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That met my sight-it near'd-Alas! it past !
Another came-Oh God! 'twas thine at last!
Would that those days were over! Wilt thou ne'er,
My Conrad ! learn the joys of peace to share ?
Sure thou hast more than wealth, and many a home
As bright as this invites us not to roam :
Thou know'st it is not peril that I fear,
I only tremble when thou art not here ;
Then not for mine, but that far dearer life,
Which flies from love and languishes for strife
How strange that heart, to me so tender still,
Should war with nature and its better will !” (changed;
“ Yea, strange indeed—that heart hath long been
Worm-like, 'twas trampled-adder-like, avenged;
Without one hope on earth beyond thy love,
And scarce a glimpse of mercy from above.
Yet the same feeling which thou dost condemn,
My very love to thee, is hate to them;
So closely mingling here, that disentwined,
I cease to love thee when I love mankind :
Yet dread not this—the proof of all the past
Assures the future that my love will last;
But-Oh, Medora ! nerve thy gentler heart,
This hour again—but not for long-we part."
“ This hour we part ! my heart foreboded this : Thus ever fade my fairy dreams of bliss. This hour-it cannot be—this hour away! Yon bark hath hardly anchored in the bay: Her consort still is absent, and her crew Have need of rest before they toil anew; My love! thou mock'st my weakness, and would'st My breast before the time when it must feel ; (steel But trifle now no more with my distress, Such mirth hath less of play than bitterness.
Be silent, Conrad-dearest! come and share
The feast these hands delighted to prepare ;
cull and dress thy frugal fare !
See, I have plucked the fruit that promised best,
And where not sure, perplex'd, but pleas’d, I guessed
At such as seemed the fairest: thrice the hill
My steps have wound to try the coolest rill;
Yes ! thy sherbet to-night will sweetly flow,
See how it sparkles in its vase of snow !
The grape's gay juice thy bosom never cheers ;
Thou more than Moslem when the cup appears :
Think not I mean to chide-for I rejoice
What others deem a penance is thy choice.
But come, the board is spread ; our silver lamp
Is třimmed, and heeds not the Sirocco's damp:
Then shall my handmaids while the time along,
And join with me the dance, or wake the song ;
Or my guitar, which still thou lovest to hear,
Shall soothe or lullor should it vex thine ear,
We'll turn the tale, by Ariosto told,
Of fair Olympia loved and left of old.
Why—thou wert worse than he who broke his vow
To that lost damsel, shouldst thou leave me now;
Or even that traitor chief_I've seen thee smile,
When the clear sky show'd Ariadne's isle,
Which I have pointed from these cliffs the while ;
And thus, half sportive, half in fear, I said,
Lest time should raise that doubt to more than dread,
Thus Conrad, too, will quit me for the main ;
And he deceived me --for-he came again !”
Again-again—and oft again-my love !
If there be life below, and hope above,
He will return_but now, the moments bring
The time of parting with redoubled wing :
The why the where—what boots it now to tell ?
Since all must end in that wild word-farewell !
Yet would I fain--did time allow_disclose-
Fear not-these are no formidable foes ;
And here shall watch a more than wonted guard,
For sudden siege and long defence prepar'd ;
Nor be thou lonely—though thy lord's away,
Our matrons and thy handmaids with thee stay ;
And this thy comfort—that, when next we meet,
Security shall make repose more sweet.
List !—'tis the bugle—Juan shrilly blew-
One kiss-one more another-Oh! adieu !”
She rose--she sprung—she clung to his embrace,
Till his heart heaved beneath her hidden face.
He dared not raise to his that deep blue eye,
Which downcast drooped in tearless agony.
Her long fair hair lay floating o'er his arms,
In all the wildness of dishevelled charms;
Scarce beat that bosom where his image dwelt
So full-that feeling seem'd almost unfelt !
Hark-peals the thunder of the signal gun!
It told 'twas sunset-and he cursed that sun.
Again-again--that form he madly press'd,
Which mutely clasp’d, imploringly caress’d!
And tottering to the couch his bride he bore,
One moment gazed—as if to gaze no more;
Felt- that for him earth held but her alone,
Kiss'd her cold forehead turned—is Conrad gone ?
“And is he gone ?” on sudden solitude How oft that fearful question will intrude ! “ 'Twas but an instant past and here he stood ! And now”-without the portal's porch she rush'd, And then at length her tears in freedom gush'd; Big-bright-and fast, unknown to her they fell; But still her lips refused to send—“ Farewell !”
For in that word that fatal word-howe'er
We promise_hope_believe-there breathes despair.
O’er every feature of that still, pale face,
Had sorrow fix'd what time can ne'er erase :
The tender blue of that large loving eye
Grew frozen with its gaze on vacancy,
Till-Oh how far ! it caught a glimpse of him,
And then it flowed-and phrensied seemed to swim
Through those long, dark, and glistening lashes dewed
With drops of sadness oft to be renewed.
“ He's gone !”—against her heart that hand is driven,
Convulsed and quick—then gently raised to heaven ;
She looked and saw the heaving of the main ;
The white sail set—she dared not look again ;
But turned with sickening soul within the gate
.. 66 It is no dream-and I am desolate !"
The lights are high on beacon and from bower, And ’midst them Conrad seeks Medora's tower : He looks in vain-—'tis strange—and all remark, Amid so many, hers alone is dark. 'Tis strange-of yore its welcome seldom fail'd, Nor now, perchance, extinguish'd, only veil'd. With the first boat descends he for the shore, And looks impatient on the lingering oar. Oh! for a wing beyond the falcon's flight, To bear him like an arrow to that height ! With the first pause the resting rowers gave, He waits not-looks not_leaps into the wave, Strives through the surge, bestrides the beach, and Ascends the path familiar to his eye.
[high He reached his turret door-he paused- no sound Broke from within ; and all was night around.
He knock’d, and loudly-footstep nor reply
Announced that any heard or deem’d him nigh ;
He knock'd-bút faintly-for his trembling hand
Refused to aid his heavy heart's demand.
The portal opens—’tis a well-known face-
But not the form he panted to embrace.
Its lips are silent-twice his own essayed,
And fail'd to frame the question they delayed ;
He snatch'd the lamp-its light will answer all-
It quits his grasp, expiring in the fall,
He would not wait for that reviving ray-
As soon could he have linger'd there for day;
But, glimmering through the dusky corridore,
Another chequers o'er the shadow'd floor ;
His steps the chamber gain-his eyes behold
All that his heart believed not yet foretold ! (look,
He turn’d not-spoke not-sunk not-fix'd his
And set the anxious frame that lately shook :
He gaz'd-how long we gaze despite of pain,
And know, but dare not own, we gaze in vain !
In life itself she was so still and fair,
That death with gentler aspect wither'd there;
And the cold flowers her colder hand contained
In that last grasp as tenderly were strain'd
As if she scarcely felt, but feign’d a sleep,
And made it almost mockery yet to weep.
The long dark lashes fringed her lids of snow,
And veild-thought shrinks from all that lurk’d
Oh! o'er the eye death most exerts his might, [below,
And hurls the spirit from her throne of light !
Sinks those blue orbs in that long last eclipse,
But spares, as yet, the charm around her lips-
Yet, yet they seem as they forbore to smile,
* And wish'd repose-but only for a while ;