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AN HOUR OF ROMANCE.
THERE were thick leaves above me and around,
* The Talisman-Tales of the Crusaders,
But ere long, All sense of these things faded, as the spell, Breathing from that high gorgeous tale, grew strong On my chain'd soul—'twas not the leaves I heard ; -A Syrian wind the lion-banner stirr'd, Through its proud floating folds—'twas not the
brook, Singing in secret through its grassy glenA wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen Peal'd from the desert's lonely heart, and shook The burning air.-Like clouds when winds are high, O’er glittering sands flew steeds of Araby, And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear, Shadow'd by graceful palm-trees.—Then the shout Of merry England's joy swell'd freely out, Sent through an Eastern heaven, whose glorious hue Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue ; And harps were there-I heard their sounding
strings, As the waste echoed to the mirth of kings.
The bright masque
EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL.
“Now in thy youth, beseech of Him,
Who giveth, upbraiding not,
And his love be unforgot;
Hush! 'tis a holy hour—the quiet room
Seems like a temple, while yon soft lamp sheds A faint and starry radiance, through the gloom And the sweet stillness, down on bright young
heads, With all their clust'ring locks, untouch'd by care, And bow'd, as flowers are bow'd with night-in
Gaze on,—'tis lovely !_childhood's lip and cheek,
Mantling beneath its earnest brow of thoughtGaze-yet what seest thou in those fair, and meek,
And fragile things, as but for sunshine wrought ? - Thou seest what grief must nurture for the sky, What death must fashion for eternity!
326 EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL.
Oh! joyous creatures, that will sink to rest,
Lightly, when those pure orisons are done, As birds with slumber's honey-dew oppress'd,
'Midst the dim folded leaves, at set of sunLift up your hearts !—though yet no sorrow lies Dark in the summer-heaven of those clear eyes ;
Though fresh within your breasts th' untroubled
springs Of hope make melody where'er ye tread; And o'er your sleep bright shadows, from the wings
Of spirits visiting but youth, be spread ; Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low, Is woman's tenderness—how soon her woe!
Her lot is on you-silent tears to weep,
To pour on broken reeds—a wasted shower!
Her lot is on you-to be found untired,
Watching the stars out by the bed of pain, With a pale cheek, and yet a brow inspired,
And a true heart of hope, though hope be vain. Meekly to bear with wrong, to cheer decay, And oh! to love through all things-therefore pray!
EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL. 327
And take the thought of this calm vesper time,
With its low murmuring sounds and silvery light, On through the dark days fading from their prime,
As a sweet dew to keep your souls from blight. Earth will forsake-oh! happy to have given Th' unbroken heart's first fragrance unto Heaven!