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A stranger through them broke—the orphan maid
With her sweet voice, and proffer'd hand of aid,
Turn'd to give welcome; but a wild sad look
Met hers; a gaze that all her spirit shook;
And that pale woman, suddenly subdued
By some strong passion in its gushing mood,
Knelt at her feet, and bath'd them with such tears
As rain the hoarded agonies of years
From the heart's urn—and with her white lips prest
The ground they trod—then, burying in her vest
Her brow’s deep flush, sobb'd out, “Oh undefiled !
I am thy mother —spurn me not, my child !”
Isaure had pray’d for that lost mother—wept
O'er her stain'd memory, when the happy slept,
In the hush'd midnight; stood with mournful gaze
Before yon picture's smile of other days;
But never breath'd in human ear the name
Which weigh’d her being to the earth with shame.
What marvel if the anguish of surprise,
The dark remembrances, the alter'd guise,
Awhile o'erpower'd her ?—from the weeper's touch
She shrank—'twas but a moment—yet too much
For that all humbled one—its mortal stroke
Came down like lightning's, and her full heart broke
At once in silence.—Heavily and prone
She sank, while, o'er her castle's threshold-stone,
Those long fair tresses—they still brightly wore
Their early pride, though bound with pearls no more—
Bursting their fillet, in sad beauty roll’d,
And swept the dust with coils of wavy gold.
Her child bent o'er her—call’d her—'twas too late : Dead lay the wanderer at her own proud gate.— The joy of courts, the star of knight and bard— How didst thou fall, oh! bright-hair’d Ermengarde'
OCCASIONed BY Receiving A LEAF GAthered in The
OH ! how could Fancy crown with thee,
In ancient days, the god of wine,
And bid thee at the banquet be,
Companion of the vine *
Thy home, wild plant, is where each sound
Of revelry hath long been o'er ;
Where song's full notes once peal’d around,
But now are heard no more.
The Roman, on his battle plains,
Where kings before his eagles bent,
Entwin'd thee, with exulting strains,
Around the victor's tent;
Yet there though, fresh in glossy green,
Triumphantly thy boughs might wave,
Better thou lov'st the silent scene,
Around the victor's grave.
Where sleep the sons of ages flown,
The bards and heroes of the past,
Where, through the halls of glory gone.
Murmurs the wintry blast;
Where years are hastening to efface
Each record of the grand and fair—
Thou in thy solitary grace,
Wreath of the tomb art there.
Oh! many a temple, once sublime,
Beneath a blue, Italian sky,
Hath nought of beauty left by time,
Save thy wild tapestry.
And, rear'd 'midst crags and clouds, 'tis thine
To wave where banners wav'd of yore,
O'er towers that crest the noble Rhine,
High from the fields of air, look down
Those eyries of a vanish’d race,
Homes of the mighty, whose renown
Hath pass'd and left no trace.
But thou art there—thy foliage bright,
Unchang'd, the mountain-storm can brave—
Thou that wilt climb the loftiest height,
And deck the humblest grave.
The breathing forms of Parian stone,
That rise round Grandeur's marble halls;
The vivid hues by painting thrown
Rich o'er the glowing walls;
Th’ acanthus on Corinthian fanes,
In sculptur'd beauty waving fair,
These perish all—and what remains?—
Thou, thou alone art there.
'Tis still the same—where'er we tread,
The wrecks of human power we see,
The marvels of all ages fled,
Left to Decay and thee.
And still let man his fabrics rear,
August in beauty, grace, and strength—
Days pass, thou “Ivy never sere,” ”
And all is thine at length.