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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,
• Called in the language of the country Pas-de-l'Echelle.
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.
The day was named, the guests invited;
The bride-groom, at the gate, alighted;
When up the windings of the dell
A pastoral pipe was heard to swell,
And lo, an humble Piedmontese,
Whose music might a lady please,
This message thro' the lattice bore,
(She listened, and her trembling frame
Told her at once from whom it came)
“ Oh let us fly—to part no more!”
That morn ('twas in Ste. Julienne's cell,
As at Ste. Julienne's sacred well
Their dream of love began)
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 little lamps at eve,
And fairies revel as 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 upon 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 ;