Sidor som bilder

Again-again—that form he madly press'd,
Which mutely clasp'd, imploringly caress'd!
And tottering to the couch his bride he bore,
One moment gazed-as if to gaze no more;
Felt-that for him earth held but her alone,
Kiss'd her cold forehead-turn'd-is Conrad gone?


"And is he gone?"-on sudden solitude
How oft that fearful question will intrude!
"'Twas but an instant past-and here he stood!
"And now"-without the portal's porch she rush'd,
And then at length her tears in freedom gush'd;
Big-bright—and fast, unknown to her they fell;
But still her lips refused to send-" Farewell!"
For in that word-that fatal word-howe'er
We promise-hope-believe-there breathes despair.
O'er every feature of that still, pale face,
Had sorrow fix'd what time can ne'er erase:
The tender blue of that large loving eye
Grew frozen with its gaze on vacancy,

Till-Oh, how far!—it caught a glimpse of him,
And then it flow'd—and phrensied seem'd to swim
Through those long, dark, and glistening lashes dew'd
With drops of sadness oft to be renew'd.

"He's gone!"-against her heart that hand is driven,
Convulsed and quick-then gently raised to heaven;
She look'd and saw the heaving of the main;
The white sail set—she dared not look again;
But turn'd with sickening soul within the gate-
"It is no dream-and I am desolate!"


From crag to crag descending-swiftly sped
Stern Conrad down, nor once he turn'd his head;
But shrunk whene'er the windings of his way
Forced on his eye what he would not survey,
His lone, but lovely dwelling on the steep,
That hail'd him first when homeward from the deep:
And she-the dim and melancholy star,

Whose ray of beauty reach'd him from afar,
On her he must not gaze, he must not think,
There he might rest-but on Destruction's brink:
Yet once almost he stopp'd—and nearly gave
His fate to chance, his projects to the wave;
But no-it must not be--a worthy chief
May melt, but not betray to woman's grief.
He sees his bark, he notes how fair the wind,
And sternly gathers all his might of mind:
Again he hurries on-and as he hears
The clang of tumult vibrate on his ears,
The busy sounds, the bustle of the shore,
The shout, the signal, and the dashing oar;
As marks his eye the seaboy on the mast,
The anchors rise, the sails unfurling fast,
The waving kerchiefs of the crowd that urge
That mute adieu to those who stem the surge;
And more than all, his blood-red flag aloft,
He marvell'd how his heart could seem so soft.
Fire in his glance, and wildness in his breast,
He feels of all his former self possest;
He bounds-he flies-until his footsteps reach
The verge where ends the cliff, begins the beach,

There checks his speed; but pauses less to breathe
The breezy freshness of the deep beneath,
Than there his wonted statelier step renew;
Nor rush, disturb'd by haste, to vulgar view:
For well had Conrad learn'd to curb the crowd,
By arts that veil, and oft preserve the proud;
His was the lofty port, the distant mien,
That seems to shun the sight-and awes if seen:
The solemn aspect, and the high-born eye,
That checks low mirth, but lacks not courtesy;
All these he wielded to command assent:
But where he wish'd to win, so well unbent,
That kindness cancell'd fear in those who heard,
And others' gifts show'd mean beside his word,
When echo'd to the heart as from his own
His deep yet tender melody of tone:

But such was foreign to his wonted mood,
He cared not what he soften'd, but subdued;
The evil passions of his youth had made
Him value less who loved-than what obey'd.


Around him mustering ranged his ready guard.
Before him Juan stands-"Are all prepared?"

"They are-nay more-embark'd: the latest boat
"Waits but my chief-

"My sword, and my capote."

Soon firmly girded on, and lightly slung,

His belt and cloak were o'er his shoulders flung: "Call Pedro here!" He comes-and Conrad bends,

With all the courtesy he deign'd his friends;

"Receive these tablets, and peruse with care,
"Words of high trust and truth are graven there;
"Double the guard, and when Anselmo's bark
"Arrives, let him alike these orders mark:

"In three days (serve the breeze) the sun shall shine
"On our return-till then all peace be thine!"
This said, his brother Pirate's hand he wrung,
Then to his boat with haughty gesture sprung.
Flash'd the dipt oars, and sparkling with the stroke,
Around the waves' phosphoric (2) brightness broke;
They gain the vessel-on the deck he stands,
Shrieks the shrill whistle-ply the busy hands-
He marks how well the ship her helm obeys,
How gallant all her crew-and deigns to praise.
His eyes of pride to young Gonsalvo turn-
Why doth he start, and inly seem to mourn?
Alas! those eyes beheld his rocky tower,
And live a moment o'er the parting hour;
She-his Medora-did she mark the prow?
Ah! never loved he half so much as now!
But much must yet be done ere dawn of day—
Again he mans himself and turns away;

Down to the cabin with Gonsalvo bends,

And there unfolds his plan—his means—and ends;
Before them burns the lamp, and spreads the chart,
And all that speaks and aids the naval art;
They to the midnight watch protract debate;
To anxious eyes what hour is ever late?
Meantime, the steady breeze serenely blew,
And fast and falcon-like the vessel flew;
Pass'd the high headlands of each clustering isle
To gain their port-long-long ere morning smile:

And soon the night-glass through the narrow bay
Discovers where the Pacha's galleys lay.

Count they each sail-and mark how there supine
The lights in vain o'er heedless Moslem shine.
Secure, unnoted, Conrad's prow pass'd by,
And anchor'd where his ambush meant to lie;
Screen'd from espial by the jutting cape,
That rears on high its rude fantastic shape.
Then rose his band to duty-not from sleep-
Equipp'd for deeds alike on land or deep;
While lean'd their leader o'er the fretting flood,
And calmly talk’d—and yet he talk'd of blood!

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