Page images
PDF
EPUB

He that the ugh dust the stream of life can pour,
The Mighty and the Merciful alone!
-Yet oft His paths have midnight for their shade
He leaves to man the ruin man hath made!-

TASSO AND HIS SISTER.

“ Devant vous est Sorrente ; là demeuroit la sæur de Tasse, quand il vint en pélérin demander à cette obscure amie, un asile contre l'injustice des princes. Ses longues douleurs avoient presque égaré sa raison ; il ne lui restoit plus que du génie.”

Corinne.

She sat, where on each wind that sigli’d

The citron's breath went by ;
While the deep gold of eventide

Burn'd in the Italian sky.
Her bower was one where daylight's close

Full oft sweet laughter found,
As thence the voice of childhood rose

To the high vineyards round.

But still and thoughtful, at her knee,

Her children stood that hour,

Their bursts of song, and dancing glee,

Hush'd as by words of power.
With bright, fix’d, wondering eyes that gaz'd

Up to their mother's face ;
With brows through parting ringlets rais’d,

They stood in silent grace.

While she—yet something o'er her look

Of mournfulness was spread-
Forth from a poet's magic book

The glorious numbers read ;
The proud, undying lay, which pour’d

Its light on evil years ;
His of the gifted Pen and Sword, *

The triumph and the tears.

She read of fair Erminia's fight,

Which Venice once might hear,
Sung on her glittering seas at night,

By many a gondolier;

* It is scarcely necessary to recall the well known Italian saying, that Tasso with his sword and pen was superior to all men.

Or him she read, who broke the charm

That wrapt the myrtle grove;
Of Godfrey's deeds, of Tancred's arm,

That slew his Paynim love.

Young cheeks around that bright page glow'd,

Young holy hearts were stirr’d;
And the meek tears of woman flow'd

Fast o'er each burning word.
And sounds of breeze, and fount, and leaf,
Came sweet each

pause

between ; When a strange voice of sudden grief

Burst on the gentle scene.

The mother turn'd—a way-worn man,

In pilgrim garb stood nigh,
Of stately mien, yet wild and wan,

Of proud, yet restless eye.
But drops that would not stay for pride,

From that dark eye gush'd free,
As, pressing his pale brow, he cried,

“ Forgotten ! e'en by thee!

“ Am I so chang'd ?-and yet we two

Oft hand in hand have play'd
This brow hath been all bath'd in dew,

From wreaths which thou hast made.
We have knelt down and said one prayer,

And sang one vesper strain-
My thoughts are dim with clouds of care-

Tell me those words again!

“Life hath been heavy on my head;

I come, a stricken deer,
Bearing the heart, ʼmidst crowds that bled,

To bleed in stillness here."
-She gaz’d—till thoughts that long had slept,

Shook all her thrilling frameShe fell upon his neck, and wept,

And breath'd her brother's name.

Her brother's name and who was he,
The weary one,

th' unknown, That came, the bitter world to flee,

A stranger to his own?

« PreviousContinue »