Page images
PDF

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

'Twas midnight dark,

The seaman's bark
Swift o'er the waters bore him,

When, through the night,

He spied a light Shoot o'er the wave before him. “A sail! a sail !” he cries;

“She comes from the Indian shore, And to-night shall be our prize, With her freight of golden ore:

Sail on! sail on!"

When morning shone
He saw the gold still clearer;

But though so fast

The waves he passed,
That boat seemed never the nearer !

Bright daylight came,

And still the same
Rich bark before him floated;

While on the prize

"His wishful eyes
Like any young lover's doated :
“More sail! more sail !” he cries,

While the waves o'ertop the mast;
And his bounding galley flies,
Like an arrow before the blast.

Thus on, and on,

Till day was gone, And the moon through heaven did hie her,

He swept the main ;

But all in vain-
That boat seemed never the nigher !

And many a day

To night gave way,
And many a morn succeeded,

While still his flight,

Through day and night,
That restless mariner speeded.
Who knows--who knows what seas

He is now careering o'er? -
Behind, the eternal breeze,
And that mocking bark before !

For oh, till sky

And earth shall die,
And their death leave none to rue it,

That boat must flee

O'er the boundless sea,
And that ship in vain pursue it!

MOORE.

LADY CLARE.

It was the time when lilies blow,

And clouds are highest up in air, Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe

To give his cousin, Lady Clare.

I trow they did not parle in scorn ;

Lovers long betrothed were they : They two will wed the morrow morn:

God's blessing on the day. “He does not love me for my birth,

Nor for my lands, so broad and fair ; He loves me for my own true worth,

And that is well,” said Lady Clare.

In then came old Alice the nurse;

Said, “Who was this that went from thee ?”“It was my cousin,” said Lady Clare;

“To-morrow he weds with me.”

"O God be thanked !” said Alice the nurse,

“That all comes round so just and fair; Lord Ronald is heir of all your land,

And you are not the Lady Clare."

“Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse,"

Said Lady Clare, “that ye speak so wild ?” As God's above,” said Alice the nurse,

“I speak the truth-you are my child.

The old Earl's daughter died at my breast

I speak the truth, as I live by bread! I buried her like my own sweet child,

And put my child in her stead.”

“Falsely, falsely have ye done,

O mother,” she said, “if this be true; To keep the best man under the sun

So many years from his due.”

“Nay, now, my child,” said Alice the nurse;

“But keep the secret for your life, And all you have will be Lord Ronald's

When you are man and wife.”

"If I'm a beggar born,” she said,

"I will speak out, for I dare not lie; Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold,

And fling the diamond necklace by!”

“Nay, now, my child,” said Alice the nurse,

“But keep the secret all ve can.”— She said, “Not so; but I will know

If there be any faith in man.”

“Nay, now, what faith ?” said Alice the nurse;

“The man will cleave unto his right.”— “And he shall have it,” the lady replied,

“Though I should die, to-night!”

“Yet give one kiss to your mother, dear!

Alas, my child, I sinned for thee.”“O mother, mother, mother,” she said,

“So strange it seems to me.

Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,

My mother dear, if this be so; And lay your hand upon my head,

And bless me, mother, ere I go."

She clad herself in a russet gown;

She was no longer Lady Clare:
She went by dale and she went by down,

With a single rose in her hair.

The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought

Leaped up from where she lay, Dropped her head in the maiden's hand,

And followed her all the way.

Down stepped Lord Ronald from his tower:

“O Lady Clare, you shame your worth! Why come you dressed like a village maid,

That are the flower of the earth ?”

“If I come dressed like a village maid,

I am but as my fortunes are; I am a beggar born,” she said,

“And not the Lady Clare.”

“Play me no tricks,” said Lord Ronald,

“For I am yours in word and deed ;“Play me no tricks,” said Lord Ronald;

Your riddle is hard to read.”

Oh, and proudly stood she up!

Her heart within her did not fail ; She looked into Lord Ronald's eyes,

And told him all her nurse's tale.

He laughed a laugh of merry scorn;

He turned and kissed her where she stood: “ If you are not the heiress born,

And I," said he, “the next in blood

If you are not the heiress born,

And I,” said he, “the lawful heir, We two will wed to-morrow morn, And you shall still be Lady Clare."

TENNYSON.

LORD WILLIAM.

No eye beheld when William plunged

Young Edmund in the stream; No human ear, but William's, heard

Young Edmund's drowning scream.

Submissive, all the vassals owned

The murderer for their lord; And he, as rightful heir, possessed

The house of Erlingford.

The ancient house of Erlingford

Stood in a fair domain,
And Severn's ample waters near

Rolled through the fertile plain.

And often the wayfaring man

Would love to linger there, Forgetful of his onward road,

To gaze on scenes so fair.

But never could Lord William dare

To gaze on Severn's stream ;-
In every wind that swept its waves

He heard young Edmund scream!

In vain, at midnight's silent hour,

Sleep closed the murderer's eyes ;In every dream, the murderer saw

Young Edmund's form arise !

In vain, by restless conscience driven,

Lord William left his home,

« PreviousContinue »