youth; for well, too well she knew
Her mother's tale !—Its memory made the sky
Seem all too joyous for ber shrinking eye ;
Check'd ou her lip the flow of song, which fain
Would there have linger'd; flush'd her cheek to pain
If met by sudden glance; and gave a tone
Of sorrow, as for something lovely gone,
Ev'n to the Spring's glad voice. - Her own was low,
And plaintive-oh! there lie such depths of wo
In a young blighted spirit.—Manhood rears
A haughty brow, and Age has done with tears,
But youth bows down to misery, in amaze
At the dark cloud o'ermantling its fresh days;
And thus it was with her.-A mournful sight
In one so fair; for she indeed was fair-
Not with her mother's dazzling eyes of light,
Hers were more shadowy, full of thought and prayer,
And with long lashes o'er a white-rose cheek
Drooping in gloom, yet tender still, and meek,
Still that fond child's and oh! the brow above,
So pale and pure ! so form'd for holy love
To gaze upon in silence !-but she felt
That love was not for her, though hearts would melt
Where'er she moved, and reverence mutely giveu
Went with her; and low prayers, that callid on Heaven
To bless the young Isaure.
One sunny morn,
With alms before her castle gate she stood,
'Midst peasant-groups ; when breathless and o'er-worn,
And shrouded in long weeds of widowhood,
A stranger through them broke-the orphan maid
With her sweet voice, and proffer'd hand of aid,
Turn'd to give welcome; but a wild sad look
Met hers; a gaze that all her spirit shook ;
And that pale woman, suddenly subdued
By soine strong passion in its gushing mood,
Knelt at ber feet, and bathed them with such tear's
As rain the hoarded agonies of years
From the heart's urn--and with her white lips prest
Tbe ground they trod-then, burying in her vest
Her brow's deep flush, sobb’d out, "Oh! undefiled!
I ain thy mother!--spurn me not, my child!"
Isaure bad pray'd for that lost mother--wept
O’er her stain'd memory, when the happy slept,
Jo the bush'd midnight; stood with mournful gaze
Before yon picture's smile of other days;
But never breath'd in human ear the name
Which weigh'd her being to the earth with shame.
What marvel if the anguish of surprise,
The dark remembrances, the alter'd guise,
Awbile o'erpower'd her ?-—from the weeper's touch
She shrank--twas but a moment-get too much
For that all humbled one its mortal stroke
Came down like lightning's, and her full heart broke
At once in silence.- Heavily and prone
She sank, while, o'er her castle's threshold-stone,
Those long fair tresses--they still brightly wore
Their early pride, though bound with pearls no more.
Bursting their illet, in sad beauty roll'd,
And swept the dust with coils of wavy gold.
Her child bent o'er her-call'd her 'twas too late !
Dead lay the wanderer at her own proud gate.-
The joy of courts, the star of knight and bard-
How didst thou fall, oh! bright-hair'd Ermengarde ?
OCCASIONED BY RECEIVING A LEAF GATHERED IN THE CASTLE
Oh! how could Fancy crown with thee,
In ancient days, the god of wine,
And bid thee at the banquet be,
Companion of the vine ?
Thy bome, wild plant, is where each sound
Of revelry hath long been o'er ;
Where song's full notes once peal'd around,
But now are heard no more.
The Roman, on his battle plains,
Where kings before bis eagles bent,
Entwined thee, with exulting strains,
Around the victor's tent;
Yet there, though fresh in glossy green,
Triumphantly thy boughs might wave,
Better thou lov'st the silent scene,
Around the victor's grave.
Where sleep the sons of ages flown,
The bards and heroes of the past,
Where, through the halls of glory gone,
Murmurs the wintry blast;
Where years are hastening to efface
Each record of the grand and fair
Thou in thy solitary grace,
Wreath of the tomb! art there.
Oh! many a tenaple, once sublime,
Beneath a blue, Italian sky,
Hath naught of beauty left by time,
Save thy wild tapestry.
And rear'd 'midst crags and clouds, 'tis thine
To wave where banners waved of yore,
O'er towers that crest the noble Rhine,
Along his rocky shore.
High from the fields of air, look down
Those eyries of a vanish'd race,
Homes of the mighty, whose renown
Hath pass'd and left ap trace.
But thou art there-thy foliage bright,
Unchanged, the mountain-storm can brave-
Thou that wilt climb the loftiest height,
And deck the humblest grave.
The breathing forms of Parian stone,
That rise round Grandeur's marble balls ;
The vivid hues by painting thrown
Rich o'er the glowing walls;
Th' acanthus on Corinthian fanes,
In sculptured beauty waving fair,--
These perish all--and what remains ?.
Thou, thou alone art there.
'Tis still the same—where'er we tread,
The wrecks of human power we see,
The marvels of all ages fled,
Left to Decay and thee,
And still let man his fabrics rear,
August in beauty, grace, and strength,
Days pass, thou “ Ivy never sere,'**
And all is thine at length.
*" Pe myrties brown, and ivy never sere."
FOR A DESIGN OF A BUTTERFLY, &c. 97
ON A LEAF FROM THE TOMB OF VIRGIL.
AxD was thy home, pale wither'd thing,
Beneath the rich blue southern sky?
Wert thou a nursling of the Spring,
The winds, and suns of glorious Italy?
Those suns in golden light, e'en now,
Look o'er the Poet's lovely grave,
Those winds are breathing soft, but thou
Answering their whisper, there no more shalt wave.
The flowers o'er Posilippo's brow,
May cluster in their purple bloom,
But on th' o'ershadowing ilex-bough,
Thy breezy place is void, by Virgil's tomb.
Thy place is void--oh! none on earth,
This crowded earth, may so remain,
Save that which souls of loftiest birth
Leave when they part, their brighter home to gain.
Another leaf ere now hath sprung,
On the green stem which once was thine-
When shall another strain be sung
Like his whose dust hath made that spot a shrine ?
FOR A DESIGN OF A BUTTERFLY REST
ING ON A SKULL.
CREATURE of air and light,
Emblem of that which may not fade or die,
Wilt thou not speed thy flight,
To chase the south-wind through the glowing sky ?
What lures thee thus to stay,
With Silence and Decay,
Fix'd on the wreck of cold Mortality?
The thoughts once chamber'd there,
Have gather'd up their treasures, and are gone
Will the dust tell us where
They that have burst the prison-house are flown ?
Rise, nursling of the day,
If thou wouldst trace their way,
Earth hath no voice to make the secret known.
Who seeks the vanish'd bird
By the forsaken nest and broken shell ?
Far thence he sings uuheard,
Yet free and joyous in the woods to dwell.
Thou of the sunshine born,
Take the bright wings of morn!
Thy hope calls heaven-ward from yon ruin'd cell.
" Like the lost Pleiad seen no more below."
And is there glory from the heavens departed?
-Oh! void unmark'd !-thy sisters of the sky
Still hold their place on high,
Though from its rank thine orb so long bath started,
Thou, that no more art seen of mortal eye.
Hath the night lost a gem, the regal night?
She wears her crown of old magnificence,
Though thou art exiled thence-
No desert seems to part those urns of light,
'Midst the far depth of purple gloom intense.
They rise in joy, the starry myriads burninga
The shepherd greets them on his mountains free ;
And from the silvery sea
To them the sailor's wakeful eye is turning-
Unchanged they rise, they have not mourn'd for thee.
Couldst thou be shaken from thy radiant place
Ev'n as a dew-drop from the myrtle spray,
Swept by the wind away?