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If thou shouldst sometimes think upon these hills,
So tempted he, and soon her heart approved, Nay wood, the blissful dream; and oft at eve, When the moon shone upon the wandering stream, She paced the castle's battlements, that threw Beneath their solemn shadow, and, resign'd To fancy and to tears, thought it most sweet To wander o'er the world with him she loved. Nor was his birth ignoble, for he shone 'Mid England's gallant youth in Edward's reignWith countenance erect, and honest eye Commanding (yet suffused in tenderness At times), and smiles that like the lightning play'd On his brown cheek,-so nobly stern he stood, Accomplish’d, generous, gentle, brave, sincere, Robert à Machin. But the sullen pride Of haughty D’Arfet scorn'd all other claim To his high heritage, save what the pomp Of amplest wealth and loftier lineage gave. Reckless of human tenderness, that seeks One loved, one honour'd object, wealth alone He worshipp'd; and for this he could consign His only child, his aged hope, to loathed Embraces, and a life of tears! Nor here His hard ambition ended : for he sought By secret whispers of conspiracies His sovereign to abuse, bidding him lift His arm avenging, and upon a youth Of promise close the dark forgotten gates Of living sepulture, and in the gloom Inhume the slowly-wasting victim.
So He purposed, but in vain : the ardent youth Rescued her-her whom more than life he loved, E'en when the horrid day of sacrifice Drew nigh.
He pointed to the distant bark, And while he kiss'd a stealing tear that fell On her pale cheek, as trusting she reclined
Her head upon his breast, with ardour cried,
_“I follow thee,'
O retire to rest, Maiden, whose tender heart would beat, whose cheek Turn pale to see another thus exposed :Hark! the deep thunder louder peals— saveThe high mast crashes; but the faithful arm Of love is o'er thee, and thy anxious eye, Soon as the grey of morning peeps, shall view Green Erin's hills aspiring!
The sad morn Comes forth: but Terror on the sunless wave Still, like a sea-fiend, sits, and darkly smiles Beneath the flash that through the struggling clouds Bursts frequent, half revealing his scathed front, Above the rocking of the waste that rolls Boundless around :
No word through the long day She spoke:-Another slowly came:—No word The beauteous drooping mourner spoke. The sun Twelve times had sunk beneath the sullen surge, And cheerless rose again :-Ah, where are now Thy havens, France? But yet-resign not yetYe lost sea-farers-oh, resign not yet All hope—the storm is pass’d; the drenched sail Shines in the passing beam! Look up, and say, “Heav'n, thou hast heard our prayers !"
And lo! scarce seen, A distant dusky spot appears;—they reach An unknown shore, and green and flowery vales, And azure hills, and silver-gushing streams, Shine forth, a Paradise, which Heav'n alone, Who saw the silent anguish of despair, Could raise in the waste wilderness of waves.They gain the haven- through untrodden scenes, Perhaps untrodden by the foot of man Since first the earth arose, they wind: The voice Of Nature hails them here with music, sweet, As waving woods retired, or falling streams, Can make; most soothing to the weary heart, Doubly to those who, struggling with their fate, And wearied long with watchings and with grief, Sought but a place of safety. All things here Whisper repose and peace; the very birds, That 'mid the golden fruitage glance their plumes, The songsters of the lonely valley, sing “Welcome from scenes of sorrow, live with us.".
The wild wood opens, and a shady glen Appears, embower'd with mantling laurels high, That sloping shade the flowery valley's side; A lucid stream, with gentle murmur, strays Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves, Till gaining, with soft lapse, the nether plain, It glances light along its yellow bed. The shaggy inmates of the forest lick The feet of their new guests, and gazing stand.A beauteous tree upshoots amid the glade Its trembling top; and there upon the bank They rest them, while the heart o'erflows with joy.
Now evening, breathing richer odours sweet, Came down: a softer sound the circling seas,
The ancient woods resounded, while the dove,
Thou, dim cloud,
Fades, and the tender lustre of thy eye
Thy look was soft,
He laid her in the earth, Himself scarce living, and upon her tomb, Beneath the beauteous tree where they reclined, Placed the last tribute of his earthly love.
He placed the rude inscription on her stone, Which he with faltering hands had graved, and soon Himself beside it sunk-yet ere he died, Faintly he spoke; “ If ever ye shall hear, Companions of my few and evil days, Again the convent's vesper bells, O think Of me! and if in after-times the search Of men should reach this far-removed spot, Let sad remembrance raise an humble shrine, And virgin choirs chant duly o'er our gravePeace, peace.” His arm upon the mournful stone He dropp'd - his eyes, ere yet in death they closed, Turn'd to the name till he could see no more“Axxa.” His pale survivors, earth to earth, Weeping consign'd his poor remains, and placed Beneath the sod where all he loved was laid :Then shaping a rude vessel from the woods, They sought their country o’er the waves, and left The scenes again to deepest solitude. The beauteous Ponciana hung its head O'er the grey stone; but never human eye Had mark'd the spot, or gazed upon the grave Of the unfortunate, but for the voice Of Enterprise, that spoke, from Sagre's towers, “Through ocean's perils, storms, and unknown wastes, Speed we to Asia!'
From The Spirit of Discovery by Sca.