Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

They met amid the bloody fields of Spain,
When the swart peasant left his reaping-hook,
And, heedless of the ripe ungarnered grain,
A sharper weapon in his right-hand took,
For other harvests; when the green hills shook
With battle's thunder, and the carnage flood
Swelled to a river many a mountain brook.

There met they, and like gods of battle stood, Each girt with armed hosts, and all athirst for blood!

Again they met — 't was on a summer's day, Unto the Valley of Sweet Waters bound,
And half a million people with them met,

Sails forth, brim-full of men, the smart caïque ; Not girt with arms in slaughterous array,

And in their curtain'd chariots' depth profound With crimson banners torn, and swords blood-wet; The women go in crowds, mouth, brow, and cheek But each in his high place of honour set,

In muslin veil and shrouding yashmac wound : When all the bells of joyous London rung; "T is wonderful how they can breathe or speak! When window, balcon, roof, and parapet

But 't is the mode; and forth the chariot goes, Were thronged with people, and with garlands Guarded by negroes, drawn by buffaloes.

hung, And one “God save the Queen!" pealed from the Although the cups of yaourt may be full, nation's tongue!

Although each soul for pleasure deeply delves,

A Turkish pic-nic must be rather dull; There met they; and like brethren, side by side, And these poor ladies, grouped in tens and twelves, Swelled the glad pomp of that great jubilee. Can only tiny sprigs of pleasure cull, - Oh proudest triumph of that day of pride, Muffied and cushioned, sitting by themselves, When met the nation's ancient chivalry,

Especially when just at hand they see
With ceremonial old, to reverence thee,

The men who might be talking pleasantly.
Thou young and favoured Queen of many lands-
That every neighbour-land and every sea

Well, Mahmoud Second loveth reformation,
With an according gladness clapped their hands,

He hath done mighty wonders in his day; And, that those mighly warriors met with sheathed He slew the standing army of his nation, brands!

He threw his soldiers' turbans all away;
Perchance he'll make another innovation
The best of all!- and, if he like, he may-

Ordain that henceforth, in the summer weather, THE VALLEY OF THE SWEET WATERS. Women and men may sit and talk together.

“Sweet Waters" does not imply that they are distinguished by any remarkable sweetness of taste, but simply that they are not salt. Two rivulets are so named by the Franks, one in Europe, and the other in Asia: their banks are rich and

THE BURIAL-GROUND AT SIDON. verdant, enammelled with flowers, and are places of resort, where gay and festive parties meet for recreation. At these pic-nics, even the members of a family never mix together.

“The burial ground, with the old ruin, supposed to be the The unsocial jealousy of a Turk so bepurates the sexes, that castle of Louis IX., is without the town: the tall trees cast the father, husband, and brother are never seen in the same

their shadow on the sepulchres, some fallen and ruined, others groups with their female relatives. The women assemble on

newly whited and gilt, and covered with sentences in the one side round the fountain, and the men on the other.

Turkish character, the head-stones usually presenting a turban on a pedestal. Several women had come to mourn over the

graves of their relatives, in white cloaks and veils that envelAll cities have their outlets of delight;

oped them from head to foot: they mostly mourned in silence, We have our Greenwich, Richmond, Hampstead, and knelt on the steps of the tomb, or among the wild flowers Harrow,

which grew rank on the soil. The morning light fell partially

on the sepulchres, and on the broken towers of the ancient To appease the popular rural appetite,

castle ; but the greater part of the thickly-peopled cemetery For which the crowded city is too narrow;

was still in gloom-the gloom which the Orientals love. They Thither the people throng, in dust's despite,

do not like to come to the tombs in tbe glare of day: early Or happiness to suck the very marrow;

morn and evening are the favourite seasons, especially the

latter. This Burial-ground of Sidon is one of the most pictuThither throng rich and poor, the grave, the merry,

resque on the coast of Syria. The ruin, of Louis, tells, like In steam-boat, omnibus, and cab, and wherry. the sepulchres, that this life's hope and pride is as “ a tale that

is told.” When the moon is on its towers, on the trees, and The streets are stifling, bustling, noisy, dry; tombs beneath, and on the white tigures that slowly move to Hot are the pavements as an oven-floor,

and fro, the scene is solemn, and cannot be forgotten." Dingy-red brick grows tiresome to the eye ; The bell, the knocker, and the green street-door

The dead are everywhere! The weary senses quickly satisfy ;

The mountain-side; the plain; the woods profound; And then we send our gadding fancy o'er

All the wide earth — the fertile and the fair, Rich golden meadows deep in summer grass,

Is one vast burial-ground !
To leafy trees, and rivers smooth as glass.

Within the populous street;
And then we rush into the popular stream,
And find ourselves with very prompt good-will,

In solitary homes; in places high ;
Borne down the silvery Thames on wings of steam,

In pleasure-domes where pomp and luxury meet,

Men bow themselves to die.
Or dragged by horses up the Hampstead hill.
The Turkish people, solemn as they seem,

The old man at his door ;
Of the dense city likewise get their fill,

The unweaned child murmuring its wordless song; And sally forth, athirst for flowers and trees, The bondman and the free; the rich, the poor ; To drain the cup of pleasure to the lees.

All, all to death belong!

The sunlight gilds the walls of kingly sepulchres enwrought with brass ; And the long shadow of the cypress falls

Athwart the common grass.

The living of gone time
Builded their glorious cities by the sea,
And awful in their greatness sat sublime,

As if no change could be.

There was the eloquent tongue;
The poet's beart; the sage's soul was there;
And loving women with their children young,

The faithful and the fair.

They were, but they are not;
Suns rose and set, and earth put on her bloom,
Whilst man, submitting to the common lot,

Went down into the tomb.

And still amid the wrecks
Of mighty generations passed away,
Earth's boonest growth, the fragrant wild-flower,

The tombs of yesterday.

A solitary grand old hall,
Shut up within its high park-wall!
And there, at least, was no despair
Our robes of price too good to wear.

No, what with Henry's friend Sir John,
And the young Lord of Erlington,
And Lady Peter's guests, and all
The people from Combe. Merival,
And Captain Matthews and his bride,
And all our London friends beside,
One ne'er pined for a human face,
Nor mourned o'er unsunned pearls and lace.

But I protest it was unkind,
To bring Court-Aspley back to mind,
With guests for ever on the floor, -
Even poor Miss Weld I now adore !
I can't think how they spend their lives -
These dull Scotch nobles and their wives -
The Macnamara and Mackay!

Ah! I'd a dreani at break of day,
Nor hath the charm yet passed away!-
Why do you smile, sweet sister, say?

I too had dreams - but, what is better,
I even now have had a letter!

A letter! and from whom and whence?

You 'll see the writer two hours hence!

Ah, by your blush I know!- Sir John!

And with him comes —


Lord Erlington ?

The very same!


Oh joyful day!

But let us dress; time wears away;
In two hours' time, or even less,
They will be here!


Ah, let us dress! Two hours later — Louisa and Cecilia dressed.

And in the twilight deep, Go veiled women forth, like her who went, Sisters of Lazarus, to the grave to weep

To breathe the low lament.

[ocr errors]

The dead are everywhere! Where'er is love, or tenderness, or faith ; Where'er is power, pomp, pleasure, pride; where'er

Life is or was, is death!

SCENE.—A Castle in the Scolch Highlands.
Time five o'clock in the afternoon. — Louisa and
Cecilia in morning dresses.

Of what availeth blonde and lace
Here in this melancholy place!
My pearls have never seen the day;
Your emeralds they are slowed away ;
And my white satin! I declare, it
Will be quite passé ere I wear it!

I can't conceive whate'er possessed
Papa to take this eagle's nest,
Perched among mountains bleak and drear,
Without a decent neighbour near!
I wonder more what men can find
So vastly suited to their mind,
In riding o'er those moorlands dreary,
Through wild ravines so black and eerie ;
Past highland huts of turf and stone,
Whence peeps forth many a withered crone;
Through spongy bog, o'er mountains high,
To shoot at grouse that they might buy!

[blocks in formation]


I'm sure our English country-seat Was quite enough of a retreal;



“But murmuring thus, I sin! Dear friend, forgive a One little glimpse sufficeth me,

mother's grief, I see the view I wish to see,

And tell me of my son ; thy words will bring assured Two horsemen riding merrily!

relief: CECILIA.

Tell me of each minutest look — even of his suffer. "Tis but

father and brother!

ings tell, Look sister, 't is indeed none other!

My heart takes comfort from thy voice, for thou didst LOUISA.

love him well!" Now may your beauty fair befall! Just look below the castle-wall;

“I loved him well, oh, passing well! all he had

been to thee Who rides bare-headed ?

Friend, counsellor, the spirit's life — so had he been CECILIA.

to me! 'Tis Sir John,

Yet murmur not, thou broken heart, our vision fails And by his side Lord Erlington!

to show LOUISA And now I hear my father's laughter,

The scope of that mysterious good whose base is

human woe! As he and Henry gallop after!

“ Thy best-beloved murmured not, his faith was

never dim, And that strong love which was his life, sprang

everywhere for him. AN ENGLISH GRAVE AT MUSSOOREE. We saw him droop, and many a one, else scarce to

love beguiled,

Watched him, as tender parents watch a favourite Mussoorce, the site of a station which is now one of the chief resorts of the visiters from the plains, stands at an elevation

drooping child. of sevea thousand five hundred feet above the level of the sea, “For the hot plains where he had lain, by cureless and is situated on the southern face of the ridge called the Landour Range, and overlooking the village of that name,

wounds oppressed, which has been chosen for the establishment of a military We bore him to the northern hills, to a sweet land sanitarium, for those officers and privates belonging to the

of rest. Bengal army, who have lost their health in the plains.

Nothing can be imagined more delicious to an invalid, half Oh, what a joy it was to him to feel the cool winds dying under the burning sun of India, than the being removed blow, into the fino, bracing, and cool atmosphere of this station. To see the golden morning light array the peaks of All round bim are the most sublime natural objects--the most

snow! stupendous rivers and mountains of the world, but all subdued into a character of astonishing beauty; while the growth of “What joy to see familiar things where'er his foot. the hills, and of the very ground under his feet, must transport him back into his native Britain.

steps trod; The oak-tree in the mountain-cleft; the daisy on the


“Tell me about my son, dear friend, for I can bear The primrose and the violet; the green moss of the to know,

rill; Now that my heart is stayed by prayer, that history The crimson wild-briar rose, and the strawberry of of woe!

the hill! But whence was ii, of seven sons, all men of strength

"How often these sweet living flowers were bathed and pride,

in blissful tears, This only one—the gentlest one-forsook his mother's For then his loving spirit drank the joy of bygone side!

years; “That he in whom a flower, a star, a love-inspired And sitting 'mong those giant hills, his boyhood round word,

him lay The poet's heart, all tenderness, even from his boy. That sunny time of careless peace, so long since past hood stirred;

away. Who was my dearest counsellor, in his dead father's “ He told me of his English home; I knew it well place;

before ; Who was a daughter unto me, who ne'er did one Mine eyes had seen its trees, or ere my shadow

crossed the door ; " How was it that he only left his home, his native The very sun-dial on the green, I knew its face

again; land, He only, kindest, gentlest, and youngest of my

And this small summer parlour with its jasmine

wreathed pane. band ? That he whom I had looked to close mine eyes — to “And thou! all thou hadst been to him, he told me; lay me low,

bade me seek Died first, and far away! Oh God, thy counsels who Thy face, and to thy broken heart dear words of shall know !

comfort speak :


Oh, mother of the blessed dead, weep not; sweet

thoughts of thee, Like ministering angels at the last, the joyous soul

set free!

"Oh, mother of the dead, weep not as if that far-off

grave Possessed thy spirit's best beloved —thy beautiful,

thy brave;' The gifted, living soul lies not beneath that Eastern

sod, All thou hast cherished liveth still, and calleth thee

to God!"

Wherefore this? for thou wert still
Slave unto another's will,
Chosen for eye, and lip, and cheek,
Not the wife, but Odalique!
Wherefore then the joyous measure
Of thy heart's unceasing pleasure?
Wherefore then the love that lies
In thy bright but serious eyes ?
And the voice whose lightest word
Is like soul-touched music heard!
Wherefore this? thou art but still
Slave unto a master's will!
This it is that maketh thee
Beautiful exceedingly –
That thy woman's heart pines not
With an unpartaken lot;
That the one thy love doth bless
Truly loveth thee no less !
This it is that makes thy hours
Like a sunny path of flowers !
That in eye and brow doth speak,
Thou beloved Odalique!




LARGE the cye, and dark as night; Smooth the skin, as ivory white; Small the foot, and fair as snow; Rich the voice, yet soft and low; White the neck, and round the arm; Small the hand, and soft and warm; Red the lip, and fair the cheek Of the favourite Odalique! Let her robes be silks and gold, Round her waist the cashmere fold; Let her velvet boddice shine With the treasures of the mine; Let her turban, pearl-inlaced, On her queenly brow be placed; And her ivory finger-tips Be rosy as her rosebud lips. In the harem's brightest room, Hung with silks of Iran's loom, Breathing odours rich as those of the summer's sunniest rose; Silken carpets 'neath her tread, Arabesques above her head, One of four she lingers there, Fairest far where all are fair. Odalique, the years were few Which thy blooming childhood knew In the vales Circassian, Ere thy troubled lise began! Scarcely wert thou ten years old Ere to strangers thou wert sold; Parted from thy willing mother, Parted from thy shepherd brother, Parted from thy sisters twain, With no hope to meet again! Months went on, and years came by, And the tear had left thine eye; Grief was gone, save what but lent To thy beauty sentiment: And thy laughter might be heard Joyous as a singing-bird ; And thy rich voice keeping time To the zebec's merry chime.

"This romantic spot is on the route from Beitout to Tripoli, in the bay of Kesrouan, the shores of which display an exquisite verdure, cultivation, and cheerfulness; the villages and convents, one situated above another up the declivities, bare a most romantic appearance. This strange excavation appears to have been once a chapel, and is commonly called the Tomb of St. George, our tutelar saint, whose combat with the dragon is said to have taken place at no great distance. On the opposite side of the bay is a Roman arch, and a beautiful rocky promontory. This spot is between Nahr-el-kelb and Batroun. The villages on the hills are neatly built, all fiat-roofed, with little latticed windows; two or three of the larger edifices are convents, with a pleasant aspect towards the sea, each having its garden and vineyard : the soil is very fruitful. In the hills in the interior of Asia Minor, the rocks are not unfrequently excavated into a kind of chambers, anciently sepulchral, but now inhabited by peasants and shepherds, and which offer to the traveller a warmer shelter than a ruined khan; the woods supply a good fire, and neither wind nor rain find a passage. Many of these rocks, pierced with ancient catacombs, present, at a small distance, the exact appearance of towers and castles: the people, as in the time of Job, "embrace the caverns of the rock for shelter, and dwell in the cliffs of the valley, fleeing into the wilderness desolate and waste."

The wondrous days of old romance

Like summer flowers are fled;
Their mighty men; their lovely dames;

Their minstrels all are dead!
The ancient times are gone indeed;

And where their forests grew
The corn waves green, and busy towns

Are thronged with people new.
Tintagel is a heap of stone;

And where Caerleon lay
We know not, all beside its name
Hath passed from earth away.

« AnteriorContinuar »