Page images

And the first song came from the dove,
Nestling in the shrub alcove.
But why pause on my happiness ? -

Another step was with mine there !
Another sigh than mine made sweet

With its dear breath the scented air ! LORENZO! could it be my hand

That now was trembling in thine own? LORENZO ! could it be mine ear

That drank the music of thy tone ? We sat us by a lattice, where

Came in the soothing evening breeze,
Rich with the gifts of early flowers,

And the soft wind-lute's symphonies,
And in the twilight's vesper-hour,
Beneath the hanging jasmine-shower,
I heard a tale,-as fond, as dear
As e'er was poured in woman's ear!

I was betrothed from earliest youth

To a fair orphan, who was left
Beneath my father's roof and care,-

Of every other friend bereft: An heiress, with her fertile vales,

Caskets of Indian gold and pearl ;
Yet meek as poverty itself,

And timid as a peasant girl :
A delicate, frail thing, but made
For spring sunshine, or summer shade ;
A slender flower, unmeet to bear
One April shower,--so slight, so fair.
I loved her as a brother loves

His favourite sister :-and when war First called me from our long-shared home

To bear my father's sword afar, I parted from her,—not as one

Whose life and soul are wrung by parting : With death-cold brow and throbbing pulse,

And burning tears like life-blood starting. Lost in war dreams, I scarcely heard The

prayer that bore my name above: The · Farewell !' that kissed off her tears,

Had more of pity than of love !
I thought of her not with that deep,
Intensest memory love will keep
More tenderly than l.fe. To me

She was but as a dream of home,-
One of those calm and pleasant thoughts

That o'er the soldier's spirit come ; Remembering him, when battle lours, Of twilight walks and fireside hours.

I came to thy bright FLORENCE when

The task of blood was done :
I saw thee!

Had I lived before ?
Oh, no! my life but then begun.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Ay, by that blush ! the summer rose

Has not more luxury of light !
Ay, by those eyes! whose language is

Like what the clear stars speak at night,
Thy first look was a fever spell !-
Thy first word was an oracle
Which sealed my fate! I worshipped thee,
My beautiful, bright deity!
Worshipped thee as a sacred thing
Of Genius' high imagining ;-
But loved thee for thy sweet revealing
Of woman's own most gentle feeling.
I might have broken from the chain

Thy power, thy glory, round me flung!
But never might forget thy blush-

The smile which on thy sweet lips hung !
I lived but in thy sight! One night

From thy hair fell a myrtle blossom;
It was a relic that breathed of thee :-

Look! it has withered in my bosom!
Yet was I wretched, though I dwelt

In the sweet sight of Paradise :
A curse lay on me.

But not now,
Thus smiled upon by those dear eyes,
Will I think over thoughts of pain.

I'll only tell thee that the line
That ever told Love's misery,

Ne’er told of misery like mine!
I wedded. I could not have borne

To see the young IANTHE blighted
By that worst blight the spring can know-

Trusting affection ill requited !
Oh, was it that she was too fair,

Too innocent for this damp earth;
And that her native star above

Reclaimed again its gentle birth?
She faded. Oh, my peerless queen,

I need not pray thee pardon me
For owning that my heart then felt

other than for thee!
I bore her to those azure isles

Where health dwells by the side of spring ; And deemed their



sunny vales,
And calm and fragrant airs, might bring
Warmth to the cheek, light to the eye,
Of her who was too young to die.
It was in vain !-and, day by day,
The gentle creature died away.
As parts

the odour from the rose,
As fades the sky at twilight's close,-
She past so tender and so fair ;

So patient, though she knew each breath
Might be her last ; her own mild smile

Parted her placid lips in death.
Her grave is under southern skies;
Green turf and flowers o'er it rise.
ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.


Oh! nothing but a pale spring wreath
Would fade o'er her who lies beneath !
I gave her prayers- I gave her tears-

I staid awhile beside her grave;
Then led by Hope, and led by Love,

Again I cut the azure wave. What have I more to say, my life!

But just to pray one smile of thine, Telling I have not loved in vain

That thou dost join these hopes of mine ?
Yes, smile, sweet love! our life will be

As radiant as a fairy tale!
Glad as the sky-lark's earliest song

Sweet as the sigh of the spring gale !
All, all that life will ever be,
Shone o’er, divinest love! by thee.

[ocr errors]

Oh, mockery of happiness!

Love now was all too late to save. False Love ! oh, what had you to do

With one you had led to the grave ? A little time I had been glad

To mark the paleness on my cheek; To feel how, day by day, my step

Grew fainter, and my hand more weak : To know the fever of


Was also preying on my frame :
But now I would have given worlds

To change the crimson hectic's flaine
For the pure rose of health ; to live
For the dear life that Love could give.
Oh, youth may sicken at its bloom,
And wealth and fame pray for the tomb ;-
But can love bear from love to part,
And not cling to that one dear heart ?
I shrank away from death,-my tears
Had been unwept in other years :-
But thus, in Love's first ecstacy,
Was it not worse than death to die?
LORENZO! I wonld live for thee!
But thou wilt have to weep for me!
That sun has kissed the morning dews--

I shall not see its twilight close !
That rose is fading in the noon,

And I shall not outlive that rose !
Come, let me lean upon thy breast,
My last, best place of happiest rest!
Once more let me breathe thy sighs
Look once more in those watching eyes !
Oh! but for thee, and grief of thine,
And parting, I should not repine !
It is deep happiness to die,
Yet live in Love's dear memory.
Thou wilt remember me, my name
Ls linked with beauty and with fame.
The summer airs, the summer sky,
The soothing spell of Music's sigh-

Stars in their poetry of night,
The silver silence of moonlight,
The dim blush of the twilight hours,
The fragrance of the bee-kissed flowers ;-
But, more than all, sweet songs will be
Thrice sacred unto Love and me.
LORENZO !-be this kiss a spell !
My first !--my last ! FAREWELL! FAREWELL!

THERE is a lone and stately hall,-
Its master dwells apart from all.
A wanderer through Italia's land,

One night a refuge there I found.
The lightning flash rolled o'er the sky,

The torrent rain was sweeping round ;These won me entrance. He was young,

The castle's lord, but pale like age ; His brow, as sculpture beautiful,

Was wan as Grief's corroded page. He had no words, he had no smiles,

No hopes :-his sole employ to brood
Silently over his sick heart

In sorrow and in solitude.
I saw the hall where, day by day,
He mused his weary life away ;-
It scarcely seemed a place for woe,

But rather like a genii's home.
Around were graceful statues ranged,

And pictures shone around the dome. But there was one-a loveliest one!

One picture brightest of all there! Oh! never did the painter's dream

Shape thing so gloriously fair! It was a face !--the summer day

Is not more radiant in its light! Dark flashing eyes, like the deep stars

Lighting the azure brow of night; A blush like sunrise o'er the rose;

A cloud of raven hair, whose shade Was sweet as evening's, and whose curls

Clustered beneath a laurel braid. She leant upon a harp :-one hand

Wandered, like snow, amid the chords ; The lips were opening with such life,

You almost heard the silvery words. She looked a form of light and life,

All soul, all passion, and all fire ;
A priestess of Apollo's, when

The morning beam falls on her lyre;
A Sappho, or ere love had turned
The heart to stone where once it burned,
But by the picture's side was placed
A funeral urn, on which was traced
The heart's recorded wretchedness ;

And on a tablet, hung above,
Was 'graved one tribute of sad words



[ocr errors]



A NOTHER, extremely pretty pre stragglers. To enforce bis orders, too,

sent for the near approaching he has an ugly raw.boned Swiss for a". holiday tiine of the year, dedicated “ to porter, who threatened to cudgeli me the Ladies," and not unworthy of one day for walking too near his gar-> their patronage. The literary contri- den wall, and the Gascon Captain butions which fill it are anonymous, Sangfeu, who cut off poor Blaise's ear for the writers whisper they are aware for doing as little.” There is also a! that to talk of themselves is not the hint of a poor young lady being shut way to please the ladies. Both the up in this guarded mansion; and it prose and verse, nevertheless, do them may be anticipated that Ascanio wanmuch credit ; and there is above a hup- ders that way. " A long garden, indred and fifty pages of very agreeable closed by a high wall, and thickly reading, before we come to a little mu- planted on both sides with trees, which sical piece, blank pages for a diary, entirely concealed its interior from and places of amusement in the me- view, was at the back, and it was this . tropolis. To exemplify our opinion, which Ascanio first approached. we shall endeavour to compress

66 Tbe

" He heard a low voice which he Haunted Head, or la Testa di Marte,” thought was that of a woman in disan exceedingly well told story, into tress, and listening more intently and such compass as our limits admit:

approaching nearer, he was satisfied THE HAUNTED HEAD. that his first impression was correct. " It was yet early on a May morn- He distinctly heard sobs and such exing, in the year 1540, when two trav- pressions of sorrow as convinced him ellers alighted at the little cabaret, that the person from wbom they proknown by the sign of Les quatre fils ceeded was indulging her grief alone.. d'Aymon at the entrance of the forest A large birch tree grew against the of Fontainbleau. They rode two garden wall near the place where he: very sorry horses, and each of them stood; he paused for a moment to de carried a package behind his saddle.”

liberate whether he could justify the These were the famous Benvenuto curiosity he felt, when the hint of Cellini, “as mad a man of genius as

the hostess that al lady was imprithe sun of Italy, which has long been soned there, came across his mind, and used to mad geniuses, ever looked without further hesitation he ascended upon," and his handsome pupil Asca- the tree. · Ascanio looked from nio, who were carrying some works of the height he had gained, and saw a art to the King of France at Fontain- young female sitting on a low garden bleau. For reasons assigned, Cellini seat immediately below the bough on sets out by himself leaving Ascanio; which he stood. She was weeping. and he, getting tired towards evening, At length, raising her head, she dried proposes to walk in the forest ; but, her eyes, and taking up a guitar which before setting out, is specially warned lay beside her, she struck some of the to take care, “ in the first place, that chords, and played the symphony to a the Gardes de Chasse did not shoot plaintive air which was then well him instead of a buck; and in the known. Ascanio gazed in breathless next, that he did not stray too near a anxiety, and wondered that one so fair large house, which he would see at should have cause for so deep a sorrow about a quarter of an hour's walk dis- as she was evidently suffering under. tant to the right of the path.” This : In a colloquy which ensues, she exhouse, the host tells him “ belongs to horts him to fly, tells him she is an or the Chancellor Poyet, who says he phan whom Poyet wants to force into does not choose to be disturbed in the marriage; and finally agrees to elope meditations to which he devotes bim- with her young

lover. self for the good of the state, by idle " Ascanio clasped the maiden in his

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »