Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Yet she heard the varying message, So with proverbs and caresses, half in voiceless to all ears beside:

faith and half in doubt, “He will come,” the flowers whispered; | Everv day some hope was kindled, flick

“Come no more,” the dry hills ered, faded, and went out.
sighed.

IV.

Still she found him with the waters lifted by the morning breeze,

Yearly, down the hillside sweeping, came Still she lost him with the folding of the the stately cavalcade, great white-tented seas;

Bringing revel to vaquero, joy and com

fort to each maid; Until hollows chased the dimples from her cheeks of olive brown,

Bringing days of formal visit, social feast And at times a swift, shy moisture dragged and rustic sport; the long sweet lashes down;

Of bull-baiting on the plaza, of love

making in the court. Or the small mouth curved and quivered

as for some denied caress, And the fair young brow was knitted in Vainly then at Concha’s lattice, -vainly

as the idle wind an infantine distress.

Rose the thin high Spanish tenor that

bespoke the youth too kind; Then the grim Commander, pacing where

the brazen cannon are, Comforted the maid with proverbs, - Vainly, leaning from their saddles, cawisdom gathered from afar;

balleros, bold and fleet,

Plucked for her the buried chicken from Bits of ancient observation by his fathers

beneath their mustang's feet; garnered, each As a pebble worn and polished in the So in vain the barren hillsides with their current of his speech:

gay serapes blazed,

Blazed and vanished in the dust-cloud "Those who wait the coming rider travel that their flying hoofs had raised.

twice as far as he'; “Tired wench and coming butter never did in time agree.

Then the drum called from the rampart,

and once more with patient mien «««He that getteth himself honey, though

The Commander and his daughter each

took up the dull routine, a clown, he shall have flies' 'In the end God grinds the miller'; 'In the dark the mole has eyes. Each took up the petty duties of a life

apart and lone, “He whose father is Alcalde, of his trial | Till the slow years wrought a music in hath no fear,'

its dreary monotone. And be sure the Count has reasons that

will make his conduct clear.”

[ocr errors]

Then the voice sententious faltered, and Forty years on wall and bastion swept

the hollow idle breeze, the wisdom it would teach Lost itself in fondest trifles of his soft Since the Russian eagle fluttered from Castilian speech;

the California seas.

And on “Concha,” “Conchitita," and Forty years on wall and bastion wrought “Conchita,” he would dwell

its slow but sure decay; With the fond reiteration which the And St. George's cross was lifted in the Spaniard knows so well.

port of Monterey.

FRANCIS BRET HARTE.

301

And the citadel was lighted, and the hall | Till one arose, and from his pack's scant was gayly drest,

treasure All to honor Sir George Simpson, famous A hoarded volume drew, traveller and guest.

And cards were dropped from hands of

listless leisure

To hear the tale anew; Far and near the people gathered to the

costly banquet set, And exchanged congratulation with the And then, while round them shadows English baronet;

gathered faster,

And as the firelight fell, Till the formal speeches ended, and He read aloud the book wherein the amidst the laugh and wine

Master Some one spoke of Concha's lover,

Had writ of “Little Nell." heedless of the warning sign. Quickly then cried Sir George Simpson :

Perhaps 't was boyish fancy,—for the

reader “Speak no ill of him, I pray. He is dead. He died, poor fellow, forty But, as he read, from clustering pine and

Was youngest of them all, years ago this day.

cedar

A silence seemed to fall; “Died while speeding home to Russia,

falling from a fractious horse. Left a sweetheart too, they tell me.

The fir-trees, gathering closer in the

shadows, Married, I suppose, of course!

Listened in every spray,

While the whole camp, with “ Nell" on Lives she yet? A death-like silence

English meadows, fell on banquet, guests, and hall, Wandered and lost their way. And a trembling figure rising fixed the awe-struck gaze of all.

.

And so in mountain solitudes-o'ertaken Two black eyesin darkened orbitsgleamed As by some spell divine

beneath the nun's white hood; Their cares dropped from them like the Black serge hid the wasted figure, bowed

needles shaken and stricken where it stood.

From out the gusty pine.

“Lives she yet ?" Sir George repeated. Lost is that camp, and wasted all its fire: All were hushed as Concha drew

And he who wrought that spell? Closer yet her nun's attire, “Señor, Ah, towering pine, and stately Kentish pardon, she died too!

spire,
Ye have one tale to tell !

DICKENS IN CAMP.

ABOVE the pines the moon was slowly

drifting,

The river sang below;
The dim Sierras, far beyond, uplifting

Their minarets of snow.

Lost is that camp! but let its fragrant

story

Blend with the breath that thrills
With hop-vines' incense all the pensive

glory
That fills the Kentish hills.

The roaring camp-fire, with rude humor, And on that grave where English oak painted

and holly The ruddy tints of health

And laurel wreaths entwine, On haggard face, and form that drooped Deem it not all a too presumptuous and fainted

folly, In the fierce race for wealth;

This spray of Western pine!

ANNIE D. GREEN (MARIAN

DOUGLAS).

A silvery bloom, with fadeless leaves ;

He gave it to her, sighing;
A mute confession was his glance,

Her blush a mute replying.

[U. S. A.]

Care;

“Mehetabel !” (at last he spoke), THE PURITAN LOVERS.

My fairest one and dearest! DRAWN out, like lingering bees, to share One thought is ever to heart

my The last, sweet summer weather,

The sweetest and the nearest.
Beneath the reddening maples walked
Two Puritans together,-

“You read my soul; you know my wish;

O, grant me its fulfilling !" A youth and maiden, heeding not She answered low, “If Heaven smiles, The woods which round them bright- And if my father's willing !

ened, Just conscious of each other's thoughts, No idle passion swayed her heart, Half happy and half frightened.

This quaint New England beauty!

Faith was the guardian of her life, Grave were their brows, and few their Obedience was a duty.

words, And coarse their garb and simple;

Too truthful for reserve, she stood, The maiden's very cheek seemed shy

Her brown eyes earthward casting, To own its worldly dimple.

And held with trembling hand the while

Her white life-everlasting. For stern the time; they dwelt with

Her sober answer pleased the youth,And Fear was oft a comer ;

Frank, clear, and gravely cheerful ; A sober April ushered in

He left her at her father's door, The Pilgrim's toilful summer.

Too happy to be fearful. And stern their creed; they tarried here she looked on high, with earnest plea, Mere desert-land sojourners :

And Heaven seemed bright above her; They must not dream of mirth or rest,

And when she shyly spoke his name, God's humble lesson-learners.

Her father praised her lover.
The temple's sacred perfume round
Their week-day robes was clinging ;

And when, that night, she sought her

couch, Their mirth was but the golden bells

With head-board high and olden, On priestly garments ringing.

Her prayer was praise, her pillow down,

And all her dreams were golden.
But as to-day they softly talked,
That serious youth and maiden,

And still upon her throbbing heart,
Their plainest words strange beauty wore, In bloom and breath undying,
Like weeds with dewdrops laden.

A few life-everlasting flowers,

Her lover's gift, were lying.
The saddest theme had something sweet,

The gravest, something tender, O Venus' myrtles, fresh and green!
While with slow steps they wandered on, O Cupid's blushing roses !
Mid summer's fading splendor. Not on your classic flowers alone

The sacred light reposes;
He said, “Next week the church will
hold

Though gentler care may shield your buds A day of prayer and fasting”;

From north-winds rude and blasting, And then he stopped, and bent to pick As dear to Love, those few, pale flowers A white life-everlasting, -

Of white life-everlasting.

[blocks in formation]

upon their

THEY gave the whole long day to idle I KNEW a Princess: she was old, laughter,

Crisp-haired, flat-featured, with a look To fitful song and jest,

Such as no dainty pen of gold
To moods of soberness as idle, after, Would write of in a Fairy Book.
And silences, as idle too as the rest.

So bent she almost crouched, her face But when at last

way

return- Was like the Sphinx's face, to me, ing,

Touched with vast patience, desert grace, Taciturn, late, and loath,

And lonesome, brooding mystery. Through the broad meadow in the sunset burning,

What wonder that a faith so strong They reached the gate, one fine spell As hers, so sorrowful, so still, hindered them both.

Should watch in bitter sands so long

Obedient to a burdening will ! Her heart was troubled with a subtile anguish

This Princess was a Slave, - like one Such as but women know That wait, and lest love speak or speak Yet free enough to see the sun,

I read of in a painted tale; not languish,

And all the flowers, without a vail. And what they would, would rather they would not so;

Not of the Lamp, not of the Ring, Till he said, -man-like nothing compre- But of a subtler, fiercer Thing:

The helpless, powerful Slave was she, hending

She was the Slave of Slavery.
Of all the wondrous guile
That women won win themselves with, Court-lace nor jewels had she seen:
and bending

She wore a precious smile, so rare Eyes of relentless asking on her the That at her side the whitest queen while,

Were dark, — her darkness was so fair. “Ah, if beyond this gate the path united Our steps as far as death,

Nothing of loveliest loveliness And I might open it!—” His voice,

This strange, sad Princess seemed to affrighted At its own daring, faltered under his Majestic with her calm distress breath.

She was, and beautiful though black:

lack;

Then she-whom both his faith and fear Black, but enchanted black, and shut enchanted

In some vague Giant's toiver of air, Far beyond words to tell,

Built higher than her hope was. But Feeling her woman's finest wit had The True Knight came and found her wanted

there. The art he had that knew to blunder so well—

The Knight of the Pale Horse, he laid

His shadowy lance against the spell Shyly drew near, a little step, and mock. That hid her Šelf: as if afraid, ing,

The cruel blackness shrank and fell. “Shall we not be too late For tea?" she said. “I'm quite worn Then, lifting slow her pleasant sleep, out with walking :

Hetook her with him through the night, Yes, thanks, your arm. And will you And swam a River cold and deep, -open the gate?”

Aud vanished up an awful Height.

sun

rest

And, in her Father's House beyond, When the world was in rhythm and life

They gave her beauty, robe, and crown, was its rhyme; - On me, I think, far, faint, and fond, Where the stream of the years flowed so Her eyes to-day look, yearning, down.

noiseless and narrow, That across it there floated the song of

the sparrow; For a sprig of green caraway carries me

there,

To the old village church and the old B. F. TAYLOR

village choir,

When clear of the floor my feet slowly [U. S. A.]

swung

And timed the sweet pulse of the praise THE OLD-FASHIONED CHOIR.

as they sung I HAVE fancied sometimes, the old Bethel- Till the glory aslant from the afternoon

bent beam, That trembled to earth in the Patriarch's Seemed the rafters of gold in God's temple dream,

begun! Was a ladder of song in that wilderness You may smile at the nasals of old Dea

con Brown, From the pillow of stone to the Blue of Who followed by scent till he ran the the Blest,

tune down, And the angels descending to dwell with And dear sister Green, with more good

ness than grace, ús here, “Old Hundred” and “Corinth” and Rose and fell on the tunes as she stood “China” and “Mear.”

in her place,

And where “Coronation” exultantly All the hearts are not dead, nor under

flows, the sod,

Tried to reach the high notes on the tips That those breaths can blow open to

of her toes!

To the land of the leal they have gone Heaven and God! Ah, “Silver Street” leads by a bright Where the choir and the chorus together

with their song, golden road, -0, not to the hymns that in harmony

belong. flowed,

0, be lifted, ye Gates! Let me hear them But those sweet human psalms in the

again, old-fashioned choir,

Blessed song, blessed Sabbath, forever

Amen! To the girl that sang alto,—the girl that “Let us sing in His praise,” the good

minister said, All the psalm-books at once fluttered open

LAURA C. REDDEN. at “York,” Sunned their long dotted wings in the

[U. S. A.) words that he read, While the leader leaped into the tune just

ahead, And politely picked up the key-note with A LIGHT is out in Italy, a fork,

A golden tongue of purest flame. And the vicious old viol went growling We watched it burning, long and lone, along,

And every watcher knew its name, At the heels of the girls, in the rear of And knew from whence its fervor came:

That one rare light of Italy,

Which put self-seeking souls to shame! I need not a wing, — bid no genii come, With a wonderful webfrom Arabian loom, This light which burnt for Italy To bear me again up the river of Time, Through all the blackness of her night,

sang air !

MAZZINI.

the song.

« AnteriorContinuar »