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Oh! she was good as she was fair. None-none on earth above her! As pure in thought as angels are, To know her was to love her. When little, and her eyes, her voice, Her every gesture said, “ rejoice,” Her coming was a gladness; And, as she grew, her modest grace, Her down-cast look 'twas heaven to trace, When, shading with her hand her face, She half inclined to sadness. Her voice, whate'er she said, enchanted ; Like music to the heart it went. And her dark eyes—how eloquent! Ask what they would, 'twas granted. Her father loved her as his fame; -And Bayard's self had done the same!
Soon as the sun the glittering pane On the red floor in diamonds threw, His songs she sung and sung again, Till the last light withdrew. But she is dead to him, to all! Her lute hangs silent on the wall ; And on the stairs, and at the door Her fairy-step is heard no more! At every meal an empty chair Tells him that she is not there; She, who would lead him where he went, Charm with her converse while he leant;
Or, hovering, every wish prevent;
At eve light up the chimney-nook,
Lay there his glass within his book;
And that small chest of curious mould,
(Queen Mab's, perchance, in days of old,)
Tusk of elephant and gold ;
Which, when a tale is long, dispenses
Its fragrant dust to drowsy senses.
In her who mourned not, when they missed her,
The old a child, the young a sister?
No more the orphan runs to take
From her loved hand the barley-cake.
No more the matron in the school
Expects her in the hour of rule,
To sit amid the elfin brood,
Praising the busy and the good.
The widow trims her hearth in vain.
She comes not-nor will come again.
Not now, his little lesson done,
With Frederic blowing bubbles in the sun;
Nor spinning by the fountain-side,
(Some story of the days of old,
Barbe Bleue or Chaperon Rouge half-told
To him who would not be denied ;)
Not now, to while an hour away,
Gone to the falls in Valombrè,
Where 'tis night at noon of day;
Nor wandering up and down the wood,
To all but her a solitude,
Where once a wild deer, wild no more,
Her chaplet on his antlers wore,
And at her bidding stood.
II. THE day was in the golden west; And, curtained close by leaf and flower, The doves had cooed themselves to rest In Jacqueline's deserted bower; The doves—that still would at her casement peck, And in her walks had ever fluttered round
With purple feet and shining neck,
True as the echo to the sound.
That casement, underneath the trees,
Half open to the western breeze,
Looked down, enchanting Garonnelle,
Thy wild and mulberry-shaded dell,
Round which the Alps of Piedmont rose,
The blush of sunset on their snows:
While, blithe as lark on summer-morn,
When green and yellow waves the corn,
When harebells blow in every grove,
And thrushes sing “ I love! I love !"
Within (so soon the early rain
Scatters, and ’tis fair again;
Though many a drop may yet be seen
To tell us where a cloud has been)
Within lay Frederic, o'er and o’er
Building castles on the floor,
And feigning, as they grew in size,
New troubles and new dangers;
With dimpled cheeks and laughing eyes,
As he and Fear were strangers.
St. Pierre sat by, nor saw nor smiled.
His eyes were on his loved Montaigne ;
But every leaf was turned in vain.
Then in that hour remorse he felt,
And his heart told him he had dealt
Unkindly with his child.