Page images
PDF
EPUB

And so they lay in loveliness, and kept
The birth-night of their peace, that Life e’en wept
With very envy of their happy fronts;
For there were neighbor brows scarr'd by the brunts
Of strife and sorrowing—where Care had set
His crooked autograph, and marr'd the jet
Of glossy locks, with hollow eyes forlorn,
And lips that curl'd in bitterness and scorn-
Wretched, -as they had breathed of this world's pain,
And so bequeath'd it to the world again
Through the beholder's heart in heavy sighs.
So lay they garmented in torpid light,
Under the pall of a transparent night,
Like solemn apparitions lull’d sublime
To everlasting rest, and with them Time
Slept, as he sleeps upon the silent face
Of a dark dial in a sunless place.

[graphic]

BALLAD.

She's up and gone, the graceless Girl!

And robb’d my failing years; My blood before was thin and cold

But now 'tis turn'd to tears;
My shadow falls upon my grave,

So near the brink I stand,
She might have stayed a little yet,

And led me by the hand !

Aye, call her on the barren moor,

And call her on the hill,
'Tis nothing but the heron's cry,

And plover's answer shrill ;
My child is flown on wilder wings,

Than they have ever spread,
And I may even walk a waste

That widen'd when she fled.

Full many a thankless child has been,

But never one like mine; Her meat was served on plates of gold,

Her drink was rosy wine ; But now she'll share the robin's food,

And sup the common rill, Before her feet will turn again

To meet her father's will !

BALLAD.

Sigh on, sad heart, for Love's eclipse

And Beauty's fairest queen,
Tho' 'tis not for my peasant lips

To soil her name between :
A king might lay his sceptre down,

But I am poor and naught,
The brow should wear a golden crown

That wears her in its thought.

The diamonds glancing in her hair,

Whose sudden beams surprise, Might bid such humble hopes beware

The glancing of her eyes ; Yet looking once, I look's too long, ·

And if my love is sin, Death follows on the heels of wrong.

And kills the crime within.

Her dress seem'd wove of lily leaves,

It was so pure and fine,
O lofty wears, and lowly weaves,

But hodden grey is mine :
And homely hose must step apart,

Where garter'd princes stand,
But may he wear my love at heart

That wins her lily hand !

[graphic]

Alas! there's far from russet frieze

To silks and satin gowns,
But I doubt if God made like degrees,

In courtly hearts and clowns.
My father wrong'd a maiden's mirth,

And brought her cheeks to blame,
And all that's lordly of my birth,

Is my reproach and shame!

'Tis vain to weep,—'tis vain to sigh,

'Tis vain this idle speech,
For where her happy pearls do lie,

My tears may never reach;
Yet when I'm gone, e'en lofty pride

May say of what has been,
His love was nobly born and died,

Tho' all the rest was mean!

My speech is rude,-but speech is weak

Such love as mine to tell,
Yet had I words, I dare not speak,

So, Lady, fare thee well ;
I will not wish thy better state

Was one of low degree,
But I must weep that partial fate

Made such a churl of me.

THE WATER LADY.

ALAS, the moon should ever beam
To show what man should never see !
I saw a maiden on a stream,
And fair was she !

I stayed awhile, to see her throw
Her tresses back, that all beset
The fair horizon of her brow
With clouds of jet.
I stayed a little while to view
Her cheek, that wore in place of red
The bloom of water, tender blue,
Daintily spread.
I stayed to watch, a little space,
Her parted lips if she would sing;
The waters closed above her face,
With many a ring.
And still I stay'd a little more,
Alas! she never comes again ;
I throw my flow’rs from the shore,
And watch in vain.
I know my life will fade away,
I know that I must vainly pine,
For I am made of mortal clay,
But she's divine !

« PreviousContinue »