« AnteriorContinuar »
Fct I did oft and long repine
The last of human sounds which rose, Chat we could only meet by stealth.
As I was darted from my foes,
Was the wild shout of savage laughter, VIII.
Which on the wind came roaring after • For lovers there are many eyes,
A moment from that rabble rout: And such there were on us;-the devil
With sudden wrath I wrenched my head, On such occasions should be civil
And snapp'd the cord, which to the mane The devil !—I'm loth to do him wrong,
Had bound my neck in lieu of rein, It might be some untoward saint,
And, writhing half my form about, Who would not be at rest too long,
Howl'd back my curse ; but 'midst the tread, But to his pious bile gave vent
The thunder of my courser's speed, But one fair night, some lurking spies
Perchance they did not hear nor heed :
It vexes me-for I would fain
I paid it well in after days :
There is not of that castle gate, What 'gainst their numbers could I do?- Its drawbridge and portcullis' weight, 'Twas near his castle, far away
Stone, bar, moat, bridge, or barrier left; From city or from succor near,
Nor of its fields a blade of grass, And almost on the break of day;
Save what grows on a ridge of wall, I did not think to see another,
Where stood the hearth-stone of the hall; My moments seem'd reduced to few;
And many a time ye there might pass, And with one prayer to Mary Mother,
Nor dream that e'er that fortress was : And, it may be, a saint or two,
I saw its turrets in a blaze, As I resign'd me to my fate,
Their crackling battlements all cleft, They led me to the castle gate : 1
And the hot lead pour down like rain Theresa's doom I never knew,
From off the scorch'd and blackening roof, Our lot was henceforth separate.
Whose thickness was not vengeance-proof. An angry man, ye may opine,
They little thought that day of pain, Was he, the proud Count Palatine;
When launch'd, as on the lightning's flash, And he had reason good to be,
They bade me to destruction dash, But he was most enraged lest such
That one day I should come again, An accident should chance to touch
With twice five thousand horse, to thank Upon his future pedigree;
The Count for his uncourteous ride. Nor less amazed, that such a blot
They play'd me then a bitter prank, His noble 'scutcheon should have got,
When, with the wild horse for my guide While he was highest of his line;
They bound me to his foaming flank: Because unto himself he seem'd
At length I play'd them one as frankThe first of men, nor less he deem'd
For time at last sets all things erenIn others' eyes, and most in mine.
| And if we do but watch the hour, 'Sdeath! with a page-perchance a king
There never yet was human power Had reconciled him to the thing;
Which could evade, if unforgiven, But with a stripling of a page
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong.
Upon the pinions of the wind, A Tartar of the Ukraine breedy
All human dwellings left behind; Who look'd as though the speed of thought We sped like meteors through the sky, Were in his limbs; but he was wild,
When with its crackling sound the night Wild as the wild deer, and untaught,
I checker'd with the northern light: With spur and bridle undefiled
Town--village none were on our track, 'Twas but a day he had been caught;
But a wild plain of far extent, And snorting, with erected mane,
And bounded by a forest black; And struggling fiercely, but in vain,
And, save the scarce seen battlement In the full foam of wrath and dread
On distant heights of some strong hold, To me the desert-born was led ;
Against the Tartar's built of old, They bound me on, that menial throng,
No trace of man,--the year before Upon his back with many a thong;
A Turkish army had march'd o'er ; Then losed him with a sudden lash
And where the Spahi's hoof bath trod Away l-away!—and on we dash!
The verdure flies the bloody sod :Torrents less rapid and less rash.
The sky was dull, and dim, and gray,
And a low breeze crept moaning by
I could have answer'd with a sigh" Away!-away!--my breath was gone
But fast we fled, away, awayI saw not where he hurried on:
And I could neither sigh nor pray; 'Twas scarcely yet the break of day,
And my cold sweat-drops fell like rain And on he foam'd-away !-away
Upon the courser's bristling mane:
But, snorting still with rage and fear,
Which whelms the peasant near the door He flew upon his far career ;
Whose threshold he shall cross no more, At times I almost thought, indeed,
Bewilder'd with the dazzling blast, He must have slacken'd in his speed;
Than through the forest-paths he past But no—my bound and slender frame
Untired, untamed, and worse than wild ; Was nothing to his angry might,
All furious as a favor'd child And merely like a spur became :
Balk'd of its wish; or fiercer still-
A woman piqued—who has her will.
The wood was past; 'twas laore than noon, But yet he swerved as from a blow:
But chill the air, although in June: And, starting to each accent, sprang
Or it might be my veins ran coldAs from a sudden trumpet's clang :
Prolong'd endurance tames the bold; Meantime my cords were wet with gore,
And I was then not what I seem, Which, oozing through my limbs, ran o'er ; But headlong as a wintry stream, And in my tongue the thirst became
And wore my feelings out before A something fierier far than flame.
I well could count their causes o'er;
And what with fury, fear, and wrath,
The tortures which beset my path,
Thus bound in nature's nakedness; 'Twas studded with old sturdy trees,
Sprung from a race whose rising blood That bent not to the roughest breeze
When stirr'd beyond its calmer mood, Which howls down from Siberia's waste,
And trodderi hard upon, is like And strips the forest in its haste,
The rattlesnake's, in act to strike, But these were few, and far between,
What marvel if this worn-out trunk Set thick with shrubs more young and green, Beneath its woes a moment sunk? Luxuriant with their annual leaves,
The earth gave way, the skies roll'd round, Ere strown by those autumnal eves
I seem'd to sink upon the
ground That nip the forest's foliage dead,
But err’d, for I was fastly bound. Discolor'd with a lifeless red,
My heart turn'd sick, my brain grew sore, Which stands thereon like stiffen'd gore
And throbb'd awhile, then beat no more: Upon the slain when battle's o'er,
The skies spun like a mighty wheel; And some long winter's night hath shed
I saw the trecs like drunkards reel, Its frost o'er every tombless head,
And a slight flash sprang o'er my eyes, So cold and stark the raven's beak
Which saw no farther: he who dies May peck unpicrced each frozen cheek;
Can die no more than then I died. 'Twas a wild waste of underwood,
O'ertortured by that ghastly ride, And here and there a chestnut stood,
I felt the blackness come and go, The strong oak, and the hardy pine !
And strove to wake; but could not make But far apartmand well it were,
My senses climb up from below: Or else a different lot were mine
I felt as on a plank at sea, The boughs ga,e way, and did not tear
When all the waves that dash o'er thee, My limbs; and I found strength to bear
At the sa ne time upheave and whelm, My wounds, already scarr'd with cold
And hurl chce towards a desert realm. My bonds forbade to loose my hold.
My undulating life was as We rustled through the leaves like wind,
The fancied lights that flitting pass Left shrubs, and trees, and wolves behind; Our shut eyes in deep midnight, when By night I heard them on the track,
Fever begins upon the brain; Their troop came hard upon our back,
But soon it pass’d, with little pain, With their long gallop, which can tire
But a confusion worse than such: The hound's deep hate, and hunter's fire:
I own that I should deem it much, Where'er we flew they follow'd on,
Dying, to feel the same again ; Nor left us with the morning sun;
And yet I do suppose we must Behind I saw them, scarce a rood,
Feel far more ere we turn to dust:
No matter; I have bared my brow
“My thoughts came back; where was I? Coll And perish-if it must be 80
And numb, and giddy: pulse by pulse At bay, destroying many a foe.
Life reassumed its lingering hold, When first my courser's race begun,
And throb by throb : till grown a pang I wish'd the goal already won;
Which for a moment would convulse, But now I doubted strength and speed.
My blood reflow'd, though thick and chill; Vain doubt! his swift and savage breed
My ear with uncouth noises rang, Had nerved him like the mountain-roe;
My heart began once more to thrill; Nor faster falls the blinding snow
My sight return'd, though dim; alas!
The dizzy race seem'd almost done,
How slow, alas! he came!
Before the eastern flame
A trampling troop; I see them come!
I strovo to cry--my lips were dumb.
Came thickly thundering on,
He answer'd, and then fell;
His first and last career is done!
They saw me strangely bound along
His back with many a bloody thong;
Without a single speck or hair
And thicken'd, as it were, with glass.
My stiffen'd limbs were rebaptized.
A haven I but little prized,
xv. "With glossy skin, and dripping mane,
And reeling limbs, and reeking flank, The wild steed's sinewy nerves still strain
Up the repelling bank.
And onward, onward, onward, seems,
Or scatter'd spot of dusky green,
But nought distinctly seen
All feebly foaming went.
But useless all to me.
But still it was in vain;
And backward to the forest fly,
He flew, and perch'd, then flew once more, By instinct, from a human eye.
And each time nearer than before; They left me there, to my despair,
I saw his wing through twilight flit, Link'd to the dead and stiffening wretch,
And once so near me he alit Whose lifeless limbs beneath me stretch,
I could have smote, but lack'd the strength; Relieved from that unwonted weight,
But the slight motion of my hand, From whence I could not extricate
And feeble scratching of the sand, Nor him nor me-and there we lay,
The exerted throat's faint struggling noise The dying on the dead !
Which scarcely could be called a voice, I little deem'd another day
Together scared him off at length. Would see my houseless, helpless head. I know no more-my latest dream
Is something of a lovely star “ And there from morn till twilight bound,
Which fix'd my dull eyes from afar, I felt the heavy hours toil round,
And went and came with wandering beam, With just enough of life to see
And of the cold, dull, swimming, dense My last of suns go down on me,
Sensation of recurring sense, In hopeless certainty of mind,
And then subsiding back to death, That makes us feel at length resign'd
And then again a little breath, To that which our foreboding years
A little thrill, a short suspense, Presents the worst and last of fears
An icy sickness curdling o'er Inevitable-even a boon,
My heart, and sparks that cross'd my brain Nor more unkind for coming soon ;
A gasp, a throb, a start of pain,
A sigh, and nothing more.
“I woke-Where was I-Do I see? At times sought with self-pointed sword,
A human face look down on me? Yet still a dark and hideous close
And doth a roof above me close ? To even intolerable woes,
Do these limbs on a couch repose ? And welcome in no shape.
Is this a chamber where I lie ? And, strange to say, the sons of pleasure, And is it mortal yon bright eye, They who have revell’d beyond measure
That watches me with gentle glance ? In beauty, wassail, wine, and treasure,
I closed my own again once more, Die calm, or calmer, oft than he
As doubtful that the former trance Whose heritage was misery :
Could not as yet be o'er. For he who hath in turn run through
A slender girl, long-hair'd, and tall, All that was beautiful and new,
Sate watching by the cottage wall; Hath nought to hope, and nought to leave; The sparkle of her eye I canght, And, save the future, (which is view'd
Even with my first return of thought, Not quite as men are base or good,
For ever and anon she threw But as their nerves may be endued,)
A prying, pitying glance on me With nought perhaps to grieve :
With her black eyes so wild and free: The wretch still hopes his woes must end,
I gazed, and gazed, until I knew And Death, whom he should deem his friend,
No vision it could be,Appears, to his distemper'd eyes,
But that I lived, and was released Arrived to rob him of his prize,
From adding to the vulture's feast: The tree of his new paradise.
And when the Cossack maid beheld To-morrow would have given him all,
My heavy eyes at length unsealed, Repaid his pangs, repair'd his fall;
She smiled-and I essay'd to speak, To-morrow would have been the first
But fail'd-and she approach'd, and made Of days no more deplored or curst,
With lip and finger signs that said, But bright, and long, and beckoning years, I must not strive as yet to break Seen dazzling through the mist of tears,
The silence, till my strength should be Guerdon of many a painful hour ;
Enough to leave my accents free; To.morrow would have given him power
And then her hand on mine she laid, To rule, to shine, to smite, to save
And smooth'd the pillow for my head, And must it dawn upon his grave?
And stole along on tiptoe tread,
And gently oped the door, and spake
In whispers-ne'er was voice so sweet! “The sun was sinking-still I lay
Even music follow'd her light fect ;Chain'd to the chill and stiffening steed,
But those she call'd were not awake, I thought to mingle there our clay ;
And she went forth; but, ere she pass'd, And my dim eyes of death had need,
Another look on me she cast, No hope arose of being freed:
Another sign she made, to say, I oast my last looks up the sky,
That I had nought to fear, that all And there between me and the sun
Were near, at my command or call,
And she would not delay
Methought I felt too much alone.
To-morrow the Borysthenes • She came with mother and with sire
May see our coursers graze at ease What need of more ?-I will not tire
Upon his Turkish bank,--and never With long recital of the rest,
Had I such welcome for a river Since I became the Cossack's guest;
As I shall yield when safely there. They found me senseless on the plain
Comrades, good night!”–The Hetman threw They bore me to the nearest hut
His length beneath the oak-tree shade, They brought me into life again
With leafy couch already made, Me-one day o'er their realm to reign!
A bed nor comfortless nor new Thus the rain fool who strove to glut
To him, who took his rest whene'er His rage, refining on my pain,
The hour arrived, no matter where: Sent me forth to the wilderness,
His eyes the hastening slumbers steep, Bound, naked, bleeding, and alone,
And if ye marvel Charles forgot To pass the desert to a throne,
To thank his tale, he wondered not,What mortal his own doom may guess?
The king had been an hour asleep Let none despond, let none despair !
CHRISTIAN AND HIS COMRADES.
The sail resumed its lately shadow'd white,
And the wind flutter'd with a freshening flight; The foundation of the following story will be The purpling ocean owns the coming sun, found partly in the account of the mutiny of the But ere he break-a deed is to be done. Bounty in the South Seas, (in 1789,) and partly in "Mariner's account of the Tonga Islands.”
His dreams were of Old England's welcome shore,
Of toils rewarded, and of dangers o'er;
His name was added to the glorious roll
Of those who search the storm-surrounded Pole.
And wilder hands would hold the vessel's sheet; The waters with their world were all before. Young hearts, which languish'd for some sunny isle, Behind, the South Sea's many an islet shore. Where summer years and summer women smile; The quiet night, now dappling, 'gan to wane,
Men without country, who, too long estranged, Dividing darkness from the dawning main ; Had found no native home, or found it changed, The dolphins, not unconscious of the day, And, half uncivilized, preferr'd the cave as eager of the coming ray;
Of some soft savage to the uncertain wave The stars from broader beams began to creep, The gushing fruits that nature gave untill'd; And lift their shining eyelids from the deep; The wood without a path but where they willid;