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FROM TIIE GERMAN OF MATTHISON.
Now fade the hues that streak the western skies,
The moon, arising, quits the oaken shade, The winds career the waste with doleful sighs,
The elves their dance weave softly on the mead.
Adown the precipice a fitful glare,
'Twixt sea and sky suspended, melts in air. The Minster doth its moon-lit towers display,
In ghastly contrast with the leafy gloom Of the wild copse that skirts the rocky bay,
Where breaks the languid wave with hollow boom. Where yonder elms diffuse a calm around,
And wreaths of ivy round the portal twineStretched on a tomb,--absorbed in thought profound,
There Melancholy basks in full moonshine.
The thistle nods beside the temple door,
High builds the swallow in the fretted choir.
Loose fragments of time-tarnished glass remain--
The pious blazonries of Gothic stain.
The steps, outhollowed by devotion's knee,
To count the sighs of prostrate piety.
The cobweb-craped confessional is dumb,
Majestically onward through the gloom--
Nor now the spicy censer, as of yore,
They, too, that ministered, are now no more.
The taper's ray, what time the vestal train At midnight hour, along the echoing aisle,
Outpoured the solemn earth-dispelling strain ; Then, from their cloudy tenement released,
High soared their souls from sin and sorrow free, And for the virgin's bright coronal pressed
Right onward to the throne of Deity.
As closed the rite-awhile their spirits pause,
Then prone to earth precipitate their flight ; And one by one the white-stoled train withdraws,
And through the cloister, vanishes from sight.
Their warning gestures from afar doth spy,
Where wave their white veils, meteor-like, on high. The wreaths of social love were never wrought,
O virgins ! your lone pilgrimage to cheer; For you life’s rosy-bosomed hours had nought
But withered garlands, such as grief doth wear. The name of Mother, for the tender ear,
Of nature yet unweaned, the softest tone, The magic cadence in creation's choir,
By heaven resounded-ye have never known. A spark, perchance, of Luther's torch illumed
Your infant bosoms, ere the die was cast, Ere to the sacrificial altar doomed
Ye smothered freedom's flame within your breast. Here many a Heloise, conflicting, grieved,
And sunk, exhausted, on the path she trod, Untold for whom her heart's last throb was heaved,
For earth or heaven-for Abelard or God. Ye-ranged the darkened corridors along!
Ye moss-grown cells, by rank grass overspread ! To whose forsaken chambers nightly throng
Wan, murmuring shades, the phantoms of the dead. Within your walls did beauty turn to sere,
Ere yet the folded leaves disclosed the flower, Nor love the last sad tributary tear
Did on the maiden sufferer's death-cross pour. The Alpine rose, on Bernard's cheerless height,
Blooms lovely mid the lichens in the cleft, And oft the fairest flower that woos the light,
Plucked by the tempest—to the stream is left. Hard by the convent tower their bones repose,
Where, startled by the lone owl's drowsy flight, Up the tall reed the trembling wildfire flows,
And mocks the taper's consecrated light. The rose, of innocence the symbol fair,
Has here long time its vernal bloom displayed ; Here, too, the clematis, to friendship dear,
Entwines its tendrils through the myrtle shade. And here, as legends tell, the trancing sound
Of angel harpings usher in the gloomThen golden mists exhale from graves around, And heavenly light irradiates each tomb.
0. B. C.
THE STRAY CANTO.
“Come to our camp, too, ye wlio love to quaff,
The brown jug foaming by the great hall fire."
The faggots are blazing, the blazes are Till all the old castle with roar of their
Rings ev'ry rafter with tempest of
And bark to the stout hearts singing.
There are maidens in broad Avondale, full fair they are and free;
We have true hearts for the maidens, and broad arrows for the deer,
very spot, the
" Come, round the embers draw your Where God—Jehovah's self-did com
In this frail body's humble dress,
To see with these old rheumy eyes,
Which fill with pleasant tears whene'er
Upon the hill of Calvary,
But even though I ne'er had seen
These sights, so holy and so strange,
There's never a one that should not
Though these all fortunes else excelled,
Of Christendom, that made resort
And feeble now, and little worth, Of many a well-debated fight, Save tedious time to while away
Of joust also, and tournament,
And palaces so wondrous fair,
As well may make me bold to say,
when I can scarce employ I now am feeble on my feet
The yew I shot with when a boy,
Some five and seventy years ago,
Elastic as the bows they bear!
That gives to you, my comrades dear, Little need I mine old age rue;
Light hearts and lusty forest cheer;
And craves of you no more to do
Oh be the good Saint Hubert blest,
The strength and pride of Fatherland
From grassy green to desert sand
For I have seen our arrows go,
When up at last our battle came, Where neither blade of grass might grow, Struck in and played a gallant game; Nor leaf nor twig of tree below; As fleet as foot might go we ran, But all around hot sand was spread, And thick and fast at last began And never a cool cloud overhead, To send our silent powers in To bear the brazen furnace-heat
Among the iron's clanging din, That right down on our bonnets beat. And make as silent, well I wot, Then hath it been my lot to see,
As the fast shaft that stuck therein, When our mail-clad nobility
Full many a shouting pagan's throat. Were foundered in that sandy sea, Be sure I oft essayed to force And when our men-at-arms did fail A passage to my master's corse ; To move beneath their heavy mail; For 'twas the cry that both lay dead To see the boast of English land,
Where hardiest the hounds made head; The light true-hearted yeoman band, And boldly on their crowded van, Step forth, though knee-deep in the Charged many a worthy serving man, sand,
To drag their bodies forth, and save And loose their shafts as fast and free Good Christians from unhallow'd grave; As if they stood in English wood, For round about the infidel Under the greenwood tree !
Encompassed them, a bristling wall, 'Twas then I've seen our arrows fall, And many a shrill outlandish yell A shower of fire, for every one
Foretold them vulture burial. Showed like a sunbeam in the sun; Thus long we strove with loving will, And yet a chilling sleet withal,
But fruitless all our efforts still. And sharp upon the infidel.
At last when hope of help was iled, Ah, ha, my masters, trust me well, And we, with heavy hearts, were forced Iv'e seen them leap and heard them ring To leave them there, alive or dead, From breast of Soldan and of King ! A prey unto the dogs accurs'd; Ah grey goose wing that floated erst, Full suddenly among us burst The pride of Avon's silver flood, Of spearmen bold a goodly show, Of all our host I was the first
Led by the banner of De Veaux. To make thee swim in royal blood- Sir Roulf himself he rode the first, 'Twas I that made thee swim again And bright among the dust he show'd In the best blood of a Saracen
His armour blazing all abroad. Who reigned in pleasant Araby
A lusty blast old Stephen blew, Ab, strange and fearful was the fate And down they came, and round the close Which left his lady desolate,
-A fearful crushing shock-arose And doomed his death by me!
A sandy storm, that eddying flew, I'll tell you how-Sir John, who now As when the desert whirlwind blows: Wons outlaw'd in the forest here,
Andwhen that cloud had somewhat cleared, And our late lord, Sir Geoffrey, were St. George! what goodly sight appearedTogether fighting for the cross
For every lance in that rough course In Jewry_hot July it was,
Was either shivered on the shield, When, on a morning, from their tent And splinter-frayed the cumbered field, Like brothers, forth in arms they went; Or fixed and bored through man and horse : And we, a goodly band, uprose,
So hand to hand they waged the war With trusty aid of bills and bows. All with the sword and scimitar. But woe is me, us all before
I know not how my way I found Upon the pagan bost they before ; Among that press of battle keen ; For first were they in all assaults. Yet so it was, without a wound, And when they had approached the fight I passed the mellé all unseen ; Within about half-arrow flight,
And there, behind them all, espied With slackened rein and stooping crest, The noble barons, side by side; With spur to flank, and spear in rest, Upon the ground, and over theni Went in like thunderbolts!
Stood one whose crest shone like a star,
Ah, many a rapid death I've sent,