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But thou art stern, and with unkindly countenance
Art inly reasoning whilst thou listenest to me.
Sandoval. Anxiously, Henry! reasoning anxiously.
Earl Henry. Blessings gather round her!
Within this wood there winds a secret passage,
Beneath the walls, which opens out at length
Into the gloomiest covert of the garden.-
The night ere my departure to the army,
She, nothing trembling, led me through that
And to that covert by a silent stream,
Which, with one star reflected near its marge,
Was the sole object visible around me.
No leaflet stirred; the air was almost sultry ;
So deep, so dark, so close, the umbrage o'er us !
No leaflet stirred ;-yet pleasure hung upon
The gloom and stillness of the balmy night-air.
A little further on an arbor stood,
Fragrant with flowering trees—I well remember
What an uncertain glimmer in the darkness
Their snow-white blossoms made-thither she led
To that sweet bower! Then Oropeza trembled —
I heard her heart beat-if 'twere not my own.
Sandoval. A rude and scaring note, my friend !
I have small memory of aught but pleasure.
The inquietudes of fear, like lesser streams
Still flowing, still were lost in those of love :
So love grew mightier from the fear, and Nature,
Fleeing from pain, sheltered herself in joy.
The stars above our heads were dim and steady,
Like eyes suffused with rapture.—Life was in us :
We were all life, each atom of our frames
A living soul—I vowed to die for her ;
With the faint voice of one who, having spoken,
Relapses into blessedness, I vowed it;
That solemn vow, a whisper scarcely heard,
A murmur breathed against a lady's ear.
Oh! there is joy above the name of pleasure,
Deep self-possession, an intense repose.
Sandoval [with a sarcastic smile]. No other
than as eastern sages paint,
The God, who floats upon a lotos leaf,
Dreams for a thousand ages ; then awaking,
Creates a world, and smiling at the bubble,
Relapses into bliss.
Ah! was that bliss
Feared as an alien, and too vast for man?
For suddenly, impatient of its silence,
Did Oropeza, starting, grasp my forehead.
I caught her arms; the veins were swelling on
them. Through the dark bower she sent a hollow voice : “Oh! what if all betray me? what if thou ?'' I swore, and with an inward thought that seemed The purpose
and the substance of my being, I swore to her, that were she red with guilt, I would exchange my unblenched state with hers.Friend ! by that winding passage, to that bower I now will go—all objects there will teach me Unwavering love, and singleness of heart. Go, Sandoval! I am prepared to meet herSay nothing of me-I myself will seek herNay, leave me, friend ! I cannot bear the torment And keen inquiry of that scanning eye.
[Earl Henry retires into the wood.]
Sandoval [alone]. O Henry! always striv'st thou
to be great
By thine own act—yet art thou never great
But by the inspiration of great passion.
The whirl-blast comes, the desert-sands rise up
And shape themselves ; from earth to heaven they
As though they were the pillars of a temple,
Built by Omnipotence in its own honor !
But the blast pauses, and their shaping spirit
Is fled; the mighty columns were but sand,
And lazy snakes trail o'er the level ruins !
WHOM THE AUTHOR HAD KNOWN IN THE DAYS OF
MYRTLE-LEAF that, ill besped,
Pinest in the gladsome ray,
Soiled beneath the common tread,
Far from thy protecting spray!
When the partridge o'er the sheaf
Whirred along the yellow vale,
Sad I saw thee, heedless leaf !
Love the dalliance of the gale.
Lightly didst thou, foolish thing!
Heave and flutter to his sighs,
While the flatterer, on his wing,
Wooed and whispered thee to rise.
Gaily from thy mother-stalk
Wert thou danced and wafted high-
Soon on this unsheltered walk
Flung to fade, to rot, and die.
Soon with renovated wing
Shall she dare a loftier flight,
Upward to the day-star spring,
And embathe in heavenly light.
LINES COMPOSED IN A CONCERT-ROOM.
OR cold, nor stern, my soul ! yet I detest
These scented rooms, where, to a gaudy
Heaves the proud harlot her distended breast
In intricacies of laborious song.
These feel not Music's genuine power, nor deign
To melt at Nature's passion-warbled plaint;
But when the long-breathed singer's uptrilled strain
Bursts in a squall—they gape for wonderment.
Hark! the deep buzz of vanity and hate!
Scornful, yet envious, with self-torturing sneer My lady eyes some maid of humbler state,
While the pert captain, or the primmer priest,
Prattles accordant scandal in her ear.
O give me, from this heartless scene released,
To hear our old musician, blind and grey (Whom stretching from my nurse's arms I kissed),
His Scottish tunes and warlike marches play,
By moonshine, on the balmy summer-night,
| The while I dance amid the tedded hay
With merry maids, whose ringlets toss in light.
Or lies the purple evening on the bay
Of the calm glassy lake, O let me hide
Unheard, unseen, behind the alder-trees,