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THE SICILIAN CAPTIVE.
I dreamt thou wert
L. E. L.
The champions had come from their fields of war,
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,
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,
Lonely she stood :-in her mournful eyes
Stately she stood—though her fragile frame
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,
They bade her sing of her distant land-
Faint was the strain, in its first wild flow,
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
“ 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