Page images

Fading to air! Yet blessings with thee go—

Love guard thee, gentlest! and the exile's woe

From thy young heart be far!—And sorrow not

For me, sweet daughter, in my lonely lot

God will be with me! Now farewell, farewell,

Thou that hast been what words may never tell

Unto thy mother's bosom, since the days

When thou wert pillowed there; and wont to raise

In sudden laughter thence thy loving eye,

That still sought mine. Those moments are gone by—

Thou too must go, my flower! yet round thee dwell

The peace of God I One, one more gaze—farewell!

This was a mother's parting with her child— A young, meek bride, on whom fair fortune smiled, And wooed her, with a voice of love, away From childhood's home. Yet there, with fond delay, She lingered on the threshold: heard the note Of her caged bird through trellised rose-trees float; And fell upon her mother's neck, and wept, While old remembrances, that long had slept, Streamed o'er her soul; and many a vanished day, As in one picture traced, before her lay.

But the farewell was said; and on the deep, When its breast heaved in sunset's golden sleep,

With a stilled heart, young Madeline, ere long,

Poured forth her own low solemn vesper-song

To chiming waves. Through stillness heard afar,

And daily rising with the first pale star,

That voice was on the waters; till at last

The sounding ocean-solitudes were passed,

And the bright land was reached; the youthful world

That glows along the west: the sails were furled

In its clear sunshine; and the gentle bride

Looked on the home, which promised hearts untried

A bower of bliss to be. Alas! we trace

The map of our own paths, and long ere years

With their dull steps the brilliant lines efface,

Comes the swift storm, and blots them out in tears.

That home was darkened soon: the summer's breeze

Welcomed with death the wanderers from the seas!

Death unto one! and anguish, how forlorn

To her that, widowed in her marriage-morn,

Sat in the lonely dwelling, whenee with him,

Her bosom's first beloved, her friend and guide,

Joy had gone forth, and left the green earth dim,

As from the sun shut out on every side,

By the close veil of misery. Oh! but ill,

When with rich hopes o'erfraught, the young high heart

Bears its first blow! It knows not yet the part

Which life will teach—to suffer and be still!

And with submissive love, to count the flowers

Which yet are spared; and through the future hours

To send no busy dream! She had not learned

Of sorrow till that blight, and therefore turned

In weariness from life. Then came the unrest,

The vague sad yearnings of the exile's breast;

The haunting sounds of voices far away,

And household steps; until at last she lay

On her lone couch of sickness—lost in dreams

Of the gay vineyards and blue glancing streams

Of her own sunny land—and murmuring oft

Familiar names in accents wild, yet soft,

To strangers round that bed, who knew not aught

Of tie deep spells wherewith each word was fraught.

To strangers ?—Oh ! could strangers raise the head,

Gently as her's was laised ?—did strangers shed

The kindly tear which bathed that pale young brow,

And feverish cheek, with half unconscious flow ?—

Something was there, that through the heavy night

Outwatches patiently the taper's light;

Something that bows not to the day's distress,

That knows not change, that fears not weariness:

Love, true and perfect love I—Whence came that power,

Upbearing through the storm the fragile flower?

Whence ?—who can ask ?—the long delirium passed,

And from her eyes the spirit looked at last

Into her mother's face !—and, wakening, knew
The brow's calm grace, the hair's dear silvery hue—
The kind, sweet smile of old !—And had she come,
Thus in life's evening from her distant home,
To save her child? Even so! Nor yet in vain—
In that young heart a light sprung up again!
And lovely still, with so much love to give,
Seemed this fair world, though faded; still to live
Was not to pine forsaken I On the breast
That rocked her childhood, falling in soft rest—
'Sweet mother I gentlest mother !—can it be?'
The lorn one cried—' And do I gaze on thee?
Take home thy wanderer from this fatal shore—
Peace shall be ours, amidst our vines once more!'

Mrs Hemans.


As the wild bird sings in his brake, my love,

In the twilight's rosy hour,
To the white winged queen of the lake, my love,

As she sails to her reedy bower;
As the zephyrs by night awake, my love,

Will their fairy harp inspire,

Even so for thy blessed sake, my love,

Do I touch my trembling lyre :—
Then softly open thy lattice high,
And appear in thy beauty now,
The stars have met in the clear blue sky—
Yet—where, my beloved, art thou?

As the hind will pant for the mountain stream

That winds through his wooded glade ;— As the flower will thirst for the sunny beam,

Or die in its wintry shade ;—
As the forest-dove will repine, my love,

To be near his mate's sweet breast;—
So my heart is sighing for thine, my love,

O! awake from thy dreamy rest!— The vesper-hymns of devotion near, Have been breathed at each sainted shrine :— As heaven looked down upon them, my dear, I conjure thee,—listen to mine!

O the waves will change in the summer brook,

The brightest will roll away :—
The dove by her forest mate be forsook,

Ere the birth of another May;—
The flower of the valley estranged, my dear,

To night will faded be;

« PreviousContinue »