Imágenes de página
PDF

And lifting him with care into the cave,

The gentle girl, and her attendant, one Young, yet her elder, and of brow less grave,

And more robust of figure—then begun To kindle fire, and as the new flames gave

Light to the rocks that roof'd them, which the sun
Had never seen, the maid, or whatsoe'er
She was, appear'd distinct, and tall, and fair.
Her brow was overhung with coins of gold,

That sparkled o'er the auburn of her hair,
Her clustering hair, whose longer locks were rollid

In braids behind, and though her stature were
Even of the highest for a female mould,

They nearly reach'd her heel; and in her air There was a something which bespoke command, As one who was a lady in the land.

Her hair, I said, was auburn; but her eyes

Were black as death, their lashes the same hue, Of downcast length, in whose silk shadow lies

Deepest attraction, for when to the view
Forth from its raven fringe the full glance flies,

Ne'er with such force the swiftest arrow flew : "Tis as the snake late coil'd, who pours his length, And hurls at once his venom and his strength.

Her brow was white and low, her cheek's pure dye

Like twilight rosy still with the set sun; Short upper lip-sweet lips ! that make us sigh

Ever to have seen such ; for she was one Fit for the model of a statuary,

(A race of mere impostors, when all's done I've seen much finer women, ripe and real, Than all the nonsense of their stone ideal.)

I'll tell you why I say so, for 'tis just

One should not rail, without a decent cause : There was an Irish lady, to whose bust

I ne'er saw justice done, and yet she was A frequent model : and if e'er she must

Yield to stern Time and Nature's wrinkling laws, They will destroy a face which mortal thought Ne'er compass'd, nor less mortal chisel wrought. And such was she, the lady of the cave:

Her dress was very different from the Spanish, Simpler, and yet of colours not so grave;

For, as you know, the Spanish women banish Bright hues when out of doors, and yet, while wave

Around them (what I hope will never vanish)
The basquina and the mantilla, they
Seem at the same time mystical and gay.
But with our damsel this was not the case :

Her dress was many-colour’d, finely spun;
Her locks curl'd negligently round her face,

But through them gold and gems profusely shone; Her girdle sparkled, and the richest lace

Flow'd in her veil, and many a precious stone Flash'd on her little hand; but what was shocking, Her small snow feet had slippers, but no stocking.

The other female's dress was not unlike,

But of inferior materials ; she
Had not so many ornaments to strike,

Her hair had silver only, bound to be
Her dowry; and her veil, in form alike,

Was coarser; and her air, though firm, less free; Her hair was thicker, but less long; her eyes As black, but quicker, and of smaller size.

HAIDEE WANDERING WITH JUAN. It was the cooling hour, just when the rounded

Red sun sinks down behind the azure hill, Which then seems as if the whole earth it bounded,

Circling all nature, hushed, and dim, and still,
With the far mountain-crescent half surrounded

On one side, and the deep sea calm and chill
Upon the other, and the rosy sky,
With one star sparkling through it like an eye.
And thus they wandered forth, and hand in hand,

Over the shining pebbles and the shells,
Glided along the smooth and hardened sand,

And in the worn and wild receptacles Worked by the storms, yet worked as it were planned,

In hollow halls, with sparry roofs and cells, They turned to rest : and, each clasp'd by an arm, Yielded to the deep twilight's purple charm. They looked up to the sky, whose floating glow

Spread like a rosy ocean, vast and bright: They gazed upon the glittering sea below,

Whence the broad moon rose circling into sight; They heard the waves splash, and the wind so low,

And saw each other's dark eyes darting light
Into each other—and, beholding this,
Their lips drew near, and clung into a kiss.

HAIDEE'S DREAM. Juan and Haidee gazed upon each other

With swimming looks of speechless tenderness, Which mixed all feelings, friend, child, lover, brother,

All that the best can mingle and express. When two pure hearts are pour'd in one another,

And love too much, and yet cannot love less;

[ocr errors]

But almost sanctify the sweet excess
By the immortal wish and power to bless.
Mix'd in each other's arms, and heart in heart,

Why did they not then die?—they had lived too long Should an hour come to bid them breathe apart ;

Years could but bring them cruel things or wrong, The world was not for them, nor the world's art

For beings passionate as Sappho's song ;
Love was born with them, in them, so intense,
It was their very spirit-not a sense.
They should have lived together deep in woods,

Unseen as sings the nightingale; they were
Unfit to mix in these thick solitudes

Called social, where all vice and hatred are; How lonely every freeborn creature broods !

The sweetest song birds nestle in a pair ;
The eagle soars alone; the gull and crow
Flock o'er the carrion, just as mortals do.
Now pillow'd cheek to cheek, in loving sleep,

Haidee and Juan their siesta took,
A gentle slumber, but it was not deep,

For ever and anon a something shook
Juan, and shuddering o'er his frame would creep;

And Haidee's sweet lips murmur'd like a brook A wordless music, and her face so fair Stirred with her dream as rose-leaves with the air : Or as the stirring of a deep clear stream

Within an Alpine hollow, when the wind
Walks over it, was she shaken by the dream,

The mystical usurper of the mind
O'erpowering us to be whate'er may seem

Good to the soul which we no more can bind;

Strange state of being ! (for 'tis still to be)
Senseless to feel, and with seal'd eyes to see.
She dream'd of being alone on the sea-shore,

Chain'd to a rock ; she knew not how, but stir
She could not from the spot, and the loud roar

Grew, and each wave rose roughly, threatening her ; And o'er her upper lip they seem'd to pour,

Until she sobbed for breath, and soon they were Foaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and high Each broke to drown her, yet she could not die. Anon-she was released, and then she stray'd

O’er the sharp shingles with her bleeding feet, And stumbled almost every step she made;

And something roll'd before her in a sheet, Which she must still pursue howe'er afraid ;

'Twas white and indistinct, nor stopped to meet Her glance nor grasp, for still she gazed and grasp'd, And ran, but it escaped her as she clasp’d. The dream changed ; in a cave she stood, its walls

Were hung with marble icicles; the work Of ages on its water-fretted halls

slurk ; Where waves might wash, and seals might breed and Her hair was dripping, and the very balls

Of her black eyes seem'd turn’d to tears, and murk The sharp rocks look'd below each drop they caught, Which froze to marble as it fell, she thought. And wet, and cold, and lifeless at her feet,

Pale as the foam that frothed on his dead brow, Which she essay'd in vain to clear, (how sweet

Were once her cares, how idle seem'd they now!) Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the beat

Of his quench'd heart; and the sea dirges low

« AnteriorContinuar »