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"KNOWLEDGE STRIVES IN VAIN TO FEEL HER WAY AMIDST THESE MARVELS OF THE MIND."-HEMANS.

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174

FEARLESSLY, WONDROUSLY, our souls arE MADE;-(HEMANS)

MRS. HEMANS.

THE LADY OF THE CASTLE.

HOU see'st her pictured with her shining hair
(Famed were those tresses in Provençal song),
Half braided, half o'er cheek and bosom fair
Let loose, and pouring sunny waves along
Her gorgeous vest. A child's right hand is roving
'Midst the rich curls, and oh! how meekly loving
Its earnest looks are lifted to the face,
Which bends to meet its lip in laughing grace!
Yet that bright lady's eye, methinks, hath less
Of deep, and still, and pensive tenderness
Than might beseem a mother's :-on her brow
Something too much there sits of native scorn,
And her smile kindles with a conscious glow,

As from the thought of sovereign beauty born.
-These may be dreams-but how shall woman tell
Of woman's shame, and not with tears?-She fell!
That mother left that child !-went hurrying by
Its cradle-haply not without a sigh,

Haply one moment o'er its rest serene
She hung-but no, it could not thus have been,
For she went on!-forsook her home, her hearth,
All pure affection, all sweet household mirth,
To live a gaudy and dishonoured thing,
Sharing in guilt the splendours of a king.

Her lord, in very weariness of life,
Girt on his sword for scenes of distant strife;
He recked no more of glory :-grief and shame
Crushed out his fiery nature, and his name
Died silently. A shadow o'er his halls

Crept year by year; the minstrel passed their walls;

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LET US WALK HUMBLY ON, YET UNDISMAYED. MRS. HEMANS.

"DO THEY NOT REVEAL TH' IMMORTAL BEING WITH OUR DUST ENTWINED?"-MRS. HEMANS.

"THE POWER THAT DWELLETH IN SWEET SOUNDS TO WAKEN VAGUE YEARNINGS."-MRS. HEMANS.

"THE SUDDEN IMAGES OF VANISHED THINGS,

THE LADY OF THE CASTLE.

175

The warder's horn hung mute: meantime the child,
On whose first flowering thoughts no parent smiled,
A gentle girl, and yet deep-hearted, grew
Into sad youth; for well, too well, she knew
Her mother's tale! Its memory made the sky
Seem all too joyous for her shrinking eye;
Checked on her lip the flow of song, which fain
Would there have lingered; flushed her cheek to pain,
If met by sudden glance; and gave a tone

Of sorrow, as for something lovely gone,

Ev'n to the spring's glad voice. Her own was low
And plaintive!-Oh, there lie such depths of woe
In a young blighted spirit! Manhood rears

A haughty brow, and Age has done with tears;
But Youth bows down to misery, in amaze
At the dark cloud o'ermantling its fresh days,—
And thus it was with her. A mournful sight
In one so fair-for she indeed was fair;
Not with her mother's dazzling eyes of light,

Hers were more shadowy, full of thought and prayer,
And with long lashes o'er a white-rose cheek,
Drooping in gloom, yet tender still and meek.

One sunny morn,

With alms before her castle-gate she stood
'Midst peasant-groups; when, breathless and o'erworn,

And shrouded in long robes of widowhood,
A stranger through them broke :-the orphan maid
With her sweet voice, and proffered hand of aid,
Turned to give welcome; but a wild sad look
Met hers,-
‚—a gaze that all her spirit shook ;
And that pale woman, suddenly subdued
By some strong passion in its gushing mood,

THAT O'ER THE SPIRIT FLASH."-MRS. HEMANS.

"DIM REMEMBRANCES, WHOSE HUE SEEMS TAKEN FROM SOME BRIGHT FORMER STATE."-HEMANS.

"THERE ARE MEETINGS IN THIS WORLD OF CHANGE SADDER THAN PARTINGS OFT."-MRS. HEMANS.

176

"WHAT FOND YEARNINGS, FROM THE SOUL'S DEEP CELL,

MRS. HEMANS.

Knelt at her feet, and bathed them with such tears
As rain the hoarded agonies of years

From the heart's urn; and with her white lips pressed
The ground they trod; then, burying in her vest
Her brow's deep flush, sobbed out-"Oh, undefiled!
I am thy mother-spurn me not, my child!"

Isaure had prayed for that lost mother; wept
O'er her stained memory, while the happy slept
In the hushed midnight; stood with mournful gaze
Before yon pictured smile of other days;
But never breathed in human ear the

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Which weighed her being to the earth with shame.
What marvel if the anguish, the surprise,
The dark remembrances, the altered guise,

Awhile o'erpowered her!—from the weeper's touch
She shrank!-'Twas but a moment-yet too much
For that all humbled one; its mortal stroke
Came down like lightning, and her full heart broke
At once in silence. Heavily and prone
She sank, while, o'er her castle's threshold-stone,
Those long fair tresses-they still brightly wore
Their early pride, though bound with pearls no more—

Bursting their fillet, in sad beauty rolled,
And swept the dust with coils of wavy gold.

Her child bent o'er her-called her-'twas too late-
Dead lay the wanderer at her own proud gate!
The joy of courts, the star of knight and bard,-
How didst thou fall, O bright-haired Ermengarde!

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["This tale," says Jeffrey, "is told with great force and sweetness.'
was first published in the "Records of Woman;" and we quote from the
third edition, 1830.]

GUSH FOR THE FACES WE NO MORE MAY SEE."-HEMANS.

"WE DREAM NOT OF LOVE'S MIGHT TILL DEATH HAS ROBED THE IMAGE WE ENSHRINE."-HEMANS.

“THOU HAST HEARD MANY SOUNDS, THOU HEARTH! DESERTED NOW BY ALL-(HEMANS)

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HAVE LEFT THE SILENT MELODIES OF MIND."-HEMANS.

177

VOICES AT EVE MET HERE IN MIRTH, WHICH WE MAY NE'ER RECALL."-MRS. HEMANS.

"OH, THOU RICH WORLD UNSEEN! THOU CURTAINED REALM OF SPIRITS! DOST THOU LIE (HEMANS)

66 COLD, WEAK AND COLD, IS EARTH'S VAIN LANGUAGE,-(HEMANS)

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But when to that sole Palm he came,

Then shot a rapture through his frame!
To him, to him its rustling spoke!
The silence of his soul it broke !

It whispered of his own bright isle,
That lit the ocean with a smile;
Aye, to his ear that native tone
Had something of the sea-wave's moan!
His mother's cabin home, that lay
Where feathery cocoas fringed the bay;
The dashing of his brethren's oar,
The conch-note heard along the shore;--
All through his wakening bosom swept:
He clasped his country's Tree-and wept!

Oh! scorn him not !—The strength, whereby
The patriot girds himself to die,

The unconquerable power which fills
The freeman battling on his hills,-

These have one fountain deep and clear—
The same whence gushed that child-like tear!

[From "Records of Woman."]

THE LOST PLEIAD.*

ATH the night lost a gem, the regal night?

She wears her crown of old magnificence,
Though thou art exiled thence—

No desert seems to part those urns of light,

'Midst the far depths of purple gloom intense.

* Seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione were transformed, according to the Greek fable, into a constellation. Only six are visible to the naked eye; the seventh (Merope) having concealed herself from shame, because she alone had married a mortal, while her sisters had been espoused by gods.

PIERCING NOT ONE FOLD OF OUR DEEP BEING!"-MRS. HEMANS.

SPREAD ALL AROUND, YET BY SOME FILMY SCREEN SHUT FROM US FOR EVER?"-MRS. HEMANS.

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