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Now through the forest hies, a stricken deer,
Two on his steps attend, in motley clad;
At length he goes—a Pilgrim to the Shrine,
“ Absence from Thee—as self from self it seems !"
-Oh, ere in sight he came, 'twas his to thrill A heart that loved him though in secret still. 66 Am I awake? or is it...can it be “ An idle dream? Nightly it visits me! " -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.
“ 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