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Some bold heroic words she penned

To him her life who gave,
And as approached her fearful end

Her soul grew yet more brave.

She wore the bonds, the robe of red,

As martyrs wear their crown;
She begged no mercy on her head,

She called no curses down;
It was enough that she fulfilled

The work that was decreed;
It was enough a voice was stilled

That doomed the just to bleed.

So beautiful, so filled with life,

So doomed, she passed along
Above the sense, the sound of strife,

Alone in the vast throng.
Some with mute reverence lowly bowed,

As thus the victim went;
And some outpouring hatred loud,

The air with curses rent.

Without one tint of fresh youth paled,

Without one quivering breath,
Without one step that weakly failed,

That maiden sped to death;
And with her lips yet glowing red,

And bright her beaming eyes,
To the sharp axe she bowed her head,

And closed her sacrifice.

Yet two more female figures, embodying a stern lesson.


Broidered robe, bespangled vest,
Raiment for a palace guest,

Wears proud Maude to-night;
And her haughty smile is gay,
As shines forth that rich array

In the mirror bright.

Now, with triumph on her cheek,
And with looks that conquest speak,

See her pass along;
Listen to the murmured praise,
Mark the fixed admiring gaze.

Of the courtly throng!

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Thronging to her spirit come
Memories of village home,

Bee and flower and bird,
Ruddy beam of early day,
White-fleeced lambs, in sportive play,

Low of dappled herd.

Breezy breath of heath-crossed hill, Silvery sound of trickling rill,

Bank where violets grow; And her heart is throbbing fast, With these pictures of the past,

But no tears may flow.

Fevered is her low-bent brow,
Wasted are her young limbs now,

Joy hath lost its home:
Short the respite for relief,
Stolen slumbers far too brief

For soft dreams to come.

Tainted is the air she breathes,
Perfumeless the gaud she wreathes,

Garland false and cold.
And the hearts around her seem
As its flowers of mimic beam,

They no balm unfold.

Now before her dazzled eyes
Lurid phantasms arise,

Light is wasting fleet,
And the laborer more intent,
Lest the fitful ray be spent

Ere her task's complete.

But the darkness gathers fast,
And she scarcely knows at last

How her fingers ply;
And she thinks it wondrous soon,
Since the hour of glaring noon

That the night is high.

Now her work is done.—Behold,
Ye who shine in silk and gold,

What is its high cost !
She, who strove at your behest,
She, whose eyes were robbed of rest,

Sight through toil hath lost.

Woe to you, vain child of clay!
Woe to you in robes so gay,

Queens might envy them!
You with jewels overdone,
Her have robbed who had but one

Of a priceless gem!

No words of mine could add to the force and eloquence of this pleading-I had almost said of this fulmination. What I would add, should go rather in mitigation of the crime imputed to the courtly beauty. Selfish as vanity is-dangerous as leading to all the sins that follow upon frivolity, I have a true faith in the general kindliness and the general good training of our young countrywomen, whether of the village green, or of the palace circle. I do not believe that any English lady would knowingly purchase a splendid dress at the cost of health to the artificer. Let them once think-let them once be brought to think whether they can reasonably expect their orders to be executed within a given time, and what may be the amount of suffering caused by such execution, and, my life upon it, our Lady Maudes would give up their furbelows, and their embroideries, and trust to their native charms of grace and modesty to win as much admiration as they know what to do with. But then they must be taught to think; and in all matters of humanity, they could hardly find finer precepts than in the poems of Miss Day.

These lady poets are all my friends : I add yet another, personally a stranger, but still a friend, to the list-Mrs. Robert Dering.


The chimes from yonder steeple

Ring merrily and loud,
And groups of eager people

Toward their music crowd.

Before the altar's railing

A bride and bridegroom stand,
And lacy folds are vailing

The loveliest in the land.

And every ear is trying,

While all beside is still,
To hear the bride replying

Her soft but firm “I will."

The soft “I will” is spoken,

A glance as soft exchanged, That vow shall ne'er be broken,

Nor those fond hearts estranged.

Another train advances

No bridal train is this,
Yet there are joyous glances,

And whispered words of bliss.

With youthful pride and pleasure

Approach a happy pair,
Their first and darling treasure

Within the church they bear.

Their babe is now receiving

Upon its placid face,
The badge of the believing,

The holy sign of grace.

Sweet babe! this world is hollow,

A world of woe and strife. Take up thy cross and follow

Where leads the Lord of Life.

Another train is wending

Within the church its way, While prayers are still ascending

For blessings on that day.

But here no bride is blushing;

And here no babe is blest; But mourners' tears are gushing

For one laid down to rest.

Bright dawns the bridal morning;

The font to us is dear; But come, and hear the warning

That's spoken to us here!

A blight may soon be falling

On joys however pure,
But let us make our calling

And our election sure.

And then the day of sorrow

Which lays us in the earth, Shall have a brighter morrow

Than that which saw our birth.

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