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ON A MONUMENT BY CHANTREY FOR AN INFANT DAUGHTER OF
Thou sleepest-but when wilt thou wake, fair child?
-When the fawn awakes 'midst the forest wild ?
When the lark's wing mounts with the breeze of morn,
When the first rich breath of the rose is born ?
-Lovely thou sleepest, yet something lies
Too deep and still on thy soft-seald eyes ;
Mournful, though sweet, is thy rest to see-
When will the hour of thy rising be?
Not when the fawn wakes, not when the lark
On the crimson cloud of the morn floats dark-
Grief with vain passionate tears hath wet
The hair, shedding gleams from thy pale brow yet;
Love with sad kisses unfelt hath prest
Thy meek dropt eyelids and quiet breast;
And the glad Spring, calling out bird and bee,
Shall color all blossoms, fair child, but thee.
Thou'rt gone from us, bright one—that thou shouldst die,
And life be left to the butterfly !*
Thou’rt gone, as a dew-drop is swept from the bough,
-Oh! for the world where thy home is now!
How may we love but in doubt and fear,
How may we anchor our fond hearts here,
How should e'en Joy but a trembler be,
Beautiful dust! when we look on thee?
* A butterfly, as if fluttering on a flower, is sculptured on the monument.
THE PORTRAIT GALLERY," AN UNFINISHED POEM.
Thou seest her pictur'd with her shining hair,
(Fam'd were its tresses in Provençal song,)
Half braided, half o'er cheek and bosoin fair
Let loose, and pouring sunny waves along
Her gorgeous vest.-A child's light hand is roving
'Midst the rich curls, and oh ! how meekly loving
Its earnest looks are listed to the face,
Which bends to meet its lip in laughing grace.
Yet that bright lady's eye methinks hath less
Of deep, and still, and pensive tenderness,
Than might beseem a mother's-on her brow
Something too much there sits of native scorn,
And her smile kindles with a conscious glow,
As from the thought of sovereign beauty born.
--These may be dreams—but how shall woman tell
Of woman's shame, and not with tears ?-she fell !
That mother left that child-went hurrying by
Its cradle-haply, not without a sigh-
Haply one moment o'er its rest serene
She hung—but no! it could not thus have been,
For she went on!-forsook her home, her hearth,
All pure affection, all sweet household mirth,
To live a gaudy and dishonor'd thing,
Sharing in guilt the splendors of a king.
Her lord, in very weariness of life,
Girt on his sword for scenes of distant strife
He reck'd no more of glory-grief and shame
Crush'd out his fiery nature, and his name
Died silently.—A shadow o'er his halls
Crept year by year; the minstrel pass'd their walls,
The warder's horn hung mute ;-meantime the child
On whose first flowering thoughts no parent smild,
A gentle girl, and yet deep-hearted, grew
Into sad youth ; for well, too well she knew
Her mother's tale Its memory made the sky
Seem all too joyous for her shrinking eye;
Check'd on her lip the flow of song, which fain
Would there have linger’d; Alush'd her cheek to pain,
If met by sudden glance; and gave a tone
Of sorrow, as for something lovely gone,
Ev'n to the Spring's glad voice.—Her own was low,
And plaintive—oh! there lie such depths of woe
In a young blighted spirit.—Manhood rears
A haughty brow, and Age has done with tears,
But Youth bows down to misery, in amaze
At the dark cloud o’ermantling its fresh days ;
And thus it was with her.—A mournful sight
In one so fair; for she indeed was fair-
Not with her mother's dazzling eyes of light,
Hers were more shadowy, full of thought and prayer,
And with long lashes o'er a white-rose cheek
Drooping in gloom, yet tender still, and meek,
Still that fond child's—and oh ! the brow above,
So pale and pure ! so form’d for holy love
To gaze upon in silence !-but she felt
That love was not for her, though hearts would melt
Where'er she mov'd, and reverence mutely given
Went with her; and low prayers, that calld on Heaven
To bless the young Isaure.
One sunny morn, With alms before her castle gate she stood, ’Midst peasant-groups; when breathless and o’erworn, And shrouded in long weeds of widowhood,