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“ Sing, ancient bard, the
I may not hear thy harp to-morrow!
Sing, ancient bard, my Harold's praise,
Bright, but not many, were his days;
Thou knew'st the warrior's virtues well,
Şay how he lov'd, and fought, and fell !
The boy upon the widow's knee
Will smile to hear thy minstrelsy,
And act a blissful angel's part
On his poor mother's breaking heart.
Thou knew'st the warrior's virtues well;
Say how he lov'd, and fought, and fell!"
old Hubert dash'd a tear away ;
The lady said, "Play, minstrel, play;
Thou shalt not hear me heave a sigh,
There is no fountain in mine eye;
Sing, ancient bard, the song
I may not hear thy harp to-morrow!"
Drooping and sad, with trembling hand,
He touch'd the wires at her command :
Wild were the notes; the rosy boy
his little hands with joy ; The widow strain’d him to her breast, The pillow of his nightly rest, And then a wandering look she gave, And said, “Thy father's in the grave! Lost, lost, my blessed hope, to thee, Lost, lost, my smiling babe, to me, To friendship, love, and earthly minstrelsy! “ But there are harps in Heaven!”-Began, With gathering strength, the ancient man: “ Sweet is the voice of seraphim, Pouring the joyous praise of Him Who to the son of virtue says, Heed not the shortness of thy days
On earth, for thou wilt find with me
The raptures of eternity!
Has Harold left his precious love,
And are they not to meet again?
Hark, lady, hark! I hear above,
An angel's voice, an angel's strain :
It is mine honour'd lord's; and see !
He drops the veil of mystery ;
Smiling on Rose, he stands :
No angry storms his breast invade,
He comes not like a gloomy shade;
Lo! now he lifts his hands.
O, son of light! with holy joy,
I see thee bless thy wife and infant boy!
The warrior speaks; hark, lady, hark!
• My Rose, why are thy thoughts so dark !
Why suffer grief to overthrow
Thy noble mind? Why nourish woe?
The worm that eats the human heart:
0, mournful dove! one smile impart;
A smile like that which deck'd thy cheek,
When first thou heard'st thy Ilarold speak
of love, and all its witching powers,
And breath'd a tremulous vow, that made
Holy, wild Ruthen's mountain shade,
And gave more sweetness to the honied flowers.
Why are thy thoughts so dark, my Rose ?
Let our dear boy dispel thy woes
With his soft smiles; such smiles, in Heaven,
Are by the glowing cherubs given
To those fond mothers, now on high,
Who nurs'd their tender infancy.
Wherefore that look of strong despair,
The fearful gathering of thine eye?
Why load thy snowy breast with care,
And wildly wish to die?
There is a stillness in thy grief
That fills the soul with dread.
Woman of misery!
The body of wild Ruthen's chief
Lies calmly with the honour'd dead,
His soul is now with thee.
He comes a soother to his Rose,
But hark! the signal's given!
The parting clouds, my love, disclose
The moonlight realms of Heaven.
Mourn not the warrior's doom,
He died, the death of glory!
None will tell his story
With mockery o'er his tomb;
None will curse the memory
Of him who liv'd in love and charity.
The soldier, in the hour of death,
The soldier, with his latest breath,
Will bless the partner of his bed,
And faintly raise his swimming head,
To send an holy prayer on high,
For his dear wife and progeny.
Yes, the true soldier will extend
His hand, and say, Farewell, my friend,
E'en to his conqueror, stain'd with gore,
Who murmurs, We are foes no more!
Smile, widow of wild Ruthen's chief;
The blast demands the yellow leaf:
Braving the storm and icy rain,
The tree is greenly deck'd again.
To Harold is assurance given
That he shall meet his Rose in Heaven!
There, with the smile of chasten’d joy;
May Harold's arms enfold his boy!
Near us shall old Hubert stand,
And sweep, with plastic hand,
A richer harp, and send on high
song of sweet solemnity;
Happy the souls of those who happy die !"
Entranc'd the minstrel gaz'd: the boy
Play'd with the streaming hair
Of Rose, once Ruthen's pride and joy,
Now shuddering with despair.
Low sank her head; a fearful sigh
Rous'd Hubert from his ecstasy :
Trembling, her senseless hand he press'd,
The dreadful stillness of her breast
The closing eye-the ashy cheek-
“My lady dear! my mistress, speak!
Ah, sight of misery and grief!
Descend again, wild Rathen's chief;
The fatal blow of death is given,
Descend, and bear thy wife to Heaven!”
The old man, terrified and wild,
Rais'd the dear unconscious child,
Whose rosy face was closely press'd
To his dead mother's freezing breast.
With visage wan and eye aghast,
The beauteous corse he hurried past;
The little orphan then he bore
With anguish through the corridor,
And soon the mournful cry was spread,
Ruthen's sweet flower, the Lady Rose is dead!
Oft on the lonely deck I've stood,
At evening's still and silent hour; Mark'd the last sun-beams on the flood,
Which closes day's warm genial power, Then have I mourn'd, with anguish keen,
That thus the days of youth fleet by;
Full soon the clouds of care are seen
To draw the retrospective sigh.
While thus I mused, the red-arch'd moon
Peep'd o'er the ocean's distant verge ;
And, rising slow, its splendor soon
Tipp'd the white sail of yon proud barge. And as the waves in gentle swell
Heave as the breezes o'er them sweep; Its pale light on their curl'd tops fell,
And sparkled o'er th' expansive deep. Then has my soul with joy confessid,
That though the warmth of youth decays, Yet Providence has kindly bless'd
Our age with more congenial rays,
While leaning o'er the vessel's side,
As the ship cuts the glassy sea ;
I've watch'd the sparkles as they glide;
And thought on friends now far from me. Now midnight's awful gloom was spread;
The seamen change of watch proclaim; The deep-mouth'd heavings of the lead,
And noisy billows, child my frame. But now to chase the dismal scene,
Behold from far, young morning peep,
And on the ocean's briny green
Behold the vessels cut the deep.
See from that cloud the gay sun break:
He chases every midnight damp;
The busy crew are all on deck,
Warm'd by Aurora's blazing lamp. Joy fills my heart, all sorrow flies;
Farewell the shades and' damps of night, So shall the blessed morn arise
O'er death's dark shades in splendor bright.
List not to Pleasure's luring voice,
Who courts thee to her silken breast; Who strews with flowers the path to vice,
And tells thee 'tis the path to rest. When
the rose's sweets would smell, Beware the thorns which lurk below; But, oh! believe me, when I tell,
How thorns beneath gay pleasures grow. Fly ere you prove its baneful power;
Be wise and shun th’insidious bait, For pleasure is a poisonous flower,
Which cropt will bring remorse too late.