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Can you bear me to talk with you frankly? There Go measure yourself by her standard. Look back is much that my heart would say ;
on the years that have fled ; And you know we were children together, have Then ask, if you need, why she tells you that the
quarreled and “ made up” in play. I love of her girlhood is dead ! And so, for the sake of old friendship. I venture She cannot look down to her lover : her love like to tell you the truth, —
her soul, aspires ; As plainly, perhaps, and as bluntly, as I might He must stand by her side, or above her, who in our earlier youth.
would kindle its holy fires. Five summers ago, when you wooed her, you
Now farewell! For the sake of old friendship I stood on the selfsame plane,
have ventured to tell you the truth, Face to face, heart to heart, never dreaming your
As plainly, perhaps, and as bluntly, as I might
in our earlier youth. souls could be parted again.
JULIA C. R. DORR.
She loved you at that time entirely, in the bloom of her life's early May;
ALAS! HOW LIGHT A CAUSE MAY MOVEAnd it is not her fault, I repeat it, that she does
FROM "THE LIGHT OF THE HAREM.” not love you to-day.
ALAS ! how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love! Nature never stands still, nor souls either : they
Hearts that the world in vain has tried, ever go up or go down ;
And sorrow but more closely tied; And hers has been steadily soaring, — but how
That stood the storm when waves were rough, has it been with your own?
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,
Like ships that have gone down at sea, She has struggled and yearned and aspired, - |
When heaven was all tranquillity! grown purer and wiser each year : The stars are not farther above you in yon lumi A something light as air, -- a look, nous atmosphere !
A word unkind or wrongly taken,
0, love that tempests never shook, For she whom you crowned with fresh roses, A breath, a touch like this has shaken ! down yonder, five summers ago,
And ruder words will soon rush in Has learned that the first of our duties to God To spread the breach that words begin ; and ourselves is to grow.
They wore in courtship’s smiling day; Her eyes they are sweeter and calmer ; but their
And voices lose the tone that shed vision is clearer as well :
A tenderness round all they said ; Her voice has a tenderer cadence, but is pure as
Till fast declining, one by one, a silver bell.
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem Her face has the look worn by those who with
Like broken clouds, - or like the stream, God and his angels have talked :
That smiling left the mountain's brow, The white robes she wears are less white than
As though its waters ne'er could sever, the spirits with whom she has walked.
Yet, ere it reach the plain below,
Breaks into floods that part forever. And you ? Have you aimed at the highest? Have you, too, aspired and prayed ?
O you, that have the charge of Love, Have you looked upon evil unsullied ? Have you Keep him in rosy bondage bound, conquered it undismayed ?
As in the fields of Bliss above
He sits, with flowerets fettered round ; Have you, too, grown purer and wiser, as the Loose not a tie that round him clings,
months and the years have rolled on? Nor ever let him use his wings ; Did you meet her this morning rejoicing in the For even an hour, a minute's flight triumph of victory won ?
Will rob the plumes of half their light.
Like that celestial bird, whose nest Nay, hear me! The truth cannot harm you. Is found beneath far Eastern skies, – When to-day in her presence you stood,
Whose wings, though radiant when at rest, Was the hand that you gave her as white and
Lose all their glory when he flies ! clean as that of her womanhood ?
1 Of that muslin dress (for the eve was hot);
And her warm white neck in its golden chain ; At Paris it was, at the opera there ;
And her full soft hair, just tied in a knot, And she looked like a queen in a book that
And falling loose again; night, With the wreath of pearl in her raven hair, | And the jasmine flower in her fair young breast; And the brooch on her breast so bright.
(O the faint, sweet smell of that jasmine flower!)
And the one bird singing alone to his nest; Of all the operas that Verdi wrote,
And the one star over the tower.
And the letter that brought me back my ring ;
And it all seemed then, in the waste of life, The moon on the tower slept soft as snow; Such a very little thing!
And who was not thrilled in the strangest way, As we heard him sing, while the gas burned low, For I thought of her grave below the hill, “Non ti scordar di me" ?
Which the sentinel cypress-tree stands over :
And I thought, “Were she only living still, The emperor there, in his box of state,
How I could forgive her and love her!"
And I swear, as I thoughtof her thus, in that hour, Where his eagles in bronze had been.
And of how, after all, old things are best,
That I smelt the smell of that jasmine flower The empress, too, had a tear in her eye :
Which she used to wear in her breast. You 'd have said that her fancy had gone back again,
It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet, For one moment, under the old blue sky,
It made me creep, and it made me cold ! To the old glad life in Spain.
Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet
Where a mummy is half unrolled.
And I turned and looked : she was sitting there, My gaze was fixed on my opera hat,
In a dim box over the stage ; and drest And hers on the stage hard by.
In that muslin dress, with that full soft hair,
And that jasmine in her breast !
I was here, and she was there;
And the glittering horseshoe curved between !-So confident of her charm !
From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair
And her sumptuous scornful mien,
To my early love with her eyes downcast,
And over her primrose face the shade, Who died the richest and roundest of men,
|(In short, from the future back to the past,) The Marquis of Carabas.
There was but a step to be made. I hope that, to get to the kingdom of heaven,
To my early love from my future bride Through a needle's eye he had not to pass ;
One moment I looked. Then I stole to the door, I wish him well for the jointure given
| I traversed the passage ; and down at her side To my lady of Carabas.
I was sitting, a moment more.
Meanwhile, I was thinking of my first love
My thinking of her, or the music's strain, As I had not been thinking of aught for years;] Or something which never will be exprest, Till over my eyes there began to move
Had brought her back from the grave again, Something that felt like tears.
With the jasmine in her breast.
I thought of the dress that she wore last time, She is not dead, and she is not wed !
When westood’neath the cypress-trees together, But she loves me now, and she loved me then ! In that lost land, in that soft clime,
And the very first word that her sweet lips said, In the crimson evening weather ;
| My heart grew youthful again.
The marchioness there, of Carabas,
| She talked of politics or prayers, She is wealthy, and young, and handsome still; Of Southey's prose or Wordsworth's sonnets, And but for her -- well, we'll let that pass; Of danglers or of dancing bears, She may marry whomever she will.
Of battles or the last new bonnets;
By candlelight, at twelve o'clock But I will marry my own first love,
To me it mattered not a tittle With her primrose face, for old things are best ; If those bright lips had quoted Locke, And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above I might have thought they murmured Little. The brooch in my lady's breast.
Through sunny May, through sultry June, The world is filled with folly and sin,
| I loved her with a love eternal; And love must cling where it can, I say: I spoke her praises to the moon, For beauty is easy enough to win ;
I wrote them to the Sunday Journal. But one is n't loved every day.
My mother laughed ; I soon found out
That ancient ladies have no feeling : And I think, in the lives of most women and men, My father frowned ; but how should gout There's a moment when all would go smooth! See any happiness in kneeling ?
and even, If only the dead could find out when
She was the daughter of a dean, To come back and be forgiven.
Rich, fat, and rather apoplectic;
She had one brother just thirteen, But 0, the smell of that jasmine flower !
Whose color was extremely hectic; And O, that music! and 0, the way
Her grandmother, for many a year, That voice rang out from the donjon tower,
Had fed the parish with her bounty ;
Her second-cousin was a peer,
And lord-lientenant of the county.
But titles and the three-per-cents,
And mortgages, and great relations,
And India bonds, and tithes and rents,
0, what are they to love's sensations ?
Black eyes, fair forehead, clustering locks, – YEARS, years ago, ere yet my dreams
Such wealth, such honors Cupid chooses ; Had been of being wise or witty,
He cares as little for the stocks
As Baron Rothschild for the muses.
She sketched ; the vale, the wood, the beach, Were in my fowling-piece and filly,
Grew lovelier from her pencil's shading : In short, while I was yet a boy,
She botanized ; I envied each I fell in love with Laura Lilly.
Young blossom in her boudoir fading :
She warbled Handel ; it was grand, I saw her at the county ball ;
She made the Catalina jealous : There, when the sounds of flute and fiddle
She touched the organ ; I could stand Gave signal sweet in that old hall
For hours and hours to blow the bellows. Of hands across and down the middle, Hers was the subtlest spell by far
She kept an album too, at home, Of all that sets young hearts romancing :
Well filled with all an album's glories, -She was our queen, our rose, our star;
Paintings of butterflies and Rome,
Soft songs to Julia's cockatoo,
Fierce odes to famine and to slaughter, Her voice was exquisitely tender;
And autographs of Prince Leeboo,
And recipes for elder-water.
And she was flattered, worshiped, bored ;
Her steps were watched, her dress was noted; I thought 't was Venus from her isle,
Her poodle-dog was quite adored ;
She laughed, — and every heart was glad,
As if the taxes were abolished; She frowned, - and every look was sad,
As if the opera were demolished.
| But blame us women not, if some appear
Too cold at times ; and some too gay and light. Some griefs gnaw deep. Some woes are hard to bear. Who knows the past? and who can judge us right?
She smiled on many just for fun,
I knew that there was nothing in it; I was the first, the only one
Her heart had thought of for a minute. I knew it, for she told me so,
In phrase which was divinely molded ; She wrote a charming hand, - and 0,
How sweetly all her notes were folded ! Our love was like most other loves,
A little glow, a little shiver, A rosebud and a pair of gloves,
And “Fly Not Yet,” upon the river; Some jealousy of some one's heir,
Some hopes of dying broken-hearted ; A miniature, a lock of hair,
The usual vows, --- and then we parted.
"COME NOT, WHEN I AM DEAD."
FROM "THE PRINCESS." COME not, when I am dead,
To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave, To trample round my fallen head, And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not
save. There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
But thou, go by!
We parted : months and years rolled by ;
We met again four summers after. Our parting was all sob and sigh,
Our meeting was all mirth and laughter ! For in my heart's most secret cell
There had been many other lodgers ; And she was not the ball-room's belle,
But only Mrs. — Something -- Rogers !
WINTHROP MACKWORTH PRAED.
Whom first we love, you know, we seldom wed.
Much must be borne which it is hard to bear; Much given away which it were sweet to keep. God help us all! who need, indeed, his care : And yet, I know the Shepherd loves his sheep.
My little boy begins to babble now
FROM "THE GIAOUR.” As, rising on its purple wing, The insect-queen of Eastern spring, O’er emerald meadows of Kashmeer, Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower, A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye ; So Beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wing as wild ; A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betrayed, Woe waits the insect and the maid : A life of pain, the loss of peace, From infant's play and man's caprice ; The lovely toy, so fiercely sought, Hath lost its charm by being caught; For every touch that wooed its stay Hath brushed its brighest hues away, Till, charm and hue and beauty gone, 'T is left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing or bleeding breast, Ah! where shall either victim rest ?
But when he sleeps and smiles upon my knee, · And I can feel his light breath come and go,.
I think of one (Heaven help and pity me !) Who loved me, and whom I loved, long ago;
Who might have been-ah, what I dare not think!