Page images

Scarce thro' one hasty week bad lore

His grateful blessing sbed,
When bliss (as flies the frighted dove)

Their bumble mansion fled:

Twas at Bellona's voice it flew,

That called to War's alarms; Bade the youth rise, to valour true,

And break from Laura's arms.

But still she strained him to her heart,

To lengthen the adieu! 'Ah what, (she said), should'st thou depart,

Shall I and sorrow do?


'Say, valiant youth, when thou'rt away,

Who'll raise my drooping head? How shall I chase the fears that say,

Thy loved Cabeysa's dead?'

With thine my fate I now involve,

Intent thy course to steer;
No words shall shake my firm resolve,

Not even that trickling tear.

'Framed for each scene of soft delight,' (He said,) < thy gentle form,

As shrinks the lily at the blight,
Will droop beneath the storm.

'Blest in thy presence, every pain,'
(He added,) 'brings a charm;

And love, though falls the beating rain, Will keep this bosom warm.'

E'en as the wall-flower rears its head,
'Mid ruins, wrecks, and tombs,

So 'mid the woes around that spread,
True love nnconquered blooms.

Her zeal (the supplement of strength),

Upheld her many a day, But nature's powers subdued at length,

On sickness' couch she lay.

Three painful days unseen she lay

Of him she held so dear; 'Ah! does he thus my love repay?'

She said, and dropt a tear.

'Cabeysa, at a league's remove,

Dwells on the tent-spread hill; Ah! wherefore did he vow true love,

And not that vow fulfil?'

Yet not deficiency of truth

Forbade to yield relief; Stern power withheld the tender youth,

And duty to his chief:

Who, wisely counselled, drew a line

To check the hand of stealth, That ravaged wide th' encircling vine,

The humble peasant's wealth.

To pass the line, it was ordained,

Whoever should presume, Should a deserter be arraigned,

And meet a coward's doom.

The law by equity approved,

And to the peasant dear,
Soon to the brave Cabeysa proved

Destructively severe.


Now Laura's image haunts his soul,
In woe's dark tints arrayed;

While to his breast compassion stole,
And all her charms displayed.

t 'For me, her native home (he said),

For me, each weeping friend,

For me, a father's arms she fled—

And shall not love attend?

'Say, for a chosen lover's sake, What more could woman do?

And now that health and peace forsake, Shall I forsake her too?

'Now stretched upon the naked ground, Oppressed with pain and fear,

She casts a languid eye around,
Nor sees Cabeysa near.

'Now, now she weeps at my delay,
And shall neglect be mine?

Submit, ye fears, to pity's sway,'
He spoke—and crossed the line.

Soon at his sight the fair resumed

Each captivating grace: On her pale cheek the rose re-bloomed,

And smiles illumed her face.

Yet to that cheek returned in vain

Bright health's vermillion dye, For bitter tears that cheek shall stain,

And dim her brilliant eye.

The youth returning thro' the gloom,

At midnight's secret hour, Was seized—and to dishonour's tomb

Doomed by the martial power.

To meet his fate at wake of day

(Love's victim), he was led: No weakness did his cheek betray,

While to the chief he said,

'If in the battle death I've dared,

In all its horror drest, Think not this scene, by thee prepared,

Sheds terror on my breast:

« PreviousContinue »