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Unspoken tongues, perchance in praise or woe,
Were chronicled on tablets Time had swept ;
The thick, small dust of those they once bad wept.
No hand was here to wipe the dust away;
No reader of the writing traced beneath ;
No sigh nor sound from all the heaps of death,
One place alone had ceased to hold its prey;
A form had pressed it and was there no more ;
Where once they wrapped HIM on the rocky foor.
HE only with returning footsteps broke
The eternal calm with which the tomb was bound;
And blessed with outstretched hands the host around.
Well is it that such blessing hovers here,
To soothe each sad survivor of the throng
And pour their woe the loaded air along.
They to the verge have followed what they love,
And on the insuperable threshold stand ;
And stretch in the abyss their ungrasped hand.
But vainly there they seek their soul's relief,
And of the obdurate Grave its prey implore;
Closing their eyes by those they met before.
All that have died, the earth's whole race, repose
Where Death collects his treasures, heap on heap;
Its actors, sufferers, schools, kings, armies-sleep.
It would be difficult to frame a better wish for the writer and the woman, than that both may remain unchanged—that the shadow may still cast its deep and thoughtful vail over the poetry and the sunshine, and the blessing rest upon the life !
The exact reverse of Mrs. Clive may be found in Mrs. Acton Tindal, whose verse, so free, so buoyant, so firm, and so graceful, derives most of its charm from its resemblance to the sweet and lovely creature by whom it was written. There is a sparkling vividness in her style, which has the life and color of painting. The very choice of her subjects is picturesque. With an extent and variety of reading, remarkable even now in one of the youngest of our female writers, she instinctively fixes upon some theme of processional grace and beauty, and throws all the truth and tenderness of her sentiment around figures already interesting by historical association. The “ Infant Bridal” might be transferred to canvas without altering a word.
Richard Duke of York, second son of Edward IV., was married to Anne Mowbray, Duchess of Norfolk in her own right. The bridegroom was not five years old, and the bride scarcely three. The ceremony was performed in St. Stephen's Chapel, A.D. 1477."
The sunbeams of the early day
Streamed through the lattice grim,
Swelled loud the nuptial hymn;
Of courtly dames and fair,
The bravest best were there.
But slowly moved the bright array,
For gently at its head
With short and doubtful tread:
(Like Cupid's train in eld,)
Each other's hands they held.
Half pleased and half surprised they seemed,
For in each kindred eye
And mournful gravity.
On each heart darkly fell;
Who know the past too well.
The bridegroom bore a royal crown
Amid the shining hair,
In tresses soft and fair.
The bearing of the noble child
His princely lineage told,
The blood of warriors rolled.
All coyly went the sweet babe-bride;
Yet oft with simple grace,
Her dark eyes to his face.
Crowns of white roses bore,
The infant bridal o'er.
Then words of import strange and deep
The hoary prelate said,
And many bowed the head.
Upon the old man bent,
The solemn words' intent.
Calm in the blest simplicity
That never woke to doubt; Calm in the holy purity
Whose presence bars shame out! Then turned they from each troubled brow
And many a downcast eye, And gazed upon each other now
In wondering sympathy;
And nestled close, with looks of love,
Upon the altar's stone :
These little ones might own.
Against the fair boy pressed,
As kneeling to be blest.
Then smiled they on their grand array
And went forth hand in hand, Well pleased to keep high holyday
Amid that gorgeous band.
With such prophetic gloom,
The shadow of the tomb !
Scarce had the blossoms died away
Of the rose-wreaths they wore,
The little bride they bore.
Bedewed with tears, were cast;
O’erclouded her at last.
A life as short, and darker doom
The gentle boy befell:
For him was heard no knell!
And the dark vale was passed !
Whose sun is ne'er o'ercast.
A garland floats around the throne,
Entwined by angel hands,
Culled from a thousand lands.
Unceasingly they sing,
The loved babe-angels fling!
I have now to introduce another fair artist into the female gallery of which I am so proud ; an artist whose works seem to me to bear the same relation to sculpture that those of Mrs. Acton Tindal do to painting. The poetry of Miss Day is statuesque in its dignity, in its purity, in its repose. Purity is perhaps the distinguishing quality of this fine writer, pervading the conception, the thoughts and the diction. But she must speak for herself. As “ The Infant Bridal” might form a sketch for an historical picture, so “Charlotte Corday" is a model, standing ready to be chiseled in Parian stone.
Stately, and beautiful, and chaste,
Forth went the dauntless maid,
That carnage might be stayed.
There was no room for fear,
Prophetic on her ear.
She thought to. stem the course of crime
By one appalling deed,
Alone would be her meed.
No terror blanched her brow,
And hidden held her vow.
She mused upon her country's wrong,
Upon the tyrant's guilt,
As blood was freshly spilt:
It grasped the sharpened steel ;
The death that it should deal.
She sought her victim in his den
The tiger in his lair;
There was no thought to spare.
That pity yet withstood,
And stained her soul with blood.
She bore the buffets and the jeer
Of an infuriate crowd ;
She owned her act aloud.
Bewailed the monster's fate;
That fiends gained aught but hate.
She justified her deed of blood
In stern, exalted phrase,
With calm, intrepid gaze.
Before the morn to die,
And triumph lit her eye.
She marked a painter's eamest gaze,
She raised to him her face, That he for men in other days
Her raptured mien might trace.