Page images
PDF
EPUB

A wail was heard around the bed, the death-bed of the

young, A fair-haired bride the funeral chant amidst her weeping

sung. —' Ianthis! lookest thou not on me 9—Can love indeed

be fled! When was it woe before to gaze upon thy stately head? iI would that I had followed thee, Ianthis, my beloved! And stood as woman oft hath stood, where faithful hearts

are proved! That I had bound a breast-plate on, and battled at thy side— —It would have been a blessed thing together had we died!

'But where was I when thou didst fall beneath the fatal

sword? Was I beside the sparkling fount, or at the peaceful board? Or singing some sweet song of old, in the shadow of the

vine, Or praying to the saints for thee, before the holy shrine? And thou wert lying low the while, the life-drops from thy

heart Fast gushing like a mountain-spring !—and couldst thou

thus depart? Couldst thou depart, nor on my lips pour out thy fleeting

breath? —Oh 1 I was with thee but in joy, that should have been

in death 1*

'Yes f I was with thee when the dance through mazy rings

was led, And when the lyre and voice were tuned, and when the feast

was spread ;— But not where noble blood flowed forth, where soundim;

javelins flew— —Why did I hear love's first sweet words, and not its last

adieu? What now can breathe of gladness niore, what scene, what

hour, what tone? The blue skies fade with all their lights,—they fade, since

thou art gone! Even that must leave me, that still face, by all my tears

unmoved— —Take me from this dark world with thee, lanthis! my

beloved!'

A wail was heard around the bed, the death-bed of the

'young, A'mio'st her tears the funeral chant a mournful sister siing. 'lanthis, brother of my soul!—Oh! where are'now the

days That laughed among the deep-green hills, on all our infant

plays?

When we two sported by the streams, or tracked them to

their source, And like a stag's, the rocks along, was thy first fearless

course! —I see the pines there waving yet, I see the rills descend, I see thy bounding step no more, my brother and my

friend!

* I come with flowers—for spring is come !—Ianthis! art

thou here? I bring the garlands she hath brought, I cast them on thy

bier! Thou shouldst be crowned with victory's crown—but oh!

more meet they seem, The first faint violets of the wood, and lilies of the stream. More meet for one so fondly loved, and laid thus early

low— —Alas! how sadly sleeps thy face amidst the sunshine's

glow: The golden glow that through thy heart was wont such joy

to send, -—Woe, that it smiles, and not for thee !—my brother and

my friend I'

Mrs. Hemans.

THE CRUSADER.

He is come from the land of the sword and the shrine,

From the sainted battles of Palestine;

The snow plumes wave o'er his victor crest—

Like a glory the red cross hangs at his breast;

The courser is black as black can be,

Save the brow-star, white as the foam of the sea;

And he wears a scarf of broidery rare,

The last love-gift of his lady fair;

It bore for device, a cross and a dove,

And the words, ' I am vowed to my God, and my love!'

He comes not back the same that he went,

For his sword has been tried, and his strength has been

spent; His golden hair has a deeper brown, And his brow has caught a darker frown; And his lip hath lost its boyish red, And the shade of the south o'er his cheek is spread; But stately his steps, and his bearing high, And wild the light of his fiery eye; And proud in the lists were the maiden bright, Who might claim the knight of the cross for her knight;

But he rides for the home he has pined to see
In the court, in the camp, in captivity.

He reached the castle—the gate was thrown
Open and wide, but he stood there alone.
He entered the door,—his own step was all
That echoed within the deserted hall;
He stood on the roof of the ancient tower,
And for banner there waved one pale wall-flower;
And for sound of the trumpet and sound of the horn,
Came the scream of the owl on the night-wind borne;
And the turrets were falling, the vassals were flown,
And the bat ruled the halls he had thought bis own.
His heart throbbed high, oh! never again
Might he soothe with sweet thoughts his spirit's pain!
He never might think on his boyish years,
Till his eyes grew dim with those sweet warm tears,
Which hope and memory shed when they meet,—
The grave of his kindred was at his feet.
He stood alone the last of his race,
With the cold, wide world for his dwelling-place;
The home of his fathers gone to decay,
All but their memory was passed away;
No one to welcome, no one to share
The laurel he no more was proud to wear.
He came in the pride of his war-success,
But to weep o'er very desolateness;

400895

« PreviousContinue »