Imágenes de páginas
PDF

Then with the father's name she coupled words - That pillow is no longer to be thine,
Of vehement indignation; but the Youth

Fond Youth ! that mournful solace now must pass
Checked her with filial meekness; for no thought Into the list of things that cannot be !
Uncharitable crossed his mind, no sense

Unwedded Julia, terror-smitten, hears Of hasty anger rising in the eclipse

The sentence, by her mother's lip pronounced, Of true domestic loyalty, did e'er

That dooms her to a convent.—Who shall tell, Find place within his bosom.-Once again

Who dares report, the tidings to the lord The persevering wedge of tyranny

Of her affections ? so they blindly asked Achieved their separation : and once more Who knew not to what quiet depths a weight Were they united,—to be yet again

Of agony had pressed the Sufferer down : Disparted, pitiable lot! But here

The word, by others dreaded, he can hear A portion of the tale may well be left

Composed and silent, without visible sign In silence, though my memory could add

Of even the least emotion. Noting this, Much how the Youth, in scanty space of time, When the impatient object of his love Was traversed from without ; much, too, of thoughts Upbraided him with slackness, he returned That occupied his days in solitude

No answer, only took the mother's hand Under privation and restraint; and what, And kissed it ; seemingly devoid of pain, Through dark and shapeless fear of things to come, Or care, that what so tenderly he pressed, And what, through strong compunction for the past, / Was a dependant on the obdurate heart He suffered-breaking down in heart and mind! Of one who came to disunite their lives

For ever-sad alternative ! preferred, Doomed to a third and last captivity,

By the unbending Parents of the Maid,
His freedom he recovered on the eve

To secret 'spousals meanly disavowed.
Of Julia's travail. When the babe was born, -So be it!
Its presence tempted him to cherish schemes

In the city he remained
Of future happiness. “You shall return,

A season after Julia had withdrawn Julia," said he, “and to your father's house To those religious walls. He, too, departsGo with the child.—You have been wretched; yet who with him ?-even the senseless Little-one. The silver shower, whose reckless burthen weighs With that sole charge he passed the city-gates, Too heavily upon the lily's head,

For the last time, attendant by the side Oft leaves a saving moisture at its root.

Of a close chair, a litter, or sedan, Malice, beholding you, will melt away.

In which the Babe was carried. To a hill, Go!'tis a town where both of us were born; That rose a brief league distant from the town, None will reproach you, for our truth is known; The dwellers in that house where he had lodged And if, amid those once-bright bowers, our fate Accompanied his steps, by anxious love Remain unpitied, pity is not in man.

Impelled ;-they parted from him there, and stood With ornaments—the prettiest, nature yields Watching below till he had disappeared Or art can fashion, shall you deck our boy,

On the hill top. His eyes he scarcely took, And feed his countenance with your own sweet looks Throughout that journey, from the vehicle Till no one can resist him.- Now, even now, (Slow-moving ark of all his hopes !) that veiled I see him sporting on the sunny lawn;

The tender infant: and at every inn, My father from the window sees him too;

And under every hospitable tree Startled, as if some new-created thing

At which the bearers halted or reposed, Enriched the earth, or Faery of the woods Laid him with timid care upon his knees, Bounded before him ;-but the unweeting Child And looked, as mothers ne'er were known to look, Shall by his beauty win his grandsire's heart Upon the nursling which his arms embraced. So that it shall be softened, and our loves End happily, as they began !”

This was the manner in which Vaudracour

These gleams Departed with his infant; and thus reached Appeared but seldom ; oftener was he seen His father's house, where to the innocent child Propping a pale and melancholy face

Admittance was denied. The young man spake Upon the Mother's bosom ; resting thus

No word of indignation or reproof,
His head upon one breast, while from the other But of his father begged, a last request,
The Babe was drawing in its quiet food.

That a retreat might be assigned to him

- Why bustle thus about your door,
What means this bustle, Betty Foy!
Why are you in this mighty fret?
And why on horseback have you set
Him whom you love, your Idiot Boy!

Where in forgotten quiet he might dwell,
With such allowance as his wants required;
For wishes he had none. To a lodge that stood
Deep in a forest, with leave given, at the age
Of four-and-twenty summers he withdrew;
And thither took with him his motherless Babe,
And one domestic for their common needs,
An aged woman. It consoled him here
To attend upon the orphan, and perform
Obsequious service to the precious child,
Which, after a short time, by some mistake

Or indiscretion of the Father, died.| The Tale I follow to its last recess

Of suffering or of peace, I know not which :
Theirs be the blame who caused the woe, not mine!

Scarcely a soul is out of bed;
Good Betty, put him down again;
His lips with joy they burr at you ;
But, Betty! what has he to do
With stirrup, saddle, or with rein!

But Betty's bent on her intent;
For her good neighbour, Susan Gale,
Old Susan, she who dwells alone,
Is sick, and makes a piteous moan,
As if her very life would fail.

There's not a house within a mile,
No hand to help them in distress;
Old Susan lies a-bed in pain,
And sorely puzzled are the twain,
For what she ails they cannot guess.

From this time forth he never shared a smile | With mortal creature. An Inhabitant

Of that same town, in which the pair had left
So lively a remembrance of their griefs,
By chance of business, coming within reach
Of his retirement, to the forest lodge
Repaired, but only found the matron there,
Who told him that his pains were thrown away,
For that her Master never uttered word
To living thing—not even to her.-Behold !
While they were speaking, Vaudracour approached;
But, seeing some one near, as on the latch
Of the garden-gate his hand was laid, he shrunk-
And, like a shadow, glided out of view.
Shocked at his savage aspect, from the place
The visitor retired.

Thus lived the Youth
Cut off from all intelligence with man,
And shunning even the light of common day;
Nor could the voice of Freedom, which through

France
Full speedily resounded, public hope,
Or personal memory of his own deep wrongs,
Rouse him : but in those solitary shades
His days he wasted, an imbecile mind !

1805.

And Betty's husband's at the wood,
Where by the week he doth abide,
A woodman in the distant vale ;
There's none to help poor Susan Gale ;
What must be done! what will betide?

And Betty from the lane has fetched
Her Pony, that is mild and good;
Whether he be in joy or pain,
Feeding at will along the lane,
Or bringing fagguts from the wood.

And he is all in travelling trim,-
And, by the moonlight, Betty Foy
Has on the well-girt saddle set
(The like was never heard of yet)
Him whom she loves, her Idiot Boy.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »