« PreviousContinue »
34. Till silently stood up
And each upon the other gazed,
35. He too was young, and sad, and pale, Few moments they together stayed, Two mourning youthful hearts were And few the broken words they spake, they ;
And parted so, the man and maid, They had the same familiar tale, Their separate paths alone to take. Man's tale of every day.
10. The pair who thus that morning met For he was weak and oft in pain ; Had never mingled mutual speech, From noisy sports he shrank away ; And now could neither heart forget But songs to sing, or tales to feign, What time so brief availed to teach. For him made holiday. 2.
11. In secret thought each breast could say And she had lived in cities wide, That one it knew of kindred mould, Had sailed across the fearful ocean, And through the long, long summer
Could tell of wealth, and camps, and day
pride, That tale in fancy oft was told. And peopled earth's commotion. 3.
12. For far unlike was Henry's mind And books bad she a precious store, To aught that Jane had seen before; With words whose light was never Though poor and lowly, yet refined With much of noblest lore.
Five crowded shelves, like mines of 4.
ore, A gentle widow's only child
Or undiscovered realms for him. He grew beneath a loving rule ;
13. A man with spirit undefiled,
A surgeon had the husband been, He taught the village school.
Who left this young and widowed 5.
bride; And many books had Henry read, He left her while her leaves were And other tongues than ours he knew, green, His heart with many fancies fed But ah ! they withered when he died. Which oft from hidden wells he drew.
So here she lived unmarked, alone, What souls heroic dared and bore Through quiet years remote from In ancient days for love and duty,
blame, What sages could by thought explore, With little that she called her own What poets sang of beauty:
But him who bore his father's name. 7.
15. With these he dwelt, because within Two hearts had she, the one so sad His breast was full of silent fire. It often ached within her breast; No praise of men he cared to win, But in her boy a heart she had More high was his desire ;
Now thrilled with hope, now lulled to 8.
rest. To be, to know whate'er of Good
16. To man below is given ;
And tall he grew, though never And, asking Truth as daily food,
strong, Seek little more from Heaven.
And beautiful at least to her; 9.
A soul he seemed attuned to song, To him the friend of all his days With thoughts of endless inward stir. Had been his saintly mother,
17. And ev’n the playmate of his plays- By love she taught him best to love, He never wished another.
She gave him hope by trust in God;
When pained below he looked above,
28. Yet scorned no flower of nature's He knew not if he slept or woke, sod.
'Twas all exhaustion's clouded gloom, 18.
When light like moonshine round him And when to fill the ripening man
broke, In deeper flow Reflection came, And showed his mother's grassy tomb. When Thought and Wish their strife
And o'er it floated, borne in air, Fears, Passions, Doubts no longer Her form serene in brightness clad, tame;
With glistening stars around the hair, 19.
And eyes of love no longer sad. Though small the help 'twas hers to
Her looks like summer lightning For deep not wide her best of lore,- spread, “Still, still,” she said, “by Conscience And filled the boundless heavenly live,
deep ; And Peace and Truth from Heaven Devoutest peace around she shed, implore.
The calm without the trance of sleep. 20.
31. “ My son, for these to toil is good, He knew not how, but soon was gone For these to none who seek denied ; The phantom shape that blessed his And thought must be thy lonely food, eyes; No teacher at thy side.
The churchyard Yew-tree, black and 21,
lone, No teacher had he; but a friend, Stood up against the starry skies. The only friend in Henry's reach,
32. The kindly Vicar, books would lend, Bewildered, yet consoled, he rose, And counsel, though unskilled to teach. And looked abroad; the dawn was
breaking, And by his word was Henry made It was the night's gray chilly close, The master o'er the village boys ; The day's fresh golden waking. A teacher still, by smiles and aid
33. Alluring on to nobler joys.
He left the village, crossed the rill, 23.
While dawn's pale gleams had scarce Thus Henry lived in meek repose, begun; Though suffering oft the body's pain, He climbed the elm-bedarkened hill, Though sometimes aimless Thoughts And in the churchyard faced the sun. and Woes
34. Like wrestling giants racked the brain. Beneath a clear unruffled morn, 24.
Beside the grave he knelt in prayer; But now an outward sorrow fell There breathed a voice to soothe and Down on his heart with heavier sway; warn, Through months of sickness long to And still Repose was whispering there. tell
35. His mother passed from earth away. And there he saw the gentle maid 25.
Whose earliest grief was like his His books, his thoughts, his boys were own:
To him it seemed his mother bade A swarm of insects murmuring round. Their hearts should each to each be Afresh they stung his aching brow, known. And fevered him with weary sound,
Yet passed a week as if no more And when the toilsome day was past, They could recall their mournful And darkness veiled his burning eyes, meeting ; Upon the bed his limbs he cast, And then, when seven long days were And wished he ne'er again might rise. o'er, 27.
Again they spoke with timid greetA fitting wish and soon recalled ; ing. But still there lived within his mind
37. A shame for courage thus appalled, Amid the noiseless crystal morn For faith so weak, and reason blind. They stood below the nightly Yew;
They dared not feel new hopes were 'Mid graves, beside the churchyard born
tree, For both, and trembling pleasures new. While summer's light around them 38.
clung. Now neither sat beside the grave,
47. They stood below the old Yew-tree, He seemed a more than common man, That with its sable shadows gave Whom children passed not heedless A home where grief might love to be. by, 39.
With graven brow of shapely span, They speak of those so lately gone,
And sudden-moving, pensive eye. And words of sorrow dry their tears;
48. And even when the tear flows on Retired and staid was Henry's look, It each to each the more endears. And shrank from men's tumultuous 40.
49. Of joy, from love's deep fountain steal. But then at sight of bird or flower, ing.
Or beam that set the clouds in flame, 41.
Or aught that told of joy or power, Thou Breeze of dawn, a music blent Upon the inan his genius came. With hues that are a song of light!
50. Thou Sky, whose dome, above them Most flashed his light whene'er he saw bent,
The kind and blooming face of Jane, Expands the cloudless god to sight! When Love, by its supremest law, 42.
Bade care depart, and fears be vain. Thou greenest World, through count
His Jane was fair to any eye; Adorned our bounteous home to be! How more than earthly fair to him! So fair beyond the dreams of sages, Her very beauty made you sigh Which are but glimpses caught from To think that it should 'e'er be dim. thee!
So childlike young, so gravely sweet, And Thou pervading Soul of All, With smiles of some disportive sprite, In man's large mind most clearly While blushes clear and fancies fleet shown,
Played o'er in rippling waves of light. Receiving at devotion's call
53. Whate'er of best thy Sire makes It was, in truth, a simple soul known!
That filled with day her great blue 44.
eyes, Bear witness ! ye consenting saw, That made her all one gracious Whole, And shed from all your seats above, Unmarred by vain and selfish lies. A strength all evil fears to awe,
54. In those two hearts combined by love. She had no art, and little skill 45.
In aught save Right, and maiden FeelAt morning oft, and oft at eve,
ing. They met below the old Yew-tree, On Henry's wisdom leant her will, For they would not forget to grieve, No ignorance from him concealing. Though blest as mortal souls may
And so she freshened all his life, 46.
As does a sparkling mountain rill, 'Twere worth a thoughtful wish to see That plays with scarce a show of strife A loving pair so calm, so young, Around its green aspiring hill.
PART IV. 1.
2. With bold affection, pure and true, Sometimes amid the glimmering meads The lovers rose all fears above, They walked in August's genial eve, And Faith and Conscience fed with dew And marked above the mill-stream The strong and flame-like flower of reeds love.
The myriad flies their mazes weave,
And 'twas once more the autumnal While under heaven's warm lucent hues
heaven They felt their eyes and bosoms glow, That saw the Fountain Spirit rise. And learnt how fondly Fancy views
15. Fair sights the moment ere they go.
“ Again the youth his fay besought 4.
A mortal's lot with him to share, And then, while earth was darkening for converse all of airy thought o'er,
Contents but souls ensphered in air ; While stars began their tranquil day,
16. Rejoiced that Nature gives us more " And man will ask below the skies Than all it ever takes away.
That breast may lean to beating breast, 5.
That mingling hands and answering In earliest autumn's fading woods
eyes Remote from eyes they roamed at morn, May halve the toil and glad the rest. Andsaw how Time transmuting broods
17. O'er all that into Time is born.
666 I too,'she said, and saying darkened, 6.
• Must speak to thee of certain doom, That power which men would fain To thee for whom my deeps have forget,
hearkened, The law of change and slow decay, And oft have felt unwonted gloom. Came to them with a mild regret,
18. A brightness veiled in softening gray. “For thee my heart, so calmly blest, 7.
Has throbbed with keener hopes and While in this mood one day they sat joys; Beside a lonely woodland spring, My waves have sparkled unrepressed, On moss that spread a living mat, And breathed for thee more vocal The fountain's verdant fairy-ring
19. To Jane her lover slowly said,
66. Too fond has been our mutual love “ The time, the scene, recall to me To last beneath yon clouded sun ; A story of a youth and maid
And fate, that sternly sits above, In famous lands beyond the sea. Decrees our bliss already done. 9.
20. “ In land of Greece in ancient days,
665 At morn or eve thou must no more A man, by many dreams possessed, Return for commune sweet with me; Would wander oft from trodden ways, My gaze on mortal eyes is o'er, And rudest wilds he loved the best. Because it may not feed on thee. 10
2). “ He strewed his thoughts along the • Thou must in other pathways roam, gale,
But sometimes think that once we met; He gave his heart to earth and sky, I seek my lonely cavern home, To trees his life's fantastic tale There still to live, but not forget.' Was known, but not to mortal eye.
“ The tinkling words were hardly said, “ His soul devout, his shaping mind, When sank the fountain's mournful Had power at last o'er mystic things, daughter; And could the silent charms unbind The youth, to grasp the form that fled, That chain the fountain's icy springs. Sprang shrieking down the fatal water. 12.
23. 66 There shone a breezeless autumn
Dear Jane, 'tis but a graceful
story, When o'er the crystal cell arose To soothe and not oppress the mind ; A woman from the waters born, But now the year is turning hoary, And fair as aught our fancy knows. I hear it moaned by every wind. 13.
24. “ He sought to make the maid his own, " And in the autumn's look I trace, For earthly love a human bride ; I know not why, a threatening stare, Her voice had love's pathetic tone, Nor e'en thy dear and rosy face But still her words the suit denied. Can disenchant the spell-bound air. 14.
25. • One day of pure delight was given “ Yet well I know 'tis empty dream, In every month of changing skies, And vainer still the legend's voice,
For if too fond man's love may seem, As doubting in his look to trace
33. “ Begone, ye fears that round us wait, She saw his cheek so worn and pale, The soul's dim twilight hour possess. She saw the dark expanded eye, ing!
And read the unimagined tale A Will beyond the Grecian Fate Of sure and near mortality. Has given us love's unstinted bless
Her shuddering face she stooped in 27.
dread, Jane listened first with pensive gaze, And then once more was fain to look; Then dread disturbed her seeking Slow tears her eyes o'erladen shed glance,
On his thin hand, that feebly shook. Though she but half could read the
They spoke not, ere they rose to go, That told the heathen land's romance. And walked towards the far church28.
tower; But clear she saw, and truly felt, Side pressed to side, they journeyed That Henry was not well at ease;
slow, 'Twas not a grief obscurely spelt, While passed one voiceless, throbbing But plain as aught the spirit sees.
36. Her arms around his neck she threw, But when they reached the burial- Against his cheek her head she laid, ground, And he could feel the sigh she drew, They turned and looked o'er hill and Could feel the passion of the maid. plain ; 30.
And, starting up from misery's Then first upon her soul it broke
swound, That Time their lives might sever ; He faintly said to JaneFrom joy's delightful trance she woke,
37. And it was gone for ever:
• The autumn woods are fair to see, 31.
Its clouds with straggling sunshine As when a child first snaps the band burn; That close to home has bound him ; But lovelier will the springtime be, Or as the sailor dreams of land, When warmth, and hope, and life reAnd wakes with waves around him.
38. Long time she paused, and hid her With long, sad smiles, of sorrow bred, face,
The fate-struck lovers left each other, Then raised her head in piteous sor- While both at heart more deeply bled row,
Than even for a buried mother.
The father did not loudly blame, Slow dragged along the unsmiling But sat in unrejoicing thought. year,
4. With winds, and mist, and foliage At last he spoke, with lingering torn;
tongue : And, though their green love grew “ My friend, I will not say you no, not sere,
Though Jane is still but weak and They could not cease to mourn.
From her old father's side to go. But still they strove to feed their hope,
5. Though faint and worn away with “ Indeed, 'twould be a wiser plan, fears,
could come and live with me; Though in their passion's ample scope Though I am not a book-learned man, Was room for many tears.
With her to help we might agree. 3.
6. To see the Sexton Henry came,
• The house and fields are all my own, And told how great a thing he sought; And will be his who weds with her,