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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.
A father may awhile refuse;
But who can for another chuse?
When her young blushes had revealed
The secret from herself concealed,
Why promise what her tears denied,
That she should be De Courcy's bride?
-Wouldst thou, presumptuous as thou art,
O’er Nature play the tyrant's part,
And with the hand compel the heart?
Oh rather, rather hope to bind
The ocean-wave, the mountain-wind;
Or fix thy foot upon the ground
To stop the planet rolling round.
The light was on his face; and there
You might have seen the passions driven-
Resentment, Pity, Hope, Despair —
Like clouds across the face of Heaven.
Now he sighed heavily; and now,
His hand withdrawing from his brow,
He shut the volume with a frown,
To walk his troubled spirit down:
-When (faithful as that dog of yore
Who wagged his tail and could no more)
Manchon, who long had snuffed the ground,
And sought and sought, but never found,
Leapt up and to the casement flew,
And looked and barked, and vanished thro'.
“ 'Tis Jacqueline! 'Tis Jacqueline !"
Her little brother laughing cried.
“ I know her by her kirtle green,
She comes along the mountain-side;
Now turning by the traveller's seat,-
Now resting in the hermit's cave,-
Now kneeling, where the pathways meet,
To the cross on the stranger's grave.
And, by the soldier's cloak, I know
(There, there along the ridge they go)
D'Arcy, so gentle and so brave !
Look up—why will you not?” he cries,
His rosy hands before his eyes;
For on that incense-breathing eve
The sun shone out, as loth to leave.
“ See-to the rugged rock she clings !
She calls, she faints, and D'Arcy springs ;
D'Arcy so dear to us, to all;
Who, for you told me on your knee,
When in the fight he saw you fall,
Saved you for Jacqueline and me!"
And true it was! And true the tale! When did she sue, and not prevail ? Five years before—it was the night That on the village-green they parted, The lilied banners streaming bright O'er maids and mothers broken-hearted;
The drum-it drowned the last adieu,
When D'Arcy from the crowd she drew.
“ One charge I have, and one alone,
Nor that refuse to take,
My father—if not for his own,
Oh for his daughter's sake!”
Inly he vowed—'twas all he could;
And went and sealed it with his blood.
Nor can ye wonder. When a child,
And in her playfulness she smiled,
Up many a ladder-path * he guided
Where meteor-like the chamois glided,
Thro' many a misty grove.
They loved—but under Friendship's name;
And Reason, Virtue fanned the flame,
Till in their houses Discord came,
And 'twas a crime to love.
Then what was Jacqueline to do?
Her father's angry hours she knew,
And when to soothe, and when persuade;
But now her path De Courcy crossed,
Led by his falcon through the glade-
He turned, beheld, admired the maid;
And all her little arts were lost!
De Courcy, Lord of Argentiere!
Thy poverty, thy pride, St. Pierre,
Thy thirst for vengeance sought the snare.
* Called in the language of the country Pas-de-l'Echelle.