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That mind in whose regard all things were placed
TO THE RAINBOW.
TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
To teach me what thou art-
Betwixt the earth and heaven.
Can all that optic teach, unfold
Thy form to please me so,
Hid in thy radiant bow?
Enchantment's veil withdraws,
And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,
Was woven in the sky.
Heaven's covenant thou didst shine, How came the world's gray fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign.
O’er mountains yet untrod,
To bless the bow of God.
Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first made anthem rang
And the first poet sang.
Unraptured greet thy beam:
Be still the poet's theme!
The lark thy welcome sings,
The snowy mushroom springs. How glorious is thy girdle cast
O’er mountain, tower, and town, Or mirrored in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down! As fresh in yoń horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem, As when the eagle from the ark,
First sported in thy beam.
For, faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
That first spoke peace to man.
THE BRAVE ROLAND.*
The brave Roland !- the brave Roland !
That he had sall’n in fight :
For the loss of thine own true knight.
yon Nonnenwerder's cloisters pale?
For her vow had scarce been sworn,
'Twas her own dear warrior's horn!
Had he come but yester-even ;
Or meet him but in heaven.
I'he tradition which forms the substance of these stanzas is still preserved in Germany. An ancient tower on a height, called the Rolandseck, a few miles above Bonn on the Rhine, is shown as the habitation which Roland built in sight of a nunnery, into which his mistress had retired, on having heard an unfounded account of his death. Whitever may be thought of the credibility of the legend, its scenery must be recollected with pleasure by every one who has ever visited the romantic landscape of the Drachenfells, the Rolandseck, and the b). tiful adjacent islet of the Rhine, where a nunnery still stands.
Yet Roland the brave-Roland the true
It was dear still ’midst his woes;
When the Halleluiah rose.
There's yet one window of that pile,
Thence sad and oft looked he
For herself he might not see.
When he fell, and wished to fall;
Expired at Roncevail.
THE SPECTRE BOAT.
Light rued false Ferdinand, to leave a lovely maid
forlorn, Who broke her heart and died to hide her blushing
cheek from scorn. One night he dreamt he wooed her in their wonted
bower of love, Where the flowers sprang thick around them, and the
birds sang sweet above.
But the scene was swiftly changed into a church-yard's
dismal view, And her lips grew black beneath his kiss, from love's
delicious hue. What more he dreamt, he told to none; but shuddering.
pale, and dumb, Looked out upon the waves, like one that knew his hour
'Twas now the dead watch of the night,—the helm was
lashed a-lee, And the ship rode where Mount Ætna lights the deep
Levantine sea; When beneath its glare a boat came, rowed by a woman
in her shroud, Who, with eyes that made our blood run cold, stood up
and spoke aloud: “Come, Traitor, down, for whom my ghost still wanders
unforgiven! Come down, false Ferdinand, for whom I broke my
peace with heaven !”?_ It was vain to hold the victim, for he plunged to mee
her call, Like the bird that shrieks and flutters in the gazing
serpent's thrall. You may guess the boldest mariner shrunk daunted
from the sight, For the spectre and her winding-sheet shone blue with
hideous light; Like a.fiery wheel the boat spun with the waving of her
band, And round they went, and down they went, as the cock
crew from the land.