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MARIANA IN THE SOUTH.
WITH one black shadow at its feet,
The house thro' all the level shines, Close-latticed to the brooding heat,
And silent in its dusty vines:
An empty river-bed before,
But "Ave Mary," made she moan,
And "Ave Mary," night and morn,
She, as her carol sadder grew,
From brow and bosom slowly down
Her streaming curls of deepest brown
And "Ave Mary," was her moan,
"Madonna, sad is night and morn;" And "Ah," she sang, "to be all alone, To live forgotten, and love forlorn."
Till all the crimson changed, and past
Before Our Lady murmur'd she; Complaining, "Mother, give me grace . To help me of my weary load." And on the liquid mirror glow'd The clear perfection of her face.
"Is this the form," she made her moan,
"That won his praises night and morn?" And "Ah," she said, "but I wake alone, I sleep forgotten, I wake forlorn.'
Nor bird would sing, nor lamb would bleat,
On stony drought and steaming salt;
And seem'd knee-deep in mountain grass, And heard her native breezes pass, And runlets babbling down the glen.
She breathed in sleep a lower moan,
And murmuring, as at night and morn, She thought, "My spirit is here alone, Walks forgotten, and is forlorn.”
Dreaming, she knew it was a dream :
She felt he was and was not there.
Fell, and, without, the steady glare
She whisper'd, with a stifled moan
More inward than at night or morn, "Sweet Mother, let me not here alone Live forgotten and die forlorn."
And, rising, from her bosom drew
An image seem'd to pass the door,
To look at her with slight, and say,
But now thy beauty flows away,
So be alone for evermore."
"O cruel heart," she changed her tone, "And cruel love, whose end is scorn, Is this the end to be left alone,
To live forgotten, and die forlorn ! "
But sometimes in the falling day
An image seem'd to pass the door, To look into her eyes and say,
"But thou shalt be alone no more." And flaming downward over all
From heat to heat the day decreased,
And slowly rounded to the east The one black shadow from the wall.
"The day to night," she made her moan,
To live forgotten, and love forlorn."
At eve a dry cicala sung,
There came a sound as of the sea; Backward the lattice-blind she flung,
And lean'd upon the balcony. There all in spaces rosy-bright
Large Hesper glitter'd on her tears, And deepening thro' the silent spheres, Heaven over Heaven rose the night.
And weeping then she made her moan,
To live forgotten, and love forlorn."
THY dark eyes open'd not,
Nor first reveal'd themselves to English air,
Which, from the outward to the inward brought,
Thou wert born, on a summer morn,
With breezes from our oaken glades,
The oriental, fairy brought,
At the moment of thy birth, From old well-heads of haunted rills, And the hearts of purple hills,
And shadow'd coves on a sunny shore,
The choicest wealth of all the earth,
Or the yellow-banded bees,
Fed thee, a child, lying alone,
With whitest honey in fairy gardens cull'd
A glorious child, dreaming alone,
In silk-soft folds, upon yielding down,
With the hum of swarming bees
Into dreamful slumber lull'd.
To thee, with fruitage golden-rinded
How may full-sail'd verse express,
The luxuriant symmetry Of thy floating gracefulness, Eleanore?
Every turn and glance of thine,
And the steady sunset glow,
For in thee
From one censer, in one shrine,
To one another, even as tho'
To an unheard melody.
I stand before thee, Eleanore;
I see thy beauty gradually unfold,
Slowly, as from a cloud of gold,
The languors of thy love-deep eyes Float on to me. I would I were
So tranced, so rapt in ecstasies,
Sometimes, with most intensity
Thought folded over thought, smiling asleep,
In thy large eyes, that, overpower'd quite,
I cannot veil, or droop my sight,
But am as nothing in its light:
As tho' a star, in inmost heaven set,
Should slowly round his orb, and slowly grow
To a full face, there like a sun remain
then as slowly fade again,
And draw itself to what it was before;
As thunder-clouds that, hung on high,