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14

THE FOREST SANCTUARY.

LVI.
I call'd-to call what answers not our cries-
By that we loved to stand unseen, unheard,
With the loud passion of our tears and sighs
To see but some cold glistering ringlet stirr'd,
And in the quench'd eye's fixedness to gaze,
All vainly searching for the parted rays;
This is what waits us !— Dead with that chill word

To link our bosom-names !-For this we pour
Our souls upon the dust-nor tremble to adore !

LVII.

But the true parting came!- I look'd my last On the sad beauty of that slumbering face ; How could I think the lovely spirit pass'd, Which there had left so tenderly its trace ? Yet a dini awfulness was on the browNo! not like sleep to look upon art Thou, Death, death she lay, a thing for earth's embrace, To cover with spring-wreaths. -For earth's?—the wave That gives the bierno flowers-makes moan above her grave!

LVIII.

On the mid-seas a knell !--for man was there,
Anguish and love—the mourner with his dead!
A long low-rolling knella voice of

prayer-
Dark glassy waters, like a desert spread,-.
And the pale-shining Southern Cross on high,
Its faint stars fading from a solemn sky,
Where mighty clouds before the dawn grew red ;-

Were these things round me?-Sach o'er memory sweep Wildly when aught brings back that burial of the deep.

LIX.

Then the broad lonely sunrise and the plash
Into the sounding waves! (18)—around her head
They parted, with a glancing moment's flash,
Then shut--and all was still. And now thy bed
Is of their secrets, gentlest Leonor!
Once fairest of young brides !-and never more,
Lov'd as thou wert, may human tear be shed

Above thy rest!-No mark the proud seas keep,
To show where he that wept may pause again to weep.

THE FOREST SANCTUARY.

15

LX,

So the depths took thee !-Oh! the sullen sense
of desolation in that hour compress'd!
Dust going down, a speck, amidst th' immense
And gloomy waters, leaving on their breast
The trace a weed might leave there !-Dust!—the thing
Which to the heart was as a living spring
Of joy, with fearfulness of love possess'd,

Thus sinking :- Love, joy, fear, all crush'd to this
And the wide Heaven so far-so fathomless th' abyss !

LXI. Where the line sounds not, where the wrecks lie low, What shall wake thence the dead ? -Blest, blest are they That earth to earth intrust; for they may know And tend the dwelling whence the slumberer's clay Shall rise at last, and bid the young flowers bloom, That waft a breath of hope around the tomb, And kneel upon the dewy turf to pray!

But thou, what cave hath dimly chamber'd thee? Vain dreams !-oh! art thou not where there is no more

sea ? (19)

LXII,

The wind rose free and singing :-when for ever,
O'er that sole spot of all the watery plain,
I could have bent my sight with fond endeavour
Down, where its treasure was, its glance to strain ;
Then rose the reckless wind -Before our prow
The white foam flash'd--ay, joyously--and thou
Wert left with all the solitary main

Around thee--and thy beauty in my heart,
And thy meek sorrowing love-oh! where could that depart?

LXIII.

I will not speak of wo; I may not tell
Friend tells not such to friend--the thoughts which rent
My fainting spirit, when its wild farewell
Across the billows to thy grave was sent,
Thou, there most lonely !-He that sits above,
In his calm glory, will forgive the love
His creatures bear each other, ev'n if blent

With a vain worship; for its close is dim
Ever with grief, which leads the wrung soul back to Him!

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THE FOREST SANCTUARY.

LXIV.

And with a milder pang if now I bear
To think of thee in thy forsaken rest,
If from my heart be lifted the despair,
The sharp remorse with healing influence press'd,
If the soft eyes that visit me in sleep
Look not reproach, though still they seem to weep ;
It is that He my sacrifice hath bless'd,
And fill'd my bosom, through its inmost cell,
With a deep chastening sense that all at last is well.

LXV.

Yes! thou art now-Oh! wherefore does the thought
of the wave dashing o'er tby long bright hair,
The sea-weed into its dark tresses wrought,
The sand thy pillow-thou that wert so fair;
Come o'er me still ?--Earth, earth it is the hold
Earth ever keeps on that of earthy mould!
But thou art breathing now in purer air,

I well believe, and freed from all of error,
Which blighted here the root of thy sweet life with terror.

LXVI.
And if the love which here was passing light,
Went with what died not-Oh! that this we knew,
But this that through the silence of the night,
Some voice of all the lost ones and the true,
Would speak, and say, if in their far repose,
We are yet aught of what we were to those
We call the dead their passionate adieu,

Was it but breath, to perish !-Holier trust
Be mine !-thy love is there, but purified from dust!

LXVII.

a

A thing all heavenly!-clear'd from that which hung
As a dim cloud between us, heart and mind!
Loosed from the fear, the grief, whose tendrils flung
A chain so darkly, with its growth entwined.
This is my hope though when the sunset fades,
When forests rock the midnight on their shades,
When tones of wail are in the rising wind,

Across my spirit some faint doubt may sigh;
For the strong hours will sway this frail mortality!

THE FOREST SANCTUARY.

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LXVIII.

We have been wanderers since those days of wo,
Thy boy and I !-As wild birds tend their young,
So have I tended him-my bounding roe!
The bigh Peruvian solitudes among;
And o'er the Andes-torrents borne his form,
Where our frail bridge hath quiver'd 'midst the storm. (20)
-- But there the war-notes of my country rung,

And, smitten deep of Heaven and man, I fled
To hide in shades unpierced a mark'd and weary head.

LXIX.

But he went on in gladness—that fair child !
Save when at times his bright eye seem'd to dream,
And his young lips, which then no longer smiled,
Ask'd of his mother !--that was but a gleam
of Memory, fleeting fast; and then his play
Through the wide Llanos (21) cheer'd again our way,
And by the mighty Oronoco stream,

On whose lone margin we have heard at morn,
From the mysterious rocks, the sunrise-music borne. (22)

LXX.

So like a spirit's voice! a harping tone,
Lovely, yet ominous to mortal ear,
Such as might reach us from a world unknown,
Troubling man's heart with thrills of joy and fear!
'Twas sweet!—yet those deep southern shades oppress’d
My soul with stillness, like the calms that rest
On melancholy waves : (23) I sigh'd to hear

Once more earth's breezy sounds, her foliage fann'd,
And turn'd to seek the wilds of the red hunter's land.

LXXI.

And we have won a bower of refuge now,
In this fresh waste, the breath of whose repose
Hath cool'd, like dew, the fever of my brow,
And whose green oaks and cedars round me close,
As temple-walls, and pillars, that exclude
Earth's haunted dreams from their free solitude;
All, save the image and the thought of those

Before us gone; our loved of early years,
Gone where affection's cup bath lost the taste of tears.

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THE FOREST SANCTUARY.

LXXII.

а

I see a star-eve's first born!--in wbose train
Past scenes, words, looks, come back. The arrowy spire
Of the lone cypress, as of wood-girt fane,
Rest dark and still amidst a heaven of fire ;
The pine gives forth its odours, and the lake
Gleams like one ruby, and the soft winds wake,
Till every string of nature's solemn lyre

Is touch'd to answer ; its most secret tone
Drawn from each free, for each hath whispers all its own.

LXXIII.
And hark ! another murmur on the air,
Not of the hidden rills, nor quivering shades!
-That is the cataract's, which the breezes bear,
Filling the leafy twilight of the glades
With hollow surge-like sounds, as from the bed
Or the blue mournful seas, that keep the dead:
But they are far!—the low sun bere pervades
Dim forest-arches, bathing with red gold
Their stems, till each is made a marvel to behold,

LXXIV.

1

Gorgeous, yet full of gloom In such an hour,

!The vesper-melody of dying bells Wanders through Spain, from each gray convent's tower D'er shining rivers pour'd, and olive-dells, By every peasant heard, and muleteer, And hamlet, round my home :-and I am here, Living again through all my life's farewells,

In these vast woods, where farewell ne'er wars spoken, And sole I lift to Heaven a sad heart-yet unbroken!

LXXV.

In such an hour are told the hermit's beads;
With the white sail the seaman's hymn floats by :
Peace be with all! whate'er their varying creeds,
With all that send up holy thoughts on high!
Come to me, boy !-by Guadalquivir's vines,
By every stream of Spain, as day declines,
Man's prayers are mingled in the rosy

sky.
-We, too, will pray ; nor yet unheard, my child!
Of Him whose voice we hear at eve amidst the wild.

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