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GERTRUDE,

OR FIDELITY TILL DEATH.

The Baron Von Der Wart, accused, though it is believed unjustly, as an accomplice in the assassination of the Emperor Albert, was bound alive on the wheel, and attended by his wife Gertrude, throughout his last agonizing hours, with the most heroic devotedness. Her own sufferings, with those of her unfortunate husband, are most affectingly described in a letter which she afterwards addressed to a female friend, and which was published some years ago, at Haarlem, in a book entitled Gertrude Von Der Wart, or Fidelity unto Death.

GERTRUDE,

OR FIDELITY TILL DEATH.

Dark lowers our fate,
And terrible the storm that gathers o'er us ;
But nothing, till that latest agony
Which severs thee from nature, shall unloose
This fix'd and sacred hold. In thy dark prison-house,
In the terrific face of armed law,
Yea, on the scaffold, if it needs must be,
I never will forsake thee.

JOANNA BAILLIE.

Her hands were clasp’d, her dark eyes rais'd,

The breeze threw back her hair ; Up to the fearful wheel she gaz'd

All that she lov'd was there.

The night was round her clear and cold,

The holy heaven above,
Its pale stars watching to behold

The might of earthly love.

And bid me not depart,” she cried,

“My Rudolph, say not so! This is no time to quit thy side,

Peace, peace! I cannot go.
Hath the world aught for me to fear,

When death is on thy brow?

The world! what means it !--mine is here

I will not leave thee now.

“I have been with thee in thine hour

Of glory and of bliss ;
Doubt not its memory's living power

To strengthen me thro' this!

And thou, mine honour'd love and true,

Bear on, bear nobly on!
We have the blessed heaven in view,

Whose rest shall soon be won."

And were not these high words to flow

From woman's breaking heart?
Thro' all that night of bitterest wo

She bore her lofty part;
But oh! with such a glazing eye,

With such a curdling cheek-
Love, love! of mortal agony,

Thou, only thou shouldst speak!

The wind rose high--but with it rose

Her voice, that he might hear : Perchance that dark hour brought repose

To happy bosoms near ;

While she sat striving with despair

Beside his tortured form,
And pouring her deep soul in prayer

Forth on the rushing storm.

She wiped the death-damps from his brow,

With her pale hands and soft,
Whose touch upon the lute-chords low,

Had stillid his heart so oft.
She spread her mantle o'er his breast,

She bath'd his lips with dew,
And on his cheeks such kisses press'd

As hope and joy ne'er knew.

Oh! lovely are ye, Love and Faith,

Enduring to the last !

She had her meed-one smile in death

And his worn spirit pass'd.

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