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-Oh, ere in sight he came, 'twas his to thrill
- That strain,” she cries, as from the water rose. “ Now near and nearer through the shade it flows!“ Now sinks departing—sweetest in its close !" No casement gleams; no Juliet, like the day, Comes forth and speaks and bids her lover stay. Still, like aërial music heard from far, Nightly it rises with the evening-star.
L" She loves another! Love was in that sigh!" On the cold ground he throws himself to die. Fond Youth, beware. Thy heart is most deceiving. Who wish are fearful; who suspect, believing.
-And soon her looks the rapturous truth avow. Lovely before, oh, say how lovely now! She flies not, frowns not, though he pleads his cause; Nor yet-nor yet her hand from his withdraws; But by some secret Power surprised, subdued, (Ah how resist? And would she if she could ?) Falls on his neck as half unconscious where, Glad to conceal her tears, her blushes there.
Then come those full confidings of the past;
Covering them round, how sweet her accents are !
Then are they blest indeed; and swift the hours Till her young Sisters wreathe her hair in flowers, Kindling her beauty-while, unseen, the least Twitches her robe, then runs behind the rest, Known by her laugh that will not be suppressed. Then before All they stand—the holy vow And ring of gold, no fond illusions now, Bind her as his. Across the threshold led, And every tear kissed off as soon as shed, His house she enters—there to be a light, Shining within, when all without is night; A guardian-angel o'er his life presiding, Doubling his pleasures, and his cares dividing; Winning him back, when mingling in the throng, Back from a world we love, alas, too long, To fire-side happiness, to hours of ease, Blest with that charm, the certainty to please.
How oft her eyes read his; her gentle mind
Nor many moons o'er hill and valley rise Ere to the gate with nymph-like step she flies, And their first-born holds forth, their darling boy, With smiles how sweet, how full of love and joy, To meet him coming; theirs through every year Pure transports, such as each to each endear! And laughing eyes and laughing voices fill Their home with gladness. She, when all are still, Comes and undraws the curtain as they lie, In sleep how beautiful! He, when the sky Gleams, and the wood sends up its harmony, When, gathering round his bed, they climb to share His kisses, and with gentle violence there Break in upon a dream not half so fair, Up to the hill-top leads their little feet; Or by the forest-lodge, perchance to meet The stag-herd on its march, perchance to hear The otter rustling in the sedgy mere; Or to the echo near the Abbot's tree, That gave him back his words of pleasantryWhen the House stood, no merrier man than he! And, as they wander with a keen delight, If but a leveret catch their quicker sight Down a green alley, or a squirrel then Climb the gnarled oak, and look and climb again, If but a moth flit by, an acorn fall, He turns their thoughts to Him who made them all; These with unequal footsteps following fast, These clinging by his cloak, unwilling to be last.