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• Across the waters I am come,
And I kave left a Babe at home :
A long, long way of land and sea!
Come to me—I'm no enemy:
I an the same who at thy side
Sate yesterday, and made a nest
For thee, sweet Baby!—thou hast tried,
Thou know'st the pillow of my breast;
Good, good art thou;-alas! to me
Far more than I can be to thee.
• Here, little Darling, dost thou lie;
An infant Thou, a Mother i !
Mine wilt thou be, thou hast no fears;
Mine art thou—spite of these my tears.
Alas! before I left the spot,
My Baby and its dwelling-place;
The Nurse said to me, ‘Tears should not
Be shed upon an Infant's face,
It was unlucky'—no, no, no;
No truth is in them who say so!
• My own dear Little-one will sigh,
Sweet Isabe! and they will let him die.
“He pines, they'll say, “it is his doom,
And you may see his hour is come.'
Oh! had he but thy cheerful smiles,
Limbs stout as thine, and lips as gay,
Thy looks, thy cunning, and thy wiles,
And countenance like a summer's day,
They would have hopes of him—and then
I should behold his face again!
* T is gone—like dreams that we forget;
There was a smile or two—yet—yet
I can remember them, I sec
The smiles, worth all the world to me.
Dear Baby! I must lay thee down;
Thou troublest me with strange alarms;
Smiles hast Thou, bright ones of thy own;
I cannot keep thee in my arms,
By those bewildering glances crost
In which the light of his is lost.
• Oh! how I love thee!—we still stay
Together here this one half day.
My Sister's Child, who bears inv name,
Fron France to sheltering England cane;
She with her Mother crossed the sea ;
The Babe and Mother near me dwell :
My Darling, she is not to me
What thou art though I love her well .
Rest, little Stranger, rest thee here!
Never was any Child more dear!
* —I cannot help it—ill intent
I've none, my pretty Innocent!
I weep—I know they do thee wrong,
These tears—and my poor idle tongue.
Oh, what a kiss was that my cheek
Ilow cold it is! but thou art good;
Thine eyes are on me—they would speak,
I think, to help me if they coulde
Blessings upon that soft, warm face,
My heart again is in its place!
• While thou art mine, my little Love, This cannot be a sorrowful grove;
a Contentment, hope, and Mother's glee,
I seem to find them all in thee :
Here's grass to play with, here are flowers;
I'll call thee by my Darling's name;
Thou hast, I think, a look of ours,
Thy features seem to me the same;
His little Sister thou shalt be :
And, when once more my home I see,
I'll tell him many tales of Thee."
[The following tale was written as an Episode, in a work from which its length may perhaps exclude it. The facts are true; no invention as to these has been exercised, as none was needed.)
O happy time of youthful lovers, (thus
My story may begin) O balmy time,
In which a love-knot on a lady's brow
Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven!
To such inheritance of blessed fancy
(Fancy that sports more desperately with minds
Than ever fortune hath been known to do)
The high-born Vaudracour was brought, by years
Whose progress had a little overstepped
His stripling prime. A town of small repute,
Among the vine-clad mountains of Auvergne,
Was the Youth's birth-place. There he wooed a Maid
Who heard the heart-felt music of his suit
With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock,
Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock,
From which her graces and her honours sprung :
And hence the father of the enamoured Youth,
With haughty indignation, spurned the thought
Of such alliance.—From their cradles up,
With but a step between their several homes,
Twins had they been in pleasure; after strife
And petty quarrels, had grown fond again;
Each other's advocate, each other's stay;
And strangers to content if long apart,
Or more divided than a sportive pair
Of sea-fowl, conscious both that they are hoverint;
within the eddy of a common blast,
Or hidden only by the concave depth
Of neighbouring billows from each other's sight.
Thus, not without concurrence of an age
Unknown to memory, was an earnest given,
By ready nature, for a life of love,
For endless constancy, and placid truth;
But whatsoe'er of such rare treasure lay
Reserved, had fate permitted, for support
Of their maturer years, his present mind
Was under fascination;–he beheld
A vision, and adored the thing he saw.
Arabian fiction never filled the world
With half the wonders that were wrought for him.
Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring;
Life turned the meanest of her implements,
łefore his eyes, to price above all gold;
The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine;
Her chamber window did surpass in glory
The portals of the dawn; all paradise
Could, by the simple opening of a door,
Let itself in upon him: pathways, walks,
Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirit sank,
Surcharged, within him, overblest to move
Beneath a sun that wakes a weary world
To its dull round of ordinary cares;
A man too happy for mortality!
so passed the time, till, whether through effect
Of some unguarded moment that dissolved
Virtuous restraint—ah, speak it, think it not
Deem rather that the fervent Youth, who saw
So many bars between his present state
And the dear haven where he wished to be
In honourable wedlock with his Love,
Was in his judgment tempted to decline
To perilous weakness, and entrust his cause
To nature for a happy end of all;
Deem that by such fond hope the Youth was swayed,
And bear with their transgression, when I add
That Julia, wanting yet the name of wife,
Carried about her for a secret grief
The promise of a mother.
The threatened shame, the parents of the Maid
Found means to hurry her away by night
And unforewarned, that in some distant spot
She might remain shrouded in privacy,
Until the babe was born. When morning came,
The Lover, thus bereft, stung with his loss,
And all uncertain whither he should turn,
Chafed like a wild beast in the toils; but soon
Discovering traces of the fugitives,
Their steps he followed to the Maid's retreat.
The sequel may be easily divided,—
Walks to and fro–watchings at every hour;
And the fair Captive, who, whene'er she may,
is busy at her casement as the swallow
Fluttering its pinions, almost within reach,
About the pendant nest, did thus espy
Her Lover!—thence a stolen interview,
Accomplished under friendly shade of night.
I pass the raptures of the Pair:-such theme ls, by innumerable poets, touched In more delightful verse than skill of mine Could fashion, chiefly by that darling bard Who told of Juliet and her Romeo, And of the lark's note heard before its time, And of the streaks that laced the severing clouds In the unrelenting east.—Through all her courts The vacant City slept; the busy winds, That keep no certain intervals of rest, Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed lier fires, that like mysterious pulses beat Aloft;-momentous but uneasy bliss' To their full hearts the universe seemed hung On that brief meeting's slender filament'
They parted; and the generous Vaudracour Reached speedily the native threshold, bent On making (so the Lovers had agreed) A sacrifice of birthright to attain A final portion from his Father's hand; Which granted, oride and Bridegroom then would slee To some remote and solitary place, Shady as night, and beautiful as heaven, where they may live, with no one to behold
Their happiness, or to disturb their love.
But now of this no whisper; not the less,
If ever an obtrusive word were dropped
Touching the matter of his passion, still,
In his stern Father's hearing, Vaudracour
Persisted openly that death alone
Should abrogate his human privilege
Divine, of swearing everlasting truth,
Upon the altar, to the Maid he loved.
« You shall be baffled in your mad intent If there be justice in the Court of France,” Muttered the Father.—From these words the Youth Conceived a terror, and, by night or day, Stirred nowhere without weapons—that full soon Found dreadful provocation : for at night When to his chamber he retired, attempt Was made to seize him by three armed men, Acting, in furtherance of the Father's will, Under a private signet of the State. One, did the Youth's ungovernable hand Assault and slay;-and to a second gave A perilous wound,-he shuddered to behold The breathless corse; then peacefully resigned His person to the law, was lodged in prison, And wore the fetters of a criminal.
Have you beheld a tuft of winged seed That, from the dandelion's naked stalk, Mounted aloft, is suffered not to use Its natural gifts for purposes of rest, Driven by the autumnal whirlwind to and fro Through the wide element? or have you marked The heavier substance of a leaf-clad bough, Within the vortex of a foaming flood, Tormented! by such aid you may conceive The perturbation of each mind;—ah, no! Desperate the Maid—the Youth is stained with blood But as the troubled seed and tortured bough Is Man, subjected to despotic sway.
For him, by private influence with the Court, Was pardon gained, and liberty procured; But not without exaction of a pledge Which liberty and love dispersed in air. He flew to her from whom they would divide him— tie clove to her who could not give him peace— Yea, his first word of greeting was, “All right is gone from me; my lately-towering hopes, To the least fibre of their lowest root, Are withered;—thou no longer canst be mine, I thine—the Conscience-stricken must not woo The unruffled Innocent, I see thy face, işehold thee, and my misery is complete!»
« Onc. are we not?» cyclaimed the Maiden—a One. For innocence and youth, for weal and woe?” Then with the Father's name she coupled words Of vehement indignation; but the Youth Checked her with silial meekness; for no thought Uncharitable, no presumptuous rising of hasty censure, modelled in the eclipse of true domestic loyalty, did eer Find place within his bosom.—Once again The persevering wedge of tyranny Achieved their separation;—and once more