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'Yet then at Laura's hapless fate,
My fortitude impairs,
Of her oppressive cares.
'Ah! when her grief-torn heart shall bleed,
Some little solace grant;
From the rude hand of want.'
Now, kneeling on the fatal spot,
The twelve who drew the unwelcome lot,
And now the murmuring throng grew dumb,
'Twas silent all—save where, At intervals the mournful drum,
Struck horror on the ear.
Now, with their death-fraught tubes up-reared,
And now the explosion dire was heard,
Another scene remained behind,
For Laura to supply— She comes! mark how her tortured mind
Speaks thro' th' expressive eye.
'Forbear—will ye in blood (she said),
Your cruel hands imbrue?
To me alone 'tis due.
'Relent—and to these arms again
The valiant youth restore; I rave—already on the plain
He welters in his gore.'
Advancing now, she pierced the crowd,
And reached the fatal place, Where, lifting from the corse the shroud,
No semblance could she trace.
'Is this—Oh blasting view! (she cried),
The youth who loved too well? His love for me the law defied,
And for that love he fell 1
'When will the grave this fort* receive?
The grave—to which be's fled!
She spoke—and joined the dead.
THE VILLAGE MANSION.
Mark yon old mansion, frowning thro' the trees,
Whose hollow turret woos the whistling breeze;
That casement, arched with ivy's brownest shade,
First to these eyes the light of heaven conveyed.
The mouldering gateway strews the grass-grown court,
Once the calm scene of many a simple sport;
When nature pleased, for life itself was new,
And the heart promised what the fancy drew.
See through the fractured pediment revealed,
Where moss inlays the rudely sculptured shield,
The martin's old hereditary nest:
Long may the ruin spare its hallowed guest!
As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call!
Oh haste, unfold the hospitable hall!
That hall, where once in antiquated state,
The chair of justice held the grave debate.
Now stained with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung,
Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung,
When round the ample board, in due degree,
We sweetened every meal with social glee.
The heart's light laugh pursued the circling jest,
And all was sunshine in each little breast;
'Twas here we chased the slipper by its sound,
And turned the blindfold hero round and round;
'Twas here, at eve, we formed »ur fairy ring,
And fancy fluttered on her wildest wing:
As o'er the dusky furniture I bend,
Each chair awakes the feelings of a friend;
The storied arras, source of fond delight,
With old achievement charms the wildered sight;
And still with heraldry's rich hues imprest,
On the dim window glows the pictured crest.
The screen unfolds its many coloured chart,
The clock still points its moral to the heart:
That faithful monitor 'twas heaven to hear!
When soft it spoke a promised pleasure near;
And has its sober hand) its simple chime,
Forgot to trace the feathered feet of time?
That massive beam, with curious carvings wrought,
Whence the caged linnet soothed my pensive thought; Those muskets cased with venerable rust;
Those once loved forms still breathing through their dust,
Still from the frame, in mould gigantic cast,
Starting to life—all whisper of the past!
As through the garden's desert paths I rove,
What fond illusions swarm in every grove!
How oft, when purple evening tinged the west,
We watched the emmet to her grainy nest;
Welcomed the wild bee home on wearied wing,
Laden with sweets, the choicest of the spring!
How oft inscribed with friendship's votive rhyme,
The bark now silvered by the touch of time;
Soared in the spring, half pleased and half afraid,
Thro' sister elms that waved their summer shade';
Or strewed with crumbs yon root-inwoven seat
To lure the redbreast from his lone retreat!
Childhood's loved group re-visits every scene,
The tangled wood-walk, and the tufted green!
Indulgent memory wakes, and lo 1 they live!
Clothed with far softer hues than light can give.
Thou last, best friend that heaven assigns below,
To soothe and sweeten all the cares we know;
Whose glad suggestions still each vain alarm,
When nature fades and life forgets to charm;
Thee would the muse invoke !—to thee belong
The sage's precept, and the poet's song.