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What now is left for pain or fear ?
That Presence, dearer and more dear,
While they, side by side, were straying,
And the shepherd's pipe was playing,
Did now a very gladness yield
At morning to the dewy field,
And with a deeper peace endued
The hour of moonlight solitude.
With her Companion, in such frame
Of mind, to Rylstone back she came;
And, ranging through the wasted groves,
Received the memory of old loves,
Undisturbed and undistrest,
Into a soul which now was blest
With a soft spring-day of holy,
Mild, and grateful melancholy:
Not sunless gloom or unenlightened,
But by tender fancies brightened.
When the bells of Rylstone played Their Sabbath music—"God us ayde !". That was the sound they seemed to speak; Inscriptive legend which I ween May on those holy bells be seen, That legend and her Grandsire's name; And oftentimes the Lady meek Had in her childhood read the same; Words which she slighted at that day; But now, when such sad change was wrought, And of that lonely name she thought, The bells of Rylstone seemed to say, While she sate listening in the shade, With vocal music, “ God us ayde ;'
And all the hills were glad to bear
Their part in this effectual prayer.
Nor lacked she Reason's firmest power ; But with the White Doe at her side Up would she climb to Norton Tower, And thence look round her far and wide, Her fate there measuring ;--all is stilled,The weak One hath subdued her heart; Behold the prophecy fulfilled, Fulfilled, and she sustains her part ! But here her Brother's words have failed; Here hath a milder doom prevailed ; That she, of him and all bereft, Hath yet this faithful Partner left ; This one Associate that disproves His words, remains for her, and loves. If tears are shed, they do not fall For loss of him—for one, or all; Yet, sometimes, sometimes doth she weep Moved gently in her soul's soft sleep; A few tears down her cheek descend For this ber last and living Friend.
Bless, tender Hearts, their mutual lot,
And bless for both this savage spot;
Which Emily doth sacred hold
For reasons dear and manifold-
Here hath she, here before her sight,
Close to the summit of this height,
Her youngest Brother brought it home-
The youngest, then a lusty boy,
Bore it, or led, to Rylstone-hall
With heart brimful of pride and joy!
But most to Bolton's sacred Pile, On favoring nights, she loved to go ; There ranged through cloister, court, and aisle, Attended by the soft-paced Doe; Nor feared she in the still moonshine To look upon Saint Mary's shrine; Nor on the lonely turf that showed Where Francis slept in his last abode. For that she eame ; there oft she sate Forlorn, but not disconsolate: And, when she from the abyss returned Of thought, she neither shrunk nor mourned : Was happy that she lived to greet Her mute Companion as it lay In love and pity at her feet; How happy in its turn to meet The recognition ! the mild glance Beamed from that gracious countenance; Communication, like the ray Of a new morning, to the nature And prospects of the inferior Creature!
A mortal Song we sing, by dower Encouraged of celestial power; Power which the viewless Spirit shed By whom we were first visited; Whose voice we heard, whose hand and wings Swept like a breeze the conscious strings, When, left in solitude, erewhile We stood before this ruined Pile,
And, quitting unsubstantial dreams,
Sang in this Presence kindred themes ;
Distress and desolation spread
Through human hearts, and pleasure dead, -
Dead—but to live again on earth,
A second and yet nobler birth ;
Dire overthrow, and yet how high
The re-ascent in sanctity!
From fair to fairer ; day by day
A more divine and loftier way!
Even such this blessed Pilgrim trod,
By sorrow lifted towards her God ;
Uplifted to the purest sky
Of undisturbed mortality.
Her own thoughts loved she; and could bend
A dear look to her lowly friend;
There stopped; her thirst was satisfied
With what this innocent spring supplied:
Her sanction inwardly she bore,
And stood apart from human cares :
But to the world returned no more,
Although with no unwilling mind
Help did she give at need, and joined
The Wharfdale peasants in their prayers.
At length, thus faintly, faintly tied,
To earth, she was set free, and died.
Thy soul, exalted Emily,
Maid of the blasted family,
Rose to the God from whom it came,
-In Rylstone Church her mortal frame
Was buried by her Mother's side.
Most glorious sunset! and a ray Survives—the twilight of this day
In that fair Creature whom the fields
Support, and whom the forest shields;
Who, having filled a holy place,
Partakes, in her degree, Heaven's grace;
And bears a memory and a mind
Raised far above the law of kind;
Haunting the spots with lonely cheer
Which her dear mistress once held dear:
Loves most what Emily loved most--
The enclosure of this church-yard ground;
Here wanders like a gliding ghost,
And every Sabbath here is found;
Comes with the people when the bells
Are heard among the moorland dells,
Finds entrance through yon arch, where way
Lies open on the Sabbath-day;
Here walks amid the mournful waste
of prostrate altars, shrines defaced,
And floors encumbered with rich show
Of fret-work imagery laid low;
Paces softly, or makes halt,
By fractured cell, or tomb, or vault;
By plate of monumental brass
Dim-gleaming among weeds and grass,
And sculptured Forms of warriors brave:
But chiefly by that single grave,
That one sequestered hillock green,
The pensive visitant is seen.
There doth the gentle Creature lie
With those adversities unmoved ;
Calm spectacle, by earth and sky
In their benignity approved !
And aye, methinks, this hoary Pile,
Subdued by outrage and decay,