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And thence, though quick of feeling, hath been deem'd
Almost as cold and loveless as she seem'd;
Because to fools she never would reveal
Wounds they would probe—without the power to heal.
No,—whatsoe'er the visions that disturb
The fountain of her thoughts, she knows to curb
Each outward sign of sorrow, and suppress-
Even to a sigh-all tokens of distress.
Yet some, perhaps, with keener vision than
The crowd, that pass her by unnoted, can,
Through well dissembled smiles, at times, discern
A settled anguish that would seem to burn
The very brain it feeds upon; and when
This mood of pain is on her, then, oh! then,
A more than wonted paleness of the cheek, —
And, it may be, a flitting hectic streak,-
A tremulous motion of the lip or eye, -
Are all that anxious friendship may descry.
Reserve and womanly pride are in her look,
Though temper'd into meekness; she can brook
Unkindness and neglect from those she loves,
Because she feels it undeserved; which proves
That firm and conscious rectitude hath power
To blunt Fate's darts in sorrow's darkest hour.
Ay, unprovoked, injustice she can bear
Without a sigh-almost without a tear,
Save such as hearts internally will weep,
And they ne'er rise the burning lids to steep;
But to those petty wrongs which half defy
Human forbearance, she can make reply
With a proud lip, and a contemptuous eye.
There is a speaking sadness in her air,
A tinge of languor o'er her features fair,
Born of no common grief; as though despair
Had wrestled with her spirit—been o’erthrown,-
And these the trophies of the strife alone.
A resignation of the will, a calm
Derived from pure religion (that sweet balm
For wounded breasts) is seated on her brow,
And ever to the tempest bends she now,
Even as a drooping lily, which the wind
Sways as it lists. The sweet affections bind
Her sympathies to earth; her peaceful soul
Has long aspired to that immortal goal,
Where pain and anguish cease to be our lot,
And the world's cares and frailties are forgot !
THE SICILIAN VESPERS.
BY J. G. WHITTIER.
SILENCE O'er sea and earth
With the veil of evening fell,
Till the convent tower sent deeply forth
The chime of its vesper bell.
One moment, and that solemn sound
Fell heavily on the ear;
But a sterner echo pass'd around;
Which the boldest shook to hear.
The startled monks throng'd up,
In the torchlight cold and dim;
And the priest let fall his incense cup,
And the virgin hush'd her hymn;
For a boding clash, and a clanging tramp,
And a summoning voice were heard,
And fretted wall, and tombstone damp,
To the fearful echo stirr'd.
The peasant heard the sound,
As he sat beside his hearth; And the song and the dance were hush'd around, With the fireside tale of mirth.
THE SICILIAN VESPERS.
The chieftain shook in his banner'd hall,
As the sound of war drew nigh;
And the warder shrank from the castle wall,
As the gleam of spears went by. Woe, woe, to the stranger then;
At the feast and flow of wine,
In the red array of mailed men,
Or bow'd at the holy shrine;
For the waken'd pride of an injured land
Had burst its iron thrall;
From the plumed chief to the pilgrim band;
Woe, woe, to the sons of Gaul! Proud beings fell that hour,
With the young and passing fair,
And the flame went up from dome and tower;
The avenger's arm was there!
The stranger priest at the altar stood,
And clasp'd his beads in prayer,
But the holy shrine grew dim with blood;
The avenger found him there!
Woe, woe, to the sons of Gaul;
To the serf and mailed lord ;
They were gather'd darkly, one and all,
To the harvest of the sword;
And the morning sun, with a quiet smile,
Shone out o'er hill and glen,
On ruin'd temple and mouldering pile,
And the ghastly forms of men.
Ay, the sunshine sweetly smiled,
As its early glance came forth;
It had no sympathy with the wild
And terrible things of earth ;
And the man of blood that day might read,
In a language freely given,
How ill his dark and midnight deed
Became the light of heaven.
Oh when I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blithe and kind !
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my eye,
To cast a look behind !
A hoop was an eternal round
Of pleasure. In those days I found
A top a joyous thing ;-
But now those past delights I drop,
My head, alas! is all my top,
And careful thoughts the string !
My marbles--once my bag was stored-
Now I must play with Elgin's lord,
With Theseus for a taw!
My playful horse has slipp'd his string,
Forgotten all his capering,
And harness'd to the law !
My kite—how fast and far it flew !
Whilst I, a sort of Franklin, drew
My pleasure from the sky! 'Twas paper'd o'er with studious themes, The tasks I wrote-my present dreams
Will never soar so high.
My joys are wingless all and dead;
My dumps are made of more than lead ;
My flights soon find a fall;
My fears prevail, my fancies droop,
Joy never cometh with a whoop,
And seldom with a call!
A ROTROSPECTIVE REVIEW
My football's laid upon the shelf;-
I am a shuttlecock myself,
The world knocks to and fro-
My archery is all unlearn’d,
And grief against myself has turn'd
My arrows and my bow!
No more in noontide sun I bask;
My authorship’s an endless task,
My head's ne'er out of school.
My heart is pain'd with scorn and slight,
I have too many foes to fight,
And friends grown strangely cool!
The very chum that shared my cake
Holds out so cold a hand to shake
It makes me shrink and sigh-
On this I will not dwell and hang,
The changeling would not feel a pang
Though these should meet his eye!
No skies so blue, or so serene
As then ;-no leaves look half so green
As clothed the play ground tree!
All things I loved are alter'd so,
Nor does it ease my heart to know
That change resides in me!
Oh, for the garb that mark'd the boy-
Thé trowsers made of corduroy,
Well ink'd with black and red ;-
The crownless hat-ne'er deem'd an ill.
It only let the sunshine still
Repose upon my head !
Oh, for the riband round the neck !
The careless dog's ears apt to deck