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That morn, ere many a star was set,
Their hands had on the altar met
Before the holy man.
-And now, her strength, her courage spent,
And more than half a penitent,
She comes along the path she went.
And now the village gleams at last;
The woods, the golden meadows passed,
Where, when Toulouse, thy splendour shone,
The Troubadour would journey on
Transported—or, from grove to grove,
Framing some roundelay of love,
Wander till the day was gone.
“ All will be well, my Jacqueline !
Oh tremble not-but trust in me.
The Good are better made by Ill,
As odours crushed are sweeter still ;
And gloomy as thy past has been,
Bright shall thy future be !"
So saying, thro' the fragrant shade
Gently along he led the maid,
While Manchon round and round her played:
And, as that silent glen they leave,
Where by the spring the pitchers stand,
Where glow-worms light their lamps at eve,
And fairies dance—in fairy-land,
(When Lubin calls, and Blanche steals round,
Her finger on her lip, to see;
And many an acorn-cup is found
Under the greenwood tree)
From every cot above, below,
They gather as they go-
Sabot, and coif, and collerette,
The housewife's prayer, the grandam's blessing !
Girls that adjust their locks of jet,
And look and look and linger yet,
The lovely bride caressing;
Babes that had learnt to lisp her name,
And heroes he had led to fame.
But what felt D'Arcy, when at length
Her father's gate was open flung ?
Ah, then he found a giant's strength;
For round him, as for life, she clung!
And when, her fit of weeping o'er,
Onward they moved a little space,
And saw an old man sitting at the door,
Saw his wan cheek, and sunken eye
That seemed to gaze on vacancy,
Then, at the sight of that beloved face,
At once to fall
his neck she flew; But—not encouraged-back she drew, And trembling stood in dread suspense, Her tears her only eloquence! All, all—the while--an awful distance keeping; Save D'Arcy, who nor speaks nor stirs ; And one, his little hand in hers, Who weeps to see his sister weeping. .
Then Jacqueline the silence broke.
She clasped her father's knees and spoke,
Her brother kneeling too;
While D'Arcy as before looked on,
Tho' from his manly cheek was gone
Its natural hue.
“ His praises from your lips I heard,
fond heart was won;
And, if in aught his Sire has erred,
Oh turn not from the Son!
She, whom in joy, in grief you nursed ;
Who climbed and called you father first,
By that dear name conjures-
On her you thought—but to be kind !
When looked she up, but you inclined?
These things, for ever in her mind,
Oh are they gone from yours?
Two kneeling at your feet behold;
One-one how young ;-nor yet the other old.
-nor look so cold-
If Jacqueline be cast away,
Her bridal be her dying day.
Well, well might she believe in you!-
She listened, and she found it true.”
He shook his aged locks of snow;
And twice he turned, and rose to go.
She hung; and was St. Pierre to blame,
If tears and smiles together came?
“ Oh no-begone! I'll hear no more.”
But, as he spoke, his voice relented.
“ That very look thy mother wore
When she implored, and old Le Roc consented.
True, I have done as well as suffered wrong.
Yet once I loved him as my own!
-Nor can’st thou, D'Arcy, feel resentment long;
For she herself shall plead, and I atone.
Henceforth," he paused awhile, unmanned,
For D'Arcy's tears bedewed his hand;
" Let each meet each as friend to friend,
All things by all forgot, forgiven.
And that dear Saint-may she once more descend
To make our home a heaven!-
But now, in my hands, your's with her's unite.
A father's blessing on your heads alight!
Nor let the least be sent away.
All hearts shall sing ' Adieu to sorrow!'
St. Pierre has found his child to-day;
And old and young shall dance to-morrow.”
Had Louis * then before the gate dismounted,
Lost in the chase at set of sun;
Like Henry, when he heard recounted +
The generous deeds himself had done,
* Louis the Fourteenth.
† Alluding to a popular story related of Henry the Fourth of France; similar to ours of “ The King and Miller of Mansfield.”
(That night the miller's maid Colette
Sung, while he supped, her chansonnette)
Then—when St. Pierre addressed his village-train,
Then had the monarch with a sigh confessed
A joy by him unsought and unpossessed,
-Without it what are all the rest ?-
To love, and to be loved again.