« AnteriorContinuar »
“Where every hue that charm'd before
“ The blackness of my bosom wore.
" The rest thou dost already know,
“And all my sins, and half my wo.
“But talk no more of penitence;
“Thou see'st I soon shall part from hence:
“And if thy holy tale were true,
“ The deed that's done can’st thou undo?
“ Think me not thankless—but this grief
“ Looks not to priesthood for relief. (41)
“My soul's estate in secret guess :
“But would'st thou pity more, say less.
“When thou can'st bid my Leila live,
“ Then will I sue thee to forgive;
“ Then plead my cause in that high place
“ Where purchased masses proffer grace.
“Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung
“From forest-cave her shrieking young,
“ And calm the lonely lioness:
“But sooth not-mock not my distress!
“ In earlier days, and calmer hours,
“When heart with heart delights to blend, “Where bloom my native valley's bowers
“I had—Ah! have I now?-a friend ! “ To him this pledge I charge thee send,
“Memorial of a youthful vow; “ I would remind him of my end :
“ Though souls absorb'd like mine allow
“ Brief thought to distant friendship’s claim,
“Yet dear to him my blighted name.
66 'Tis strange-he prophesied my doom,
“ And I have smiled—I then could smile“When Prudence would his voice assume, 1230
“ And warn-I reck'd not what-the while : “But now remembrance whispers o'er “Those accents scarcely mark'd before. “Say—that his bodings came to pass,
“And he will start to hear their truth,
“ And wish his words had not been sooth: “Tell him, unheeding as I was,
“ Through many a busy bitter scene
“Of all our golden youth had been, “In pain, my faltering tongue had tried 1240 “ To bless his memory ere I died; . “But heaven in wrath would turn away, “ If Guilt should for the guiltless pray. “I do not ask him not to blame, 6 Too gentle he to wound my name; 1245 “ And what have I to do with fame? “I do not ask him not to mourn, “Such cold request might sound like scorn; ' “ And what than friendship's manly tear “May better grace a brother's bier ? “ But bear this ring, his own of old, “ And tell him—what thou dost behold! “The wither'd frame, the ruin'd mind, " The wreck by passion left behind,
"Tell me no more of fancy's gleam,
“No, father, no,'twas not a dream;
“ Alas! the dreamer first must sleep,
“I only watch'd, and wish'd to weep;
“But could not, for my burning brow
“ Throbb’d to the very brain as now:
“I wish'd but for a single tear,
“ As something welcome, new, and dear :
“I wish'd it then, I wish it still,
“ Despair is stronger than my will.
“Waste not thine orison, despair
“ Is mightier than thy pious prayer:
“I would not, if I might, be blest,
“I want no paradise but rest.
" 'Twas then, I tell thee, father! then
“I saw her; yes, she lived again;
“And shining in her white symar, (42)
“As through yon pale gray cloud the star
“ Which now I gaze on, as on her,
“Who look'd and looks far lovelier;
“ Dimly I view its trembling spark;
“ To-morrow's night shall be more dark;
" And I, before its rays appear,
“That lifeless thing the living fear.
“ I wander, father! for my soul
“ Is fleeting towards the final goal.
“I saw her, friar! and I rose
“ Forgetful of our former woes;
“And rushing from my couch, I dart,
“ And clasp her to my desperate heart;
“I clasp-what is it that I clasp ?
“ No breathing form within my grasp,
“No heart that beats reply to mine,
“Yet, Leila! yet the form is thine !
“And art thou, dearest, changed so much,
“ As meet my eye, yet mock my touch?
“Ah! were thy beauties e'er so cold,
“I care not, so my arms enfold
“ The all they ever wish'd to hold.
66 Alas! around a shadow prest,
“ They shrink upon my lonely breast;
“ Yet still 'tis there! In silence stands,
“ And beckons with beseeching hands!
“ With braided air, and bright-black eye-
“ I knew 'twas false--she could not die !
“ But he is dead! within the dell
“ I saw him buried where he fell ;
“He comes not, for he cannot break
“From earth; why then art thou awake ?
“ They told me wild waves rolld above
“ The face I view, the form I love;
“They told me twas a hideous tale!
“I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail :
“. If true, and from thine ocean cave
“ Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave;
“Oh ! pass thy dewy fingers o'er
“ This brow that then will burn no more;
“Or place them on my hopeless heart:
“But, shape or shade! whate'er thou art,
“In mercy ne'er again depart!
“ Or further with thee bear my soul .
• Than winds can waft or waters roll!
* * * * * * *
“ Such is my name, and such my tale.
“Confessor! to thy secret ear, “I breathe the sorrows I bewail,
And thank thee for the generous tear “This glazing eye could never shed. " Then lay me with the humblest dead, “ And, save the cross above my head, “Be neither name nor emblem spread, “By prying stranger to be read, “Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread." He pass'd-nor of his name and race Hath left a token or a trace, Save what the father must not say Who shrived him on his dying day: This broken tale was all we knew Of her he loved, or him he slew. (43)