Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE SICILIAN CAPTIVE.

I dreamt thou wert
A captive in thy hopelessness; afar
From the sweet home of thy young infancy,
Whose image unto thee is as a dream
Of fire and slaughter; I can see thee wasting,
Sick for thy native air.

L. E. L.

The champions had come from their fields of war,
Over the crests of the billows far,
They had brought back the spoils of a hundred shores,
Where the deep had foam’d to their flashing oars.

They sat at their feast round the Norse-king's board, By the glare of the torch-light the mead was pour’d, The hearth was heap'd with the pine-boughs high, And it flung a red radiance on shields thrown by.

The Scalds had chanted in Runic rhyme,
Their

songs of the sword and the olden time, And a solemn thrill, as the harp-chords rung, Had breath'd from the walls where the bright spears hung.

But the swell was gone from the quivering string,
They had summon'd a softer voice to sing,
And a captive girl, at the warriors' call,
Stood forth in the midst of that frowning hall.

Lonely she stood :-in her mournful eyes
Lay the clear midnight of southern skies,
And the drooping fringe of their lashes low,
Half veild a depth of unfathom'd wo.

Stately she stood—though her fragile frame
Seem'd struck with the blight of some inward flame,
And her proud, pale brow had a shade of scorn,
Under the waves of her dark hair worn.

And a deep Aush pass'd like a crimson haze, O'er her marble cheek by the pine-fire's blaze; No soft hue caught from the south-wind's breath, But a token of fever, at strife with death

She had been torn from her home away,
With her long locks crown'd for her bridal day,
And brought to die of the burning dreams
That haunt the exile by foreign streams.

They bade her sing of her distant land-
She held its lyre with a trembling hand,
Till the spirit its blue skies had given her, woke,
And the stream of her voice into music broke.

Faint was the strain, in its first wild flow,
Troubled its murmur, and sad, and low;
But it swell?d into deeper power ere long,
As the breeze that swept o'er her soul grew strong.

They bid me sing of thee, mine own, my sunny land !

of thee! Am I not parted from thy shores by the mournful-sound

ing sea ? Doth not thy shadow wrap my soul ?-in silence let me

die, In a voiceless dream of thy silvery founts, and thy pure

deep sapphire sky; How should thy lyre give here its wealth of buried

sweetness forth? Its tones, of summer's breathings born, to the wild winds

of the north?

“ Yet thus it shall be once, once more !-my spirit shall

awake, And through the mists of death shine out, my country!

for thy sake! That I may make thee known, with all the beauty, and

the light, And the glory never more to bless thy daughter's yearn

ing sight! Thy woods shall whisper in my song, thy bright streams

warble by, Thy soul flow o'er my lips again—yet once, my Sicily!

“There are blue heavens-far hence, far hence! but

oh! their glorious blue ! Its very night is beautiful, with the hyacinth's deep

hue ! It is above my own fair land, and round my laughing

home, And arching o'er my vintage-hills, they hang their cloud

less dome, And making all the waves as gems, that melt along the

shore, And steeping happy hearts in joy—that now is mine no

more.

“ And there are haunts in that green land—oh! who

may dream or tell, Of all the shaded loveliness it hides in grot and dell ! By fountains flinging rainbow-spray on dark and glossy

leaves, And bowers wherein the forest-dove her nest untroubled

weaves ; The myrtle dwells there, sending round the richness of

its breath, And the violets gleam like amethysts, from the dewy

moss beneath.

« AnteriorContinuar »