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of Freedom and Union wave! Peace, and order, and beauty, , draw round thy symbol of light and law; and ever the stars above look down on thy stars below in Frederick Town!
(Verse printed as Prose.) Maud Müller, on a summer's day, raked the meadow sweet with hay. Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth of simple beauty and rustic health. Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee the mock-bird echoed from his tree. But, when she glanced to the far-off town, white from its hill-slope looking down, the sweet song died; and a vague unrest and a nameless longing filled her breast—a wish, that she hardly dared to own, for something better than she had known !
The Judge rode slowly down the lane, smoothing his horse's chestnut mane. He drew his bridle in the shade of the appletrees, to greet the Maid, and ask a draught, from the spring that flowed through the meadows across the road.—She stooped where the cool spring bubbles up, and filled for him her small tin cup; and blushed as she gave it, looking down on her feet so bare, and her tattered gown. “ Thanks!” said the Judge,
a sweeter draught from a fairer hand was never quaffed.” He spoke of the grass, and flowers, and trees, of the singing birds, and the humming bees; then talked of the haying, and wondered whether the cloud in the west would bring foul weather. And Maud forgot her briar-torn gown, and her graceful ankles bare and brown; and listened, while a pleased surprise looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes,—At last, like one who for delay seeks a vain excuse, he rode away!
Maud Müller looked and sighed : " Ah me! that I the Judge's bride might be! He would dress me up in silks so fine, and praise and toast me at his wine. My father should wear a broad-cloth coat; my brother should sail a painted boat. I'd dress my mother so grand and gay! and the baby should have a new toy each day. And I'd feed the hungry, and clothe the poor, and all should bless me who left our door.”
The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill, and saw Maud Müller standing still. " A form more fair, a face more sweet, ne'er hath it been my lot to meet. And her modest answer and graceful air, show her wise and good as she is fair. Would she were mine! and I to-day, like her, a harvester of hay: no doubtful balance of rights and wrongs, and weary lawyers with endless tongues; but low of cattle, and song of birds, and health of quiet and loving words.” Then he thought of his sisters, proud and cold ; and his mother, vain of her rank and gold. So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on, and Maud was left in the field alone. But the lawyers smiled that afternoon, when he hummed in court an old love tune ;—and the young girl mused beside the well, till the rain on the unraked clover fell.
He wedded a wife of richest dower, who lived for fashion, as he for power. Yet oft in his marble hearth’s bright glow, he watched a picture come and go : and sweet Maud Müller's hazel eyes looked out in their innocent surprise. Oft when the wine in his glass was red, he longed for the wayside-well instead; and closed his eyes on his garnished rooms, to dream of meadows and clover blooms. And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain : “Ah! that I were free again ! free as when I rode that day, where the barefoot maiden raked her hay." She wedded a man unlearn'd and
children played round her door. But care and sorrow, and household pain, left their traces on heart and brain. And oft, when the summer-sun shone hot on the new-mown hay in the meadow lot, in the shade of the apple-tree, again she saw a Rider draw his rein : and, gazing down with timid grace, she felt his pleased eyes read her face. Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls stretched away into stately halls ; the weary wheel to a spinnet turned, the tallow candle an astral burned; and, for him who sat by the chimney lug, dozing and grumbling o'e: pipe and mug, a manly form at her side she saw,—and joy was duty, and love was law ! Then, she took up her burden of life again, saying only, “It might have been ! ”
Alas for Maiden ! alas for Judge! for rich repiner and household drudge! God pity them both ! and pity us all, who vainly the dreams of youth recall. For, of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these : “It might have been !” Ah, well for us all some sweet hope lies deeply buried from human eyes; and, in the Hereafter, angels may roll the stone from its grave away!
(Verse printed as Prose.) She was an only child-her name Ginevra, the joy, the pride of an indulgent sire; and in her fifteenth year became a bride, marrying an only son, Francesco Doria, her playmate from her birth, and her first love. She was all gentleness, all gaiety, her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue. But now the day was come, the day, the hour; now, frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time, the nurse, that ancient lady, preached decorum ; and Ginevra, in the lustre of her youth, gave her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco. Great was the joy; but, at the nuptial feast, when all sat down, the bride was wanting there, nor was she to be found! Her father cried, “ 'Tis but to make a trial of our love !” and filled his glass to all; but his hand shook, and soon from guest to guest the panic spread. 'Twas but that instant sh had left Francesco, laughing, and looking back, and flying still—her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger. But now, alas ! she was not to be found ; nor from that hour could any thing be guessed, but that she was not!
Weary of his life, Francesco flew to Venice, and forth with flung it away in battle with the Turk. Orsini lived : and long mightst thou have seen an old man wandering as in quest of something, something he could not find—he knew not what. When he was gone, the house remained a while silent and tenantless—then went to strangers.
Full fifty years were past, and all forgot; when on an idle day,-a day of search 'mid the old lumber in the gallery,that mouldering chest was noticed; and 'twas said by one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra, Why not remove it from its lurking place ?” 'Twas done as soon as said ; but, on the way, it burst, it fell; and lo! a skeleton, with here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone, a golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold! All else had perished -save a nuptial-ring, and a small seal, her mother's legacy, engraven with a name, the name of both .6 Ginevra.” There then had she found a grave ! Within that chest had she concealed herself, fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy; when a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there, closed, and fastened her down for ever!
Paradise and the Peri.
(Verse printed as Prose.) One morn a Peri at the gate of Eden stood, disconsolate; and as she listen’d to the Springs of Life within, like music flowing, and caught the light upon her wings through the half-open portal glowing, she wept to think her recreant race should e'er have lost that glorious place! “How happy," exclaimed this child of air, "are the holy Spirits who wander there, 'mid flowers that never shall fade or fall; though mine are the gardens of earth and sea, and the stars themselves have flowers for me, one blossom of Heaven out-blooms them all!
“Go, wing thy flight from star to star, from world to luminous world, as far as the universe spreads its flaming wall: Take all the pleasures of all the spheres, and multiply each through endless years, one minute of Heaven is worth them all!" The glorious Angel, who was keeping the gates of Light, beheld her weeping; and, as he nearer drew and listen'd to her sad song, a tear-drop glisten'd within his eye-lids, like the spray from Eden's fountain, when it lies on the blue flow'r, which-Bramins say—blooms nowhere but in Paradise ! “ Nymph of a fair but erring line !" gently he said—“One hope is thine.
'Tis written in the Book of Fate, the Peri yet may be forgiven who brings to this Eternal gate the Gift that is most dear to Heaven ! Go seek it, and redeem thy sin—'tis sweet to let the Pardon'd in !"
Cheer'd by this hope she bends her thither ;—still laughs the radiant eye of Heaven, nor have the golden bowers of Even in the rich West begun to wither ;—when, o'er the vale of Balbec winging slowly, she sees a child at play, among the rosy wild-flowers singing, as rosy and as wild as they ; chasing, with eager hands and eyes, the beautiful blue damsel-flies, that flutter'd round the jasmine stems, like winged flowers or flying gems :—and, near the boy, who tir'd with play, now nestling 'mid the roses lay, she saw a wearied man dismount from his hot steed, and on the brink of a small imaret's rustic fount impatient fling him down to drink. Then swift his haggard brow he turn’d to the fair child, who fearless sat, though never yet hath day-beam burn’d upon a brow more fierce than
that,-sullenly fierce-a mixture dire, like thunder-clouds, of gloom and fire ! in which the Peri's eyes could read dark tales of many a ruthless deed; the ruin'd maid—the shrine profan'd-oaths broken-and the threshold stain'd with blood of guests !-there written, all, black as the damning drops that fall from the denouncing Angel's pen, ere Mercy weeps them out again!
Yet tranquil now that man of crime, (as if the balmy evening time soften'd his spirit) look'd and lay, watching the rosy infant's play.
But hark! the vesper call to prayer, as slow the orb of daylight sets, is rising sweetly on the air, from Syria's thousand minarets ! The boy has started from the bed of flowers, where he had laid his head, and down upon the fragrant sod kneels, with his forehead to the south, lisping the eternal name of God from purity's own cherub mouth, and looking, while his hands and eyes are lifted to the glowing skies, like a stray babe of Paradise, just lighted on that flowery plain, and seeking for its home again! Oh, 'twas a sight—that Heav'n—that Child -a scene, which might have well beguild ev'n haughty Eblis of a sigh for glories lost and peace gone by !
And how felt he, the wretched Man reclining there—while memory ran o'er many a year of guilt and strife, flew o'er the dark flood of his life, nor found one sunny resting-place, nor brought him back one branch of grace ! " There was a time,” he said, in mild, heart-humbled tones—“thou blessed child ! when young and haply pure as thou, I look'd and pray'd like thee—but now”—he hung his head-each nobler aim and hope and feeling, which had slept from boyhood's hour, that instant came fresh o'er him, and he wept—he wept !
Blest tears of soul-felt penitence 1 in whose benign, redeeming flow is felt the first, the only sense of guiltless joy that guilt can know. “There's a drop," said the Peri, “that down from the moon falls through the withering airs of June upon Egypt's land, of so healing a power, so balmy a virtue, that ev'n in the hour that drop descends, contagion dies, and health reanimates earth and skies ! Oh, is it not thus, thou man of sin, the precious tears of repentance fall? Though foul thy fiery plagues within, one heavenly drop hath dispell’d them all i" . And now-behold him kneeling there by the child's