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EXTRACTS

FROM

THE QUEEN'S WAKE, &c.

269

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EXTRACTS.

THE RETURN OF THE BURIED ONE.

'Twas late, late on a Sabbath night! At the hour of the ghost, and the restless sprite ! The mass at Carelha' had been read, And all the mourners were bound to bed, When a foot was heard on the paved floor, And a gentle rap came to the door.

O God! that such a ray should be So fraught with ambiguity! A dim haze clouded every sight; Each hair had life and stood upright; No sound was heard throughout the hall, But the beat of the heart and the cricket's call; So deep the silence imposed by fear, That a vacant buzz sang in the ear.

The lady of Carelha' first broke
The breathless hush, and thus she spoke:
“ Christ be our shield! who walks so late,
And knocks so gently at my gate ?

I felt a pang-it was not dread
It was the memory of the dead.
0! death is a dull and dreamless sleep!
The mould is heavy, the grave is deep!
Else I had ween'd that foot so free
The step and the foot of my Mary Lee !
And I had weeu'd that gentle knell
From the light hand of my daughter fell !
The grave is deep, it may not be !
Haste porter-haste to the door and see.”

He took the key with an eye of doubt,
He lifted the lamp, and he look'd about ;
His lips a silent prayer address'd,
And the cross was sign'd upon his breast ;
Thus mail'd within, the armour of God,
All ghostly to the door he strode.
He wrench'd the bolt with grating din,
He lifted the latch-but none came in!
He thrust out his lamp, and he thrust out his head,
And he saw the face and the robes of the dead !
One sob he heaved, and tried to fly,
But he sank on the earth, and the form came by.

She enter'd the hall, she stood in the door,
Till one by one dropp'd on the floor,
The blooming maiden, and matron old,
The friar gray, and the yeoman bold.
It was like a scene on the Border green,
When the arrows fly and pierce unseen;

And nought was heard within the hall,
But Aves, vows, and groans,

withal.
The lady of Carel' stood alone,
But moveless as a statue of stone.

“()! lady mother, thy fears forego ; Why all this terror and this woe? But late when I was in this place, Thou would'st not look me in the face ; 0! why do you blench at sight of me? I am thy own child, thy Mary Lee.”

I saw thee dead and cold as clay ;
I watch'd thy corpse for many a day;
I saw thee laid in the grave at rest;
I strew'd the flowers upon thy breast ;
And I saw the mould heap'd over thee-
Thou art not my child, my Mary Lee.

O’er Mary's face amazement spread;
She knew not that she had been dead;
She gazed in mood irresolute :
Both stood aghast, and both were mute.

From the Pilgrims of the Sun.

18

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