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WHEN I sit musing on the chequer'd past
(A term much darken'd with untimely woes), My thoughts revert to her, for whom still flows The tear, though half disown’d; and binding fast Pride's stubborn cheat to my too yielding heart,
I say to her she robb’d me of my rest,
When that was all my wealth. 'Tistrue my breast Received from her this wearying, lingering smart ; Yet, ah! I cannot bid her form depart;
Though wrong’d, I love her—yet in anger love,
For she was most unworthy.—Then I prove Vindictive joy; and on my stern front gleams, Throned in dark clouds, inflexible . . . The native pride of my much injured heart.
Sweet to the gay of heart is Summer's smile,
Sweet the wild music of the laughing Spring; But ah! my soul far other scenes beguile,
Where gloomy storms their sullen shadows fling. Is it for me to strike the Idalian string
Raise the soft music of the warbling wire, While in my ears the howls of furies ring,
And melancholy waste the vital fire ?
Away with thoughts like these—To some lone cave Where howls the shrill blast, and where sweeps
the wave, Direct my steps; there, in the lonely drear,
I'll sit remote from worldly noise, and muse
Till through my soul shall Peace her balm infuse, And whisper sounds of comfort in mine ear.
Quick o'er the wintry waste dart fiery shaftsBleak blows the blast-now howls—then faintly
diesAnd oft upon its awful wings it wafts
The dying wanderer's distant, feeble cries. Now, when athwart the gloom gaunt horror stalks,
And midnight hags their damned vigils hold, The pensive poet 'mid the wild waste walks,
And ponders on the ills life's paths unfold.
Insensible to every outward ill;
And oft big tears adown his worn cheeks trill.
BALLADS, SONGS, AND HYMNS.
The night it was still, and the moon it shone
Serenely on the sea,
They murmur'd pleasantly,
When Gondoline roam'd along the shore,
A maiden full fair to the sight; Though love had made bleak the rose on her cheek,
And turn'd it to deadly white.
Her thoughts they were drear, and the silent tear
It fill'd her faint blue eye, As oft she heard, in fancy's ear,
Her Bertrand's dying sigh.
Her Bertrand was the bravest youth
Of all our good king's men, And he was gone to the Holy Land
To fight the Saracen.
And many a month had pass'd away,
And many a rolling year,
Could of her lover hear.
Full oft she vainly tried to pierce
The ocean's misty face;
She on the wave could trace.
And every night she placed a light
In the high rock's lonely tower, To guide her lover to the land,
Should the murky tempest lower.
But now despair had seized her breast,
And sunken in her eye; “ Oh tell me but if Bertrand live,
And I in peace will die.”
She wander'd o'er the lonely shore,
The curlew scream'd above, She heard the scream with a sickening heart,
Much boding of her love.
Yet still she kept her lonely way,
And this was all her cry, “ Oh! tell me but if Bertrand live,
And I in peace shall die.”
And now she came to a horrible rift
All in the rock’s hard side,
The cavern yawning wide.
And pendant from its dismal top
The deadly nightshade hung; The hemlock and the aconite
Across the mouth were flung.
And all within was dark and drear,
And all without was calm ;
By some deep-working charm.
And as she enter'd the cavern wide,
The moonbeam gleamed pale, And she saw a snake on the craggy rock,
It clung by its slimy tail.
Her foot it slipp'd, and she stood aghast,
She trod on a bloated toad;
She kept upon her road..
And now upon her frozen ear
Mysterious sounds arose ; So, on the mountain's piny top
The blustering north wind blows.