Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

I climbed the sloping cliff and found a wood,
Where hid behind a veil of creeping green,
Behold! a bank all glistering with the sheen
Of flowers, whose beauty filled that solitude.
There stately rose on humble violet
Shed her soft petals with the night-dews wet.

V.

Upon that bank a lovely maiden lay,
Pillowing her head upon a bed of moss;

The sylph-like hare-bells hung their heads across
Her bosom's snow, o'er which there stole a ray
Of colour, like the first faint pink which glows
Beneath the petals of the opening rose.

VI.

With beating heart and throbbing pulse I gazed On this sweet miracle of loveliness,

So wondrous fair, and yet so motionless.
Near and more near I stole, and saw amazed
That from her every limb a fetter hung
To which the creeping flow'rets fondly clung.

VII.

And woe the while! Each tress of golden hair
Twined round her with a subtly woven chain,
And on her bosom's beauty left a stain;
As falsely soft, as mercilessly fair

As is the sea-weed, which with tangled coils,
Binds some strong swimmer in its cruel toils.

VIII.

She slept; but not the gentle sleep of rest,
Which leaps up to the kiss of morn's first breath :
Rather that opiate sleep more like to Death
Than Death itself, that lies upon the breast
With load more heavy than the carved stone
That shuts the dead from the glad world, -alone.

IX.

Slept-all unconscious that she thus was bound, Felt not the bondage, nor the fetter's weight, Knew not the dreary darkness of her fate. “Ah me! Must one with such bright beauty crown'd “ Lie ever thus enthralled in slumber's chain, "Nor wake to life and liberty again?"

X.

Then, as in answer to my cry, a voice Came floating down the evening breeze, Soft as the air that whispers through the trees For him who waits the loved one of his choice. “Fear not,” it said, “she will arise and break “Her bonds, and from that charmed sleep shall wake;

XI.

66

“Once more a queen shall wear the emerald crown, “The loveliest mistress of the loveliest isle; “Be all she was before the fatal wile “Of beauty ruined her, and dragged her down "From that high pride of place,' her freedom gave, And sank her 'neath dark sorrow's whelming wave.

[ocr errors]

XII.

“All that she was she once again shall be, All and far more: shall waken ev'ry stain “That marred her gone—her loss become her gain“Waken still purer in her purity : “E'en as a flower whose petals close at night "To ope the brighter at the morning's light."

XIII.

Thus with sweet words of hope those strange soft notes
Died back into the silence whence they came,
Back to that realm that none can know or name.
Then lo! the mist of destiny, that floats
Across the trackless waste of coming years
Veiling our future smiles, our future tears,

XIV.

Seem'd to uplift its shroud of brooding gloom,
And let my spirit through the interspace
See clearly, e'en as if 'twere face to face
The hidden secrets of the years to come.
Oh joy! the fettered maid I see uprise,
See the free light flash back into those eyes ;

XV.

Those glorious azure eyes, that seem'd to woo
The overhanging eye-lids down to kiss
Their star-like orbs dilating through their bliss.
Her golden hair shone with its brightest glow,
Not holding now in traitorous caress
Her limbs, but in its freshest loveliness,

XVI.

Streamed rippling down her back, and in the wind
Now rose, now fell, as wave of summer sea.
Her cruel chains dropped from her, and all free
She stood, whom none again shall dare to bind,
All radiant in her spotless womanhood,
In loveliness all pure, in beauty good.

XVII.

And from her parted lips there poured a song,
Full as the welling of a silver spring,
Clear as the throstle's joyous carolling;
A Pean of glad triumph over wrong
Defeated, thrilling with that perfect joy
That knoweth no abatement, no alloy.

XVIII,

She sang of hope, of truth, of trust, of love,
Of all that brightens sorrow, all that cheers
The weary pathway of our mortal years,
That raises man below to God above.
And ever through that wondrous melody
There ran one sweet refrain “Free, once more free!

XIX.

I strove to speak, to tell her all I fain
Would tell. Ere words would come she fled my sight,
And song and sweetness vanished into night.

And now the cold air beating on my brain
Awoke

and I found that darkness lay Upon the world where lately shone the day.

me,

IV.

I climbed the sloping cliff and found a wood,
Where hid behind a veil of creeping green,
Behold! a bank all glistering with the sheen
of flowers, whose beauty filled that solitude.
There stately rose on humble violet
Shed her soft petals with the night-dews wet.

V.

Upon that bank a lovely maiden lay,
Pillowing her head upon a bed of moss;

The sylph-like hare-bells hung their heads across Her bosom's snow, o'er which there stole a ray Of colour, like the first faint pink which glows Beneath the petals of the opening rose.

VI.

With beating heart and throbbing pulse I gazed
On this sweet miracle of loveliness,

So wondrous fair, and yet so motionless.
Near and more near I stole, and saw amazed
That from her every limb a fetter hung
To which the creeping flow'rets fondly clung.

VII.

And woe the while! Each tress of golden hair
Twined round her with a subtly woven chain,
And on her bosom's beauty left a stain;
As falsely soft, as mercilessly fair

As is the sea-weed, which with tangled coils,
Binds some strong swimmer in its cruel toils.

« AnteriorContinuar »