Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

My Child! they gave thee to another, A woman who was not thy mother. When from my arms my Babe they took, On me how strangely did he look ! Through luis whole body something ran, A inost strange working did I see; As if he strove to be a man, That he might pull the sledge for me. And then lie stretched his arms, how wild ! Oh mercy! like a helpless child. My little joy! my little pride! In two days more I must have died. Then do not weep and grieve for me; I feel I must have died with thee. O wind, that o'er my head art flying The way my Friends their course did bend, I should not feel the pain of dying, Could I with thee a message send; Too soon, my Friends, ye went away; For I had many things to say. I'll follow you across the snow; Ye travel heavily and slow; Jo spite of all my weary pain I 'll look upon your tents again. -My fire is dead, and snowy white The water which beside it stood; The wolf has come to me to-night, And he has stolen away my food. For ever left alone am I, Then wherefore should I fear to die?

THE LAST OF THE FLOCK.

And

« Year after year my stock it grew; And from this one, this single Ewe, Full fifty comely sheep I raised, As sweet a flock as ever grazed! Upon the mountain did 'hey feed, They throve, and wc at home did thrive. -This lusty Lamb of all my store Is all that is alive; And now I care not if we die, And perish all of poverty. « Six Children, Sir! had I to feed; Hard labour in a time of need! My pride was tamed, and in our grief I of the Parish asked relief. They said, I was a wealthy man; My sheep upon the mountain fed, And it was fit that thence I took Whereof to buy us bread. “Do this : how can we give to you," They cried, “what to the poor is due?" «I sold a sheep, as they had said, And bought my little children bread, And they were healthy with their food; For me-it never did me good. A woeful time it was for me, To see the end of all my gains, The pretty flock which I had reared With all my care and pains, To see it melt like snow away! For me it was a woeful day. « Another still! and still another! A little lamb, and then its mother! It was a vein that never stoppedLike blood-drops from my licart they dropped. Till thirty were not left alive They dwindled, dwindled, one by one,

that
I wished they all were gone-
Reckless of what might come at last
Were but the bitter struggle past,
« To wicked deeds I was inclined,
And wicked fancies crossed

my mind;
And every man I chanced to see,
I thought he knew some ill of me.
No peace, no comfort could I find,
No ease, within doors or without;
And crazily and wearily
I went my work about,
Bent oftentimes to flee from home,
And hide my head where wild beasts roam.
« Sir!'t was a precious flock to me,
As dear as my own children be;
For daily with my growing store
I loved my children more and more.
Alas! it was an evil time;
God cursed me in my sore distress;
I prayed, yet every day I thought
I loved my children less;
And every week, and every day,
My flock it seemed to melt away.
« They dwindled, Sir, sad sight to see!
From ten to five, from five to thirce,

And I may say,

many a time

IN distant countries liave I been, yet

I have not often seen A healthy Man, a Man full grown, Wecp in the public roads alone. But such a one, on English ground, And in the broad bighway, I met; Along the broad highway he came, His cheeks with tears were wet. Sturdy he seemed, though he was sad; And in his arms a Lamb he had,

He saw me, and he turned aside,
As if he wished himself to hide :
Then with his coat lie made essay
To wipe those briny tears away.
I followed him, and said, « My Friend,
What ails you! wherefore weep you so ?»

— « Shame on me, Sir! this lusty Lamb,
He makes my tears to flow.
To-day I fetclicd him from the rock;
lle is the last of all my flock.
« When I was young, a single Man,
And after youthful follies ran,
Though little given to care and thought,
Yet, so it was, a Ewe I bought;
And other sheep from her I raised,
As healthy sheep as you might see;
And then I married, and was rich
As I could wish to be;
Of sheep I numbered a full score,
And every year increased my store.

1

A lamb, a wether, and a ewe;-
And then at last from three to two;
And, of my fifty, yesterday
I had but only one :
And here it lies upon my arm,
Alas! and I have none;-
Today I fetched it from the rock;
It is the last of all my flock.»

Seven years,

alas! to have received No tidings of an only child; To have despaired, and have believed, And be for evermore beguiled; Sometimes with thoughts of very bliss ! I catch at them, and then I miss; Was ever darkuess like to this?

He was among the prime in worth,
An object beauteous to behold;
Well born, well bred; I sent him forth
Ingenuous, innocent, and bold :
If things ensued that wanted grace,
As hath been said, they were not base ;
And never blush was on my

face.

Ah! little doth the Young-one dream,
When full of play and childish cares,
What power hath even his wildest screain,
Heard by his Mother unawares!
He knows it not, he cannot guess :
Years to a Mother bring distress;
But do not make her love the less.

Neglect me! no, I suffered long
From that ill thought; and, being blind,
Said, « Pride shall help me in my wrong :
Kind mother have I been, as kind
As ever breathed :» and that is true ;
I've wet my path with tears like dew,
Weeping for him when no one knew.

REPENTANCE.

A PASTORAL BALLAD.' To fields which with covelous spirit we sold, Time beautiful Gelds, the delight of the day, Would have brought us more good than a burthen of

gold, Wall ve bat have been as contented as they. ban the troublesome Tempter beset us, said I, Let him come, with his purse proudly grasped in his

band; PEL, Alha, be true to me, Allan,- we'll die bfute be shall go with an inch of the land!» There dwelt se, as happy as birds in their bowers; l'afetiered as bees that in gardens abide; We rould do what we chose with the land, it was ours; And for us the brook murmured that ran by its side. l'El Dor we are strangers, go early or late; And often, like one overburthened with sin,

my hand on the latch of the half-opened gate, I sok at the fields-But I cannot go in! 5220 ) walk by the hedge on a bright summer's day, sopst in the shade of my grandfather's tree, A sera face it puts on, as if ready to say, «What ails you, that you must come creeping to me!» Tith oar pastores about us, we could not be sad! ez ermfort was near if we ever were crost; be: the comfort, the blessings, and wealth that we had, *sked them all, -and our birth-right was lost. I tibadging sire of an innocent son, ** ) must now be a wanderer!—but peace to that strain !

oi of evening's repose when our labour was done, The sabbaths return-and its leisure's soft chain! And in sickness, if night had been sparing of sleep, fra etacertul, at suprise, the hill where I stood, Lasting down on the kine, and our treasure of sheep Tuaz be priokled the field-'I was like youth in my blood! 5- I cleave to the house, and am dull as a snail; 1st tuntimes, hear the church-bell with a sigla, - folox's the thought-We've no land in the vale, Tout six feet of earth where our forefathers lie!

My son, if thou be humbled, poor,
Hopeless of honour and of gain,
Oh! do not dread thy mother's door;
Think not of me with grief and pain :
I now can see with better eyes;
And worldly grandeur I despise,
And fortune with her gifts and lies.
Alas! the fowls of Heaven have wings,
And blasts of Heaven will aid their tiglit;
They mount, how short a voyage brings
The Wanderers back to their delight!
Chains tie us down by land and sea;
And wishes, vain as mine, may be
All that is left to comfort thee.

Perhaps some dungeon hears thee groan,
Maimed, mangled by inhuman men;
Or thou upon a Desert thrown
Inheritest the Lion's Den;
Or hast been summoned to the Deep,
Thou, Thou and all thy mates, to keep
An incommunicable sleep.

THE AFFLICTION OF MARGARET. TEEBE art thou, my beloved Son, Ware art thou, worse to me than dead! Ou fod me, prosperous or undone! txt, if the grase be now tly bed, Why am I ignorant of the same Tiwi I may rest; and neither blame Ku sarrov may attend thy name?

I look for Ghosts; but none will force
Their way to me:-t is falsely said
That there was ever intercourse
Betwixt the living and the dead;
For, surely, then I should have sight
Of llim I wait for day and night,
With love and longings infinite.
My apprehensions come in crowds ;
I dread the rustling of the grass;
The very shadows of the clouds
llave

power to shake me as they pass :

I question things, and do not find
One that will answer to my mind;
And all the world

appears

unkind. Beyond participation lie My troubles, and beyond relief : If any chance to heave a sigh, They pity me and not my grief. Then come to me, my Son, or send Some tidings that my woes may end; I have no other earthly friend.

[blocks in formation]

THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT.

BY A FEMALE FRIEND.

The days are cold, the nights are long,
The north-wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,

Save thee, my pretty Love!
The kilten sleeps upon the hearth,
The crickets long have ceased their mirth;
There's nothing stirring in the house
Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse,

Then why so busy thou? Nay! start not at that sparkling light; "T is but the moon that shines so bright On the window-pane bedropped with rain : Then, little Darling ! sleep again!

And wake when it is day.

THE CHILDLESS FATHER. «UP, Timothy, up with your Staff and away! Not a soul in the village this morning will stay; The Hare has just started from Hamilton's grounds, And Skiddaw is glad with the cry of the hounds.» -Of coats and of jackets grey, scarlet, and green, On the slopes of the pastures all colours were seen; With their comely blue aprons, and caps white as show, The girls on the hills made a holiday show. Fresh sprigs of green box-wood, not six months before, Filled the funeral basin at Timothy's door; A Coffin through Timothy's threshold had past; One Child did it bear, and that Child was his last. Now fast up the dell came the noise and the fray, The horse and the horn, and the hark! hark away! Old Timothy took up his staff, and he shut With a leisurely motion the door of his but. Perhaps to himself at that moment he said, « The key I must take, for my Ellen is dead.» But of this in my ears not a word did be speak, And he went to the chase with a tear on his cheek.

THE SAILOR'S MOTHER.
One morning (raw it was and wet,
A foggy day in winter time)
A Woman on the road I met,
Not old, though something past her prime :

Majestic in her person, tall and straight;
And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

The ancient Spirit is not dead;
Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
Proud was I that my country bred
Such strength, a dignity so fair :

She begged an alms, like one in poor estate;
I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.

When from those lofty thoughts I woke,
« What treasure,» said I, « do you bear,
Beneath the covert of your Cloak,
Protected from the cold damp air ?»

She answered, soon as she the question heard, « A simple burthen, Sir, a little Singiog-bird.

«I had a Son,--the waves might roar,
He feared them not, a Sailor gay!
But he will cross the deep no more :
In Denmark he was cast away:

And I have inavelled weary miles to see
If aught which he had owned might still remain for me.

« The Bird and Caye they both were his :
'T was my Son's Bird; and neat and trim
Jle kept it: many voyages
This Singing-bird liad gone

with him;
When last he sailed, he left the Bird behind;
From bodings as might be that bung upon his mind.

THE EMIGRANT MOTHER. Once in a lonely Hamlet I sojourned In which a Lady driven from France did dwell; The big and lesser griefs, with which she mourned, In friendship, she to me would often tell. This Lady, dwelling upon English ground, Where she was childless, daily would repair To a poor neighbouring Collage; as I found, For sake of a young child whose home was there. Once, having seen her take with fond embrace This Infant to herself, I framed a lay, Endcavouring, in my rative tongue, to trace Such things as she unto the Child might say : And thus, from what I knew, had beard, and guessed, My song the workings of her heart expressed.

« Dear Babe, tliou Daughter of another,
One moment let me be thy Mother!
An Infant's face and looks are thine;
And sure a Mother's heart is mine :
Thy own dear Mother 's far away,
At labour in the harvest-field :
Thy little Sister is at play;-
What warmth, what comfort would it yield
To my poor heari, if Thou wouldst be
One little hour a child to me!

' In several parts of the North of England, when a funeral takes place, a basin full of sprigs of Bor-wood is placed ai the door of the house from which the coftin is taken up, and each person who autends the funeral ordinarily takes a Sprig of this Box-wood, and throws it into the grave of the deceased.

« Contentment, liope, and Mother's clee,
I seem to find them all in thee :
Here's grass to play with, here are flowers;
I'll call thee by my Darling's name;
Thou hast, I think, a look of ours,
Thy features seem to me the same;
His little Sister thou shalt be
And, when once more my home I see,
I'll tell him many tales of Thee.»

[ocr errors]

:

VAUDRACOUR AND JULIA.

(The following tale was written as an Episode, in a work from which

its length may perhaps exclude it. The facts are true; no invention as to these has been exercised, as none was needed.)

Across the waters I am come, And I kave left a Babe at home : A long, long way of land and sea! Come to me-I'm no enemy : I am the same who at thy side Sate yesterday, and made a nest For thee, sweet Baby!- thou hast tried, Thou know'st the pillow of my breast; Good, good art thou ;-alas! to me Far more than I can be to thee. « Here, little Darling, dost thou lie; An Infant Thou, a Mother I ! Nine wilt thou be, thou hast no fears; Mine art thou-spite of these my tears. Abs! before I left the spot, My Baby and its dwelling-place; The Nurse said to me, 'Tears should not Be sbed upon an Jofant's face, li vas unlucky'--po, no, no; No truth is in them who say so! • My own dear Little-one will sigh, Sweet Babe! and they will let him die. * Ele pides,' they 'll say, “it is his doom, And

you may see his hour is come.' Oh! bad he but thy chiecrful smiles, Limbs stout as thine, and lips as gay, Thy looks, thy cunning, and thy wiles, And countenance like a summer's day, They would have hopes of him—and then I should bebold his face again! «Tis gone-like dreams that we forget; There was a smile or two-yel-yet I can remember them, I sec The smiles, worth all the world to me. Dear Baby! I must lay thee down; Thou troublest me with strange alarms; Smiles hast Thou, bright ones of thy own; I capool keep thee in my arms, By those bewildering glances crost la which the light of his is lost. • Ob! how I love thee!- we still stay Together here this one half day. My sister's Child, who bears my name, From France to sheltering England caine ; She with her Mother crossed the sea ; The Babe and Mother near me dwell : Wy Darling, she is not to me What thou art ! though I love her well : Rest, laude Stranger, rest thee here! Sever was any Child more dear! <-I cannot help it-Il intent I've none, my pretty Innocent! I veep-1 know they do thee wrong, These tears—and my poor idle tongue. Oh, what a kiss was that! my cheek 1 cold it is! but thou art good; Thise

eyes are on me-they would speak, I think, to help me if they coulde Blessings upon that soft, warm face, My heart again is in its place! • While thou art mice, my little Love, This cannot be a sorrowful grove;

O HAPPY time of youthful lovers, (thus
My story may begin) O balmy time,
In which a love-knot on a lady's brow
Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven!
To such inheritance of blessed fancy
(Fancy that sports more desperately with minds
Than ever fortune hath been known to do)
The high-born Vaudracour was brought, by ycars
Whose progress had a little overstepped
Vis stripling prime. A town of small repute,
Among the vine-clad mountains of Auvergne,
Was the Youth's birth-place. There he wooed a Maid
Who heard the heart-felt music of his suit
With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock,
Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock,
From which her graces and her honours sprung:
Aud hence the father of the enamoured Youth,
With haughty indignation, spurned the thought
Of such alliance. From their cradles up,
With but a step between their several homes,
Twins had they been in pleasure ; after strife
And petty quarrels, had grown fond again;
Each other's advocate, each other's stay;
And strangers to content if long apart,
Or more divided than a sportive pair
Of sea-fowl, conscious both that they are lovering
Within the eddy of a common blast,
Or hidden only by the concave depth
Of neighbouring billows from each other's sight.

Thus, not without concurrence of an age Unknown to inemory, was an earnest given, By ready nature, for a life of love, For endless constancy, and placid truth; But whatsoe'er of such rare treasure lay Reserved, had fate permitted, for support Of their maturer years, his present mind Was under fascination ;-he beheld A vision, and adored the thing he saw. Arabian fiction never filled the world With half the wonders that were wrought for him. Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring; Life turned the meanest of her implements, Before his eyes, to price above all gold; The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine; Her chamber window did surpass in glory The portals of the dawa; all paradise Could, by the simple opening of a door, Let itself in upon him: pathways, walks,

Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirit sank, Their happiness, or to disturb their love.
Surcharged, withiin him,-overblest to move

But now of this no whisper; not the less,
Deneath a sun that wakes a weary world

If ever an obtrusive word were dropped To its dull round of ordinary cares;

Touching the matter of his passion, still, A man too happy for mortality!

In his stern Father's hearing, Vaudracour

Persisted openly that death alone
So passed the time, till, whether through effect Should abrogate his human privilege
Of some unguarded moment that dissolved

Divine, of swearing everlasting truth,
Virtuous restraint-ah, speak it, think it not !

Upon the altar, to the Maid he loved.
Deem rather that the fervent Youth, who sa w
So many bars between his present state

« You shall be baffled in your mad intent And the dear haven where he wished to be

If there be justice in the Court of France, In honourable wedlock with his Love,

Muttered the Father.- From these words die Youth Was in his judgment templed to decline

Conceived a terror,-and, by night or day, To perilous weakness, and entrust liis cause

Stirred nowhere without weapons—that full soon To nalure for a happy end of all;

Found dreadful provocation : for at night Deem that by such fond liope the Youth was swayed, When to his chamber he retired, attempt And bear with their transgression, when I add

Was made to seize him by three armed men, That Julia, wanting yet the name of wife,

Acting, in furtherance of the Father's will, Carried about her for a secret grief

Under a private signet of the State.
The promise of a mother.

One, did the Youtlis ungovernable hand
To conceal

Assault and slay ;-and to a second gave
The threatened shame, the parents of the Maid

A perilous wound,-he shuddered to behold Found means to hurry her away by night

The breathless corse; then peacefully resigned And unforewarned, that in some distant spot

Uis person to the law, was lodged in prison,
She might remain shrouded in privacy,

And wore the fetters of a criminal.
Until the babe was born. When morning camc,
The Lover, thus bereft, stung with his loss,

Have you beheld a luft of winged seed
And all uncertain whither he should turn,

That, from the dandelion's naked stalk, Chafed like a wild beast in the toils; but soon

Mounted aloft is suffered not to use Discovering traces of the fugitives,

Its natural gifts for purposes of rest, Their steps he followed to the Maid's retreat.

Driven by the autumnal whirlwind to and fro The sequel may be easily divived,

Through the wide element? or have you marked Walks to and fro-wateliings at every hour;

The heavier substance of a leaf-clad bough, And the fair Captive, who, whene'er she may,

Within the vortex of a foaming flood, Is busy at her casement as the swallow

Tormented ? by such aid you may conceive Fluttering its pinions, almost within reach,

The perturbation of each mind;-ah, no! About the pendant nest, did thus espy

Desperate the Maid-the Youth is stained with blood! Her Lover!-thence a stolen interview,

But as the troubled seed and tortured bough Accomplished under friendly shade of night.

Is Man, subjected to despotic sway. I pass the raptures of the Pair ;-such theme

For him, by private influence with the Court, Is, by innumerable poets, touched

Was pardon gained, and liberty procured; In more delightful verse than skill of mine

But not without exaction of a pledge Could fashion, chietly by that darling bard

Which liberty and love dispersed in air. Who told of Juliet and her Romeo,

He flew to bier from whom they would divide himAnd of the lark's note beard before its time,

lle clove to her who could not give him peace-
And of the streaks that laced the severing cloud; Yea, his first word of greeting was,-« All right
In the unrelenting east. Through all her courts Is gone from me; my lately.towering hopes,
The vacant City slept; the busy winds,

To the least libre of their lowest root,
That keep no certain intervals of rest,

Are withered;-thou no longer canst be mine, Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed

I thine-the Conscience-stricken must not woo Hier fires, that like mysterious pulses beat

The unruftled Ionocent, - I see thy face,
Aloft;-momentous but uneasy bliss !

Behold thee, and my misery is complete!»
To their full hearts the universe seemed hung
On that brief meeting's slender filament!

«Onc, are we not?» cxclaimed the Maiden-«Que,

For innocence and youth, for weal and woe?» They parted; and the generous Vaudracour

Then with the Father's name she coupled words Reached speedily the native threshold, bent

Of vehement iodignation; but the Youth On making (so the Lovers had agreed)

Checked her with filial meekness; for no thought A sacrifice of birthright to attain

Uncharitable, no presumptuous rising
A final portion from his Father's hand;

Of basty censure, modelled in the eclipse
Which granted, Pride and Bridegroom then would fee of true domestic loyalty, did eer
To some remote and solitary place,

Find place within his bosom.-Once again
Shady as night, and beautiful as beaven,

The persevering wedge of tyranny Where they may live, with no one to behold

Ichieved their separation ;-and once more

« FöregåendeFortsätt »